A1 Cleaning Services Blog

Easy ways to keep both your house and your pet clean

If you own a pet, you know how fun and delightful it is to have one around. They give you comfort and can even make you laugh when times are tough. Having these cute, fluffy pets can be such a blessing – until you have to clean all the fur they shed around the house. It feels like you’re fighting a never-ending battle with pet fur on your floors and furniture.

Although there is no way to completely get rid of it, here are a few ways to not only manage pet hair, but also make your cleaning a tad easier. Read on…

Start off with cleaning your floor

How to clean hardwood or tiled flooring

The ideal type of floor to deal with pet hair is hardwood or tile. Most would think that you can easily just sweep or vacuum your pet’s hair. However, these methods can send hair flying around and would create even more work for you.

Alternatively, damp mopping on hardwood or tiled flooring is a good option, since it will catch the hair in place. Another option…use disposable wipes with a microfiber cloth and reuse it after you are done.

How to clean carpeted floors

This is the tough one….if your house has carpeted floor, you may want to start off with dusting some baking soda on your carpets. This helps loosen out the hair and make it easier to clean it later. You can then use a rubber broom or a dry rubber squeegee to clean up the pet hair on your carpet. Simply sweep the area in short, fast strokes and the pet hair will peel off from the carpet. You can then vacuum up the collected pet hair.

Want to know an unimaginable alternative to using a rubber broom or a rubber squeegee? is the bottom of a rubber soled shoe. Yes, the shoes work equally as well as the broom, and you can even put the shoe on your hand to remove the hair!

Finally, if you have the budget for it, invest in a robot vacuum. It will vacuum all day on command and give you a break from cleaning all that pet hair. The best part is it totally amuses the pets 😊

Next up is furniture

After you have finished cleaning your floors, it is time to clean your furniture. I would recommend cleaning your furniture after your floors as hair will just fly around and settle back on your furniture when cleaning your floors. It is best to sandwich cleaning your furniture in between 2 floor cleaning sessions. That may sound like e a lot of work, but it really works!

Dealing with pet hair on non-upholstery furniture

To deal with pet hair on hard furniture, such as wood or glass, use a slightly damped microfiber cloth to pick up the hair. Do remember to change your cloth after it has been filled up with hair, so that it does not re-deposit the hair all over the place.

Dealing with pet hair on upholstery furniture

To deal with pet hair on soft furniture with padded coverings, you can simply use a vacuum or a lint roller. However, I recommend using a damp sponge or rubber glove and rub the item along your furniture. It will pick the hair up easily.

If your pet has a favourite spot on a certain furniture, place a washable blanket over that spot. This way, you can easily remove it and throw it in the wash once it is dirty and full of hair. It is also good for when guests come over, and you need to clean your place urgently.

Cleaning air ducts and furnace filters

Lastly, pet owners, make sure to have your air ducts and filters cleaned regularly. Hair will settle there and can get re-circulated, leading to more hair to clean.

Reducing pet hair around the house by grooming

Now, if you dread all the labor suggested so far, then here’s another way to lessen this workload… Cleaning and Grooming your pet. Some quick tips –

Start off by rushing your pet

Firstly, brush your pet. The more you brush your pet, the more pet hair you will be able to trap and dispose of before it falls all over your house. When brushing, try to do it outdoors so that the hair will fly around there and not inside your house. If you are brushing inside, lay your pet on a damp towel and brush there, so that the hair will get caught there.

Grooming a Spaniel dog

Or vacuum it

You can also consider vacuuming your pet. Some dogs actually like being vacuumed, especially if you introduce it to them at a young age. A good vacuum brand to use is Dyson. Dyson created an animal hair attachment called the Groom Tool, and you can vacuum and clean your pet with that – that is, if your pet allows you to.

Finish off with bathing your pet

Lastly, bathe your pets. Giving your pet a bathe regularly helps to loosen dead coat and makes it easier to brush it out. Bathing your dog monthly is the best. Here’s a groomer’s secret I came across: to get rid of all the shedding undercoat out, start with brushing the dog, then shampoo twice and use conditioner. Rinse well each time to get rid of clusters of hair. Then dry your dog and repeat the whole process again. May seem tiring but repeating the process will help to remove all the hair that you missed out the first time.

Of course, you can also take your dog to a professional groomer, especially during shedding season (spring and fall), and have them perform a special shedding treatment.

Wrapping it up

I hope these tips makes your cleaning routine easier and less messy. It will take effort and time to change your current cleaning routine, but believe me, you will definitely notice a big difference in the amount of pet hair you find around your house. And if its professional cleaning services that you are looking for, get in touch with our friendly staff.

Effortless Ways to Clean the Home Office when Working From Home

A messy environment can mess up your productivity, especially when working from home. It is hard to focus with clutter on the desk and the typical noisy background at home. I for one have been guilty of having a messy table and the many distractions around me. However, after cleaning and organizing my workspace and setting some boundaries, my productivity increased instantly. I could find my things more easily and finish my tasks more quickly.

Believe me, once you start working in a clean environment, you will regret not cleaning your office way before. So, do not procrastinate this essential chore anymore, use these methods to clean your home office and make your work from home time productive and enjoyable like never.

Wipe your Table and Devices

Start off by removing everything from your desk and shelving, even if you know for sure you aren’t throwing it away. Wipe down your desk surface and shelves, especially the corners, removing all the caught-up dust. Also wipe down your mouse, keyboard or any other commonly touched areas as this is a necessity now in Covid-19 times…those are the places that have the most bacteria. Here is a guide on how to clean your laptop properly. Be sure to add these spots to your regular cleaning checklist so that you won’t miss it out the next time you clean your home office.

The next step is to sort out all your things that you removed earlier. Go through all of your things one by one, be it documents or stationery. Taxing at first, but it will reduce the countless items you may have and saves the trouble later when the mess gets bigger.

Keep Only the Must-Haves

Before you start putting all your things back to its original place, think about what you use when you’re working. Some people thrive when their desks are only filled with the necessities. Others perhaps are ok with a little bit of mess and can still work well. The key idea is to control what you have on your desk so that you don’t end up buried in your clutter. Add back only what you need.

Begin keeping the most frequently used items on your table first. Having what you need readily available helps avoid disruptions to your workflow and also save the time you spend searching for it. After arranging commonly used items, start putting the rest of your things. The less important things can be kept inside the cupboards or drawers while the more important things should be kept out in the open, near you. If needed, buy dividers and small baskets to organize any trinkets or small items.

Boundaries for Kids and Pets

If you have young children or even pets at home, work from home can get more challenging. So, it is best to set some boundaries with them while you work. One way is to have door signages for the room you are working in so that they know when it is okay to enter or when they should not disturb you. You do not want your kids to be barging in with their toys while you are doing a presentation to your boss on Zoom!

work desk with clothes and pet

Family and pets may not be the only distractions. Food is at times a major one. If you are the kind who would snack or chug down mugs of coffee while working, you would find your table dirty and messy, full of plates, mugs and crumbs. Working in this kind of environment can not only decrease your productivity, but also result in unwanted pests paying you a visit. So, ensure you wash up your utensils and cutlery immediately after eating. Sweep up and clean any crumbs that may have dropped, even the tiniest ones! And as far as possible, eat your snacks in the kitchen instead of bringing it to your desk.

Presentable Physically and Virtually

While a one-off spring cleaning is an absolute necessity, maintaining the cleanliness is equally important. Pointless isn’t it, if your table is back to its previous state in a week’s time. Furthermore, you will waste a lot of time and energy to clean the mess again. Thus, avoid that by making sure you do a quick clean every day after work has ended, get rid of paper scraps if any and put back the things you used to their original place. That way, you can start off your next working day on a clean slate.

Lastly, your table is not the only thing that should be presentable. Ensuring that the room you are working in is presentable is equally important, especially if your work involves a lot of business meetings and video calls using Zoom or other video conferencing systems. To be professional and formal during these meetings, a clean background is highly recommended. Having professional looking backgrounds will set the mood for your meetings and will also prevent any distractions at the back from being seen.

Conclusion

With these proven tips, your home office should be looking tidy and instantly make you feel more energetic during work. Doing this routine will not only boost your productivity but also make you feel good about working from home. Having a proper cleanup once a month is also good for your home office. After all, a tidy workspace results in a tidy mind to work effectively.

5 Effective Tips for Cleaning Singapore Offices during Covid-19

As the world recovers from the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic…businesses and establishments are slowly limping back to normalcy, or rather the “new normal” as we say. Still, the second wave of infections around the world continue to hamper the recovery that we all long for.

With the need and novelty of WFH wearing off, offices are seeing more occupancy as employees return to their work desks, albeit at a controlled and progressive pace.

So, how can office administrators and facility managers maintain the premises free of coronavirus and ensure staff well-being when they are back to work. In this post, we will share some five effective tips and guidelines that can help in doing just that. Read on…

1.     Using the Right Chemical Disinfectants

A thorough wipe-down of surfaces with an effective disinfectant is highly recommended. Chemical disinfectants used for wiping and cleaning must have effectual active ingredients.

In Singapore, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has provided a comprehensive  list of active ingredients and cleaning products for the disinfection of Covid-19 virus. The concentration of the chemicals (in the liquid) and contact time are critical for the disinfection process.

However, users need to be aware of the hazards of the active ingredients in use. For example. coming in contact with an open flame. Handling such solutions makes it necessary to wear gloves while performing the cleaning task.

active ingredients

2.     Method of Cleaning Office Desks

Wiping the office desk surface and the accompanying furniture surfaces with appropriate disinfectants and cleaning agents is a must (even in normal circumstance) but now the right ingredients and contact time as per NEA stated guidelines is a requirement too. In addition, steam and heat treatment can be carried out to control spread of the virus

 

Apart from the Office Desks, one needs to –

  • Clean the Computer Monitor – using not so harsh cleaning solution, as it may damage the display.
  • Clean the Keyboard and Mouse – these are infamous for hoarding bacteria and germs. Reportedly even more than a toilet seat!
  • Clean the Laptop – To disinfect your laptop, run a disinfectant wipe along the keyboard, the touchpad, and the external surfaces of the machine, focusing on high-touch areas such as the space bar, the upper edge of the lid, and the power button.
  • Clean the Desk Phone – Your desk phone is especially prone to collecting germs and bacteria spread from your mouth and hands.
  • Clean other items of Personal Use – such as the water bottle, headphones and so on.

disinfectant for sanitizing monitor

3.     Using UVC Devices & Sterilizers

Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) is a disinfection method that uses short wavelength UV (UVC). This method of disinfection has been applied in the disinfection of surfaces.

There has been a growing demand for ultraviolet-C (UVC) disinfection devices, and an increased availability of such devices. Such devices help ease the manual cleaning rigour and reduce the disinfection overhead. However, these should be handled safely as UVC radiation can cause eye and skin injury.

Likewise, UV light sanitizers can been used to give our tech devices a “shower” and kill microbes that are collected and harboured on them due to frequent use.

 

4.     Upkeep of Common Areas

The pantry, the cafeteria, or any other communal areas in the office need stricter cleaning and disinfection regime. As these are used by many and also serve as a congregation point.

Office administration should hence ensure employees avoid sharing things such as sponges, utensils, or plates with others. As much as possible, each one should have his/her own personal equipment at the ready instead of relying on what might have to be shared with others.

Office cleaning personnel or part time cleaners on hire must be rostered to spend extra time and effort on such high visit areas.

 

5.     Other Workplace Precautions

While tighter cleaning measure at the premises is key in such times, these can be supplemented and enhanced with other essential precautions such as –

  • Improving on Personal Hygiene – Personnel working within the premises should be reminded to monitor their temperature, wear masks at all time, practise good toilet habits, and so on.
  • Touchless Access and Temperature Taking – Rely on touch-reducing amenities such as auto doors, motion sensor lights, and hands-free fever scanning to reduce germs in high-traffic areas.
  • Social Distancing Measures – Implement office layout and shift hours so that physical distancing is maintained. In addition, installing sneeze guards, desk screens, etc will reduce the risks.
  • Air Quality and Ventilation – Keeping a healthy and germ-free indoor environment requires good ventilation and a clean air conditioning system.
  • Passive Communication – Signages and instructions silently remind us of good practices to follow and enable enforcement of rules among inhabitants.

Conclusion

Compared to simple routine cleaning in the past that mainly involved general sweeping, mopping and wiping, with Covid-19 in our midst Disinfection Cleaning is the way to go. A1 Facility Services is your trusted partner in Singapore for Covd-19 Office Cleaning. Call our friendly customer service to know more.

A Quick Guide to Move In Cleaning for Homeowners and Tenants

Moving in to a new house? Congratulations! Many new exciting memories will be made in this new nest of yours….hope you have sorted out your packing and shifting.

But, did you know, moving into a new house is not just about bringing in your things and setting up your furniture? The main stress is in cleaning up the new house first and making sure everything is working and in order. Just like how you must have cleaned your previous house before moving out, you would do the same when moving in.

Let’s take a quick look as to why Move In Cleaning is so crucial and how to go about doing it the effective way.

Why Move In Cleaning is Important

You may be wondering why Move In Cleaning is important assuming the previous owner might have cleaned up the space before they left. Well, sometimes the cleaning done is superficial and not all the nooks and crannies were looked into. Hence, a deep clean is often needed. Plus, this is the best time to clean the place up before all the heavy furniture comes in.

Cleaning the place up before your settle in also starts you off on a fresh note in your new house. What better way to show off your spanking clean house at the house warming party

Options for Move In Cleaning

If you are still scratching your head on how to move in the quick and easy way, here are a few ways to accomplish that.

Post renovation cleaning

If you are getting renovation works done for your new home, try to include cleaning as part of the renovation package. Renovations can cause disruption and leave fine dust everywhere. Thus, a thorough clean is necessary to avoid health and respiratory issues. Most renovation firms offer post renovation cleaning as an add-on service.

One-Time Deep Cleaning

mopping kitchen floorEngaging a cleaning company to carry out a one-time deep cleaning ensures every inch of your house is properly cleaned. Deep cleaning includes services such as chemical washes, mould removal and proper scrubbing of floors. This guarantees that your house is cleaned with appropriate tools and utmost professionalism.

You may want to hire professional cleaners skilled in deep cleaning on a one-time assignment.

Professional Part Time Cleaner

If your house does not require deep cleaning, hiring a professional part time cleaner is another route to consider. The part time cleaner can help with the basic cleaning of your house. Tasks such as vacuuming, mopping and dusting can be done by the cleaner, leaving you with the more important task of unpacking.

The DIY Way

Are you the type who likes doing things your way? Then roll up your sleeves and DIY the cleaning. This is possible if your new house does not require too much of deep or professional cleaning. It will not only save you money, but also makes you familiar with the new layout of the house.

Other Move In Tasks

Before getting all your furniture in and settling down, there are few more tasks that should not be ignored. According to this website, here are a few things that need to be checked on before you move in.

1.      Check for pests

If there are signs of pest infestation such as termites, bugs or ants, you should call pest control immediately. Do this before you or your belongings are brought in to the house, so that the infestation does not spread to other parts of the house in future.

2.      Inspect electrical installations

Have electrical inspections to make sure all switches and points work. Sometimes, the electricity may only start working a few days later. If your electrical appliances do not work, call the relevant authorities….it is better to ask sooner than later.

3.      Change of address

Lastly, do not forget to change your address. It is important to update your new address so that your mail is not delivered to your old residence.

Parting Words

Though changing homes can be quite stressful, help is always available. Having a reputed cleaning crew to take care of the mess will make your move easier. Keep the stress out and the happiness in. We hope this blog helps you in your moving journey.

How to Practice Eco-Friendly Cleaning and Save the Environment

Eco-Friendly, Going Green, Clean Living, are buzzwords we hear more and more these days. They all remind us of making an effort to be earth friendly, preserve our environment and practice the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Using products that are safe to the environment or following practices that conserve our natural resources like water and forests are some ways of being Eco-friendly.

So, how do we play our part in this noble cause and perhaps bring it in one of the most common routine of every household which is…Cleaning.  Let’s find out….

The Need to be Eco-Friendly and How to Practice it

Are you concerned about your and your family’s health? We all are! But did you know that we are constantly breathing and often use toxic substances that affect quality of life? Issues like headaches and skin irritations can be caused by pollutants and dangerous compounds found in chemical cleaning solutions. These substances also contribute in making our planet suffer from environmental problems like pollution and global warming.

Assessing and changing the way we consume is a good start to green living. The way we commute, usage of packaging materials, how waste is disposed and the unchecked consumption of natural resources must be relooked at. For example –

Reducing reliance on harmful chemicals and use of natural, eco-friendly cleaning products. This promotes a healthier environment and a healthier you. Replacing chemically laden products with those containing natural ingredients decreases risk of diseases and illness.

Practicing the 3Rs of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

  • Reduce the amount of waste produced. Use only what you need.
  • Reuse or repurpose items from their intended purpose.
  • Recycle or use items that have been recycled.

Saving the earth by using sustainable products that reduce waste or are biodegradable.

To find out more on how you can practice the 3Rs, checkout NEA’s Waste Minimising and Recycling initiative.

 

Cleaning the Eco-Friendly Way

Now that we know the reasons for being environment friendly, let’s find out how it can be applied to daily Cleaning. There are many ways to practice.  And one of the most common and easiest way to begin is through Green Cleaning.

Green cleaning has many definitions, but in essence it means using cleaning solutions and methods that keep both us and the environment safe. One can start by using eco-friendly cleaning products…

1.      Cleaning Liquids and Solutions

DIY cleaning liquidMany conventional cleaning products found in the market are laden with toxic and pollution causing substances which make cleaning easier. But did you know these substances are also a cause for allergies, asthma and other lung and respiratory problems? Not to mention products that cause skin and eye irritation. Some products also have ingredients that are carcinogen! These chemically concentrated products harm not only humans but also the environment.

Switching to eco-friendly and green cleaning solutions is one of the most effective ways to be kinder to ourselves and the planet. With a growing number of people being eco conscious, finding non-toxic cleaning solutions has become a breeze.

You can also make your own cleaning solutions using common kitchen ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon. This is not just a trend, but an effective way to cleaning your home, keeping it safe and free from chemicals.

2.      Cleaning Aids

Besides cleaning solutions, cleaning aids also contribute to pollution and landfills. Cleaning aids are tools, such as mops, brush, sponge, etc that help in cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth and chemical free wet wipes to clean spills and stains. Avoid using single use disposable gloves. Buy cleaning aides like sponges and cloth in bulk instead of single packs. Choose recycled or bio degradable packaging.

Most household sponges are made of plastic or polyester. These materials breakdown very slowly and some also contain chemicals that leak into the water. Natural cellulose sponges, coconut husk brushes and loofahs are some examples of naturally sourced cleaning aides.

3.      Cleaning Methods

How do you wash your bathroom and sinks? Do you leave the tap running? Instead of letting the water run, fill up a bucket with water or use a mug for washing sinks and basins. Recycling water for other uses or collecting rain water for simple home cleaning is another eco-friendly method.

Soaking greasy or burnt pots and pans in water first before washing reduces effort and lowers water consumption.

Microfiber cloths are perfect for wiping and cleaning as they are highly absorbent. This reduces water and detergent usage plus it has a long life span.

A Final Note

Cleaning is just one of many ways to be eco-friendly. However, it is something we do every day, whether at home or work. More importantly, the products and methods we choose affect our near and dear ones.

At times we are tempted to choose quick fix chemical laden products, not realising the harm they do to the people around us and the environment. Luckily, there are cleaning service companies that offer eco-friendly cleaning services to those who need an extra pair of hands.

Common challenges in Cleaning for Small Offices & Business and how to overcome them

All business owners know how important first impressions are in getting customers. But what exactly makes that first and best impression? Let us go through a simple scenario…

Imagine you are walking your neighbourhood, planning on getting a quick haircut. You decide to check out the shops at the market….upon nearing a salon you take a peek thru the glass door only to notice crumpled tissue balls, debris and hair littered on the floor. To your dismay the glass door also looks like it hasn’t been cleaned for ages, with sticky fingerprints all over. EEWW!! definitely not going in that shop…you say and move on. That salon just lost a customer.

A few shops away you see another salon. The floor has been swept and recently mopped. You look in to take a peek through the clean glass door and see several customers inside. Immediately, you decide to give this place a try. As you open the door, a waft of essential oils greets you. This salon just gained a customer.

It’s plain obvious that cleanliness of your premise is an important factor in attracting customers especially in the retail industry. Spending thousands of dollars in creating that perfect ambience for your establishment will be of no use if your surrounding area is dirty and unkempt. It is no wonder large companies spend a lot on cleaning services. This however, may be difficult for a small business.

Fret not! No matter which industry your business is in, be it a clinic or tuition centre, we’ll reveal some really effective tips and tricks on cleaning for small offices and businesses.

Challenges Faced by Small Offices & Small Business Premises

Did you know, cleaner offices tend to look bigger? And clean spaces somehow help highlight clutter which can then be removed. However, many small business owners find it difficult to keep their premises clean. We’ll share some commonly cited challenges faced but along with the solutions to overcome them : –

Finding time to Clean

Solution: As with all other tasks, make cleaning as part of the office schedule. Allocating time each day for cleaning and tidying individual workspaces and common areas should be incorporated.

Staying committed, Observing a schedule

Solution: Making a cleaning plan and roster can help to distribute the workload among colleagues. Create a checklist to ensure that the cleaning task has been completed. Send out tips and reminders on how to keep the work area clean. Another way to motivate and keep staff committed to keeping the premises clean is by giving incentives.

Cost of Hiring Cleaners

Solution: Keeping costs low is a high priority for any small business. And hiring professional cleaning services may seem costly but can be beneficial in the long run. For e.g. proper cleaning prevents dirt and dust from accumulating on expensive equipment, keeping them in good condition. This can reduce repair/maintenance costs and do its part in attracting customers.

wiping and dusting desk

7 Cleaning Tips for your Small Office or Business

Cleaning an office is no easy feat but it’s not impossible either. Doing a little every day is easier to accomplish then to spend an entire day cleaning. To get you started to a cleaner, tidier office, we have some actionable tips listed below.

1. Be organised

Cleaning and organizing is a process. Files, paperwork and other supplies should be well organised. Eliminate clutter by throwing what you don’t need, Marie Kondo style. Making use of proper storage reduces office chaos and makes cleaning easier.

Action – Make it a habit to put things back where they belong after each use.

2. Maintain Good Hygiene

How long has that coffee cup been sitting on your desk, waiting for a wash? When was the last time you wiped your desk, keyboard or phone? Germs are everywhere and they can be easily spread by objects that are frequently handled.

Action – Keep anti-bacterial wipes handy for that quick swipe and clean.

3. Clean everyday

There are certain areas that need cleaning every day and sometimes even more than once a day. This would also depend on the type of business you have. For example, a clinic should not only be clean but sterile as well. Making sure the dispensary is clean and free from any spillage is a must. On the other hand, a retail shop should have dust free shelves and display spaces.

Action – Give staff an extra 10 mins break dedicated to cleaning.

4. Create a checklist

Having a schedule and following guidelines ensures a certain standard in cleaning. Break down tasks to daily, weekly and monthly in the checklist. A checklist also indicates what has been done, what needs to be done and also other major future cleaning projects.

Action – Hang creative posters on cleaning to remind staff

5. Distribute Cleaning Duties

Once the checklist is created, the tasks can be distributed evenly. Getting all your staff involved in cleaning and keeping the work place tidy will create a sense of ownership. Remind and encourage your staff to clean their own workspace daily so their mess does not affect the overall look of the office. Cleaning together also fosters camaraderie amongst colleagues.

Action – Have a Cleanest Workspace Contest

6. Rearrange your space

Does your space looks cluttered or messy even after you have just cleaned it? Analyze your layout. Sometimes a little rearranging of storage space can make a whole lot of difference. Items used daily should be in close proximity whereas seldom used items can be stored in drawers or shelves.

Action – adding personal touches to your work area creates a happy space.

7. Inventory of cleaning supplies

Keeping an inventory of cleaning supplies ensures that supplies are available at all times. It can be very frustrating just when you are about to clean, to find out that the cleaning detergent is over or some other equipment is faulty. Conducting regular stock checks and replacing key items can prevent cleaning backlogs.

Action – Appoint staff on a weekly rotational basis for stock take.

Follow best practices in cleaning to make it efficient and if you are looking for some pictorial reference  on how to clean you small office Click Here.

Conclusion

Keeping the workplace clean is a collective effort. Hopefully with these tips your small office will be clutter free and more productive. Know that a clean office is a healthy office and one that leaves a good impression on potential customers. If your budget allows it, you can also consider hiring professional cleaners on a part time or ad hoc basis for a deep cleaning.

Move Out Cleaning: How to do it the easy way

Recently, I moved out of my old apartment at Bedok to a new flat at Queenstown. With the convenience of an MRT station and a library available nearby, I decided to take up the offer of this new flat.  However, I faced quite a few challenges moving out (only to be solved later) which made the whole process tedious and tiring

So, to ensure that you don’t have to go thru the same pains and have a better moving out experience than I did, let me unravel some essential yet overlooked ways to move out clean.

Why is Move Out Cleaning needed?

To be honest, I had assumed that we would not have much to clean up after we moved out all the furniture, belongings and barang-barang. Oh boy I was wrong!

Firstly, cleaning up your HDB or Condo unit before moving out leaves a good impression on the new tenant/buyer of your house. It also ends your living experience there on a good note. Some houses, like mine, may even have contractual obligations to return the house in its original condition in order to claim back the rental deposit paid.

So, to make your shifting experience a more pleasant one you may want to engage a cleaning service to lend you a hand or do the task the DIY way.

person cleaning with sponge

How to do it the Quick and Easy Way

The biggest mistake I made was not planning my apartment move out properly. Make sure you have a proper plan and measures in place to make moving a breeze. For example, if you had laid wall to wall carpets, you have to plan the removal yourself or get a professional to do it.

Thus, you need to work out the nitty gritty details beforehand so on the day itself, you are all ready to go. Based on my recent experience and subsequent research, I have come out with a quick and easy way to make your moving out experience go smoothly. Here are a few tips that’ll really make the difference –

Make a Checklist

When I was moving out, I didn’t make a checklist. I kept bouncing from room to room because I didn’t keep track of the things I had cleaned. It got so chaotic that I almost forgot to unplug the fridge!

Making a checklist ensures that all the rooms in the house are cleaned and in proper condition. It also relieves you of stress and worry that something is not done. A sample of a checklist for reference can be found here

Pre-clean Before the Day of Move Out

Pre-cleaning really helps when moving out. Cleaning the whole house thoroughly in a day is close to impossible. Therefore, you should start cleaning at least a week prior to your move. I began cleaning 5 days before my moving out.

During my daily cleaning routines, I had cleaned deeper than I normally did. For example, I thoroughly scrubbed the walls and windows clean so that on the day when the movers come in, I would only have to vacuum the floor and clean the surfaces.

Get Rid of the Unwanted Things & Pack earlier

Another thing you can start doing in advance is packing. Go through your things, get rid of unnecessary items and start packing what’s left into boxes. I did not have enough boxes to fit all my belongings, so letting go and throwing away some of my things helped.

This also ensures that you have just what you need for your move to your new house and lessens congestion. In the event you are short of boxes let the Movers know beforehand. I did not know till too late that some Singapore Movers do provide boxes for your move!

family members cleaningDivide the Work Among your Family

We know many hands make light work. The more people you have, the faster you can complete your migration. Being in a family of five, we all held responsibilities for our own rooms. So, while I did the kitchen and living room, my husband took the master room and the kids took care of their own rooms.

This way, we all had our own spaces to clean and pack. This tactic improved our work efficiency and made the moving out process much efficient and less of a burden.

 

Inform the Landlord of any Pre-existing Conditions

A painful lesson was paying for someone else’s mistake! Yes, our kitchen wall had holes drilled that were done by the previous tenant. I had simply ignored them all the while.

When our landlord came to check the house at handover time, he found the holes in the wall and told us we must patch it. I was shocked and tried explaining him that they pre-existed even before we moved in. To my dismay, the landlord told us that I should have reported this pre-existing condition. We ended up paying for the wall repairs even though it wasn’t our doing in the first place.

So, if you find any pre-existing conditions or customization left behind by previous tenants in the unit, do have it on record. By informing the landlord beforehand, you’ll save time and money for yourself.

 

Finally

Reflecting back, my move out experience could have been a lot more easier. As I sip coffee enjoying the view from our new apartment I realised some help with the cleaning up would have made everything faster and less painful. But it has made me wiser in the process and as they say… All’s well that ends well!

Why should Hotel Managers and Owners outsource Housekeeping work

What is the first thing guests look for in a hotel?

97% of travellers say that cleanliness plays a major factor when booking a hotel. And that 90% will avoid hotels that have a “dirty” review! So if you are the manager or owner of a hotel, housekeeping is probably your hotel’s top priority.

Traditional practices would be to hire your own housekeeping staff. However, in recent years, an increasing number of Singapore hotels have been outsourcing housekeeping duties. And Why?

Let’s find out.

Key reasons to outsource Housekeeping

1.     Save costs

One of the top reasons to outsource would be to save costs. Although you may be paying the same salary for housekeeping work, other operational costs can be omitted. Training cost for new staff hire, medical and paid leave benefits do not apply to outsourced staff.

2.     Professionally trained staff

The service you hire gets done by those who are professionally trained in the industry. They also constantly upgrade their skills according to industry standards. There is no training costs involved should the service provider hire new housekeeping staff. This way the hotel can focus on other customer facing departments.

3.     No need for expensive equipment

Many companies that provide outsourcing services will have their own cleaning supplies and equipment. Certain aspects of cleaning such as shampooing of carpets, which are not regularly carried out, require special equipment. Purchasing such equipment can be avoided when such services are outsourced. This also eliminates the need for equipment storage space.

cleaning services quality control4.     Always staffed

Staff calling in sick or requesting for urgent leave can affect the housekeeping department. Turnover rates in this industry are also high and this affects staff morale. Housekeeping service providers such as A1 Facility Services ensure that your hotel is always properly staffed according to the contract. Cleaning service providers also have supervisors who carry out cleaning inspections.

5.     Value added services

Cleaning is just one aspect of hotel housekeeping duties. Cleaning companies can also provide other services like carpet and window cleaning, swimming pool cleaning, laundry and many other services. This eliminates the need for hiring other vendors for ad hoc or specialised services.

Hotel housekeeping duties

When guests enter their hotel room and see a clean room, an immaculately done bed, crisp sheets and clean towels, they will most certainly thank the housekeeping staff. But, this is not all that the housekeeping just does. Contrary to what many believe, the scope of housekeeping services involves much more for e.g. –

Singapore hotel room upkeepHousekeeping within the hotel rooms includes –

  1. Making bed, changing linen
  2. Tidying room
  3. Cleaning toilet and floor, taps, bathtub and mirrors
  4. Stain removal and vacuuming
  5. Changing towels

Housekeeping within the hotel includes –

  1. Cleaning entrance and lobby area
  2. Cleaning and maintenance of swimming pool
  3. Vacuuming and cleaning of common areas
  4. Entrance, facade and window cleaning
  5. Other service areas with the hotel

Choosing a Service Provider

Professional housekeeping services have become high in demand in the hotel industry, especially here in south-east Asia. Options to choose different kinds of outsourcing contracts makes it viable and cost effective. One can choose from a complete cleaning program or regular selected cleaning.

Using a reputable outsourcing cleaning company will reduce risks and future problems. We are one such company that provides trained and experienced cleaning professionals at a short notice.

5 Carpet Shampooers that can revive and restore your old carpets to new again

Do you vacuum your carpets every day assuming that’s the best way to keep them clean? Then maybe you’re wrong! Vacuuming only lifts the superficial dirt and debris found on your carpet.

Carpets are those humble ornamentations of the house that get stepped on continuously day in day out with dust, dirt, grease and grime from the outside. So, a simple vacuum routine is just not enough to lift it out of the dull, cloudy overlay which builds up over time.

Worried how to get back the bright fresh look for your good old carpets? Let’s find out….

dirt due to footfall on carpetsDeep Cleaning your Carpets

To really give your carpets a deep, thorough clean, you will need to either seek professional help from a company that provides carpet cleaning services or get yourself a Carpet Shampooer.

So what exactly does a carpet shampooer or carpet cleaner do? Basically, a carpet cleaner uses warm water, detergent and spinning brushes to remove stains and deeply embedded dirt and grime from your carpets. Your carpets will be revived and get a new life! However, these machines don’t come cheap and are bulky. Thus, before buying one, ask yourself these questions.

  1. How often will you be cleaning your carpet?
  2. Is there heavy footfall?
  3. Is the space heavily carpeted / wall to wall carpeting or just a couple of carpets?
  4. Do you have storage space?

If you have answered positive to the above and decided to buy a carpet washer, it’s time to choose one that will be most suitable for you.

Five Carpet Shampooers to Consider

Based on a popular online site, here are some recommended best sellers.

  1. Hoover FH50150 Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Cleaner

Touted as the Best Overall cleaner, this machine is high on performance. Comes with rotating brushes that provide all around cleaning and heated air to lift stains and make the carpet drier. This cleaner is also considerably light weight.

  1. Bissell Proheat Advanced Carpet Cleaner

This cleaning machine is the most budget friendly. Its ability to get rid of tough stains like mud, food and drinks makes it a favourite. Its Heatwave Technology helps maintain water temperature throughout the cleaning process.

  1. Bissell ProHeat 2X Revolution Pet Pro Carpet Cleaner

As the name suggests, this is best for homes with pets. With a pet stain and odour removal technology, you can consider this shampooer if you have pets. It also come with a pet hair collection basket. However this cleaner is not too friendly on the pockets.

  1. Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner

The Best Professional cleaning machine is the Rug Doctor. Good for rugs with heavy traffic. The quick dry feature takes only 4 hours or less for carpets to dry. Also comes with an upholstery tool to clean soft furnishings. However, this is one of the heaviest cleaners.

  1. Bissell 86T3/86T3Q Big Green Deep Cleaning Carpet Cleaner

A high-end carpet cleaner compared to its counterparts, this cleaner gives a deep and thorough washing. It has a large water tank, saving you trips on refilling. This machine also has a quick dry up time of about 3 hours. Being a professional grade cleaner, it is unfortunately pricey, heavy and bulky.

Specifications of the machine to consider

Besides knowing what the different brands and models have to offer, you also need to take in to consideration a few more things. A list of points to note is as follows :-

  1. carpet shampooer in singaporeTank capacity
  2. Length of power cord
  3. Weight of the machine
  4. Extra attachments such as upholstery cleaner
  5. Noise
  6. Heated air dryer

DIY or Cleaning Service Providers?

Going the DIY way may be an option for some but, many would still prefer to engage a cleaning service company especially for businesses. Lack of storage space for bulky machines and having to purchase different shampoo solutions to suit the various cleaning needs can be a put off for many.

As mentioned earlier, purchasing a carpet cleaner really depends on the need and frequency of use. Professional cleaning companies are already equipped with the right tools and solutions. Their equipment is also more powerful ensuring a deep and thorough cleaning. Hiring a reputed cleaning service provider is therefore more than a convenience.

Wonder what the Future of Cleaning will look like?

We all know about and also use machines that help us in our daily cleaning chores. Common household appliances such as the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, dish washer, etc. were invented to make our lives easier. These appliances, which were once a luxury, are now necessities. But have you heard of AI powered robots doing the cleaning without we even having to lift a finger?

Intelligent cleaning Bots or robots are no longer limited on the big screen. Robots and gadgets once seen in Sci-Fi movies are now becoming a reality.

So, ever wondered what type sophistication is coming our way in the near future from the realm of cleaning & maintenance? Read on…..

Types of Automated Cleaning

Technology and innovation are constantly creating new products to help automate the cleaning process. Smart robots and appliances that can vacuum, mop, clean windows and purify air are already in the market and are used in commercial and residential properties. These high-tech machines will do the cleaning for you so that you have more time for other activities or interests.

Singaporeans won’t have to depend on a domestic helper to maintain their home interiors cleaned. For the floor can been vacuumed, toilets mopped, windows cleaned to a sparkle…all by a robot!

Here are a few gadgets that can take the cleaning chore out of your daily routine.

1.     Floor cleaning robots

automated facility maintenanceThere are many robotic vacuum cleaners in the market already. Some, like the iRobot Roomba and Ecovacs Deebot are meant for residential cleaning. These robot vacuums will scan you floor space to create a cleaning path. Some are also intelligent enough to return to the dock station to recharge.

There are also robots for commercial cleaning. The Scrub 50, Singapore’s first fully autonomous cleaning robot may very well be the solution to cleaning large areas. Another local company also specializes in cleaning by robots.

2.     Robot mops

The iRobot Braava is a robot mopping device. It does not vacuum but can dry sweep your floor before mopping. A special feature in this device is the jet spray. Most mopping robots only include a water tank. There are also other brands that have a combination of vacuum and mopping function.

3.    window cleaning bot Robot window cleaner

With the majority of Singaporeans living in high rise apartments, cleaning the exterior of windows can be dangerous and often neglected. However, with cleaning automation, glass cleaning bots or spiders as they are known, can take on this risky and arduous task. The WinBot and HoBot are popular automatic window cleaners.

4.     Pool cleaner

If cleaning the bathtub seems like a gigantic task, then just imagine what cleaning the swimming pool be like! In comes the robotic pool cleaners like The Dolphin and AquaBot. Smart technology and intelligent navigation make these robots more energy efficient, saves money and time.

5.     Self-cleaning litter box

Many people keep cats as pets as they are low maintenance as compared to dogs. But cats also need cleaning up and scooping and cleaning the cat litter box is nobody’s favourite task. Thank goodness for self-cleaning litter boxes that do all the dirty work for you PLUS keep your home odour free.

Conclusion

With the advancement of cleaning automation and rise of the smart home / office, repetitive tasks can be carried out by robots. This allows us to redirect our time to more important work, thus improving productivity.

While many of the home automation gadgets may fit within your budget, equipment for the commercial industry may be costly. In such cases its always better to outsource the cleaning, be it automated or manual, to professional cleaning companies.