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Ask a cleaning lady!

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  • Nov 29th, 2017 2:31 pm
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[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
Unfortunately, I only do move in/outs for my regular clients. My schedule is very full. I only have one bi-weekly spot open right now, and it wouldnt be a big enough time slot for what you need. Good luck with your house sale, and great idea to get it cleaned! Many of my clients have remarked how their realtor has told potential buyers that their house is professionally cleaned on a regular schedule, and that buyers really responded to that.
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2117 posts
219 upvotes
Mississauga
What would you suggest for kitchen floor grout cleaning? I do vacuum and mop weekly but its time for a serious grout cleaning.
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Nov 4th, 2016 10:10 am
What would you suggest for kitchen floor grout cleaning? I do vacuum and mop weekly but its time for a serious grout cleaning.
The same method I mentioned a few posts up regarding the shower grout, but luckily you won't have the mold issue ;)
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
2117 posts
219 upvotes
Mississauga
petitallegra wrote:
Nov 4th, 2016 10:10 pm
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Nov 4th, 2016 10:10 am
What would you suggest for kitchen floor grout cleaning? I do vacuum and mop weekly but its time for a serious grout cleaning.
The same method I mentioned a few posts up regarding the shower grout, but luckily you won't have the mold issue ;)
So spray Vim on the grout, let sit for a bit, scrub with a brush, spray with water / vinegar solution, and rinse with water? After all that apply the grout paint thingy? Home Depot for that I presume?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
13627 posts
3407 upvotes
Toronto
I know that cigarette smell is very hard to get out of anything, but do you have any experience or suggestions for getting it out of older cassettes?
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
Do you mean the plastic exterior? Out of all the surfaces to remove the smell, fabric and plastic is the hardest :( I don't know any cleaner that could remove the smell, without damaging the cassette.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
13627 posts
3407 upvotes
Toronto
petitallegra wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2016 9:47 pm
Do you mean the plastic exterior? Out of all the surfaces to remove the smell, fabric and plastic is the hardest :( I don't know any cleaner that could remove the smell, without damaging the cassette.
The whole thing i guess, though using something like febreeze may damage the tape
Lies, damned lies, statistics and alternative facts
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
retrovette wrote:
Dec 3rd, 2016 10:39 pm
I'm trying to find a comparable product to Swish Food Service Oven/Griddle Cleaner
I used to get it from their location in Oakville but I'm not in that area anymore.
Here's the link on the product information.
I'm in the Waterloo area now.
Thanks

http://swishclean.com/product.htm?Produ ... &Source=Ad
That's a heavy duty commercial cleaner. I only clean with green products, so I don't have a recipe that's comparable. Have you tried HD supply? They have quite a few commercial degreasing products.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 14, 2005
11075 posts
1529 upvotes
City of Vancouver
Do u have any clients who are elderly and don't have good hygiene or short-term memory? Do u ever go to a client's home regularly and they don't know who you are?
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
Becks wrote:
Dec 4th, 2016 4:25 pm
Do u have any clients who are elderly and don't have good hygiene or short-term memory? Do u ever go to a client's home regularly and they don't know who you are?
Well, I used to be a nurse, that's how I got into cleaning :) I would do palliative home care for private patients, many who had dementia. Because I'm trained on cleaning procedures, and many of my clients were immune-compromised, I would often clean for those clients, in the care rooms. (Bathrooms, bedrooms, etc.) as part of my service.
But once I switched to a career in cleaning, I only have a few clients with medical needs left, none of which have dementia, or are bed bound.
All my clients are able to perform their ADLs , and they all know who I am :) 90% of my clients are not home when I clean.
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
hi petitallegra,

you may remember me, a fellow cleaner, haven't posted in a few months.

so... now that i've been cleaning houses for almost a year, and working for myself, i've gotten better at what i do and become more aware and confident. at the same time, i need to move out of my apartment and will likely have to pay much more rent thus make more $.

upon doing a fair amount of research and reading forums, i've realized that my rates are really low and i can afford to increase them substantially. i charge a flat rate, because i'm not very fast (but do a good job) - and my current flat rate is $80 per clean. this usually takes me about 4 hours. (my oldest client though only pays me $50.. so low.) for my weekly clients i always clean the entire first floor and bathroom thoroughly, and every other week i do the bedrooms/2nd floor as well (as they don't get dirty as often.) i think this is fairly standard, correct me if i'm wrong. (my dad's cleaner does this and all my weekly clients seem happy with this system.)

anyway, after all of this research and with the move happening in the next month or so, i've decided to increase my flat rate to $100. from what others have said, even this is on the cheap side, but not as crazy low as what i've been charging. i may lose clients when i do this, but i deserve to be paid properly for my hard work. i'm thinking ahead into the future now, and i was planning on increasing my rate from 5-10$ per year, after i begin with my new rate of $100. this seems fair to me, as costs of living are always increasing over time. do you do this with your clients that you've had for years? does that sound reasonable to you? curious if other cleaners slowly increase their rates from year to year.

thank you :)
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2011
436 posts
206 upvotes
Mississauga
custard wrote:
Dec 10th, 2016 5:46 pm
hi petitallegra,

you may remember me, a fellow cleaner, haven't posted in a few months.

so... now that i've been cleaning houses for almost a year, and working for myself, i've gotten better at what i do and become more aware and confident. at the same time, i need to move out of my apartment and will likely have to pay much more rent thus make more $.

upon doing a fair amount of research and reading forums, i've realized that my rates are really low and i can afford to increase them substantially. i charge a flat rate, because i'm not very fast (but do a good job) - and my current flat rate is $80 per clean. this usually takes me about 4 hours. (my oldest client though only pays me $50.. so low.) for my weekly clients i always clean the entire first floor and bathroom thoroughly, and every other week i do the bedrooms/2nd floor as well (as they don't get dirty as often.) i think this is fairly standard, correct me if i'm wrong. (my dad's cleaner does this and all my weekly clients seem happy with this system.)

anyway, after all of this research and with the move happening in the next month or so, i've decided to increase my flat rate to $100. from what others have said, even this is on the cheap side, but not as crazy low as what i've been charging. i may lose clients when i do this, but i deserve to be paid properly for my hard work. i'm thinking ahead into the future now, and i was planning on increasing my rate from 5-10$ per year, after i begin with my new rate of $100. this seems fair to me, as costs of living are always increasing over time. do you do this with your clients that you've had for years? does that sound reasonable to you? curious if other cleaners slowly increase their rates from year to year.

thank you :)
So, you have two options for rates, hourly, or flat rate.
Hourly is better for move in/outs, clients with clutter, clients who's level of dirt is in-predictable, or if you are slower.
Flat is better for regular clients, clients who's dirt level is predictable, or if you're fast.
At hourly, now that you've been doing this for a year, you should be asking $25-35 per hour, for a 4 hour service.
For flat rate, it should be $100 for a 2.5 bath house under 1800 sq feet. (Typical town, or small tidy semi, does not include basement.) Add $25 per extra bathroom, $25 per extra 500 sq ft, and $25-40 for basement. That's for a 2 hour service.

So, basic math shows that they both work out to roughly $100-125 for a 1800 sq ft 2.5, BUT I can get two done in 5 hours including drive time, vs one in four hours with hourly rate. That's double the money!
With your cleaning times however, I recommend hourly rate, until you get quicker.

Also, even my weekly clients get top to bottom service! I NEVER skip rooms, unless the client is in it, or requests me to not clean it. You should be starting in the master bath, then kids/guest bath, and working your way through Bedrooms and then offices. Always start with the heaviest clean rooms, and finish with the rooms that just need dusting/polishing/floors. Work from the back to the stairs, so that going downstairs is your last area, never walking on the floor once it's cleaned. (Floors should always be last)

So, my suggestion is to work on your efficiency. By all means, don't cut corners on quality, but start challenging yourself to be quicker, and pick better routes. Don't skimp on your products either!
I use the best quality solutions, and micros for faster, better results. Why spend twice the amount of time getting streaks off glass? Or soap scum on tubs, which takes the most labor too!

I usually re-do my rates every 2-3 years. Usually it's not a huge change, $10 increase is my usual. My clients are very good about it, I just give them a 2 clean cycle notice, so they know the rate change is coming.

Have you ever watched/shadowed another cleaner? It might be helpful to you, to get some tips on increasing your efficiency.
Newbie
Mar 29, 2016
23 posts
1 upvote
Hi Petitallegra,

Thankyou for your input.

You sound very speedy, unfortunately I do not work like you. I need to take my time for two important reasons. 1) So I can be thorough and mindful and do the best job possible and 2) Because if I work fast the cleaning experience becomes stressful and I hurt my body. I prefer to take more time so as to preserve my health. This is why I charge a flat rate, because it probably takes me an hour or so longer to do a job than a faster cleaner. I still charge the same so it doesn't make a difference to my clients as long as they value my work. Thus, I do not plan on 'getting quicker' as you mentioned, but I of course want to do a high-quality job.

Regarding rates, it sounds like you're saying $100 is very reasonable, (slightly low if anything) for what would typically be a 4 hour job on a decent sized house. So I feel it's fair to increase my rates to that. And you mentioned that you increase your rates by $10 every 2 years, so I am thinking a $5 increase per year would be fair.

I will consider what you are saying about doing bedrooms every week. I am not trying to ripoff my clients, not in the least. I think a couple of them months ago mentioned they only needed bedrooms done every other week, or they didn't even want them done at all and told me just to focus on main areas. Since then I've cleaned them every other week, (of course in addition to the main floor/bathrooms) and my clients are all happy with that system. Again I only started the system because that's what they requested, and because my dad's cleaner (who he loves and does great work) uses the same approach. I would imagine that if they wanted bedrooms done weekly they would tell me, and nobody has. Do you know what is typical, aside from what you do? Is it standard to do bedrooms weekly or do some cleaners do every other week like myself and my dad's?

Thanks.

PS. Shadowing a cleaner is not a bad idea. I will look into that.

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