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!

7 ways to efficiently heat your rental this winter!

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Although we’ve gotten away with a pretty mild winter so far, when the frost does become more of a regular occurrence, we want to stay as warm and as cosy inside our rental (or home!) without breaking our heating bill budget. Doing a few small things to prepare can make your winter season much more efficient and save you money!

Follow these handy heating tips:

1. Get to know your boiler or heating system

To heat your rental property  effectively & efficiently, you will need to know how to operate the heating system. Being comfortable using the thermostat and timer will make it easier to create a heating regime that works best for you.

2. Bleed the radiators

Allow the radiators to work at their optimum level by ensuring they have been bled and are heating up properly. If you’re unsure how, follow this how-to guide.

3. Aim for the optimum temperature

During the day, when the heating is most likely to be on, its best that you find an optimum temperature where you are not too warm or too cold. This sweet spot will allow you to enjoy a comfortable home without running up ridiculously high bills from overheating. The NHS recommend that you choose a temperature of at least 18°C (64°F) if you are over 65, but you can lower this if you are younger and active.

4. DIY draught excluder

Draught excluders prevent the loss of heat and the influx of draughts from beneath your door. These handy inventions have been around for hundreds of years, and you can even spare the cost of buying one by making your own. This can double up as a fun DIY craft project if you are looking for something to do indoors in the winter — take a look at the National Trust’s fool-proof guide to making a festive draught excluder for further instruction.

5. Check your windows

Cracks can sometimes form in window frames and allow in a draught. Check the windows and cover any gaps with draught-proofing strips.

6. Put your extractor fan on a timer

Extractor fans in the kitchen or bathroom can cool the house if left on unnecessarily. If possible, install a timer on your fans.

7. Make the most of curtains

Closing the curtains can add an extra layer of insulation, as well as allowing you to show them off!

Make sure you stay warm this winter!

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.

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??

Top 10 Home Cleaning Tips!

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It’s surprising just how filthy household items can get and the serious harm that these surfaces can cause if not cleaned properly. Harmful germs will breed on a surface within hours so it’s important, especially at winter time when people are more likely to pick up a virus, to regularly clean surfaces.

With that in mind, we though we’d share some top cleaning tips to help you keep things running smoothly at home:

  1. Soak in the sink: Within eight hours, one bacterium on a damp cloth can turn into six million, so soak your cloth in the kitchen sink in a couple of inches of hot water with a capful of bleach or other multipurpose cleaner.
  2. Leave those lids down: Germs from the toilet bowl can become airborne for two hours after each flush and travel as far as six feet. Always replace the lid before flushing! If you need to use a toilet brush, make sure you disinfect it after use.
  3. Prevent poisoning: Campylobacter is carried by about half of all dogs and cats, which can cause food poisoning in their owners. If you let pets join you on the sofa, spray the upholstery afterwards with Dettol All in One Disinfectant Spray to kill germs and harmful bacteria.
  4. Put bacteria to bed: A warm bedroom is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites. The average person sheds up to 10g of skin a week and up to 18kg in a lifetime. Pull back bed linen every morning, vacuum your mattress as well as under the bed every few weeks and open the windows.
  5. On your marks: Stubborn marks on your toilet bowl or enamel bath? Try rubbing a pumice stone on the stain. It’s hard enough to shift stains yet soft enough not to mark the surface.
  6. Sweat dreams: A fair proportion of a pillow’s weight is made up of skin scales, dandruff, sweat, and saliva. Load two pillows at a time into the washing machine then stick them in the tumble dryer with a few tennis balls to stop the filling clumping.
  7. Get in the spirit: Tackle those stains with a splash of vodka or gin on carpet or upholstery. To be safe, check a hidden area first to make sure the colours don’t come out.
  8. Sink your toothbrushes into it: They’re great for getting into those tricky corners such as around the base of taps, tile grouting and around the hinges of the toilet seat.
  9. Seal out the germs:  The seal around the fridge commonly harbours mould, which can spread every time the fridge door opens, contaminating the food. Remember to wipe fridge seals in your cleaning routine.
  10. Kill bacteria in beaks:  A child’s rubber duck can harvest multiple dangerous germs in their beaks and harmful mould at the base. Before first use, apply glue in the holes to prevent mould from creeping in.

You’re welcome 🙂

5 awesome bathroom cleaning hacks!

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Is bathroom cleaning seriously doubt the highlight of anyone’s day? Regardless of what you think, the bathroom needs to be cleaned. If you want to spend less time in the bathroom cleaning, here are five bathroom cleaning hacks that should definitely try!

1. How to Clean a Showerhead

To clean a showerhead, pour distilled white vinegar into a plastic bag big enough to fit over your showerhead. Put the plastic bag (with vinegar in it) over your showerhead and secure it with a rubber band. Allow it to soak for 1 hour. Remove the bag of vinegar and wipe the shower head with a paper towel or cloth. Voila!

2. How to Clean Shower Doors

The easiest way to clean shower doors is to use a squeegee after each shower. However, if you forget to use these, the shower door becomes covered in limescale, which then makes it a pain to clean. To remove the limescale from your shower door mix baking soda and water to create a paste. Rub the paste on to the shower door with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse with vinegar and see through your shower door once more.

3. How to Clean Grout

When the grout in your bathroom starts looking a little grimey it’s time for some deep cleaning. To clean grout, make a paste out of baking soda and water, then line the grout lines with the paste. Spray a little vinegar over the paste and allow to sit for a minute. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub, scrub, scrub! Before you know it, your grout will be looking like new again!

4. How to Clean a Bathtub

Hmmm, orange or grapefruit and salt anyone? To clean a bathtub, cut an orange or grapefruit in half, sprinkle with coarse salt, and scrub away. Not only will your bathtub look sparkling clean, but it will smell lovely as well.

5. How to Clean a Toilet

Toilets can be nasty places and always need cleaning. Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep them sparkling. Pour ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar in the toilet. Let sit at least 15 minutes, then scrub and flush. You’re left with a nice, clean toilet.

Now go and enjoy doing something fun!

Handy tips for removing two tough stains – You’re welcome ;)

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Picture this scenario – It’s Saturday night and you’re settling down to watch X-Factor (admit it ;)) after spending the afternoon giving your home a good clean. The lounge looks like a magazine cover, and it’s time to have a glass of red wine and relax…  or so you thought! The first sip has managed to miss your mouth and make its way onto your clean sofa cushion. F***!!!!!!!!!! What do you do?

Don’t worry, we know that these accidents happen all the time, especially after you’ve just spent time cleaning! We thought we’d share a couple of  home cleaning secrets for removing these two tough but common stains:

Red Wine:

It’s not unusual after a long day at work to accidentally doze off and spill your red wine on the sofa.  This is not the end of the world; just make sure to get some clean paper towels, table salt, washing up liquid and laundry detergent and follow these simple cleaning instructions:

  1. Use the paper towels to quickly blot the stained area until all excess moisture is removed
  2. Pour a thick layer of salt over the stained material
  3. Leave the salt for around three minutes before rinsing thoroughly with cold water.

Then, if the stain is on a cushion:

  1. Remove the cushion cover to rinse thoroughly under the sink
  2. Wash the cushion cover in the washing machine with heavy-duty laundry detergent

Or, if the stain is on the arm of the sofa:

  1. Sponge the detergent on using a clean whitecloth (make sure to be thorough when applying the soapy mix)
  2. Repeat the blotting process, rinsing the cloth with cold water when necessary, until it disappears from the fabric.

 Tea:

If you happen to spill a little of your tea whilst getting excited over the latest development on Broadchurch, don’t stress – here’s what to do:

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of washing up liquid with two cups of cold water
  2. Sponge the washing up liquid on using a clean white cloth (make sure to be thorough when applying the soapy mix)
  3. Repeat the blotting process, rinsing the cloth with cold water when necessary, until it disappears from the fabric.

Check out our previous post on removing different types of tough stains and let us know if you have any good tips!