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How to clean up your home office in a flash

With many people in the UK returning to working at home, we’ve put together a list of quick tips to help keep your at-home office workspace clean.

With the current Coronavirus guidelines encouraging UK residents to work from home where possible, many of us have returned to working remotely. Whether you’re commuting to a home office, kitchen table, or bedroom, keeping your workspace clean and tidy can help your productivity and mood, as well as reduce the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the cleaning experts at Merry Maids have put together a list of simple things you can do to tidy up your at-home workspace.

Cleaning your Desk

Your desk, whether at home or in the office, is probably where you spend most of your working day. As a result, it likely sees a lot of traffic from your hands, papers and stationary, keyboards, phones, laptops and computers, and even lunch. And with the average desk containing more germs than a toilet seat, knowing how to properly clean them is imperative. You should be:

  • Cleaning your desk frequently – We’ve all become a little more accustomed to carrying out proper sanitisation and cleaning procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you should be doing this as regularly as you can by using antibacterial spray and a damp cloth. Most shop-bought cleaners will do, or you could also use a combination of 1:1 water and vinegar to get rid of germs on your desk.
  • Ridding your desk of marks – Though less important from a sanitation standpoint, if you have a hardwood desk that has been marked and damaged, you can actually clean them up with some household items. Returning to the kitchen cupboard, you can use some bicarbonate of soda and a damp cloth to scrub marks from your hardwood. If this doesn’t work, you can also try using a clean tennis ball. Yes, a tennis ball. Simply rub it on marks like an eraser and watch the marks disappear! Similarly, you can…
  • Remove watermarks – Water rings from cups of tea and other beverages can be an eyesore and foster germs. You can remove them by turning a hairdryer onto a high setting and pointing it directly at the mark and voila, water rings vanished!

Don’t eat at your desk

Working from home or in the office, it can be easy to get into the swing of things and forget to take time away from your desk to eat. But as much as eating at your desk can be an easy trap to fall into – especially when working from home – for the sake of cleanliness, as well as your own general health, we wouldn’t advise it. Studies have found that you should be leaving your desk/screen for at least five minutes every hour, to benefit both your productivity and overall health. As well as this, food can easily fall into your keyboard and foster germs and odour.

Cleaning your Keyboard

Speaking of your keyboard, how do you clean it to avoid germs and smells?

  • Turn everything off – First things first, you’re going to want to disconnect your keyboard from your computer or monitor. If you’re using a laptop, then make sure it’s turned off before you start.
  • Flip it – Start by turning your keyboard or laptop upside down to get any initial crumbs, hair, and other debris out of the nooks and crannies.
  • Hoover up debris – Use the duster appliance on your vacuum cleaner or a can of compressed air to get rid of any remaining debris that’s still lingering in between the keys.
  • Sanitise the keys – Take an antibacterial wipe, or a cotton bud/piece of kitchen roll and dip it into some antiseptic disinfectant (which you can purchase at most supermarkets) and rub it between and along the keys of your keyboard. Make sure to use a light touch, as getting your electronics too damp is an obvious no-no.
  • Wipe up – Use a microfiber cloth to clean up the remaining disinfectant and give the keys a little polish.

Cleaning your Computer Screen

Your computer screen will also likely be home to a surprising amount of dirt and grime as a potentially high touchpoint area. Luckily, cleaning your computer screen follows the same process as cleaning a TV screen, which you can find a step-by-step guide to from our Merry Maids cleaning experts here.

Cleaning your Office Chair

Your office chair follows the same principle as your desk, but when upholstered can be even more stained and more difficult to clean. To give it a proper clean, your best option is normally to start by vacuuming it to get rid of dust and hair etc. and then follow up with a damp cloth or an antibacterial wipe to disinfect it. You should be aiming to do this regularly, at a minimum of once a fortnight.

And if your chair’s upholstery is looking tired or too difficult to clean, you can call on the ServiceMaster family of brands. Our furniture repair business Furniture Medic offers services to repair damaged upholstery, and ServiceMaster Clean offers bespoke upholstery cleaning services.

If you want to leave your home cleaning to the professionals whilst you work from home, why not get in touch with us? Our cleaning operatives are well-prepared to continue working safely and professionally in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and can get your home looking shiny and new in a flash. Find your nearest Merry Maids business today to book a clean or to find out more about our services.

 

Written by Tom Page

Top tips on cleaning your fridge

We’ve put together some top tips on cleaning your fridge.

The humble refrigerator plays an often understated yet important role and gets a lot of use all year round. The holidays are now so last year, however, they can create a lot of mess, and quite the daunting task once all of the leftovers have finally all been eaten. That’s why it’s important to know the proper way to effectively and efficiently clean your fridge.

Luckily, we’ve made a list of steps to help you out:

Preparing for the clean

Cleaning your fridge doesn’t actually require many speciality products.

Here are some things you’ll need to clean out your fridge:

  • Bin bags
  • Rubber or disposable gloves
  • A cooler box
  • A cleaning product
  • Sponges, old rags or kitchen roll
  • Microfiber cloths

Clear it out

The first thing to do when cleaning out your fridge is to make sure its empty. This might be quite the undertaking if you’ve stocked up for Christmas, so planning ahead is essential. Really, your fridge needs cleaning every 3-6 months, so choosing a time in-between shops might be a good idea.

During the cleaning process, you’ll need to use cool bags as a substitute for the fridge. This is because products like meat and dairy need to be refrigerated to stop the rapid growth of bacteria that happens at room temperature.

Wipe down shelves and drawers

Now that your fridge is empty and you can properly get to them, it’s time to clean out all of its shelves and drawers. A lot of fridges have removable shelves so you don’t have to hunch over inside of it to clean them. In the case you do have removable shelves, it might be a good call to check the manual if you’re not sure about taking them out or putting them back. The good news is, once removed, you can wash them up in the sink with hot water and some washing-up liquid. However, it’s probably best to leave them to warm up to room temperature if they’re made of glass as they might crack or shatter when they come into contact with hot water.

Once this is done you can move onto the drawers, which you may also be able to wash in the sink depending on size. In the case of bigger drawers like salad crisper drawers the best thing to do is still to give them a good wipe down with hot water and dish soap.

Next, you’ll want to clean the areas around the shelves too. Food residue can easily build up in the joins between the shelves so make sure you scrape all of this away. Give the shelves and drawers a rinse with clean water to get rid of soap suds and then allow to dry naturally on the drainer or a tea towel and move on to…

Cleaning the inside

To clean the inside of the fridge, you can use diluted bleach, white vinegar or a commercial all-purpose cleaner. Remember to always make sure you’re always wearing rubber gloves when cleaning with these products. If you use any solution that uses water as a base, or just want to use water and soap, remember to only use cold water as hot water can actually raise the temperature of your fridge; meaning that it takes longer before you can return perishable foods to it.

When it comes to utensils, we would recommend using a scouring pad, or a sponge that has one attached, as these are excellent for removing any stuck-on food and spills from surfaces without scratching the area. Perhaps surprisingly, a cotton bud or toothbrush can be very useful here to remove old food. They’re also great for fiddly and hard to reach places, like the drip hole at the back of the fridge. This is a key area when cleaning the inside as it can very easily become clogged and dirty. Furthermore, as with the shelve joiners, be sure to be particularly thorough when scrubbing the grooves where the shelves rest, as they can be hotspots for dirt. When you’ve finished you can dry the inside with paper towels or a dry clean tea towel.

And the outside

Particularly when paying attention to disinfecting due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, remember to give the outside of the fridge similar focus and attention by wiping down doors and handles. For the exterior of the fridge, we recommend using a microfiber cloth, as these are best at removing streaks and fingerprints on surfaces.

Put everything back

The first thing you should do when you’ve finished cleaning is to put the shelves, drawers and door inserts back into their slots. Check your condiments for mould, give them a wipe down to ensure any residue is removed, and then place them back into the fridge.

Next, you’ll then want to return everything else to its proper place. For tips on food storage hygiene and the proper way to keep your fridge click here.

We can help

If this all feels like a little too much work, why not leave it to the professionals? We offer a refrigerator clean as an extra service when a home clean is purchased. To book a clean or find out more, contact your local Merry Maids today.

An Introduction to new Merry Maids UK Brand Leader, Vikki Donnachie

Merry Maids UK has recently appointed a new Brand Leader, experienced franchise professional, Vikki Donnachie. Vikki, who has just completed her second week at ServiceMaster, will be officially taking over the reins from Steve Morris in January of 2022. Vikki joins Merry Maids with over twelve years’ experience in recruitment and thirteen years’ experience in healthcare franchising as Head of Kare Plus Franchising. What attracted Vikki to Merry Maids was the opportunity to use her years of franchising experience, but in a different environment, which will allow her to put her own stamp on the franchise network. Vikki added, “The fact that [Merry Maids is] a big organisation, but with a family feel, and the fact that there is scope for network development–” Furthermore, having spoken to other Brand Leaders within ServiceMaster, Vikki says that she has been assured of the career journey that a Brand Leader position offers and that this is in line with the path she sees herself on.

Having now completed her two-week training academy with Merry Maids, to get acquainted with the brand and its processes, Vikki feels well-prepared to tackle her new role. Speaking of her experience settling in at ServiceMaster over the past fortnight, she says, “It’s been really, really good! Everyone has made me feel really welcome. I feel like I’m fitting in, the processes are very similar, and certainly, what I would expect, I feel like I’ve been here for ages – which is always a good sign. And the days fly! There are not enough hours in the day, so that’s another good thing.” Vikki is now itching to get out and interface with the Merry Maids network and is looking forward to “Building a relationship with the franchise partners and getting them to buy into and trust [her], and then helping and supporting them to develop as much as they can.” With her experience in franchising, Vikki is aware that it is all about the people. Therefore, it is the network that is at the forefront of her mind going into her first month at ServiceMaster and the New Year. “What motivates me is seeing other people succeed. I love being a mentor, I’m not one for ‘it’s all about me’, I love to give people ideas and for them to roll with it, to be successful and for them to take the credit for it. That’s what gets me out of bed in the morning: seeing people I work with and support doing well.”

Speaking of her plans for her first month at ServiceMaster she said, “Obviously the last two weeks I’ve been getting my head around the systems and so on and so forth, plus getting to meet the internal team. I think in January, the first thing is going to be to have verbal conversations and hopefully interactive conversations on Teams with all the franchise partners, just getting to know them, find out why they joined Merry Maids in the first place; what their motivators are; will they need my help and support? Ultimately, what their goals and aspirations are, because I think everybody is going to have different goals and plans. I want to try and find out what floats their boat and what motivates them, to build business plans to make sure that is what we are achieving. After that, hopefully in quick succession, to go out and meet them all face to face in their offices. But I know that is potentially going to be hampered at this moment in time.”

But Vikki is also thinking long term. She says there are two sides to how she sees herself progressing Merry Maids and the strategy she will use to realise this progress. She says “The first is to work closely with the existing network. Step 1 will be to work with the existing franchisees and try to explore new opportunities, alternative ways and ideas –fresh initiatives – to help boost the business.  Her goal – to enable the network to get the best out of their investment and to build a really good relationship with us, because for me it is a partnership. It’s not a dictatorship, it’s a partnership. It’s all about making sure [franchisees] get as much out of the support that we give as well, whilst exploring other services and other offerings down the line.” Vikki says “The second part is to work very closely with franchise recruitment, to bring in some new franchise partners and some fresh energy.” Vikki feels well equipped to support the Merry Maids Franchise Recruitment team, drawing on her experience in franchising. She says “I think the Merry Maids network are poised for some great investors in 2022. Following on from recent investment from two new franchise partners, we plan to build on this success. Even during challenging times, Merry Maids has remained an attractive opportunity for those looking to be in business for themselves, but not by themselves. I like to think outside of the box, and think of different initiatives and different ideas.” As a result, Vikki has already been in conversation with the franchise recruitment team at ServiceMaster. She says “I’ve been working closely with Emma Chappell, Franchise Sales Manager already and sharing a few ideas and how I’ve done things previously. We’re both really excited about where we can take the Merry Maids network by working closely together and sharing our expertise. So, developing the existing network but bringing fresh investment in as well, is really, really important because we need people to bring in different ideas and initiatives. That’s what makes a successful network to me.”

Outside of work, Vikki keeps busy  within her very own network and as a Mum. She says, “I live in a little country village so I love walking. I’ve got my dog – a cockapoo – I love getting out and about. I’m a horsey person as well and love just ‘the countryside’ shall we say? I’ve got a lot friends dotted around the country as well, so I love the social element of that; love a good night out; love a good party. Whether it’s a party in a kitchen or a party in a pub, I don’t mind. Aside from that, I’ve got an eleven, soon to be twelve, year-old daughter, who keeps me busy with netball, and dance, and gymnastics, and everything else. So it is ‘Mum’s Taxi, all aboard!’ most weekends. We like to be busy!” Ultimately, Vikki says she feels confident in her career journey and to be taking a new step with ServiceMaster, and is now eager to roll up her sleeves and get to work. She says, “I’d like to be here for the long-haul. I’d like this to be my last job now and I really want to make the most of it, and to grow and develop together.”

Though COVID-19 has provided challenges for us all, the importance and demand for cleaning services has never been more pronounced. Merry Maids is well placed to capitalise on this demand, and we are very excited to welcome Vikki on board to spearhead this. Therefore, on behalf of the ServiceMaster family of brands, we would like to once again heartily welcome Vikki and wish her the best for what promises to be a bright future with Merry Maids.

Cleaning your TV Screen for Christmas telly

Ever tried to clean your TV screen and been left with more streaks and marks than when you started? This is for you.

It’s not long now until Christmas, and one thing we can look forward to with the holidays drawing closer, is of course: Christmas telly. But it’s no good if your festive viewing is ruined by a streaky flatscreen. So how do you clean your TV screen without leaving streaks and pesky marks?

Turn the TV off at the mains

This part speaks for its self a little, as you need to see what you’re doing and don’t want to damage yourself or the TV. But beyond that, using any sort of liquid to clean the screen will leave streaks if the TV is turned on as LCD TVs produce heat when they’re on which makes them more susceptible to marking easily.

Use a dry, clean, and lint-free cloth

Be sure that any cloths you’re using to clean your screen are dry. Perhaps rather obviously, your electronics don’t mix well with water, and the screen will benefit from a lighter toucher – so preferably use a lint free cloth. You could even use a feather duster or a microfiber cloth if you have one – but definitely give the kitchen roll a miss at the dusting stage as this will only scratch up the screen. At this stage, use as light a touch as you can, and clean in a slow and circular motion to remove the dust on the screen without leaving a mark.

Get rid of existing marks

If lightly dusting your TV screen still leaves you with a lot of marks, then you probably have existing ones that you need to get rid of. These stubborn markings will likely be too strong for a microfiber cloth, so your best course of action is to get a new cloth and use some distilled water. HelloTech.com recommends that you moisten your cloth with distilled water and never apply any kind of cleaning solution directly onto the screen. This is because this can cause moisture to get into the seal around the screen and will damage the electronics. Simply dampen the cloth very slightly so you can wipe away any stubborn streaks – and then follow up with a dry cloth to get rid of excess moisture.

Worst case scenario: You’ve done everything up until now and the markings are still persisting. But remember, whatever your gut instinct might be, this is not the time to be reaching for cleaning chemicals as they, particularly those with an ammonia base (commonly found in popular brands like Dettol, Flash, and Cif) can break down the protective layers on LCD flat-screen TVs and severely damage the screen.

So what can you do instead?

Use antibacterial wipes

Something we’ve all become more accustomed to having around and using in the COVID-19 pandemic is alcohol-based cleaning wipes. These now might even be the first port of call for cleaning a grubby flat-screen – however, we recommend using a little bit of distilled water alongside it to decrease the strength of the alcohol and avoid damaging the screen with it. Do this, and use a very light touch and it should do the job nicely and safely.

Note: As you are still using water, all of our previous advice about turning off electronics and drying the screen afterwards still applies.

Try some DIY Remedies

And no, these aren’t urban myths like your Gran might’ve recommended back in the day. Our cleaning experts can recommend some effective DIY home solutions to this decidedly modern problem.

The first one you might want to try involves using the materials you should’ve already attempted, along with another food product that most will already have at home. Combine a mix of 50% white wine vinegar with 50% distilled water. The Kitchn recommends combining DIY remedies like this in a spray bottle and then spraying it onto a lint-free cloth. Again, wipe in a circular motion to avoid any more streaks, then wipe excess mixture with a dry cloth to stop the vinegar sticking on the screen or seeping behind it.

You could also try using a very small amount of dish soap – but at a very very small ratio as the bubbles could easily get out of hand. Simply follow the same process of combining distilled water in a spray bottle and spraying on a lint-free cloth and rubbing in circles, before drying off with a dry cloth.

Call in the Experts

If you would rather leave all of your domestic cleaning needs to the professionals, get in touch with us. To find your nearest Merry Maids, click here.

5 Top tips for cleaning in winter

When you think about cleaning, your mind might immediately jump to the spring. But the warmer months aren’t the only time you should be focused on cleaning. Winter is fast approaching, and with it are a host of season-specific cleaning considerations.

If this seems a little daunting, don’t worry. We’ve compiled a list of five things that you can do to get a head start on the housework this winter.

  1. Give your radiators a good seeing to

One of the most important things in the home during the winter is, of course, the radiators. We depend on them for warmth when the temperature starts to drop. So why not make sure you’re giving them the best treatment possible? During the year, dust will have accumulated around, and possibly even in your radiators, which will mean that they won’t be working to their full potential.

To combat this, there are a few things you can do:

  • Use your everyday cotton cleaning cloth and give the radiators a good wipe down. Make sure you get all around the radiator, including the top and bottom areas.
  • Take a long-distance brush, like a duster (if it’s extendable, that’s even better). Then move it in and out of the top vent to be sure that you’re getting as much of that pesky dust as you can. 
  1. Clean off that computer

Due to the COVID19 pandemic, something we are all more aware of is the process of cleaning and disinfecting our personal items like laptops and computers. With many still working from home, they have become more crucial in our day to day lives than ever before. But even when not working over the festive period, it’s important to remember to keep up the practice of thoroughly cleaning your devices – even if all you’re doing is snuggling up with a hot drink and a Netflix series.

Beyond wiping down your screen and keyboard, here are a couple of other things you can do to give your laptop/computer a good clear out:

  • Vacuum all of the visible air vents.
  • Spray a can of compressed air into your keyboard slots and vents to get rid of any dust and grime. As well as keeping it clean, this may also alleviate the stress on your computer’s fan and help stop the system from overheating.
  1. Shield your floors from mud

We’re all familiar with the fickle winter weather in the UK. The last thing you want is to get caught out by a surprise turn and end up trekking mud, or even snow, throughout the house. If you don’t already have them, we recommend investing in a few doormats in order to avoid bringing any germs, mud, and other debris into the home and onto your floors.

If you already have some, great! Another thing you can do is make sure you have somewhere off of the floor to store your shoes like a box or shoe rack. Or you could put down an old bit of carpet, some sheeting, or a shoe rug, and place them on there to create a barrier between any muddy soles and the floor.

  1. Clean out that ‘Chim Cher-ee’

When you think of a festive scene, one of the first things that comes to mind might be chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Whilst keeping your home nice and cosy this winter is a top priority for most, if you plan on doing this with an open fire, we recommend clearing your chimney – if you have one. This is because the dirt and chemicals that will have built up over the past year could turn into a fire hazard and potentially cause an influx of smoke into your home.

And no, don’t worry, it won’t be Dick Van Dyke coming round with his peaked cap and long brush to do it. The methods have improved since the Victorian era! Nowadays, technology and equipment are far more efficient.

  1. Keep your supplies clean

After all your winter cleaning, your house is likely looking spotless. But remember, to keep getting the same results every time, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping your cleaning supplies in good nick too.

To do this, here are a few things you can do:

  • Fill your sink with hot, soapy water and put any sponges and cloths you might have used in for a good soak. Be sure to properly disinfect them too!
  • Vacuum any debris from your brooms or sweeping brushes, and disinfect your mop.
  • When this is done, give your vacuum a wipe down and empty it out or change the bag if you need to.
  • If your duster is detachable, you might want to pop it in the wash along with your cleaning cloths.

And if this all seems like a lot of work, but you still want to keep your home looking clean and pristine this Christmas, why not get in touch with us? Find your local Merry Maids UK here and get that same spotless shine every single time!

Merry Maids Croydon wins Business Resiliences award

A Croydon based cleaning company is celebrating after collecting a business award following the COVID pandemic.  

Merry Maids of Croydon scooped the Merry Maids Business Resilience award following the COVID pandemic. The award is designed to recognise and celebrate achievements in showing resilience throughout the pandemic to a business that responded in an above and beyond manner.

Covid19 presented a multitude of challenges to Merry Maids businesses and employees across the UK, who all responded magnificently in the highest traditions of delivering excellent customer service.

However, it was one business that stood out. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Croydon responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner by employing exceptional safety protocols, maintaining excellent standards of customer service and actively exploring new opportunities to ensure the future of the business.

Merry Maids of Croydon, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Debbie Walker and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2003.

Debbie commented: “Myself and the team are delighted to have won the award. It was an immensely challenging time and to know we did as much as possible to help our community and our fellow franchisees across the UK is a great feeling.” Said Debbie

“I was so pleased to be able to return back to work on 1st June 2021 and bring my team back together again. We set ourselves a target to have all our staff back within the business by September 2020 and this was achieved.” Added Debbie

“In the last year we have helped so many families, elderly clients and those that are vulnerable in our community to bring their lives back to some form of normality after what has been a hideous time for all. Nothing rewards us more than making a client comfortable in their home and making them smile when often they are facing difficult times.” Finished Debbie

Brand Leader for Merry Maids, Steve Morris said: “As the Brand Manager for Merry Maids it is one of the great privileges of my role to reward businesses that have achieved great things in the past year. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Croydon responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner.

“Of particular note, regular contact was maintained between the business and myself, the Merry Maids Brand Leader, for our mutual benefit for which I was extremely grateful. Proof of the excellent business management and customer service skills utilised during this challenging period are now being rewarded by a strong business recovery.” Added Steve

Merry Maids of Croydon are deserved winners of the 2020, and hopefully the only, Merry Maids Resilience Award!” Finished Steve

Recognising some of the less obvious, but nonetheless culturally vital parts of franchising is imperative to ServiceMaster and the yearly awards allows this to happen.

Awards were given for not only growth, but also to those that have given back to their community, or employees of franchisees that have demonstrated their commitment to the brand attributes engaging in initiatives and actions with colleagues and customers well beyond their job description, very often in their own time at their own expense.

“As a family business working for families, we are thrilled to have won, but it simply wouldn’t be possible without our staff. I feel they all need a special thank you. Merry Maids of Croydon constantly strives hard to offer great customer service and a community friendly approach.

“Of course, our goals over the next 12 months are to grow but also to continue to offer an excellent service to our clients especially continuing to develop in certain sectors – working with clients with dementia and the elderly that wish to stay living at home. Additionally, we want to maintain an excellent customer experience and continue to serve our local community”

“Let’s hope we never have to go through a situation with so much sadness and challenge again.” Finished Debbie

Gina from Merry Maids Wakefield wins Franchisee of the Year

A Wakefield based cleaning company is celebrating after collecting a business award following the COVID pandemic.  

 Merry Maids of Wakefield scooped the epitome of awards, the Merry Maids Franchisee of the Year award following the COVID pandemic. The award is designed to recognise and celebrate achievements in being a model franchisee and additionally in the following year, showing resilience throughout the pandemic and reacting in an above and beyond manner.

Covid19 presented a multitude of challenges to Merry Maids businesses and employees across the UK, who all responded magnificently in the highest traditions of delivering excellent customer service.

However, it was one business that stood out. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Wakefield responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner by employing exceptional safety protocols, maintaining excellent standards of customer service and actively exploring new opportunities to ensure the future of the business.

Merry Maids of Wakefield, is a franchise of ServiceMaster, owned and managed by Gina Glendinning and has been successfully cleaning homes in the area since 2018.

Gina said: “Firstly, I can’t quite believe I won such a prestigious award having only just completed my 3 year as a Franchisee! What a huge sense of pride both in my achievements but also in my team and how hard we have all worked to keep going in such unprecedented times.”

“2020 as we all know had been a challenging time for everyone and although I knew the business would be impacted I also knew that I had the drive and the team around me to steer the business through.”

“I took the bold and immediate decision, to close the business immediately when needed but also to contact my lovely customers letting them know we’d be back. I believe my calm approach to the situation help others see that it was not a time to panic but to act.” Added Gina

Brand Leader for Merry Maids, Steve Morris said: “As the Brand Leader for Merry Maids it is one of the great privileges of my role to reward businesses that have achieved great things in the past year. Throughout the pandemic, Merry Maids of Wakefield responded to the challenges in an exemplary manner.

“Of particular note, regular contact was maintained between the business and myself, the Merry Maids Brand Leader, for our mutual benefit for which I was extremely grateful. Proof of the excellent business management and customer service skills utilised during this challenging period are now being rewarded by a strong business recovery.” Added Steve

Recognising some of the less obvious, but nonetheless culturally vital parts of franchising is imperative to ServiceMaster and the yearly awards allows this to happen.

Awards were given for not only growth, but also to those that have given back to their community, or employees of franchisees that have demonstrated their commitment to the brand attributes engaging in initiatives and actions with colleagues and customers well beyond their job description, very often in their own time at their own expense.

“Re-opening on 1 June 2020 was great, I had meticulously planned which members of the team should come back and how we would approach each job. I brought back 8 full time ladies with each working on an individual basis. I ensured I constantly contacted both customers and staff, remaining positive and calm even when some felt a little uncertain.” Added Gina

“The business steadily grew and eventually we got back to somewhat normal times. During this strange and demanding year, I strove to look for opportunities to grow the business via different avenues working with Estate Agents and Property Developers to ensure that any voids during our working days were filled.” Said Gina

“My year ended on a high as during Q4 my husband and I took the decision to expand and we purchased two new additional franchise areas. An excellent adventure awaited in 2021 when we took the reins just before Christmas.” Finished Gina

7 tips for a dog friendly home

If you’re a dog owner, you already know that having a fluffy four-legged friend around can bring an incredible spirit of joy and companionship into your home.

Unfortunately, for pet owners, dogs are known to be mischievous and mess is usually their middle name, especially those adorable puppies.

If you didn’t know already, April is National Pet Month, so our cleaning experts have decided to help and share 7 of the best tips for puppy-proofing your home, helping you keep it clean in the midst of all of the chaos.

Tip #1: Think like a dog

It may sound slightly odd, but experts recommend that you start the dog-proofing process by imagining how your dog sees his or her surroundings.

Get down to your dog’s level and look for anything that could be in reach and potentially catch your dog’s eye, like unattended food sources, uncovered rubbish bins, or enticing “human toys” like the remote control.

Then, make sure there are no easy routes for your pup to paw these treasures, or install shelving too high for them to reach.

Tip #2: The use of a lint roller

Lint rollers are one incredible invention for all dog owners! Consider keeping a few within reach of your front doorway so that you can dust off before leaving the house.

It may also be worth purchasing a heavy-duty fur remover broom for your hardwood flooring, and medium-sized lint rollers to trap hair on your sofas, chairs and beds etc.

Tip #3: Choose the right doggy bed.

Your fluffy friend spends a lot of time in their doggy bed, so it’s best to choose one that won’t trap unwanted odours and hair!

Whether you’ve got one dog or a whole pack, thinking ahead on pet beds will save you a lot of time and money down the line. There are dog beds you can purchase that have removable covers made from bacteria-fighting fabric, with one of those you can simply throw it in the washing machine every week or so.

Tip #4: Towels and blankets are useful

Wherever your furry friend likes to play, there’s sure to be plenty of fur and dirt.

Luckily, you can stop the dirt in its tracks by keeping an old towel near your door, along with some cleaning supplies and a shallow container of water, this will allow you to clean their messy paws after their daily walk.

If your puppy has some favourite spots to sit throughout the house, you may want to throw down a few machine-washable blankets in those places.

Tip #5: Add an air purifier to your shopping list.

Dog dander can cause severe allergies and invite unpleasant odours into your home.

Aside from observing a regular dog grooming schedule, you can also invest in a high-quality air purifier to combat your pup’s shedding habit and keep your house smelling fresh. Try to find a purifier that has a HEPA filter, as this means it’s certified to remove 99.97% of airborne allergens.

Tip #6: Perform a full “plant audit.”

Every home needs a little bit of greenery around the house and in the garden.

Before you let your dog strut around the garden, you’ll need to double and triple-check that your plants are safe for dogs.

Common flower varieties like tulips, daffodils, and lilies are actually poisonous to dogs, and even safe plants can cause gastrointestinal distress when ingested.

Once you’ve identified any potential hazards, either replace the offending plants or find a way to block your dog’s access to that area.

Tip #7: Invest in a few dog deterrents.

No matter how old your dogs are, they love to chew on almost anything they can reach.

To protect your home—and your canine’s teeth— from damage, you should think about investing in a few easy dog deterrents.

One solution you could use is bitter apple spray, which uses all-natural ingredients to keep dogs from chewing on table legs and furniture.

You can also install baby gates throughout the house to limit access to certain rooms.

Want More Pet-Related Cleaning Tips? We’ve Got You Covered!

Even if you dog-proof your entire home completely, it’s pretty much inevitable:

Your pet will eventually make a mess, and when that does happen, there’s no need to worry. With the help of our regular cleaning services, you’ll be well on your way to managing a beautifully dog-proof home.

Find your local Merry Maids here and we’ll be able to organise a visit to see your home in the future.

Cleaning myths busted

We’re bombarded with cleaning advice from the internet, magazines and more recently, social media, some of these are myths that aren’t necessarily always the best way to clean your home and sometimes, they can do far more harm than good.  

We’re here to uncover some of these cleaning myths so you don’t have to! 

myth, myths

Myth #1 – Using vinegar tclean anything 

This natural cleaning solution is said to be the answer to lots of cleaning problems, but sometimes it can actually do more harm than good.  

Although it can be useful to clean certain items, you should always carry out a spot test on an inconspicuous area first to check that it doesn’t damage the item you’re trying to clean. 

Vinegar can damage the finish on natural stone, such as tiles and marbles and it can damage your iron if you use it to clean it.

Myth #2 – Using window cleaner on screens 

You would assume that it’s okay to use a window cleaning spray to clean your computer screen or television, but the chemicals can damage your electricals.  

Instead, use a clean microfiber cloth or specialist cleaning wipe to wipe over your screen. If you need to, add a small amount of alcohol, such as vodka, to the cloth before wiping and buff away any dirt or grime. 

Myth #3 – Wetting  carpet stain 

It’s easy to panic if you spill a glass of red wine on your cream carpet or sofa, but don’t be tempted to apply a lot of water to the mark. This can damage the carpet fibres and the excess moisture can cause the wine to penetrate further, leaving a stain behind.  

Instead, use the effective ‘blot’ method to remove stains. Instead of drenching your carpet in water, lightly sprinkle it with a little water and blot again with a clean paper towel or cloth.  

If you can’t remove the stain, we recommend giving  ServiceMaster Clean a call! 

Myth #4 – Be cautious with nail polish remover 

It is said that nail polish remover can be used to remove sticky spots, such as marks left on surfaces from stickers.  

Unfortunately, this could leave a mark on the surface, especially if it is on a finished wooden surface. Instead, try using a sponge dampened in warm water to gently loosen the mark, allowing you to wipe it away.  

If the stain is too stubborn for water, we recommend contacting  Furniture Medic. 

Myth #5 – Using bleach to remove rusty stains 

Pouring bleach on to rusty marks can make the problem worse, so avoid this at all costs! It’s best leaving this to the experts!

To book your next clean give your local Merry Maids a call today to find out more.

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