Here are some points to think about if you're considering hiring a cleaning service. For some folks the only factor is cost but there are many other things to think about, my objective is to bring these to your attention to protect you. When interviewing a cleaning business for your home, don't be afraid to ask these questions.
Q: Are you bonded and insured?
Skipping this question could cost you. A company should carry both liability and worker's compensation insurance, at minimum. Ask for proof.
Worker's comp is especially important, since without it, you could be held liable for job-related injuries. You may be held responsible for injuries sustained in your home. Don't think your homeowners insurance policy is a backup, either, as some do not cover people working in your home.
Q. What products do you use?
Look for a company or cleaning lady that uses her own cleaning products, instead of using yours. Cleaners know how to use familiar products safely and effectively, so they're less likely to damage surfaces. Plus, it's less money and headache for you. Of course, this question is even more important if you want to be sure only non-toxic cleaners are used.
Q: Can I get some references?
It's smart to ask home cleaning services or a cleaning lady for references from current clients. At the very least look for reviews online. Ask friends or your Facebook community, and search for Yelp and Google reviews.
Q. How do you screen your staff?
Ask about employee background screenings. A rigorous screening process scares off many bad applicants from the very beginning. Ideally, employers should check references, and all of their employees should have criminal record checks performed, considering they will be trusted to work in peoples homes. If you're hiring an independent cleaning lady, certainly Google her, and do your own background check online, too. It's amazing what you can learn on Facebook about some one! It could potentially save you an immeasurable headache.
Q: How much do you charge?
When calling around for cleaning quotes, know that home cleaning services or a cleaning lady should be able to give you at least a rough estimate over the phone so you get a general idea of whether or not they're in your budget. If they can't or won't on the first call, save your time and energy and find another provider. It's easy to find a cleaning lady who charges $15-$20 per hour, but how protected is the home owner? If your cleaning lady is an employee of a local cleaning company, that service will cost more but at least there will be insurance and coverage in place to protect the homeowner.
Q: What's the easiest way to get ahold of someone?
Often times, home cleaning services work hard to gain your business in the beginning. Once they book that first appointment, however, you may find they're not nearly as friendly and responsive. If that happens anytime, especially early on, run.
What happens when you really need to get a hold of them? You want proactive communication. Cleaning reminders, calls on your cleaning day, and follow-ups by phone or email after each visit are a great way to tell if your new provider really wants to keep you in the loop. Open communication allows you to relay any problems, which helps your service grow better over time, as well as thanks for a job well done.
Cinderella Clean made the choice to lighten our environmental footprint in the fall of last year. The use of harsh chemicals and bleaches is not good for anyone. Every time we clean a home or office, chemicals end up going down the drain. What about all the plastic containers used to house the cleaning products? What about our bodies interaction with the cleaning products? Our children and pets interaction? In order to implement cleaner practices some research was necessary. What environmentally sensitive products will replace our current lineup? Where can I find these products locally? Will the cleaning power be the same? How much will it cost?
Enter The Soap Exchange, located at 1393A Hillside Ave. in Victoria BC. All of the products sold by the Soap Exchange are 100% biodegradable, all packaging is re-used, all of the spray bottles, all of the squirt bottles are re-filled over and over. Even the cardboard boxes I use to carry all of my refills home from the Soap Exchange have been re-used many times. All of their products are Canadian made, contain no animal byproducts, and are not tested on animals. The products are safe for your family, your septic and waste water system, they contain no parabens or sodium laureth sulfates. Many of the products are also dye free and fragrance free.
Before Cinderella Clean could put these products to use in your home I needed to test them out for myself. I am going to give you my opinion on everything I have used so far. If you are interested in purchasing Soap Exchange products for your home or business Cinderella Clean is a distributor, I would love to tell you more about them!
This is by far our most used product, it is labeled as an all purpose cleaner. Nature Power is highly concentrated, for heavy cleaning 50ml to 1 litre of water is recommended. Nature Power is Citrus based, I find it smells good, while not being over powering. I love this product as a general purpose cleaner in the kitchen, bathroom, anywhere I need a multi purpose cleaner. I use 50 ml of this product in 4 litres of warm water for washing floors and it is great! The fact that it is dilutable means a bottle of this goes a long way!
Red Marvel is the go to product in the bathroom! It cleans the grossest of showers to a brilliant shine, it is powerful on toilet bowls. It cleans the dirtiest sinks easily. I have found the best way to use this product is to apply it and let it do the work, 5 minutes later wipe the surface clean! Red Marvel removes rust, scum, calcium, and other scale deposits. It's phosphate free and 100% biodegradable.
Ship Shape is a powerful creme cleanser. I was simply amazed when I used it on my glass top stove! If you have ever owned a glass top stove you know how hard it is to keep it clean. Ship Shape powers through the cooked on filth and polishes to a gleaming shine! It's great for cleaning ceramic tiles, porcelain, marble, chrome, stainless steel, brass, and silver! It will remove pencil, ink, shoe polish, and scuff marks. Acid free, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly!
Wow! If you need a product that can remove asphalt from your car's paint job, Peel Power will do it! A very strong natural citrus degreaser, it is dilutable and safe to use in your home! It can clean stains from concrete driveways, clean and deodorize garbage cans, neutralize pet odours, degrease engines, yet safe enough to clean the bathroom!
This is by far the best dish soap period. Dye free, scent free, phosphate free, highly effective in hard water, VERY gentle on the skin! I have suffered with eczema (dermatitis) most of my life. It gets so bad on my hands that washing dishes with a generic dish soap is out of the question. When I use Soft Shine I am happy to report I have no issues! No itches, redness, cracks, or inflammation.
This really makes me wonder what is in those other dish soaps? I feel confident about cleaning my little ones bottles and all of our dishes with Soft Shine Dish Soap.
I am not a fan of dishwashers! I suppose it's because I grew up without one. However our house is equipped with one, and my husband uses it religiously.
I asked him how he liked the new detergent? His response was, "I can't believe how small the scoop is!" You get over 100 loads out of this small pail, the dishes come out feeling clean and residue free. 100% biodegradable !
More to come!
I have bought shampoo and conditioner from the soap exchange, along with some other personal care products. I will give my thoughts on these products in one of my future posts.