Professional cleaning crews can't afford to waste time. To be successful, they service multiple clients a day, which means worrying over any one given task cuts directly into the bottom line. But they can't rush through jobs, either. Janitors, housekeepers, and cleaning crews need to be thorough because haphazard results can harm their clients and damage their reputation. These professionals walk a fine line between focusing on how to clean fast and how clean well, leaving safe surfaces and happy clients in their wake.
What's their secret? Cleaning pros know what works. They understand the value of well-made tools and don't fall for gimmicky gear or flashy products that promise to save time. They've mastered techniques and tricks — they get the job done and move on. Here are a few tips you can try.
Organized Home recommends picking up clutter before getting started. Remove all items from the floors and furniture (countertops, tables, vanities, toilet tanks, etc.) before starting. Starting with a clean slate will keep you focused and ready to power through the big job. It will also keep you from putting bottles and knickknacks on back surfaces before they're completely dry, which can leave rings or, worse, encourage mold growth.
Take Advantage of the Top Tools
Too many specialty tools can bog you down, according to Care.com. Ditch the closet full of equipment for a pared-down spray bottle with microfiber cleaning cloths and a squeegee. Unlike rags or cotton towels, microfiber cloths maximize soil removal and minimize cross-contamination. They lift and trap dirt and contaminants from floors and other flat surfaces, along with faucets, handles, knobs, and other common touch points. They're washable and require little cleaning solution to work.
Squeegees create a squeaky-clean surface by completely removing dirt, water, oils and residue. But don't just use them on glass. Squeegees work well on any hard, flat surface. For more cleaning power, use both tools together. Empowering a microfiber/squeegee combo with the right chemicals can remove more soil more quickly than traditional methods like towels or rags.
Follow the Map
Pros clean from the top down. Once a room is cleared of clutter, dust the walls, shelves, lampshades, and furniture before vacuuming the floor. The same goes for the kitchen: counters, cabinets, and appliances need cleaning and polishing first. Then, move on to sweeping and mopping the floor.
Good Housekeeping knows how to clean fast. They suggest tackling bathrooms last to cut down on potential cross-contamination and bacteria transfer. They urge letting cleaning products dwell on especially dirty areas like toilets, shower stalls, and bathtubs before wiping them up. Simply apply product, clean the rest of the room, and then go back and finish these areas. Once again, floors should always be swept and mopped last.
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Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.