snow covered backyard where snow is tracked in and makes floors dirty

How to Keep Your House Clean this Winter

All the snow and ice that comes with a cold Wisconsin winter makes for extra winter gear—and extra house cleaning! When the snow starts to fall, use these tips to get—and keep—your house in order when the temps drop.

Place rugs and mats by exterior doors.

One of the best ways to keep your home clean is to keep snow and gravel out of your home (so you don’t have to clean it). This house cleaning tips is all about prevention. Placing mats and rugs by exterior doors prevent muddy foot prints and any damage to flooring caused by tracked-in snow and gravel.

Train your pets to stop by the door.

This house cleaning tip actually applies to furry and non-furry family members. Do your best to stop your pets—and your kids—as soon as they step in the door. Once inside, a quick wipe-down of paws (and feet!) keeps your floors looking new and all the snow and grime at the door.

Make sweeping and vacuuming a priority.

During winter, people tend to spend most of their time indoors; all that time indoors definitely shows up in dirty floors and excess wear and tear. A regular sweep and vacuum remove the dirt and dust that damages hard and soft flooring and triggers irritating allergy symptoms. That’s why it’s important to move up a regular sweep and vacuum on your house cleaning checklist (or add it to the list of cleaning services for your house cleaner).

Add a regular dust to the house cleaning list (from the ceiling down).

Being stuck in the house during a cold winter contributes to “cabin fever.” Being stuck in the house during a cold winter with dust contributes to annoying allergy symptoms! To keep all that sneezing and wheezing away, add a regular dusting to the house cleaning checklist (for you or your scheduled house cleaner). A good dusting starts at the top of the room, such as with a light fixture or ceiling fan. Dusting from the top down eliminates repeated wiping (“I just dusted that area and now dust has fallen on it!”) and cleaning.

Disinfect door knobs and common surfaces.

A regular disinfection may not make a home look cleaner, but it’s definitely helpful during cold and flu season in Wisconsin. A disinfection takes cleaning a step further, using cleaning products specifically formulated for eliminating household germs. When disinfecting a house, make sure to wipe down the most common household surfaces: doorknobs, phones, faucet handles, toilets, counter tops, and any other handles. For a more thorough disinfection, contact a house cleaner about scheduling a deep clean.

Clean/replace furnace and air purifier filters.

During winter, a clean house is about more than shiny surfaces. Substandard air quality can be a huge factor when everyone is spending time inside. It can even contribute to some health issues which is why a regular swap or clean of filters is so important.

Don’t hesitate to bring in the pros for serious deep cleaning.

A deep clean doesn’t have to wait for spring. For a clean and healthy household even on the coldest winter days, contact a home cleaning service with experienced cleaners that can tackle all that winter cleaning and leave you enjoying another Wisconsin winter.

restroom signs pointing to bathroom where cleaners used restroom cleaning checklist

5 Ways to Keep Company Restrooms Clean (and Safe)

Restroom cleaning should be at the top of any commercial cleaning checklist. Clean restrooms create a favorable impression with customers and employees and maintain a safe environment that contributes to maximum productivity. While keeping restrooms clean isn’t an extremely complex process, it does require establishing a restroom cleaning schedule and protocols that ensure complete disinfection, cleanliness, and safety.

Allocate time and staffing to restroom cleaning.

The key to keeping company restrooms clean is establishing a set restroom cleaning schedule. Unfortunately, approaching restroom cleaning with a “we’ll get to it when we can” philosophy does not typically result in a consistently clean company bathroom.

Instead, commercial facility managers should draw up a company restroom cleaning schedule and set clear expectations for the task. Establishing clear expectations starts with a restroom cleaning checklist and continues with staff trainings or a discussion with an experienced commercial cleaning company.

Use the most effective restroom cleaners.

Restroom cleaning products should not only clean restroom surfaces, but also prevent the spread of infections (i.e. common colds, stomach flu, hepatitis, etc.) Disinfecting cleaners are especially important for common surfaces that are used by everyone, such as faucets and handles. Companies should avoid using sponges for commercial restroom cleaning because they can transfer bacteria between surfaces.

In addition to their cleaning ability, efficient restroom cleaning also hinges on proper storage and organization. All restroom cleaners should be stored in an area that stays within temperatures that maintain maximum effectiveness. Cleaners should also be used specifically for restroom cleaning, ensuring that they are easily and quickly found by employees or cleaning service pros.

Freshen the space.

A clean restroom is about more than just clean surfaces. A clean company restroom should not be odorous. This can be accomplished by venting the space regularly. Some companies can also use air fresheners, but care should be taken when choosing these products because they can trigger allergy and respiratory symptoms in employees and visitors.

Utilize protective equipment and signs.

Protective equipment is an important part of commercial cleaning, providing protection for cleaning employees and restroom visitors. (Commercial cleaning services typically provide their own protective cleaning equipment.) The first type of protective equipment usually includes gloves and masks for cleaning personnel. Signs are a secondary method of protection, protecting visitors from exposure to cleaning products and hazardous wet surfaces.

Disinfect the restroom regularly.

A restroom disinfection can be a regular occurrence, but should also be accompanied by a regularly scheduled deep clean. The frequency of the deep clean depends on the facility; high-traffic restrooms may require a quarterly or even monthly deep clean. These deep cleans require more time and can be scheduled for off-peak hours (especially with a commercial cleaning service) when there is less traffic in the facility.

living room cleaned and decorated for the holidays

5 Holiday Cleaning Hacks You Need to Know

Holiday cleaning can get lost in a huge list of holiday to-dos—which is why this list of holiday cleaning tips can be a real life-saver! This list of holiday cleaning hacks gets your house cleaner FASTER—and eliminates unnecessary cleaning (like cleaning the same area over and over).

Before you start frantically cleaning, it’s important to make a list of holiday cleaning tasks. This makes it easy to divide the cleaning up with a family member (or cleaning service)—and to make sure you have it all done. If that last part—done—-sounds really good, roll up your sleeves and get ready to use these holiday cleaning hacks.

Clean from the ceiling down.

Dust falls downward—and so do crumbs and anything else sitting on cabinets, ceiling fans, shelves, and countertops. If you want to keep from cleaning those surfaces over and over, start at the top of the room and work your way down. In rooms with a ceiling fan, that means cleaning the ceiling first and then wiping and dusting all the surfaces below it.

Put all your cleaners in a tote.

One of the biggest wastes of time during home cleaning is the constant treks back and forth for cleaning supplies. To make the process faster, put all your home cleaners into a tote or container that you can carry from room to room. This can be especially helpful when cleaning all your bathrooms; you can just take the cleaners along without running back for cleaners or cleaning supplies.

Add rugs by all the doors to keep floors clean.

Admittedly, this holiday cleaning tip doesn’t help you get your house clean faster—but it does help for after holiday cleanings! After cleaning floors, put down rugs by every exterior door and in hallways. This simple cleaning step prevents mud, snow, and gravel from being tracked in—and makes it easier to clean floors after all your guests leave. For any other holiday gathering cleaning emergencies, strategically place cleaning cloths and cleaners within easy reach.

Clean windows when it ISN’T sunny.

Everyone loves to admire a clean, shiny window in the glowing sunshine, but that age-old cleaning tip may actually lead to more window cleaning (and elbow grease). Cleaning windows in the sunshine can actually dry the cleaner out quickly, leaving streaks and marks in the process. Instead, save your window cleaning for a grey time when you can wash windows without feeling like you are in a race against the sun (and you don’t have to clean it again).

Hire a holiday cleaning service.

When the clock is ticking down, it’s okay to bring in a holiday cleaning service. You don’t even have to tell anyone! If your holiday to-do list is getting longer, contact a local cleaning service to schedule a before-holiday home cleaning. (You can also schedule an after-holiday home cleaning if you want a break!)

floor clean and ready for event

Tips from the Pros: How to Get a Quality Commercial Floor Cleaning

Keeping commercial floors clean and maintained is an ongoing effort that involves multiple steps, staff, and (typically) a commercial floor cleaning service.

How to Hire a Commercial Floor Cleaning Service

Hiring a commercial floor cleaning service isn’t complicated, but it does involve two important steps and a lengthy decision process.

Make a list of building cleaning needs.

The first step of hiring a commercial floor cleaning service is an evaluation. Business owners and facility managers should compile a list of cleaning needs, including commercial floor cleanings. Some areas may need to be cleaned more often, such as shops and offices, while other areas, such as conference rooms, may not need regular commercial floor cleanings.

Contact commercial floor cleaning services for quotes.

The next step is to contact local commercial floor cleaning services with a list of services needed and questions, including:

  • “How long have you been in business?”
  • “Can you provide proof of insurance?”
  • “Do you background check your employees?”
  • “How do I usually schedule floor cleanings?”
  • “Who should I contact if the floor cleaning was not done to my satisfaction?”
  • “Can you provide a contract with all the terms and conditions by [date]?”

If the commercial floor cleaning services are needed as soon as possible, companies should ask about the availability of the cleaning company—and whether the company is available on the nights or weekends (if needed). The right floor cleaning service checks off all the criteria: experience, availability, price, and proof of insurance.

Commercial Floor Cleaning Services Offered

  • Tile Cleaning
  • Concrete Floor/Hard Surface Cleaning
  • Commercial Carpet Cleaning
  • Wood Floor Cleaning
  • Vinyl Floor Cleaning

Tips for a Smooth Commercial Floor Cleaning

  • Schedule commercial floor cleanings for times when traffic is low, such as overnight, evening, or during a company shutdown.
  • To maintain maximum productivity, coordinate floor cleanings with company events and schedules.
  • Most floors need to be cleaned every 3-6 months; maintain a regular schedule of commercial floor cleanings to extend the life of the floor and remove build-up.
  • Place rugs by all doors and exits and regularly vacuum floors as part of daily maintenance and cleaning.

Benefits of Commercial Floor Cleaning

Professional First Impression

A commercial floor cleaning keeps business floors clean and spotless, making regular clean-ups easier and a favorable impression on clients and visitors.

Productivity

Clean floors are an important part of preserving productivity. Clean flooring, especially carpets, are an important part of maintaining air quality and reducing the amount of sick days from employee illness.

Safety

For workplaces with hard surface floors, floor cleaning also removes build-up and reduces the chance of slips, trips, and spills. This is beneficial in entryways, shops, in shipping departments, and common areas where employees and visitors frequent.

Building condition

A regular commercial floor clean can extend the life of the floor for years. Flooring in good condition also maintains building value.

Quick and Complete Checklist for Kitchen Cleaning

The kitchen may the source of a delicious meal and incredible family time, but all that time in the heart of the home comes with a long kitchen cleaning checklist. There are so many areas that can get dirty in a kitchen (okay, gross), which is why the kitchen requires regular, quick cleanings and an occasional deep clean.

This quick and complete kitchen cleaning checklist makes the whole process easier, especially in busy households with limited time for cleaning! If keeping up with kitchen cleaning becomes more of a chore, it may be time to time to hire a professional. It’s worth it to get a clean, sanitized kitchen—one that you can enjoy and be proud to call the heart of your home.

Quick Kitchen Cleaning Checklist

___ Pick up and wipe down counters

___ Wash dishes

___ Clean out the sink

___ Sweep kitchen floors

___ Wash stove top

___ Empty dishwasher (and refill)

___ Clean out and toss old food items from the refrigerator

___ Launder and replace kitchen linens and rags

___ Take out trash

Professional cleaning tip: Spray cleaner on dried-on grime or hard-to-clean greasy spills (if cleaner won’t damage or stain the surface) while you do another cleaning task. This simple kitchen cleaning tip loosens the mess and makes it easier to clean.

Kitchen Deep Cleaning Checklist

___ Launder (if directed) or clean window treatments

___ Clean light fixtures

___ Wipe down top of cabinets

___ Dust cabinets and shelving

___ Wash walls

___ Dust cabinet doors

___ Clean stove hood

___ Wash windows

___ Clean microwave (inside and out)

___ Wash stove top

___ Launder and deep clean kitchen linens

___ Clean top of refrigerator and appliances

___ Wash refrigerator interior and shelves

___ Mop under appliances

___ Clean dishwasher (inside and out)

___ Deep clean sink and garbage disposal

___ Remove oven grime and clean inside of oven

___ Clean exterior of stove and oven

___ Wipe down countertop appliances

___ Clean kitchen backsplash and grout

___ Dust wall trim

___ Disinfect and clean trash cans

___ Deep clean pet bowls

___ Mop/deep clean floors

Professional kitchen cleaning tip: Gather your cleaning supplies before you start your kitchen deep clean and start at the top of the room. Work your way to the bottom. This ensures that you don’t have to clean a surface twice and makes your deep cleaning goes faster.

conference room at business ready for cleaning

Day Porter Services: What, Why & How They Benefit Your Business

There are a lot of questions surrounding day porter services, including the logical first question, “What are day porter services?” Though a day porter performs many janitorial tasks, a quality day porter can do more for your business—and do it discretely, without visitors being the wiser.

What does a day porter do?

A day porter is a versatile position that handles all the behind-the-scenes cleaning and maintenance tasks that keeps a business running smoothly. The best day porters can handle a long list of tasks without being noticed. A day porter can also supervise and manage subcontractors that perform maintenance and cleaning services.

Day porters can perform any number of services, including:

  • cleaning and refilling restroom supplies,
  • emptying garbage cans,
  • cleaning conference rooms and visitor areas,
  • maintaining facility floors,
  • performing necessary facility repairs and maintenance (i.e. replacing light bulbs, repairing broken ceiling tiles, etc.)
  • setting up for an event,
  • maintaining and cleaning the building exterior (i.e. washing down sidewalks, maintaining patios, cleaning exterior furniture, etc.)
  • cleaning a facility during an event (and restocking restrooms),
  • maintaining a clean elevator,
  • cleaning floors to prevent damage (from snow and foot traffic),
  • any other duties that need to be performed to maintain a professional impression.

What are the benefits of hiring a day porter?

A day porter can be hired in-house or through an outside service. Businesses with a day porter can benefit from the position, either on an as-needed or on-going basis. In addition to maintaining a positive impression for employees and visitors, a day porter can keep up with many daily tasks, reducing the need for a lengthy after-hours cleaning.

For businesses with multiple events or meetings, a day porter can ensure that the event spaces are ready and set-up prior to visitors’ arrival. In addition to the event space, a day porter can be the individual responsible for making sure that restrooms, conference rooms, and hallways are clean, stocked, and presentable.

In addition to maintaining a building for visitors, a day porter can also ensure that the facility is well-maintained for smooth daily operations. A day porter can ensure that the building is kept clean and sanitary to reduce the risk of illness and prevent productivity disruptions from employee illness. When there are multiple employee absences due to illness, a day porter can manage a full-building sanitation. During snowy Wisconsin winters, the day porter can immediately address the clean-up of slippery floors and puddles that can damage facility floors.

How much does a day porter service cost?

The cost of a day porter depends on the amount of work and frequency of the services. Businesses should contact local day porter services with a list of tasks needed from the individual and a projected start date.

bathroom after good deep cleaning

How to Clean a Bathroom

Cleaning a bathroom may not be at the top of any favorite cleaning lists, but it’s certainly a necessary home cleaning chore. Bathrooms are the source of much unpleasantness, and one of the key rooms that can sell a house or drive guests away. Cleaning a bathroom is a big deal—but that doesn’t mean you have to like it.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of steps that can help you deep clean your bathroom faster and better than ever before. (Of course, there is always the option of hiring a cleaner to tackle bathroom cleaning.)

Put together a cleaning container.

If you have more than one bathroom to clean, a container with cleaning supplies can be your best friend. Your container should contain all the normal bathroom cleaning supplies: window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, sponges, etc. A container is easy to carry from bathroom to bathroom, and everything you need is at arm’s reach.

In addition to cleaners, a cleaning container should also contain equipment to protect you as you clean. This could include gloves, masks, and other equipment that protects your skin and your body (even if you use natural cleaners).

Remove all the bathroom “stuff.”

Before cleaning any surface in a bathroom, always remove all the items that line the counter tops, shelves, bathtub, and shower stalls. This task is also your chance to clean toothbrush holders, trash cans, and other items that need sanitizing.

Start cleaning from top to bottom.

Like any room, the best place to start cleaning is at the top. Start dusting and cleaning bathroom fans, the top of shower stalls and medicine cabinets, and any other surfaces near the ceiling. The logic behind this cleaning process is simple; as you clean, the dust falls downward and can be cleaned up as you work your way to the floor.

Let bathroom items soak.

For easier cleaning (without scrubbing!), soak items in a cleaner. These can include any items that don’t have metal or could rust, such as toothbrush holders and light covers. Best yet, a good soak can loosen dirt and grime, making it easier to rinse off.

Launder shower curtains and all linens.

If you want to make laundering shower curtains a breeze, check washing instructions to see if the curtain can be laundered in the washing machine. It makes cleaning the bathroom easier and gets you on to doing something you actually enjoy.

commercial floors that need to be cleaned in a factory

7 Essential Fall Building Maintenance Services that Pay Off

It’s easy to put off fall building maintenance services, especially when there are other tasks that directly impact the bottom line. It’s easy to put machine repairs and other necessary building services at the top of the list. However, re-prioritizing can have long-term financial implications from repairs stemming from long-overdue building maintenance.

It makes cents (pun intended) for companies to complete these important building maintenance tasks that maintain property value and prevent those random repairs.

Exterior Building Clean-Up

Facility exterior cleaning is an important part of building maintenance; gutter cleaning, for example, can prevent ice dams and other issues throughout the winter. Exterior building clean-up also includes a full roof inspection, building pressure washing, window washing, and other essential building maintenance services.

HVAC Check

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system maintenance is an essential part of extending the life of the equipment. Fall is an ideal time for HVAC maintenance; it is an ideal time to do a full check-up of system parts, replace worn items, and ensure the system is ready for heating.

Lot Maintenance

Parking lots and sidewalks take the brunt of daily car and foot traffic, making them a top priority for fall building maintenance. Lot maintenance can include (but not limited to) trash pick-up, pressure washing, flower bed maintenance, sealing, and vegetation trimming.

Floor Cleaning

A comprehensive deep floor clean is a preventative measure that reduces the risk of injury and build-up of grime. Fall is an ideal time for this cleaning task, especially before the snow and ice of winter is tracked in by building visitors. Flooring cleaning should be paired with laundering rugs, an important part of keeping snow and grime off of company floors. Floor cleaning can be completed with minimal interruption to daily operations or during off-hours when the building is empty. For an off-hours flooring cleaning, it can be cost-efficient to hire building maintenance professionals that can complete the floor cleaning efficiently.

Duct Cleaning

A periodic duct cleaning is an essential part of healthy and safety management. Regular duct cleaning is an important part of maintaining high indoor air quality and preventing employee illnesses. Most importantly, a complete duct cleaning removes the mold, pollen, and dander that can exacerbate employee allergy symptoms and respiratory illness symptoms.

Restroom Sanitation

A complete restroom sanitation minimizes the risk of widespread workplace illness, especially before the start of flu and cold season. This fall building maintenance should accompany a cleaning of common areas, such as the kitchen, printers, and conference rooms.

Light Bulb Maintenance

Fall is the start of shorter days, a prime time for light bulb maintenance. For minimal interruption, outsource this property maintenance task to a cleaning company that can monitor and maintain interior and exterior lighting.

bathroom after a deep clean

The Ultimate Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

Of all the rooms in our house, most people would agree that a good bathroom cleaning is at the top of the list. A dirty bathroom can be a real turn-off to guests (even our own family members!) That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate bathroom cleaning guide that can get your bathroom sparkling clean and ready for guests.

Of course, if bathroom cleaning isn’t on your to-do list—or you don’t have time to add it—there is always the option to bring in a professional home cleaner to get your bathroom cleaned and disinfected. (Use these questions to hire the right cleaner for the job.)

Bathroom Cleaning Supply List

  • Grout Cleaner
  • Toilet Brush
  • Toilet Cleaner
  • Floor Cleaner
  • Glass Cleaner
  • Countertop/Tub Cleaner
  • Shower Door Cleaner
  • Microfiber Cloths
  • General Cleaner
  • Disinfecting Spray
  • Vacuum Cleaner
  • Rubber Gloves (and other protective gear)
  • Mop

Bathroom Cleaning Tips

  • Always start at the top of the bathroom and work your way to the floor.
  • Gather up bathroom cleaning supplies and keep them together in a tote for a faster clean.
  • Use manufacturer-approved flooring cleaners to make sure the warranty is not voided.
  • Never use a steam cleaner on wood floors which can damage the floor.
  • If there is a film or hard water spots on shower doors, test the cleaner on a small area to see if it works and avoid damaging the glass.
  • Wear protective gear to avoid any health problems from abrasive cleaners.
  • Completely remove vent covers and light fixture covers for an easier clean in another area (like a sink).
  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove spider webs and dust from corners (especially in the room corners).
  • Don’t forget to clean and disinfect accessories like soap containers and toothbrush holders.
  • Always test grout cleaners before using to ensure it doesn’t discolor grout.

Bathroom Cleaning Checklist

___ Completely clean and dust ceiling light/fan fixtures

___ Dust the frame and clean the glass on hanging artwork and photos

___ Wash vent covers

___ Remove dust and cobwebs in corners

___ Wash windows

___ Dust blinds/Launder curtains (if recommended in cleaning instructions)

___ Dust all door trim, crown molding, ledges, and shelves

___ Wipe down top of cabinets and cabinet doors

___ Deep clean shower door and shower door frame

___ Wipe down around top of shower surround or tile

___ Scrub tile grout in shower

___ Clean shower and tub faucets

___ Scrub sink and sink faucet

___ Deep clean bathroom countertop

___ Wipe down wainscotting

___ Deep clean tub

___ Clean mirror

___ Wipe down toilet (from top to bottom)

___ Clean wall behind toilet

___ Dust trim behind toilet

___ Clean floor around toilet

___ Scrub bathroom floor grout (for tile)

___ Deep clean bathroom floor

___ Dust bathroom door

___ Wipe away dust on floor trim

___ Disinfect waste basket

BIG Restroom Cleaning Mistakes

restroom signs pointing to bathroom where cleaners used restroom cleaning checklistIt may be time to move restroom cleaning to the top of the business cleaning checklist. Though it may seem like a small task, a clean bathroom is an important part of every customer experience—and one they relate directly to your business (even if the space is rented).

Not scheduling periodic restroom checks

Even when a business is busy, it’s important to ask an employee (or employees) to clean the restroom. Customers aren’t going to return to a business if the restroom is dirty, and most customers don’t make allowances for businesses in rented spaces or for a busy time.

To prevent a dirty bathroom, don’t just ask employees to check the restroom; make your expectations clear to prevent any misunderstandings (and dirty restrooms). Provide employees with a complete restroom cleaning checklist that they need to complete when finished. In addition to cleaning, periodic restroom checks should also include refilling paper towels, soap, toilet paper, and other essentials. If that is not possible, or during an incredibly busy event, hire a local cleaning service to periodically clean the restroom during the day.

Not sanitizing the restroom

Restrooms are a hot bed for the germs that cause illnesses. When cleaning, every business should use products that clean and sanitize to prevent the spread of illnesses and diseases. Though many illnesses are associated with winter (“cold season”), sanitizing a restroom should be a year-round effort.

Sanitizing a restroom is not just for businesses where customers visit regularly. Restroom disinfection should also be a major part of restroom cleanings at businesses with employees. Employee illness can disrupt productivity and service (or product) delivery. In addition to restroom sanitizing, businesses should also put out disinfection products in common areas that can help employees stay healthy (i.e. hand sanitizers, keyboard wipes, etc.)

Not providing protective equipment for employees

Many restroom cleaning products come with warnings about health hazards that can come from repeated exposure or contact. One of the top restroom cleaning mistakes companies make is to ignore these warnings and not provide adequate protective equipment for employees. Every business should provide a restroom cleaning kit that includes masks, gloves, and other protective equipment when needed.

Ignoring restroom deep cleaning

A regular restroom deep clean is an essential part of keeping a restroom neat and in good working order. Unfortunately, many businesses skip this important part of restroom sanitation. A restroom deep cleaning should include all the elements of a regular cleaning plus:

  • grout and tile scrubbing,
  • thorough cleaning of all toilets (top to bottom) and any spaces that don’t get cleaned often (behind toilets, toilet stall walls, sanitary containers, etc.),
  • disinfection of all restroom surfaces,
  • cleaning and removing graffiti,
  • washing down walls.

These restroom deep cleanings should be scheduled for times when traffic is low in the building, such as after hours or during holiday breaks by cleaning staff or outsourced to a commercial cleaning service.