A1 Cleaning Services Blog

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.

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.

5 Must-Haves of any Office Space Cleaning routine

Did you know that almost one third of your life is spent at work? Living in Singapore, a 40 hour work week and more, is the norm. With so many people spending a majority of their awake hours at the workplace, it would be wise to make office spaces, conducive and as comfortable as possible. Investing in employee wellness by keeping the office clean raises energy levels and creativity, boosts morale and hence, increases productivity. A clean workplace also makes your clients feel confident about your business. An unkempt workplace gives a careless impression and customers may assume you won’t care about their business needs too.

Raising the bar for Workplace Productivity

Besides a clean office, individual work space, furniture and office ergonomics also improve work standards. Good lighting, comfortable temperature, green or flowering plants as well as choosing the right colour scheme to stimulate your employees all make for a positive and productive environment.

Fortunately for us in Singapore, government agencies like the National Environment Agency (NEA) and SkillFuture SG (SSG) are always trying to raise cleaning standards here through training and up-skilling the workforce, adopting technology and more.

So how can one keep their office actually clean? With so much online information available these days on effective cleaning methods, it can get overwhelming! So, to keep it simple yet applicable, here’s a sequence of handy tips to clean any office space effectively.

5 Office Space Cleaning Routine Tips

Source: Office Space Cleaning Guide by NEA

1.      Preparation and Inspection

  • Wear appropriate gear.
  • Check condition of tools and equipment.
  • Display safety sign.
  • Check and report any damages in the property.
  • Identify hazards or risks at work area.
  • Check for spills.

2.      Removing Spills and Stain on Carpets

  • Check for colour fastness on the carpet.
  • Remove furniture and obstacles.
  • Spray carpet cleaner and clear spill with absorbent paper.
  • Spray water and use cloth to blot till spill or stain is removed.

3.      Vacuuming and Cleaning of Surfaces

  • Vacuum carpeted area section at a time starting from far end.
  • Check for anymore spills or stains.
  • Place back all furniture.
  • Dilute cleaning chemical into spray bottle.
  • Spray solution on cloth and wipe all horizontal surfaces starting from the edge.
  • Rinse cloth when necessary.

4.      Cleaning the Pantry

  • Display safety sign.
  • Spray cleaning solution on spills or stains on floor.
  • Clear spills using absorbent paper.
  • Spray water and use cloth to remove spills or stains.
  • Sweep floors paying attention to corners.
  • Fill water and mopping solution in bucket.
  • Dip mop in solution and wring.
  • Mop floor section by section.
  • Rinse mop before moving to a new section.

5.      Emptying Waste Bins

  • Tie and remove used bin liner, keeping it away from body.
  • Dispose it in service trolley.
  • Clean the interior and exterior with sanitizer.
  • Place bin with new liner.

After completing these 5 steps, assess the areas cleaned and check that work has been done according to requirements. Remove all safety signs and return all tools and equipment to the store. Wash hands thoroughly for good hygiene.

Conclusion

Even with these standards in place, it is up to the office admins and facility managers to ensure processes are adhered with regular inspections and evaluation.

Keeping up with the cleanliness of your office space can be difficult on your own. That’s why many business owners choose to hire professional cleaning companies to maintain their space. A1 Cleaning Services has a dedicated team of trained office cleaners to meet your needs.

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.

Essential cleaning tasks for the maintenance of Common Areas of your Office

Wikipedia defines a Common Area as ”area which is available for use by more than one person” and these can be found in almost all types of properties, be it a gated community or commercial property such as shopping malls

As such, your office also has common areas. This would include the reception area, lift lobby, the pantry, restrooms, corridors or walkways and more, depending on the type of establishment. Maintenance and cleanliness of these spaces are crucial to your organisation. So, in this post we’ll touch upon the scope of work which typically covers Common Areas cleaning and how best it should be carried out.

common area of MNC office

Reflecting Business Prestige and more

Your personal desk space reflects on your personal image. A clean and organised office area reflects how your customers perceive your business. It also improves the general morale of employees, making them happier and more productive. A high level of cleanliness in the common areas also sets the standard for keeping individual work space clean.

A good way to gauge the quality of cleanliness in your common area would be to put yourself in your client’s shoes. What impression would your client get when they enter your office premises?

So how to attain an effective cleaning job? Below are some guidelines to achieve this –

Essentials of Office Common Area Cleaning

Tools and Equipment required

  1. Make sure you have the necessary tools and equipment ready on hand to carry out the cleaning. Cleaners should have appropriate protective gear such as gloves, uniform and boots.
  2. Keep a checklist of all cleaning solutions and equipment and see that they are available and in working condition. You don’t want to start the cleaning only to find out you have run out of vacuum cleaner dust bag!

Pre-work Inspection

  1. Thoroughly check the area to be cleaned. If there are spills or stains which may be a hazard, they need to be addressed immediately. Report any damages to your supervisor.
  2. Display the safety sign at the work area before commencing. Clean up spills on hard floors using the appropriate cleaning solutions and wiping it dry.
  3. Clean up stains on carpets using cleaning chemical. Use a white cleaning cloth to clean the spill or stain on the carpet to avoid colour runs.

Dry Mopping of Dust

  1. Use a dust mop to clean hard floors. Unlike brooms, dust mops prevent dust from flying everywhere. Start from one corner of the room and mop in a turning motion, paying attention to corners.
  2. Use a broom and dustpan to sweep up the debris, dust and litter collected by the dust mop. Us the broom to sweep out dust collected in the corners.
  3. Throw away the debris into a lined rubbish bin.

Upkeep of common areasWet Mopping

  1. Use a double bucket, one for water and another with diluted cleaning solution. A cleaning solution with sanitizer is a good option.
  2. Dip and wring dry the mop in water first and then in diluted cleaning solution.
  3. Mop the floor using a number 8 or letter S motion for effective cleaning coverage.

Cleaning Passenger Lift

  1. Use sanitizer and damp cloth to wipe the button panel, interior lift doors, wall, mirrors and ceiling.
  2. Mop the lift floor.
  3. Wipe the exterior lift door with damp cloth and sanitizer.

Cleaning Stairway

  1. Display the safety sign. Use a cloth to wipe the inside and outside of the door and the handle.
  2. Dry mop the stairs.
  3. Wipe the hand railings.
  4. Wet mop the stairs. Remove the safety sign once floor is dry.

Cleaning and Emptying General Waste Bin

  1. Tie and remove bin liner keeping it away from the body and disposing it in rubbish bag in the service trolley.
  2. Sanitize the interior and exterior of the bin and wipe with cloth.
  3. Place a new liner in the bin.

Inspection of Areas Cleaned

  1. Check the work areas ensuring that it has been cleaned as per required. A checklist can be used.
  2. Remove and dispose the rubbish at the collection point.
  3. Remove signage only when floor is dry.

Returning Equipment to Store

  1. Clean and return all tools and equipment to the store.
  2. Check against the equipment list for making refills of cleaning solutions or replacement of equipment.
  3. Wash and hang the gloves.
  4. Wash hands for personal hygiene.

Conclusion

With these steps in place, you can be sure that your office reception and other common spaces will leave a good impression on prospective clients and business partners. Make cleaning your common area as part of your routine cleaning procedure with A1 Facility Services’ professional cleaners.