Wood Floor Care Tips and Tricks For Homeowners

  • By James Rosasco
  • 30 Aug, 2017
wood floor care

While wood floors are a beautiful addition to any home, wood floor care is a scary prospect for many homeowners. However, when you know what you’re doing, caring for your wood floors is much less intimidating than you might think. We’ve got some helpful tips for any homeowner who hopes to keep their wood floors in peak condition for years to come.

Wood Floor Care 101

Your home’s wood floors were a big investment, so you want them to maintain their beauty for a long time. Repairing wood floors is not just time-consuming but also potentially expensive. It just makes sense to take good care of them, preventing the need to spend money on cost-prohibitive repairs. How can you keep them clean and be sure that they’re properly preserved?

First, let’s look at the three big factors that could do major damage to your flooring:

  1. Water and other liquids— If you let water (or any other form of liquid) pool on the surface of your wood floor, it will definitely result in dullness and discoloration. If A LOT of liquid accumulates for an extended period of time, your gorgeous floors will become warped or distorted— and there’s not really any way to fix that beyond replacement.
  2. Sunlight— Is there anything more appealing than a ray of sunlight gleaming on your wood floors? Well, it might look beautiful, but it’s not doing your flooring any favors. Consistent exposure to the sun’s UV rays will result in discoloration and dullness over time. Take a moment to appreciate the image, and then draw the curtains or tilt the blinds so they don’t get direct sunlight.
  3. Dirt, dust, and grit. Wood floors might look indestructible, but in fact, they’re very delicate. Any debris that you bring in on your shoes can result in scratches and scuffs that will cause abrasions on your floor’s surface, dulling the appearance over time.

Do’s and Don’ts for Wood Floor Care

With all of that in mind, how do you start your wood floor care plan?

Do’s

  • Floor mats are key. At every entryway in your home, be sure to lay down protective runners and rugs so that anyone who comes in can wipe their shoes clean or remove them altogether.
  • Break out the vacuum. Yes, that’s right—your hardwood floors prefer the vacuum over the broom—but be sure to use a vacuum with a bare floor attachment. You don’t want to use your upright vacuum with the beater brush here, as it could damage your wood floor.
  • Invest in a microfiber mop. A traditional mop will be far too wet to use for wood floor care. Instead, use a flat microfiber mop, which will leave a lot less moisture, ensuring that you won’t damage the surface of the wood.
  • Use a soft-bristled broom/dust mop. If you’re looking to do a quick clean and don’t have time to bust out the vacuum, be sure that you utilize a broom with soft bristles or, better yet, a dust mop. This will gently remove dust and debris without scratching the surface.
  • Wipe up spills ASAP. Sure, spills are a fact of life; you’re bound to make a mess on your floor at some point in time. Don’t panic! Liquid on your wood floor isn’t the end of your beautiful flooring unless you let it sit there. If you wipe up the liquid quickly, you’ll be fine.

Don’ts

  • Avoid hard-soled shoes or heels. Before you walk across that wood floor, be sure to slip off your fancy footwear. Shoes with hard soles or heels could potentially leave dents or dimple marks on the floors.
  • Move furniture with caution. Don’t just start dragging furniture across your wood floors; that’s a good way to damage your floors with scratches and scrapes. Instead, be sure that you put pads, gliders, or other soft materials under the legs of your furniture prior to making the move.
  • No snacks on the wood floors. Is it time to lay down the hammer? If you find the kids frequently spilling their juice, it might be time to tell your family that drinking in the rooms with wood floors is now a no-go. As the old adage says, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Making sure that there’s no opportunity for potentially harmful spills is the best way to keep them from happening.
  • Skip the rubber or vinyl backing. When you choose the mats or rugs for your entryways, be sure that they don’t have any rubber or vinyl on the underside. This might seem like a good way to protect your floors, but in truth, it could damage your wood floor’s finish over time.
  • No drippy mops. Never lay a mop or cloth that’s drenched with water on your wood floor. As we’ve stated before, water is your wood floor’s worst enemy. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever mop your floors, just use the liquid sparingly, and be sure that it dries quickly.

With these tips in mind, you should be able to protect and maintain your wood floors on your own. However, if you’re ready for a professional to step in, you can contact us  today to discuss wood floor care and more!

By James Rosasco 10 Oct, 2017

Read on to learn how changing up your daily routine can increase the possibility of cancer prevention.

1. Avoid Using Traditional Pesticides

While no one wants bugs munching on their plants, traditional chemical-laden pesticides aren’t necessarily the safest option to use, particularly when you’re concerned with cancer prevention. Some pesticides contain chemicals such as organochlorine, organophosphate, and carbamate, which are not just toxic but persist in the environment for years to come .

Traditional pesticides don’t just kill their intended targets but wreak havoc on the environment around them. In addition to killing the insects, they also negatively impact animals, plants, and the water source nearby, which can harm humans.

Instead, use alternative pesticides such as natural oils , salt, dried chile pepper, and vinegar . These solutions will remove the pests and weeds without harming the environment or the people who live there.

2. Seek Out Alternative Cleaning Solutions for Cancer Prevention

While it’s important to keep your home clean and sanitary, it’s equally important that you take care to use safe solutions to keep your home sparkling. Even common products such as spot removers contain possible carcinogen perchloroethylene , which is a neurotoxin. Even those cleaners that don’t contain chemicals that are classified as carcinogen still use harmful ingredients— even the ubiquitous antibacterial soaps can endanger the health and well-being 0f people who use them.

Instead, it’s important to use natural substances when you clean. Common household products  such as vinegar, water, and citrus peels can create cleansers that are effective and safe. These will be safe for you and your family as well as the environment.

3. Cook With An Eye Toward Cancer Prevention

Non-stick cookware is undeniably convenient, but is that convenience worth ingesting dangerous chemicals ? When non-stick coating is heated, it releases perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which is related to health issues such as thyroid disease, infertility, and organ damage. Non-stick pans also contain PFCs, or perfluorinated compounds, which are considered to be a likely carcinogen by the EPA.

If you can’t resist the lure of easy cleanup, be sure to frequently replace your non-stick cookware to avoid ingesting the bits of coating that inevitably come loose over time. Otherwise, avoid non-stick pots and pans together.

4. Be Wary of Air Quality

Many homeowners take the opportunity to improve their home’s appearance in their spare time. Projects such as painting or refinishing woodwork can spruce up your home, but be careful. Products such as low-VOC paint  coupled with proper ventilation will ensure that your air quality is unimpaired.

Additionally, avoid formaldehyde-laden laminates and wood composites, and be sure to use clean-burning wood stoves that are well-ventilated. Repair chimney or exhaust pipe leaks immediately, and you’ll breathe easy.

5. Clean for Cancer Prevention

Dust isn’t just unsightly, but also a toxic chemical trap . Phthalates, which are commonly found in vinyl materials, and flame retardants are the most common culprits, but there are also phenols, fluorinated chemicals, and fragrances. These materials aren’t just breathed in, but also absorbed by the skin.

Children are particularly susceptible to exposure, as they spend a great deal of time on the floor. Purchase a HEPA filter vacuum, and dust in a manner that actually removes dust, not stirring it up.

Cleaning for a Reason

Helping Hands Cleaning Services is proud to provide free house cleaning for women with cancer. We  partner with Cleaning for a Reason , allowing women going through cancer treatment to enjoy some normalcy in the midst of the chaos and discomfort of chemo.

It’s a simple process; patients complete an application for pre-qualification with Cleaning for a Reason, and then they’re matched to a cleaning company. Women interested in using Helping Hands Cleaning Services should specify that on their application, and as soon as they’re approved, the service will contact them to schedule their cleaning.

Helping Hands Cleaning Services has provided 200 free cleanings so far, and we’re eager to offer more in the future.  Interested in working with us? Contact us  today!

By James Rosasco 09 Oct, 2017

Making the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring is tough. In fact, it’s one of the biggest decisions a homeowner makes, and it will significantly impact your experience in the home.

Wondering which one is best for you? Let’s look at the pros and cons for carpet and hardwood flooring, and you’ll be able to make a fully informed decision.

Advantages of Carpet

When you consider carpet and hardwood flooring, there are plenty of good points to consider about carpet.

It’s warmer— If you live in a cold climate and you’ve pulled your feet from your toasty-warm bed and put them on an icy hardwood floor, you have a particular appreciation for the wonder of a plush carpet on a cold morning. If you love to walk with bare feet, you might prefer carpet.

It quiets sound— Carpeted rooms are significantly less noisy than their wood counterparts—particularly if you have children.

It offers a wider variety of options— There are only so many types of hardwood flooring available. Carpet, on the other hand, is available in a huge array of colors and textures, not to mention patterns. You can find the right carpet for your room without compromise.

Your furniture won’t slide— If you don’t want your couch to move every time you flop down on it, carpet is the choice for you.

It’s less expensive than hardwood— On a budget? Carpet is your best bet. It will need to be replaced sooner than hardwood, but it’s certainly the more economical option in the short-term.

It’s safer in the event of a fall— If you drop a piece of your favorite china on a hardwood floor, it’s probably going to be in shards. Or, if YOU should trip and fall, you’re more likely to be seriously injured if you faceplant onto hardwood.

Disadvantages of Carpet

It’s dirtier than hardwood— While both carpet and hardwood flooring get dirty, it’s undeniable that it’s more time-consuming to clean carpet. While you can easily lift dirt from a hardwood floor, it’s trickier to pull the dirt from the base of your carpet fibers.

It’s not as attractive as hardwood— Hardwood is just a more elegant choice, and it fits many people’s vision for their dream home. Carpet can be beautiful, but you definitely get what you pay for.

It’s got a shorter shelf-life— Yes, carpet’s less expensive, but if you’re planning to spend a long time in the house, you should be prepared to replace the carpet within 5 years , depending on the level of maintenance you’re prepared to do.

Carpet is bad for allergies— If you or anyone else in your home is allergic to dust, carpet will simply trap the dust motes within its fibers.

It’s not environmentally friendly— Carpet’s typically created using petroleum, a man-made material and a limited resource to boot.

Advantages of Hardwood

Hardwood has been used for flooring for centuries, with good reason. Let’s look into the pros of using hardwood flooring.

It’s easy to clean— Hardwood doesn’t trap the dust and dirt that carpet does. Run a damp microfiber mop over the floor and you’re good to go.

It’s got a long lifespan— Unlike carpet, hardwood flooring won’t require replacement for decades, as long as it’s properly cared for.

Hardwood flooring is more environmentally friendly— Unlike petroleum-based carpet, hardwood flooring (when harvested in an ecologically sound manner) is good for homeowners who are eager to stay green.

It’s more versatile than carpet— If you’re tired of the look of your hardwoods, you can change up the appearance with throw rugs. Change your decor? Update the overall ambiance of your room by adding a colorful rug.

Hardwood is better for people with allergies— If you have allergy sufferers in your home, hardwood is the better choice for you. It won’t hold the tiny microorganisms that fly up in the air whenever you walk through a carpeted room.

It’s easy to move furniture— If you love nothing more than to rearrange your furniture regularly, a hardwood floor will make it infinitely easier to do so. Just make sure you are using casters designed for moving furniture so your hardwood floor doesn’t get scratched.

Disadvantages of Hardwood

It’s very noisy— Wearing hard-soled shoes? Have children who run from room to room? Hardwood is NOT muffled, so everyone in the rooms around you (not to mention the rooms below you) can hear every noise.

It’s easy to scratch— It’s hard to maintain a pristine hardwood surface, especially when you actually live in your home. If you have pets or children, it’s a matter of “when” rather than “if” your floor will be scratched.

It’s uncomfortable— If you love to sit on the floor and play with your children, the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring is an easy one. Carpet is soft and comfortable, while hardwood is hard and uncomfortable.

Hardwood is cold— Remember the scenario we listed above for carpet? Pull your feet out of your warm bed and put them on an icy hardwood floor, and it will certainly wake you up. However, it’s tough to get warm when you start your day with freezing feet.

It’s more expensive— Carpet typically costs between $3-$5 per square foot  installed. Wood costs between $9-$12 per square foot installed. (Reclaimed wood can go as high as $30 per square foot!) If you’re on a budget, hardwood isn’t the best choice for you.

Some people who like the look of hardwood but can’t swallow the cost consider laminate ; however, laminate flooring is less durable and it cannot tolerate moisture at all. However, it’s more scratch resistant and it’s easy to install for the do-it-yourselfers.

When you’re making the choice between carpet and hardwood flooring, there are many factors to consider. Regardless of what you pick, be sure that your cleaning service has the tools and training to properly maintain  your carpet and hardwood flooring. Helping Hands Cleaning Services will keep your floors in peak condition, whether they’re carpet or hardwood.

Contact us today for a free quote!

By James Rosasco 05 Oct, 2017

Our cleaning technicians are the face of our business; they are the ones you picture in your mind when you think about the company that cleans your home. For that reason, it’s vital that we take care and time during the hiring process, making sure that the people we hire are the right people for the job.

Unfortunately, many cleaning companies don’t see it this way. They’re quick to hire the first “warm body” that walks in off the street because they have clients that need their homes cleaned. As long as the position is filled, they hope for the best and assume that the job will be done, and done well.

House cleaning is not just a service business, it’s a people business. In order to provide the service you expect and deserve, we put a great deal of effort into hiring the right cleaning technicians. After all, these are the people who are cleaning in your personal space—you need to feel comfortable having them in your home. Not only do you want to feel that they’re trustworthy, but you need to be confident that they’ve been properly trained on how to clean a variety of surfaces. You don’t want to be concerned that something in your home might be ruined after their visit.

Cleaning Technicians Training and Quality Control

Does your current cleaning service truly understand the importance of comprehensive training? It’s probable that they don’t. Most companies do a quick interview, get the necessary paperwork out of the way, and then put the brand-new employee into a home on the first day for on-the-job training. After a few days, they set the employee loose to go it alone. The chances are very high that mistakes will be made, and items will be missed during the cleaning or damaged due to improper technique.

Another problem you might have encountered with your home cleaning service is that they rely on you, the customer, for quality control! Have you ever had your cleaning service ask how the cleaning is going? In truth, THEY should know how the cleaning is going if they’ve got a good Quality Control Program in place.

Process for Hiring Cleaning Technicians

What do you know about your cleaning company’s hiring system? Do they conduct background checks and drug tests? How much time do they spend on training before they allow their new employees to clean your home?

Here is a brief rundown of our hiring and training process for cleaning technicians:

  • We’re very selective in choosing our cleaning technicians. In fact in the past year, out of roughly 525 applicants, we only hired 6 people!
  • Each person goes through two separate interviews, and they’re subject to background checks and drug testing.
  • Orientation lasts about 4 hours, and then they begin training at our office.
  • Once they’ve mastered the basics in the office, they’re taken out in the field for additional offsite training, completed at the business owner’s home. (Even though they’re receiving training in a home setting, it’s a controlled situation in a safe environment.)
  • Over the next few days, technicians receive focused training in specific areas of the home. For example, they watch a video on bathroom cleaning, and then they’re trained by the Field Supervisor on how to clean bathrooms. They master this room before moving on to other areas of the home.
  • After this first week of training, they’re permitted to go out with a team of experienced cleaning technicians to clean client homes. In the first home, they simply observe how the team works. In the second home, they actually participate in the cleaning.
  • They work with the team for 2-3 weeks before they move into an open position with their permanent team. This continuous training gives them experience in cleaning about 20-30 different homes, as well as extensive experience cleaning a variety of surfaces, such as stone, ceramic tile, wood, or carpet.

Quality Control – The Helping Hands Way

Our Field Supervisors check new employees’ work for a period of 2 weeks to a month—and they check every home that the new employee has cleaned. Check-ins are also done before the home is started and after the home has been cleaned. This allows the Field Supervisor to ask the new employee how they would approach the cleaning in the home; the Field Supervisor also walks through the home to be sure everything was done properly.

Your home is precious, and we understand that you want the highest caliber people entering it. Our hiring practices ensure that our cleaning technicians are reliable, highly-trained people who understand the trust you’ve placed in them and treat your home with the respect it deserves.

If you’re looking for a home cleaning company that places strong emphasis on hiring the right cleaning technicians for your home, fill out the form on the right side of your screen to get a free quote. We back up our cleaning with our Guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied !

By Gosia Baran 30 Sep, 2017
Do you know if your cleaners are covered by the insurance house cleaners should have? If they’re not, can you be sure that your home and your possessions are completely protected from potential damage or loss?

In a word, no.

Here’s a quick rundown of the top types of insurance house cleaners should have, and how they protect you, your home, and your valuable possessions as well as their own business.

Insurance #1: General Liability Insurance

Accidents happen, even when your team of cleaners are highly trained and very diligent about their work. If something valuable should be broken while the cleaners are working in your home, general liability insurance ensures that you’ll be appropriately compensated for the loss without completely bankrupting the business.

Liability insurance will also incentivize your house cleaners to conduct detailed training on the proper methods of cleaning a variety of surfaces within the home. Why? Well, an insurance company won’t cover a claim if it’s found that the cleaner was negligent. For instance, if the cleaner should use an acid cleaner on a stone surface, that would be considered negligence. The cleaning company would be fully responsible for reimbursing the homeowner for the ruined stone.

Additionally, if you slip on a wet floor while the cleaners are working in your home, or trip over a stray vacuum cleaner cord, your medical bills will be covered by general liability insurance. Every experienced cleaning company understands that general liability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance house cleaners should have.

Insurance #2: Bond Insurance

Ideally, the cleaning service you hire will subject their employees to extensive background checks, but there’s always the potential that an employee could betray the trust of you and their employer by stealing from you.

A fidelity bond will cover the loss of money, securities or property when an employee of the cleaning company is responsible. In other words, if something goes missing, the cleaning company’s insurance will help you get compensated for the loss.

However, before the insurance company will cover the loss, the employee responsible must be convicted of the crime. If you suspect that an employee of your cleaning company has stolen your property, it’s vital that you immediately contact the cleaning company to report the theft AND file a police report as well. A reputable cleaning company will encourage this course of action and fully cooperate in the investigation to determine exactly what happened.

Insurance #3: Commercial Auto Insurance

This is one of the types of insurance house cleaning companies should have, particularly if the workers drive a company car to serve their customers. Commercial auto insurance covers more than the standard coverage required of drivers.

For example, if your cleaner hauls specialized equipment required for the job, such as carpet cleaning equipment or a superior form of vacuum not traditionally found in the home, and they’re involved in an auto accident, it’s unlikely that their personal insurance will cover the damage to the equipment.

Why should you care about whether or not your cleaner carries commercial auto insurance? Because if they end up paying for damages out of pocket, they’ll simply pass the cost onto you, their customers.

Insurance #4: Worker’s Compensation

As a customer, this is the type of insurance house cleaners should have that has the biggest impact on you. If a representative of the cleaning service you hire should be injured in your home while working, the medical expenses and any other related charges will be covered by worker’s comp.

Say, for instance, the cleaner was standing on a ladder to clean the cobwebs from the corners of your cathedral ceilings; one misstep could lead to a serious injury, resulting in an ambulance ride, time spent in the hospital, and missed work. Worker’s comp will ensure that the employee’s expenses are handled expediently, without any complicated legal issues arising.

As is the case with auto insurance, the lower the company can keep their insurance costs, the lower they can keep your cleaning costs.

By Gosia Baran 06 Sep, 2017

In the modern age, there are two primary ways to hire a house cleaning service: online booking and in-home estimate.

Online booking means that you reach out through the cleaning service’s website to let them know that you’re interested in their service, while an in-home estimate means that the owner or a representative of the cleaning service will come to your home, walk the space, and give you an estimate based on the services you require and the size of your home, as well as the condition your home is in.

But which is right for you? Online booking or in-home estimate? Read on for more information about the differences between the two.

Is Online Booking Right For You?

Online booking is quickly becoming a necessity for any cleaning service who hope to reach a more youthful crowd. Here are some of the pros and cons of online booking.

Online Booking Advantages

Time saving — You can sign up for service whenever you want, day or night. There’s no waiting for the business’s owner to return your phone call. In some cases, online booking enables you to get an instant quote and schedule your appointment at a time that will work for you.

Easy for customers — Now, there is online booking software that will allow you to book a cleaning via desktop computer as well as mobile device. The convenience factor indicates that the service understands that your time is at a premium, and they want to make it as easy for you to contact them as possible.

Online Booking Disadvantages

It requires you to share a lot of information — When you fill out an online booking form, be prepared to answer a lot of questions, including the following:

  •  Where are you located? (City, neighborhood, subdivision)
  • What type of service do you need? (One-time, ongoing, move out)
  • How often do you want your home cleaned?
  • Have you used a cleaning service before? If so, when was it last serviced?
  • Why did you stop using your last cleaning service?
  • Can you tell us the square footage of your home?
  • Number of bedrooms?
  • Number of bathrooms?
  • One story or multi-level?
  • Number and types of pets?
  • How many people live in the house?

No in-person meeting prior to the cleaning — You’ve simply got to trust that the cleaning company is dependable. You can always request customer testimonials from the service or seek out online reviews if you’re concerned about letting strangers into your home. Additionally, a professional cleaning company will have highly-trained, carefully screened employees who are held to a high standard.

Is an In-Home Estimate Right For You?

An in-home estimate requires the cleaning service to come to you— they actually walk through your home, offering you an estimate of the services you want them to do. Or they will explain their most popular cleaning packages so you can choose the one that works best for you.

Advantages of an In-Home Estimate

Accuracy — You’ll know that the estimate accurately reflects your home’s dimensions and level of effort required. An online booking typically has a disclaimer attached, saying that the estimate could change based on the condition of the home. With an in-home estimate, the cleaning service will have the whole picture prior to quoting a price.

Personal touch — If you want to know a little more about the organization, you’ll get a better picture if you invite them to your home and speak with the owner or a representative one-on-one. Then, you can ask the questions you have about the organization as well as their processes.

Disadvantages of In-Home Estimate

Time-consuming — If you’re exceptionally busy, it could be difficult to schedule a time when the service is available to bring them in to make the estimate. Additionally, the back-and-forth phone calls can eat up even more of your valuable time.

Inconvenient — Rather than simply filling out a form online, you’re forced to go through many steps before you’re even able to schedule the first cleaning. If you’re truly in a hurry, online booking might be the preferable option for you.

Are you ready to bring a professionally trained, highly recommended, experienced cleaning service into your home? Helping Hands Cleaning Service is here for you. Whether you prefer online booking or an in-home estimate, we can accommodate your needs! Contact us today!

By James Rosasco 01 Sep, 2017

Whether you think you’ll need it or not, an emergency cleaning plan is an invaluable resource. Say, for instance, you get a call out of the blue. Old friends are in town, and they’re planning to swing by for a surprise visit in an hour or so— are you available? You’d love to see your pals, but your house is in no shape to receive guests. It’s time to implement your emergency cleaning plan— STAT!

If you’re wondering how to form an emergency cleaning plan of your own, we’re here to help. Here are the steps you should take to create your customized emergency cleaning plan so you’ll never be too embarrassed to let treasured friends into your home.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step 1: Get Started Immediately

While you might be tempted to put it off until the very last minute, swing into action as soon as you hang up the phone. Don’t take a minute to think about everything you have to do, just start doing it! Turn on some fun music to motivate you to keep moving.

Remember, you’re not trying to deep clean— you’re trying to make your house look presentable enough to bring guests beyond the front door. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in any particular task. Instead, complete them quickly and move on to the next one.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step 2: Gather Your Supplies

Get everything you’ll need to do a quick-but-thorough cleaning job, including a multi-purpose cleaner , microfiber cloth,  gloves, and a broom. These tools should be sufficient for what you’re hoping to accomplish today— there’s no need to make a trip to the store for a specialty cleaning product. Remember, the name of the game is efficiency!

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step 3: Start Your Machines

Sink filled with dirty dishes? Empty cups littering the coffee table? Gather up any stray dishes, load them into the dishwasher, and get it started. If you find any other dishes as you make your way through the house, simply hand wash them. (This is a good task for a child.)

Bedroom floors covered with dirty clothes? Pick them up and toss them into the washing machine. Completing these tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to continue working your way through your list.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step #4: Focus on Surfaces

Clear away any clutter on countertops and tables. It doesn’t matter where you put it, just make sure it’s not somewhere that a guest can see it.

Wipe down surfaces with that handy multi-surface cleaner. While you’re at it, wipe down the newly-emptied kitchen sink, too. Focus on the appearance of the surface; you’re not trying to deep clean it, just making sure that your guest doesn’t put their hand on a sticky spot.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step #5: Wipe Down the Bathroom

As soon as you enter the bathroom, squirt cleaner  into the toilet bowl, and let it sit while you wipe down the sink and empty the trashcan. Change the hand towels and check the soap, too.

Once you’ve finished everything else, scrub the toilet bowl.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step #6: Sweep the Floors

Sweep any hard surfaces first, including your kitchen and bathrooms as well as the entry way, if applicable. Don’t spend a lot of time on this task, just make sure the big bits of debris are cleared away.

Next, pull out the vacuum and sweep the carpets quickly. Again, you’re just looking to pick up the most noticeable dirt, not trying to clean deeply. A quick sweep will work. Stick to the main parts of your home. Don’t worry about the bedrooms that are unlikely to be visited or the stairs.

Emergency Cleaning Plan Step #7: Conduct a Quick Walk-Through

You’re almost done! Before you call it complete, do one more inspection to add the finishing touches:

  • Fluff the pillows on the couch
  • Pick up any stray toys
  • Make sure the beds are all properly made
  • Check for general clutter
  • Light a few candles or turn on an essential oils diffuser to add a pleasant smell to the air
  • Straighten curtains and blinds

The best way to be sure that your home is always ready for a surprise visit is to enlist the help of a professional cleaning service. When your home is routinely cleaned by a team of trained pros, it’s a lot easier to get it ready for guests!

Contact us today to get a free quote!

 


By James Rosasco 30 Aug, 2017

One of your important questions to ask a potential home cleaning service is, “How do you set your cleaning services prices?” Although most cleaning companies do charge a flat rate, many charge strictly by the hour. At Helping Hands Maid Services we believe that this practice has some potential problems:

  • What if a job takes longer than expected?
  • Why does the same cleaning service cost me more on some weeks than others?
  • Either pricing will be erratic or with a price cap, do some of the cleaning services get ignored?

At Helping Hands Maid Services, we provide a professional cleaning service estimate  based on the square footage of the property and on our initial cleaning. We believe that this is the fairest way to set our pricing in the long run. There may be an unusual amount of clutter in the home or office one week and not the next. It will all balance out in the long run. As you can see, many other factors come into play as well:

  • Are there pets?
  • How long has it been since a deep house clean?
  • How many times a month will we be coming out?
  • What cleaning services are included with the pricing; windows, carpet cleaning, etc?

Because each house is unique, the best way for us to determine cleaning services prices is to clean your house one time for an hourly rate. This allows us to do a deep cleaning to get a good feel for what’s involved in cleaning your house and to give it a thorough, deep cleaning. We will work at our standard efficient pace until the job is complete. Once finished, we have enough information to set consistent pricing for your regular house cleaning service, be it weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Contact us at 630-530-1324 for a consultation and we will run through all of the details with you.

By James Rosasco 30 Aug, 2017

Helping Hands Maid Services offers a green cleaning option to all of our customers.

Green Seal Products

We maximize the use of available green cleaning services and products for the purpose of safeguarding human health and protecting the environment. We have decide to go with Green Seal products on all customer requests. Green Seal is a non-profit environmental standard development and certification organization. This all boils down to the fact that we exclusively offer green house and office cleaning services, including environmentally safe green; carpet cleaning, bathroom cleaning, and floor cleaning. Our products:

  • Are completely biodegradable.
  • Contain no solvents, glycol ethers or ammonia.
  • Produce no hazardous fumes and no toxic by-products.
  • Don’t endanger you, your children, your pets or the environment.

The mission of Green Seal is to use science-based programs to empower consumers, purchasers, and companies to make our world more sustainable. Helping Hands uses Green Seal Certified  products. This means that all of our green products have met the “Green Seal” rigorous performance, health, and environmental criteria, and are are certified by the Green Seal  organization. Only with this seal can we know for certain that our supplier’s claim of environmental SAFETY is backed up with proof.

Green Cleaning

We absolutely believe in a clean and “safe” environment for your house and office. A healthier environment means that we will bring no toxic chemicals in the house that might be absorbed into the skin. In fact, one side effect of our green cleaning is the “aromatherapy” that many of our customers experience due to the pleasant natural essential oils found in many of our green house cleaning products. We can give you more details about our green cleaning products, the grean seal and techniques with our initial consultation. So give us a call today and see what we have to offer, 630-530-1324.

By James Rosasco 30 Aug, 2017

A clean home might feel unattainable to many families. Whether you both work, or if one of you is home caring for young children all day, the last thing you feel like doing is cleaning. If you wish for the peace of mind knowing your home is clean and sanitary, but don’t have the time nor the inclination to do it yourself; you should seriously consider hiring a professional house cleaning service. If that’s not sufficient incentive, here are 10 more reasons to consider it.

Why a Professional House Cleaning Service Enhances Your Life

  1. Improved Quality of Life — What would you do if you didn’t have to spend your spare time tidying your house? Hiring a professional house cleaning service will free up time for you to do the fun things you love. Are you an avid reader, or maybe you enjoy spending time with your family? Do you like to hike, or maybe take in a movie? A professional house cleaning service will allow you to pursue the activities you love.
  1. Come Home to a Clean House— There’s nothing worse than coming home from a long, hard day of work to a messy, disorganized house. It’s disheartening to realize that your home, your SANCTUARY, is not a place you can relax. And you know that the worse it gets, the harder it is to get motivated to take care of it. Or, you could relax and allow the professional house cleaning service to handle it, and come home to a freshly cleaned house, raising your spirits after a tough day at work.
  1. Give Your Body a Break — Cleaning your house can be a very physically taxing task. Instead of handling the hard work, give yourself (and your body) a break! Allow the professionals to give your house the good deep cleaning it needs.
  1. Scheduled Cleaning — If you’ve got your professional house cleaning service coming on a regular schedule, you KNOW the cleaning will get done. How many times have you fully intended to get around to cleaning your house, but something came up that prevented you from doing it? You might have the best intentions in the world, but if you don’t adhere to a regular cleaning schedule, you’ll have buildup around your faucets, thick dust on the furniture, and your floors will be filthy. Take this off your plate!
  1. All-Pro Cleaning — You might think you’ve thoroughly cleaned your home, but it’s very likely that a professional cleaner could come in and point out things that you’ve missed. A pro will clean all those hard-to-reach spots, such as the ceiling fan blades, the top of the refrigerator, or the cobwebs in the ceiling corners and vents. Also, a professional cleaning service will handle things that you don’t want to tackle, such as the baseboards or window blinds.
  1. Professionals Know Best — A professional house cleaner will understand what’s needed to properly care for the many surfaces in your home. Unfortunately, there’s no one cleaning products that can be used on every single surface—and if you use the wrong cleaner on a surface like granite, you could potentially cause permanent damage.
  1. Professionals are Properly Insured — Sure, you could hire an individual or “cleaning lady” to come and clean your home for less money, but you’re just inviting a potential liability claim  on your own insurance. Should they injure themselves, you’re going to be responsible for that. And if they damage your property, they won’t have the necessary insurance (or, most likely, the funds) to cover the damage. A professional house cleaning service will be properly insured, so you won’t have to worry about liability should the worst case scenario become reality.
  1. Professionals Have the Best Equipment— It’s probable that you don’t have heavy-duty equipment and professional-grade cleaning products that a professional cleaning company would have access to. You’ll no longer have to spend money on the expensive cleaning products sold in the grocery stores, which often aren’t as effective as what the pros use. Their tools and equipment can handle jobs of any size quickly and efficiently, saving you money in the long run.
  1. Guests are Welcome — The sound of your doorbell ringing won’t strike fear into your heart as you wonder when you last cleaned the guest bathroom. If you have your home cleaned regularly by professionals, you won’t be embarrassed by weeks of soil build-up in your sinks, toilets, or floors. Sure, you might have to grab the clutter that inevitably accumulates, but you’ll be confident that your guests won’t be grossed out!
  1. Happy Family, Happy Life— It’s worth restating— the less cleaning you and your family have to do, the more you can focus on spending quality time together, doing the activities you love to do. Also, taking the task of cleaning off your plate will give you time to tackle other projects, like painting the spare bedroom or shopping for new furniture for the family room. Or, you can spend more time outside, enhancing your outdoor living space.

Hiring a cleaning service might feel like an unnecessary expense, but can you really afford NOT to hire one? The feeling of peace and well-being you get when you walk into your clean home is truly priceless. Give us a call today  to get started on enjoying the rest of your life!

By James Rosasco 30 Aug, 2017

As the holidays creep closer, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind; shopping, preparing food, planning fun holiday traditions, and, of course, getting (and keeping) your house cleaned and ready for visitors. Is getting your kids to clean during the holidays even possible?

How can you accomplish all of this as you enjoy the holiday season with your children—particularly the cleaning? Getting your children on board with cleaning the house might sound like an unattainable dream, but we’ve got some tips that can turn this dream into a reality.

6 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Clean

  1. A Place For Everything
    This might require a bit of your time beforehand, but it’s important to be sure that all of your child’s things— toys, clothes, art and school supplies, EVERYTHING — has a designated spot, even if it’s just a labeled bin to collect a number of small things. It’s much easier to get your kids to put their things away if they know precisely where to put them, and it will make cleanup a lot faster if they’re not asking you constantly, “Where does the ___________ go?” You can even create a put-away basket for each member of the family, where you can put clutter belonging to them, making it easier than ever for kids to clean up after themselves.
  1. One Thing In, One Thing Out
    This rule is particularly important this time of year; the kids’ toys seem to be multiplying at an alarming rate, and the only way to get this under control is to implement a “one thing in, one thing out” rule. It’s a good idea to get a head start on this by doing some purging prior to the month of December. Maybe you and your children could spend some time on a cold Saturday getting rid of any toys that are no longer loved, or clothes that just don’t fit anymore. Make space for the new by getting rid of the old, and you’ll find that things stay a lot neater. Bonus—you can teach your children a valuable lesson about giving when you encourage them to donate gently used toys and clothing to children who are less fortunate.
  1. Create a Schedule for Cleaning
    If every member of the family is assigned specific tasks on specific days, no one will feel that they’re singled out. Assign chores based on the child’s age and ability level, so that they don’t become discouraged and quit if the task proves to be too difficult for them. You can even designate a “family cleaning night,” in which all of your family does their designated chores, and you celebrate the accomplishment with a special treat, like a particularly delicious dessert or a beloved board game. You could even rope in some of your favorite holiday traditions— if the chores get done, bundle the family up for a drive around the neighborhood to look at holiday lights.
  1. Don’t Leave Anyone Out
    Just because one (or more) of your children is very young doesn’t mean they’re exempt from helping out around the house. Children as young as two can help clean up the house ; in fact, the sooner you start, the better— kids love a routine, and you can easily slip tidying your home into your daily routine where it will become second nature to them. Once they realize that you expect your kids to clean up their toys before bedtime every night, they’ll eventually do it without even realizing it. At first, they’ll need more guidance than older children, of course, but before you know it they’ll be wielding a broom with the best of them.
  1. Make it Fun for Kids to Clean
    Sure, cleaning probably won’t be on their top of their list of things to do (it’s not on yours, is it?), but you can make it something that they won’t dread by making it more fun. Challenge them to a race, turn on fun music and dance as you clean, call out a color, and have them race to pick up toys of that color, or make it a contest—whoever gets their chore finished quickly (and thoroughly) gets a special prize. This will make the time go faster for everyone! Don’t forget to praise your children for the hard work they’ve done; yes, they’re doing what’s expected of them, but it feels good to get complimented, and they’ll work even harder when they realize that their work is appreciated.
  1. Leave the House
    Honestly, sometimes the best way to keep things clean is to get your family out of the house. If nobody’s there, nothing will be out of place! Besides, now’s the time to take the opportunity to enjoy some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions; take the time to have some fun amid all of the hustle and bustle!

Of course, if you start with a spotless house, it’s that much easier to keep it clean throughout the holidays. If you’d like professional help getting your home fresh and clean, call us today!

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