A1 Cleaning Services Blog

Lazy Cleaning Tips

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

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

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

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

Here are a few well hidden secrets of lazy homemakers:

Regular spring cleaning

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

Ample storage space

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

An attractive and accessible cleaning closet

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

Clean first thing in the morning

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

Hire a reliable cleaning service

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

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

Hire Cleaning Lady

5 Things you must do before Hiring a Cleaning Lady

The concept of outsourcing the Home and Office Cleaning Function is fast catching on in Singapore.    Today, Professional Cleaning Services are readily available and affordable enough to engage on a regular basis. It has therefore become necessary for citizens to increase their awareness about how to get the most out of their cleaning services. Like anything in life, even hiring a cleaning service involves a certain degree of preparation and planning.

Via this blog, we intend to highlight a few important points that you need to put in order before your cleaning lady drops by, to ensure it’s a smooth and beneficial experience for all.

1)    Confirm pricing and scope of work at the onset

You may have looked at your cleaning agency’s price chart or heard about how much the service agency charges. Unless you get a precise quotation for your job, refrain from starting on it.

Once your hired cleaning lady arrives at your place, show her the entire area and get a clearance on the costing again, before commencing. Discuss what all will be covered and done in the decided cost before the work begins. At this point, you may actually go into the tiniest details if you feel the need to, only to avoid any hassles later.

2)    You may find out background and credentials of your cleaning lady

As a client, you have every right to know past experience and other details such as residency status of your cleaning lady. You may ask for these clearances and keep a copy of them with you for reference purposes.

3)    Discuss what and how it should be cleaned

When you hire any professional service, never assume that the agency knows what you want, unless you’ve worked with them earlier. Each individual has their own hygiene expectation. Ask the cleaning lady to show you a wiped and scrubbed sample patch before she continues with the whole unit.

4)    Find out how long the entire cleaning procedure is going to takeCleaning time table

Most cleaning agencies will specify how long their tasks are going to take. But once your cleaning lady sees the premises, get the time aspect clarified again, just in case, she feels she may need more than previously estimated.

Prepare an efficient cleaning schedule that mentions the order of items to be cleaned, and the time to be spent on each.

This will reduce your stress if you have prior appointments lined up after. It will also avoid the probability of a rushed job in the last fifteen minutes, when you suddenly realise that time is running out and there are still quite a few cubicles/rooms to go.

5)    Stock up on all cleaning supplies and tools in advance

Depending on the texture of the surfaces in your premise i.e.: granite, glass, wood etc, you will be required to keep solutions, detergents or powders ready, which suit those surfaces. So find out what all is required and make sure you try them out yourself, before you hand them over to your assigned cleaning lady.

At this point, also ensure you specify how much liquid or powder she can use. Most good quality solutions don’t require more than a few drops per surface.

Along with the liquids, make sure you are well stocked with the right mops, sponges and scrubs for the various areas and floors, counters or furniture surfaces. This will just make the job easier, quicker and more hygienic.

So making the most of your cleaning visit requires a little bit of prior planning. This will not only benefit your immediate experience but will also assist you in establishing a healthy and long term relationship with your cleaning agency.

Vital Cleaning Supplies

Vital cleaning supplies that you must never run out of!

First impressions of any room are based on appearance and comfort….what you see and how you feel, when you enter a home, office or any other establishment.  This, of course, depends on the décor elements and amenities on the premise. But more importantly, it matters on how well all of these have been maintained.  Large investment in home and office décor can be worth its while, only if the space is kept clean and hygienic.

It’s no wonder then that an increasing number of Singaporean home and office owners are making sure the areas in and around their buildings are spotless and inviting.  The preferred way to do this, of course, is by utilising professional cleaning service agencies.

How to facilitate your cleaning services

An important aspect of ensuring efficient and high-quality cleansing is by making certain that you are well-stocked with all the right cleaning supplies at all times.  Whether it’s a routine visit or a special spring cleaning, being aptly equipped not only saves cleaner’s time but also ensures optimum results for your job.

Here is a list of essential cleaning products to stock up on:

 

A.     Cleaning substances for various surfaces:

  • Glass Cleaning Solution: This is for all your windows, glass partitions and mirrored surfaces. We recommend a high-quality, streak-free variety that is easy to wipe off and doesn’t leave behind any residue or white lines.
  • Range of cleaning detergents

    Cleaning Solutions and Sprays

    Tile and Bathroom Cleaners: A separate solution will be required for your tiled floors or walls and another stronger, acid based one for the toilet bowl, bathtub and shower tiling. For regular or daily wiping of tiles, a simple pH based liquid can be kept handy.

  • Wood Surface Cleanser: Whether its wooden furniture or flooring, there should be least amount of water used unless the wood has been treated with a seal. Then simple warm water and a mild detergent is enough. But if it’s for any other wood surface, stock up a polish that suits your particular wood finishing.
  • All Purpose Cleaner: This is a vital ingredient in your cleaning kit as it has multiple areas of usage. All tables, counters, kitchen surfaces, stoves or sinks (unless they are made of glass or stone such as granite or marble) can be handled with All-Purpose Cleaners.

B.     Cleaning apparatus for various uses:

  • Microfiber Mop: These are useful on most hard floor surfaces. They are light, easy to use and don’t require wringing like other mops.  They attract dust and clean quickly and efficiently.
  • Extendable Duster: This tool is designed for hard-to-reach places like above the curtain pelmet, ceiling fans and ceiling corners.
  • Toilet Brush and Grout Brush: The toilet brush is rounded for easy manoeuvrability while the grout brush is mainly for clearing dust and other particles from door and window channels and the like. Both have strong bristles.
  • Scrubbing Sponge: These are two-sided sponges with plain sponge on one side and a rough scrubber on the other. Depending on the surface and the requirement, these sponges are ideal for kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
  • Vacuum Cleaner: Since vacuum cleaners are highly flexible in their usage areas, it’s vital to keep one stocked. All types of surfaces can be vacuumed as can be difficult-to-reach places.

Where you can purchase cleaning supplies

There are numerous online and on ground destinations in Singapore where you can find all the required cleaning solutions and apparatus.  Most supermarkets, hypermarkets and DIY stores offer a variety of cleaning products.

You can even try bulk purchasing them from distributors such as Klenco or via the online route through Qoo10 or Redmart.

A well stocked cleaning cabinet ensures your cleaning service agency’s visits go smoothly while being highly beneficial. Added to which, it’s easy and motivating, for your staff or family to carry out any cleaning that may be required between service agency visits. Hence, the key to ultimate cleanliness is ensuring you have all the right tools and solutions. The rest will naturally follow….

 

Cleaning Equipment for Large Offices

Floor Cleaning Equipment that Admins of Large Offices Should Consider Investing In

As businesses grow, so do the size of their offices. A responsible office administrator knows how important it is to keep these offices clean and fresh, thereby creating a healthy and positive work environment.  A clean office also conveys a pristine company image to customers.

Managing this task for a large office calls for the right equipment.  As large offices get a lot of human traffic, cleaning them with household tools would be not just inefficient, it would also be ineffective.

Knowing the available Options

Office cleaning needs differ according to the type of business. Knowing about the variety of commercial cleaning equipment out there will help the office admin to make an informed choice about what he or she should invest in for their office.

Here are four popular floor cleaning equipment’s used for commercial office cleaning, and why should they be invested in –

1.      Floor Buffer or Polisher

Floor ShineA nice and shiny floor instantly gives the impression of cleanliness. Floor buffers restore the shine to hard flooring that has dulled out over the years from scratches and wear & tear, thereby restoring a look of sparkling newness to the floor.

2.      Floor Scrubber

In the old days, scrubbing the floor would only mean a brush, some detergent and a strong pair of arms.  Mechanical floor scrubbers make the job much faster, easier and better done.  This machine, though basic, works straightforwardly well.  A set of rotary brushes scrub the floor while water and detergent is regularly squirted out in controlled amounts.  The floor is scrubbed with the same amount of pressure everywhere and only needed amount of detergent and water is used, making drying times quicker.  Many floor scrubbers nowadays come with in-built floor buffers, eliminating the need for two different machines.

3.      Carpet extractor

Carpet extractors are a very advanced form of vacuum cleaners. They use a combination of heat, pressure and suction together with a cleaning solution to literally dissolve and extract dirt and grime from carpets.  Carpet extractor machines are a popular choice in Singapore Offices because they work very well in deep cleaning carpets and rugs.

4.      Floor Air Blower

Equipment for keeping floors dryAir blowers are used to dry large portions of wet floors quickly.  Well-suited for the typical Singaporean weather, they are ideal for keeping the office building foyer dry during a rainy day.  Air Blowers are also a must have to maintain Washroom flooring, waterless and safe.  Quick drying of wet floors enables people to move across newly mopped surfaces immediately, while allowing the floors to be constantly cleaned without any waiting time.  Among the other benefits of this are prevention of water damage in a building by gradual seepage from cleaning, hereby increasing life of the building itself.

 

 

Investing in such large and somewhat complicated machinery may seem like an unnecessary hassle and added cost to some.  However, we suggest weighing the costs against the benefits delivered with productivity gains in building maintenance, staff well-being and last but not least the corporate image.

So if you are an office admin, really do consider getting this equipment for your office cleaning needs.  You will not regret it.

Cleaning Tools

11 Must-Have Tools & Aids for Complete Home Cleaning

Common Cleaning Tools for HomesPeople are always asking me why, despite being able to afford one, I choose not to keep a maid. After all, the trend is so popular in the Singaporean way of life.

What can I say … I don’t like having a stranger live in my house and I know that the quality of work that I put in myself for my own home would be far superior than what a maid would do for a home that isn’t hers.  It also helps me stay fit by putting in the physical activity daily, otherwise how many of us regularly hit the gym?

And to be on top of it I have gotten the right combination of cleaning items and a great schedule to manage my time! These must-haves will help you to effectively and easily clean your house or even a small office.  Using these smart tools not only saves a LOT of time and energy but also leaves our spaces cleaner and more hygienic.

Home cleaning aids range from ‘hardware’ items like brooms and brushes to consumables like detergent and soap. Therefore I’ve organized my trusted cleaning essentials into two categories – TOOLS and CLEANERS.

Must-have’s to keep your space Clean

Here’s the list of the Cleaning tools to keep my home spotlessly clean….

  1. Vacuum Cleaner – Whether it’s cleaning carpet or flooring, this is a tool that cannot be done without. And if you buy the one with the attachments, then you can even clean upholstery, curtains and blinds with your vacuum.
  2. “Swiffer” type broom – I’m referring to those special cloths attached to a long handled wiper type contraption. It works better and faster than a traditional broom in cleaning tiled surfaces because of its wide design and swivel head.  It traps dust and hair really well! Not only does it do the job of a broom, it also does the job of a mop if you just replace the dry sheet with a wet one.
  3. Microfiber cloths – These are wonderful in catching dust particles that regular cloth won’t. In a place like Singapore, one wipe over your furniture with a microfiber dusting cloth should keep your furniture looking spotless for at least a whole week (unless you have construction going on near your house….another distinctly Singaporean trait J)
  4. Different sized sponges – These will come in handy all over the house. Whether it’s to wipe up spills from the floor, spot clean smudges on the walls, wipe down kitchen counters, or to do the dishes, sponges always have to be handy. Don’t like sponges? then a good substitute is superabsorbent chamois cloth
  5. Toilet brushes – There are different types of toilet brushes that you will need to get. One for washing the floor, another specially contoured one for cleaning the toilet bowl, and either an abrasive pad or a flat brush for cleaning the basin and walls. You can also add a toothbrush to this ensemble for cleaning those tricky small places like between the tap and the sink, and for cleaning between tile grout.

And here’s the list of essential cleaners to aid those tools and you……

  1. All-purpose cleaner – Many people love to use all purpose cleaner to avoid a pile up of different types of cleaners, and the need for space that that requires. That’s why I’m putting this as first on this list, should you feel the same. These work on tiles, on kitchen counters, glass and mirrors, and even polished wooden surfaces and do a pretty good job of cleaning on all those surfaces.
  2. Tile cleaner – Some of us traditionalists prefer using the cleaners made for specific surfaces. This is because some of these cleaners don’t just clean the surface, they give it something ‘extra’ too.  When it comes to tile cleaner, you can choose between mild or something tougher. Your choice will depend on how much grime that area of your house sees.
  3. Glass and mirror cleaner – The little something extra of glass cleaners is that nowadays many of them boast a special ingredient that stops dust from clinging to the surface of the glass, keeping the surface cleaner for a lot longer.
  4. Mild abrasive bathroom cleaner – Bathroom cleaner usually comes in powder form. I recommend getting one with added bleach for its disinfecting properties. Don’t forget to put on rubber gloves when using this cleaner though! It can be harsh on sensitive skin.
  5. Dishwashing liquid or bar – The noteworthy property of this cleaner is that it cuts into the greasiness of oily pots and pans easily, so you don’t have to wash them twice, unless they’re unusually oily. They also come in fresh fragrances and with antibacterial properties to leave the utensils you eat in at the highest level of hygiene possible.
  6. Baking soda and Vinegar – Ah, the humble baking soda and vinegar….the two basic ingredients of oh so many cleaning hacks around the house. If you ever run out of any of the abovementioned cleaners and need to urgently clean, then these two will work wonders anywhere and everywhere around the home. Just go online and look up the recipe for the problem you are facing and there you’ll have it.  A quick and effective fix for your problem.

And that’s all you need to maintain a clean and hygienic home – yes, even WITHOUT a maid!! There are countless other cleaning products out there designed to make every part of the cleaning experience easier for you, but these are the basic essentials without which cleaning would be incomplete. So if you don’t already own these products, make a list and head to the supermarket to stock up.

When it comes to home-making, home cleaning is the number one priority!

Office Cleaning Schedule

How to Set a Cleaning Schedule that Keeps the Office Spic and Span All Week Long

 

Tasks in Workplace CleaningDo you want an office that’s always clean? Then don’t wait for the end of the week to get your office cleaned! A clean and neat office appeals to the staff morale and work attitude in a positive way, so it’s important that the office be constantly clean all week long.  And this kind of upkeep can only be achieved through an effective Cleaning Schedule.

Depending on the size of office space, nature of operations, number of working staff, etc; different kinds of schedules may have to be made to maintain the premises neat & tidy with a good ambience.  Some things may have to be cleaned everyday while others are ok to be cleaned less often.

Here’s how to go about it –

The Daily Five Rule of Office Cleaning

5 things. Yes with just these five tasks done daily, both sanitation AND sanity can be maintained at all times in the office!

1.      Cleaning Bathrooms

With so many people in an office, and with Mother Nature always calling, the bathroom is number one on the list of things that needs to be washed daily. Even if you’d like to leave the deeper cleaning chores in a bathroom like maintenance of the mirrors and faucets, and dusting of ventilation, these are parts of the bathroom that absolutely MUST be washed everyday for the health and safety of everyone:-

  • Toilet bowls scrubbed and cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Floors scrubbed and cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Sinks and sink surfaces wiped with antibacterial detergent
  • Taps cleaned with antibacterial detergent
  • Soap and toilet paper refilled

2.      Vacuuming

Even though most may be vacuuming their homes on a weekly basis, the office is a place that needs daily vacuuming. This is because it is a high traffic area with a lot more people passing through per square foot.  Daily vacuuming not only picks up the obvious pieces of dirt and debris, it also prevents allergic and respiratory problems resulting from dust and pollen that tends to settle in carpeted areas –

So, don’t forget to vacuum…

  • Carpets and rugs
  • Stairs (if any)
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Hardwood and tiled floor

3.      Washing Dishes

This may seem like a no brainer, but sometimes the office pantry tends to be the most neglected.  Unwashed glasses/cups and office cutlery breed mold and foul odors.  Health hazard alert!

A clean and fresh smelling pantry is needed for staff to take snack and coffee breaks that actually refresh and rejuvenate them.

4.      Clutter Control

Daily tidying up is easy to do as there isn’t much pile-up of clutter except that day’s things.  This would be instinctive to a responsible staff rather than be done by a cleaning company.  At the end of the day

  • Stationery should be placed in its proper place,
  • Inbox/Outbox trays should be used accordingly for pieces of work,
  • Any other Knick knacks should be put back in their places.

A tidy workspace improves productivity by allowing staff to access things they need quickly without going through obstructive clutter.

5.      Filing Papers

Ok you could call this an extension of the previous chore, but in an office setting, this earns its own slot. Not filing papers daily is not just bad for the sake of tidiness but for the business itself.  If records cannot be found at the right time, or worse, if they get lost, the business could incur much loss and damage.  If not taken care of daily, paper can pile up and take over every surface area of an office. So, take all your papers through this short checklist everyday and you will breeze through the filing process..

  1. Does it need to be responded to?
  2. Does it need to be filed?
  3. Can it be thrown away?
  4. Does it need to be shredded?

Now, act accordingly. If possible, set up a whole filing station in the office complete with trash can and shredder and filing cabinet.

Managing the Deeper Cleaning

So we’ve covered what needs to be done on a daily basis.  Let’s go through how the “less frequency” demanding chores can be managed to maintain a truly clean office.  Here’s a sample table that you can begin with and improvise further, depending on your needs

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Dusting- Furniture

– Window sills

– Curtains & blinds

– Ceiling fans, AC vents

 

Laundry of necessary items

Cleaning and wiping windows, doors, and mirrorsThorough cleaning of kitchen appliances, sink, microwave, etc Cleaning and shaking out doormatsSpot cleaning walls Tending to indoor plantsCleaning light fixtures Straightening bookshelves books and magazinesSpot treat carpet and upholstery (stain removal, etc.)

List of Cleaning Tasks

This cleaning list and schedule would pretty much covers everything needed to keep the office spic and span all week long.  If you are hiring a cleaning company, you could even collaborate with them using your list and theirs to make sure that nothing gets missed out.

For seasonal chores like carpet shampooing, cleaning air conditioning vents, exterior window cleaning, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. They will have the proper tools needed for the job and are well versed in the safety procedures too. Include a placeholder for a visit from them to your monthly or yearly calendars.

Now that you know the basics, grab a sheet of paper and make your own personalized schedule or simply take a printout of this one and enjoy a fresh and clean office every day of the week!