How to clean your rental property…

theorganisedcleaner/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!

How to stay safe using when using cleaning chemicals

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When you’re cleaning professionally, you need to carefully consider your chemical and product choices. We’ve created a useful guide of things to consider and how to stay safe when using cleaning chemicals:

The myth of pH scales

Chemicals have a scale that tells you their qualities called the pH scale rating. The scale, which runs from 0-14, tells you how acidic a chemical is (0), whether it is neutral (7) or an alkaline (14).

Although the pH scale on commercial cleaning products will be displayed, they don’t determine whether you’ve got the right product for your needs. Instead, use the labels and pictograms on the bottles.

Know your labels and pictograms

Knowing your pictograms and labels is essential, as using products incorrectly can lead to accidents.

The labels

Sounds simple, but always read the label before use of a product. By EU law there will be information there about how hazardous the chemicals are, and suggestions of how you can use them safely. If there is nothing hazardous about the product, its supplier must still provide information about if the product can cause harm.

Pictograms

Pictograms on the cleaning product container are symbols, designed to indicate any potentially harmful or hazardous substances within the bottle. The full list of symbols can be found in the original article, taken from the Nisbets site.

How to stay safe

There are a number of ways you can stay safe when using cleaning chemicals and products, and all of them include using the correct PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Make sure you have the following on hand…

Gloves

A simple pair of rubber gloves can stand effectively between the corrosive, harmful products you’re using and your skin. This type of substance can cause irritation and burns, so these are essential items.

Footwear

Wearing the right footwear should be another high priority when you’re cleaning with potentially dangerous chemicals. Make sure they are both water-resistant and slip-proof, to protect from the products penetrating your clothing.

Protective eyewear

Protective eyewear should be worn when you’re using chemicals like bleach, to ensure you have good vision and your eyes are protected from any splashbacks.

With the above points, you should be able to make more considered choices when you are working with cleaning chemicals in the commercial cleaning process.

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.

 

Why is there damp?!

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Damp and mould can mean big problems for landlords, letting agents and tenants. It can cause stress and even health issues to those affected, and can mean landlords having to spend time and money on rectifying the problems.

We’ve posted a couple of articles surrounding this topic recently (check this link and then this one) and is it is damp season, landlords, agents and tenants all need to play their part on combating damp.

1. The main cause of damp

A common cause is from condensation which occurs when air mixed with water at a warm temperature meets a surface at a cold temperature. These occurrences tend to be in microclimatic areas, such as behind cupboards and in the corner of rooms. Additionally, areas that can be affected include places with poor insulation, cold spots such as concrete beams and a lack of ventilation.

2. What you can do to prevent damp and mould

Knowing how you can stop damp and mould forming is by far the best way to defeat it.

  • Heating is also important because it lowers the opportunities for condensation to settle. Make sure your advise your tenant to turn the radiators on regularly.
  • Make sure that your property is insulated so it counters the usual, cold conditions in which condensation can grow. You might want to consider increasing the level of insulation in your property (EWI, cavity fill, double glazing) to improve insulation.
  • Ventilation is key. Keep trickle vents on windows open and try to keep windows open, especially if the tenant is drying clothes, cooking or showering.

3. How to remove existing mould

If you’re unlucky and you’re currently experiencing mould in your property, don’t panic. There are ways to make it eradicate it.

  • Clean the mould on the walls or windows with a fungicidal wash that’s recognised by a Health and Safety Executive ‘approval number’, and follow all instructions on the bottle.
  • Once you’ve done this, redecorate the affected surface(s) by using a fungicidal paint to help prevent mould from reoccurring.
  • For any mildewed clothes or carpets, make sure that you dry clean and shampoo them respectively.
  • If possible, place insulation to the external walls of your property. Seek professional insulation advice if you’re not sure on how to do this.
  • Finally, improve ventilation by installing fans, installing windows with trickle vents, and by using Passyfier vents.

Don’t let damp and mould damage your property. Getting into good habits as a landlord and tenant will help keep things under control and ensure that remedial costs and the effects of damp are kept to a minimum…

#CleanerHacks

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City folks, we all have a busy lifestyle – especially if you live in the big smoke where the reality is that most of you may feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel most of the time!

Cleaning therefore often takes a back seat, although more of us are now opting to hire a home cleaning service to help with the weekly or fortnightly cleaning. But what happens in between?  With such a hectic working life it’s difficult to find the time to keep your home looking it’s best between cleans. We thought it would be useful to give you some handy #CleanerHacks that take no more than 5-10 minutes, but work wonders….

1. Wipe it off

Keeping anti-bacterial cleaning wipes in the bathroom, bedroom & kitchen is a great idea. You can keep your rooms sanitized & germ free between cleaning visits, by giving areas that are at the highest risk of germs a quick wipe down. In the bathroom, a wipe down of the edge of the bathtub, toilet seat, toilet exterior and door handle will help keep it sparkling & germ free.

2. The Hairdryer Treatment

Dust bunnies start to gather round the home pretty quickly, especially in hard to reach places! An easy solution is to grab your hairdryer! That’s right, your hairdryer. If you gently blow away the dust and then wipe the area with a microfibre cloth you’ll get that sparkling finish you’re after! After dusting, a quick once over with the vacuum will ensure a clean, dust-free home between cleans!

3. Zap ’em

Did you know that household sponges are a breeding ground for bacteria? Yep, that’s right – and you’ve been using them to wipe over surfaces in your home. A quick way to disinfect your sponges and cloths is to microwave on high for one minute. This way, you know that you’re not spreading germs around your home between cleans. Careful, don’t burn your fingers!

4. 5 minutes is all you need

In a rush to head out again after coming back from work? Use your phone and set a timer for 5 minutes and just go for it. Being put ounder time pressure really makes you focus on the task at hand! Reach for the lint roller and run it over furniture to remove pet hair, or take the time to fluff up the pillows on your sofa and fold the blanket that’s sprawled across the armchair- DONE!

5. Phone a friend

There are so many apps out there that have been built specifically to save you time when cleaning your home! Check out the best home cleaning apps out there – for both iOS & Android. These apps have so many tips for helping you keep your home clean & organised.

You’re welcome 😉

15 Office Cleaning Ideas Every Clean Freak Needs To Know!

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Yeah you read right, for all you clean freaks out there intent on keeping your home office or work office nice and clean, follow these handy tips:

  1. First, do a little bit of paper organizing so the surfaces you need to clean aren’t covered in actual work.  Get the paper into  neat piles that you can easily move on and off your desk as needed.
  2. Use a solution of 70% alcohol and water to clean your phone and tablet.
  3. Take a magic eraser to your keyboard’s keys. Just make sure to squeeze any water out completely, so it doesn’t drip between your keys.

  4. Then run the sticky edge of a sticky note between the keys to pick up any crumbs.

  5. Wipe the grime off your earbuds, then disinfect them with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Earbuds are gross. Read more about cleaning them here.

  6. Wipe all of the parts of your computer that aren’t screens (including your trackpad or mouse) with a lightly moistened microfiber cloth. Just make sure they’re not wet, because you don’t want to damage your electronics.

  7. AGAIN, be careful with water around your electronics, especially their screens. Here’s a thorough guide that will help you clean your screen properly (guess what? It calls for microfiber cloths).

  8. Literally vacuum the tops of your books. Chances are, they’re pretty dusty, but it takes forever to thoroughly dust each one individually.

  9. Use a dusting spray to wipe down all of your wood furniture, like your bookshelves and your desk. You can just use a store-bought one, like Pledge, or you make make your own with this handy guide.

  10. Wipe down your air vent with the help of a butter knife or a ruler. Don’t forget to wipe down the walls around it too, if they’re dusty. (Obviously this is just for your home office. You probably don’t want to try this at work.)

  11. Clean your windows and the glass in any picture frames you have hanging on the walls. Here’s a DIY glass cleaner recipe — use it alongside a clean microfiber cloth.

  12. Scrub out stains in your office chair using dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Just dab the formula gently until the stains are gone — here’s the cleaning recipe and tutorial.

  13. If you have a chair mat, make sure to at least sweep it, if not wipe it down with a damp cloth.

  14. Make the whole room smell good while you vacuum by sprinkling DIY carpet refresher. Here are a bunch of ideas.

  15. If you have indoor plants in your office, gently wipe off their leaves with a damp cloth. Dusty plants = sad plants.

Now enjoy your super clean work space and get stuff done!

Super-clean your home with these great tips!

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Want to freshen up every corner of your home? Try these simple and effective cleaning tips:

KITCHEN GLEAMING

1. Make an easy, all-purpose cleaner

This cleaner recipe will make nearly every surface gleam, especially kitchen counters, appliances, and inside the refrigerator. Combine 4 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda with 1 litre warm water, and use it with a sponge to wipe messes away.

2. De-grease cabinets

Just like your utensils, cupboards can get greasy when you’re making dinner. Add a little washing up liquid to a spray bottle with warm water to mist away the grime. Then, rinse with a well-wrung cloth and dry.

3. Shine copper with ketchup

Yes, ketchup! A little can make copper pots gleam again.

4. Freshen your microwave

Make the interior easier to wipe down by heating a cup of water and a chopped-up lemon on high until the microwave’s window is steamy. Let the bowl sit for 15 minutes before you open the door, and clean away any grime with ease.

5. Zap oven spills

After gently chipping off any loose pieces, liberally spritz burnt-on food with ammonia from a spray bottle. Then sprinkle some bicarbonate of soda and add just a few drops of white vinegar. Let it bubble for a minute or two, then whisk away the grime with a scrub sponge.

6. Get stains out of a cutting board

Run the cut side of a lemon over the board to remove food stains and smells. For extra cleaning power, sprinkle it with salt or bicarb first.

BATHROOM SPARKLE

7. Skip bar soap

Keep your bathroom basin cleaner for longer by using a liquid soap with a pump or a even hands-free soap dispenser instead. Eliminating the grimy soap dish will help your basin and countertop stay goop-free.

8. Make taps gleam

Rub a bit of toothpaste over your bathroom fixtures with a wet sponge to get gunk off chrome.

9. Make your shower sparkle

To clean grimy grout, mix 3/4 cup household chlorine bleach with 2 litres water and use a stiff brush to apply to one small area at a time. Let it sit for several minutes, then scrub and rinse.

10. Hang towels the right way

To keep towels from getting musty in between showers, hang them where they can air-dry thoroughly. A hook is fine, but a towel rail is better.

11. Fight musty smells

Just like in the fridge, an open box of bicarbonate of soda placed near your sheets and towels can prevent a dank linen closet.

LIVING ROOM SPRUCE-UP

12. Add shine with vinegar

Use white vinegar to brighten your windows. Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar with 1 litres of water, and dispense into a used spray bottle. Squirt on and wipe away with a clean microfiber cloth, not paper towels, which can cause streaking.

13. Cover furniture nicks

Got a scuff or a scratch on your wood furniture? Rub it with a walnut (shell removed) to mask the damage.

14. Make a mirror gleam

Since coffee filters are lint-free, you can swap them out for paper towels to give mirrors a no-streak shine.

You’re welcome 🙂