Category of Blogs on education and advice

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


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.

Best Practices for Singapore Office Cleaning [Infographic]

Office Cleaning Best Practices: A practical guide to ensure high cleaning standards for your Office

If you’re an office admin or facility manager of a Grade A, B or even C office in Singapore, you have probably engaged a local cleaning agency before. Every corporate or business premises needs a strict regime of upkeep and maintenance.

The question now is do you receive the level of service you expect? And if you don’t, then is there a procedure that’s followed to ensure quality standards are met.

In fact many a time’s office managers or business owners themselves are ignorant of the standards that should be expected from their cleaning contractor. And without set guidelines and processes it’s difficult to address any of this.

So in this post, we’ll lay out Office Cleaning Best Practices for you along with an Infographic that’ll serve as a handy guide for quick reference in the Singapore context. And thus, help you improve the quality of cleaning service that your company deserves!

spic and span work desk

Benefits of having high Cleaning Standards for your Office

Well, this one’s a no brainer….who doesn’t like a neat and clean environment? But wait…

Besides the hygiene aspect, a clean workplace also equates to a happy and healthy workforce. Its boosts staff morale and their delivery potential enabling them to focus on key result areas rather than on cleaning up. This in turn improves the productivity level of the company.

A clean office also portrays a good corporate image to customers and clients. It affects the way customers perceive your business, to be a trustworthy and professional one.

As a service buyer you need to ensure that your expectations for cleanliness, productivity and service quality are first set, then met by your service provider. This can be achieved through a well-crafted contractual agreement, work process efficiency, by leveraging tools & automation; thereby raising productivity and reducing reliance on additional manpower.

A Four-pronged approach to ensure high standards for Office Cleaning

Infographic on cleaning best practices

A balanced and all-encompassing approach is needed to ensure cleaning standards for office and commercial premises.  Starting with –

1. Setting Cleaning Procedures, Leveraging Tools & Equipment

Prescribed cleaning sequence/procedures, following the right methods and using correct equipment help deliver a better work outcome. A sample cleaning procedure would be –

  1. Prepare & Inspect – Don personal protective equipment (e.g. Gloves, covered shoes, etc), check condition of tools, display signage at work area, perform colour fastness test for chemicals used, remove furniture and obstacles beginning cleaning tasks
  2. Tackle Spillages & Stains – Clear spillages with absorbent materials, spray tested chemicals to remove carpet or flooring stains
  3. Vacuuming – Vacuum the carpet floor section by section working from far end to near end, arrange furniture back. Use Vacuum Cleaners with appropriate attachments
  4. Empty Dustbins – Tie & remove bin liner placing them in a larger disposal bags
  5. Clean Horizontal Surfaces – Spray cleaning chemical onto cleaning cloth, wipe horizontal surfaces like tables, shelves, desk etc
  6. Clean Pantry – Repeat above steps for the pantry. Ensure food waste is not be left overnight. Sweeping and mopping (damp mop) of the floor is a must
  7. Re-instate & Finish – Check if work is done as per requirements, remove disposal bags to designated collection points, remove signage, return tools & equipment back to the store, and then wash hands for good personal hygiene

As a service buyer, you should specify upfront to the cleaning company on the use of effective tools and technology for better cleaning performance. If your office has its own equipment, then you are liable to maintain them in good condition. Always stress to the service provider for proper training to their cleaners on the usage of onsite machinery & tools.

2. Defining the Scope of Work

Convey as much information as possible to enable the cleaning service provider to submit an accurate proposal.  This also helps the cleaning company to plan and deploy manpower for the required cleaning services. The scope of work must include – .

  1. Area of Coverage – provide information on the list of inspection units, total number and fixtures in the inspection units. Area of coverage should include types of floor surfaces and total floor area to be cleaned together with a layout drawing / floor plan of the premise.
  2. Service Hours – indicate the service hours (including the peak and off-peak periods) for the cleaning service.
  3. Schedule of Works – a recommended schedule of work i.e. types of cleaning and the required frequency for the area of coverage should be provided for better management of resources.
  4. Other Services – If other services besides cleaning services are required, (e.g. waste management, landscape maintenance, pest management, etc.) then these should be included in the contract.
  5. Fault Reporting Procedure – Draft the fault reporting procedures and user feedback channels to ensure that all faults reported are attended to and resolved promptly. Some examples of faults include leaking or choked water fixtures, overflowing litter bins, presence of spillage, etc.
  6. Pandemic Event – In the event of a pandemic outbreak, service buyers must agree on an appropriate deployment plan with the service provider to carry out and complete the works as specified in the contract.
  7. Deployment Proposal – to help the service provider accurately plan and submit their deployment proposal, let them know of your requirement of the number of cleaners, by what date and so on

During proposal response evaluation, you must assess the service provider’s submitted list of equipment, materials, schedule of work and deployment proposal/plan for their suitability and effectiveness.

3. Service Quality Inspection

The quality of service determines a major portion of the performance of the service provider as it measures whether the service provider is able to meet the performance standards set by the service buyer. Your inspection strategy should include –

  1. Cleaning work checkingInspection Checklist – can be made listing down inspection units such as entrance, lift lobby, common corridor, meeting rooms, etc depending on the scope of work for your facility. Inspections made should rate the actual cleanliness against the reference rating for the items in the inspection units.
  2. Performance Ratings – Determine and give ratings (say on a scale of 1 to 5) per inspection and report it to the service provider for performance review. It is a good practice for joint inspections by both parties where possible. Definition of performance ratings should be defined prior
  3. Inspection & Response Times – Carry out inspections immediately after the cleaning routine. Also measure the service provider’s response time to ad-hoc requests during and outside of service hours. Requests can be categorised based on work priority ranging from non-critical to very critical.

4. Performance Review

Keeping track of performance metrics and assessing service provider’s performance on a regular basis helps close the feedback loop. Implement a –

service provider review

  1. Performance Scorecard – An evaluation scorecard with relevant performance metrics, or KPIs, can be used; which can be customized based on individual facility requirements. Regular review meetings should be arranged to discuss the results
  2. Incentive Scheme – Adopt some form of reward system as an incentive to cleaners when they attain a higher score than expected during the performance review. Giving out monetary incentives or non-monetary rewards can ensure that service providers regularly meet or exceed expectations

Support from Singapore Government Agencies

In tune with rising public expectations, government agencies are making the cleaning industry in Singapore a progressive one with guidelines, training programmes & regulations. See video below –

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has developed a 5 year Productivity Roadmap for the Cleaning Industry here.  It features standards development (containing referenceable checklists, guides, etc); training programmes under WSQ framework; use of innovative technology and lastly regulatory measures for qualifying and licensing local businesses before they can provide cleaning services in Singapore.  Service buyers thus have peace of mind when contracting a service provider.

Especially for cleaning service buyers, a sample of such a guide is available here.

Following best practices and observing set guidelines is the responsibility of facility managers and office admin staff. Working closely with the cleaning contractors on setting expectations, drafting contracts and laying out procedures leads to better understanding, stronger work ethics and ultimately higher cleaning standards.

What Cleaners ought to know about Food Court & Hawker Centre Cleaning?

With hawker centres, food courts, fast food and fine dining restaurants in every nook & corner, it is no secret that Singapore is a foodie’s paradise. However, this status can be celebrated only if along with the variety and range of food, we also maintain high standards of cleaning and hygiene at public eating places.

Dirty tables with blobs of fish head curry or dropped morsels of greasy char kway teow left uncleaned on the floor can be a total turn off.  But yet, many a time’s manpower shortage or untrained cleaners do result in such an unsightly experience for patrons….leading to lack of business for the food stall owners, or even worse, causing health risks. So what can food establishments do in order to ensure that cleaning and hygiene standards are upheld by cleaners in charge of food premises cleanliness.

open air public eating place

In this post we’ll share F & B related cleaning procedures that will help you address this very issue.  Read on!

F&B Premises Cleaning Procedures

Following prescribed guidelines together with proper tools/equipment when conducting cleaning at food establishments can ensure not only good cleaning standards but also reduce time wastage.

Before commencing the job, cleaners must wear proper cleaning attire such as apron, gloves and covered shoes. The cleaning trolley must be well equipped with cleaning supplies and tools such as spray bottle, wash cloth, bucket, receptacles, bin liner, squeegee, broom, dustpan, mop and safety signage.  With the pre-work preparation properly done, there are 5 main areas to focus on –

Cleaning table tops

  1. singapore cleaner clearing food platesBefore starting to clean tables make sure that cleaning solutions are replenished and bins are lined
  2. Clear food spills and disposable waste into the waste bin
  3. Clear used trays, crockery and cutlery from the table and place them in the halal or non-halal receptacles
  4. Use squeegee to clean up liquid spills
  5. Use cloth to clean the table. Rinse in bucket and clean again if required
  6. Clean with sanitizer during off peak hours
  7. Place all used trays, crockery and cutlery to the tray return station or the respective food stalls depending on the type of establishment

Use different colored cloth for cleaning and sanitizing for easy identification. Change cleaning solution in bucket often.

Tray Return Station

  1. Clear leftover foods or waste from the trays, crockery and cutlery into the waste bin
  2. Sort the trays, crockery and cutlery from the racks onto halal and non halal receptacles
  3. Clean the tray return station racks and countertops with cloth
  4. Use a different colored cloth to sanitize
  5. Dispose the rubbish

For premises without centralised washing, clean the trays with cloth and sanitize with a different cloth.

Washing Used Trays, Crockery and Cutlery

  1. Check working condition of dishwasher and report any faults to the supervisor
  2. Scrape or rinse off food remnants and stains and soak in basin
  3. Transfer all items into rinsing basin
  4. Place all trays, crockery and cutlery onto receptacles and load the dishwasher
  5. After the wash inspect the crockery to check for any stains or unwashed parts. Rewash if required
  6. Dry thoroughly before returning items to respective food stalls
  7. Clean the dishwasher and washing area and dispose rubbish

Sweeping and Mopping

  1. Sweep floor and corners where dust can accumulate
  2. Use 2 buckets – one for water and one for mopping solution
  3. Rinse mop in water and wring dry and then in solution and wring dry
  4. Prop up safety signage at both ends of mopping area
  5. Mop the entire area section at a time making sure to overlap
  6. Remove safety signage only when floor is dry and then move on to another section

For spot cleaning or removing of stains, twist the mop head.

Throwing Refuse

  1. Tie and remove rubbish bag from the cleaning trolley
  2. Use extra liner if leakage occurs
  3. Throw rubbish bag into bulk bin taking care to avoid body contact
  4. Wash inside and outside of bin. Let dry and place new liner

Main bin centre should also be properly cleaned with safety signage kept.

Return of Tools and Equipment

  1. After cleaning, all tools and equipment have to be cleaned and returned to the store area.
  2. Cleaning cloth, apron, gloves and mops need to be washed and dried.
  3. Cleaners should wash their hands thoroughly for personal hygiene.

Mandating a strict Cleaning regime

Hawker centres and food courts are an integral part of life for Singaporeans. In order to make sure that hawker centres are kept clean spring cleanings, repairs & redecoration are carried out regularly. These are mandated and conducted by agencies like National Environment Agency (NEA) and by respective Town Councils for HDB owned centres.  Such cleaning and maintenance schedules are announced by NEA on its website.

By following Cleaning best practices and maintaining a strict cleaning regime, a meal at the hawker centre or food court hopefully will always be a pleasant experience. Keeping in mind food patrons’ health, good cleaning practice also keeps pests and other harmful bacteria at bay.

How to prevent Food Contamination by following these Hand Washing techniques

Food handlers need to be very careful about hand washing in order to prevent food contamination. Harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli and viruses such as Norovirus can be present on human hands and these can lead to contamination during handling, ultimately causing food poisoning. And as you know food poisoning is responsible for a number of sicknesses ranging from vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, stomach ache, weakness, migraine and even fever.

Besides the usual cleaning and hygiene maintenance routine in food areas, in order to remain safe from infections practicing proper hand washing techniques is very important. To put it in a simply, proper hand washing is one of the most effective way in which you can prevent the spreading of infections through food contamination.

Know When to Wash your Hands

instances when hands should be washedWhile its essential for food handlers to wash their hands and wrists at frequent intervals. Here are some instances when it is mandatory for them to wash –

  • Before starting the preparation of food
  • Before handling ready-to-eat or cooked food
  • After preparation or handling of raw food
  • When changing tasks, i.e. when switching from handling of raw food to ready-to-eat food. This prevents cross-contamination
  • After handling waste or disposing trash
  • After cleaning duties
  • After handling money
  • After using the washroom
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing the nose

Having an ideal Hand Washing Station

foot operated binA designated hand washing station is a must in food preparation areas. It should be easily accessible for dish washing activities. The taps should be pedaled, elbow or knee operated so that it is not required to use clean hands for touching any part of the washing station. This greatly helps in prevention of cross contamination.

Ideally, a hand washing station must have the following components:

  • Taps
  • Sink
  • Foot-operated rubbish bin
  • Paper towels
  • Liquid soap


Steps for Proper Hand Washing

Yes, we all do wash our hands but do we follow all the steps? Did you know that Hands should be washed for a period of at least 15 to 20 seconds.  And the actual steps that should be followed are –

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running and preferably warm water
  2. Use liquid soap in good quantity so as to form lather
  3. Rub your hands, including fingertips, thumb, wrists, in between the fingers and back of your hands
  4. Rub your hand for about 15 seconds. Rub vigorously
  5. Rinse your hands thoroughly in the running water
  6. Dry your hands with a paper towel

Foodborne diseases are a common norm. In spite of the fact that most people recover from such health disorders, these can lead to chronic health issues in about 4% to 5% cases. Thus observe and follow infection control practices that can help keep such diseases at bay. If you are involved with food preparation at home or a food handler (Chef, cook, kitchen and food stall assistants) at your workplace, education and awareness in this regard is of utmost importance.