When You Need to Cancel

There was a freezing rain weather advisory for our area today; and freezing rain is one of my least favorite things. Rather than risk going to work and wishing I hadn’t, I decided to cancel. I don’t do that often. Reliability is an important trait to your customers~ it literally means that they can rely […]

Cleaning a Dining Table on an Area Rug

When cleaning a dining set which sits on an area rug, I find it most convenient to clean the entire area, including the rug, at one time… as if it’s an island unto itself.  It’s a bit simpler than the ‘hard floors throughout’ sequence which requires that you return later to vacuum and mop beneath […]

4 Steps to a Stain-Free Kitchen Sink

It doesn’t take much to clean the inside walls of a kitchen sink. That said, it does take some time to detail-clean a sink, and it does take know-how to completely remove stains. Cleaning the sink is the final step of cleaning the kitchen. It’s handy to use the sink for dumping crumbs, washing countertop items, or rinsing out supplies while cleaning appliances and countertops. I use my usual […]

Easiest Way to Clean a Microwave

Microwaves have a reputation for being hard-to-clean, but… it’s actually not hard to clean a microwave at all. (Let’s keep that under our hat, though, because a customer might think it took twenty minutes to clean up that marinara sauce explosion. Tee hee.) Truth is: the material is made to release stuck-on stuff; it just needs a wee bit of encouragement. My approach might […]

The Professional Secret to Gleaming Granite Countertops

It can be tough for customers to keep natural stone countertops shiny, day-in-day-out. Wiping up after daily food prep often leads to a murky haze… which tends to grow murkier with each clean-up. They wait for you, the professional house cleaner, to re-set those gorgeous countertops back to sparkling clean. Fortunately, the ‘fix’ is wonderfully simple. This 3-step technique gives amazing results with minimum hassle. In fact, any natural stone, solid […]

2 Steps to Perfect Stainless Steel

Who knew it would be so difficult to clean stainless steel appliances, right? But a kitchen full of perfectly polished stainless makes for an impressive result that showcases your professional touch, so it’s worth getting right. Stainless came into vogue when I was already cleaning homes for a living, and with a last name like Steel I assumed it would live up to the ‘industrial kitchen’ […]

QUICK TIP: Best hand soap for dry, cracked skin

If you wash your hands as often as I do through a workday, your skin can become overly dry with painful cracks at the fingertips. I’ve found that using castile soap in my hand-soap dispenser at home goes a long way toward soothing dry skin and avoiding painful cracks. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is the best; the hard part is choosing which essential oil you’d like included… lavender, […]

How to Get Great Customers

In a business as personal as home cleaning, it matters who your customers are. Great customers let you know, in one way or another, that they appreciate the work you do. Usually, it looks something like… They trust you to do your professional best, and don’t micro-manage. They don’t begrudge you the professional rate you charge. They don’t cancel on a whim. They have their space picked […]

QUICK TIP: Baking Soda Cleaning Hack

Store the baking soda you use for cleaning in a parmesan cheese container. It stays dry and airtight, plus the lid is perfect for sprinkling!

The Perfect Little Scrub Brush

I clean houses for a living so, no surprise, I carry a scrub brush. A toothbrush, too, which is great for getting around faucets, etc., but you can’t cover a big territory with a toothbrush; it’s for small jobs. Every once in a while, you need a scrub brush. And you would expect, since a scrub brush has only one job to do, […]

Cleaning with Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a safe, effective, and versatile green cleaner that definitely has a spot on my caddy. There are 1001 books about the 1001 uses for baking soda around the house, but I tend to be very specific in how I use it during my workday. Baking Soda Basics Baking soda works in two different ways. Chemically, it encourages dirt and grease to dissolve in […]

Get Control of House Dust

Many people (and no doubt some of your customers) are allergic to house dust. That’s a big deal since dust allergies can aggravate dangerous breathing conditions like asthma. Plus, a layer of dust on everything just looks bad; right? Truth be told, dust levels vary greatly from house to house, and often for no apparent reason. Customizing a dust-busting approach for each house, based on how much dust there is and how much time you have to devote to […]

How to Protect and Strengthen Knees

You simply could not get by without your knees~ every day they are smack in the middle of all the action. Most of us take them for granted… until they hurt. Keeping a few simple guidelines in mind to strengthen your knees and avoid injury will go a long way toward keeping you pain-free. (Your future self will thank you!) The Thing That Makes the […]

The Best All-Purpose Cleaner

Dish liquid, in general, is a great choice for an all-purpose cleaner. It’s safe for people and surfaces, effective for even tough challenges, and ridiculously inexpensive to use. Of all the good choices in the world of dish liquids (including those on the ‘green cleaners’ shelf), I think Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid is the best of the best. There’s just one […]

Ode To The Humble Broom

Off the bat, I need to confess that I was unable to write a poem to, or about, a broom. Sorry for your disappointment. (‘Room…Broom’… it’s all I got…) Plus, the truth is I cleaned for years without using a broom. We house cleaners haul plenty of supplies back and forth; a girl’s gotta draw the line somewhere, right? But a few years ago I added a broom as an experiment. It really helped […]

10 Keys to Designing Your Ideal Work Schedule

If you’ve ever had a job where your life is controlled by your work schedule, then you know how valuable it is to be able to choose the days and hours you work. When you clean for a living, you can shape your work schedule around your life priorities… and not many livelihoods offer that benefit. If you want to be home by the time your 2nd grader gets off […]

25 Extras Your Customers Might Want to Pay For

Most customers are looking for help with the basics: kitchen, bathrooms, dusting, and floors. But beyond the basics are plenty of other house cleaning chores on your customer’s ‘to do’ list… and it’s possible they’d be interested in help with some of those items, too~ if you ask. Generally, ‘extras’ tend to be a great […]

Squeegee: You Won’t Believe What It Can Do

Well, truth be told, the squeegee can only do one thing: squeegee. But it does it so darned well that it earns its weight on my caddy. Absolutely one of my favorite tools (it’s kinda fun) and one of my favorite house cleaning ‘tricks’. (I thought of it myself… along with 10,000 other house cleaners, no doubt!) You see, in each customer’s home, my […]

The Only Mop I’ll Ever Love…

Mostly I hate mops. Not to be insensitive toward long-handled cleaning implements, but string mops, sponge mops, buckets… awful. A Swiffer Wet-Jet works okay (without the heavy bottle of so-so cleaner that squirts all over the baseboards) but the pads are expensive, environmentally unfriendly, and I came to suspect that the chemicals in the pad itself were leaving a […]

How a Spray Bottle Can Change Your (work) Life

All workday long you are spraying surfaces. Huge swaths of square footage need to be wetted down thoroughly and evenly with cleaner: entire walls in the shower, across counter lengths, inside sinks, the microwave, etc. The pistol grip sprayer is your best buddy, and my heartfelt advice is: spend the extra two bucks and get a good one. […]