How to clean your rental property…

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When it’s time to move from your rental property, it’s important to make sure that you leave the place nice and clean so you can a) get your deposit back in full; and b) get a good referral from your landlord or letting agency.

Over 50% of Londoners rent their homes rather then own them so we thought it would be useful to share some top 10 tips on how to clean your renal property to make sure that you get your deposit back when it’s time to move on:

1. Go snap happy on arrival

A simple but essential task when you first move in – take pictures of everything and keep a digital record. Check these photos against the inventory provided by your letting agency or landlord and check these match before confirming.

2. Get a house cleaner!

Unless you have the time to regularly clean your home, on a weekly or fortnightly basis, it would be worth the investment to hire a regular cleaner. This will ensure that your home is kept clean to a respectable standard – and that you will not be hit with an overwhelming cleaning job when you are ready to move. Dusting, mopping and vacuuming on a weekly basis will help reduce the stress when cleaning your rental property, and might save you from having to hire professional end of tenancy cleaners at the end of your tenancy!

3. Clean your oven, fridge and windows each month

Keeping up to date with cleaning your fridge, oven and indoor windows will also help you save time when it comes to the end of your tenancy. A regular defrost of the fridge/freezer, regular cleaning of windows and a wiping out the oven every so often will help keep things more manageable when it’s time to clean your rental property.

4. Monitor wear & tear

Undergoing a monthly check of the condition of your rental property  will help you keep track of the wear and tear your home has undergone since moving in. Taking photos, and keeping a digital record of these images with dates will also allow you to plan ahead – and help you organise these repairs and notify the letting agent and inventory clerk in advance of your move out date.

5. Invest in wooden floor cleaner

If you have wooden floors in your rental, it is important to vacuum, mop and also to apply a wooden floor cleaner every so often. If you have an open plan home, it may also be wise to invest in doormats at each and every entrance, with a rug to cover the exposed areas. This will reduce the chance of scuff marks, scratches and dents.

6. Scrub all kitchen appliances

It may seem to be common knowledge, but it is important to keep all appliances provided by the tenant/landlord in the same condition that you found them. As mentioned, it is important to keep on top of appliances like the oven and the fridge, but the smaller items must not be overlooked. A weekly clean of the toaster, microwave and kettle both inside and outside, will help you keep on top of this.

7. Stay on top of limescale

Limescale can be a pain, especially as it often occurs in hard to reach places – like the inside of coffeemakers and kettles – as well as on faucets and bathtubs, leaving an annoying chalky white substance behind. The best way to ensure you get your deposit back when leaving your rental property is to remove all limescale on a regular basis. Limescale, if uncleaned, leaves a mineral build up that can cause damage, and make soap scum and other dirt harder to remove. This is why it is important to keep an eye on appliances, tubs and faucets – and regularly remove any build up.

8. Regular carpet cleaning

You don’t need to hire a carpet cleaner, but the purchase of a spray on carpet cleaner that can be left for ten minutes and then vacuumed is essential. This does not need to be done each week, monthly will suffice, however it is important to do this regularly as it will make a big difference to how your carpet looks at the end of your tenancy. For deeper stains, especially on lighter carpets, it would be advisable hire a professional carpet cleaning company and have a quarterly or 6 month carpet clean to ensure good maintenance.

9. Property maintenance

If you have hung any artwork in the home, whether with nails or blu tac, remove these 2-3 weeks before your lease finishes. You will then have time to clean the walls, fill in any holes and repaint if necessary. Before you begin the process, always check with your landlord/letting agency that they are happy for you to repaint. There will be no bigger disappointment than having to pay for an entire repaint of the property, when you were only trying to help with a normal wear & tear.

Moving home can be a stressful time, so to make sure you don’t have the added stress of a deduction from your deposit – keep on top of your home cleaning and flow this guide on how to clean your rental property!

If you’re moving home in London and want to hire a professional end of tenancy cleaning company to take care of your clean, contact ProClean Team on 020 8742 1808 or email info@procleanteamltd.co.uk

As you’re online, why not follow The Organised Cleaning Company on Facebook and Twitter for more useful cleaning nuggets!

Top tips for keeping your home sparkling this Christmas!

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Christmas is almost here. We’ve been gearing up for the big day for…well ages, let’s be honest! If you want to avoid the usual stress of the festive season, make sure you get your home sparkling clean with these helpful tips!

1. TREAT YOUR CARPETS

It can be all too easy to take your carpets for granted, but it’s worth remembering that they deal with an awful amount of footfall right from the moment they’re installed.

No matter how hard you clean your carpets, some dirt and dust will still linger. That’s why it’s worth investing in or hiring an industrial carpet cleaner to get your carpets looking brand new. Professional carpet cleaners normally come with a cleaning agent so that the material is shampooed while the dust is being sucked up.

2. CLEAN ALL SURFACES

Your counter tops will be in constant use over Christmas so ensure you make time to give them a good clean both before the big day and while you’re cooking. It’s vital to wipe surfaces after preparing your Christmas food as uncooked meats can leave germs and bacteria behind.

It’s also worth giving your shelves, chairs and furnishings a once-over to remove any stains or build-up of dust. The same goes for your dining table. A good polish can go a long way.

3. ORGANISE A PROFESSIONAL OVEN CLEAN

In preparation for the gastronomic delights that are going to be created in your kitchen this Christmas, it’s worth hiring a professional to come and give your oven a thorough clean. That way you can focus on the sumptuous snacks you’re going to serve your guests rather than going into battle against the grime and grease that have built up over the year.

4. HAVE A CLEAR OUT

It may not be the traditional time to have a clear-out but a thorough clean-up can provide much-needed space for your Christmas tree, presents and guests. It also lets you enter the New Year clutter-free.

Think to yourself, ‘Have I used this within the last six months?’ If not, consider throwing it out or donating it to charity. You’ll be surprised how much extra room a quick clean-out can give you.

5. CLEAN YOUR DECORATIONS

Christmas decorations spend most of their time hidden away in cupboards or dusty attics waiting for their five minutes of fame. But there’s no point getting your home spick and span for the festive season and then hanging up dirty and dusty decorations. Put aside some time to give them a good clean before hanging them up and they’ll soon look as good as new.

When going through your Christmas decorations, make sure that everything still works. Fairy lights, for example, have a certain shelf life and if one bulb goes the whole set sometimes won’t work. Test them before you decorate your tree to see if you need to invest in a new set.

With friends & family coming to visit throughout the festive season, make sure you show your home off to the fullest and enjoy some street free Christmas preparation…

Don’t do these things when cleaning stainless steel!

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Stainless steel appliances are now in every modern kitchen. These shiny surfaces make your home more elegant but also need some effort in order to keep them looking pristine! Stainless steel can be the most resistant material to rust and the normal wear and tear. If you take proper care when cleaning stainless steel surfaces, it will keep its shine for many years.

With that in mind, we thought we’d share some handy tips about how to clean your stainless steel surfaces without damaging them:

1. Do not use cleaning products, which aren’t suitable for stainless steel.

Sounds simple right? An easy solution is to always read the labels when you choose your cleaning product for stainless steel. Some of them can scratch or damage stainless steel surfaces, so it’s best to avoid them:

  • Abrasive cleaners – they contain tiny particles of product which will harm stainless steel surfaces;
  • Bleach – it is a product often used around the house but not everyone knows that it can damage stainless steel surfaces;
  • Products, containing chloride – they harm the protective finish of shiny surfaces;
  • Oven cleaners – these products are very harsh, because they are produced to clean really stubborn stains;
  • Grimey tap water – if your tap water is gritty or with a high content of calcium, it can leave white or brownish stains after rinsing and drying.

You can use special stainless steel cleaners. As a precaution though, read the instructions before cleaning. Try the cleaner on a small test surface to see how it performs. Another option is to make a natural cleaner with white vinegar and water. For stains, apply some baking soda and wipe it gently. If you need to remove some fingerprints, it is safe to spray with glass cleaner.

2. Do not use brushes, that will scratch the stainless steel surfaces.

Scratching your stainless steel surface won’t juts damage it but also make is susceptible to staining. Make sure you don’t use these materials on stainless steel:

  • steel wool;
  • steel brushes;
  • wire brushes;
  • steel scouring pads,
  • highly abrasive scrubbing pads.

Materials that are safe when cleaning stainless steel surfaces may be a synthetic scouring pad, soft sponge or microfiber cloth. You can also use an old toothbrush for stains or some tiny spaces that need gently brushing.

3. Do not forget to polish and dry after cleaning.

If you want to maintain that shiny new look of your stainless steel surfaces, you need to polish them with cleaning products designed for stainless steel. It’s always useful to wipe the stainless with a soft cloth in the same direction as the “grain lines” to give it a nice even finish. You can polish these surfaces with silicone-based products or polishing pastes that are specially made for this use. You can also use some common oils that you have in your household such as olive oil, lemon oil or baby oil. Finish with a paper towel to dry the surface. Be aware that polishing is made mainly on decorative stainless steel elements, which excludes materials where food is prepared.

Stainless steel is one of the hardest surfaces to clean, because it requires very specific treatment. If you do it right, the sparkling results are worth it!

8 cleaning problems you can solve with soda crystals…

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Soda crystals are a fantastic water softener and powerful multi-purpose cleaner, and they’re also great value at around £1 a kilo. Here’s how they can help tackle your toughest cleaning jobs around the house:

1. BLOCKED PIPES

Shift a build-up of trapped grease and debris from your kitchen sink, bathroom basin, bath, or shower waste pipes by pouring a mug of crystals down the plughole. Flush through with hot water.

2. SMELLY WASHING MACHINE

Low temperature washes using liquid detergent can allow bacteria and mould to grow, and give rise to unpleasant smells in your machine. To prevent this from happening, once a month run a hot wash with nothing but 500g – 750g of soda crystals added to the detergent dispenser.

3. HARD WATER

If you live in a hard-water area, as much as two-thirds of the laundry detergent you carefully measure out is simply softening the water rather than cleaning! Make it go further, and save money, by adding two tablespoons of soda crystals to your detergent dispenser. Then you can use the more economical ‘soft water’ dose of detergent.

4. GREASY PANS

Soak greasy pans or those encrusted with burnt-on food in a solution of soda crystals and hot water – the longer you can leave them to soak the better. And if your roasting tray is full of fat after cooking a roast, sprinkle on dry crystals while the tray is still hot. Leave to stand for a few minutes so the crystals soak up the fat, then scrape the mixture into the bin.

5. SPATTERED HOB AND EXTRACTOR FAN

Wipe clean hobs, extractors and other greasy kitchen surfaces with a strong solution of 200g soda crystals dissolved in 1 pint (500ml) of hot water. Leave stubborn marks to soak for a minute or two, then wipe down with a clean cloth. But don’t use soda crystals on aluminium surfaces, it will discolour them!

6. TARNISHED SILVER

Bring your silver pieces back to their gleaming best. Line a bowl with foil and pour in hot water. Add 200g soda crystals to 1 pint (500ml) of hot water and wait for them to dissolve. Immerse your silver pieces (but not precious stones) in the solution. You’ll see a fizzing reaction as the tarnish dissolves. Rinse each piece and dry.

7. MOSSY PATHS AND PATIOS

Make easy work of removing unsightly moss and algae from paving by sprinkling soda crystals on the affected areas, then moistening with water using a watering can or hose. Leave the solution to soak in for 24 hours, by which time the moss will turn brown and be easy to remove.

8. SOILED BABY CLOTHES

Babies and young children have delicate skin that may be irritated by the enzymes and fragrances in many laundry detergents. You can remove dirt and stains in a way that’s gentle on sensitive skin by soaking clothes in a solution of 100g soda crystals to 1 pint (500ml) hot water. Leave to stand for at least an hour, but preferably overnight, then machine or hand wash using Liquid Soap Flakes.

There’s a Wrong Way to Dust? And 5 Other Cleaning Mistakes…

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The quickest, most efficient strategies to get streak-free windows, remove stains from a white sofa and more. Your welcome 😉

Mistake No. 1: Cleaning a Cold Oven

We’re not saying you should start scrubbing when it’s hot, but a warm oven is easier to clean than a cold one. Turn it on low (e.g., 250°) for 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn it off, spray a nonabrasive cleaner (or spread a homemade baking-soda-and-water paste) all over the inside, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Scrub with a nylon brush or pad and use a sponge to rinse it off.

Mistake No. 2: Washing Windows on a Sunny Day

A gorgeous spring morning may seem like the perfect time to wash your windows. But doing the job when it’s sunny out is a bad idea, since the windows will dry too quickly and probably streak. An overcast day is better. Make a solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and  cups of white vinegar, 20 ounces of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Using a microfiber cloth (instead of a sponge) will ensure that you don’t use too much cleaning solution—it should coat the windows but not splash down them. A squeegee will make the job a lot easier too, run it over the windows after you wash with a cloth.

Mistake No. 3: Scrubbing Like Crazy

The first thing people do when they spill, say, red wine on their white sofa is douse a towel in water or soda water and furiously try to rub the stain out. While soda water can help, the last thing you want to do is scrub—that just does more damage. Keep a cleaner handy (see this guide for useful tips) then, dab it onto the stain with a cloth. Don’t scrub, since that will just ingrain the stain further. Keep using new sections of the cloth, and eventually you will get all or most of the wine (or other offender) out.

Mistake No. 4: Spraying Furniture Polish All Over a Table

Statistics are hard to come by, but we’re pretty sure 99 percent of people who set out to dust their wood furniture do the spray-and-wipe. However, if you spray your cloth instead, you’ll have to buff less, you’ll waste less product and you’ll avoid the sticky buildup that can come from using too much polish. (Hint: Ones with citrus oil will bring out the wood’s natural shine, and the oil tends to repel dust and dirt for a while.) And if your aim is simply to remove dust, you don’t have to use any cleaner at all— microfiber dusters pick up dust on their own and don’t need spray.

Mistake No. 5: Using an Abrasive Cleaner on Your Bathtub

The reason many tubs lose their luster is they’ve been scrubbed with cleansers that have granulated powders, like Comet and Ajax. They scuff the porcelain and take the glaze off. Instead, use a mild shower spray like Mr Muscles. If you’d rather not spray every day, just runs a bath towel—a dry rag would work too—over the tub after he showers and the water has drained as simply drying the tub is enough to prevent scum.

Mistake No. 6: Vacuuming Up Cat Hair

If you have a pet that sheds, you’re probably accustomed to rolling a lint brush over your clothes and furniture daily. But if you’ve been taking a hoover to your hardwood floors in an attempt to rid them of hair, chances are you’re just blowing the mess around instead of picking it up. Your hoover’s exhaust tends to push as much hair away as it cleans up. On wood and other hard floors use a steam mop or a flat mop pad, which won’t create a lot of wind, so you can push the hair into a big pile. Then, pull out the vacuum—but use the wand attachment—to suck it up. You can also use the vacuum to clean the mop itself, or just toss it into the washing machine.

 

How many calories do YOU burn keeping your home tidy?

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Thinking about joining the gym as part of your new year’s resolution? Forget it! The secret to keeping fit could be closer to home than you think….

Keeping your house tidy may be the bane of your life, but experts say it’s one of the best ways to stay in shape. Cleaning the windows, vacuuming and dusting the tables could even help you to shed some extra pounds from your waist, new research suggests.

While scrubbing the floors is believed to be the equivalent of 15 minutes running and could help you to burn off that slice of pizza you had for dinner. And if you’ve eaten a bag of crisps, consider doing the ironing to burn off the 157 calories you’ve just consumed.

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On average, UK adults spend around 11 hours doing house work every week – burning 2,345 calories. A minute of light housework is equivalent to taking around 72 steps – meaning that just half an hour of chores each day could make a big difference on your fitness tracker.

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So what are you waiting for, get cleaning 😉

8 Awesome Hacks for Cleaning Blinds & Shutters :)

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Whether you’re cleaning for guests in preparation for Christmas or just playing catch up after neglecting your blinds for too long, we thought we’d pos some helpful tips on blind & shutter cleaning  to make the job easier and more successful:

  1. Use a feather or microfiber duster for cleaning your blinds & shutters each week.  Dusting regularly will prevent dust build up and save you from backbreaking work later!
  2. Wrap a sock or cloth around a ruler to clean thin, narrow blinds easily. This is especially good for metal blinds that are fragile and easy to bend.
  3. To keep dust at a minimum, rub a fabric dryer sheet onto both sides of the slats. This will not prevent dust but it will cut down on the amount that clings to your blinds or shutters.
  4. For a quick dusting (when family or friends are about to pop in), slip a sock onto each hand and rub between each slat which will clean both sides of the blinds quickly simultaneously. (Or use a microfiber dusting mitt!)
  5. When your blinds or plantation shutters have been neglected for some time and are extremely dirty, lay an old sheet or newspaper under them before beginning your cleaning efforts. This will prevent double cleaning duty by catching the dirt before it lands on the floor.
  6. When you are vacuuming your floors, if you have one, use the brush attachment to clean blinds and shutters. This is great for removing dust from hard-to-reach window treatments on tall windows. Some cleaning services provide this type of cleaning at an extra charge.
  7. Use a paintbrush to clean extremely dirty blinds and plantation shutters. Dip the paintbrush into hot soapy water, oil soap, or plain water for extra cleaning power. Be sure to use a dry cloth to remove excess cleaner and clean the brush often to prevent transferring dirt.
  8. You can clean the slats with a cloth or towel if you do it on a regular basis. Spray the towel lightly with dust remover, close the blinds or shutters, place the towel over the slats and rub side to side. Reverse the slats and do the other side to complete the job.

Now that you’ve got those blinds and shutters clean, how about the windows??