Do You Know The Difference Between Disinfecting and Sanitising ?
There are so many different terms when it comes to cleaning – clean, sanitise, disinfect, and sterilise to name a few. And when you have a big mess to clean up, you want to make sure you can get rid of it. No one likes germs lurking about!
These cleaning terms normally get thrown about in general conversation, one interchanging for another. But, did you know that all four involve a different process and different products? The terms actually mean different things. Let’s explore these four terms.
This is the simplest form of removing muck, dust and grime from a surface. It involves wiping or scrubbing with a detergent to remove the visible dirt. This process exposes the surface to more natural light and air, which help to kill the germs.
Simply cleaning a surface will remove around 50 percent of the micro-organisms present.
Sanitising is a chemical process that removes as many germs from a surface as possible. The aim is to or lessen the number of germs to make the surface safe for contact. Sanitising will remove 99.999 percent of bacteria within 30 seconds, so is designed to be a quick process.
Usually, it is used in kitchens, or other areas that involve food. But sanitising is not only for food surfaces or food utensils, it is for any surface that you want germs removed from. So toy rooms, and even toys themselves benefit from sanitising.
The process of disinfecting is more intense than sanitising as it uses stronger chemicals. They are designed to eliminate germs completely, instead of just reducing them. Disinfectants destroy 99.9999999 percent of germs in 10 minutes, so a longer process.
When you are disinfecting, it is more important to kill the germs, then get the job done quickly. You will find this process used in hospitals and areas that have human waste, or bodily fluids.
Sterilising is far more involved than any other cleaning method. It is an industrial process that involves using an autoclave, fog, or lights. These all require high pressure and high temperatures to be effective. That is why sterilisation is not normally a practical day to day cleaning method.
Which is best?
It is less about which method is best overall, and more about which method is best for each individual situation.
Cleaning is the entry level process for removing visible dirt, dust and food. It is usually done before any other cleaning process, because removing that first layer of dirt allows the next step to be more effective.
Sanitising or disinfecting are next level, and remove potentially harmful bacteria that might not be visible to the naked eye.
Office Cleaning Tips for Autumn
Monday April 24, 2017
Autumn has well and truly hit this week with beautiful sunny, warm days and cool mornings and evenings. Winter feels like it's not that far away.
This season can be the perfect opportunity to tackle those long-ignored office chores, from purging desks to cleaning carpets.
What do you need to do now in autumn to get your office or workplace ready for winter?
Keep your entrance doors closed
Leaves start to fall from trees at this time of the year and when the wind blows they all end up inside your workplace. Dry leaves crumble easily and will leave a mess if customers step on them.
Protect your business’s floors with a good entrance mat
Door mats trap dirt and moisture that would otherwise be tracked around your business. Over time this will save you money spent on keeping your floors clean.
Falling leaves will block up your gutters
When water builds up in your drainage system, you risk water damage and flooding. Get your cleaning and maintenance company to clean out your gutters during autumn to prevent blockage.
Give your office a deep clean
Cooler temperatures mean keeping doors and windows shut which decreases ventilation and increases dust build-up. A clean office will provide a nice, fresh workplace for you and your employees.
Wash all windows
If you want to clean like a pro, wash windows with a strip applicator and squirt of dishwashing liquid in a bucket of water, squeegee in an S-motion, then wipe away any remaining water with a damp, wrung-dry chamois.
Clean your ceiling-mounted lights
Wipe away dust from the cover with a micro fibre cloth. If it's filthy, your might have to switch the power off, take the cover completely off and wash it properly with a soft cloth dipped in warm, soapy water.
Dust your computer
Grab a micro fibre cloth to wipe down your computer, then clean and wipe down the keyboard. Your keyboard should be cleaned weekly - make it a habit of doing it last thing on Friday or first thing Monday morning. Keep some wipes handy and don't forget to wipe your phone too.
How to Promote Healthy Living Amongst Your Employees
Monday 20th March 2017
As we head into Autumn, it's a good idea to have a business health check done to see how healthy your workplace is before the cold and flu season hits.
There are many benefits to encouraging your employees to take care of themselves. First, it decreases employee sick days. Sick days are expensive when you factor in lost productivity, not to mention if you have to hire a temp for the day. Second, healthy living increases performance. When employees look and feel good, they enjoy coming to work, and they go over and beyond to meet deadlines and expectations. Doing yoga or a high-intensity workout helps combat stress, and if you enter a team in a business-house sports competition, your employees will benefit from spending time together outside of the office.
There are lots of other things you can do to promote healthy living, both at home and at work.
- Try a standing desk or moving around and working in different places, if possible. Sometimes a change of scenery is all that's needed.
- If you have a lot of meetings, encourage walking meetings and take a stroll around the block.
- Encourage healthy eating. Make sure your employees are taking proper lunch breaks and if you have a cafeteria, only sell healthy meals and include lots of veggie dishes.
- Offer a subsidised gym membership or enter an office team in an indoor netball or touch rugby competition to promote being active.
But it won't matter how healthy your employees are if your office is a breeding ground for bugs and germs. Did you know that your phone and computer keyboard have more bacteria than your toilet? No wonder your employees catch every flu and superbug out there! The more hygienic and clean your office is, the less likely your employees will get sick in the first place.
But how do you figure out where all the danger zones are? You can take our free ATP Workplace Hazard Detection Assessment. We use swabs taken from high-risk zones in your workplace to detect the tiniest microbe and measure how much of it there is. We use the latest technology to kill all the bacteria and microbes that old methods can’t.
Your workplace will be truly clean, safe and productive. For a free ultra-clean quote and business health check, get in touch with us.
Bar soap vs liquid soap - which should you use?
Monday 20th February 2017
The war between bar soap and liquid soap has been raging for decades. Bar soap itself has been around for centuries and seemed to do the job well. A few hundred years ago, doctors didn't even wash their hands in between operations. When they started washing their hands, a simple procedure that we all take for granted today saved many lives.
We've already talked about the importance of washing your hands, and the concern stems from the fact that antibiotics are no longer working to treat infectious diseases due to overuse. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK are worried that eventually, routine procedures will become fatal.
They also suggest that bar soap is not the best way to wash your hands due to the bacteria that lives on them. But when actual research and testing have been carried out they show this is not the case.
The NY Times
reported a study where bars of soap were inoculated with E. coli and P. aeruginosa bacteria at levels 70 times as high as those reported on used soap bars. Then, 16 people were told to wash their hands as usual with the inoculated bars. “After washing, none of the 16 panellists had detectable levels of either test bacterium on their hands,” the researchers said.
Another case against bar soap is that they don't contain moisturisers and are harsh for the skin. But with further research, they found this not to be true. There are plenty of choices out there, and some of them have extra oils added that will help protect the skin from drying out.
One pro for bar soap is that they are smaller than most liquid soaps are are not packaged in plastic which mean fewer carbon emissions, so they are better for the environment.
So which is better - bar or liquid soap?
We think that liquid soap will probably be better in your office where there are lots of different people using the bathroom and washing their hands, but at home in your bathroom, bar soap may be the way to go. If you are still worried about passing bacteria around, you make sure every family member their own bar, but it really isn't necessary, especially if you rinse it after you use it.
How often does your office need to be cleaned?
Monday 16th January 2017
Office cleaning will vary from office to office. It depends on how big your space is and how many employees work there. It could also depend on what industry you're in. A mechanic's workspace may need cleaning more often than a lawyer's office.
Having a clean office encourages employees to be more productive. You may think hiring a cleaning company is an unnecessary expense, but if you can increase productivity among your staff, your cleaning cost will pay for itself.
If you are on a tight budget, the most important areas to have regular cleaning are the bathrooms and kitchens. This is purely for sanitary reasons. If your bathrooms are used by customers, you'll need to check them a few times a day to make sure they are well stocked and clean for the next person.
Kitchens and staff rooms are another hot spot for germs and bacteria. If your team are reasonably tidy, you could get away with only cleaning the staff room a few times a week. If they tend to leave their dishes and mess everywhere, it will be a good idea to have someone come in and clean it daily. It also depends on how many employees you have. A small team can probably keep on top of it themselves while if you have a large team, it usually ends up being the same people who tidy up and they may get resentful.
First impression matter, so having a clean entrance way is important. Make sure the doors and windows are kept clean, and there is no rubbish left there. Even if you don't have much foot traffic coming through, having a tidy entrance will keep employee morale up.
If you make an effort to keep your workspace clean, your employees will respond positively and hopefully maintain their areas clean too.
If you are looking to hire a professional cleaning company to clean your commercial office this year, contact us for a free quote.
Tips For Keeping Your Office Clean This Summer
Monday 19th December 2016
With Christmas literally just a couple of days away, you want to make sure your office is tidy and clean before everyone takes off on holiday. Whether you close down until January or are just shut for the stat days making sure everything is organised will make things easier when you come back.
Untidy desks, food left in the fridge and other summer forgetfulness make it hard for your cleaning company to deliver a high level of service on your office cleaning. What can you do to prepare for summer and take advantage of the downtime to keep your office running smoothly?
Remind employees to clear their desks before they go away
Your cleaner is instructed to clean areas of your desk without disturbing anything. Papers and other things left lying around make it difficult to clean your desk.
Especially if you're going away on holiday and your office will still be open, having a clean desk will make it easy for your workmates to find things if they need them.
Spring and summer are terrible for allergies
Summer is tough for people who suffer from allergies. Quality office cleaning is an integral part of ensuring good indoor air quality and can reduce allergens in your room. Vacuuming helps remove dust and from the air, but summer is a great time for deep carpet cleaning. Also, this time of year is an excellent opportunity to clean AC ducts and filters to make sure the air in your building is clean.
Deep Cleaning, and Maintenance
Did you spring clean back in September? If you didn't get around to it, now could be a good time. Your staff are probably going on holiday so that the office will be quiet to get some of the bigger chores done.
If you have areas around your office that might need a deep clean, contact your cleaning company to set up a plan to attend to what you need and get your offices in excellent condition. Contact us at Mr Green Auckland
to get a quote for your commercial cleaning needs and to help you set up a cleaning plan moving into 2017.
4 Steps to Proper Hand-washing
Monday 21st November 2016
Proper hand washing techniques are essential for the workplace and for your home, regardless of how dirty your hands get. Based on the Mayo Clinic, proper hand washing requires good old fashioned soap, scrubbing and warm water. Proper hand washing is very important to get rid of the dirt you can see and the dirt you can't. You have the options of using liquid soap or bar soap, it doesn't matter which. Your hands do not get cleaner with anti-bacterial soap, it’s a myth.
Four Steps to Proper Hand-washing:
- Work the soap into a good lather. You should wash the hands with warm water as opposed to cold.
- Rub the hands together, scrubbing the backs of both hands and turning over to ensure you get the soap up under your nails. Remember, if you simply wash the surface lining of one's palms and not the backs of both hands, you're not cleaning thoroughly.
- Rinse the hands clean of all soap. Hand washing posters suggest that you rinse before and after you scrub. If you still see traces of dirt on the hands, you can just scrub them again.
- Towel dry your hands completely. Be sure to use towel to turn faucets off, as to not contract new germs on your hands when exiting.
You must wash your hands:
- After using the bathroom
- Before and after preparing food, especially before and immediately after handling raw meat, poultry or fish
- Before and after eating
- After blowing or wiping your nose
- After coughing or sneezing into your hands
- Before and after treating open wounds or cuts
- Before and after touching a sick or injured person/animal
- After touching or taking out the trash
- After changing your child’s diaper
- After touching your animals or animal waste
Spring clean your office in 5 easy steps
Monday 17 October, 2016
Spring is here and with it comes warm weather and beautiful flowers, or more realistically it brings spring rains, high winds and allergies. You probably don't feel like spring cleaning this month, but when you start to get busy in November and December before the end of the year, you'll be glad you did it now.
- Make a list - with any project you have to do, write down your goals and then break it down into smaller tasks. When you can see the whole project laid out, you'll be able to prioritise what needs to get done now and what can wait.
- De-clutter - Get your workplace organised before the mad rush of Christmas and the end of the year. Get rid of any paper that's lying around. Go through all of your drawers and throw away or file your paperwork. Throw away old pens and other stationery that don't work.
- Deep clean - I'm talking move the furniture around and clean under everything. Sweep, mop, clean, do the works and get it done. This is usually a once-a-year task so do it well. You'll be surprised at how much dust and dirt accumulates under your desk or couch if you have one. Pull out your staff room fridge and clean behind there too. Pull out your air conditioner and get that ready for summer. Get it serviced and clean the filters.
- Don't forget digital - Have a look at your Desktop. How many files do you have saved there right now? If you're like most people, I guess you have quite a few. Go through them now and either file them in the appropriate folder or delete them. It's amazing how much unnecessary stuff you have on your computer. Delete it or file it. If you spend time creating folders, it will make everything easy to find. And don't forget to rename your files to something searchable too. If you save your files in the cloud, your computer will probably run faster, and you'll be able to access them from anywhere.
- Get some greenery - no matter where you work, it's nice to have fresh flowers or plants in the office to brighten things up. And with spring here, there are lots of varieties around and it's the perfect time to have them.
How To Clean Your Hardwood Floors
Monday 19 September, 2016
Hardwood floors can seem like they're a lot of work. And they are compared to carpet. Carpet does a great job of hiding a lot of the dirt whereas hardwood floors show every speck.
But, with a reliable cleaning plan and doing a little each day, you can have beautiful hardwood floors - after all, that is why you have them!
Create a cleaning list with your daily, weekly and monthly tasks, then assign them to who will be responsible for completing them. Decide if one person in your office will do all of the tasks or if you will divide them up among a few staff members.
It's important to dust and sweep every day. You probably won't have to do everywhere, but look at the areas where people walk the most and do those first. Then if you have time you can get to the other areas. Use a microfibre mop which uses static electricity to trap dirt and particles. Keep your mop on the floor while you are working, because lifting it up could cause of the dust to escape.
Vacuum your hard floors once a week to get to those hard to reach places and any areas that you missed during your daily sweep. You can also wet mop your floors after vacuuming. Just use plain water or if you have to use a product use one specifically designed for hard floors. Don't use vinegar and water on your floors because this can remove the protective layer and dull your floor's finish.
A good polishing every month or few months will renew and refresh the finish that protects the hardwood floor. It also removes all those microscopic scratches that occur over time through wear and tear.
We know that keeping up with regular of your hardwood floors takes a lot of time and effort. Mr. Green Auckland can help you. We have a walk-behind floor scrubbing machine that makes it easy to restore your hardwood floors to a glossy shine and remove all the dirt, dust and food spills.We clean and polish wood, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, tiles, and granite floors and we also strip and reseal vinyl floors. Contact us for a quote.
Cleaning Glass Windows in Your Office
Monday August 15, 2016
Windows are always harder to clean than other surfaces in an office. The tiniest speck of dirt shows up on glass, so they have to be cleaned to perfection. The windows on tall buildings have always been a challenge to clean but with fancier, more detailed designs, cleaning them has become more and more challenging.
Buildings today are designed to be energy-efficient, but the windows contain complex shapes and features that make cleaning a challenge. Professional indoor window cleaning services are in high demand because office managers want the interior to be as bright and clean as the outside, but because it is highly specialised, it can be difficult to find experienced cleaners to do the work.
Glass roof areas in public buildings such as shopping malls also pose a problem. It’s hard for the cleaner to get access. Especially during peak times when shoppers are coming in and out of the entrances. It takes some coordination and skill to get these glass windows cleaned to perfection.
The architects who design office buildings don’t usually consult with professional cleaners to find out if they will be able to clean the glass windows. If a professional cleaner was brought in at the design stage, they could avoid many headaches down the line.
Some of the leading suppliers of cleaning products are working on innovative technologies to help ease this process. They understand that cleaning high windows in public areas like a hotel lobby or shopping mall requires specialised equipment. They have designed a product with a reservoir in the pole which the cleaner can use to spray the window. The pole allows cleaners to reach windows up to 6m high.
Another new product is one that allows cleaners to clean right up to the edge of the window frame which means they don’t have to reach up with a detailing cloth.
Why should you hire a professional cleaner?
Monday, July 18, 2016
"People don't buy what you do. They buy why you do it."
This is a great quote from Simon Sinek and it's so relevant in business today.
Let's face it.
We're all busy, especially those who have small businesses. Their small team often have to wear many hats- the marketing team members have to do customer service and the technicians have to help with sales. To add 'cleaning the office' to their to-lists can be quite overwhelming.
Imagine if you could get back a few hours a week to focus on a) what you are good at and love doing and b) the activities that will drive your business forward.
The secret to doing that is hiring outside help.
A lot of small business owners think that getting a professional cleaner to come in is an unnecessary expense.
They think, "it won't take me that long, I'll do it myself", and they will get back to tasks at hand.
But, it often doesn't work like that. They take an urgent phone call, follow up with a customer, hold a team meeting and then cleaning the office gets relegated to the end of the list. Again. Then staff start calling in sick and those misses days in productivity end up costing the company more that what it would have if they had just hired a cleaner in the first place.
Not only that, but having a clean office breeds high staff morale. Imagine coming into work and your office is free from clutter, everything is put away in it's place and it just smells clean. Everyone wants to work in a safe and happy environment and having a professional cleaner is a small price to pay to improve morale.
Another reason to have a cleaner, is that they're experts in what they do. Just like you are an expert in your business. Every office harbours millions of germs and often have specialised textiles and carpets that need special attention. Professional cleaners have all of the heavy equipment to get the job done faster and to a higher standard than you would ever be able to do yourself.
"People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it." Having a beautiful clean office is just a by-product of what we do. We give you your time back, we give you less sick days, we give you happy staff.
Disinfect your workplace and prevent winter illness
Monday, June 20 2016
It's that time of the year again when every flu and cold is going around. Those with kids seem to be affected more and once you have it, it is hard to shake it. How to you keep your staff healthy during winter and prevent them from passing it around to everyone in the workplace?
- Cleaning supplies
Are you using the right cleaning products in your workplace? At this time of year it is essential to use products clearly marked 'antibacterial' or they might not be disinfecting. This goes for hand soap as well as general cleaning supplies.
- Wash your hands properly
Hand washing is essential any time of year but especially during winter when bugs and illnesses are more common. While we recommend using antibacterial hand soap, the length of time you spend scrubbing your hands may be more important. Take the time to spend at least 20-30 seconds every time you wash your hands.
- Bathrooms and staff rooms
Bathrooms and kitchens are the rooms that most often have and spread germs. Encourage your staff to keep these areas clean themselves on top of your regular cleaning schedule. Staff rooms need to be wiped down every day, if not more often. These areas need special attention, especially in winter.
- Trace your steps
When you come into work, what do you do first? Wipe down all the areas you physically touch as everyone else will be touching those areas too. Door handles, elevator buttons etc are a minefield for germs so clean these regularly and ask your cleaners to look at these areas too.
- Get enough sleep and exercise
It is important for all of your employees to get enough sleep and exercise if they want to stay healthy and productive during winter. Exercise keeps your immune system strong and there has been a lot of research done pertaining to the health benefits of getting enough sleep. Even during the workday, encourage your staff to get outside to get some fresh air to prevent breathing in the same germs all day.
- Use antibacterial spray on your workspace
Ask everyone to take responsibility for their own space. Get them to wipe down their desks, keyboards, computer monitors, light switches, drawer handles, phone etc at least 2-3 times per week. Doing this and the above things will ensure your staff stays healthy and productive all winter and they will take less sick days.
If you would like to increase your cleaning schedule over winter, please get in touch with us to arrange it.
How to Save Money on Your Heating Bill
Monday, May 16 2016
It's the time of year that when I walk outside I notice the smell of wood fires burning in all directions. If you aren't lucky enough to have a fireplace, you more than likely have a heat pump or some other kind of heating system and electricity bills can get out of hand if we don't keep it under control.
What can we do on a daily basis to keep the costs of heating our homes and offices down? Here are just a few ideas:
Close off all areas where you aren't spending time. Just pay to heat the areas you spend the most time, and make this area as small as you can. For most people this will be the dining room/kitchen and the lounge. When you close off all other areas of your home you can save considerable on your electricity bill.
Set the timer
Set the timer of your heater to only come on when you need it. Turning your heater off at night and when you aren't at home will save a lot of money each month. Many people believe that they need to keep their heater going all day and unless you have health issues, you really don't need to.
Open your windows
Moisture is the killer when it comes to keeping warm in winter. Open your windows during the day or use a dehumidifier to get rid of moisture.
Wear more clothes
Wearing thermals and warm clothes when you are at home and wrap up with extra blankets while you are watching tv means you can run your heating on a lower setting. Also using hot water bottles at night instead of an electric blanket will save money over time. You may not think these things will make that much of a difference but every little bit will add up.
Turn off appliances
In the digital age, we all have phones, iPads and Playstations that all need charging. It's important to shut down your gadgets at night (this is good for your sanity too!). Unplug all of your chargers and turn tvs off at the wall. Again, you might not think that doing this will make a lot of difference but it will add up over the whole month.
Evaluate your provider
Look at your bill, reevaluate your provider - can you get it cheaper with someone else? Does you current provider offer a discount for paying early. Now is the time to do your research to see if you can get a better rate elsewhere. When you watch TV or read the newsletter, take a note of who is running promotions and take them up on it, if it will save you money in the long run.
What other ideas do you have to save money on heating during winter?
Getting rid of leaves this Autumn
Friday, 15th April 2016
April only means one thing and that is leaves. Even though New Zealand is a pretty evergreen country where a lot of trees don’t lose their leaves, there are still a lot that do. And it makes a mess. Everywhere.
The leaf problem
The cons of this are that the drains get clogged, which means flooding the next time it rains, footpaths and roads get slippery for cars and people walking, and they generally just look untidy. As soon as you rake a pile, the wind blows them all over the road again. It is a never-ending cycle.
Removing leaves will cost us
However, it costs a lot move to remove the leaves. Leaf blowers use a lot of energy, and trucks that come to suck the leaves up use a lot of carbon. Not to mention the cost of fuel to haul everything around. First the trucks have to collect the leaves and take them to a landfill or to a compost-making site. Then they have to pick up the compost and take it to retailers.
Keep leaves in their eco-system
Most of us don’t realise that removing the leaves from their natural eco-systems can disrupt nature’s cycle. In summer, plants absorb CO2 as part of photosynthesis then the pattern is reversed when leaves fall in autumn. They decompose and release their carbon back into the air. This natural process becomes unbalanced when we take all of the leaves to the dump.
What should we do?
Most experts recommend using a mulching lawnmower to recycle the nutrients. There have been studies done that prove that lawns with mulched leaves on top are a lot healthier and have fewer weeds. People have to make the effort to mulch the leaves properly though. If the leaves go on the lawn as they are, they will block all of the light for the grass growing underneath.
What will you do about your leaf problem this autumn? Will you take your leaves to a landfill, spread them on your lawn or use them to make your own organic compost?
Autumn Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning for Your Office
Friday, 18th March 2016
March is upon us already, the hustle and bustle of the new year is over, and it is now autumn. As things have slowed down a bit, autumn is the perfect time to get some of those repair and maintenance tasks off your to-do list before winter hits. Autumn cleaning is the little brother of spring cleaning - not as talked about but no less important.
Here are some things to tackle while the weather is still decent but the busyness of settling into a new year has steadied off.
Get everything fixed up
Get all of your niggling repairs done now. Any cracks or leaks you noticed over summer, you want to get fixed now before winter comes. You don't want them getting bigger, and you don't want a draught coming in from outside.
Put everything into storage
If you have external furniture, put it away for the winter. Or at least give it a protective coat of varnish or oil (depending on what material it is made of). Put any other equipment that you don't use in winter into storage. Offices and workshops can get a bit unruly over summer when everyone is busy so now is the time to get everything organised and back into their proper location.
Tidy your desk
While you are in tidying up mode, get all staff to tidy their own desks and cupboards. File away everything you aren't using and put old paperwork into storage. Clean out drawers and throw away old pens that don't work anymore. It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate and you really don't need all of it. If you aren't using a certain item, put it back in your office stationery cupboard or other communal area so other people can use it, if they need to, instead of buying another one in your next order.
Sort your heating out
Another important thing to do in autumn is to get your heating system serviced. It has been sitting idle all summer so it's better to clean it out and make sure it is working properly before you really need it. Depending on what kind of system you have, you may be able to do it yourself, or you may need to call the professionals in to do it.
Wash windows and carpets
Finally, have all of your office windows washed and get your carpets professionally cleaned during autumn so you don't have to think about it over winter. Enjoy the turning of the leaves and the cooler temperatures after the humid summer we've had. For a quote to have your carpets and upholstery cleaned before winter, contact us.
What other tasks are on your to do list of things to get done before winter?
How To Choose Your Cleaning Company
Friday, 19 February 2016
Whenever you have to outsource tasks, there is a process that you should follow in order to make the best decision for your needs. Whether you are hiring new staff, getting a contractor in to help with a short term project or looking for someone to clean your offices, follow these steps and you won't go wrong.
#1 What is your most desired outcome
The first step when choosing a cleaning company is to sit down and figure out what exactly you need to have done. Create two lists - a 'must-have' list and a 'nice-to-have' list. What is the bare minimum outcome required for your needs (basic cleaning, vacuum and mop) and what other things can be included (upholstery cleaning or carpet and curtain cleaning)? Also, think about how often your office will need cleaning - do you need a daily service or will once a week be sufficient?
#2 Find a few companies and make a short list
If you know anyone that has their home or office cleaned, ask them first. It could be friends or family, or it could be an office you have visited recently. People you know will be honest and let you know if the company is good at what they do or not. If you don't get any referrals or if they don't work out for whatever reason then look on Google. Customers often leave reviews so be sure to read them before making a short list.
#3 Get them to quote
Once you have your short list of two or three companies, ask them to visit you at your business. Ask them to provide a list all of their services and different price points. Go back to your 'must-have' and 'nice-to-have' lists and compare them. You may find your 'nice-to-have' list is not as expensive as you thought so it's always good to compare the two.
#4 Have a mini-interview
Find out everything you can about the company. Ask them about their experience and how long they have been in business. Find out what insurance they have to cover employee accidents so you aren't liable if something happens. Ask them about their employees - are the well trained and professional? Do they know how to operate the equipment they will be using and do they know how to care for special fabrics and materials that you may have. Ask them for trade references and actually take the time to phone them and have a chat about how they work.
#5 Make your decision and sign the contract
Now you are ready to make your final decision. Go with your gut. Don't always let price be your deciding factor. Look at the friendliness of the company and all of the people you have come into contact with up until this point. Were they always polite and courteous? Did they follow through on everything that they said they would? All that is left to do after that is contact them, get the contract signed and let them get to work.
What other things do you take into consideration when hiring a cleaning company? If you are looking for a professional cleaning services for your home or office, contact us for a free quote from our friendly team.
Cleaning Your Office After Summer
Friday, 22 January 2015
The experts tell us to take breaks during the year to avoid burnout at work, but often we come back to work from holiday feeling worse. Here are some tips to start 2016 off on the right foot, get organised and have a sparkling clean office ready to tackle your to-do list.
:: Plan to come back from holiday a day early and get your house organized first. Even if you didn't actually go away anyway, take the last weekend before going back to get everything sorted at home. Get everything you need out and ready to go so you aren't running around on Monday looking for things. If you start your day relaxed and calm, it will continue that way.
:: Consider going in to the office earlier and getting a head start on things. This could even be taking an hour at home on Sunday to go through your emails, or getting to the office earlier than everyone else and spending some quiet time getting organized for the day and year.
:: Don't book any meetings or make big decisions on the first day - leave it for the 2nd day or even 2nd week
:: Have lunch with your colleagues to catch up instead of wasting an entire morning telling everyone individually what you got up to during your break.
If you read our previous blog with tips on how to leave the office before you went on your summer break, coming back to work should be a breeze. Employees are happier when they work in a beautiful sparkling clean office or workspace. Here are a few things you can do (or delegate):
- Open all the windows and doors and let some fresh air in if your office has been closed for a few weeks.
- Get your AC running
- If you didn't clean out your fridge before you left, you may want to do that now. Get rid of everything and wipe it down with disinfectant.
- Wipe counters where dust may have collected
- Tidy your desk - get everything you need ready for the day.
- Make a list of stationery items you need to order.
- OR if your office has been completely shut down for a few weeks, get your cleaning company to come in before every one gets back and do a tidy up and get everything smelling fresh ready for your return.
Shutting your office down for the holidays
Thursday, 24th December 2015
If your office is closing down completely for the holidays, not only will you want everything to be clean when you return, you also want to try and save as much energy as you can. Give the planet a break while you are away, and save money on your electricity bill too.
- Clean your fridge out leave it unplugged with the door propped open. Place old newspaper or a towel under the fridge if water leakage is likely. If you can’t turn it off completely, then switch it to holiday mode.
- Unplug kettle, microwave, vending machines and coffee machine.
- Wipe your kitchen down and get rid of any rubbish before leaving at the end of the day.
- If you use a dishwasher, run it one final time and empty it before leaving.
- Ask staff to take their belongings home. Cups and tupperware containers soon pile up so take the time now to clean everything out and return items to their original place.
- Save energy by unplugging your electronics - this means computers, monitors, printers, and fax machine.
- Clean out your desk and drawers and throw away anything you don't need anymore. This includes checking the pens you have accumulated over the year and throwing out the ones that don't work.
- Empty your rubbish bin before you leave.
- Turn off all personal lights.
- Lock all windows and doors, if applicable.
- Take the Christmas decorations down and put away for next year.
- Turn off all communal lights.
- Turn off any fans.
- Depending on your building you may be able to switch off the air conditioning.
What other things are on your ‘must not forget’ list of things to pack up before leaving for your holiday?
Hygiene in the Workplace
Friday, 20 November 2015
We spend a lot of time with our workmates in a relatively confined area so it’s not surprising that germs can spread quickly. If you travel on public transport, you can be more at risk of picking up bugs and transferring them to your office. Good workplace hygiene is important to minimise the risk of spreading germs.
Why good hygiene is essential in the workplace
Everyone wants to work in a clean and safe environment, if you show your staff that cleanliness is important to you, they will have more respect and make an effort to keep it clean. Your clients and customers want to come to a clean place to do business. First impressions count and having a beautifully clean workplace will show that you are professional and take the health and safety of staff and customers seriously.
The summer months aren’t as bad for picking up every cold and flu going around but you can still pick up germs from frequently touched surfaces like lift buttons and door handles. Even your own desk is a breeding ground - make sure you clean your computer keyboard, mouse and headset on a regular basis. Eating lunch at your desk is a hygiene hazard too. When crumbs falls onto your keyboard they are difficult to get out.
Stay home when you are sick
The number one way that workplace hygiene suffers is by staff coming to work when they are sick. Often employees feel they can’t afford to take a sick day off, so they come to work and expose everyone to their bugs. Having fair sickness benefits in your contracts will help minimize this.
Encourage clean practices
Having a professional cleaning service come in on a regular basis will help with staff morale and productivity. But, don’t let your staff completely off the hook. Make it easy for them to keep their own space clean by providing cleaning equipment in communal areas so they can take responsibility for the day to day cleaning, lots of rubbish and recycling bins and storage cabinets so they can keep their desk clutter free.
If your office needs some TLC from a professional cleaning company, please contact us for a no obligation free quote.
Benefits of having your carpets professionally cleaned
Friday, 23 October 2015
Spring is here and that means pollen, dust mites and other pollutants. If you suffer from allergies, spring is no doubt your least favourite time of year. It is really important to keep your house and office clean at this time of year to minimise the effects of pollen in the air. One thing you can do is have your carpets professionally cleaned.
You may think that since you vacuum on a regular basis you probably don't need to have your carpet steam-cleaned but we recommend that you get it done every 12-18 months.
Here are the benefits of getting the professionals in:
1. Improves air quality
The most important reason to have your carpets professionally cleaned is to have a healthier home or office environment. Tiny dust mites are microscopic and can live deep in the carpet and normal vacuuming may not get rid of them completely. When you walk on the carpet, mites, pet fur and other particles come to the surface and go straight into the air. If you or your family or workmates suffer from allergies this will only make things worse. Getting a thorough steam clean exposes your carpet to high temperatures and the dust mites can't survive it. So it lessens the amount of allergens in your home.
2. Good for your health
Not only does it improve the quality of the air you are breathing it is good for your health in general. After winter many houses and offices can have some mould build up due to condensation so it is good to have professional carpet cleaners in they use a high-powered drying tool to get rid of excess moisture. All of our cleaning products are eco-friendly and biodegradable making it safe for your children and pets.
3. Prolongs your carpet life
Not only does professional cleaning get rid of all the dust and dirt, by doing so it extends the life of your carpet. Dust mites and other pollutants get into the fibres of your carpet and start to break them down if you don't get regular deep cleaning. Here at Mr Green Carpet Cleaning, we use a steam clean method for a deep pile clean which gets to the heart of the fibers making them last longer.
Contact us today if you would like to have your carpets professionally cleaned this spring.
Spring Cleaning Your House and Office
Friday, 25th September 2015
We are carrying on with the spring cleaning theme this month. Once or twice a year, it is a good idea to give your home and office a
thorough deep clean and get into all those areas that you don't often get to.
Of course you clean every week or maybe some people clean every other week, we are not judging. But usually you just cover the basics. Vacuum the floor, perhaps mop them, then wipe down the kitchen and bathroom. This is good enough to keep your home or office clean and tidy but at least once a year, usually during spring it is a good idea to go one step further.
Dust and dirt accumulates during the winter months so now is a good time to get stuck in to all the nooks and crannies. At home, you want to clean under the bed, get in behind the couch and take the cushions off and give them a shake outside or even vacuum them to get all the crumbs (and money?) that have fallen in between them.
Move your fridge out and clean behind it. Wipe the back of the fridge, vacuum and mop the floor. It is a good time to defrost your freezer if it needs it and take everything out of the fridge and wash all the compartments. Hopefully we don't need to tell you to throw away anything that is going bad.
Also, give your curtains a vacuum if you can. Wipe your window stills that might be getting moldy after all the condensation during winter and run your cloth or vacuum along the skirting boards too. Wipe your ceiling fan blades if you have them. They have not been used for a while so they'll be looking pretty dusty. Get them ready for summer!
Since you are now on a roll, you may like to organise your linen cupboard. Get rid of any clutter or put it away - in its specific place, not just shoved in a cupboard somewhere.
Do the same thing at your office. They say a cluttered desk has a cluttered mind so start there and clean under your desk. Then take everything out of your drawers and re-organise all of your stationery supplies. Give your keyboard, mouse and computer screen a thorough clean with disinfectant.
If you have a stationery cupboard or some other storage place, you may want to go through that on a quiet day and re-organise it. Don't be afraid to throw things away if it is not being used. If your company has been in business for a while, it is amazing how quickly things can accumulate.
When you keep on top of spring cleaning, it is not such a big job to do it on an annual basis.
What else do you do at home or work to get ready for spring and summer?
Spring Cleaning When You Have Allergies
Friday, 21 August 2015
It's that time of the year again. Winter is nearly over and spring is just around the corner. Lighter mornings and evenings and warmer weather are a welcome change for some, but for many, hay fever and other seasonal allergies make the season of lambs and daffodils unbearable.
If you are one of these sufferers, what can you do to make life a little bit easier at this time of year? After hibernating for the winter months, a good spring clean of your home and office will help clear the air so you can enjoy it.
Keep your windows shut
Now that it is getting warmer, you may be tempted to open your office windows to let some fresh air in. If you suffer from allergies to pollen, you may want to think twice. Instead, you might want to keep your windows closed (and the nasty yellow stuff out) and run your air conditioning unit for a few weeks until the worst of it is over. Remember to clean your air filters and keep up with regular maintenance on your unit to keep it working at its best.
Check your cleaning products
More often than not, it could be the cleaning products giving your allergies more than the season. Always use natural and unscented products and ditch air fresheners, especially aerosols. In many cases, simply using a damp cloth will keep things clean and sniffle-free.
Vacuum often and keep on top mould
The two biggest causes of allergies are dust and mould. Try to vacuum at least once or twice a week to keep dust at bay, and wipe down damp areas, especially in the kitchen and bathroom as often and you can to prevent mould build up.
Clean your desk
You may have convinced yourself that your messy desk is a sign of your creativity, but it is also a dust magnet. Every night before you go home, file your papers, put everything away in its place and keep it organised and dust-free. Not only will you start the day off fresh, you won't come to work and start sneezing as soon as you put your foot in your office.
What other tricks to you have for beating allergies in spring?
Keeping Your Kitchen Free Of Germs
Friday, July 24th 2015
Kitchens breed more germs than any other room in the house, including bathrooms, so keeping on top of cleaning is kind of a big deal.
Whether it is at work or home, your kitchen or lunch room is full of germs. But don’t despair, with these quick tips you can keep it looking spic and span.
Sponges are the worst when it comes to bacteria. Germs love to live on your damp sponge, then when you wipe another area, the germs are transferred there too. At home, throw it in the dishwasher to give it a good deep clean. You can do this at the office too, if you have one, otherwise wet it and put it in the microwave. Just make sure you leave it out somewhere to dry properly afterwards.
Microwaves can get dirty quickly if food isn’t covered because it spatters everywhere. Always keep a cover nearby for easy access and have a rule that everyone should wipe the microwave down after they use it. This is a good rule to have in the office in particular, especially if a lot of people use it to heat their lunch every day. At home, you could probably get away with cleaning it once or twice a week.
Fridges, especially the seals, can breed bacteria. Take a cloth and wipe in between all the folds, which loves to collect moisture and dirt. It doesn’t have to be done everyday but doing it monthly will keep on top of it.
While you are wiping down the seals, you might as well do the whole fridge. New fridges don’t need defrosting but if you have an older model, defrosting it a few times a year will keep it working well.
Take out all of the drawers and compartments and wash them as well. If you want to go one step further, you can wipe down all your sauce bottles and jars and re-organising everything so it is all stacked nicely. You will feel like you have a brand new fridge. If you are at work, this is a good Friday afternoon job to do while you are winding down for the week.
Water dispenser / Ice machine
This is another good thing to keep an eye on. Anywhere there is water or moisture is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Not only will the spout and glass-press need regular cleaning, the entire unit will need to be disassembled and thoroughly cleaned on a yearly basis.
Germs also love to live on your chopping board. Always cut meat and veggies on separate boards (or at the very least, use the other side). Then put it in the dishwasher at night to make sure it gets washed properly. If yours isn’t dishwasher-safe then scrub it with hot soapy water and then use a disinfectant on it to kill bugs.
What other things are breeding grounds for germs in your kitchen?
How To Clean Your Venetian Blinds
Monday, June 15th 2015
Step by Step Guide to Cleaning Your Blinds
This is an easy way to keep blinds clean, without having to take them off the window.