Time to get your windows cleaned!

Look at your windows. What do you see? Do you see the outside world pouring through? Unfiltered sunlight and color and joy? Or do you see reminders of past rains? Insect leftovers? Fingerprints and smudges? Nose and paw prints from pets? Sadness?

Fall is here and fall cleaning projects abound. Do not underestimate the effect that clean windows can have on the look and feel inside your home. Windows become dirty gradually and you may not even realize how much they need to be cleaned. They can dim the light  in the home substantially and make things look dull. So, have you considered having your windows professionally cleaned? You might think, ‘Why pay? I can do them myself.’ You are correct. But consider a few reasons to have them done by us.

  1. Time – There are only so many nice days each Fall. How do you want to spend them? Enjoying time with the family or cleaning windows? It can be a big job, especially if you are not used to doing it and don’t have the equipment, and can take many hours or a couple of days depending on how hard your windows are to access. How valuable is your time?

  2. Quality – Most of the time we think of window cleaning with a squirt bottle and rag. This does clean the window, but do you get streaks? We have experimented with many types of cleaners from name brands to professional brands to home recipes. There really is a difference, but even the best of them still can leave streaks as you cannot completely remove all the cleaner. When we clean we wet the window with a window mop, scour it to get bug remains and other things off, and then strip the window with a squeegee. This leaves nothing on the window; you are left with a crystal clear piece of glass. It will stay looking good longer as well.
  3. Safety – Cleaning windows inevitably involves ladders or step stools to reach the higher ones. How comfortable are you ladders? Some of us are, and some are not. If you are unsure on your feet or have a fear of heights, ladders are not for you. Even worse is when we don’t have access to the proper ladder or stool and we improvise! Standing on buckets, chairs, tables, etc. is dangerous. Having fallen off a bucket and broken my patella (kneecap) I can attest to this! Don’t risk it. We have the equipment and training to do the job the right way.

This fall, why not let us clean your windows? We can come out and do a free estimate. It will make your house shine and let the radiance of Fall and the fall colors flood your home.

Meeting the Challenge of Keeping a Clean Office!

The last article dealt with the importance of keeping an clean office. The hard part is now how to do it. Saying and doing are two different things! Granted, every office is different due to what type of work goes on, and every office environment is different due to the people in it. But here is an underlying principle: MAINTENANCE IS WORTH THE MONEY IT COSTS! Everything wears out eventually, but properly maintaining it will add many years to the life and it will look better during that time With that in mind, here are just a few general tips to consider that can apply across a wide array of circumstances.

1. Who is cleaning your office?

There are basically two options: hire a cleaning service or do it ‘In House.’ Each has advantages and draw backs. A cleaning service will cost you money and a good one will cost you more. But the benefit is that is will be done regularly and systematically. A good cleaning service is worth the expense!

Having your employees clean for you can save you money and they may be in a better position to clean as they know what needs it most. The down side is that often ‘In house’ lacks the quality and thoroughness needed. So if you are going to do it, first, make sure that your employees have the right equipment (e.g. well-maintained vacuum cleaners, quality cleaners and supplies, etc,) and instructions. Then, make sure you show your appreciation for the extra work it takes.

2.  Preventive steps can mean less maintenance!

There are certain spots in the office that are always going to ‘take it on the chin’ so to speak. You can help your own cause with preventive steps.  For instance:

  • Seriously consider a mat service. Entry mats will prevent a tremendous amount of soil from coming in from outside or from the shop… if they are clean! A mat service will make sure your mats are doing their job.
  • Make sure the coffee area is over an easily cleanable area, like tile. If that is not practical, put something under it to allow easy cleanup of spills, like an entry mat or chair mat.
  • Monitor plants carefully to make sure they are not over-watered. We clean a lot of stains from this and they are not easy to get out.
  • Use chair mats large enough to cover the work area. Chair mats that are too small will leave a ‘footprint’ around the edge, a place where feet and chairs go, that will not come out. (We will cover the pros and cons of mats in general in a future article.)
  • Have a cleaning station that is well stocked and easily accessible. Most people will at least attempt to clean up a mess you make the tools available. Make sure that you have the cleaners, towels, brushes, etc. in a convenient spot.

3. Have your carpets cleaned regularly.

We are not just putting this in because we do this (okay, maybe it is).  As we have mentioned is previous articles, carpets have a subtle but noticeable effect on the space. When they are clean they reduce dust and other allergens and make the office feel brighter and happier. Having your carpets cleaned will often kickstart a new feeling of responsibility on everyone’s part in keeping the office clean.

Keeping a clean office matters!

If I were to ask you what the most soiled, least maintained carpets that we clean are, where do you think they would be located? Offices! Surprised? To be clear, I am not talking about a filthiness factor, just general soil and spots.

Many of you work in or manage an office. Look around at the carpet; are you pleased with what you see? We often hear complaints from frustrated people who work in offices that things are not as clean as they would like. Does it matter? Consider a few reasons why it should matter…

Keep your offices clean
Your image is communicated immediately!

Your Image!                                                                                                 

Your customers/clients/patients/etc. want a clean office! What do they see when they walk in and more importantly, what are they thinking? As humans, we are constantly picking up on nonverbal cues to understand the world around us. When we walk into a building we are immediately aware of, even if only subconsciously, the brightness or lack of light in the room, the colors on the walls and furniture, the decorating, the modernness or outdatedness of equipment, etc. We are also aware of how clean things are. The carpets and upholstery in your office or clinic may speak volumes about you before you even say a word. A clean office may ‘tell us’ that those in the building are more likely to be organized, reliable, and care. Dirty things ‘tell us’ that those in the facility may be less organized, not as dependable, and may not care for our concerns as well.

Keep your office clean
Your employees are worth keeping happy!

Your employees!

Your employees want a clean office! Do your employees show care and concern for the facility and it’s contents? Now, granted there is always going to be a variety of people with a variety of ideas in this regard, but, if things are not clean and maintained is there sufficient motivation to improve? Consider this: If you know that someone has just cleaned a floor are you more or less likely to be careful about keeping it clean? We may go out of our way not to leave footprints. Conversely, if the floor is clearly dirty, are you more or less likely to be careful on it? We may leave wet or dirty footprints and not even think about it. Although not an absolute, clean things are more likely to be maintained.

What about the environment that the staff is working in? Is it conducive to productive work or is it a distraction due to clutter and dirt? Does it lend itself to efficiency or to frustration? Is it healthy both mentally and physically? If your employees sense you care about them, they are more likely to care about what they do for you.

Whether we like it or not, clean spaces for work DO matter. Consider having your carpets and upholstery in your office cleaned and see what a difference it can make! Next time, we will share some tips on keeping things clean.

Common Misconceptions About Carpet Cleaning

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“How often should I have my carpets cleaned?” This is one of the most asked questions. What do you think? Every few months? Once a year? Once every two years? Only when absolutely necessary? Well, let’s examine what’s behind the question itself.

I’ve found that a person that asks this question usually has underlying concerns. Many times these are based on misconceptions.

Misconception #1 – Cleaning your carpets wears them out faster.
False. Wear in carpet does not come from any type of cleaning but actually from a LACK of cleaning. Soil is constantly being deposited in your carpet. This has a bad effect when it is walked on, much like sandpaper would have. You need to remove the soil, grit, sand, oil, etc. Vacuuming the carpets is a good start and is vital to long-term care. But you need to ‘wash’ out the deeper soil and especially the oils. Think about an oily spot on your counter. Doesn’t everything stick to it? The same thing happens on your carpet. Sand, grit, and other things readily stick to it causing further wear. You have to have it cleaned!

Misconception #2 – Once you clean your carpets they get dirtier faster.
False. This misconception comes from the days when you literally ‘shampooed’ your carpet. You soaped up your carpet, scrubbed it, and left it. It looked great for a while, but what do you think all that soap did? It attracted dirt. Time to scrub it again with more soap, and more dirt was attracted even faster. Do you see an issue? Today’s methods are far better. Hot-water extraction leaves very little detergent in the carpets. They will not resoil faster based on the cleaning.
Now it has to be said that cleaning can affect the factory protection. You need to replace this with Scotchgard protection. Often, though, the cleaning exposes the wear the carpet has endured. Worn carpet soils faster. Also, once clean, we are often sensitized to any soiling and it can appear that the carpet is soiling faster.

Misconception #3 – They don’t look dirty.
False. Carpets should be cleaned before they look dirty. When they look dirty, it is gone too far; damage is being done to the carpets and wear patterns are setting in. Remember, your carpets have depth. Soil does not stay on top for long. Where does it go? It works it’s way down into the carpet. Perhaps, out of sight, out of mind; but, it’s still there.

Sometimes, people using a combination of these misconceptions allow years, even a decade or more before cleaning their carpet. They are often quite surprised, even shocked, at the difference a cleaning makes. Don’t let it go this far. Regularly vacuum your carpet and have it cleaned professionally. Next time: How can I dry this carpet?