Cleaning hacks for the busy professional

cleaning2If you’re a busy mumpreneur, the last thing you probably want to do is spend your precious time on your cleaning. Dusting, hoovering and other household tasks can seem like a big chore, so aside from calling in professionals like Molly Maid, here are ten cleaning hacks that’ll make your life easier.

1. Wash up as you go

It might sound simple but washing up as you go is a lot easier than spending thirty minutes trying to remove dried Weetabix from a bowl. And if something does get stuck – soak it in warm soapy water and deal with it when you get home.

2. Use lemon juice as an all-purpose cleaner

If the work surfaces could do with a clean but you’re out of all-purpose cleaning spray – fear not. Simply squirt half a lemon onto a dishcloth and use it as a natural disinfectant.

3. Unblock drains with baking soda and vinegar

Is the water taking ages to drain after a bath or shower? If so, put three heaped teaspoons of baking soda down the plughole followed by several glugs of white vinegar. Wait for the fizzing to stop before flushing through with warm water.

4. Use baking soda to neutralise smells

Believe it or not, baking soda can neutralise bad smells so if your fridge is a little on the stinky side, then pop a small bowl of this raising agent inside to get rid of the pong – you can even put some next to your shoe rack or cat litter tray.

5. Use olive oil as furniture polish

Shopping for cleaning products can be difficult if you’ve little time to spare – after all you probably don’t want to be picking up bleach on a Saturday. The good news is you’ve probably got some olive oil lying around so use this as a natural furniture polish.

6. Use salt as an abrasive

Got a tough stain you want to remove? Out of scourers? Then use salt as an abrasive. This works on many cast iron surfaces including pots and pans, so why not give it a go?

7. Use salt and lemons to clean your chopping board

Salt can also be used to clean chopping boards, which, as you probably know tend to get very dirty (and sometimes smelly). Simply sprinkle some onto half of a chopped lemon and scrub away.

8. Clean the oven with vinegar and baking soda

Shop-bought oven cleaners tend to be full of toxic chemicals which can sting your throat and burn your eyes. They’re expensive too, but there is an alternative – vinegar and baking soda. That’s right, pour some vinegar over the inside of the oven before sprinkling in some baking soda and let the chemical reaction work its magic before wiping clean.

9. Use an old toothbrush to clean your keyboard

Incredibly, researchers have discovered that computer keyboards contain far more bacteria than a toilet seat – with swabs even detecting faecal matter. With this in mind, try scrubbing your keyboard gently with a slightly wet toothbrush.

10. Clean your grater with potato

If you love grated cheese, carrots, apple and such like but hate all the bits that get stuck in the grater, try cleaning it using a raw potato. This will remove anything that’s lodged in the small holes allowing you to prepare your meals quicker.

With these hacks, cleaning doesn’t have to be a chore so go ahead and give them a go.

Unexpected essentials for your cleaning business

cleaningAnyone who thinks that cleaning is just a matter of soap and water and possibly a sponge or mop is mistaken. If you’re running a cleaning business, you will have to include a full inventory of all of the latest cleaning products, as well as a few unexpected items.

Be prepared for anything

Lord Baden Powell instructed the nation’s boy scouts to ‘be prepared’ and anyone who runs a cleaning business will be well aware of this motto. You should always include a pair of gloves from Brosch Direct in order to protect your hands. Every cleaning job is different and until you actually arrive at your client’s house or business, you don’t know what type of nasties you’ll be expected to eradicate. Keep yourself protected and stay healthy.

Cleaning clocks – take a rope

Last year the iconic timepiece Big Ben was treated to a deep clean. The job demanded care and precision and the expertise of an abseiling team in order to carry out the work efficiently. Of course this was a specialist contract but an article in The Daily Mail highlighted the importance for any cleaning company to think in a lateral way. Buckets and sponges were also very much in evidence for this particular contract.

Take the meat tenderiser

There are, of course, some stains that modern cleaning products just can’t remove.
If you run a cleaning business you can’t ever tell a client that a stain has defeated you. This is the time to employ some imagination. Meat tenderiser is fantastic at removing some difficult stains. It’s also cheap which is another bonus.

Protein based stains are often tricky to remove and this is where meat tenderiser comes into its own. Simply go into your local supermarket and invest in this wonderful product. Meat tenderiser breaks down the protein in meat, hence its name. The product needs to be made into a paste and then placed on the offending stain. After about five minute, rinse off the paste and you’ll find that the stain will have disappeared.

Cleaning plants

You will always anticipate that you’ll have to clean carpets, furniture and other basic items, but don’t forget that house plants also require maintenance. There’s nothing that makes a room or house look shabby than a dusty plant. According to The Huffington Post you only need to give the leaves a gentle wash with some water in order to remove bacteria and dust. You may find it helpful to place larger plants in the shower!

Alternative uses for your daily bread

 A post on the blog Larger Family Life suggests that bread is a wonderful resource for removing dust and minor stains. You may get some strange looks from your employer, but once the stains are removed they won’t really care how you removed them.

If you already run a cleaning business you’ll know all about ingenuity and imagination. These attributes are essential in all aspects of life, especially when confronted by a large and seemingly insurmountable stain.

Business Ideas For Mums: Gardening, Ironing, Cleaning and More

Tell me more…

People often want help with these tasks around their homes:

  • Cleaning
  • Oven valeting
  • Gardening
  • Ironing
  • Pet sitting
  • Dog walking
  • Window cleaning

As older people now want to stay in their own homes for as long as they can, demand for this type of service could well be on the increase.

What are the benefits?

This type of business is usually simple, cheap and quick to get started (although getting a steady stream of clients will usually take some work).

  • You can do as many hours work as you want.
  • You can choose to offer as many of the different services (listed above) as you want.
  • If you get too much work for you alone, you could employ other people.

Things to consider…

  • Word-of-mouth is a very effective way of finding clients for this type of business. Make sure your friends, family and neighbours all know about your service so they can refer people to you. Even better, get some business cards printed and leave a few with all your family and friends so they can pass them on.
  • Agree with your clients exactly what you are going to do and when. Will you be using your own materials and tools (e.g. cleaning products, lawn mower) or theirs? Which cleaning tasks will you do in the time you are working for your client? This helps you avoid disagreements later on. 
  • You could try to think of a way to stand out from other businesses in your area. How about using only eco-friendly products?
  • Because these types of business are quick to set up, it could be easy to overlook the basics of starting a business. For example, get adequate insurance as you could accidentally break a client’s window, stain her carpet or burn and item of his clothing with an iron. If you’re offering an ironing service, will you need a heavy-duty iron and ironing board to avoid replacing your ordinary one frequently? Also, don’t forget you will need to register as self employed.

Further information

Not convinced that helping others around the house is for you? Take a look at other business ideas for mums.

Photo by Impicard