New House Cleaner Needs Advice - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 07-21-2014, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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New House Cleaner Needs Advice


In an effort to get work, I posted a housecleaning service on Craigslist. I already had one client last week, and two more appointments for August. I figured this would be a bit of a "cinch" lol. I had done caregiving before which included housecleaning. I wanted to do the Independent Contractor thing so I went out and bought my own cleaning supplies. Here is what I ran into on my first official housecleaning job.

1. I used paper towels to clean the mirrors. Well, the paper towels left little lint pieces.
2. I thought simple green was the big wonder cleaner. Well, I tried it on a mirror and it left a smudge.
3. I was a bit unprepared for my first job. As I went in there was furniture he wanted me to dust. I bought no furniture polish with me but ran on my lunch break and got some polish and microfiber clothes.
5. I hope paper towels in an emergency is okay to polish furniture with. that is what i was using before my lunch break.
6. he seemed to think i was slow and expressed agitation about it.
7. I went and bought some cheap offbrand dry mop towels to stick on the bottom of my swiffer sweaper. This man had pets and these cloths did a horrible job.

He paid me for my time and surprisingly rescheduled me to come back in a month. I would like my next experience to be more positive. I was embarrased at the products I purchased and am hoping i can do a more professional job the second time around.

I also picked up a new client for August. He has expensive granite countertops (or maybe its marble).

I dont' know much about marble, but i do not want to bring in some inferior product that is going to cause problems. Have any of you used simple green on marble?

BTW it took me about five and a half hours for my first client. I cleaned the entryway, the living room, the dining room, two bathrooms, and two bedrooms. He wanted me to steam mop the kitchen but I didnt get to it in the time allotted.

Any advice on how to speed up the process and be more effective the next time around would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of Old 07-24-2014, 10:45 AM
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Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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Hi Splost! Thanks for sharing your first cleaning... I am still in the researching stage but I can so see this also happening to ME!!! Sounds like it will def be a trail & error experience. But It's great that the customer wants you to return, so your cleaning must have been superb!! Congrats to you!!! Please keep us posted on how things go... I'm rooting for you!!
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post #3 of Old 07-24-2014, 05:47 PM
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Location: Marysville, WA
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Wow, you are very inexperienced and acting professionally without being a professional. I think you need a fast education and I would suggest you offer to go out and do some cleaning with an existing house cleaner so you can learn the business OJT. It would be a good investment on your part and they'd get free labor.

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post #4 of Old 07-24-2014, 08:25 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I would suggest buying a lot of microfiber cleaning cloths. I order mine from Microfiber Wholesale online. I also recently bought a Schmop with 6 terry covers. I like to use a spray bottle and mop to clean floors...much easier and less messy than mop and bucket. A good cleaner for both marble and granite is Method Granite and Marble cleaner. Leaves a great shine and smells good! For a large marble floor I use my homemade cleaner using 2 cups water and 3 tbsp. castile soap and I add a few drops of essential oil to disenfect and smell good such as tea tree and orange oil. Do not use any cleaner with vinegar on marble or it will streak and damage it. Castile soap is gentle for this type of cleaning. I also like to use 3m Scotchbrite mirror and glass microfiber cloths...they dont leave any lint or streaks. I hate that lint!! Another really good and versatile product is Barkeepers Friend (Walmart has it cheap) I use the liquid on a microfiber sponge on glass shower doors and gets rid of hard water spots easily! It also cleans white porcelean sinks and tubs with ease. Gets rid of rust and is great on stainless steel sinks. I also recently started using Pledge Orange Clean to clean stainless steel appliances, wood, marble/granite, and leather! Good luck and dont rush through jobs....if the owner is annoyed just tell him you want to do a good job so you dont want to rush. One nice thing about being your own boss is you can get rid of clients that stress you out LOL!!
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post #5 of Old 07-25-2014, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I wasn't aware how many rules there were in the cleaning world! I will confess I have a little fear about 'scratching' things. Barkeepers friend is awesome stuff, I always worry though that anything with abrasion will cause some kind of scratch. Maybe Im being paranoid though.

Have any of you tried bonami to clean shower doors? Can you use the powdered Barkeepers Friend on shower doors as long as you wet it.

I was hoping i could just get away with one or two "wonder products". Simple Green is great, but I want to be careful not to use it on the wrong thing.

Oh BTW, how long does it take you guys to clean the "average" sized house? I don't know how long is too long or not long enough. Ie. Just for fun say its a two bedroom two bath house? How much time to you spend on each bathroom? I dont know what the standard time is.

Last edited by splost; 07-25-2014 at 11:50 AM. Reason: wanted to add content
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post #6 of Old 07-26-2014, 10:13 AM
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I always use the liquid Barkeepers Friend on shower doors with a damp microfiber sponge or some sort of non-scratch scrubby pad. Its easier that way. I like to use the powdered form in toilets on a blue scrubby under the toilet rim to get rid of rust and gunk or any rust on sinks and tubs. Just make sure the scrubby is wet. I have several homemade cleaners I use for all purpose and for dusting furniture as it saves me money. Add some essential oils that you can fine at a health food store and they do a great job of cleaning and disinfecting. I also love to use Mr. Clean magic erasers and especially the bathroom works so easy to clean that scum thats left behind after cleaning. I also carry old toothbrushes that are great for cleaning around faucets and drains and an old paintbrush to dust off knicknacks, picture frames and delicate lighting fixtures. I can clean a 2 bedroom 2 full bath home in 3 to 4 hours. It depends on a lot of things...if it has wood floors, glass shower doors, how dirty it is, pet hair, and any special requests the client has. I just cleaned a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 home with an indoor patio and glass shower doors, wood flooring in several rooms in 5 hours. The bathrooms and kitchens take longer as they are dirtier. I always clean behind the toilet every time and vacuum and mop the floor either by hand if it is small or with a microfiber mop and my squirt bottle of cleaning solution. Just get into a routine and work top to bottom. I like to start with the shower/tub first and get that out of the way then next the toilet then the counters, mirrors, cabinets and sink. Last is the floor. Try Pinterest for some great homemade cleaners. Hope this helps!
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post #7 of Old 07-30-2014, 09:58 PM
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Splost,I think you'll do a great job,just believe in yourself.And keep on learning in this cleaning business.Check out old book store,for cleaning books,walk around lowes,check out what new,and used.You are th pro,and someone needs your help,and this will open doors,for new business.They will talk about you,if you do a good job.(word of mouth) sometimes better than business cards. GOOD LUCK,KEEP UP YOUR GOOD WORK. PS BE CAREFUL ABOUT CRAIGLIST. GOOD LUCK.
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post #8 of Old 08-05-2014, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: United Kingdom
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Use Hydra Bio Clean, a kitchen surface cleaner, non-atomising hard surface cleaner.
It will help you a lot in your kitchen cleaning services.
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post #9 of Old 08-07-2014, 10:14 PM
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Starting with the shower. First learn the difference between hard water spots and soap scum. Hard water spots are etched in to the glass. See the other thread where CMSMAN told how to fix that problem. Soap scum is EASILY removed from glass with a Magic Eraser. All you need is a regular Magic Eraser. Don't fall for the... oh this one has crap in it that will help it clean. Wet the M.E. and scrub for 30 seconds.... then rinse.... then scrub for another 30 seconds.... and repeat. No need to press too hard, let the M.E. do the work. No need to use chemicals that will kill you. If you have mold you can use a little bleach water and it will take it right off... actually it just hides it like all other cleaners but that's for a different thread. lol If the soap is built up on the walls it might take a green scratch pad and some elbow grease but it will come off. For mirrors... go to Home Depot and buy some Zep Tinted Window Cleaner (NO ammonia). Now go to WalMart and buy one of those containers that people put tea or water in the refrigerator (do not put it in the refrigerator). Fill it up with water and add about 8 caps of Zep.... just make the water turn light green. Then fill your squirt bottle as needed. $10 of Zep should last you 5-10 years. It lasted us 7 years and we had 225 customers bi-weekly. You will notice smear marks at first... this is NOT from Zep. It is because the Zep is trying to remove all the ammonia that is on the mirror from the crap cleaners the home owner has used on it. After a time or 2 it will shine like it did when it was new. For rings in the toilet... use a screen. Go to WalMart and by the sand paper you will see strips of screen... just like window screen. tear it in to 1x2 strips and scrub the ring... like magic it will be gone. Sinks and faucets... Magic Eraser. Speaking of the Shmop... they have a piece you can put on the handle that is a dust mop. It is great for every floor and interchangable with the actual 'mopping' head.

A couple of side notes: Name brand Magic Erasers don't works as well as the off brand ones. You can buy bulk from the sponge outlet. They are sometimes a little chipped but for the most part in tact and at a great price! And, there is water on this earth for a reason. Don't be fooled by every Tom, dick and Harry that says to use a thousand cleaning chemicals to clean with. Give me 3 microfiber towels, 1 Magic Eraser and a spray bottle of water and I could clean a bathroom spotless. Oh wait.... I left germs... yeah, us humans need them to live a healthy life.

I made a LOT of money in the cleaning business. A LOT! I'm 48 years old and retired nowadays. Most people try to do what other cleaners do... I wanted to do a better job and this is how we did it. And a very special thanks to all my employees over the years that rarely broke a sweat because of our easy way of cleaning. At the time I always loved the people that said my way didn't work... and they are still working while I am headed to Destin, Florida next week.. I know because a lot of them are my friends still. lol Good luck!
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post #10 of Old 08-24-2014, 08:55 AM
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My wonder products are Mr Clean w Fabreze-Lavender Vanilla (leaves a nice clean smell and works great), Bio-Life Glass Cleaner (The best I've ever used! No streaks!!), CLR and Swiffer 360 Dusters. For floors, I use Walmart brand microfibre mop and also use the pads as cloths to clean with. I stock up when stuff is on sale to save money.
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post #11 of Old 08-25-2014, 03:48 PM
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Efficient Cleaning

Bleach will work to clean showers. Spray or apply bleach to shower corners, edges, and doors. Allow for the bleach to sit undisturbed while cleaning other areas of the bathroom. The bleach will clear mold and mildew after a few applications. All dusting should begin in the high areas first. The primary reason is to knock all dust and debris to lower areas as to be efficient as possible. Whenever a home cleaning take place there are large amounts of dust and dirt that settles on floors and carpets. Once and only once the dusting has been completed then vacuuming can commence. The best protocol is to always clean the home first, then clean the carpets and floors.

Royal Ready Maid Service of Austin, LLC

Last edited by RoyalReady_Maids; 09-09-2014 at 03:12 PM.
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post #12 of Old 01-14-2015, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: New Castle, PA
Posts: 58
Advice for new house cleaner

Always arrive at the cleaning job on time and prepared -- have your own cleaning supplies and equipment. Don't use torn up towels as rags. Buy a package of 100% cotton terry towels, but before you use them wash them to fluff them up. I always carry a small step ladder.

Always bring additional cleaning supplies and equipment in case your clients asks you to clean something that wasn't originally in the job. Don't be afraid to charge for additional cleaning jobs unless it's a small task like cleaning ceiling fan blades if you are cleaning walls and ceilings.

Always make sure you're buckets are clean with no dirty water rings around the inside of the bucket.

If you've got the address to a house you're going to clean but don't know where it is, find the house the day before you clean, so you're not lost and late to the job the next day.

More cleaning tips and advice:
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