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Trafficking and exploitation in the cleaning industry

Ending modern slavery and human trafficking should concern all of us. But for the cleaning industry, it’s an issue that is too close for comfort.

There are a host of reasons why we might find victims of exploitation in the cleaning industry.

Migrant workforce

Firstly, migrant workers are over-represented in cleaning work.  A recent report showed that 21% of the workforce in the cleaning industry are non-British workers, compared to 18% across all sectors.

Workers born outside of the UK are more likely to be in low paid occupations. This could be because of a lack of English language skills or knowledge of the UK jobs market. However, they are also more likely to be over-qualified for the work they are doing.

In addition, foreign-born workers are more likely to be involved in shift work (21%, compared to 15% of UK-born workers). They are also more likely to be in part-time work involuntarily, because they are unable to find a full time position.

These characteristics are all common to work in the cleaning industry – part time, shift work, and low pay. Cleaners in the UK earn on average £10.21 per hour. This is below the National Living Wage of £10.42 and substantially below the Real Living Wage of £12 per hour.

So we know that migrant workers are more likely to be working in the cleaning industry as a whole. But why might this lead to more instances of exploitation in the cleaning industry?

Recruitment crisis

There is a recruitment crisis in the cleaning industry, with an estimated 225,000 unfilled vacancies. Between 50 and 60% of cleaning companies are struggling to fulfil contracted hours because of staff shortages.

Following Brexit and then the COVID 19 pandemic, many EU workers returned to their home countries. Other former cleaners moved into other sectors. Under new immigration rules, cleaning is classified as “low skilled.” This makes it more difficult for potential workers to move to the UK to fill these vacancies.

The cleaning industry also faces rising overheads such as energy bills and increases in the minimum wage. So it is easy to see how some parts of the cleaning industry may be tempted to take advantage of cheap migrant labour. That could mean knowingly using workers who are victims of exploitation. Or it could mean turning a blind eye to unscrupulous recruitment practices used by agencies or sub-contractors.

Who are the victims of exploitation?

A report by the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLA) provides a profile of victims of exploitation in the cleaning industry. It describes victims as ‘often female, and of Bulgarian or unknown Eastern European nationality…. The most frequently reported location is London.’  

This is a sobering read. It could be describing the typical profile of our own team, here in the city.

The impact of exploitation

I saw first hand the impact of exploitation and trafficking, in my work for International Justice Mission and Stop The Traffik. And I witnessed how these injustices are happening in our communities in plain sight. It could be on our high streets, in nail bars, or in car washes. And it could be in the cleaning businesses working in our offices or our homes.

It’s what motivated me to found my own cleaning business, to do things differently.

Taking a stand

Many cleaning businesses now publish policies setting out the steps they are taking on human trafficking and exploitation. I hope that the cleaning industry as a whole will be vigilant about spotting the signs. We must ensure that we are not complicit in it, and we need to make a vocal stand against it. We need to communicate with our clients so they understand the real cost of cleaning, and we need to push the government to create a fairer environment where our sector, and our workers, can thrive.

What can you do to ensure that your cleaner is not the victim of exploitation?

Vacuums for pet owners | Top 5

In the UK We love our pets – but we don’t love the mess they leave in our homes quite so much.

So here are my top 5 vacuums for pet owners, so you and your furry friends can enjoy a clean and fresh home.

Unless your pet is a goldfish, sharing your home with an animal is a messy business. As well as fur and hair, there are muddy paw prints, food spills, and other little accidents to contend with. Your vacuum has some serious work to do, so it’s a good idea to do your research.

Myth busting

There has been a big rise in the popularity of “doodle” dog breeds in the past few years. As well as looking cute and curly, many of these poodle cross breeds shed their hair less than other dogs. However, not all doodle breeds are low shedders, and this depends on the genes passed down from the parent dogs. So if you have a curly dog, you might find still find hair everywhere.

If allergies are a concern in your family, your vacuum needs to work extra hard. It’s not just the animal hair that causes allergies. The culprit is dander, which includes dried saliva and skin cells, common to both cats and dogs.

Vacuums for pet owners – features to look for

When you’re choosing a vacuum that’s up to this tough challenge, there’s a few things you’ll want to look out for.

Pet hair

If you have a cat or a dog (or even a house rabbit) you will be familiar with those hairs that stick to your carpet, your sofa, your clothes, and your car. They form fluff balls on hard floors and you can even see them floating in the air on a sunny day. Vacuums for pet owners need to be great at lifting hair from all of these surfaces. Look for anti-wrap features that prevent tangles around your vacuum’s roller, and anti-clog brushes to keep your vacuum working efficiently.

Filter

A highly effective filter is a must in vacuums for pet owners. Look for a HEPA filter that removes the tiny dander particles which cause allergic reactions. Many vacuums have washable filters, so check how easy it is to remove.

Suction

To clean up after your pet in double-quick time, you’ll need a vacuum with a good, strong suction. There’s nothing more frustrating that spotting hair still lingering in the carpet when you’ve finished cleaning.

Bin capacity

Your pet can produce a surprising amount of fluff – so look for a vacuum with a good sized bin so you don’t need to empty it part way through a cleaning session.

Accessories and tools

The most effective vacuums for pet owners come with a range of tools to help you get into all those tricky corners. Look for upholstery brushes, and special motorised pet tools to get deep into carpet.

Here are my top 5 vacuums for pet owners.

Miele CX1 Cat and Dog

I’ve been a huge fan of Miele products for years and their vacuums for pet owners do not disappoint. This model was the favourite for Good Housekeeping too. This is a cylinder vacuum with a retractable cord and a high-performing filter. There is also an upright version which scored well in tests by the Independent.

Dyson V15 Detect Absolute

This upright cordless vacuum is lightweight to carry, but it’s a heavyweight when it comes to cleaning. As well as an impressive range of accessories, it uses “detect” technology to make it easier for you to spot dust and dirt particles you might otherwise miss. This model was a winner in the Forbes test of vacuums for pet owners.

Henry Pet

The Henry vacuum might be bit old skool compared to some of its high tech competitors, but it’s still a high performer. It comes with an Ecobrush turbo tool for shifting pet hair, and an odour-removing charcoal filter to keep your home and vacuum fresh. This model is heavy, and it’s not the quietest, but it does the job well and it deserves its place amongst the best vacuums for pet owners.

iRobot roomba J7+

You may think a robot vacuum and pets would be a bad combination, but technology has made the robot a genuine choice for pet owners. The software which powers this vacuum means it can detect “solid” pet waste and avoid it (although alas, it cannot yet clean it up before you get home). The vacuum is programmable so you can set it to avoid some areas, and spend extra time in areas which need more attention such as around your pets’ beds. This one scored well in the Independent’s testing.

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro

This cordless upright vacuum has an impressive range of accessories including a motorised pet tool to get rid or pet-related hair, dust and debris from every corner in your home. It has a flexible design so it’s easy to reach under furniture, and can transform into a handheld vacuum for stairs and upholstery.

Final thoughts

Choose the right vacuum, and sharing your home with your pets can be a pleasure, not a chore. I hope my top 5 vacuums for pet owners helps you decide.

Celebrating Delphis Eco: Royal Warrant

I have been a huge fan of Delphis Eco cleaning products for years. And so I was thrilled when the company was granted a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HM King Charles III.

Delphis Eco have held a royal warrant for 10 of their 17 years, first to Queen Elizabeth II and to King Charles when he was Prince of Wales, supplying cleaning products to the royal household in both the kitchen and household departments. Now they have been included in the first 145 companies to be granted a Royal Warrant to the new King.

Discovering Delphis Eco

Our relationship with Delphis Eco is almost as long. It began 8 years ago when Monika found a bottle of Delphis Eco limescale remover in a dusty corner of her local corner shop. Monika (one of our great past colleagues) came into the office with glowing reports about her new discovery, and wanted us all to try it. This brand was new to us, and at first we were skeptical. But Monika persisted. She even made a video to demonstrate the product in action. Then she brought in a bottle for me to test for myself. And it has been my go-to limescale remover ever since.

Recommended Range

Since then, we have recommended the Delphis Eco range to our commercial and domestic clients. We use them in our deep cleaning services and in our intensive end of tenancy cleans.

I use them in my own home too, and I have so many favourites. As well as the brilliantly effective limescale remover, I also love the XFactor Cleaner which is especially good for removing scuff marks and stains from hard surfaces.

Delphis Eco also have a full range of commercial cleaning products. They are the trusted range used by our friends at ethical commercial cleaning specialists Clean For Good.

Eco Credentials

We all know that His Majesty the King is a passionate advocate for nature and green issues. And so it is no surprise that Delphis Eco have been leading the way on sustainability in their own industry. Their product range is plant-based, with no animal testing and none of the harmful ingredients which can be found in many other cleaning products. So they are safer for you, your family, your pets, and your cleaner.

The company’s founder Mark Jankovich spent 6 years to develop the infrastructure to make their 100% recycled bottles entirely from British post-consumer plastic waste (mainly milk bottles). This means a big reduction in carbon emissions, because plastic is not imported from overseas for recycling. Soon the triggers they use will be 67% recycled plastic.

The concentrated refill range also means less packaging and less waste. Your trigger bottle is designed to be used again and again – 10,000 times in fact.

A sustainable future

It has been so exciting to see Delphis Eco’s success over the last few years, and I am delighted to congratulate them on their Royal Warrant. I can’t wait to see what they do next to change cleaning products for the better.

If you want to try their range for yourself, you can buy direct from their website, or from Waitrose.

Antoinette Daniel in Good Housekeeping June 2023

How to make your coffee greener

More of us than ever are enjoying a “proper” coffee at home. 

But are you wondering can if you can make your coffee greener? What can we do to make our daily cup more eco friendly?

High Tech Coffee

When our favourite coffee shops were out of bounds during the pandemic, many people invested in a high tech coffee machine to treat themselves at home.

These machines certainly deliver a great coffee, but are they bad news for the environment?

There are more ingredients to a green cup of coffee than you might think. 

Many coffee machines use a single use coffee pod, made of plastic or aluminium, or a combination. These machines undoubtedly make it easy to get a great coffee at home. But, as they are only used once, they create waste, and that can be a problem.

Perhaps surprisingly, some studies have shown that pod coffee machines are more environmentally friendly than other methods of making coffee.  This is because they use exactly the right amount of coffee, water and energy for your cup. A big part of the environmental impact of a cup of coffee is in the growing of the coffee itself, so using too much increases the impact significantly. 

Pod Recycling

So, if you choose to use a pod machine, what should you do with your pods? Separating the coffee from the aluminium, plastic and other materials  for recycling at home is messy and difficult to do effectively. However, there are some great pod recycling options available. Podback.org is a nationwide recycling service for plastic and aluminium pods. It’s a partnership of big coffee brands, local authorities and recycling companies to try to make it easy to make your coffee greener. You can use a drop-off or kerbside pickup service to deliver your pods to Podback. They separate out the coffee and use it to make compost and biogas. The aluminium and plastic are recycled to make drinks cans, car components, garden furniture and more. 

You can find out how to recycle using Podback here

Of course, both the process of making, and recycling coffee pods uses a lot of resources and energy. So it’s worth exploring some other options to make your coffee greener.

Pod Alternatives

There has been a big rise in compostable, plastic free coffee pods, many of which are compatible with popular pod machines such as Nespresso. When you’ve finished your coffee, you can pop these plant-based pods in your home composter or food waste bin and they will break down naturally. Some are available as a subscription and delivered through your letterbox, so you’ll never find the cupboard empty when you need a coffee in a hurry.

No-Pod Options

Bean to cup machines are a high tech alternative to the pod. They can include impressive functions such as multiple drink options, self-cleaning, milk frothing, and may include adjustable settings for soy, almond or oat milk.

Getting to know your machine can take a bit of time and patience – and might result in some wasted coffee too. Some models can also be a faff to clean, so it’s a great idea to read reviews before you invest. 

Of course, a high tech electronic machine will come with a significant carbon footprint before you even plug it in.  If you’re looking to make your coffee greener, the manufacturing process, repair options and likely lifespan of your machine are all things to consider. 

Going Back to Basics

So before you reach for the instant coffee jar, what other green options are there for making a great coffee? Before there were coffee machines, these were simple, manual coffee makers worked pretty well.

A mokka pot is a stovetop coffee maker that brews coffee by forcing hot water through ground coffee. It’s low tech, and easy to clean, and makes a great espresso style coffee. 

A cafetière or French press makes delicious coffee and is really simple to use (and inexpensive). Some models are insulated to keep your coffee hot for longer and reduce waste. When you’ve finished you can pop your coffee grinds in the compost bin or even directly onto your garden as a soil improver.

However you choose to make your daily cup, you can enjoy it with a clean conscience by considering a few options to make your coffee greener.

Purpose-led businesses give back

An ever-growing number of businesses and brands are describing themselves as “purpose-led”.

But how do purpose-led businesses work in practice – and is this just another clever marketing strategy?

The growth of purpose

It’s not surprising that there’s a growth in interest in purpose-led businesses.  Our world is in trouble. We are on the brink of a climate crisis, and we are seeing the impact of climate change all over the world, every day. The gap between rich and poor is becoming ever-more extreme. Poverty and hunger are not just confined to countries far away – they are also on our doorsteps with the increasing use of food banks and prevalence of fuel poverty. 

Consumers are looking to the businesses and brands they buy from, to see how they are using their profits to address these global problems.  And the evidence shows that they are willing to spend more with those businesses whose values align with their own.

Corporate social responsibility has become big business. So how can businesses put this into practice in a meaningful way?

Business or charity?

There can be an uncomfortable sense of conflict when we talk about purpose in relation to profit. But this should not be the case. The drive to ‘do good’ is not confined to the charitable sector. A purpose-led business can have an equal focus on profit, people and planet, and some of our most successful global businesses are making profits and delivering change. And charities and purpose-led businesses can work together to deliver real impact on the ground. 

Where purpose-led businesses differ is that their profit is not at the expense of the planet, or of the community. And they go further, in using their money, resources, talent and influence to make the world a better place.  It’s not about avoiding harm, it’s about doing good.

Purpose in practice

Being a purpose-led business could be as simple as giving a percentage of profits to charity. However, taking a more comprehensive, holistic approach increases the potential for real impact. The Harvard Business School identified 4 types of corporate social responsibility.

  • Environmental (impact on climate)
  • Ethical (behaving in a fair and ethical manner)
  • Economic (values and the desire to do good are at the centre of financial decision-making)
  • Philanthropic (the aim to make the world a better place, often by charitable giving).

From the boardroom to the customer service team, everyone in the business can be part of delivering on these values, in the way they work.

More than a slogan

So being a purpose-led business is not about sticking a hard-hitting slogan on a t-shirt. And it must extend beyond using recycled packaging, for example.  This is so much more than making an easy gesture towards “doing the right thing”. To be truly purpose-led, the desire to make a positive impact should be embedded throughout all aspects of the business. Just as consumers are on the alert for cynical “green-washing”, using  “purpose-washing” as a marketing strategy without the values behind it risks reputational damage. 

Putting purpose to the test

Accreditations such as B Corp give businesses a rigorous framework against which to measure and demonstrate their social and environmental impact, and many big brands are now wearing their B Corp credentials with pride. There are now almost 8500 certified B Corps across 96 countries. And consumers are taking notice; 69% of people who were aware of B-Corp said certification positively affected their purchasing decisions.

Good for Business

So, by demonstrating how their purpose shapes the way they do business, brands earn both consumers’ loyalty and their spending. Customers want to get involved and feel part of positive impact on the world. In fact, 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a brand with purpose. 

Schemes such as B1G1 enable customers to choose which good cause they support through their spending, deepening their sense of connection and involvement. These platforms also make the donation process easy for businesses, by providing the giving mechanism and vetting potential recipient projects.

Good for the team

Giving does not only need to be in the form of cash either. There has been a huge rise in paid volunteer days in UK businesses since 2022. Volunteering whether through litter picking, skill-sharing or even virtual acts of kindness, don’t just have a positive impact on the community.  Engaging in volunteering has been shown to increase a sense of connection and strengthen company culture. Employees value a sense of purpose at work and the opportunity to give back strengthens loyalty. 

Giving Back

Purpose-led businesses are successfully balancing the need to make a profit with giving back. Indeed, that shared sense of purpose can be the glue that binds customers, team and business together for the benefit of our community as a whole. 

Best Eco Friendly Laundry Options

Many of us are trying to do our bit for the environment, and that includes making greener choices with our cleaning products.

So I’ve been looking into eco friendly laundry options, and testing out some of the popular choices on the market. Are they really as green as they claim to be, and do they actually get our laundry clean?

Dr Beckmann Magic Leaves

These lightweight laundry sheets use 80% less plastic, and as they are compact and concentrated, they use less packaging and less space. This means less environmental impact from transportation – indeed, the product claims to be carbon-neutral.

Magic Leaves are also effective at lower temperatures so you will use less energy for your load of laundry. And at around £4 for 25 sheets, they are good value for money with each full wash costing 16 pence.

However, eco friendly laundry is not just about the packaging. When I took a closer look at the label, I saw that it includes warnings about ingredients “harmful to aquatic life with long-lasting effects”. This didn’t feel quite as planet-friendly as I had hoped.

The Eco Egg

This eco friendly laundry option is an innovative solution which I was keen to test out. The reusable plastic egg is filled with two types of pellet to get your laundry clean. The white washing pellets break up and remove stains. And the black tourmaline pellets break up the water’s surface tension, to help it to penetrate fibres more effectively.

The pellets last for around 50 loads of laundry, depending on the temperature of your wash. Then it’s easy to refill your egg with new pellets, ready for more laundry.

As well as reducing plastic waste, the Eco Egg scores well on eco friendly laundry ingredients. There are no chlorine bleaches, phosphates, parabens or palm oil – better for the environment, and for your skin. The Eco Egg is allergy approved, and is even kinder to your washing machine as it leaves less pipe-blocking residue than traditional detergent.

I tested the Eco Egg at 40 degrees and my laundry was clean, stain free and smelled fresh. It’s also great value at around £7.00 for a starter kit which includes the Eco Egg and pellets for 50 washes. This works out at £0.14 per wash.

Ocean Saver Laundry Sheets

These laundry sheets are completely plastic free. Even better, their “ocean friendly formula” does not contain ingredients that are harmful to the environment. For every purchase, Ocean Saver donates to the Blue Marine Foundation which helps to restore ocean habitats.

But, do they work? When I tested these eco friendly laundry sheets I found they cleaned my laundry very effectively. They have a very soapy scent which I found a little over-powering, but my washing was fresh and any stains lifted.

At around £6 for 30 full loads of washing, (20 pence per load) Ocean Saver Sheets are a little more expensive, but still a great eco friendly laundry choice in my opinion.

DIY Eco Friendly Laundry Options

As well as off-the-shelf solutions like these, you might want to think about making your own laundry detergent. That way, you will know exactly what ingredients it contains. And you can even choose your own scent by adding essential oils.

Katie Chappell shares a simple recipe for a homemade laundry powder in her blog, using soap, bicarbonate of soda, chlorine free oxygenated bleach, soda crystals and natural Borax substitute, with essential oils to add fragrance.

Another even more natural option is this laundry liquid made from conkers (also known as horse chestnuts). I can’t claim to have tested this one myself but I am definitely intrigued. And of course, this solution is practically free.

Maybe I’ll be collecting conkers in the autumn to give it a go. Would you try it? I would love to know!

How to know if your cleaner is working here legally

Hiring a cleaner for your home is a great way to free up valuable time.

But how can you be sure your cleaner is working here legally? 

People coming to the UK who may have low levels of English or few recognised qualifications often find themselves working in the cleaning sector. While working as a cleaner can be a good source of regular employment, sadly illegal working and exploitation is common.

So if you are hiring a cleaner, it’s vital that you carry out basic checks for your own peace of mind.

The documents

Ask to see your cleaner’s passport. This is a good first step to make sure your cleaner is working here legally. Whatever nationality you believe they have, ask for their passport. That way you avoid getting caught out by incorrect assumptions.

If they have a British or Irish passport, they have the right to work in the UK. If their passport was issued in another country, it should have a stamp from the UK Home Office showing their right to work. Find more information about using passports and immigration documents to check your cleaner is working here legally here.

Your cleaner may be able to provide you with a ‘share code’ to prove their right to work. You can find more information about this here

Hiring a cleaner through an agency

If you use an agency to arrange your cleaning, they should carry out the appropriate checks. This includes ensuring cleaners on their books have the right to work in the UK. However, it is always a good idea to ask how the agency vet their cleaners, so you can be sure your cleaner is working here legally. 

When you are looking for a cleaning agency, ask friends and colleagues for recommendations. Is the agency transparent about the fees they charge, and how much of this they pay to their cleaners? Do their cleaners receive the Real Living Wage? What about sick pay and holiday pay? These are all good indicators that a cleaning agency is reputable, and that they will have ensured that your cleaner is working here legally. 

Exploitation: Spotting the signs

Slavery is not confined to the history books. In fact, modern slavery and exploitation is all around us in our towns and cities. So when you are checking that your cleaner is working here legally, look out for signs of exploitation. People who do not have a legal right to work in the UK are at particular risk of exploitation. They may be in fear of deportation, and this can also make them reluctant to report their situation. 

Here are some common signs which should alert you that something isn’t right. 

  • Someone else has possession of their passport
  • Someone asks you to pay your cleaner’s earnings into a bank account under a different name
  • Someone drops off your cleaner and picks them up from their workplace 
  • Your cleaner is accompanied by someone else when they meet you, and are reluctant to speak for themselves. 
  • They wear clothes that aren’t suitable for the work they are doing. 
  • They are living in overcrowded accommodation and are unable to move. 
  • They seem frightened, or confused.

If you suspect someone is a victim of modern slavery or exploitation, you can report it to Unseen. Unseen is a charity which supports victims and campaigns to end modern slavery. Find out more about how to contact Unseen here.

Peace of mind that your cleaner is working here legally

Employing a cleaner who does not have a legal right to work here can have serious consequences. It could result in you being prosecuted, fined or even jailed. So if you are unsure, it’s important to get expert advice. By carrying out some simple checks, and asking some key questions, you can protect yourself, and also help end modern slavery and exploitation in our communities.

Onboarding your cleaner | How to get the clean you deserve

So you’ve found a cleaner – now how do you bring them on board so that you get the clean you want for your home? Here are my top tips.

Time onboarding your cleaner is time well spent.

Your cleaner is going to be part of your essential team, and so it’s really important that you set expectations and agree a way of working, right from the start. That way, you will avoid problems and misunderstandings later.

Be comfortable about expressing what you need when you are onboarding your cleaner. After all, this is your home, and your clean. 

The grand tour

The best way to introduce your cleaner to your home is to walk them through it. It’s a great opportunity to point out any areas that you would like them to focus on, or areas you want them to avoid. If your teen’s bedroom is off-limits, let them know. If you work from home and your desk is in a state of “organised chaos” and best avoided, explain that too.  This is also a good moment to explain about any delicate surfaces.

Have you agreed how long your cleaner will spend on each visit? A walk through your home gives you an opportunity to discuss how long a full clean might take. 

Your Dream Clean

What are your “must haves” for a great clean? Imagine walking into your newly cleaned home – what do you want to see? That might be sparkling clean bathrooms, or a spotless kitchen. You might prioritise mopping hard floors, or changing bed linen. Make sure you set these priorities with your cleaner. That way, if there isn’t time available to do every cleaning task in your home, your cleaner can ensure these essentials are done. 

It’s a great idea to to create a checklist of tasks and discuss this when you are onboarding your cleaner. Set realistic expectations about which tasks can be completed during each visit. For example, cleaning windows might be a once-a-month task, whilst vacuuming might be a task for every visit. If your dream clean includes vacuuming under all the beds, make sure you show that on the checklist.

Key ingredients

Will you be providing a cleaning kit for your cleaner, or will they be bringing cleaning products with them? You might have particular requirements, or products you want to avoid in your home, so share this when you are onboarding your cleaner. If you have pets, you will want to make sure any products are pet friendly in areas they use. Is there is a fragrance you really don’t like? Tell your cleaner so they can avoid using products with this fragrance in your home. 

If you prefer to provide a cleaning kit, consider the health and safety of your cleaner. Some harsh cleaning products can be harmful so think about eco-friendly, gentler choices. These products are better for your cleaner and for your family. 

Don’t forget to show your cleaner where you keep essential supplies such as toilet rolls, bin liners and the vacuum cleaner. 

Sensitive surfaces

You are the expert on your home, so if there are things your cleaner needs to know to give you a great clean, then share this with them. Using the wrong cleaning product on a sensitive surface can cause damage, so it’s very important that you share this information with your cleaner. How should your wooden kitchen worktops be cleaned? If kitchen cleaner is too harsh, suggest white vinegar as an alternative. Are your bathroom floor tiles made from natural stone? Make sure you explain how to clean it safely, when you are onboarding your cleaner. 

Safety first

What else will your cleaner need to work in your home? If they will be cleaning the tops of cupboards, or removing cobwebs from high ceilings, provide a safe stepladder for them to use. Check that any extension cables are safe too, with no bare wires or visible damage. Don ’t forget to include rubber gloves in your cleaning kit to protect your cleaner’s hands while they work. 

Access granted

If you won’t be at home when your cleaner visits, you will need to discuss access arrangements. If you have a key safe, show your cleaner how to use it and give them the code. Of course, if you have a security alarm, your cleaner will need to know how to turn it off, and how to reset it when they leave. 

Will your cleaner be travelling by car? Make sure you share any parking restrictions so they don’t land a parking ticket, or annoy your neighbours by blocking driveways. 

The basics 

Of course, it’s essential that you agree a rate of pay as part of onboarding your cleaner. Even if you feel awkward talking about money, this conversation is one you really can’t avoid. Do your research on typical rates of pay for cleaning in your area, in advance. The Real Living Wage is a great guide to how much you should pay per hour. And remember, if you pay your cleaner fairly, they are more likely to stick with you for longer. Consider paying sick pay and holiday pay too. Agree how you will pay for your clean (monthly or weekly, cash or direct into their bank) and stick to it.

A perfect team

When you are onboarding your cleaner, make sure you ask for their feedback. Your cleaner is a professional and may have some great suggestions that will help them work more efficiently, and provide you with an even better clean. 

By getting your onboarding meeting right, you can set the foundations for a great working relationship with your cleaner, so you can look forward to the clean you deserve at every visit. 

Help with cleaning | Why you deserve it

Life as a mum is all about the juggle. And there’s often a good dose of guilt thrown in there too.

But why do we feel guilty about getting help with cleaning at home?

The parent juggle

Whatever age your kids are, the cycle of family, work and the household chores can feel never-ending. We’ve all got to Sunday night and realised there’s nothing to put in the packed lunches. Or the PE kit is still in the bottom of the laundry basket (complete with mud), and there are no clean shirts in the wardrobe.

After a full day of work, school run, negotiating with tantruming toddlers or grumpy teens, and trying to cook up a balanced meal that everyone will eat, no-one wants to start on the cleaning. Throw in an unexpected visit from the in-laws or the neighbour with the pristine home, and you’ve got a recipe for a big portion of guilt (not to mention exhaustion).

Domestic Goddess?

With social media feeding us images of the domestic goddess, making beautiful memories with her beautiful children, it’s easy to think we should be able to handle it all. But the truth is, many parents are struggling under this daily juggle. So don’t you deserve to get some help with the cleaning?

Daily delegating

We might feel we should be able to do all of these tasks ourselves. But actually we delegate all the time. When is the last time you did your own oil change? And many of us are still having nightmares about trying to teach our children. That’s a task that’s definitely best left to the professionals. Hiring a cleaner is just another form of delegating.

Getting help with cleaning

And getting help with cleaning can transform your life.

  • Reduced stress: Imagine coming home to a clean and tidy space. No more last-minute cleaning sprees before guests arrive, or feeling overwhelmed by piles of laundry.
  • More quality time: Instead of spending precious hours scrubbing floors, you can spend more quality time with your family. Settle down to watch a movie. Go for a walk in the park, or just sit and chat – without feeling guilty about the cleaning.
  • Increased productivity: A clean and organised home will actually save you time. It’s easier to focus, and you will waste less time looking for things lost in the chaos. You might even feel more productive at work, knowing you can come home to peace.
  • Teaching valuable lessons: By getting help with cleaning, you can teach your children valuable life lessons about teamwork, responsibility, and appreciating the work of others. And you can still give the kids a few chores of their own, – safe in the knowledge that the professionals are on their way.

Final thoughts

On this Mother’s Day, why not ditch the guilt and be a little kind to yourself. And if that means getting help with cleaning, then you deserve it!

Need a hand cleaning your home?

Life in London is demanding and time is at a premium. Get some sparkle back into your life and home with one of our domestic cleaning packages.

Looking for commercial cleaning?

We provide a regular cleaning service for offices and commercial premises in the Greater London area, helping you maintain a professional, healthy and productive work and business environment.

We’d love to chat with you, see your space and walk you through our process.

Call us

020 3995 4810 - Clients
020 3995 4821 - Helpers

Email us

info@justhelpers.co.uk

Our office

71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9JQ

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