Clean Windows Can Improve Moods

clean windows

“My favourite journey is looking out the window.”

-Edward Gorey

A home is usually the biggest investment most people will ever make. And according to real estate agents, one of the biggest factors in choosing a property is the quality of natural light in the home. So let the sunshine in — through clean windows!

And for businesses, light is just as important. Because windows are one of the first things a client notices, dirty windows create an unfavourable impression which can actually negatively affect sales.  Clean windows make for a pleasant and professional environment for guests, clients and staff.

Clearly it’s the view

We often take windows for granted. We get up every day and look outside. Clean windows cheer us up as we look out onto the world; dirty windows do just the opposite and can contribute to a glum mood. It’s a subtle thing but looking through sparkling windows means you’ll feel more chipper as soon as you start the day, and with warmer weather approaching the view will only get better.

Why it’s important

Besides improving one’s mood, did you know that clean windows actually prolong the life of the glass?

Windows can really take a beating. They’re exposed to harsh weather conditions, acid rain and hard minerals. They collect dirt and grime, which can make them weaker and lose their transparency over time. And that not only makes them harder to clean but can eventually ruin them altogether.

Regular cleaning makes it easier to remove stubborn stains and extend the life of the windows — making it easier on your pocketbook in the long run.

Simple window cleaning tips

So what can you do to make the windows at home or at work look better and last longer? Here are a few simple tips for easy window cleaning:

  • Tackle the job on a dry and cloudy day. Cleaning windows in the blazing sun will quickly dry the cleaning solution on hot windows before you can wipe it off, making it difficult to remove streaks. If it has to be done on a sunny day, start on the shady side of the house.
  • Always sweep the dirt off of the frames and sills before you begin washing the windows. This will prevent a muddy mess from forming after the window cleaner is applied.
  • Apply the cleaning solution liberally. If you hold back and don’t apply enough cleaner to allow the dirt and grime to dissolve, you’ll always end up with streaks. You can use commercial glass cleaners (eco-friendly, please) or you can easily make your own.
  • Use a microfiber cloth. Paper towels, rags or even newspapers do dry windows, but nothing works as well as microfiber cloths. They’re super absorbent and guarantee a streak-free and shiny window. Plus, they’re re-usable.
  • Pro tip: When wiping the windows, wipe horizontally on one side of the glass and vertically on the other side. That way, if there are any streaks, you can quickly tell which side they’re on.

Whether it’s a home or a business, clean windows project a brighter, more positive atmosphere and can even improve your mood, productivity and sales!

At Allcare, we care about clean. Get in touch for your free, no-obligation quote.

Floor Maintenance: The Shining (or not)

floor maintenance

We walk all over them, we run on them, we scratch them and track dirt all over them, yet the only time we notice them is when they’re dirty, worn or uneven. We’re talking about floors, of course — and floor maintenance.

Shiny or matte?

Most people think that shiny floors are a sign of good housekeeping. They might be a bit slippery but at least they’re clean, right? As opposed to matte floors, which might not be as attractive to some, but offer better traction.

Shiny floors do tend to be the preference for most North American business owners because the belief is that if it’s shiny, it’s clean — and cleaning contractors deliver what the customer wants.

But according to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI), European businesses prefer matte flooring. So it’s less about the look of the floor and more about safety. In fact, Europeans think that shiny floors are sort of odd.

So, which floor finish is better?

Clean vs. shine

When it comes to floor maintenance, the notion that shiny floors are cleaner than matte ones may seem like a no-brainer. But there’s a big difference between shiny-clean and shiny-dirty. If enough elbow grease and chemicals are used, you can always make a dirty floor shine.

The most important step in maintaining a shiny floor is the cleaning that’s performed before the shining. Filthy mop buckets and dirty equipment are a couple of the main offenders in this shiny-yet-dirty equation. Floors must be thoroughly cleaned before buffing — because buffing alone merely pushes the dirt around and can actually damage the flooring.

There’s no connection between cleanliness and shininess. And, of course, matte floors need to be cleaned just as thoroughly as shiny floors.

Endurance and shine

The greatest threat to floor maintenance is plain, old dirt. Once grit and grime is ground in to the surface of a floor the only way to bring it back is to completely strip and refinish it, which can be time-consuming and expensive. A consistent, thorough cleaning regimen is the best way to keep costs down and prolong the life of any flooring surface.

Shiny floors do marginally improve the durability and lifespan of a floor, depending on the various polishing sealants and finishes used. But the best way to prolong floor life, regardless of finish, is regular cleaning.

What about safety?

Whether dull or glossy, a clean floor is a safer floor because a clean surface improves contact between the floor and the soles of our shoes.

But even if a shiny floor is clean, it can be harder to see moisture on a shiny floor. Indeed, that beautiful shine can act like camouflage, leading to inadvertent slips and falls.

Floor safety can now be measured by using something called a tribometer. Developed by the NFSI, the Universal Walkway Tester (UWT) is a nifty piece of equipment that can determine how slippery a floor is. The UWT supplies cleaning contractors and their customers with measurable data in regards to floor safety. If a floor is found to be unsafe there are methods and various finishes that can be used to improve safety.

The Verdict

So, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what kind of finish a floor has, shiny or matte — it really just has to be clean.

For the low-down on floor maintenance and cleaning options for your plant or office space, feel free to contact us.

At Allcare, we care about clean.

 

The Invisible Army: why it may be time to re-think your cleaning staff

cleaning staff

 

When they do it nobody notices, and when they don’t, everyone does. But just who are “they” and what do they do?

Your cleaning staff is the invisible army that sweeps in and cleans your workplace when you’re not there so the following day can begin smoothly and efficiently. Just imagine if there were no cleaners. What would your plant or office look, smell and feel like?

These nighttime ninjas are dedicated employees who take pride in their work, often for many years at the same location, unknown and unrecognized by the 9-to-5 inhabitants of the places they clean.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T  (just a little bit)

Not only are cleaners generally invisible to staff because they work at night, many staff members don’t even give them a second thought. But keeping your cleaning staff in mind isn’t just nice, it actually creates efficiency so you can get more for your janitorial buck.

Consider for a moment: when an employee leaves a messy work space, it’s sort of like your teen leaving their dirty laundry all over the place and expecting you to pick it up before you get down to the vacuuming and dusting. Frustrating, right?

Leaving a neat desk or work space at the end of the day helps your cleaners be more effective by allowing them to spend more time on the deep-cleaning jobs that keep your office super-spiffy, fresh-smelling and germ-free.

Over and above

In addition to their regular duties, your cleaners do a lot of things that aren’t technically in their job description.

They’re a Lost and Found department for stray wallets, jewellery and smartphones. They monitor the coffee machine that everyone forgets to turn off. They lock the doors, set the alarm system, and switch off lights when the last employee leaves the building. Your cleaners also alert office and plant managers to after-hour emergencies like flooding, electrical problems and other facility issues.

And because cleaning staff mainly work at night, they’re like de facto security guards for many companies.

Allcare founder Chris Kandelas illustrates the point: “We had a cleaner at a building that was working after hours and there was a female staff member working late. She was the only one in the building besides the cleaning crew. The cleaner took it upon himself to keep an eye on her while she got safely to her car in the dark parking lot. As the customer later said, ‘That was over and above what they’re here to do.'”

Your cleaning staff is part of the team

Human nature being what it is, cleaning staff are sometimes blamed when things go missing or something is broken. It’s easy to point the finger at someone from outside the company rather than take the time to find a plausible explanation. But remember: just like you and your co-workers, your cleaners never want to jeopardize their jobs by doing something unethical.

We really are a part of your team — whether you see us or not.

—–

“We care about clean” is Allcare’s motto. It reflects our philosophy and provides the direction for everything we do. Whether it’s our approach to cleaning or the way our clients and employees are treated, it’s all about caring.

And so far, it’s been a successful approach. Naturally.

Get in touch today for your no-obligation quote.

 

Another Reason to do Spring Cleaning: Keeping Allergens at Bay

The coming of spring is a time when the Toronto area wakes up from a snowy winter and enjoy warmer weather. But for one in six Canadians who suffer from hay fever or seasonal allergies, this is the time of year when some of us have allergies that make us cough, scratch our eyes, wheeze, and become irritable. We don’t want that.

As we wrote before, spring is the time when we make it a priority to do a deep annual clean involving steam cleaning carpets, cleaning windows, and stripping and waxing floors. Spring cleaning also helps remove allergens that make their way into the work environment, which helps those with allergies breathe easier.

When it comes to vacuuming, it’s important that vacuums get the very tiny particulates that cause allergies. Allergy Consumer Review explains that a good vacuum should have a high air flow rating, which means that it pulls out allergens from carpets and upholstery faster and penetrate deeper. It should also have a HEPA filter positioned after the motor and sealed so that allergens don’t leak out.

Eliminating airborne dusts and allergens helps improve indoor air quality, which, in turn, helps reduce building related illnesses. When employees aren’t suffering allergies, they tend to be happier and more productive taking fewer sick days. This helps save organizations money.

We care about clean, and we’re sure that any allergy sufferers at your workplace also care about clean. There’s no way to eliminate all allergens, but regular cleaning definitely makes a difference. Make it a priority this spring to schedule a deep spring clean and regular cleaning to keep allergens at a minimum.