Category of Blogs on Cleaning Tips & Tricks

Top 5 Carpet Stains and How to Remove Them

Stains!! The most dreadful thing to be found on a carpet! Be it spills caused by children, pets or even your own self…stains are inevitable. Fortunately, with the expert advice available online for carpet stain removal, it may not be as dreadful anymore.

With DIY cleaners made with ingredients found in the home, store bought stain removers, carpet shampoos or perhaps carpet steam cleaners….one can actually take on the cleaning herself. Alternatively, you engage a professional carpet cleaning service provider for tackling tougher stains.

In this blog post we will share about common carpet stains and how to remove them.

Types of Stains and How to Treat Them

The obvious reaction when you spot a stain is to quickly get a rag and stain remover and start rubbing on the stain. But…. Stop! You first need to pre-treat the stain.

Pre-treating Stains

soiled carpet cleaningFollow these tips when stains or spills occur –

  1. Work quickly so the stain does not set in. Fresh stains are easier to remove.
  2. When a spill or stain happens, the first reaction is to rub on the stain. Never rub or scrub on the stain as this only pushes the stain deeper.
  3. Instead, scoop up any residue and blot with a paper towel or clean cloth. Always work from the outside of the stain towards the middle to avoid spreading.
  4. For thin, liquid spills, blot with a few paper towels to soak up as much liquid as possible.

Five common type of Stains

There are many types of stains that can spill or drop onto your carpet. Here we will talk about the 5 most common stains and how to remove them. For all the below mentioned stains, follow the pre-treatment method mentioned above first.

  1. Coffee / Tea stains

Pour Club Soda liberally over the stain and blot with a white paper towel or cloth.

  1. Ink Stains

Pour rubbing alcohol directly onto the stain and blot with paper towel. Repeat until the stain is completely removed.

  1. Blood stains

Mix salt and water to make it into a paste like consistency. Cover the stain completely with this paste. Let it sit for at least 1 hour or overnight if possible. Blot the stain with a white rag till the stain is completely lifted out. Let the remaining residue dry out and then vacuum.

  1. Food / Vomit

Scrape away excess with a spoon or scraping knife. Blot up moisture. Pour baking powder directly onto the stain. Let it sit for 1 hour. Vacuum the baking soda. Wipe off with a kitchen towel.

  1. Glue

Scrape off fresh glue with a spoon or scraping knife. Dilute with some water and continue scraping till almost all the glue has been lifted off. Blot with a cotton rag and allow to air dry.

Carpet Maintenance

If you are one of the lucky ones free from soiled carpets, you should still have your carpets thoroughly cleaned every 12 -18 months. You may do this by either engaging a professional or commercial carpet cleaning service provider or choose to DIY.

Keep in mind that you will need the correct equipment such as a carpet steam cleaner, carpet shampoo, dehumidifier and a powerful vacuum cleaner. Also remember that a damp carpet risks mildew and bacteria growth.

With proper cleaning and maintenance your carpet you can make your carpets look new and last for a longer time.

Deep Cleaning tips that will keep your Laminate Floor looking great

Laminate floors may be attractive, but they need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. The big problem, however, is how do you get your laminate floors cleaned without damaging the laminate surface or creating streaks? Harsh cleaning products are definitely out, but using a dry mop, mild cleaners and warm water are in.

With that in mind, here are some top tips to deep clean your laminates.

First Level of Cleaning

1.     Get Started With A General Clean

If you’re going to deep clean a laminate floor, the first step is to make sure that it is clean and tidy to begin with. You can ensure this by carrying out sweeping regularly with a dry mop. Laminate floors are relatively resistant to scratches, but dirt, debris and hair can all result in scratches if they accumulate over time. Sweeping regularly guards against this happening. The choice of cleaning tools is also important.

Alternatively, you could use your vacuum cleaner with the soft brush attachment in place. Whatever you do, avoid using a regular floor brush. The straw-like, stiff bristles could cause damage. Always sweep in the same direction as the laminate tiles have been laid as this will ensure that all debris between the flooring pieces’ grooves are collected.

hot water cleaning for kitchen floor2.     Clean the Spills

Spills are inevitable from time to time, so clean them immediately using a sponge or cloth. Never allow any type of liquid to remain on your floor for any length of time since stains can result or even damage to the protective flooring layer. After wiping spills away, make sure the floor is dry.

3.     A Hot Water Clean

This type of deep clean should be carried out when the floor is noticeably dirty or muddy. You can fill up a bucket using hot water, soak a mop in the water, wring it out then mop the laminate. Cover the whole floor beginning at the center then working outwards. Once you have completed this, allow the floor to air dry or use a dry, clean microfiber cloth to dry it off.

 

Second Level of Cleaning

A.   Use Soap

If you want something stronger than water to get your floors sparkling, you can use the soap method. Fill up your bucket with around a gallon of hot water then add a baby shampoo or mild dish washing detergent to the water. Avoid using any kind of dyed or scented detergent. This is likely to result in damage or streaks on your floor. While baby shampoo is suitable, never use a standard adult shampoo. Mix the water and soap together using your hands until the soap has dissolved and bubbles start to form. Avoid using any kind of bleach, strong chemical or abrasive cleaner. Soak a sponge or terry mop in the solution then wring it out leaving the mop only slightly damp. The soap method is best to remove salt from snow boots or mud. Just like the hot water method, clean your floor systematically. Start at one side of the room and the work across to the opposite side, making sure the whole floor has been covered.

B.   Use A Steam Mop

Perhaps one of the best method of all for deep cleaning your laminate floor is to use a steam mop. While they are more expensive than a regular mop, they are well worth the investment. Quick and easy to use, they are the most hygienic way to make sure your floors are sparkling and bacteria free without any danger or streaking or scratches. Using only the power of heat and steam, steam mops use no chemicals which could cause harm to your pets or children or which could damage your flooring. Always look for more information about how to choose the right steam mop for use on laminate floors before you buy so you can make an informed decision about which is the best product to suit your individual needs.

Follow these expert tips, and you’ll find it easier than you imagined to give your laminate floors a deep clean. As long as you avoid using harsh chemicals or rough clothes and mops, you should find that your floors look perfect and stay sparkling without any excessive effort. Laminates really are the best solution to keeping your home looking flawless!

Should you need any professional help the friendly, trained cleaners at A1 Facility Services are always at your service.

The ideal sequence to clean Washrooms the right way

The other day I was at an office building for a client meeting. It was not one of those swanky offices, but rather a factory / warehouse type. I was just about to enter my client’s office when I had a sudden urge to attend the call of nature. One of my greatest pet peeves is using public toilets especially in such environments as its cleanliness can be ….questionable.

I rushed to the washroom with great unease, expecting the worst. To my surprise, the washroom was spick and span with the most alluring floral fragrance! I was amazed by the cleanliness and care taken in keeping the restroom clean! Boy was I relieved (pun intended). And plus points were that the washbasins were equipped with hand sanitizers and the toilets were also handicap friendly. On my way out I also saw that the restroom had received a LOO Award.

Best way to clean toilets

While cleaning toilets may certainly not be a task to be cherished. However, following a prescribed sequence and cleaning methodically can save time & effort, perhaps making the task not so arduous, after all.

How to Clean the Washroom Effectively

General cleaning should be done daily and follow a systematic sequence to prevent cross contamination. This improves work efficiency and reduces overall labour time.

Gents Toilet Cleaning

Follow these 8 steps for a cleaner toilet.

1.      Initial washroom inspection

  • Knock and inform public about cleaning works
  • Display safety sign at the entrance
  • Wear proper clothing and carry necessary tools and chemicals
  • Check for defects or spillages

2.      Replenish consumables

  • Make sure hands are dry
  • Replenish toilet rolls and top up liquid hand soap

3.      Washing urinals and toilet bowls

  • Wear protective gear
  • Flush and pour cleaning solution and let it soak
  • Prepare sanitizing solution and pour over stains or blood. Use absorbent paper to soak up stain
  • Brush interior and rims of toilet bowl and urinals; Flush
  • Wipe the exterior with a damp cloth soaked in sanitizing solution

4.      Cleaning cubicles, washbasins, mirrors and vanity tops

  • Prepare sanitizing solution
  • Wipe mirrors, soap dispenser, hand dryer, vanity top and wash basins. Always work from top to bottom
  • Wipe the walls, partitions and cubicle doors. Work from top to bottom
  • Wipe urinal walls

5.      Wiping windows, fans and other fixtures

  • Switch off the fan and dust the corners, ceiling fixtures, walls and air vents
  • Prepare glass cleaning solution
  • Wash windows with washer and solution
  • Use a squeegee to wipe away liquid on the glass

6.      Sweeping and removing litter

  • Sweep floors paying attention to corners. Throw debris into bins
  • Remove bin liner and sanitize the bin
  • Replace bin liner

7.      Mopping floor

  • Prepare buckets with water and mopping solution
  • Dip mop into water solution. Wring dry and then dip in mopping solution. Wring dry
  • Mop the cubicle areas. Rinse the mop
  • Mop around the urinals. Rinse the mop
  • Mop the common areas starting from far end of the toilet. Mop section by section

8.      Inspection

  • Check the washroom is in good working condition
  • Free of dust, litter and odour
  • Waste to be removed and cleaning equipment to be stored
  • Update work record
  • Remove safety sign when floor is dry

Restroom Association recognitionPromoting a culture of Clean Restrooms in Singapore

By the way, did you know that there is a Restroom Association in Singapore? They are advocates in promoting clean toilets and also gives the LOO Award to organisations and individuals who have achieved world recognised standard of restroom cleanliness in Singapore. The NEA also advises public toilet owners to keep their toilets clean and make sure that enough toilet facilities are provided. This encourages proper usage by the public and promote good public health.

Since restrooms are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria and odours, proper cleaning and sanitizing is of utmost importance. Sanitized toilets for Ladies, Gents and the Handicapped are thus a basic expectation.

 Conclusion

In order to maintain washroom standards, Cleaning Attendants should be properly trained and certified to perform the task well. In Singapore, certifications are available, one of which is the Environmental Cleaning Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ), developed by the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) in consultation with the cleaning industry and National Environment Agency (NEA). Call  A1-Cleaning Services as all their cleaners undergo WSQ training, to ensure the highest of standards.

4 Ways To Clean Carpets And Make Them Look New Again

Brown stains from a dropped cup of coffee….drops of juice spilled from a glass full of beverage…muddy shoe soles getting wiped clean….there are uncountable reasons why your carpet can be soiled and stained.  And these are reasons over above the general tear and wear which the flooring has to endure due to everyday use.  No wonder carpets are the must susceptible to dirt, spots and stains under the home/office upholstery category

Luckily, this is a common problem.  And for common problems there are more than one solutions! So, in this post we’ll tell you 4 methods of cleaning your carpets along with the Pros and Cons of each.  Read on…

Why Carpet Cleaning

Be it a office or your home, the ceiling and flooring must always be showcased in a positive light. The prestige of a corporate office or the ambience of your home can be easily compromised if carpeted flooring looks dull or worse remains riddled with stains. And stubborn stains are not easy to rid of with general hand scrubbing. So, when it comes to carpeting, you need to take proper measures to maintain it in a clean and in tip-top condition.  Here are 4 ways to do that –

1. Using Carpet Absorbent Cleaners

Carpet absorbent cleanersThis procedure is often referred to as Dry Cleaning, since there’s no virtual use of water.  A fairly common process to clean carpets wherein a dry absorbent compound which contains detergent, solvent, and water in small quantities, is sprinkled on the surface of the carpet. The main purpose of this compound is to attract and absorb the dirt, grime and soil.  A brush cleaner with mechanical action is worked into the carpet. The dislodged dirt is absorbed by the cleaning compound after which a thorough vacuuming session follows through.

 

 

Pros

  • Simple and straight forward method
  • Very little water is used in the process, there is no drying time involved

Cons

  • Powder (detergent) may remain trapped for thick carpets
  • Not able to clean deep down into the carpet

 

2. Carpet Shampooing

foam based carpet cleaningThe concept here is to create a heavy foam and have it worked into the carpet fibers with the rotating brushes of a machine.  When the foam dries the resulting residue attracts the soil in the carpet which then needs to be vacuumed the next day.  Two of the commonly used machines in this process are rotary shampoo machine and cylindrical foam machine.

Pros

  • Simple, fast and affordable method
  • Rotating brushes provide good agitation

Cons

  • Dirt is piled and buried in the carpet
  • Extensive vacuuming is required before and after the process

 

3. Bonnet Method

Carpets getting cleaned with rotary brushThis method utilizes an absorbent pad. After a cleaning product or solution is sprayed onto the carpet,  the rotary buffer or bonnet (absorbent pad) operated by a floor machine scrubs the mixture with a rotating motion.  Carbonated water may be used in this process to provide with better soil suspension. Even though considered as a dry cleaning method the carpet is actually wet and requires some time to dry up.

Pros

  • Fast, simple method that does not cost much.
  • Good for lightly soiled carpets.

Cons

  • Cleaning is superficial since its not able to reach deeper down.
  • Dirt and chemicals accumulates at the bottom of the carpet fibers.

 

4. Steam Cleaning

steam cleaning methodAlso known as Hot Water Extraction this method is often referred to as a deep cleaning procedure to clean carpets. It is one of the best ways of carpet cleaning which uses a combination high water pressure for agitation, and hot water to increase reaction rate.  The carpet is first treated with chemical regaents, after which a fine spray of pressured hot water is injected, which is followed by an intensive vacuuming where the gunk is sucked up into a holding tank.

Pros

  • Widely used method that provides thorough cleaning (from deep down in the carpet)
  • Ensures chemical reactivity facilitated by agitation, makes good use of cleaning solvents
  • Recommended by carpet manufacturers & cleaning experts

Cons

  • Long drying time
  • Requires expensive equipment hence relatively higher cost

Despite best efforts, any carpet will eventually become a victim of spills, drops, accidents and of course the dirt beneath your shoes. Mere vacuuming is not a feasible solution even though you would do it every second day. Thus, it’s best to let professional carpet cleaners and experts do their work and provide you with spotless, clean and fresh carpets that look and feel like new.

Spring Cleaning Tips [Infographic]

Have a Spick and Span house in no time with these Spring Cleaning tips

Which words do you associate with spring cleaning? Stress and Hard work?  Dread-filled ordeal?  Corporal Punishment???!! or just ‘Err… Yuck’!

Well, here we are to re-program your beliefs about spring cleaning the house by showing you how easy it can be to transform your home into the spotless abode you desire in just a few simple steps.

The main idea is to ‘work smart’ and not necessarily as hard you may think… Let’s find out how.

 Cleaning Tips for CNY Spring Cleaning

Plan and Prepare for the Spring Cleaning

 

1.      Get the family involved: don’t go solo

The worse part about spring cleaning is the thought of taking the monumental responsibility onto oneself. This will not only drain but also demotivate you even before you begin.  The right way to handle the task is by getting the family involved and making it a group responsibility.  In this way, maintaining the cleanliness and clutter-free level will be easier apart from the actual clearing and cleaning process being less stressful and quicker for all.

 

2.      Delegate work areas to each family member

The best way to share the work load and not get into each other’s way is by assigning a specific work area to each family member.  Delegate a room such as the kitchen, living room etc., home components such as all the windows, shelves etc. or then processes like scrubbing, vacuuming and others depending on which works best.

 

3.      Turn on the music and establish a reward to keep everyone in high spirits

Set the mood for a productive family day ahead by playing some peppy tunes in the background.  Sing along as you throw, store, scrub, scour, wash and wipe together. Have a sense of humour about it!  Don’t take the job too seriously but be assertive enough to set high cleanliness standards: no hoarding!   A good way to make sure the kids cover their work areas well, is by offering motivational awards to those who do a good job.  Everyone learns, bonds and enjoys themselves while the house gets a good make over.

 

4.      De-clutter unwanted items and have cleaning aides handy

Prior to actual Cleaning Day, plan the actual spring cleaning or de-cluttering session.   Getting unwanted items out of the way will make the cleansing process ten times easier.   You can donate discarded clothes, toys and even furniture to the Salvation Army and other donation drives.  Then stock up on the correct cleaning equipment – brushes, mops, sponges, squeegees, brooms, buckets, vacuum cleaners, spray bottles and the right liquids and detergents.  The right tools are essential for convenience and ease of creating a spick and span space.

 

Execute with Divide and Conquer – Allocate one area to each member

how to clean for chinese new year and hari raya

Here are some practical tips for quick one off cleaning of every area of the house

Windows

The all-important job of window cleaning requires some elbow grease and non-fibrous material or newspaper to wipe down the glass panes.   Dab on some cleaning solution and wipe till there are no marks to be seen.   Washing with water and leaving to dry naturally will only attract dust particles or worse, create water streaks that can end up ruining an otherwise good job done.  Remember, spotless windows are the key to spick and span.

 

Kitchen

Kitchens gather a whole lot of grease and dirt on all surfaces like cabinet doors, counter tops, tables and tops of shelves and refrigerators.  Wipe all these down with a heavy duty all-purpose cleaner and sponge.  A handy tip for stubborn stains or odours is the use of bicarbonate soda.

Leave a layer on the required surface overnight or in a bowl inside a smelly drain, cabinet or the fridge.  The soda will absorb all the odour, freshening up your kitchen like a true day in spring.

 

Bathrooms

Those assigned bathrooms to clean may consider themselves to be unluckiest but the fact is that bathrooms can be handled quickly and effortlessly with a simple rotational trick.   If there’s just one bathroom then even better! The trick here is to spray or apply solutions to mirror or glass surfaces, toilet bowls and sinks and let them get absorbed into the surfaces before you begin cleaning.  Pour bleach in a toilet bowl, some antibacterial detergent in the sink and other surfaces and a glass cleaner on all mirror and glass.   Then move onto the next bathroom and repeat the same there.  Give time for the solutions to do their job and then you do yours, wiping, brushing or mopping where necessary.

 

Floors

The floor cleaning occurs last.   Vacuum clean the carpet to clear all the dirt from deep inside.   Mop down all other surfaces floors with a cleaning solution and warm water.  Stubborn marks on the carpet can be handled with stain removers and only use suitable solutions for surfaces such as marble, wood or vinyl.

 

Other areas

Keep a small vacuum cleaner or brush application handy to get into the tight areas where dirt or cobwebs reside.  Also, apart from the kitchen, bicarbonate soda can also be sprinkled on couches, sofas, pillow covers, and blankets overnight and then washed or vacuum cleaned the following day to look and smell anew.

 

A spring cleaning is the best gift you can give yourself and your family. De-cluttering is known to clear the mind and infuse positivity into your life and thoughts. A regular spring cleaning, every 3 to 6 months, is a good detoxification plan for every home.

 

 

 

Lazy Cleaning Tips

The lazy homeowner’s way of keeping the home clean!

Most daily chores are monotonous.  This is, firstly, owing to the mind-numbing repetitiveness of the action and secondly, they’re just SO PLAIN BORING!  Topping the bore chore list, would have to be Cleaning.  The next least favourite being a toss-up between ironing and doing the dishes… Cleaning, however, wins hands down.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you never had to clean again?  Not only that but wouldn’t it be just great if the one cleaning your house does a better job than you?!  Well, this exact desire shared by hundreds of Singaporeans gave birth to the numerous cleaning service agencies that have cropped up over the past 10 years.

But apart from this convenient occurrence, there are many tricks that lazy homemakers like yourself (you’re definitely not alone!), use to keep their abodes looking innocently spotless.

Here are a few well hidden secrets of lazy homemakers:

Regular spring cleaning

The more stuff you have, the more there is to maintain and clean.  So make it a habit to regularly dispose off that which you no longer require from all your rooms and cupboards.  Unlike cleaning, spring cleaning can actually be enjoyable.  It triggers lovely memories, and once you’ve thrown out a whole lot of unwanted odds and ends, you will feel much lighter and positive. A clutter free environment depicts a clutter-free mind so do try this regular exercise.

Ample storage space

One important trick to keep your place looking clean is by ensuring there is enough storage spacDrawerse to keep all your things so they aren’t lying around creating a mess.  Drawers are always better than cupboards since they allow you to easily find things that are kept inside, even if they are not neat and orderly.

An attractive and accessible cleaning closet

A striking set of mops, scrubbers and detergents will make you want to clean up when necessary!    Fresh lavender or lime scented products will fight the bad odours and fresh lathering ones will cover up the grit and grime when scrubbing down.  Another technique is to keep your cleaning supply close to the areas that require frequent cleaning.  If it is required to fetch cleaning paraphernalia from elsewhere, a lazy individual is less likely to take on the job and complete it!

Clean first thing in the morning

The easiest way to tackle an unwanted task is to get it over and done with: The earlier, the better. That way you don’t have the time to think and brood about it. Assign the morning hours for this chore, so you have the rest of the day to get on with other more desirable things.

Hire a reliable cleaning service

The most logical of all is to hire professionals.  A good, reliable cleaning service agency that is economical, reliable and efficient is a lazy homemaker’s best friend.  Find out about a good one in your area and willingly outsource the function to people who are meant to do the job.

Hence, though there are many tips you can utilise, one cannot completely avoid cleaning.  The good news is that you don’t have to do it yourself when you have a choice of cleaning service agencies available at your disposal.