Saturday, November 26, 2011

Owned by a Woman

I don't say a whole lot about this, but it did take some time and effort to acquire so I thought I'd pass on that Clean Reflections is a HUB certified Woman Owned Small Business. Our fair state of Texas recognizes our company as such and I am indeed proud of the designation. I was a burned out corporate employee 23 years ago looking around for something meaningful and profitable to do with myself when I read a newspaper article about an ambitious mother of five who was widowed too early with no saleable skills. She turned to housecleaning since she was more than familiar with it and it made sense to her. At the time of the newspaper article she was reaching out to help others who wanted to do the same. I called and attended her meeting and launched a surprising new career. My husband joined me a year later and we've never looked back. We've worked with and for a colorful variety of people along the way and have gathered a substantial number of stories.

We cleaned for one couple for instance, for 21 of those years traveling with them through retirement, their move to a smaller home, various hospitalizations, the death of the husband and ultimately the wife's move to a retirement home. We miss her on the schedule but feel blessed to have been her trusted visitor twice a month for all those years.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How Often Should You Clean?

I ran across this by Mandi Rogier, an eHow Contributor which you might find helpful if you wonder why your home isn't looking it's best.

House cleaning is an important chore that can keep your home beautiful, livable and sanitary. By maintaining a regular schedule, you can ensure that your home is always presentable and avoid the last minute rush to tidy up when a friend is coming over. How often you need to clean your house will vary with each chore, but there are some simple guidelines that can help you create your own house cleaning schedule.

The kitchen is one area of the home that cannot get by with anything less than a daily cleaning. After cooking, you should wipe down all of the kitchen surfaces and put away any supplies that you used. Do dishes immediately after the meal, and wipe down the sink once a day, preferably before bed. The floor should be swept and mopped once or twice a week, or more if needed. The fridge should be cleaned out regularly. The ideal time to do this is right before you go grocery shopping, so a fridge full of spoiled food and rotten leftovers doesn't fool you into thinking you don't need to buy more food. Give the appliances, fridge and sink a thorough scrubbing once a week.

The bathroom can get dirty very quickly, so a regular daily cleaning is important. Wipe down the tub, shower stall, sink and counter with a multipurpose cleaner once a day. Wipe down the mirror with a touch of white vinegar. Straighten the toiletries and hang up towels after every use. Ideally, the toilet should be cleaned several times a week. At a minimum, do this once a week. Once a week, you should also thoroughly sweep and mop the floor and replace the towels.

The bedroom will need less work than the other areas of the house. Tidy up any laundry, books, shoes and other clutter on a daily basis. Once a week, change the linens, dust the furniture and vacuum the carpet. Once a month, you should vacuum and rotate the mattress. In children's rooms, you may need to wipe down surfaces and pick up toys more frequently. Encourage children to help you with these tasks until they can eventually complete them on their own and take responsibility for their own bedroom.

Living Room
The state of your living room will vary greatly depending on the number of people and pets residing in your home, and how much time they spend there. If you live alone or with your spouse and you both work during the day, then your living room may remain largely untouched throughout the week. If you are a stay-at-home mom with kids that are homeschooled and an ever-growing collection of pets, you will fall at the opposite end of the spectrum. In general, you should vacuum the carpets two or three times a week. Pick up books, toys, cups and other clutter at the end of the day, every day, and wipe off surfaces. Vacuum the upholstery once a month, and shampoo the upholstery and carpets once or twice a year.

Other Activities
Some household cleaning can be left to a once-yearly "spring cleaning." Don't let the name fool you, though. You can just as easily take on an annual cleaning in the summer or fall, though winter is ill-suited to many of the tasks involved in this campaign. Once a year you should give the house a thorough scrubdown. Clean under and behind furniture, including the fridge and other appliances. Dust the ceiling and fans, wash the drapes and wash scuff marks and stains from the walls. Empty bookcases and toy shelves and wipe down the shelves and the items that go on them. If you are doing this cleaning in the fall, this is a good time to launder and put away summer draperies and linens and air out the fall set. Likewise, in the spring this activity can be reversed.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hate the thought of cleaning?

We all know cleaning is not rocket science, and we all think we can do it outselves, "why hire an outside company to shovel out my dirt?" Yet ... it's the last on the list of "to-do's" for so many of us ... why is that do you suppose?

I'm going to offer some encouraging words. You CAN do it with the right tools and just a little time set aside for the purpose. it really isn't necessary to do it all at once. Of course, if you need it done NOW, we're a phone call away (940-566-MAID).

Let's tackle it from the bottom up. First you need your weapons of choice. We at Clean Reflections use Green Juice an enzyme based cleanser, for most surfaces that don't require dynamite. It literally eats bacteria and most dangerous germs leaving behind a fresh clean, almost non-scent. We pack some grit type cleanser for porcelain, and a diluted version of Green Juice for glass and windows. Then there is toilet bowl cleanser and we bring a pumice stone for hard water buildup if needed.

Now for equipment type weapons: Your vaccuum of choice; a hose attachment is handy for corners,beneath furniture and for the stairs of course; rubber gloves for the obvious reasons plus when used dry, they make a great hair ball remover for upholstery; a long duster; a short duster -- which could be a feather duster but we've settled on Swiffers. They hold the dirt better and squeeze into tight places nicely and they don't molt. Their drawback is expense. You can on occasion find them at the Dollar Store, however. A scraper for melted wax, a small wisk broom and dust pan, a broom and a mop; I recommend a Sh-Mop found at Jeff Campbell's website. And last but not least, the ultimate microfiber cloth! One for glass, a couple for counter tops and surfaces, and one for the bath.

You'll need a bucket or tote to store and carry all this and an apron (most important) to carry a few of these things in while in action.

I'll give more details on execution next blog. Until then, load your tote and keep it clean!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quickie Cabinet Clean Up

This from the Family Handyman:

To remove that greasy build-up that collects on kitchen cabinets, heat a damp microfiber cloth in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds (this will loosen baked on dirt in the microwave as well!). Put on a pair of gloves, spray your wood or metal cabinets wtih an all purpose cleaner containing orange oil, like Orange Glo. Wipe off the cleaner with the warm cloth. Rinse, wring out and reheat the cloth. When finished, remove excess oil with a cool, damp cloth.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Red White and Blue

I bought a new flag this year, placed it on a pole in front of our office window on Flag Day in June and I light it up every night as proper flag protocol dictates. I'm so proud of what it stands for ... the men and women who have fought and even died to keep it our proud symbol of a free nation. My prayer is that all Americans will appreciate it's true meaning. Perhaps we could each take a few minutes to share with our children or grandchildren the history of our Red, White and Blue. See a condensed version below.

Our flag carries American ideas, American history and American feelings. It is not a painted rag. It is a whole national history. It is the Constitution. It is the Government. It is the emblem of the sovereignty of the people. It is the NATION.
-Henry Ward Beecher, 1861

"From its controversial beginnings, the American flag has been an important part of our culture. It has survived over 200 years and two World Wars. The flag has evolved physically and symbolically in times of crisis and achievement. During the Vietnam War, the flag took on conflicting meanings that split the nation, and by the Gulf War, the flag was again a uniting force. September 11, 2001, the flag became a symbol of hope and pride. Though tattered and dirty flying above the rubble of the World Trade Center, it, like our country would prevail.

Unlike other countries, America only has two national symbols, the bald eagle and the American flag. While the bald eagle is internationally recognized, the American flag is a symbol known worldwide. The flag has been the inspiration for holidays, songs, poems, books, artwork and more. It has been used to show nationalism, rebellion and everything in between. The flag is so important that its history tells the story of America."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Magic of Service

My daughter (also a business owner) and I were lamenting the fact that service in business seems to be a dying practice. For instance, my office phone line was slammed about three months ago by a carrier that provides my cell phone service. When I called to cancel it, they BLOCKED any outgoing long distance calls from my number! How incredibly foolish of them. I'm now considering another cell phone carrier after all the years I've been faithful to them. I established a new account with my FIOS provider, and they assured me within 24 hours I'd have my outgoing long distance line again. Wrong! 30 days later I was still without. It seems my order sat on someone's desk unattended for a month. After an hour and four operators later on the phone, I was again assured I now had new long distance service and they would "expedite" manually if necessary, the removal of the block on my line. Wrong again! A third attempt was made a day later and I'm still waiting to see if it "took". Many apologies were given, along with excuses, but what rotten service is that??? Our business has grown on service as an essential component. The customer may not always be right, but their opinion certainly carries a LOT of weight at Clean Reflections. We listen, we correct when necessary and more importantly we do everything imaginable to head complaints off at the pass. We screen our maids with national criminal background checks, they are given a personality screening as well to determine tendencies from punctuality to thievery with much in between. It's not foolproof, but at least we have a headstart on getting to know the character of those we hire. We also train on best industry techniques before anyone sets foot in a customer home or business. We take your concerns seriously. That's one reason we affiliated with SERVICE MAGIC who ran background checks on us just like we do our employees. They also required we show proof of bonding and insurance and only then were we admitted into their exclusive membership. Yep, we believe in old fashioned service. Don't believe me, just give us a try. You can check us out on our profile page at too. Click on cleaning and maid service and you'll see us there.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Earth Day

Saturday April 17th is Earth Day! What enterprising person thought that up? And how far we've come since Colombus' day in 1492. Back then we thought we'd fall off the earth if we wandered too far from home. Now we celebrate it in all it's roundness while wandering all over it's surface yet cautioning ourselves to not take it for granted. A good idea I think and we at Clean Reflections are in a unique position to be aware since we are in the what I affectionately call the "chemical warfare" business. That's why we use only environmentally friendly products with rare exception. It started from a purely selfish motive I admit. We became highly sensitive to some common products that had bleach in them. We noticed a burning sensation in our throats and worse yet, the following day breathing was labored and we experienced a general sense of malaise. Not good in a labor intensive business! We figured if they weren't good for us, then we didn't want to expose our customers to them either. So, enjoy and celebrate Earth Day in your own way. Never mix bleach with ammonia and always use chemicals in a well ventilated area. Better yet, let our experts show you how new fangled products and equipment can customize a cleaning program for your home.