Cleaning Glass

Dirty glass is probably the second biggest complaint we get besides unclean bathrooms, especially for buildings with glass entrance doors. Luckily cleaning glass is pretty easy. Some tips include:

  • start with a clean cloth – you can clean glass as much as you want, but if your cloth is dirty, it will smear dirt all over your glass. Especially change to a new cloth after you’ve cleaned any glass outside.
  • clean the whole pane of glass – another mistake people make is trying to spot clean glass. They’ll get one spot and not see the second or third.  It’s infinitely easier to just clean the whole thing than to try to find all the smudges.
  • clean the bottoms, too! – all those small children hand prints covered in sticky stuff are below an adult’s line of sight.
  • check from an angle – after you’ve cleaned the glass, you can look at it from an angle / from the side and see if you can see any spots or streaks that need to be buffed out. It’s much easier to see these spots from the side than it is to see straight on.
  • check in daylight – buildings look completely different during the day than they do at night. All that sunlight illuminates dust, window streaks, etc. that aren’t easily visible at night, and this is the view that the clients see! It’s not always possible to clean buildings during the daytime, but try to at least once if you can.

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Cleaning Bathrooms

Bathrooms are quite possibly the most important rooms to be cleaned in an establishment. The rest of the building may be spotless, but if the bathrooms are messy, your reputation goes down the drain. Also, nothing quite aggravates someone as much as using a restroom and running out of toilet paper!

Here is a standard set of procedures for how to have sparkling clean bathrooms every time:

1. Apply your toilet bowl cleaner. It has the longest dwell time.

2. Spray everything down with disinfectant. This includes the sink, any hand rails, and the toilet.

3. Use glass cleaner and a microfiber rag to clean the mirrors. One tip for getting cleaner mirrors is to look at it from an angle instead of straight on – you can see any dust, residue, or spots you missed better this way.

4. Wipe down the sink and hand rails first with a bathroom rag before cleaning the toilet. Your sink should be free of any dust or debris. Your sink faucet should be free of finger prints and hard water deposits. For stubborn hard water deposits, a little bit of toilet bowl cleaner works wonders. Just make sure to rinse it thoroughly and polish it with a dry cloth when you’re done.

5. Toilets – use the toilet brush first to wipe out the bowl, and then with a rag start at the top and work your way down. You should get the tank lid, toilet handle, tank sides, both sides of the toilet lid and toilet seat. Many people get that far and then neglect the toilet base where shoe marks, dirt, and urine collect. After the entire toilet is wiped down, use your rag to wipe inside the toilet bowl rim, right where the water spouts are. Black mold tends to grow here and doesn’t come off very well with the toilet bowl brush.

6. Empty the garbage. Wipe down the garbage can if necessary.

7. Restock anything that is low or will run out before your next visit. Check toilet paper, paper towels, soap, toilet seat covers, air fresheners, etc. If something is running low and you’re not sure whether to replace it, it is better to err on the side of caution. That means replace it sooner rather than later!

8. Wall spot check – bathroom walls are probably the dirtiest in the building. Each time you clean you’ll want to check the walls for anything that’s dripped around the toilets, behind the garbage can, under the paper towel dispenser, and under the sink/soap dispenser.

It sounds like a lot, but once you get the routine down, it goes pretty fast.

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Safety first

We like you, and we want you to be safe! This job is a pretty easy one, but there are certainly some potential safety hazards you can avoid with a little effort and common sense. Let’s break these up into sections.

Personal protective gear – Spotless provides personal protective gear such as gloves, face masks, and safety glasses to be used when needed. Most of the time the only things needed are gloves, but if you’re out of anything, ask!

Chemicals – Chemicals should be properly mixed and clearly labeled. You should be familiar with the chemicals you are using and their safety guidelines. Material safety data sheets for each chemical are in your building’s binder. The data sheet will tell you how dangerous a chemical is and what to do if you are exposed to it. Most of the chemicals we use are pretty mild and should not pose a problem unless ingested or gets in your eyes. If you have one of these incidents, please make sure to let your QA know immediately.

Lifting and turning – If you’re going to be doing a lot of moving, it’s best to do some warm-up exercises and stretches first. Lift with your legs, not your back! The best way to lift something is to squat while keeping your back straight. Your knees should never extend beyond your feet. If something is too heavy for you to lift alone, ask for help. Also, try not to turn while lifting.

Most safety accidents are preventable. Remember, only you can prevent self-injury!

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Keep the cleaning closet clean

At the end of each shift, you should tidy the cleaning closet or the place you keep your supplies. There are several reasons for this.

First, it leaves a good impression for our clients. Most of our clients never see us because we come in after hours. What they do see is the work we leave behind – how clean the building is, and how well we keep our spaces. If our space is dirty and disorganized, that probably means we are dirty and disorganized as well.

Second, it makes things easier to find and use. If everything is neatly laid out, you can easily see how much inventory you have, grab what you need, and order more when necessary. This is especially useful if more than one team cleans a building.

“But there’s not enough room to lay everything out neatly,” I can hear you telling me. Most cleaning closets are cramped with little shelving. Just do the best you can. Here are some tips on how to keep your closet well stocked and clean:

  • wipe down any spills on your garbage cans, spray bottles, and shelves
  • put your dirty rags in the laundry
  • rinse out mop buckets after each use and hang your mop heads up to dry
  • refill any spray bottles or garbage bags that are getting low
  • do a quick inventory of supplies and order more BEFORE you run out
  • keep your clean rags folded neatly
  • check your vacuum bag before each use
  • keep your vacuum attachments relatively clean
  • put new supplies away promptly
  • make sure everything used regularly is easily accessible and visible

Remember that the goal is to keep the cleaning closet clean and ready for the next shift. You never know when life will happen and a sub will be in your place! The next shift will thank you!

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Pack a work bag

Keeping a bag dedicated to work means you can just pick it up and go whenever you’re ready. It doesn’t have to be fancy — it just has to work.

Some things I have found useful to keep in my work bag include:

  • keys to your buildings – if they always stay in the bag, you’ll never lose your keys again!
  • a water bottle – hydration is your friend
  • snacks – because working is hard when you’re hungry
  • pocket knife / box cutter – for opening boxes of supplies
  • hand sanitizer – when you’ve touched something icky and soap is nowhere to be found
  • band aids and Neosporin – a small tube of Neosporin (or any antibiotic ointment) will fit nicely in a box of band aids to make a small first aid kit. Any cuts you get can be sanitized and bandaged on the spot to prevent infection.
  • media player – listening to books, music, or podcasts while you work makes the time pass so much easier. Most people stream media on their smart phones while they work. I’ve got an arm band that holds my phone while I work, leaving my hands free.  Music can be streamed on apps like Spotify, Pandora, etc. and Audible is a good app for books.
  • pen and paper – a small notebook comes in handy for when you think of something you need to jot down or for leaving notes for people.

Is there something else you think I should be adding to this list? Let us know in the comments!

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Take care of yourself first

You’re only as good as your tools, and the most important tool you have is yourself. So take care of yourself!

Whenever possible, try to stay well rested and well fed. I tend to nap in the afternoon on the days I know I’m going to be up all night, and I eat meals with protein and carbohydrates to provide fuel for all that moving I’m going to do. Cleaning is a lot of exercise! I also pack snacks in my work bag like trail mix, fruit, granola bars, and protein drinks.

I like to do a short warm-up routine before I start a shift which includes 5 to 10 push-ups, sit-ups, and squats, followed by some basic stretches. That gets all my muscle groups warm and ready to work.

And always, always, always bring water! Drink lots of it!

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Welcome to Spotless

Welcome to Spotless of Utah’s blog! Here you will find awesome tips for cleaning everything from floor to ceiling, equipment maintenance, safety, and more. Plus, we hope to add some customer and employee stories (with pictures). Stay tuned!

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Accountability Through Inspections

Spotless of Utah visits all of our clients each and every month to perform inspections of our cleaning, customer services practices and establish an ongoing working relationsphip.  These random, unannounced inspections provide us with necessary feedback to help deliver consistent and quality results. By using Cleantelligent, our online customer service program to complete our inspections, they are customized to your facility and your contracted services, assuring that we are fulfilling our contractual obligations.

Once an inspection is complete our clients are immediately notifed by email that the inspection was completed and links are provided to see the results. As a consumer, I encourage you to find out more about our commercial cleaning services and to get a free estimate by calling us at 435-881-9189, or by clicking on our http://www.spotlessofutah.com/request-free-estimate.php

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