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Ask a cleaning lady!

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  • Jun 19th, 2017 9:27 pm
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Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
Lol agreed. They have wood countertops. They also have kids. Clearly that makes them pretentious idiots. I mean, duh. All the evidence is there.

I've met a lot of people over the past few months in my hunt for good clients. And they've been with me the longest. Kind, honest people who respect me and my work. 'Nuff said. Sheesh.
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
Praetorian wrote:
Jul 31st, 2016 4:01 pm
For microfibre cloths, would you recommend these ones on sale at Canadian Tire?

$13.99 for a 25-pack.


http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/simon ... 96631.html
I haven't used this particular brand, but the "Frank" brand microfibres are very good, and good quality for the price. But for $13.99, I say give them a try!
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
Hi petitallegra,

Got a question for you about feedback from clients. While I love the peace and quiet of working alone as a cleaner, one of the more difficult aspects of this job I find is a lack of feedback. Since I rarely see my clients, I'm not given frequent feedback the way I have been in past jobs where I've worked alongside my boss much of the time.

Most of my clients have said from time to time "everything looks good" or "everything looks amazing" (depending on the person), or have said they appreciate my work in other ways, so I trust I am doing my job well and there are no problems. I have one client though who for some reason has never offered any positive feedback. She's warm and friendly, and thanks me from time to time, but has never once said "everything looks good" or anything of the sort. I've checked in with her a couple of times to make sure everything is going well and she's happy with my work, and she said yes, and there were no complaints.

My guess is it's just her personality - maybe to some people, cleaning is the type of job they simply expect you to do well, and they don't feel the need to say anything if all is well. So I'm thinking I should just assume that if she's continuing to pay me to clean her house and hasn't made any complaints, that she is happy with my work. I also asked her to post on a facebook group on my behalf so I could get more clients, and she agreed to make the post. I thought she might say "my great cleaner" or "my trustworthy cleaner" as other clients of mine have said previously when posting for me, but she simply said "my cleaning lady is looking for more clients. reasonable rates. contact her here:" It's not exactly a ringing endorsement. But again, I guess I've got to assume that she wouldn't have posted anything at all if she was unhappy with my work in any way, and maybe in her mind merely making the post is an endorsement in and of itself.

Just wondering if you've ever had clients like this in this line of work. I've had clients who indicate they are absolutely thrilled when they come home to the clean house, and I guess this person is just kind of on the other end of the spectrum and feels no need to say anything. Probably happy with the work, just doesn't communicate it. I'm guessing in some cases with house cleaning, no feedback is some people's version of positive feedback. They just expect you do to the job and carry on, and if no complaints are made then all is well.

Anyway, sorry - that was probably overly repetitive and rambly. Feeling a bit anxious on the topic so my apologies for not being very concise. Would appreciate your thoughts.
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
I wouldn't worry about it, it seems like she thinks you are doing well, or she wouldn't keep having you return :)

I'm very lucky, that my clients are very thoughtful and appreciative, but they are also very honest. If something needs more attention, they let me know. Most of my clients I usually only communicate through text with, as they are not home when I'm in. Dont get too hung up on it, if you were doing a bad job, you wouldn't be asked to return!
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
Thanks, you made it quite simple. Good point :)

(And I'm sure she'll be direct with me if there is a problem, because at the start I didn't vacuum under the couch cushions and she went out of her way to ask me to do that.)
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
The only part I don't understand, is why she only said this in her post: "My cleaning lady is looking for more clients. Reasonable rates. Contact her here." I've only gotten 2 emails from this post and was hoping for way more. Other clients in the past have posted on my behalf and thrown in some positive adjectives like 'reliable' or 'does a great job' - and I've gotten on average 10 emails from these posts. Perhaps some people are away on vacation... but it's a big difference. I just don't understand why she hasn't once said anything positive about my work, even when I asked her to put in the good word for me.

As you said, she must be happy with my work, or she wouldn't be paying me to clean her house or post on my behalf to others. There have also been a couple of instances where she's indirectly appreciated my work - when her child asked what I was doing she said "She's making the house nice and clean!" and when I told her I was going on holiday for two weeks she seemed disappointed at not having my service. And when I've asked her if everything is well she's always said yes. But.. is it possible she only likes me because I have low rates? That's about the only good thing she said about me in the post. Or am I over-thinking this? Have you ever had clients who just never give positive feedback, even when they are completely satisfied?
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2003
1200 posts
304 upvotes
Hi,

How would you handle a garbage can that had been overtaken by maggots? Despite tying up all our garbage bags tightly and being kept in a garbage can closed with a lid, maggots would keep appearing no matter how much insecticide I would spray in the can.

Any advice on how/where to keep the garbage can so as not to deal with this problem? This mainly occurs in the summer with the hot weather.

Thanks again!
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
Well, has she had a cleaning service before you? I don't know your rates, but it is possible your rates are low, even if she thinks you're not "the best" (not saying you aren't) she already knows she's getting a bargain?
Maybe that's why she gave you vague feedback as well, because she doesn't want you upset, because she knows she's getting a steal, but doesn't want to put it on record that it's a rave review either?
I haven't seen your work, so I can't speak to the quality, but if you are new in the business, and you haven't been "trained" it's possible you may be still learning or missing some details.
The key to good cleaning service is: time management and speed, attention to detail, prioritizing, consistency, and value.
Have you worked with other cleaners? Do you have an understanding of what typical industry service entails? Do you know where your rates compare to other cleaners? Have you had other cleaners see your work? This may help you determine if anything may need an adjustment :)
But this is all general speculation, and she may just be one of those people who don't give out the warm and fuzzies!
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
Is it possible it's time for a new garbage can? What kind do you have now? The new big city bins are notorious for animals chewing holes in them, it may be that they are getting in through holes.
Also, do you keep the garbage can in the same location all the time? They probably live under the ground or surrounding area, and just wait for their meal to arrive. Perhaps a new location for the can, preferably on a stone or asphalt base. Then you can hose down the can and the pad as needed.
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
She had one person before me, as far as I know. The reason she hired me is because this person was out of the country with marital issues, and then basically disappeared entirely and never got back to her. I think she was happy with her, other than that, but I don't know any other details. I've since increased my rate, but she's only paying me $60/week. I don't know how much my rate has to do with her keeping me on board or not. I hope the quality of my service has something to do with it too.

I'm not superhuman, but I know I do good work. I'm thorough and never forget any regular tasks, and I always clean under things. I'm reliable and haven't missed any days, and I'm honest and have never touched anything in their house. I've also checked in with her a couple of times to make sure everything is going well, and she's always said yes. My hope is that if there were anything she was unhappy with she would tell me. I suppose I could always throw in a reminder that I'm very open to feedback. But I think she would tell me, as I do remember in the beginning she reminded me to vacuum under the couch cushions which I wasn't doing, and this was unprompted. I've also gotten good feedback from multiple other clients, so unless this particular client has higher standards than the rest, I'm not sure what it is I might be doing wrong.

I've never worked with other cleaners, so I don't know if I'm missing anything. I know my rates are lower than standard. But as I said, most everyone I am cleaning for or have cleaned for over the past several months has given me positive feedback. Occasionally I have had the odd reminder, to remember to 'clean the toilet base' and 'not to leave water drops on the counter' - but these have all been small, one-time comments that are few and far between, and I've immediately amended them.

My hunch is that she's just not the vocal, positive-feedback type. Or the warm and fuzzies as you say. Again as I think back.. most clients I've cleaned for have given positive feedback, and a few have not. The quality of my work is the same across the board, so my hunch is that some personalities just don't do that, and if they were dissatisfied they would say something. I'm not sure why anyone would hold back if there was something they wanted done differently - I'm an easy person to talk to - and if I was paying someone to clean my house I would certainly let them know if there was a problem.

Anyway, I guess I can always send her an email just reminding her that I'm very open to feedback and if there was anything she was unhappy with to feel free to let me know. No harm in doing that. Hope all is well though.
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
Well, it won't hurt the tiles, but it won't do a good job cleaning either. It especially won't do a good job on grout. If you have shine on your floor, it will leave a residue, unless you somehow rinse the floors after. I don't recommend using any products that soak the floor in water, especially not hardwood. So, overall my answer is no, but if you use it on tiles it won't hurt them (but won't clean them very well.)
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
37517 posts
7838 upvotes
petitallegra wrote:
Aug 11th, 2016 3:16 pm
Well, it won't hurt the tiles, but it won't do a good job cleaning either. It especially won't do a good job on grout. If you have shine on your floor, it will leave a residue, unless you somehow rinse the floors after. I don't recommend using any products that soak the floor in water, especially not hardwood. So, overall my answer is no, but if you use it on tiles it won't hurt them (but won't clean them very well.)
So what would be a good liquid to use on these floors? Ours are not really shiny (there slight texture to them) except in the foyer.
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
375 posts
161 upvotes
Mississauga
alanbrenton wrote:
petitallegra wrote:
Aug 11th, 2016 3:16 pm
Well, it won't hurt the tiles, but it won't do a good job cleaning either. It especially won't do a good job on grout. If you have shine on your floor, it will leave a residue, unless you somehow rinse the floors after. I don't recommend using any products that soak the floor in water, especially not hardwood. So, overall my answer is no, but if you use it on tiles it won't hurt them (but won't clean them very well.)
So what would be a good liquid to use on these floors? Ours are not really shiny (there slight texture to them) except in the foyer.
If you are looking for a commercial cleaner, I like pledge floor cleaner concentrate for all floors. You mix it with water, and works well with my mop system. (Vileda refillable spray mop with reusable microfibre pads.) cuts grease, and doesn't dry hardwood out.
However, I actually prefer my own mix, which is:
40% cleaning vinegar
60% distilled water
2 squirts castille soap (whichever you like best, I like almond)
2-3 drops tea tree oil.
Shake it up, then let is sit overnight, works as a great all purpose mix, and does a great job on floors.

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