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Clean Windows Like a Pro

Clean Windows Like a Pro

Follow our expert tips for getting sparkling clean windows with minimum effort.

Cleaning windows is one of those household chores that most of us would prefer to avoid. The task is time-consuming and can leave disappointing results if not done correctly.

At CorpClean, we wash a lot of windows. And we’ve learned a thing or two about getting glass sparklingly clean without wasted actions. So, if you don’t have the benefit of professional window cleaners, you can follow our do-it-yourself tips for saving time and getting great outcomes.

Begin with the right tools.

If you try washing windows with just a bottle of spray cleaner and a roll of paper towels, you’ll end up with smeary, streak-covered glass. Obtaining the best and quickest results requires using the proper tools.

A window scrubber allows you to clean the glass gently but thoroughly. Scrubbers come with cloth-covered strips on one end and long handles for reaching the tops of windows. Get the cloth end wet and rub it vigorously against the window to loosen the dirt. We like scrubbers that feature machine-washable microfiber sleeves because their water-retaining ability means fewer stops to re-wet the cloth.

After washing the window, use a rubber squeegee to remove the soapy water. It doesn’t matter whether you pull the squeegee from top to bottom or side to side. What is essential is removing all the moisture and avoiding streaking. So be sure to wipe the squeegee dry on a towel between each pass.

A razor blade will help you remove paint specks and sticky residue from windows. To avoid scratching the glass, wet the window first and clean the blade’s edge between spots. For other stubborn dirt, such as tree sap or bird droppings, try scrubbing the glass with a wet non-scratch scouring sponge.

Use the right cleaning solution.

You might be surprised to learn that you don’t need expensive cleaning solutions to wash your windows. Simply adding a few drops of dish-washing liquid to a bucket of warm water will do the trick.

Should you need to wash windows in the winter, add a cup or so of rubbing alcohol to your mixture to keep the water from freezing.

Using hot water seems sensible but is counterproductive. Hot water evaporates faster in warm weather and freezes quickly in cold temperatures.

Don’t forget the corners.

After squeegeeing, even experts will have excess water left in corners and along the bottom edges. When that moisture is left undried, water spots will form, leaving your just-cleaned windows looking neglected. This tip separates the amateurs from the pros: immediately dry any excess water around the window frame with a microfiber towel.

Why a microfiber towel? Microfiber absorbs water rather than pushing it around—resulting in less streaking. What’s more, microfiber does not leave lint behind on your newly cleaned windows the way paper products and cotton rags do.

Understand what causes streaking.

In our experience, streaks occur for two primary reasons. First, the cleaning solution dries on the glass. The squeegee step of the wash-and-dry process must happen before the moisture evaporates. That’s why pros clean one window at a time from start to finish. Resist the urge to scrub several windows before squeegeeing them.

The second cause of streaks is using a dirty or nonabsorbent towel. That’s another reason we recommend drying glass using microfiber towels.

Whenever possible, avoid window cleaning on hot, sunny days because direct sunlight dries water quickly. Cloudy skies create less glare and make streaks easier to see.

If you notice streaks after just cleaning a window, here’s a pro hack you can use: Buff them away gently with a clean chalkboard eraser.

Final suggestions.

If you’re like most people, you clean your windows a couple of times a year. It’s common between cleanings for rubber squeegee blades to crack or razor blade edges to dull. Be sure to check the condition of your tools before starting a window cleaning project.

If it has been a while since you cleaned your windows, you should first remove built-up dust and dirt. Applying a cleaning solution to a dirty window creates mud on the glass that requires extra time and effort to clean.

If you try washing windows with just a bottle of spray cleaner and a roll of paper towels, you’ll end up with smeary, streak-covered glass.

Get a free quote from CorpClean for window and door cleaning.

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Where Office Germs Hide

Where Office Germs Hide

Germs hide places you might not regularly consider. When it comes to your office, those places could surprise you.

Dr. Charles Gerba is a microbiologist at the University of Arizona and one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases. His published studies are sources for frequently mentioned data regarding germs and how they spread. And, if you’re running a business, some of his findings on office cleanliness might shock you.

For example, according to Dr. Gerba’s research, the average desktop contains more bacteria than most toilet seats do. Four hundred times more, it turns out.

How can that be possible, you ask? Consider that most office restrooms receive regular cleaning and disinfecting—either by internal staff or a professional cleaning service. Then think about how infrequently you perform a deep clean on your desk.

While every item on your desktop can harbor germs, your computer keyboard may be the most menacing. You touch it constantly and hover over it while eating, drinking, coughing, and sneezing. Add your phone, coffee mug, writing instruments, and things other people transfer to it, and your workspace becomes a bacteria minefield.

Yuck! Our intention in reporting this is not to disgust you but to point out that germs hide places you might not regularly consider. Luckily for you, we know where those places are, especially when it comes to your office.

Hallways and entranceways.

People spread germs, so it reasons that high-traffic areas in your office would serve as breeding grounds for bacteria. For example, hallways and entranceways have countless germ-susceptible touchpoints—from doorknobs to elevator buttons to stairway handrails—that you cannot easily avoid.

Materials typically used in office hallway flooring, such as ceramic tiles and vinyl sheeting, contain porous grout and seams that spawn disease-causing pathogens. And those germs are easily transported from room to room on staff and visitor shoes.

Your building’s busy corridors might be clear and the floors shiny, but without meticulous cleaning, hidden germs will disseminate unchecked throughout the structure.

Shared equipment.

If you’re among the millions of people returning to the office as the pandemic slowly wanes, you’ll likely find yourself sharing equipment with coworkers again. And that means pressing start buttons on printers, copiers, fax machines, postage meters, and other highly used devices other people come in contact with every day.

Most people rarely stop to consider that office machines could be unsanitary when we touch them—or think about cleaning or disinfecting buttons that get pressed countless times each day. But research shows that one infected worker can spread a virus to 50 percent of shared office surfaces within four hours of arriving at work.

The break room.

According to Kelly Reynolds, a professor and environmental microbiologist at the University of Arizona, overnight cleaning results in office bacteria counts being lowest first thing in the morning.

The risk of coming into contact with bacteria increases as the morning goes on and people begin touching office surfaces, explains Reynolds, with contamination levels reaching their peak just in time for lunch.

And, unfortunately, the place where office workers prepare their lunches contains some of the germiest surfaces they touch daily. According to a study Dr. Gerba consulted on for Kimberly-Clark Professional, break rooms have high levels of bacteria contamination. Hotspots include handles on sink faucets, microwave and refrigerator doors, water fountains, and vending machine buttons. As a result, employees are vulnerable to illness-causing bacteria where they eat.

How we can help.

As the information about office bacteria levels reinforces, contract cleaners can play an essential role in disinfecting workplaces, but overlooking where germs hide permits hallways, break rooms, and personal workspaces to become re-contaminated quickly. Choosing the right cleaning company is vital to keeping germs at bay.

At CorpClean, we pay extra attention to high-traffic, high-touch areas. We clean common-area surfaces that people regularly touch more frequently. We use using alcohol-based, antibacterial disinfectant wipes wherever possible. And, our available Electrostatic Disinfectant Spraying kills germs and bacteria without harsh chemicals or the cross-contamination caused by many spray-and-wipe techniques.

Want help identifying where germs are hiding in your office? Contact CorpClean, and we will come and show you.

The average desktop contains more bacteria than most toilet seats do. Four hundred times more, it turns out.

Regular professional floor care helps prevent tracking office germs from room to room. Find out how.

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How Workplace Cleanliness Impacts Production

How Office Cleanliness Impacts Productivity

Your office’s appearance may be affecting your company’s productivity.

I​n November 2021, 4.5 million U.S. workers quit their jobs, continuing a historic, months-long streak of individuals abandoning the workforce. And according to a recent Joblist survey, 74 percent of full-time employees plan to quit their jobs this year. With today’s shrinking labor ranks, it’s not surprising that companies of all sizes are increasingly concerned with maximizing employee productivity.

While businesses have unique metrics for defining productivity, most understand that numerous factors influence performance and results. But in their efforts to improve productivity, business leaders can be quick to focus on efficiency and speed. They streamline procedures, alter facility layouts, and invest in technology and other resources. And they develop key performance expectations and indicators to track individual contributions.

Often overlooked are workplace environment issues that can negatively impact productivity. For example, a cluttered or unorganized office can cause distractions that reduce employee morale. And there’s evidence that workspace cleanliness plays a part in productivity.

A few years ago, researchers in the Netherlands set out to study whether clean work environments could affect the productivity of office workers. Through an online survey, the researchers asked workers from five nonprofit organizations to rate the cleanliness of their offices, their overall work satisfaction, and how they perceived their productivity. Actual cleanliness was measured by visually assessing dirt and stains on surfaces and particle counts in the ambient air.

The researchers discovered a significant correlation between office cleanliness and higher perceptions of employee productivity. As it turns out, when office workers believe their environments are clean, they report higher job satisfaction. And when they are satisfied with their jobs, employees perceive that they are being productive.

When reporting their findings, the study’s authors point out that for-profit and not-for-profit organizations tend to focus efforts on their core businesses while giving secondary processes—such as cleaning—less attention. Furthermore, companies that use outside cleaning services often choose providers by price rather than quality. As a result, office cleanliness deteriorates over time to where employees begin to notice.

Measured Versus Perceived Cleanliness

While researchers in the Netherlands study found a significant connection between measured and perceived cleanliness, measured cleanliness showed a higher relationship to productivity.

That connection suggests that an unkempt office negatively impacts productivity, whether employees perceive it or not.

An experiment conducted at Harvard University exposed undergraduate students to either a tidy or cluttered workspace. Researchers assigned the subjects a puzzle that was impossible to solve. Students in the clean environment worked steadily to crack the puzzle for an average of 18.5 minutes before quitting. In contrast, those attempting the puzzle in the cluttered space gave up after only 11 minutes.

The Havard researchers concluded that messy, unclean workplaces undermine our persistence in completing tasks and ultimately reduce productivity. Perseverance with complex tasks is a sign of self-regulation. And dirty work environments affect our sense of personal control and, in turn, affect our self-regulation abilities.

Hiring a Commercial Cleaning Service Can Help

One way to maintain a clean office environment is to hire a professional commercial cleaning service. Because your company’s needs will differ from other businesses, choosing a service that can customize a program for you is essential. The vendor should provide options for when they clean your office (during or after your business hours) and how often (i.e., daily, weekly, monthly).

It’s also valuable to know how your cleaning service controls quality and measures customer satisfaction. Ideally, a provider will utilize inspection software that allows them to assess the consistency of their service against industry metrics.

 

Given productivity’s impact on profitability and team member satisfaction, business leaders must understand the various workplace dynamics at play. A clean workplace can lead to more satisfied employees and improved performance results.

When office workers believe their environments are clean, they report higher job satisfaction. And when they are satisfied with their jobs, employees perceive that they are being productive.

We specialize in creating customized cleaning schedules and services.

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How Clean is Your Business? Six Habits of Spotless Companies

How Clean is Your Business? Six Habits of Spotless Companies

Whereas an orderly office reflects disciplined neatness, a sparkling workspace gives a squeaky-clean, healthy impression.

If yours is like most businesses, your workplace appears relatively clean at first glance. Things seem tidy and uncluttered, and most surfaces are free of dirt or dust. Simply put, there is nothing conspicuously unclean about your company. But there is also nothing noticeably clean about it, either.

You might consider things clean enough. But can ‘clean enough’ ever be good enough these days?

In a pandemic-focused world, those working in or visiting your business are looking for assurances that your space is clean and sanitary. But, whereas an orderly office reflects disciplined neatness, a sparkling workspace gives a squeaky-clean, healthy impression.

With that in mind, here are six habits that the cleanest companies follow that set their work environments apart from others.

Habit 1: They keep their floors immaculately clean.

Your building’s floors are often the first thing visitors notice. Dull or discolored hard-surface flooring and stained or worn carpet can negatively influence your building’s image. On the other hand, shiny, pristine floors make a favorable initial impression.

Stopping dirt at entrances is the first step to keeping floors clean. Placing floor mats at every door, indoors and out, will help keep people from tracking in outside elements.

Routine wet mopping and vacuuming will keep dirt off your floors. But that’s not enough. Regularly scheduled professional floor care is needed to protect hard surfaces from discoloration, wax build-up, peeling, and scratches and keep carpets looking and smelling clean.

Habit 2: They clean their glass doors and windows often.

Before visitors enter your business, your building’s glass doors and windows make a statement. Grimy or fingerprint-smudged doors and dirty windows indicate that your company has little concern about its image or the comfort of its clients.

Washing glass usually involves scrubbing the surface with a wet sponge and cleaning solution and using a squeegee to remove the water. Drying the squeegee between passes will help prevent streaking, and wiping around window edges with a soft cloth will keep water spots from forming.

PRO TIP: Squeegee up and down on one side of the window and left and right on the other. Then, if any streaks form, their direction will indicate whether they’re outside or inside.

Over time, built-up dirt can etch into a window’s glass, causing permanent scratches and costly damage. Spotless companies thoroughly clean their windows—inside and out—monthly and spray-and-wipe fingerprints and smudges at least weekly.

Habit 3: They manage their trash effectively.

According to the EPA, the average American produces almost five pounds of trash each day—much of it at work. Multiply that by the number of employees in your company, and you have a lot of trash to manage.

Whether it’s discarded paperwork, cardboard packing materials, empty coffee cups, or leftover food, your business produces garbage that can quickly pile up and overrun your workspace. In many cases, you can set up a recycling program for much of your company’s trash.

While waste management companies provide outdoor dumpster rentals with regularly scheduled pickup, someone needs to collect the trash from individual work areas. Professional office cleaners typically make internal trash collection part of every scheduled visit.

Habit 4: They disinfect their buildings regularly.

There has never been a more critical time to keep businesses free of bacteria, viruses, mold, allergens, and odors. Electrostatic disinfectant spraying has been proven effective in killing germs and bacteria and is safe to use around people. The EPA has approved electrostatic disinfectant spraying for use against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Electrostatic spraying is bleach-free, phosphate-free, free of harsh chemicals and skin irritants, and hypo-allergenic. It kills mold and mildew at the source and can prevent mold regrowth on tile and other building materials for up to seven months.

Habit 5: They set company-wide expectations.

Spotless businesses make cleanliness a part of their company cultures. As a result, they hold each other accountable for keeping their work environments clean. Everyone has a role to play, whether it’s keeping individual desks and workstations uncluttered or helping to maintain a germ-free kitchen.

Habit 6: They establish and follow a cleaning schedule.

Depending on the cleaning duty, the cleanest businesses follow regular schedules—such as vacuuming daily, cleaning windows monthly, or steam cleaning carpeting quarterly. The best professional cleaning services can customize a program that meets your company’s specific needs. What’s more, they can often provide their services for less cost than your internal staff.

You might consider things clean enough. But can ‘clean enough’ ever be good enough these days?

Companies that care about cleanliness choose CorpClean.

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Is Your Office’s Appearance Making a Good First Impression?

Is Your Office’s Appearance Making a Good First Impression?

Initial impressions are important because, as the adage says, you never get a second chance to make a first one.

Among the various challenges facing business owners these days, maintaining a tidy work environment might seem trivial. But an office’s cleanliness is often a direct reflection of how the company operates.

A clean office says the company cares about quality and satisfaction, which is the common objective of successful businesses. On the other hand, a poorly kept office space gives the impression that the company is unconcerned about its image, employees, and customers.

Fairly or not, first impressions matter. They can set the tone for the business relationships that follow. With that in mind, here is what the state of your office might be saying about your company.

Your company pays attention to details.

A well-maintained office environment tells guests that your business is detail-orientated and quality-minded. As a result, current and would-be customers recognize that your company leaves nothing to chance when conducting business.

At the same time, visitors notice when your reception area, conference rooms, and restrooms need cleaning. They recognize fingerprint smudges on entryway doors and windows, dust on tables and desks, and unvacuumed floors as indicators of inattention. They’ll wonder, if your company ignores the presentation of its office, how much detail does it apply to its work?

Your company has everything under control.

Office neatness is essential to keeping clients and employees assured about your company’s capabilities. An orderly office tells customers that you do business the same way. In comparison, an unkempt office creates an impression of chaos and neglect and informs potential clients that you cannot care for your space—much less a new client.

In the minds of many customers, an office’s appearance directly reflects how a business operates. Potential clients might very well change their minds about conducting business with a company that seemingly struggles to keep its office clean.

Your company cares about its employees.

Employers are responsible for providing team members with a clean and well-maintained workspace. An untidy office is a turnoff for current and prospective employees alike. Existing workers will dismiss a company’s claims to care about their needs when management overlooks dirty working conditions. For their part, job applicants will struggle to see the company as a productive or stimulating work environment.

In the Covid era, a glaring reason for keeping offices clean is to reduce the risk of infections. Office spaces can be breeding grounds for various germs. Daily cleaning and disinfecting can significantly diminish the chance of spreading illnesses and help employees remain healthy.

Employees spend significant amounts of time at work, so you should make efforts to keep them comfortable while doing their jobs. Providing a well-maintained work environment allows employees to be productive and happy.

Your company is successful.

Many people associate a company’s work environment with the overall quality of its products and services. What’s more, a tidy office sends the message that a company is prosperous and flourishing. The benefits of those impressions are immeasurable.

An unmaintained workplace can leave clients wondering whether the company is worthy of their business.

Summary

A clean office space instills confidence and engenders trust, leaving employees and guests with the impression that your company cares about its brand and team. Of course, maintaining that impression takes work.

Most businesses contract with professional office cleaning services rather than tasking their employees with cleaning duties. Top commercial cleaning companies provide a wide range of services. For example, CorpClean maintains lobbies, workstations, restrooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, showrooms, cafeterias, and more.

Professional cleaning companies let you choose how often they clean your office—with options such as daily, weekly, or multiple times each week—and whether they clean after or during your regular business hours.

Your office’s appearance speaks volumes about your business. A clean workplace gives visitors the impression that your company is professional, detail-oriented, responsible, successful, and worthy of their trust.

A clean office says the company cares about quality and satisfaction, which is the common objective of successful businesses.

Creating customizable cleaning schedules and services is our specialty.

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What to Ask When Choosing an Office Cleaning Service

What to Ask When Choosing an Office Cleaning Service

How to determine which commercial cleaning service is the right fit for your business.

Hiring new team members for your business demands thoroughness and care. You likely have go-to interview questions you ask job candidates when considering their qualifications. So why not apply that same due diligence when selecting a commercial cleaning service?

You should, of course, ask potential cleaning vendors how much their services cost, along with typical questions about experience, licensing, and insurance. And you will want to request a list of references. Indeed, the answers to those common inquiries can help you determine whether prospective providers meet the minimum requirements for professional cleaning companies. But they won’t explain how the cleaning service will satisfy your specific needs.

Here’s a list of questions intended to help you best determine whether a cleaning service is a good fit for your company.

Do you specialize in cleaning specific business types or facility sizes?

Cleaning services often have particular niches or sweet spots they fill, which can work to your advantage. Companies heavy on experience with physicians’ offices or schools, for example, are familiar with the specific cleaning needs of those facilities. And some companies might be best staffed to service buildings of particular sizes or ranges, such as 10,000 to 100,000 square feet. You’ll want to find a commercial cleaning service well suited for your situation.

How flexible is your scheduling?

Whether it means cleaning after or during your regular business hours, a commercial cleaning service must be able to work around your schedule—not the other way around. Ask about a customized program that allows you to stipulate the service level you want, such as daily, weekly, or monthly service, to address your specific needs.

How do you ensure your service quality?

Professional cleaning companies have long relied on customer feedback to gauge perceived service quality and customer satisfaction. But today’s business leaders expect vendors to measure their actual results. Therefore, top companies now employ industry metrics and inspection software to assess the consistency of their service. Make sure a vendor can adequately track and respond to any quality issues that arise.

Do you use subcontractors to provide any of your services?

It’s common for vendors to outsource some of the services they provide, especially during today’s labor shortage. Subcontracting often results in economies of scale that vendors share with customers through lower prices. However, if a cleaning company says it uses subcontractors, it’s good to ask this follow-up: How do you ensure the quality of the services you outsource? Whether a cleaning vendor’s services are self-provided or subcontracted, you should expect its quality standards to remain unchanged.

What type of cleaning products do you use?

High-traffic business settings can become prone to dirt and germs that are too tough for household cleaners to tackle. But some commercial-grade cleaning and disinfecting products are toxic or corrosive, posing potential risks to your staff. Ask would-be cleaning vendors about the supplies they use. While proven effective against germs and viruses, products should be EPA-approved and free of bleach, phosphates, and other harsh chemicals.

How do you screen your employees?

Your cleaning company’s employees will be inside your business, so you want to ensure they are trustworthy. After-hours cleaners will have access to keys and alarm codes, proprietary information, and inventory. Many cleaning companies perform criminal background checks on new hires and periodic illegal substance screening on active employees to protect their clients. Ask what steps the vendor takes to keep its employees from endangering your business or its reputation.

Are you more than a cleaning company?

Some successful cleaning companies offer services beyond janitorial work. Full-service facility management and maintenance companies repair heating and air conditioning systems, handle lightbulb replacement, perform lawn care, and much more. And many will create a preventative maintenance schedule that’s appropriate for your facility. Be sure to ask what else your cleaning vendor can do for you.

Hiring new team members for your business demands thoroughness and care. So why not apply that same due diligence when selecting a commercial cleaning service?

We offer commercial cleaning services throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Creating customizable schedules and services is our specialty.

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