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Tuesday, 11 November 2014

How to remove candle wax stains.

Did you know that November is National Candle Month?

Not that I need an excuse to light a candle, it's the first thing I do when I get home from work now that the evenings are so dark. Nothing is more cosy and comforting than the soft flicker of a scented candle.

If your candle burning however, has left you with a few waxy drips don't panic, its not that difficult to clean up. Here's how to remove wax from most:-

Hard Surfaces.

1. Freeze to harden wax using either a plastic bag filled with ice cubes or a packet of frozen peas. Protect your hands with gloves.
2. Use a blunt knife to gently scrape away wax from surface, being careful not to scratch it.
3. Wipe with a sponge dipped into a solution of laundry powder or dish washing liquid in warm water, a small amount of either soap is sufficient. Repeat until stain disappears.


Washable Fabric.

1. Scrape away excess wax and place the affected area in between two pieces of white blotting paper or kitchen towel.
2. Press gently with a warm iron and change the paper as it absorbs the stain.
3. Use the stain removing solution above on non colour fast fabric if any residue remains. For whites and cottons you can flush hot water straight through the fabric.
4. Allow to dry. If the stain remains repeat the above step.
5. When all trace of the stain have gone, wash in the washing machine as normal. 


Carpet. 

1. Freeze candle wax using the previous method.
2. Remove excess wax with a blunt knife or spatula.
Place a piece of grease proof paper over the stain and press with a warm iron. Change the paper and repeat until no stain remains.
3. Use the dish wash solution, 1/4 teaspoon to a cup of warm water to blot clean the residue. Repeat as necessary.


Of course preventing any candle wax stains is safer and obviously cleaner, so my top tips are:


  • Position your candle where you want it and light it there. Don't light your candle and then carry it to where you want it!
  • Always use a candle holder and place on heat resistant surfaces.
  • Keep away from soft furnishings and drafts.
  • Keep out of reach from children and pets.
  • Never leave a lit candle unattended.
  • Use a candle snuffer or a spoon, never blow out a candle as you could spread wax or sparks. 

I'm a Candle Connoisseur Extraordinaire! What is your candle IQ?

Written by Julia Poole owner at Elite Cleaning Ltd

   

Thursday, 25 September 2014

How to clean your shower in 4 steps.

Are you cleaning on a Sunday and if so what? The question I asked my Facebook fans last weekend.

Cleaning the bathroom was the answer I had, and in particular from Katie,"I hate cleaning my shower cubicle".

So, just for you Katie, and anyone else who hates this chore, here's how I clean my shower.

You will need:

3 cups of white vinegar
1 cup washing up liquid (dish soap) any brand will do
Sponge scourer
Bucket
Microfibre glass cleaning cloth
Old toothbrush/nail brush
Spray bottle


Simply add 2 cups of vinegar and washing up liquid together in a jug and carefully pour into spray bottle. If you warm the vinegar in the jug first for about 1 minute and then pour the washing up liquid into the jug there will be no waste, it'll slide out!

1. Empty your shower of any items and if you have a removable shower head, unscrew and soak in the bathroom basin with hot water and a cup of vinegar. Place a large towel, or a non slip bath mat in the base of your shower. You may need to use a step ladder to reach your tiles. This will stop you from slipping and marking the base.

2. Get in the shower, close the door and generously spray every surface with the vinegar mixture, (please note this is not suitable for cleaning marble or any natural stone products). Pay particular attention to the door runner base. Your toothbrush is needed for this bit. Now step away from your shower and go do something else for the next 20 minutes or so. Keep in mind, the dirtier your shower, the longer you will need to leave the solution.

3. Fill your bucket with hand hot water, soak your sponge and start cleaning your tiles, then door from the top down. Use the scourer side for any stubborn marks, nail brush for grout areas and your toothbrush for hard to reach parts such as inside the door runner. Rinse with fresh clean water, I use the shower hose to do this.

4. The shower base is the last thing to clean and you'll need to be half in, half out on your knees to do this. Who said cleaning was easy?! Spray with solution and repeat the above process. Replace shower head, turn on water and let run for a few minutes to rinse any residue of vinegar away. Remove excess water from the base, tiles and door with a damp microfibre glass cloth.


Repeat this deep clean every month or so, depending on how quickly it becomes dirty again. Spray clean in between using a solution of half vinegar/water. This will keep your tiles and chrome free from limescale marks, and keep your door and base clear of any soap scum.

I don't have a problem with black mould in my bathroom, but if you do here's some extra information on what causes it and how to deal with it.


Written by Julia Poole owner and Elite Cleaner




Thursday, 17 July 2014

3 reasons why you should be cleaning your office regularly.



Whether it's an entire floor in a commercial building, or a tiny, cramped home office, keeping your office clean is essential to motivate both yourself and your employees. We've compiled a list of 3 of the most important reasons you need to keep your office tidy...

Appeal
Imagine turning up to an office, ready for a meeting and dressed to impress, only to find that the office has quite the opposite idea. In business, first impressions count dramatically, and greeting potential clients, customers and employees with an unorganised mess doesn't say much about you. Your office reflects you - if you really think desks overloaded with dust and paper, overflowing bins and countless coffee rings represents you perfectly, then carry on.

It's not just the appeal to others either. Employees need to stay motivated in order to be productive and happy within their working environment, and a dirty working area isn't going to promote any kind of efficiency. De-clutter and wipe down your own space regularly to create an organised, peaceful environment; shuffling through that mountain of paper for one document when you're stressed is the last thing you want to do.

Pride
If your employees have no pride in their working space, how can you expect them to have any pride in their work? A clean, sharp, organised working space will ultimately produce clean, sharp and organised results, and if your office is dirty, dull and unpleasant, you can guess what kind of results you'll be achieving. Give your workforce an office to be proud of, an office that is a pleasure to work in, and you'll notice it in their results. They say a clean home is a happy home, and we think a clean office is a happy office too.

Health
It seems obvious, but in huge shared spaces (or small home office style spaces for that matter) bacteria is everywhere, and unhygienic conditions could potentially make you ill. Staff absenteeism is an unwanted cost for any business, so it's important to make sure your office is germ-free and absentee-free. Our desks are full of nifty electronics too, which we all love, but bacteria loves them too. Give your electronics a wipe regularly, especially your mobile phone, you'd be surprised just how dirty they really are... probably so surprised you wouldn't put it anywhere near your face again. Having a reasonable and sensible attitude to providing a healthy workplace for employees shows you genuinely care about their well-being at work, and you're employees will feel valued and content.

Change your cleaning habits for the better, and you'll change your working habits too.

This blog was written by Darren Timon, the Managing Director of Aroma Cleaning UK Ltd; a nationwide domestic and office cleaning company.Darren writes regularly on his own blog on the Aroma Cleaning website.

We get into the nooks and crannies other cleaners just skirt around, and no job is too large or too small. From domestic ovens to windows and carpets; from offices to schools and shopping centres, Aroma Cleaning outshines the competition at every level. 

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Elite Tips To Save You Time On Your Office Cleaning.


If you don't hire professional cleaners at your workplace, and you don't employ an in house cleaner, who does the cleaning? As the business owner, do you do it yourself or do have your own employees to clean up?

Whatever your arrangements, it can be an overwhelming task, especially if you have a large area to clean. Being organised and methodical enables you to spend quality time cleaning thoroughly and correctly.

Here are some Elite tips to help you save time on your office cleaning.






1. Draw up a specification of daily, weekly and monthly tasks. This makes cleaning of an area large or small more manageable and less stressful. Knowing what you have to clean and when makes things much easier.

2. Don't let just one person have full responsibility for cleaning. Delegate certain areas to individual  people, this ensures best results and is fair all round. You can even make a rota so each person in the building takes a turn.

3. If you have a workplace over more than one level, provide cleaning equipment such as vacuums, mops/buckets on each level for convenience. Stock kitchen/toilet cupboards with the essentials, multi purpose cleaner, polish, toilet cleaner, coloured cloths, soap, toilet rolls and paper hand towels.

4. A bucket or a trug filled with cleaning supplies makes it easy to have everything at hand, you don't want to waste time going to and fro the cleaning cupboard if you've forgotten something. Just carry it all with you. I even tie my cleaning cloth to my spray bottle for extra speed.

5. Where applicable, always load the dishwasher first. When cleaning is finished the dishwasher is ready to unload. If there isn't one, make certain that your staff are responsible for cleaning their cups and dishes after use. This is a simple task, often overlooked but  when left to build up can take so much time to wash up.

6. Place a few bin liners at the bottom of your bin, this is excellent for quick and easy replacement. Just remember to replenish once you've used them all.

7. Dust before you vacuum. Doing it the other way around makes more mess and you have to vacuum again if you have a messy, dusty desk. You can also implement  a clean desk policy. Getting everyone to organise their desk at the end of the week makes it so much easier and quicker to clean.

We hope these simple yet effective tips are of some use to you.

Of course you could always engage the services of a cleaning company to do everything for you. You don't have to have daily office cleaning. It can be once, twice or three times a week. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions www.elitecleaners2008.co.uk 

Written by Julia Poole




Thursday, 15 May 2014

How To Recycle, Reuse & Reinvent Socks.


Socks, socks, everywhere but not two the same to make a pair!

Someone, somewhere  right now is frantically sorting through a freshly washed basket of clothes wondering, "where the hell is that fourth sock"!

Two pairs went into the machine, but only one and a half came out! Sound familiar?

This is a common, yet unexplained mystery in many households, including ours. So what do you actually do with the sole survivors of these pairs? Throw them out, put them at the back of the drawer, forgotten and never to be worn again or do you recycle, reuse and reinvent them?


We've searched our Pinterest boards and  put together three of the best ways to reuse your spare socks for cleaning.

1. Swiffer Socks.
Buying Swiffer refills can be expensive, so instead use a dry sock, chenille or acrylic, to dust and a wet/damp to wash.

Source i-will-wait0

2. Laundry Dryer Balls.
Cut the long part, cuff of the sock. Turn inside out and sew one end, using a sewing machine or hand sew tightly. Turn the right way again. Fill with 50/50 lavender, or dried flower/herb of your choice and flax seed, to weigh it down. Tuck the ends in and sew tightly together. Voila! Sock scented heaven, pop in the dryer with your washing.



Source Ecokaren 

3. Blind Cleaner.
Use equal parts white vinegar/ warm water in a bowl, soak your sock, wring, pop on your hand like a glove and simply wipe away the dust and dirt. 

Source Buzzfeed



















What do you do with your spare socks?

Written by Julia Poole owner and Elite Cleaner


Thursday, 1 May 2014

ARE YOU FAILING TO CREATE A CLEAN AND HEALTHY WORKPLACE?



Whether you work from home or in an office building, it's important to keep your premises clean and hygienic, and as free from bacteria as possible. A dirty work place can have a negative impact on you and your employees health and moral. Not to mention the bad impression you are sending to possible clients!

Did you know that 80% of infections are spread through hand contact? Basically anything your hand touches has the potential to be full of germs. The best advice therefore, would be to regularly wash your hands and hire the services of a cleaning company that specialises in office cleaning. The following areas need particular attention:-


RISK HOT SPOTS

1. Toilets
2. Kitchens
3. Desks
4. Keyboards
5. Telephones
6. Door handles
7. Light switches

CLEANING REALLY DOES MATTER, HOW CLEAN IS YOUR OFFICE?


"A report conducted by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) on behalf of hygiene specialist Initial Washroom Hygiene, has identified that the British economy could save £13.7 billion if office hygiene standards were improved – the monetary equivalent to the construction of 25 major new hospitals or the combined annual wages of 460,000 UK office staff".  


Daniel Solomon, economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, commented: "This report indicates that for every worker employed, British businesses are throwing £700 down the drain. It’s a general rule that the better you care for something, the better it will perform. The British workforce is no exception. For the majority of businesses, staff represent a significant investment. In failing to create a healthy workplace environment, employers are failing their employees and businesses.” (Cleaning Matters)




How Clean Is Your Office

Always use the services of reputable, reliable, trained office cleaners. Our office cleaning is Elite if you would like a free quote, please contact us Elite Cleaning Ltd.

Written by Julia Poole

How Clean Is Your Office? by Master Cleaners

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

DO YOU KNOW WHERE GERMS ARE HIDING?



Fighting Germs

Household germs are everywhere, and 
they are particularly fond of  the kitchen and bathroom. According to a study carried out by NSF International, cleaning with disinfectant doesn't completely kill the germs, and over time the micro organisms can actually multiply and build up resistance to disinfectant.They can cause a range of illnesses from the common cold, to food poisoning and even asthma.

Although germs have a bad reputation however, we are told not to panic! A safe level of exposure to these pathogens can build and boost our immune system.
 

THE 8 GERM HOT SPOTS IN YOUR HOME.

Kitchen Sink.
The kitchen sink is 100,000 times more contaminated than the bathroom basin. Always remove residue of left over food and clean with hot soapy water. Disinfect the drain with a bleach based solution  or use a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, followed by hot water. This will unblock any build up of food and leave you with a clean, fresh smelling drain.

Kitchen Sponge/Cloth.
After 3 weeks of use your kitchen sponge will start to exhibit bacteria such as e coli and salmonella. By placing the sponge in a microwave for 2 minutes (in a microwavable bowl with water) you can kill most of the bacteria. We would recommend that you change your sponge frequently, or even better use anti bacterial surface wipes, or kitchen paper towels which are disposed of after use.

Kitchen Worktops.
As they are constantly being used they can collect and harbour all types of germs. Always wipe down your surfaces after cooking or preparing foods and use chopping boards to minimise mess and cross contamination. Always follow the instructions on cleaning products. Some disinfectants are actually ineffective if not left in contact with the surface for long enough. Keep cats/pets off work surfaces!

Animal Food Bowls.
Our pet food and drinking bowls are often overlooked, but animals carry germs in their saliva and so their bowls should be washed in hot soapy water on a daily basis or put in the dishwasher. Don't put fresh food into a dirty bowl, and always supply fresh, clean water. Keep the floor space where pet bowls are kept clean by placing a non slip mat underneath them.This will prevent spills and mess spreading, but don't forget to wipe clean too!

Oven/Hob.
Overlooked and often  in contact with dirty hands and contaminated food. Always clean up spills from your hob after cooking, otherwise they become burnt on and much more difficult to remove. We recommend a regular professional oven cleaning schedule. Once a week then remove all buttons, shelves etc..and wash in hot soapy water.

Coffee Maker.
Being dark and damp this is an ideal place for bacteria and mould to hide. Clean by filling the reservoir with 2/3 cups of white vinegar, top with water and run the machine as normal. Run again with just water until the vinegar is totally flushed out and no smell remains.

Toothbrush Holder.
Not just holding your brushes and toothpaste but also millions of germ cells too! Don't drink/rinse out of a dirty one, wash in hot soapy water whilst you are cleaning your bathroom sink, or put in the dishwasher on a regular basis.

Bathtub and Shower.
Your bath and shower harbour 26% of a bacteria called staphylococci, compared to 6% found in rubbish bins! Clean both regularly, rinse your shower out whilst showering, and if you can dry it to prevent the conditions that mould love to thrive in.

Knowing where germs are hiding is half the battle, disinfectant or good old fashioned hot soapy water, how do you intend fighting yours?

www.elitecleaners2008.co.uk

 







 

Friday, 7 March 2014

YOUR CARPETS ARE CONTAGIOUS SO CLEAN THEM!




Clean carpets not only look and smell lovely, they last longer and are healthier for you and your family. 

Your carpets act as filters, trapping harmful and damaging air pollutants such as bacteria, cigarette smoke tars, chemicals, animal dander and dust which you would otherwise breathe in. As with all filters however, they need regular cleaning and maintaining to perform at their best.

Whilst vacuuming will clean the surface, the dirt in and under your carpet can only be removed by deep cleaning. For most carpets the best method is hot water extraction it's the method recommended by most major carpet manufacturers, used by us and most professional carpet cleaning services. Cleaning is advised a minimum of every 12 -18 months, sooner in high traffic areas and if you have pets and children. 

THE DIRTY FACTS ABOUT YOUR CARPETS.

1. The five second rule is a myth. Bacteria such as Noro Virus, Salmonella and Campylobacter can actually live up to, and after 4 weeks on a carpet if not cleaned. These germs can be easily transferred to food.
2. According to Dr Philip Tierno, a microbiologist, your carpet probably contains about 200,000 bacteria per square inch, making it 4,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat!
3. Each year several pounds of soil can accumulate in and under your carpet. One person sheds about 1.5 million skin flakes per hour, most of which ends up embedded  in your carpet. 
4. Dust mites thrive in warm, humid environments, eating the dead skin you have shed and nesting in your flooring. The residue left behind by the mites can mix with dust, become airborne and may be the reason why you are suffering with various allergies. 

When properly cleaned and maintained carpeting may actually improve the air quality by removing these trapped allergens.

CARPET CARE TIPS.


1. Vacuum at least twice a week and place dirt trapping mats at entrances (or get everyone to take their shoes off!). Place machine washable rugs in high traffic areas. 
2. Treat stains and spills immediately (apart from mud, see 4). The longer you leave them sit, the less likely you are to remove them.This is especially true of pet accidents and red wine!
3. To deodorise your carpet in between cleaning, sprinkle a generous layer of sodium bicarbonate onto it, let sit as long as possible then vacuum.
4. Sprinkle salt onto dried in mud stains.This will remove the  stain and brighten the colour of your carpet.
5. Always use the services of professional carpet cleaners! They have the knowledge, training and the appropriate products and equipment to use. This ensures the best possible results are achieved every time.

For advice on any carpet cleaning issues please feel free to contact us. Don't sweep it under the carpet, CLEAN IT!
   


Friday, 7 February 2014

HOW DO YOU FIND A GOOD CLEANING COMPANY?


If you are thinking of hiring a cleaner for your home or business have you considered using the services of a cleaning company?


You may have to pay a little more per the hourly rate, but the advantages are definitely worth it.

1. No management, employee issues, confrontation or hassle.
2. No NI or PAYE, payroll, employment contracts, HR and H&S to worry about.
3. Holiday, sick, maternity, paternity and any other leave covered. Replacement provided if the
    cleaner leaves, permanently!
4. Ordering/replacement of equipment and cleaning materials dealt with directly by the company.
     (if included.)
5. Full employee, public liability insurance for total peace of mind.








So, now that you've decided that it would be a great idea, how do you go about finding a good cleaning company?

This can be a headache as there are many companies out there and how do you distinguish good from bad? Word of mouth is a good start. You may have a friend, or a friend of a friend, or relative who is already using a cleaning service themselves, either for commercial or domestic purposes.
People generally will not recommend a product or service they are not happy with, we certainly wouldn't.

If not, there  are various online directories that list cleaners and search engines are also obvious choices. Local magazinesnewspapers, yellow pages, newsagent and Post Office windows can be good ways of sourcing local companies. Reviews, good or bad can also be helpful when making your decision.

We would be very dubious, however, of hiring any company that has no website, and only lists an email or mobile number as way of contact.

It's a good idea to look for a company that has been established for a good number of years as this can be a sign of an experienced,  reliable, reputable company. You can also check with Companies House to make sure the company actually exists.

A cleaning company local to you, or within a 10 - 25 mile radius is preferably better than one miles and miles away. Problems with your service or equipment need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

The majority of companies offer free, no obligation quotes, so we would always recommend taking advantage of this. Never accept a verbal quote over the telephone (apart from the standard hourly rate) even if you ask for one a good company will always insist on a site visit. Size and condition of property need to be assessed prior to pricing. This is also an excellent opportunity to get a 'feel' for the company representative, manager or if you are lucky owner! 

It's the norm to obtain at least three quotes and never feel worried to ask for a more detailed one, including a full specification of daily, weekly and monthly tasks, including a full yearly breakdown of costs. Negotiate the price you have been given if you feel it's outside your budget, most companies include materials/equipment in the hourly rate, but if you want to provide these yourself communicate this. It may or may not result in a price reduction. Never be worried to ask questions. This is part of the process.

Always ask for references from existing customers. A good company will offer this anyway, as well as providing a copy of insurance, company registration and relevant H&S documents.

Finally, after choosing your cleaning company, don't sign the contract straight away. Agree an initial trial period, and then when satisfied with the quality of work and service you are receiving sign either the contract, T&Cs, or both.

We hope this information has been of some use to you. If you would like more information or advice on our house cleaning or office cleaning  please feel free to contact us www.elitecleaners2008.co.uk

Written by Julia Poole owner and Elite cleaner









Monday, 6 January 2014

After party cleaning tips.



Cleaning up after a party sometimes is not as straight forward and simple as just removing rubbish, recycling bottles and washing up, although we all wish this was the case!

Sometimes the general clean up can reveal exactly what your guests have been up to, especially when it comes to your carpet.

Unfortunately accidents do happen and if you don't want to call in the professionals, here are some easy kitchen cupboard recipes and tips to help you clean up!

RED WINE STAINS ON CARPETS.





Blot up as much of the wine as you can using kitchen paper towel, DO NOT RUB as this will force the stain deeper into the carpet making it more difficult to clean.

Always work from the outside in as this will prevent the stain from getting any bigger.

Mix 1 tablespoon of dish wash liquid, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 2 cups of warm water in a bowl and use a clean cloth dipped in this solution to blot the stain.  Alternate between blotting with the solution then blotting with a dry, clean cloth or kitchen towel. Repeat this until the wine stain is gone.

Finish by blotting the area with a cloth dipped in cold water to  remove any cleaning solution that remains and blot dry.

 

LIPSTICK STAINS






If you get lipstick on your carpet be sure to scrape away any excess with a thin, blunt knife. With a warm damp cloth blot the area to remove any remaining small particles.

Lipstick is oil based so needs a degreasing solution to clean. Mix a small amount of dish wash liquid or laundry powder with warm water and again use with a clean cloth to blot clean as above.

You can also use this method to clean stains from clothing, use a sponge to blot the solution onto the stain and wash in washing machine as normal.

 

CHEWING GUM






Don't panic if you get chewing gum on your carpet. Either rub an ice cube directly onto the gum (protect your hands) or fill a freezer  food bag with ice cubes and place on top of the chewing gum. Leave or rub the ice for as long as possible, the gum will then become hard and should easily break and pull away from the carpet. Treat the stain with the cleaning solution as above.

If you get gum on your clothes, tablecloths etc simply pop them into the freezer, again for as long as possible and then just pick the gum off, treat with stain removing solution, (as above) and wash in machine as normal.

The freezing method is also ideal for removing candle wax from carpets etc..

As with all stains the sooner you treat them, the more likely you are to remove all traces of them.

Written by Julia Poole owner at Elite Cleaning Ltd.