GOLDEN RULES OF CLEANING
Here we are! These are the most common rules if it comes to professional cleaning! This is a long read. We recommend going back to it anytime you feel you need a little refreshment!
Your safety, the safety of your cleaning partners and the safety of our clients are critically important. Safety is not just how you work safely; it’s about not doing certain things because they have a risk of injury or damage. For example: wear gloves, or don’t walk on the stairs with your hands full. Always carry things in one hand and have a second hand free in case of the fall you can grab a railing. Another example: don’t climb countertops, use a stepladder to reach high areas. If you climb countertops or furniture you are risking a fall and property damage at the same time. Don’t come to work sick. Take the time off to get better and rest. When coming to work sick you are risking that your partner will get sick, or your clients. In today’s world with COVID history, many clients are scared for themselves or their kids to get sick. You are putting a lot of people at risk when you come to work unhealthy. Many clients will cancel services with the company for this reason only. So you are also risking income loss for the company. There are many other examples and we will go over all of them more in detail in the future. Remember that you don’t have to take risks to clean at a high quality and professional pace.
The goal is simple- provide quality service in the most efficient amount of time. Working fast is as important as getting the highest level of quality. You are responsible for your part of the job as well as your partner's job. You are a team- remember that. Always check your work twice and ask your partner to do it too. Do the same for your partner, look around while vacuuming, look around while mopping floors. Are there streaks on the mirrors? Maybe spot on the floor. It is so much easier to fix things while you are still there than you for coming back the next day.
A lot of cleaning services clean only what they can see on the eye level. It is easy to see and clean what is in front of your eyes. It takes a commitment to go the extra step and look in places where nobody else is looking- like under the furniture (couch, dresser, bed) Many other companies or cleaning people don’t clean light fixtures, don’t remove cobwebs or dust fans and vents. Many skip baseboards or don’t move little items when vacuuming. This is one of the many reasons those companies are being fired and clients are looking for new cleaning service. We are different. Please make sure that you look up, look down, pay attention to dust on the fans, vents. Check baseboards. Those are the things that the client doesn't usually clean and the reason why they hire a cleaning service. It is important that we do a better job than many others, including our clients.
Remember that everyone has different standards. If you ask 2 cleaning companies and ask what is a clean floor to you, one of them will say that it could be cleaner, which means that the other has lower standards. The same goes for clients. Some clients say: ohhh my home is clean l just need an extra help. And then we come in and we see that this home needs 8h of a deep clean. We have all kinds of clients with all kinds of standards. One will notice one crumb on the floor (very high standard) and will call with the complaint. The other will be happy that we came and vacuumed (just standard). Some homes are impossible to bring to the highest standard simply because there is too much going on. You always have to be able to say- this is enough, there is not much more l can do here, and move on. Please always follow our checklist. This is your guide. The ChicProClean standard is very high and we want to provide the best service out there, but at the same time we need to be able to prioritize since some homes need deep cleaning each time we are there. That doesn’t mean we just are not doing things from the list on a lower standard home. It means that if the floor there is 3 times dirtier because there are 3 dogs and 3 kids there, and needs 3 times more time to clean- maybe window sills, or a door frame is not a priority there.
This is the oldest and most common instruction in cleaning. It applies to everything. Dirt, dust and even cleaning solutions will fall as you clean. Cleaning top to bottom ensures that you don’t have to clean the same place twice and it will prevent complaints. If you clean the bottom and then the top, dirt will fall back on the bottom area you just cleaned, requiring you to clean that area again or get a complaint about a new mess on the bottom section. This rule applies to everything. You clean a room top to bottom, starting with high dusting and finishing with the floors. You dust a lamp sitting on a counter from top of the lamp down to the bottom. This rule applies to everything you clean; Blinds, Showers, Mirrors, everything. After you clean top to bottom, move to the right and clean the next section, top to bottom. This is critically important to prevent skipping or missing an area and not cleaning the same place twice. Left-handed cleaners may find it better to move to the left because they are leading with their dominant left hand. It doesn't make a difference, as long as you stay on track, in the same direction, so you don’t miss anything as you travel around the room.
Remember that your true employer is not ChicProClean. Your true employer is the client you serve at the moment. You want your clients to love their service, and love you. Smile when you walk in the client's home, say hello. Be kind, polite and respectful to them and their home. Remember that you are a guest in their home. Act like a guest. Remember that you are there to provide the best possible experience for them, not just with your cleaning skills. But the best experience with you. If they love you, and love your work, you will be able to keep this client for many many years. Even if sometimes there will be a mistake, or accident, they will forgive you because they value you not only as a person who cleans their home, but as a human being. If you follow those simple rules your clients are going to love your cleaning, appreciate you, and respect you. If clients love the way their home looks after you clean, you will benefit in many ways. Your day will be more pleasurable, you will find a deeper meaning in the job you do AND you will be getting more tips :) Aren’t those nice?
Getting a new client is a very hard and long work. You have supportive people in the office who work every day to make sure that we are getting new clients on schedule. Sometimes it takes weeks or even months to get one client to say YES. It takes time, effort and money. After they say YES to our services and we schedule their service, it is your turn to make sure they are happy. Never take a client for granted but at the same time keep in mind that sometimes no matter what you do, how kind you are, how great of a job you do… some clients, even the nicest ones can cancel services which means that you might be without a job for a while. Some people are impossible to please and it will happen. As long as you know that you did everything right and tried your best, there is not much more you can do. Those client’s can cancel services even after one mistake. Remember that cleaning services are expensive, and the client expects the job to be done right every time. Keep in mind that there are clients that will not give us a reason or be honest with us, and might not make a complaint, but still cancel services. It is your job that everything is done right each time. If you ever encounter a situation that a client talks to you directly about their complaint: Apologize and address it immediately. Talk about it with your Team Leader, and make a note about it in the Instructions/Work-Order. Recheck the area with your Team Leader before you leave, not the client! THE CLIENT IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CHECKING YOUR WORK, YOU ARE! Please remember to always do your best. If you have any problems let the office know. We are here to support you.
You will learn that little things are big things. That little soap dispenser in the bathroom… should shine and not have any soap drips on it. The mirror they look into every single day- should have no streaks. Side table by the bed or nightstand should not have ant spots on it. Everything that clients use/look/touch every single day- should be perfect. Kitchen faucet, bathroom faucet, shower head they look at when the shower should not be dusty or dirty right after you cleaned it. Those are details and the clients notice the details. Clients expect you to clean better than they clean. If they clean the same or better than you- they don’t need you! If you know how to replace the floor in your living room with the same quality as the contractor- do you need this contractor? Your role is to provide a service that is on a much higher level than when the client would do it themselves. That will keep the client for years to come and before they cancel cleaning service or even think about it, they will change their diet first and save on groceries.
Cleaning a home requires you to pay attention to your work and process. You have to concentrate on everything you do and think ahead of time. Working as a team requires you to make sure that you are not behind your partner or that your partner is not behind you. That requires constant thinking and focus. You need to be able to focus on your tasks at all times. Leave personal problems outside of the workplace. You are not going to fix your personal problems while you are at work anyway, so try to put them on the side when you dedicate your time for work. Put your phone away, it will cause a lot of distraction. Sometimes even listening to music can be very distracting. If you need to take a call it should be only in case of an emergency or if the office calls you with questions. If you take a call or need to call someone- keep it short and simple. This is important not only at the beginning of your journey with cleaning, but it is important today, 6 months from now and years from now. You need to stay focused in order to perform at your best.
The instructions/work-order has all the information about the cleaning and often contains specific requests from the client. Never skip reading the entire instructions/work-order. Instructions/work-orders often change on recurring jobs. Even if you have visited the client’s home many times before, you must read the instructions/work-order because clients often call the office to request something different. ie: different ways to enter the home, added or deleted tasks, different cleaning solutions, and many other variations. These changes are entered into the instructions/work-order and not always verbally communicated to you. You may not get an alert that the job has changed. If you make a mistake because you didn’t read the work order, the client has means to complain or cancel service. Because this is such a critical and EASY step in cleaning a home, most cleaning companies will discipline you the very first time it happens. There is never an excuse for not reading the instructions/work-order.
We are humans, so we do make mistakes. They happen all the time and many of them are preventable if you check your own work, and your partner’s work. Look for cobwebs when you are vacuuming, check the side tables when you mop the floor. Look around when you leave the room. Glance at the mirrors from different angles. It takes seconds and can prevent a lot of problems. Checking your work is a very simple process and you need only one skill to do it. You have to have a WILL to do it. That is all. You don’t need the tools, any special training or guidance. Just do it. If you notice that your partner missed something, simply fix it quickly if you are closer to the problem and then talk about it later with your partner so it won’t happen again. Never ask a client to check your work. This is not a client’s job to be a police and point to the things you do wrong. After you did a walkthrough and caught all possible mistakes, simply say: I hope you love everything, but if there is anything you notice that we could do better, please let us know before we leave. By checking your work each time, you save yourself a trip the next day to fix the issues. Remember that as a company we offer a 24h satisfaction guarantee and if there are any issues we need to come back to the client and fix them. That trip is not being paid for you the next day since you had a chance and opportunity to make it right when you were there the day before. Check your work!
Outside of all the other rules, tips, instructions and training there is another very important thing that needs to be mentioned. This is business. We are all in this to make money and make a living. That being said, jobs need to be completed in a certain time (expected completion time) without sacrificing the quality of work. If you were given 8h to clean 3h home, of course you will perform quality work because you had all day to do it. The problem is if that was the case and we had all that time we would be out of business within a month. And you will be without a job. Not the greatest scenario right? Nobody wants that of course. Company is being paid for the service based on time that the team spends on the job. The longer you are on the job, the less profitable the job is. Maybe today you had more hours (good for you), but if this continues for longer periods of time and you are an ineffective cleaner, you are causing the company that provides work for you to lose profit in order to stay in business. Consequences of that are pretty simple. You have to learn to be an effective cleaner. And we will help you to become one. Other reasons why being a slow cleaner is not good: Most clients don't like cleaners in their home for long periods of time. They want their home back and enjoy it. That is why some clients prefer teams over individuals. Being a slow cleaner is a drain on your cleaning partner(s). If you are moving slow, you are cleaning less of the house than your partner who moves at an appropriate speed. It is not fair to your partner and will cause issues in the near future. If you work slower you are being late to the next job, which causes a lot of problems. The best advice for good speed is to know what you are doing and what the next step in the process is (read about the focus rule mentioned before). If you have to stop and think “What’s the next step?” your speed is not where it needs to be. Check yourself against the expected completion times. Compare your times to the previous month. Within 30 days or less, your speed should be at acceptable levels. If your completion time is not where it needs to be, and you are cleaning this home a couple times by now, there needs to be some changes made. Maybe there are some problems that you encounter during cleaning. Office needs to know what could be causing this. Ask questions on how to improve your time. Share your experience. Let us know what we can help you with or what is giving you the most trouble. Talk to your partner and compare how he/she is doing the same exact things and maybe change your approach. As your speeds improve, do not let the quality of your work to decline. There should never be either good completion time or good quality. Both of those are equally important. Good routine, consistency form habits that will help you get better each time. Remember that experience and knowledge = Speed. The longer you clean the same homes the faster you become.
You need to be aware of your time while you're working because getting done on time impacts the rest of the day’s appointments. If you're behind the schedule, all other clients that day need to be informed. Some of them might cancel the visit. If a client cancels, that creates a lot of problems for the office. It is not easy to find a new spot. Some of them will be frustrated and disappointed. And some will be ok with that. No matter how the client will react, it is never ok to be late. Instructions/work-orders typically include an estimated time of completion- that time of completion in most cases includes the drive time to the next client. Times of completion are constantly updated especially on newer homes when we are not completely sure how long they will take. Newer homes need to be cleaned 2-4 times before we have full knowledge about the expected completion time. Please be aware of your process and make sure you finish on time.
(Deep Cleanings, One Time Cleanings, Maintenance Cleanings, Move IN/OUTs, Post Construction, Before/After Party, Office Cleanings. Check our website for more information). It’s important to know the services we offer and what they entail. There are separate checklists for each service and they differ from each other. For example: appliances inside, like fridge or oven are standard service on a move OUT cleaning, but they are never included on a maintenance cleaning, unless clients specifically requested those. Study all the written materials until you know everything like the back of your hand. If you are not sure, check go back to the Instructions/Work-Order.
Get familiar with your cleaning solvents, what they do, and any warnings about their uses. You will use multiple cleaning solvents, and it is very important to know when and how to use them. You can damage a client’s property and put yourself in danger if you are not careful. Always read directions and warnings on all cleaning solutions.
A stepladder is one of your best tools, but you have to use it. Unless you are 7 feet tall, you are going to need the stepladder to clean numerous areas in the home like the top of the refrigerator, bookshelves, ceiling fans and too many more to mention. Don’t try to reach on your tippy toes, get the stepladder. Steppladder is also a great place to keep your cleaning caddy on. Once you put your bucket on the step ladder you don’t have to bend your body each time you need to take something out of the bucket. Your back will thank you!
Once you are finished using a tool, replace it right away in your apron or caddy and in the same spot every time. This will increase your speed and efficiency. It also eliminates the mistake of leaving any rags or tools in the client’s home when you leave. Don’t leave equipment lying around on the floor or vacuums plugged in if you are not using them. Keep all your supplies and equipment in an orderly fashion as you clean a home. It looks more professional and reduces the chances of tripping for you, your partners and the client. Your cleaning supplies, and equipment should always be close to you and in the room that you are currently cleaning.