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Plastic Free Cleaning | 3 Ways

This month is Plastic Free July. So how can you reduce the plastic in your cleaning cupboard?

A glance down the cleaning aisle will tell you there’s a lot of plastic bottles, sprays, sponges and more out there. But there are eco-friendly alternatives too. Here are our top tips for plastic free cleaning.

1. Refill to Reuse

There are lots of great options if you want to reuse your existing plastic bottles by refilling them. This is an even more planet-friendly option than recycling, as it uses less energy.

We love Splosh, where you can order letterbox sized, super-concentrated refills of everything from bathroom and floor cleaner, to kitchen cleaner and washing up liquid. There’s even shower gel and hand wash too. Buy Splosh’s own sturdy bottles, or rinse and refill your own. 

Other order-online refill options include Ocean Saver and Smol . However, we haven’t tested these ourselves so we would love to hear your experiences!

And don’t forget you can also refill your cleaning products in many local stores, so take a look on your local high street. 

2. Reduce: Recycled Bottles and Concentrates

Just Helpers favourites Method use 100% recycled plastic in their bottles, as well as offering refills so you can top up when you need to.

And we also love Ecover, who use recycled plastic in their bottles. Find Ecover refill stations in many local eco-friendly stores.

Changing to plastic free cleaning is not just about detergents and bottles. It’s also about all those cloths and sponges we use – and there are some great reusable alternatives here too. Look out for washable sponges and cloths from e cloth or compostable options from EcoVibe .

3. Plastic Free Traditional Recipes

I’ve been experimenting with some chemical free, plastic free cleaning product recipes and I’ve got some great results!  I’ve been sharing these traditional cleaning methods with local WI groups to spread the word. Try these for yourself.

Wood Polish

  • 1 part vinegar
  • 1 part oil (olive, almond, or my favourite  – walnut)
  • A few drops of essential oil

Mix together and use straight away or store in a bottle. Then apply with a soft cloth and polish with another soft cloth. I love this one.

All Purpose Cleaning Spray

The vinegar in this recipe cleans and acts as an antibacterial agent, and the smell dissipates quickly, especially if you add essential oils of citrus peel. Use this on most hard surfaces including glass.  

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part warm water
  • A few drops of essential oil (I use geranium as it makes me feel positive and relaxed), or drop in orange or lemon peel. 

Store your products in a glass bottle with a trigger spray so you’re totally plastic free.

These recipes offer eco-friendly, plastic free cleaning, plus they are cheaper than the usual shop bought products. So they save you money, and help save the planet too.

Let us know if you try these recipes. We would love to hear your verdict.

Should I Clean for the Cleaner?

This month it’s “Thank Your Cleaner Day”. So just how SHOULD you say thank you?  And should you clean for the cleaner? 

We are cleaning experts, with our Helpers working in homes and businesses across London. Here is our worry-free guide to getting the best from your cleaning service. 

Should I clean for the cleaner?

You definitely shouldn’t feel worried or embarrassed if your space is untidy. Having a cleaner should not be another source of stress. Our Helpers love to clean and transform your space into a sparkling clean and calming place to come home to. 

However, putting away clothes, tidying toys, and washing dishes all take time, and that means less time for vacuuming, or cleaning kitchen surfaces, for example.  So, if your clean is a short one, you might want to make the most of your cleaner’s time and have a quick tidy before they arrive.  But please don’t feel you need to clean for your cleaner!

Should I tell my cleaner what I want them to do?

If there are particular tasks you really want your cleaner to do, it’s a great idea to leave written instructions. That way, you can both be clear about your priorities. You might like to leave a few tasks which can be done if there’s time left over, such as ironing. 

Make sure you think about how long your cleaner will be in your home, so your instructions are realistic. 

When you book your cleaning through Just Helpers, our team will visit your home. This gives us time to discuss your priorities and assess your needs, so we can tell you how long your cleaning visit should be.  Plus, you can contact our office team any time, and we will make sure your message is communicated to your regular Helper, and cover Helpers too. 

Should I go out when my cleaner comes?

 It’s quicker to do all the vacuuming, or dusting, at once, and this is much easier when there’s no-one home. However, we know it’s not always possible, and our Helpers are happy to work around you. That might mean cleaning one room at a time, for example. 

What about cleaning equipment?

When you are arranging your cleaning, it’s important to check what equipment and products they will need. Chat with your cleaner about their recommendations, and make sure you are both happy with your choices. 

As part of our new client visit, we will look at what cleaning equipment you have available. We also have a recommended kit list, with tried and tested products that we love. We prefer eco-friendly brands such as Delphis Eco, Astonish, Method and Ecover because they are a healthier choice for you, your Helper and the planet. 

Just Helpers Tip

Make sure your vacuum cleaner is empty and working well, with strong suction. This will save time for your Helper so they can get more done during their visit. It’s a great idea to invest in a good vacuum cleaner too. We love Miele and Shark. 

This is down to personal choice, of course.  Our Helpers bring their own snacks and drinks, but may help themselves to water. Unless their visit is more than 4 hours, they will not take a break. So feel free to make yourself a coffee and relax while our Helpers work their magic!

How should I thank my cleaner? 

At Just Helpers, we believe the best way to show you appreciate your cleaner is to ensure they receive fair pay and decent working conditions. That’s why all our Helpers receive the London Living Wage, as well as sick pay and holiday pay too. Isn’t that more meaningful than flowers or chocolates?

If you want to feel good about booking your cleaning, call Just Helpers. We are changing the world for the better, one clean at a time. 

How to Clean Your Windows so they Sparkle

Do you want streak-free, sparkling clean windows?  Read our tips for getting the perfect shine.

Choose your moment

The first rays of spring sunshine might motivate you to clean your windows, but it’s better to save it for a dull day. Too much sun can dry your glass too quickly, causing those dreaded streaks!

Prepare

Before you start to clean your windows, take any ornaments or plants from the window sill.  Vacuum the window sills and frames to remove any dust or loose dirt.

If you’re carrying out an annual, deep clean, you might want to take down the curtains or blinds for cleaning too. If not, make sure your curtains are well out of the way so they don’t get splashed with water.

You will need:

There are lots of glass-cleaning products around, but often simple is best.   Washing-up liquid and warm water gets great results. In a recent test, Real Homes found our favourite Ecover washing up liquid to be best – it’s simple ingredients mean less residue, and less streaks.

If you prefer to use a spray, try mixing 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with water and using this to refill an empty spray bottle. It’s chemical free, natural and anti-bacterial. Don’t use this on painted frames or surfaces though as it can stain.

Professional window cleaners often use a squeegee to remove most of the water from the glass before drying the window. However, take care – you will need a towel handy to mop up the water or you can end up with puddles on the floor.

We recommend microfibre cloths, as they are great for drying glass without leaving streaks.  If you don’t have enough microfibre cloths, use the old-fashioned method and dry your windows with crumpled newspaper – it works a treat!

Top Tips

  • Dry your windows quickly after washing
  • Use downward strokes, not circles, to avoid streaks
  • Don’t use kitchen towels – they can break up leaving unsightly bits on the glass
  • Don’t try to clean exterior windows from a ladder – leave it to the professionals!

 

Getting the most from your dishwasher

Many of us have a dishwasher in our kitchen – but do we use them effectively? Here are our top dishwasher tips for getting the best from yours.

 

What do those buttons do?

Lots of dishwashers have fancy features that we never use! But they are worth investigating as they could save you money and time. Here’s a few you might have:

  • Eco – this setting uses less energy and water so it’s good for the environment and your pocket. Which estimate that using an eco program could save £300 over a year!
  • Pre-wash – this program rinses your dishes, so it’s useful if you don’t want to run a full wash every day.
  • Timer – set your dishwasher to finish as you get home from work, or to run overnight.
  • Delicate – A gentle wash for fine crockery or glasses.
  • Adjustable racks – If you can’t fit your new plates in the dishwasher, don’t panic! Check to see if you can adjust the height of the top rack to make more space.

 

Load it up!

The key to clean dishes is to make sure the water can get to all the surfaces. This sounds obvious, but if you overload your dishwasher, you might find some items aren’t cleaned.

  • Make sure dirty surfaces face inwards, towards the water jets.
  • Avoid placing big items (baking trays or platters) close to the centre, where they will block jets from reaching everything else. Put them at the sides.
  • Some items such as plastic cups or delicate glasses should only be placed on the top rack, where the wash is gentler and the temperature lower.

 

Not just for dishes

Your dishwasher can clean lots of items around the home as long as they are dishwasher-safe! Try these:

  • Plastic toys – place them on the top rack and put small items in the cutlery basket.
  • Make-up brushes – always benefit from a good clean to get rid of excess product and bacteria.
  • Keys – these harbour a surprising level of germs!
  • Dishcloths and sponges – pop them in the top rack to freshen them up.
  • Flip-flops! We’ve heard you can clean these really well in the top rack though you might prefer to do this separately from your dishes.

Remember it’s always a great idea to check the user guide for your dishwasher. Many are available online too.

 

Do you have any dishwasher tips? We would love to hear them!

How to Organise your Wardrobe

When your clothes are bursting out of your wardrobe but you can’t find anything to wear, it’s time to get organised! Here are my top tips for streamlined clothes storage.

Make a plan
What are you going to do with clothes and accessories you no longer need? You’ll feel happier letting things go if you know they’ll have a good home.

Try these:

  • Get friends together for swapping session. Find out how, here:
  • Make money on eBay. Here are some tips for selling success, from Money Saving Expert. This is especially good for those impulse sale purchases that still have the tags attached.
  • Donate clean, good quality items to your local charity shop.
  • Try “Shwopping” with M&S and you could receive Sparks points!

A little at a time

It’s tempting to start by dragging everything out. However, this can be overwhelming. Plus, if you run out of time, you’ll be left with an even bigger mess!

Start with one area of your wardrobe, such as drawers, shoes, or bags.

A Clean Start

Take out all the items in the area you are tackling. Begin by vacuuming. Wipe out drawers and dry thoroughly.  Polish mirrors and doors.

Dressing Up

Try things on. If something doesn’t fit, lay it to one side. Don’t dismiss items you think you don’t like. You might rediscover a gem! And don’t forget to try on shoes – our feet change shape with time, so those heels you’re saving for a special occasion might pinch now.

Make Do and Mend

Most people have things in their wardrobe that they are not wearing because of a broken zip, or a missing button. Separate these to take to the menders.

Thanks for the Memories

A special outfit might hold precious memories, but if it’s something you no longer wear, it becomes clutter. Try taking photos of these items instead.

Beautifully Organised

Now you can start to put things back in a more organised way.

  • Store out of season clothes in a box under your bed.
  • Maximise your storage. Could you add some drawers under your hanging rail? Or a shoe-rack? Boxes are perfect for belts and bags – treat yourself to a matching set.
  • Try hanging up bags and scarves. Add adhesive hooks to the back of doors.
  • Invest in good quality coat-hangers to keep your clothes in shape.

Regular Reviews

Reverse all your coat-hangers. Then, as you hang something after wearing it, put the hanger the right way round. After a few months you’ll be able to see which items haven’t made it out of the wardrobe. Do you still need them?

How to Clean Your Fridge with Antoinette

Cleaning the fridge is one of those tasks that’s easy to overlook. But a clean fridge helps to keep your food fresher for longer, and stops the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.

Just Helpers Founder Antoinette shares her top tips on how to clean your fridge with minimum fuss.

When to Clean Your Fridge

It’s a good idea to clean your fridge at most every 3 months. Of course, if something spills in the fridge it’s best to wipe it up straight away. This is especially important for milk, which will smell bad if it isn’t cleaned up quickly. Wiping up sticky spills as they happen will also make it easier to clean your fridge.

To clean your fridge thoroughly, you need to empty it first. So, it makes sense to clean your fridge before you go to the supermarket or before your delivery arrives. That way, you will have less food to store whilst you clean.

Before you Start to Clean Your Fridge

Now is the time to have a good sort through the contents of your fridge.

  • Throw away any food which is out of date or inedible – don’t forget those half jars of chutney left over from Christmas!
  • Empty your vegetable drawers and salad crisper.
  • Take everything out of the door racks – get rid of flat fizzy drinks or the dregs in wine bottles.
  • Put perishable food (especially meat, fish and dairy products) into a cool bag or box with frozen chill packs to keep them fresh while you clean.
  • Finally, check the manufacturer’s instructions for your fridge for any special precautions.

How to Clean Your Fridge – Step by Step

  1. If possible, pull out your fridge. Vacuum around, underneath and behind it, and wash the floor.
  2.  Remove the drawers, crisper and shelves.  Leave them on the kitchen counter to come up to room temperature before washing. This is especially important for glass shelves which can shatter with a sudden change in temperature.
  3. Wipe all the surfaces inside the fridge including the door. Avoid using bleach or strong-smelling cleaning products which can taint the food. A solution of bicarbonate of soda, vinegar or Milton is ideal. Bicarbonate of soda is also great for neutralising odours if a spill has gone unnoticed and resulted in a nasty niff!  Cotton buds are great for cleaning fiddly corners. Dry thoroughly with a clean tea towel.
  4. If you notice a pool of water at the bottom of  your fridge, it’s likely that your drip-hole is blocked. Find this at the back of the fridge – a cocktail stick is useful to clean it.
  5. Wash the shelves, drawers and crisper in hot soapy water (washing up liquid is perfect). Remember to remove the plastic guard strips from each of the shelves. These often need a good soak and a scrubbing brush to get to the bottom of the narrow crevices. Don’t be tempted to pop them in the dishwasher either  – it’s too hot. I also find that it leaves watermarks on the  plastic components.  Dry thoroughly before putting them back in the fridge.
  6. Don’t forget the outside of the fridge. A micro-fibre cloth is great for getting a streak-free finish. Use a vacuum to clean crumbs and debris from the door seal and wipe with your bicarbonate of soda solution. Dry thoroughly.
  7. Now you’re done! Let your fridge get back to the correct temperature before re-filling it (a fridge thermometer is useful for this).

Keeping your Fridge Clean

Now that your fridge is fresh and clean, you’ll want to keep it that way! Try these tips for fridge organisation.

  • Wipe the outside and bottom of jars and bottles before you put them back in the fridge.
  • Try to put everything back in an organised way so you can find things.
  • Try to put food which needs to be used first closest to the front.
  • Consider using labelled baskets or trays to keep similar foods together (cheese, yoghurts, jams etc)
  • Organise your vegetable drawers, with tender products such as salad leaves separate from heavier, more robust veg such as carrots or sweet potatoes. This will stop them getting crushed and spoiled.
  • Label your left-overs and plan when you will use them, or freeze them so they last longer.
  • Write the date on jars or bottles when you open them – that way you can be sure to use them up while they are still fresh, and avoid waste.
  • When you do your big shop, get into the habit of checking and pruning current items before adding more stuff in. Take this opportunity to give shelves and doors a quick wipe too.

How to Clean Your Carpets: with Antoinette

If your carpets are clean and smell fresh, it makes a big difference to your home.

Like many cleaning tasks, prevention is better than cure when it comes to carpets.

Regular Cleaning

Vacuuming your carpets regularly helps to keep them clean. It also reduces allergens such as house dust mites, pollen and pet dander.

Ideally, you should vacuum your carpets twice a week.  Focus on areas where crumbs and dust gather, such as under the dining table or around the sofa.

In high traffic areas such as the hall and stairs, you might want to vacuum more frequently to stop your carpets getting flattened and grimy.

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

You can’t beat cordless for convenience. Most cordless vacuum cleaners are lightweight too, so are perfect for the stairs. A cordless vacuum is perfect for a quick whizz around, but the on-board battery can mean you run out of power before you’ve finished the job. Most brands sell spare batteries, which allow you to have one on charge all the time.

A traditional corded vacuum cleaner (very much your Helper’s preference) gives you unlimited cleaning time, and they are often much cheaper to buy than the cordless versions. Look out for a model with a long power cable, especially if you have stairs. Always vacuum with the cleaner at the bottom of the stairs to avoid the risk of it falling onto you.

Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a good range of tools. Upholstery and pet attachments are particularly useful, and a turbo tool can give you an extra boost when you need it.

We remain stalwart supporters of the Miele range. Look out for Miele bargains around the summer sales.

Treating Spills and Stains

Look at any supermarket cleaning aisle and you will see a huge selection of stain removers for carpets. Always make sure you use a product that is suitable for your type of carpet, and do a patch test in an inconspicuous area, just in case.

For dried-in stains, use a sponge to dab the stain towards the centre. Don’t be tempted to rub too hard or you may make the stain bigger! Use a dry white cloth to blot the area, then leave to dry.

Eco Alternatives

Bicarbonate of soda is a great stand-by for dealing with spills or pet accidents.  It quickly neutralises nasty odours. Once you have removed the spillage from the carpet, sprinkle the dry powder over the affected area. Leave for an hour or two, then vacuum.

The Big Clean

Every six to twelve months it is well worth giving your carpets a deep clean by shampooing them. You can hire a machine from many DIY stores. Why not consider splitting the cost by sharing a weekend hire with a neighbour? I recently hired a Rug Doctor machine from my local supermarket. The whole process was surprisingly easy and gave my beige carpets a well-needed lease of life.

When you’re shampooing your carpets remember:

  • Vacuum your carpets thoroughly before you begin
  • Always read the instructions for the machine carefully
  • Check the care instructions for your carpet and do a patch test first
  • Use the correct cleaning solution for the machine
  • Be careful not to make the carpet too wet
  • Open windows when you have finished to let out the moisture, to avoid mildew.

Top Tips for Clean Carpets

  • Choose your carpets carefully. If you are replacing carpets, avoid very pale colours, especially in high traffic areas such as halls and stairs. These colours might look beautiful when they are new, but they will show up every mark!
  • Consider opting for carpets which are stain resistant.
  • If you have young children or pets, this is especially important.
  • Use barrier mats or rugs to protect carpets from muddy paws or food spills.
  • Treat spills and stains immediately if you can – it will make them much easier to remove.
  • Vacuum regularly to keep carpets looking their best.

If you’d prefer to relax and let us look after your carpets for you, contact us here to book your helper or let us arrange a service with one of our tried and trusted carpet cleaning partners.

Useful Links
Big Green Smile offer a range of eco-friendly carpet and floor cleaning products.
More tips here on shampooing, from Vax.

Just Helpers Journey – by Antoinette Daniel

Just Helpers Journey – The Reason

I started the company in 2013 when I landed an amazing part-time job working for an anti-human trafficking organisation.

Having loved being a secondary school teacher for 12 years, the cut in salary to pursue something that I am so passionate about was tricky. I have always loved cleaning for friends and family and took pride in seeing peoples faces after my efforts. Coming home after a long day of work and knowing that your home space is serene, organised and clean is a joy to behold. Ensuring that “wow” and “ahhhh” feeling when clients get home still gives me the same satisfaction today. This motivation was key in inspiring and brainstorming business ideas to help support my charity work. So through my love of cleaning and hard work a business was born.

Small Beginnings

Consequently, through friends at church, I was connected to my first amazing client (Eve, how apt!) and the cleaning agency has rapidly grown from there.  My passion for justice, fair pay and working conditions was at the core of the business from the very beginning. As I received more and more referrals the business grew and gradually evolved through word of mouth recommendations. From a one-woman business to appointing my first colleagues Barbara and Yana Yaneva along the way, to what you see today – Just Helpers.

It was clear by 2015 that my role should evolve more strategically and I should continue to combine my two passions:

Cleaning and Empowering Women

Unfortunately, through my anti-trafficking work, I saw first hand the exploitation that happens in all communities even those right on our doorsteps. In our UK neighbourhoods, vulnerable people are taken advantage of and not given the opportunities, rights and kindnesses that every person should be afforded. I knew early on that If I could provide an alternative career, where women were nurtured and encouraged to build their own businesses: then my vision would help many individuals in their own journeys.

Fair pay and good working conditions are rare in the cleaning industry

I decided that this ethic should underpin everything that we do. So “Just doing the right thing’ became our motto. Just Helpers from its very inception have been proud affiliates of the London Living Wage Foundation. An organisation campaigning tirelessly to ensure fair pay is awarded to workers and help highlight the poverty crisis in the UK (please find out more here). Just Helpers supports your cleaner by ensuring they receive an equitable wage from their clients but my conscience pushed that we go way beyond that. Just Helpers is my family and I instil pride and enthusiasm in all of my teammates from the very start. With a team of great in-house, ‘home-grown’ managers, we mentor your Helper to improve their confidence and assist them in their communication with their clients.  Where we see Helpers with the potential for growth beyond cleaning, we promote them to be a manager at the earliest opportunity.

Ethics are central to our company operations and we employ this internally within our office team and in our interactions with you and your cleaner.

We have grown to be a management agency providing London cleaning services for both domestic and commercial clients. We act on behalf of professional, affordable and conscientious cleaners (we prefer the term ‘Helpers’), who will love your home like their own. Our experience in the industry enables us to help you and your Helper develop a strong, solid relationship.

All of our Helpers providing cleaning services in London are vetted and put through three hands-on cleaning interviews to make sure that they are the right Helper for you.  We want to know that they subscribe to a shared standard that they have agreed upon as a collective over time. This is ever-changing, especially as new Helpers join the ranks and share their expertise. We have learnt how to spot a great ‘Helper’ through our robust interview process and are regularly approached by women wanting to join Just Helpers as our honest, fair and empowering reputation spreads across communities both here and abroad. I am so proud and delighted to advocate and administrate for such a committed team of colleagues.

So that is the Just Helpers Journey so far. What’s next?

The Future

Being a South Londoner, London has always been my home but since childhood, I have had a love of the sea. In my younger years as a teacher, I taught both in the UK and in Africa and have been fortunate enough to travel broadly.  Even with experiencing many countries, I love nothing more than coming home. This summer I took the first step in making my longer-term dream come true. I moved to live by the sea. Just Helpers now has a team of Operations Managers and over 40 Helpers providing high quality, reliable and efficient cleaning. My aim is to eventually own my own home by the sea and help raise teenagers through fostering.

This is my 5-year plan

Professionally, Just Helpers must continue to grow and I have some great people supporting me in navigating the next exciting phase of growth. I have also been privileged to have been invited to contribute to the Mayor of London’s ‘Good Work Standard’ initiative as a Champion.  The aim of this initiative is to promote equitable and nurturing working standards in London businesses. This exciting committee should help to educate and inform other businesses and government policy in this sector. Ensuring working conditions improve for all is the focus for the future.

I am also extremely excited to have been nominated for the Venus Women’s Awards (by one of our clients) in the category of ‘Employer of the Year – London’. This team effort is a great recognition of how far we have come. We are thrilled to have just found out we are Finalists. The whole management team will attend a lovely event in December to find out if we win. Regardless of the outcome I am so proud of everyone and cannot wait to celebrate!

Who knows what the future holds after that, Homecare and Life Administration is another string to our bow coming soon to London’s postcodes. A new system and App to streamline our communication between Helpers, Clients and the office team,  Just Helpers in another part of the UK…Watch this space!

For now though lets ‘Just’ take one step at a time!  And thank-you to all of those who have journeyed with us along the way.

Room by room by Antoinette – Entrance Hall

Room by room by Antoinette – Entrance Hall

The Entrance Hall in your home is often the first space that your guests will see. Taking time to ensure that this room is clean and clutter-free will enable both you and your guests to feel relaxed as soon as you come through the door.

With so many elements making up an Entrance Hall it is often overlooked as it can be tricky.

Here are my top tips on how to achieve the best for your Entrance Hall. It is the window into your home after all.

Order

  • When cleaning your home a common mistake can be doing the hallways last.  If the floors need mopping you need to think this through, as the worst thing is mopping and then having to walk back over your hard work.  Consider doing the downstairs hallway before you go upstairs or vice versa depending on what order you have cleaned the rest of your house.  This gives your floors time to dry.
  • Vacuuming rugs and moving them out of the way is essential for a thorough clean.  Expensive and delicate rugs should be vacuumed carefully and then placed safely somewhere to air.
  • Bookshelves are often housed in hallways and can give a lovely aesthetic to this space. This feature is often neglected and can get very dusty. By using a  Feather Duster you can easily eliminate the dust. The much maligned feather duster is great for getting to the tops of books and into the edges of the bookshelf. I highly recommend an annual prune and spring clean where all the books come completely off of the shelves to prevent any stubborn marking on your selves.
  • Every home has it! The ‘Tidy Disaster Zone’. You know that drop zone by the front door. Shoes, scarves, jackets, scooters, shopping bags, Abel and Cole boxes… and anything else that randomly gets dumped there. Is it time to throw away the broken umbrella that’s been lurking there for 3 years? YES!
  • Entrance Halls are also notorious for cobwebs. Staircases are often the highest ceilings of the house, so by using a Telescopic-Static-Duster, you can dust high-level cobwebs with ease.
  • Light fittings and their bulbs show dust off when illuminated. So take time to dust light fittings and chandeliers.  If you do have chandeliers in your home be very careful when dismantling.  Allow an hour for this task and take a photo before you start from all angles! They are like a jigsaw puzzle, you do not want to be left with a random piece once you have carefully reassembled it.
  • Carefully dust tops of pictures. Be careful of precious artwork. I find an old-fashioned feather duster comes in handy here.
  • Polish mirrors using a special glass microfibre cloth for a sparkly, streak-free finish.
  • Dust Dado Rails and Skirting Boards.
  • Dust tops of light switches, then anti-bac wipe and polish them for a hygienic and sparkling finish.
  • Dust tops of plug sockets, anti-bac wipe and polish them to ensure no dirt accumulates.
  • Dust between the balusters (I bet you didn’t know that term!) for us common folk, they are the spindles or banister supports on your staircase.  If they are really dirty, use the damp cloth to give them all a thorough clean.
  • Hard to reach windows can be difficult and potentially dangerous to clean effectively. You may need specialist window cleaners. Please feel free to contact us for our recommended window cleaning partners should you require this service.
  • Vacuum the whole area including the stairs.  Don’t forget to do edges first with the corner nozzle attachment and then use the large attachments for each step. Ensure that you adjust for the correct floor setting for carpet, hardwood or other surfaces to do the landing areas.
  • Mop, make sure you always mop your way towards the next room you will clean.

Enjoy

Now you can fling open your front door with pride and let your Entrance Hall welcome guests in.  Think how proud (and shame free ;-)) you will feel the next time friends and family visit. Until next time. Happy Cleaning! Antoinette.

Room by Room by Antoinette – Bedroom 


Is your bedroom a place for relaxation and rejuvenating sleep?

In order for your brain to ‘switch off’ this room should be clutter-free and look and smell fresh and clean. Here is a helpful insight into how your Helper ensures that this is our priority in your home, enabling you to spring out of bed ready to rock with whatever your day has in store.

Having the correct toolkit for any job is essential for getting great results. Here is a list of the key ingredients to making your boudoir beautiful. Next, of course, is the method in which the magic happens. Follow this simple, yet highly effective order and I know you will be impressed with the outcome:

Order

1. First strip the bed linen and place it in the washing machine. If you are anything like me, the idea of getting two jobs done in one time slot is intensely satisfying.
2. Vacuum any rugs thoroughly and remove them to the landing outside the bedroom.
3. Make the bed with clean linen (It’s really important to do this now so that lint and fluff doesn’t land on your newly dusted surfaces)
4. Dust all available surfaces going from high to low. Don’t forget your window ledges, blinds and radiators.
5. Use this opportunity to declutter your room and arrange high traffic areas such as dressing tables and bedside cabinets so that things are relevant and easily accessible. This is the time to let your artistic flair shine!
6. Vacuum the floor. If you are a shredder and don’t have a fabulous Miele Hoover with it’s special hair grabbing head, then try using the brush function to loosen any hairs from the carpet.
7. I would suggest, that once a month if you store your life under the bed, pull it out and make sure the vacuum gets into all those nooks and crannies. Once a quarter pull your bed away from the wall and make sure you get to these areas too. Grossly, it’s renowned for dead skin cells, hairs, runaway tissues and all the other clutter you have dropped down the side during your nightly Netflix binge.
8. It’s likely that you have ruffled the bed. Make sure that one of your last actions is to give it that hotel feel. Pull the edges of the duvet out and smooth the duvet down from the middle to the edges using the flat palm of your hands.
9. If you have special items such as silver, gold or brass trinkets, take them out to the hallway and treat them using specialist cleaning solutions. Watch this space for our future blog on ‘The Lost Art of Polishing including Silverware’.
10. Return any rugs.

Stand back and admire our handiwork, smug in the knowledge that you can look forward to a good night’s sleep in crisp fresh linen and a newly adjusted Feng Shui bedroom.

Rock a bye baby….

It’s worth noting that we would recommend minimal use of sprays and products in your baby’s bedroom. Dry dusting with microfibre cloths should be sufficient along with a good vacuum. At worst, an anti-bacterial spray could be used, though there is a school of thought that recommends no products so that your baby can build resilience to germs. I’ll leave that battle with you!  Don’t forget to do a regular dust between the struts of your baby’s cot too.

Sweet dreams, Antoinette.

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