One of the biggest things I’ve missed while social distancing is having a cleaning crew over at my house every few weeks for proper deep cleaning. But with us going on 3 months now, I started researching what were some safe ways to get back into this routine and get one thing off my plate! With the huge changes that Covid-19 has brought to our lives, it is more imperative than ever to know what to look for when using a home cleaning service. I talked to local expert and owner of Merry Maids of Houston, Jaclyn Houtman, about the most important things to be aware of when calling in a professional home cleaning service during this pandemic.
1) Safety standards: These days, professional cleaning service standards are not just an option, they are necessary. This includes the use of PPE equipment and the proper disinfecting tools (not to mention, in-depth knowledge of disinfecting procedures and the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting a surface). To protect customers and their homes, the use of masks, gloves and foot covers is highly recommended; we disinfect all of our products and equipment before entering a home and make sure to put on a new pair of gloves and booties before entering every home, along with wearing a face mask at all times. These remain on until we leave the property. We also maintain and follow social distancing protocols, which you may want to consider if you have more than one person cleaning your home at a time. For example, does the cleaning crew arrive in the same vehicle and do they work side-by-side? It would be important to ask any company you’re inviting into your home about whether they follow the recommended and updated CDC guidelines.
2) Quality: The use of high-quality products, equipment and professional training will make a noticeable difference in your home. Without all three in place, you are likely to notice more mistakes, missed areas, and surfaces that do not stay clean for long. For example, we use a glass cleaner and protectant on windows and mirrors. Of the three, professionally trained technicians are by far the most important – we often say, “it’s not the products you use, but how you use them.” If you are overusing product, wiping with the wrong cloth, not allowing for dwell time… or making other common mistakes, then you risk having a sub-par cleaning experience.
3) Customer service standards: We highly recommend working with a professional company that has excellent customer service standards. Two of the main reasons customers switch to us are: their previous cleaner lacked accountability or their previous cleaning team was unreliable and didn’t always arrive when they said they would. While hopefully not common, it is always possible for a mistake to be made – and if that should happen, you want to make sure there is someone who will address, correct and reassure you of their services. A professional service should also be able to accommodate your preferred schedule and time, to the best of their ability, without fear of “no show” or regularly late arrival times.
*An added benefit of working with a franchise, like Merry Maids, is consistent quality – many of our customers choose to work with us because they noticed quality declining with other individuals over time; our reputation demands that we provide excellent service, every time, and across locations nationally.
4) Support local: Seek out and support local businesses, as opposed to corporate cleaning companies that are not locally owned and operated (this is more common with eCommerce and online businesses). Along with the benefits of having an immediate connection with your team and owners, shopping locally ensures that your business continues to benefit the community you live in. Our office proudly works with local organizations to also give back to our city, and employs over 30 women, offering them professional training and the ability to develop and advance their careers.
5) Safety measures: Ensure the safety of your home by seeking companies with proper hiring procedures. This includes thorough background and substance checks; in addition, you may also want to consider the service guarantee or damage policies of the company. These expectations and policies vary greatly from one business to the next.