Things have been rather difficult with visiting older people who live in residential care homes lately. The virus pandemic has caused a whole change in the attitude to casual visiting and now appointments are necessary. Once the selected date and time is agreed, the visit has to be outside with the resident some 3 or 4 metres away from the visitors. No visitors are allowed inside the home to see heir loved one in their usual room, no using the toilet facilities or partake of any refreshments apart from what they bring with them. All good clean fun! Literally . . . . as it means the care home doesn’t have to employ extra cleaning staff. At home we have all taken to cleaning around us much more seriously – tilets and bathrooms scrubbed down and the hand washing regime should be branded on everyones’ brains much more than ever before, which is good but it should have been second nature before the virus! Cleaning companies have never had such a bonanza – that is also very good!
There has certainly been a change in the way we have lived en famille these last few weeks. Families with children having to practice patience and tolerance swith each other when youngsters start driving them up the wall with the bickering and arguments. Another feature is learning to keep the house cleaner. We’ve had such a massive shock with the virus – it’s imperative for everyone to wash hands far more than we used to. Keeping the house fresher and germ free is also necessary. Teaching children to pick things up after themselves and put toys away at regular intervals is proving a really worthwhile lesson for some usually busy working mums. It is easier to always go round and clear up after the children – we all do it – but this is a bad habit and the children do not gain, they in fact grow up to be selfish, self centred young adults who are ill equipped to look after their own place – assuming they ever get to move out!
There has been such a whirlwind of activity in the last few weeks. We have found ourselves in the most terrifying grip of a pandemic and this has caused the cessation of industry, travel of all sorts, mobility of the masses both nationally and locally. There will have to be major deep cleans going on in all buildings that housed workers – to ensure that any virus is not lingering. From an industrial point of view, professional janitorial services will see to the public side of this problem but at home, we are all responsible for ensuring our property and effects are safe and clean. Vacuuming every day to get rid of all dust and dirt is good. Wiping down surfaces with anti bacterial cleaner is essential, particularly in all food preparation and eating areas. Food storage has to be in tip top condition too whilst we are currently required to only go shopping when absolutely essential, this inevitably means buying and storing more each time. Cometh the hour, cometh the cleaning geek!
The problem with having a pet or two is the matter of floor coverings. I always think it’s a problem when you have a carpet first and then the dog. . . . You don’t want to take up a good carpet and go to the expense of hard wood or laminate flooring, but on the other hand, that loving pooch wants to slober all over you, he’ll go out in the garden and bring in all sorts of unmentionable horrors like dog debris, mud, leaves and insects that cling on to their fur. There are some really good vacuum cleaners on the market that handle dog hair. You have to look for one that specifically highlights their ability to handle animal hair. The beauty of a hard floor is that you can sweep up the loose debris first and then mop around with any number of proprietary cleaning solutions. There can be a problem with fleas and ticks and these are slightly worse when the flooring is carpet. The eggs tend to accumulate under furniture and in cracks. The only way to rid the carpet is to have professional cleaning service to not only clean but to debug and sanitise. It’s worth every penny and will leae the carpet or floor very clean, very comfortable, and smelling really nice.
There can sometimes be a problem with having centrally heated homes – not with the fact we’re toasty warm from the moment we wake up to the moment we get back to bed. Or that we no longer have the delights of Jack Frost leaving his mysteriously silent trail of evidence by way of icicles hanging down the window paines from overhead lintels and low gutters. In fact, it’s probably rare to have a problem with burst pipes these days – modern houses with heating systems need to have constant water available and the pipes insulated fitted round them nowadays and the warmth of the heating in the house keeps them from freezing – as a rule. No, the prolem with this luxury is that no one likes opening windows to let in any fresh air! The bathrooms and ensuites still need a constant throughput of fresh air to get rid of mouldy build up. Black spores get into the edges of tiling and around the mirrors, basins etc. where condensation has built up and simply turns mouldy. This can be addressed by using a solution of slightly diluted bleach and a cotton bud. Or, there is a professional spray on the market specifically designed to be applied to the patches, left on per instruction and then rinsed off.
I’ve been watching some activity over at the big house near me. New people seem to be involved. A skip appeared frst – just saw the lorry carting it down their lane and a while later said lorry emerged minus the skip. At least it’s not sat on the roadside verge encouraging every other varmit to toss their junk in it. After the skip came a couple of traders. One was certainly an oven and cooker cleaner and the other one a good well known carpet cleaning agent. These last two filled me with intrigue and glee in equal measure. Surely someone with enough dosh to buy the big house would want to strip it all out and get new. Then of course I realised that to have new goods delivered would require the removal of the old and one can’t be seen to have disgusting, dirty goods in the house ! In fact the carpets came up so well – that’s professional cleaning for you, that the new folk are keeping them for a while longer to give themselves time to settle in and decide what they really want. Very wise!
The need to keep things as fresh as possible and not to introduce anything that could bring disease or illness must surely be the top priority of anyone working in the service industry. When you think of the sheer number of cruise ships, river boats, aircraft etc. these all have very confined spaces for the public to congregate and their loos are necessaily small, minimal but functional. As I found out when cruising this autumn, it doesn’t take much for a whole raft of folk to become unwell on a cruise. Usually this is caused by some very lazy and self centred passengers. There is a strict hand washing policy on the cruis line I was with. We were very politely but firmly asked to wash our hands thoroughly upon entering all the eating areas such as the Food Hall, Buffet and every restaurant. Not only had they had hand basins fitted at each end of the areas, they stationed stewards to ensure we did wash and move on. However, despite the terrible pressure on some public areas especially the buffet areas, there were pockets of resistance to this simple request. There were occasions when we saw some very serious cleaning activity going on in staterooms and public washrooms. These were always sparkling and the cleanest I’ve seen anywhere ever. Still they insisted on doing more. So the illnesses that can spread like wildfire are not borne on the cruise for want of their cleaning efforts, it’s some of their lazy selfish passengers, sadly.
A small family lives near me – the mum is a bright cheerful young woman, usually with one child firmly attached to her right hip and the other child hurtling around on a new on trend scooter. The mum works unsocial part time hours, evening and weekend shifts some drive away. The dad of the family goes out unbelievably early to commute into the City and he gets home 13 hours later, tired, but always in time to bath the little ones. The predictability of this routine brings comfort to them all. One thing I found very reassuring when chatting over the fence, is their organisation to make sure they still have very good quality family time. Before they started their family, the couple talked and agreed that a cleaning company would be employed to do this essential but exhausting and time sapping task. What a brilliant switched on approach to family life!
The summer time is a period most folk really look forward to. for some reason we seem much more relaxed and content when those rays come out to warm our little world around us. It also seems to raise the enthusiasm level for cleaning our domains. Nowadays you hear the phrase far less, apart from tv adverts trying to sell us new furniture and furnishings for the spring clean up! Getting that vacuum cleaner out for it’s own clean and check up isn’t a bad idea – if the brushes are worn or the hoses split, then the vac won’t clean at all. The new stick cleaner and cordless varieties are quite expensive but they do offer much lighter weight for a cleaning session The charge time varies – on higher power then you can only vac for about 20 mins before recharge needed. I have a cordless, for light cleaning I can reduce the power and it can work for up to 45 minutes – which is adequate if I only clean the rooms I use. It can’t handle a thorough house in one go so I operte in the worst areas first, empty it and recharge, ready for a secondary bout!
When you’re expecting to entertain lots of folk, especially during the lighter, airy summer months, it can be quite a challenge to get the house really clean and in tip top condition. My mother would have worked herself into the ground to get the last wee bit of dust and grubbiness off the floors and out of the seating and furniture. Before we had the luxury of fitted carpet we had floorboards covered by heavy duty rugs. Twice a year these had to be lugged out – one at a time . . and hung over the very sturdy washing line. Then they were given a robust beating all over with a rather fancy woven cane carpet beater with a movement not unlike a tennis backhand. Stubborn marks had to be removed with a damp cloth rubbed on the carbolic soap bar, until the wonder of 1001 carpet cleaner fluid came along. that, and the sweet little carpet shampoo machines suddenly revolutionised carpet cleanuing. Until even better, contract cleaning companies came along and did the whole thing for a fee – worth every single penny!
There has been quite a revolution in the world of home and domestic cleaning. Gone are the days when housewives lugged around a massive vacuume cleaner that weighed the earth and had an irritatingly short lead. I well remember the days of my grandmother doing her cleaning routine – we shared her great big house and she refused to employ help. Housework and especially cleaning, was her domain. We’d trail behind her and watch as first, she laid out newspaper in front of each fire place. Out would come the old bits of old coa and ash, the debris swept out and a new fire laid in very strict order. The knelt on newspaper carefully wrapped up tightly to enclose every messy particle and then it was laid on top of the new fire in the grate – to be burnt to nothing. We definitely had less rubbish to throw out then – in the days when the dustbin men came very week and we had only one galvanised bin to be tossed on their shoulder and taken to the cart, rather than us taking our wheelies out to them!
The stairs are a tricky area for most older folk to clean. Being less mobile and unable to carry heavy objects, balancing the vacuum cleaner in one hand and stop it falling down the stairs is an art in itself. Then if you don’t have cordless – so most older folk then – it can be awkward manhandling it whilst you swap the plug from the hallway socket up to the landing one! I have found quite honestly that by taking a very stiff hand brush and a narrow bristled paint brush, I can get my stairway very clean with a fraction of the effort. The hand brush can be relied upon to really give the treads and uprights a really invigorating go over, especially in the crease. Surprising how much dust and debris can be brushed up that way. The paint brush cleans between the hand bannister and the stairwell. It’s usually too tight to get a vac nozzle down. I also use this brush between the spokes of the bannister going up the stairs and along the landing – and around the back of the loo and down amongst the fixings. Clean in a whisker and so little effort. The only better way – my real favourite, is to engage a professional carpet cleaning company every year to get them super clean and dandy!
We all need to really think about the environment a lot more than we do. There are currently lots of youth inspired rallies and protests demanding the government ‘do’ something to reduce the damage we do to our little bit of the planet. Sadly it’s not something that can be achieved overnight. After years of forming bad habits, it’s hard to change. There are millions of diesel cars on the road every day; thousands of buses and taxis. Worst of all are lorries. These all contribute massively to the mess in the atmosphere and this in turn drifts down to our floor levels. In high congestion areas this is a real problem. Not only affecting the breathing of many folk, but also ruining buildings and internal fabrics. But we can’t just stop driving cars without making good alternative methods of transport easily available. So grubby buildings and carpets for a little bit longer chaps.
There are so many ways to ruin the carpet in a home – be it an unscheduled delivery of fruit juice or coffee all over it – mopping up the worst of it immediately is critical. Kitchen roll is best, if the mess is more solid, scraping off the excess first. The only sure way of removing the resulting marks before they become a truly indelible stain is to engage a professional carpet cleaning company. Over the years they have gained experience of removing every conceivable mark and mess. The use the best technology advanced machinery and eco friendly chemical products. with hot water extraction methods, somtimes up to 120 degrees, not only does it clean the carpet, but ensures it dries bacteria free. Of course, they can do other cleaning too – most companies can undertake full end of tenancy cleans and steam cleaning of kitchens and glazed areas. The company should hold full public liabiity insurance.
Just watching my neice’s little two year old tot tearing around the other day made me utterly exhausted. I had forgotten how fast toddlers can be. She was into everything – poor old great grandma’s set of 3 oriental cats made of a delicately painted balsa wood seemed to be the target this time. Tot was not content with just looking at them, as Grandma was trying to encourage. When a tot gets a bee in their bonnet, nothing, short of dynamite is going to shift it! This lass was up on her feet and tearing around before we could put our cups down. It was only after a few minor tumbles and exited romps, that we noticed the odd colour of Tot’s once cute pinafore dress and matching tights ensemble. The pretty pale pink had now been transformed into dirty grey. Time for Great Grandma to get the carpet cleaners on board, Very quickly from the evidence presented!
I was thinking about starting my decorating programme and realised that I was a bit limited in how much i could reall do myself. I know of course, how to rub down paintwork, woodwork and doors. I have the materials in my garage to do all this, but my stability on a ladder is not as good as it should be and a slip last year has dented my confidence in doing even simple things if it involves anything higher than a step stool. This is a shame because otherwise I am quite capable. I can’t really do half the job, i.e. do all the levels to which I can reach without climbing. So I’ve decided to invest in having a company come and do the redecoration work. I will beforehand though, have a professional carpet cleaning company to deal with years of build up in my gorgeous honey coloured woolen carpet.
You just can’t imagine the mess and debris that was left after we had a family bonfire party in November. My goodness me, there were dog hairs all over the floors and furniture. The windows were left with dribbles all over both sides of the lower floor reaching ones. What we also noticed too was the sheer amount of additional muddy deposits left around the downstairs in corners of rooms and anywhere within shouting distance of each dog. The muck just comes off the dogs very easily when they groom themselves. When I try to de-mud them, a rather gallant fight ensues betwen me with cleaning wipes and the dogs who don’t mind being covered with half a ton of damp sliding mud. The mess they make in the kitchen is incredible. One shake after a rain storm and the entire bank of white goods needs something more than a small wipe!
I sometimes find I’ve been so busy the house seems to overtake me. I literally get to the point where I feel a panic come on when I can’t control the flow of paperwork that mounts up. When I’m tired in the evening after a day at work, it’s too easy to cook the meal, leaving the carnage around the kitchen, and then feel far too tired to clean up afterwards. I admit I’m a lazy monkey and this has caused me a great deal of stress over the years. I seem unable to achieve the perfect system of clearing up as I go along with the cooking. Washing down the worktops and putting everything away as I work would be the obvious route but I still struggle with most of that! A professional cleaner coming in to sort my mess is such a boon, just as a luxury hygiene boost very quarter!
Oh my goodness have I had a busy summer this year. I’ve been ou in the garden less than usual but somehow a lot more of it has found its way in to my sitting room. There is the perennial problem of coming in with garden boots on – I always regret it and hen find I’ve got muddy foot prints to contend with. The vacuum clean doesn’t do quite so much in clearing the mud. I had a miracle leaflet land on the mat – from a well known cleaning agency in this area – they described to a T the scenario I’ve found myself in. On a home visit to discuss my needs, the owner discussed many options available to me, with all the costings and assured me that they do indeed bring all the materials and equipment they need. I asked about their personal and public liability insurance too and all was fine and dandy.
When you have a dog in the house it can be quite a challenge to get the hairs out of the carpets and soft furishings. Whenever I’ve had my daughters two lively hounds over for even just an hour or so, it’s incredible how many hairs disperse themselves throughout the dowstairs! I find I’m constantly sweeping them up from under the sofas, especially on the hard floors in the kitchen area. I now get a special powder which I spray about to make the hairs attach to the carpets less easily. The smell is much nicer after I’ve left it on for an hour or so before a thorough and systematic vacuuming. I also empty the vac very often into my compost bin – it saves the hair from escaping out into my house again from the main bin and someone told me it helps to mesh together with the greenery to speed up compost.
There have been reports in newspapers about the rise in rat populations around the country – pointing out that the lack of bin emptying by councils is directly to blame for this unpleasant side effect of a very hot summer. Folk need to keep on top of cleaning as it’s true that bins overflowing with garbage, not wrapped carefully and placed in black bags first, will attract vermin of all sorts and specialist teams must be brought in to clear this before we get the return of plagues. We laugh, but without really keeping on top of sweeping and vacuuming up loose crumbs, food products and packaging, rats and mice are very quick to make their entrance. It needs professional baiting and control. I know mice have burrowed into a little external hole and made it up to the loft. It made me get in the council experts for eradication and advice. And a professional cleaner to keep me in control!
We really are dealing with the most challenging of weathers this year. Firstly the winter was seriously cold, damp and eventually snowy. This lasted right up through March and into April. In fact it was the first icy Good Friday I remember for many years. This found us needing much more cleaning and scrubbing out than usual for the festivities – after all, who wants family guests milling around knee deep in wet grubby floors! I was cheesed off with the amount of mucky debris left behind after caring for a relative’s dogs just before Easter. I decided to engage a professional cleaner – she was marvellous, had that busy manner about her and a very good method for cleaning the whole house and doing what my grandmother used to refer to ‘a good bottoming out’. Now that we’ve had this unusually hot summer, have retained her services and I feel so much happier with my lot.
I live very near a historic and well established arable farm. For most of the year this is delightful with few problems. However, there are a few things in the year that we have to put up with if we want the nice side of farming neighbours. To start with, we have the harvest to contend with. Farmer Bloggs never announces when he’s going to harvest the crops in the huge field next door. We just find out when that’s imminent because they check the crop on a daily basis and then the massive combine harvester goes chuntering around the field at night. Fortunately, always at night. We use a professional carpet and house cleaning agency to completely rid us of the irritating residue. The chaff and messy airborne waste comes down on everything – infiltrating the windows and doors. We find it gets into all the nooks and crannies, trodden into the carpets and throughout the furnishings.
I booked my annual trip over to stay with best chum in cyprus some months ago. In fact the cheap fares came out back in October and as always, I went into the panic ticket sourcing frenzy in the belief that if I didn’t book and pay for them there and then, I might miss the best bargain. Well that excitement well out of the way, I looik forward daily, to my two weeks of blissful warmth and relaxation. I don’t have any housework tasks over there but I do like to try and help. I clean the ensuite in my guest bedroom and sweep around the swimming pool – wipe around the patio set to get the daily dust showers removed. It really is so relaxing over there but to listen to my chum in the weeks preceding my arrival, it always sounds like a lot of hard work.
Ho ho what a joy this warmer weather is turning out to be. Only 3 days into a total improvement on recent weeks but of such magnitude that it’s almost worth making a song and dance of it! A relative has got two dogs. One is a tall but neatly slim labrador and the other is a shorter and compact border collie. They’re literally fit as a butcher’s dog – pun intended. They form the fast half of a quartet of flyball participants and go training every Saturday and Tuesday eve. So great dollops of wet mud and muck come trailling into the car, hallway, lounge . . . . . . . It is amazing though how much muck comes off the dogs just sitting on their rough blankets in the dog compartment of the huge family car. When they get home, it’s all hands on trying to get them into the house without shedding any mess. A professional carpet cleaning exercise ensues every month.