Environmentally Safe Green House Cleaning

Cleaning Houses with Environmentally Safe Products

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Most of us living in the Boise area want nothing more than to protect our environment. We also want clean homes waiting for us once we return from work after a long day. Can we have both? Can we have a clean home while protecting our environment? Yes, we can. If we use environmentally safe products or hire house cleaning companies in Boise that do the same.  Here are a few ways to keep a clean house and protect our planet at the same time!

Everything is Better When Someone Else Cleans Your Home

Everything is Better When Someone Else Cleans Your Home

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We work too hard. We do not play enough. We know these things, yet we do not do anything to change it. We come home from a long day at work only to work some more! What options do we have? We have plenty of options, especially when it comes to cleaning your home. Treat your house cleaning like any other project you would ordinarily task out. You probably do not do your own taxes. It is doubtful you change your own oil. Why clean your own home?

Professional House Cleaning: More Important than Ever

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Many of us are looking at spending an extended period in our homes. Far more than we are used to. The more we are home, the dirtier our house will get. The dirtier your house gets, the less you want to be there. It’s a never-ending cycle that could make you crazy if you let it. One simple solution is to have your home cleaned by a Boise house cleaner on a regular basis. The benefits are too numerous to share in one article. Here are the top three!

Fight Coronavirus by Disinfecting Your Home

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Across the nation, it is being reported that the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak is bringing more demand for cleaning services. Experts advise taking extra steps to keep your home free of germs, not only to prevent illness but also to keep it from spreading if someone is already sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronavirus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person; between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

How Happy Homes Maids Protects Your Home and Family

We are professionally trained to keep environments clean and healthy. We sanitize surfaces, and we’ve taken disinfecting to a higher level. We use commercial-grade vacuums with HEPA filtration that capture up to 99 percent of dust, allergens and other contaminants. We use disinfectant that is made to kill viruses and bacteria. We use certain cloths in certain rooms to avoid spreading germs. Our cleaning teams use hospital-grade disinfectants to sanitize their hands and vacuums from one house to the next. They wear disposable gloves to keep outside germs away. We will continue to enforce our policy of requiring team members who exhibit or are showing signs of illness to stay home.

You don’t have to fight the coronavirus alone!

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Home and Family

CDC Recommendations

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water aren’t readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow and immediately wash your hands
  • Wear a face mask if you are sick and around other people (such as in the case of a visit to the doctor’s office – they should have a face mask available for you to put on when you enter their office)

Our Cleaning Recommendations

  • Keep getting your house professionally cleaned and disinfected by Happy Homes Maids.
  • We recommend that you clean commonly touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly during this time, between Happy Homes cleanings.
  • Let’s take good care of each other: Please call us to postpone your clean if your family is sick. Our employees are being asked to stay home if they are sick.

Why You Should Hire a Professional Maid Service For Your Office

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If you are managing an office, you might need to have it cleaned from time to time. Many managers will task their employees with cleaning their offices, thinking that it will save them money. That’s not actually the case, though. In most cases, you will end up spending more money by having your employees clean up the office beyond just quick maintenance. When you task your employees with cleaning your office, you are paying them to clean. You’ll then have to pay them to do the work that they would have done in that time. So, in a sense, you’ll be paying them twice. 

Since they’re not professionals, they’ll likely do a less effective job than professionals would. So, that means you’ve paid them like professional cleaners to do a job below the standard of professionals. That’s a poor financial decision. It’s a better option to hire professionals, but make sure they are ones who specialize in cleaning offices. 

Office Cleaners

Some maids explicitly specialize in cleaning offices. That’s particularly important because offices have some particulars that can make cleaning them difficult. For example, many offices are full of dozens of computers. Computers need to be cleaned with specific cleaners and specific practices. Computer fans tend to collect dust that needs to be cleaned out. It can be vacuumed out and/or it can be blasted out with compressed air. Cans of compressed air duster or air compressors aren’t necessarily standard tools for a maid. They are pretty standard for office maids, though. 

Furthermore, offices tend to have more paper and staples around the floor. If a maid runs a normal vacuum over dozens of staples, they might damage the vacuum. Oftentimes, maids who work in offices will bring vacuums that have magnets across the front. The magnets will pick up the staples before they can get sucked up in the vacuum. 

Pricing

Professional cleaners who work in offices are going to be better than other cleaners at estimating how long or how difficult the job might be. That means that they’ll be able to give you a more accurate estimate of the time involved in the job. A better estimate will allow you to budget your time more effectively; it will also make it easier to schedule. Some cleaners like to work in an empty office; if you need to empty out your office, you don’t want to do that for longer than is absolutely necessary.

Use a Professional Office Cleaning Company in Boise

If your office is a mess and you’re tired of paying your employees to only get it halfway cleaned, you need to get in touch with us over at Happy Homes Maids. We have over 20 years of experience cleaning in all types of spaces both big and small. Give us a call today to see how we can help you!

Should You Clean Your House Before The Maids Arrive?

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It might sound counterintuitive to clean your house before your house cleaners arrive, but it’s a fairly common practice. There are several reasons that people do this. Some people do it simply because they don’t want a stranger to see how dirty their house has become. Maids typically aren’t judgemental, so that’s not a huge concern. However, if it’s a concern of yours, then cleaning up a little bit beforehand can help. Some people clean up around their houses so that they can more readily identify areas that they don’t want to clean. For example, if you clean up the kitchen but you have some stubborn stains on the refrigerator door, you might be able to identify them to the maid for additional attention. Lastly, cleaning up around the house can save you money. 

Saving Money

Many house cleaners will charge by the hour, or they’ll charge extra for particularly difficult areas to clean. So, if your kitchen is very dirty, it might take an hour to clean the kitchen alone. That will add an entire hour’s worth of expense to your cleaning bill. If you clean up around the kitchen yourself before the maid arrives, it might only take 30 minutes for the maid to finish up. That’s a considerable amount of money saved. 

Also, cleaning up before the maid arrives can save you money by reducing the difficulty of the cleaning job. Cleaning an oven, for example, is a very time-consuming task. If it’s already mostly cleaned, then maybe the maid won’t even charge you extra. 

Identify What You Don’t Want Cleaned

Cleaning up around your house before the maid arrives will allow you to assess what you have around the house and what you would like the maid to clean. For example, if you are cleaning around your living room, you might notice some fragile items that you’d forgotten you had. If you’re worried about those things getting broken, then you won’t want the maid to clean them. House Cleaners are typically bonded and insured against damages to your property, and they try to be as careful as they can be, but accidents do happen. You can avoid those accidents by just cleaning your fragile items and then putting a sticky note on them. 

Identify Tough Jobs

If you typically do your own cleaning, you’ll be able to identify some places that you have a hard time cleaning. You’ll be able to ask the maid to put a little bit of special attention on those areas. You won’t know that unless you clean up beforehand, though.

Will Your Housekeeper Clean The Oven?

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It’s not always clear which parts of your house your housekeeper will clean when you first hire them. The best practice is to have them come to your home before your first cleaning job. Walk them through different parts of the house, and tell them what you would like cleaned. They’ll tell you if they normally clean that part of the house or if they charge extra to clean it. You’ll also be able to tell them things you don’t want cleaned. For example, if you have fragile items that you can’t replace, it might be best to just clean them yourself. Along the way, they’ll tell you if they clean ovens. Typically, housekeepers clean the outsides of ovens but they don’t clean the inside. Cleaning the inside is a pretty difficult task. If they do clean it, or if they clean it for a fee, you can save some money by doing a pre-clean yourself.

How to Pre-Clean Your Oven

 Cleaning your oven can make it much easier for your housecleaner when he or she arrives. In some cases, house cleaners actually won’t clean an oven that’s too dirty. So, a good pre-clean might be essential. The easiest way to accomplish this is to run the self-cleaning cycle on your oven. When you read about self-cleaning ovens, some will swear by them and others will suggest that you should never use the cycle. If you follow the instructions on your oven, it will likely work out fine.

Take out the racks and any type of oven liner. Also, take any pots or pans off the range on top of the oven. Don’t use any type of chemical oven cleaner before the cleaning cycle, and make sure that any pets or children are out of the area. When you turn on the cycle, it will heat up the oven to an excess of 900 degrees Fahrenheit. The process can take between an hour and six hours. As it burns off anything stuck on the oven, it will likely create smoke. So you’ll need to stick around to open windows, direct fans, and otherwise ventilate the area. After the process is finished, you’ll likely have ashes on the bottom of the oven. You’ll need to wait an hour or more for the oven to cool down. Sweep the ashes into a dustpan, and the oven is ready to be cleaned by the house cleaner.

Cleaning It Yourself

If you don’t have a self-cleaning cycle or if it worries you, you can also use a pan of water. Put a pan of water on the center rack of the oven. Turn the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to run for at least an hour. That will create steam inside the oven to loosen grease and grime. After that, allow the oven to cool. Scrub it with a damp brush and allow it to dry.

Lastly, you can use a commercial oven cleaner. If you use an oven cleaner, you’ll need to follow the instructions on the cleaner. Use a face mask and gloves because they can be very caustic. Typically, you will heat the oven to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and then turn it off. Spray the oven cleaner, allow it to sit, and then wipe it clean.

How Much Can You Expect to Pay for a House Cleaner?

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Maid service was once thought of as a luxury. In the days of one-income households with two adults, it was simple for one person to do the cleaning while home and for the other person to work outside of the house. Now, two-income households are becoming the norm. That means that there’s no one around to clean your house. You could clean it when you get off work or on the weekends, but that leaves little time for anything but work and unpaid work. Instead, many people are turning to house cleaners. It’s an added expense, but how much does it actually cost?

 

Square Footage or Time

Maids tend to charge either hourly or by the square footage. If you can choose, then you should weigh your options. Charging by the hour is probably best for homes that are fairly large. If you home is large, it’s entirely possible that the job could still go fairly quickly. The housekeeper might move from room to room fairly efficiently. If you were charged by square footage, you might be charged for rooms that don’t necessarily need cleaning.

 

However, if your home is fairly small, charging by square footage is useful. It allows you to anticipate exactly how much the job will cost. Typically, house cleaners charge between $50 and $90 per hour. They charge about $90 for 1000 square feet and $250 for more than $3000.

 

Repeat Business

If you schedule your maid to come at a certain time each month, you can likely save some money on the cost. That’s because they will be able to estimate better how long it will take them and give you a more accurate estimate. Furthermore, things that typically don’t get dirty in only a few weeks will still be clean. That will speed up the cleaning process. The maids know that; thus, they charge less for repeat cleanings. Typically, customers save between $5 and $15 for repeat cleanings.

 

Averages

So, what does all of that mean for you? On average, cleaning an apartment costs customers about $100 per cleaning. That will be slightly lower for repeat customers. Cleaning a single family home costs about $130. A business costs about $150. Multi-family homes, large businesses, or large homes will cost you slightly more.

A one-time cleaning, such as for a party or an open house, will be a deeper clean. It generally costs between $200 and $300 for a single family home.

Which Cleaning Services Are Specialty Services?

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When you hire a new housekeeper for the first time, it’s important to do some research. Make sure you know how much they charge, what time they’ll show up, how long it will take, whether they bring their own supplies, and what they need from you. These are all important conversations to have. Typically, that happens when they do a walk-through of your space before the first cleaning. However, some housekeepers just list additional charges for “specialty services” without always clarifying what that includes. There are a few things that you should know are considered specialty; if you don’t read closely or ask the right questions, you might not realize certain things aren’t typically included.

 

Kitchen Appliance Cleaning

 Kitchen appliances are some of the most difficult parts of your house to clean. They combine practically every aspect of a difficult cleaning situations. They experience frequent use, they’re heated regularly, and they face lots of oil. All of those things combine to make difficult cleaning. Most housekeepers will clean the outside of a kitchen appliance in their standard repertoire of services. However, you’ll need to ask about cleaning the insides. Cleaning the front of an oven with some surface cleaner is completely different from actually cleaning inside of an oven.

Cleaning inside and oven requires time, heat, and special cleaning solutions. It’s also very labor-intensive. If you need someone to clean the inside of your refrigerator, dishwasher, or oven, you need to ask about that beforehand.

 

Window Cleaning

 Windows are something that many people assume will be included in their normal housekeeping services, but many cleaning companies consider them to be specialty services. They’re a little bit more tedious than some other cleaning tasks and they don’t always need to be completed every week or every month. If nobody is smudging your windows, they should be relatively clean for quite a while. That’s why most cleaning companies don’t bother to do it unless you ask about it.

Outdoors window cleaning is yet another expense. Some companies don’t even offer it as a service.

 

Wall Cleaning

 Cleaning the walls is not particularly difficult, but much like the windows, they might not need it very often. So, most companies don’t include wall cleaning in their services. However, it does take enough time that they will charge you extra for wall cleaning. If you’ve got smudges on your walls, be sure to ask about wall cleaning services.

Several other services might be considered specialty depending on the company you hire.

Do You Have to Provide The Cleaning Supplies For Your Housekeeper?

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Clients who are hiring their first housekeepers often wonder if they’re supposed to provide the cleaning supplies or if the housekeeper brings them. The answer is not a simple yes or no. It’s a mixture of the two depending on what you need and on who you hire.

 

Typical Situation

 A typical housekeeping situation involves the housekeeper bringing some of the supplies and you providing other supplies. Usually, a housekeeper will tell you what chemicals, supplies, and tools that they will need to properly clean your house. That usually involves some microfiber cloths, a vacuum, a mop and bucket, rubber gloves, brushes, window cleaner, surface cleaner, and a mild abrasive. That about covers a typical home cleaning kit. Many housekeeping companies are willing to bring everything they need to clean your house effectively, but they will charge you a surcharge for those supplies. You can provide the chemicals and supplies yourself to avoid the surcharge.

However, if you say you will provide the supplies but fail to do so, that could void any guarantee for the quality of the surface. Alternately, they might end up using their own supplies and charging you anyway.

Lastly, some companies will demand that you have certain supplies in your house while bringing other supplies with them. Those supplies are typically a broom and a mop. That’s because brooms and mops are used to clean up pet hair. Some clients are allergic to pet hair. They could accidentally transfer pet dander from one house to the next, which could be a problem.

 

Special Requests

 

All of that is altered if you have some kind of special request. For example, you might want the housekeeper to only use green, environmentally friendly products. If they’re a green housekeeping company, then that’s not a problem. If they’re not, you’ll need to provide all of the cleaning chemicals.

Also, if you have allergies or sensitivities, you’ll need to let your housekeeper know about it. That could alter which chemicals they use; if you have very specific sensitivities, they might require you to provide the chemicals.

Lastly, many companies are very hesitant about bleach. Obviously many people are sensitive to bleach and it can damage certain fabrics or surfaces. If you insist on the use of bleach, they might ask that you provide it yourself. Alternately, they might require that you waive any liability for bleach damage.

 

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