2019 date made of wooden numbers

With Christmas firmly behind us, forget about the festivities, the mince pies and the mulled wine. It’s time to adjust back to normality. Why not embrace the New Year with an office blitz and an energy switch-up to kick 2019 off to a good start. Here are 10 recommendations to get you going.

  1. First off, get rid of the Christmassy atmosphere – glitter is so last year! Fold away that sad looking Christmas tree and return it to the cupboard ready for next December. De-tinsel the office and ditch the decorations. Take down all the Christmas cards and put them in the recycling.
  2. Why not start the year with fresh energy in a nice clean office? If your premises are stale, grubby and uninspiring, you’d be surprised at the difference a thorough office clean can make. Ask Apple Clean about carpets, curtains and upholstery cleaning, stain removal and more.
  3. Check the kitchen for leftover mince pies, chocolate liqueurs and half-empty bottles of Baileys. No-one will thank you if you hand them around the office now that everyone is on a January detox. Better still, invest in new, healthy additions to your office kitchen. A water cooler? Daily fresh fruit for everyone? A juicer?
  4. Ban Christmas jumpers and novelty gifts, festive tunes, cinnamon scented candles and anything else you can think of that doesn’t belong in the New Year. You’re looking forward, not back. And while you’re at it, take down the 2018 wall calendar and get out the 2019 diaries and motivational pictures to inspire everyone at work to look to the year ahead.
  5. Take a good look around the office and ask yourself honestly: is the environment conducive to working at maximum efficiency and productivity? Does it exude an air of calm professionalism? It’s always easier to see after a few days away from the workspace. If the area is littered with defunct IT equipment, storage boxes full of papers or other detritus that doesn’t belong there, you should think about decluttering.
  6. Similarly, it’s a good discipline to start the year with a tidy desk and work space. Spend just an hour this week to get organised and you will reap the rewards for the next 12 months. The same goes for your computer – now is a good time to sort out your inbox and your hard drive, back up your files and streamline your filing system.
  7. Now that you can see clearly, think about adding positive accents to your office that can make all the difference between dreading or looking forward to a day’s work. Fresh flowers or house plants perhaps? New keyboard? Spotify Premium? No matter how small these touches are, they can be immensely motivating to you and the rest of the staff.
  8. Spread a little happiness. Be nice to your colleagues. Take some time out to have a catch-up chat, ask about their Christmas and exchange holiday news. It doesn’t take long to reconnect with colleagues and re-establish the bond that holds the office together.
  9. Thinking of office morale, how about planning something the whole team can look forward to? A corporate day out in the summer perhaps? Charity engagements? Training and career development opportunities? Some companies opt to have their annual dinner in January – without the crackers and silly hats of course.
  10. New Year’s resolutions aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but goal setting in a work context is certainly worth doing. Whether you have an HR department to organise this for/with your executives or you simply all sit around the board table and talk about your plans for the year ahead, now is a good time to re-engage every member of your team. Time to focus and get back to work.

At Apple Clean, we wish all our customers a happy and prosperous 2019.

Written on January 7, 2019 ·

3D Furnished House Interior

We all want to live in a home that’s hygienic and smells fresh – but do you know where to look for hidden dirt? Let’s take a look at the four key areas in the home to see where most of the dirt harbours, and what you can do about it.

1 – Kitchen

While the kitchen is likely to be the busiest room in the house, it is probably also the dirtiest. All the elements for bacterial growth such as heat, moisture and food are present, ready to do their worst if you let them.

Think of how germs get spread from handling raw meat to storing unwashed fruit and veg, plus the germs on surfaces on the worktop, in the sink, on cupboard handles and utensils, even in the fridge. Does everyone in your family wash their hands when they come into the kitchen? If not, they should!

In order to keep your family safe and healthy, keeping your kitchen hygienically clean should be your number one priority.

2 – Bathroom

Bodily functions and personal hygiene routines performed in the bathroom means that some bacteria will linger after every use. This affects not just obvious places such as the toilet seat, but light switches, door knobs and taps too.

Disinfecting wipes are a good idea for daily protection while the sink should be wiped every day. Hand towels should be changed every other day while bath mats and towels should be washed in hot water at least once a week. Don’t neglect toothbrush holders and cups; they should be cleaned thoroughly on a weekly basis.

For bathroom mats, rugs or carpet that can’t be put in the washing machine, get professional cleaners in at least 4 times a year.

3 – Living areas

Wherever the family gathers – living rooms, TV room, study – hidden dirt and bacteria will accumulate. Just think about every surface that gets touched – from door handles to light switches, computer keyboards and remote control devices. Make sure everything gets wiped down with a disinfectant wipe every day, and that if anyone has a cold they clean up after themselves.

Upholstery is another breeding ground for bacteria from unwashed hands, sneezes, pet hair, unwashed feet, outdoor shoes…. Did you know that many types of bacteria can live for several days on surfaces such as these?

Sofas, armchairs and other upholstery should be vacuumed at least once a week, including underneath and between cushions where food debris and pet hair can linger for longer. Apply a deodorising spray for a fresh scent.

Seek professional upholstery cleaning help at least twice a year for routine maintenance and to keep your furniture and furnishings looking better for longer.

4 – Bedrooms

Bedrooms can be a haven for fungus, bacteria, mites and insects – and most of these can be found right in your bed! Make sure you wash your bedding and bedlinen often to avoid problems such as skin irritation and eczema, fungal and bacterial infections, allergies and respiratory issues.

Bedlinen should be changed at least once a week and washed in the machine – the ‘clean’ smell will tell you all you need to know. If you’ve ever pulled clean bedlinen from the cupboard only to find that they smell stale, it’s an indication that body oil and soil residue is still in the fabric fibres.

Bedding such as pillows and mattresses should be encased in removable, washable and allergy proof covers to combat potential dust mite infestation.

For professional, friendly advice on any home cleaning requirement and a no-obligation quote, Jonathon at Apple Clean is always happy to help. Why not send us a brief message with your enquiry, or call us on 0800 587 4571.

Written on October 26, 2018 ·

Bathroom with a huge pink carpet

The bathroom is one place in your home where cleanliness and hygiene are non-negotiable so that a healthy environment is maintained for all the family. Like the kitchen, it should be cleaned frequently to prevent problems that can be caused by water or moisture, leading to potentially harmful germs and mould.

If you have a rug or carpet in your bathroom, you need to be particularly attentive, with a regular washing or cleaning regime to protect your family. We dealt with fitted bathroom carpets in our last blog, so this time let’s focus on rugs and mats.

It goes without saying that different carpets may require different kinds of treatment, so it’s a good idea to be vigilant.

  • If your carpet is in frequent use, and is damp a lot of the time, you should wash it every week. Mould and mildew can grow easily in moist conditions.
  • Check the care label on the rug to see if it is machine washable. If so, wash it either on its own or together with some towels to balance the load.
  • After machine washing, leave your bathroom carpets and rugs to air dry. An outdoor washing line on a sunny day is best.
  • Unless the care label says otherwise, you can also tumble dry heavy bath mats and rugs. However, those with rubber backing and adhesives should not be machine dried.
  • Rubber backed rugs or carpets need careful handling and shouldn’t be washed in hot temperatures, since the rubber backing will deteriorate more quickly. Wash once every few weeks in cold water.
  • Oriental rugs can look striking but use with care since these floor coverings are not made for a bathroom environment. Vacuum and air regularly and get them cleaned professionally.

Finally, we’ve put together three handy, quick and effective deodorising tips that you can use between washing to keep on top of nasty bathroom smells in your carpet:

  1. Mix white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio and decant into a spray bottle. Apply to any smelly areas, leave to dry for a few minutes, then clean with warm water.
  2. Mix water and fresh lemon juice in a ratio of 1:1 and apply to the affected carpet area. Leave for 15 minutes and clean with a sponge. You’ll be left with nothing but a lovely citrusy aroma.
  3. Sprinkle some baking soda onto the rug or carpet and leave overnight. In the morning, apply some white vinegar and wash the area with warm water.

For professional advice on rug cleaning and carpet cleaning anywhere in your home, along with a free instant quote, please contact Jonathan at Apple Clean on 0800 587 4571.

Written on October 19, 2018 ·

Red carpet in bright bathroom

Fitted carpet in the bathroom was all the rage in back in the 1970s and 1980s – but much less so now. That said, many homeowners quite like the idea of having a soft floor coverings underfoot, particularly when you’re stepping out of the bath or shower. The additional luxury and indulgence this brings is not to be underestimated.

Are bathroom carpets practical?

What’s more, in homes with small children or elderly relatives, putting fitted carpet in your bathroom may offer additional peace of mind as far as slip and trip hazards are concerned – no more wet and slippery floors means fewer post-bath falls! While you need to think carefully whether you like the idea and the look of a carpeted bathroom, there are certainly plenty of special carpet collections and extensive product choice available to suit any interior bathroom scheme. If you like your creature comforts, a soft, warm and fluffy carpet may just be the perfect finishing touch to a blissful bathroom!

What about hygiene?

Unlike bathmats and scatter rugs, a professionally fitted wall-to-wall carpet is a permanent fixture in the room. This is not an issue in a living room or bedroom, but bathrooms are high moisture environments and need special consideration. If you’re not careful, mould, mildew and bacteria can build up after prolonged exposure, with potentially unpleasant consequences. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have carpet in your bathroom, it simply means it’s crucial to select a product that is fit for purpose, designed to meet the specific requirements of your bathroom.

How to choose the right bathroom carpet

Bathroom carpets must be stain resistant to cope with everyday wear and tear, and should ideally have a waterproof backing to protect the subfloor from any potential damage. Should the worst happen, a concrete subfloor will be more forgiving than timber floorboards. Choose manmade materials such as 100% nylon, polyester, PTT or polypropylene for your carpet, and avoid natural materials such as wool. Look for low pile carpets that absorb less moisture and dry faster. Carpet squares are a good idea because you can replace individual pieces as required.

Keeping it clean

When it comes to mould and mildew, water is not the only culprit. Interestingly, studies have shown that clean carpets are less prone to developing mould than dirty carpets, even when subjected to the same levels of moisture. Regular carpet cleaning is the best way to keep your bathroom carpet hygienically clean, while helping to prolong its lifespan. In between professional cleans, place a bathmat on top of your fitted bathroom carpet near baths and showers. That way, there’s an additional protective layer to catch most of the water from anyone stepping out of the bath or shower.

For friendly advice on anything to do with carpet cleaning, whether in bathrooms or elsewhere in the home, please feel free to give Apple Clean a call on 0800 587 4571.

Written on September 26, 2018 ·

cleaning a beige sofa

Even if you’re careful with your upholstered furniture and take good care of it, accidents can and do invariably happen. When you suddenly spot a fresh stain or watermark on a sofa or armchair, it can seem like the end of the world at first – but it doesn’t have to be.

Here’s Apple Clean’s 4-Step Guide on how to remove a watermark stain on upholstered furniture, or at least reduce its appearance.

1 – Prepare the area

Sanitising the affected area carefully before you start the cleaning process should be the first step. Give it a thorough hoover to remove any dust or food particles, dry skin residue, pet hairs etc, and ideally use a lint roller as well to make sure everything is completely clean. Obviously, you should first check that the material is suitable for vacuum cleaning, so as not to cause any damage to delicate fabrics.

2 – Dab and rub gently

Once the area is as clean as possible, you can start to tackle the watermark stain. Take a soft cloth dampened in cold water and start to gently dab and rub at the stain. Work slowly and carefully and always according to the manufacturers’ instructions – there should be a care label on the furniture. While some fabrics are more hardwearing than others, it’s best to be gentle, particularly if you’re dealing with watermarks as opposed to other types of stain removal.

3 – Work from the outside in

Dab and rub gently and in a circular motion, working from the outside of the water stain, towards the centre. That way, you will stop the stain from spreading further, concentrating your cleaning efforts around the original watermark. If all you are trying to remove is a watermark as opposed to cleaning up a stain, clean water may be all you need.

4 – Dry off the area

Once the cleaning process is complete, take a stack of paper towels and place them on top of the wetted area. Put something heavy, say 2-3 hardback books, on top or press down firmly with your hands, to apply pressure. When most of the moisture has been absorbed from the freshly cleaned fabric, use a hairdryer on a cold setting to dry the area off completely.

In case the watermark hasn’t completely gone, remoisten the area and repeat the process. With care, time and patience, it should come out.

At Apple Clean, we offer a range of professional upholstery cleaning services to ensure that your home stays hygienically clean and looking fresh at all times.  Our experienced team of operatives can deal with watermarks and stain removal on three piece suites, settees, armchairs and any other upholstered furniture. If you’re struggling to remove a stain or watermark yourself, or would rather not have a go yourself and let a professional deal with it, give us a call today on 0800 587 4571.

Written on August 31, 2018 ·