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Tag : general office cleaning

To Scrub or Not to Scrub: Why TotalCare’s True Love Isn’t Actually Cleaning 

‘I contacted TotalCare to assist me with the completion of a tight (refrigeration) maintenance schedule. This was a success: it is safe to say that I am very pleased with the results. They took ownership over their responsibility, allowing me to get on with my own important tasks. I will continue to use them, and would happily endorse them.’

– Greg Lindley, ColdService Ltd

Recent Cooling Post Article: http://www.coolingpost.com/uk-news/bradley-comes-clean-with-new-service/

This might surprise you, but cleaning isn’t our passion. It’s part of what we do, of course: wherever human beings live or work, we create dirt and chaos that must be resolved into cleanliness and order. But anyone can mop your floor or shampoo your office carpet. We’re interested in more than that: we want to promote long-term solutions that will preserve system, facility and human health. The continuing health and happiness of your workforce. The preservation of your equipment to keep it working efficiently and well. A workspace that protects and provides for your employers. We believe that clean conditions, smooth-running equipment and healthy, comfortable inhabitants make a business really soar; a house feel like a proper home.
That’s why we employ Hygienists, not cleaners.

We want our services to make a tangible difference to the way you live and work. So we invest in the latest equipment and technologies, keeping abreast of developments in the industry. And putting the customer first means starting with our own employees.

Every one of our Hygienists is part of our core ethos, from the very beginning of their career. Each has undergone specialised training courses, then shadowed a senior Hygienist before joining a team. As a company we cover domestic, commercial and specialist cleaning and hygiene services – everything from gardens to windows to carpets to fridges, in homes and offices large and small –there’s a lot to learn. We run a strong mentoring programme to keep developing individuals’ talents, and a continuing incentive scheme to recognise outstanding contributions. Everyone is employed full-time on a secure contract, and we are proud to support the living wage for all our staff.

Our theory was that happy Hygienists would make for happy customers. Once we’d put all these systems in place, we found we had motivated, passionate employees who care just as much about your health and happiness as you do.

So when I call TotalCare Hygiene Services and book a session, what can I expect?

Do you have a garden or grounds to spruce up? An office space to sanitise? Toddler-stained carpets to rescue? Congratulations: we’ve got Hygienists ready to help you! Each of our teams is comprised of a trainee, a supervisor and a senior. They are trained in a workflow we call PAC: preparation, where the job is thoroughly assessed, planned and prepared for; application, where each team member is delegated an individual task that will receive their full attention; and confirmation, where every job is checked personally by an appointed supervisor before completion.

We’ll ensure you’re fully informed at every stage. After the initial assessment, we’ll explain what needs to be done, how we’ll achieve it and how long we expect it to take. If anything unexpected comes up during the task, you’ll be the first to know. And once we’ve finished, we’ll take you through what’s been done to make sure you’re satisfied with the results.

What if I’m not satisfied?

We try very hard to make sure you will be! But in case you’re not, our guarantee means that we’ll return quickly and at no extra cost to resolve any problems.

If you’re interested in any of our services, we’d love you to contact us via our website. Let’s make your long-term health and comfort our business: one team of happy Hygienists at a time.

It’s Time We Said No to our Cold-Weather Invaders: How Daily Hygiene Protects Your Family At Home

 

It’s autumn at last – and we’ve got woolly jumpers, hot drinks, falling leaves and roaring fires firmly back on our agenda. Unfortunately, something much less pleasant arrives alongside school terms and chilly weather: a virtual army of bugs, viruses and other nasties, ready to attack our bodies.

 

If you have children, chances are they’ve already spent a couple of days at home with a start-of-term bug. Children are especially prone to picking up cold-weather viruses, both because their immune systems are less robust than an adult’s, and because they often forget the simple hygienic practises that reduce the spread of infection.

 

But are they the only ones?

 

According to the microbiologist Professor Sally Bloomfield (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)[1], the person you’re most likely to get infected by is yourself; after that, the other people in your home. Sneezing and coughing, using the toilet or handling a pet without washing your hands afterwards – particularly if you then handle food – are easy ways for germs to spread within families. A 2007 survey by the Hygiene Council found that up to two-thirds of Britons don’t always follow basic hygiene: an astonishing and worrying proportion, especially with the rise of antibiotic-resistant superbugs in homes and hospitals. It’s also estimated that 40% of reported food-related outbreaks of infection in Europe occur in our own kitchens.

 

How do the microorganisms spread?

 

Partly by physical contact – but more often, by one person leaving bacteria on a surface, which is then touched by another. 40% of rhinoviruses (a common cold-causing virus) are infectious on hands for up to an hour…but viruses on non-porous surfaces, such as door handles and worktops, can last at least six hours, and sometimes more than a day[2]. In 2014[3], a team from the University of Arizona placed a Norovirus substitute on a single office door handle, and found it had spread to light switches, table tops, coffee pot handles, taps, phones and computer equipment throughout the entire building, between two and eight hours later.

 

So what can we do to stay healthy this season?

 

As the NHS LiveWell website reminds us: ‘Healthcare workers now realise the home has a critical role in the fight against infectious diseases’. Personal hygiene is vital, of course, but so is the cleanliness of our home. Clean and hygienic surroundings will protect ourselves and our families, particularly those most vulnerable to infection.

 

However, between work, school and other commitments, we know that cleaning often gets pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s why our domestic cleaning serviceis one of our favourites: we feel it’s something that can really benefit ordinary families, in tangible and important ways.

 

Just think about it: we’ll take our usual thorough approach and deep-clean all those hard-to-reach areas you never get round to. Our trained Hygienists use only professional equipment, and are carefully assessed every time to make sure we’ve done the best possible job. You’ll be able to come home from a long day and not worry about how the house looks; instead, more time for family, commitments, and hobbies, while we maintain a consistent cleanliness that will make your life easier, healthier and more enjoyable.

 

You might think that you don’t deserve a cleaner – or perhaps that you can’t afford one. We believe that everyone deserves to live in a home they enjoy, regardless of their circumstances. And we offer cost savings to regular customers, so it’s always worth dropping us an email to see what we can do.

Let us help you stay virus-free this season– after all, who wants to spend autumn sniffling in bed, when there’s so much else to enjoy?

[1]http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/how-clean-is-your-home.aspx

[2]http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/how-long-do-bacteria-and-viruses-live-outside-the-body.aspx

[3]http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/a-virus-can-spread-around-an-entire-building-within-just-hours-of-contaminating-one-surface-9720988.html

When Cleaning Marriages Go Wrong: Common Cleaner Complaints, and Our Solutions

 

‘About us’ Flyer

 

Whether Office, Domestic or Industrial cleaning serves, these basic rules apply to across the board. We live by these. Read on to find out more…and then call us for a quote:

Does everyone deserve a cleaner, if they want one? We think so. It can be hard for a businesses and families to hire a cleaning service, despite the high level of available service providers. Some might have the feeling like it’s an unnecessary luxury, or somehow a poor reflection on them. But the simple truth is that our lives are busy and often stressful, with increasing number of daily tasks to accomplish  within the working day and with many other demands to consider. If we can make a customer’s day easier, improve general hygiene standards and freeing up time to allow our customers to focus without added stress, then this is a marriage made in heaven. We feel this is what we bring to the relationship.

That’s why we hate to hear of cleaning stories gone wrong. If a customer has put in time and expense to find a cleaning service, it’s a real shame when that relationship sours. When we began TotalCare Hygiene Services, we spent some time researching common complaints and turned these into strengths – this could explain our 5 star reviews.

Here’s what we found.

First – and this goes without saying, really – cleaning is a personal service. A customer’s home, workspace and social areas are safe spaces: it reflects who they are and what’s important to them. Letting a stranger in can be stressful! Customers, more than anything, want to feel that you understand and respect their needs and can carry out their wishes.

When things go wrong, it’s usually because this basic premise has been undermined.

Time management and ‘getting your money’s worth’

Some customers report finding their cleaner on the phone, talking to friends, or scoring in the janitors cupboard, during designated cleaning hours.

Other workers do not stay for the whole allotted time, but appear to ‘rush through’ the job as quickly as possible, in order to leave early.

Sometimes the customer feels like important tasks have been ‘skimmed over’, with more time spent on less important areas.

Safety and communication

Sometimes a cleaner has invited others to help with the cleaning, without notifying the client, whether or not these people are authenticated or professionally monitored. This feels unsafe and inappropriate to a client who has opened their home – It is true that some circumstances may occur where cleaners are unavailable, due to sickness or other issues, however and open and honest approach goes a long way.

Customers report that workers do not notify them about changes in schedule – whether in personnel, date and time changes, or even which cleaning tasks can be covered on which day. From the cleaner’s perspective, these changes are often out of their control and cannot be prevented – but poor communication has made the situation worse.

Many problems arise when the customer and the worker have not fully communicated their expectations. Some workers feel they are creating a strong customer relationship when they stop to chat, or play with the family pet – whereas the customer may see this as wasting valuable time. Other miscommunications may include the customer not understanding how long a task will take or how much it should cost, a worker not prioritising the customer’s most important requests, or expected standards of cleanliness not being met.

Professionalism and quality control

A common complaint is that, after a while, cleaning standards drop. The employee is no longer motivated, poorly remunerated, or given inadequate feedback.

Just because someone cleans their own home well, doesn’t qualify them to uphold the standards of a professional service. We employ Hygienists, because we train them in all aspects regarding the prices they offer, from the method to the theoretical.

Cleaners often appear to have a short shelf life: cleaning companies sometimes have a high turnover or send a different cleaner every week, meaning there is no opportunity for consistency and long-term relationships.

So what have we learned?

Here are our three key priorities:

Communication. Right from the beginning, it’s vital that expectations are communicated and understood on both sides. The customer needs to understand what they can expect for the price they are willing to pay, and the hygienist needs to know what the customer’s priorities are, and how best to meet them.

Consistency. Whenever possible, the same hygienist should be sent to the same customer. Any necessary changes should be communicated promptly and transparently. Long-term relationships of trust can be established, and expectations met.

Investment. Our hygienists are not temporary, under-valued or left to their own devices. For the sake of their motivation and the customer’s satisfaction, we invest in them and their future. Training and mentoring programmes, incentive schemes, continual feedback and quality control: it all helps to keep our standards high and our employees – and customers – happy.

It’s what we’re here for, after all, isn’t it?

Want to find out more about TotalCare’s domestic cleaning services? Contact us here.

 

Fast Drying vs Slow Drying

Just as with many things, each and every item has its advantages and disadvantages. This is the same with carpet cleaning. The first and most important is the consistency in stain removal.

Stain removal can be a hard and complex science. There isn’t a once size fits all scenario, this is because of the pH level of different substance that are drop, leaked, trodden onto the fabric. Choosing the right chemical solution and method for removing the stain is skilled job and in many cases experience wins.

The most common carpet and upholstery cleaning methods are:

  1. Bonneting – A heated (Damp) pad is used in conjunction with a slow rpm rotary machine. The pad softens the fibres and lifts dirt off the surface. Low to medium pile carpets, the likes of which found in offices, hotels and public areas, benefit from this system. Other benefits include: Fast drying, low noise, more efficient turnaround.
  2. Extraction – An Extraction wand with jets force cleaning chemical under pressure deep into the carpet pile. At the same time, as the extraction wand is moved over the carpet while powerful vacuums evacuate the moisture. Measuring the moisture level both before and after ensures the minimum amount of liquid remains in the carpet. Benefits of this cleaning are: deeper clean in between the fibres, ideal for heavily soiled carpets, removes deeper darker stains.

Extraction takes longer to dry. Bonneting is faster drying. The balancing act for any expert is matching the quality expectation vs drying expectation. The longer and slower isn’t always the best step forward, as more moisture introduced the carpet will take longer to dry. Less moisture may not remove most stains.

Both have there uses. Both can be used in combination each other. The nature of the clients expectations, operations and quality expectation will determine which is best suited to the job. An expert carpet cleaning provider should offer multiple options to get the best results.

Stain removal is a complex task. The general rule for successful stain removal is time. The faster one can react more likely the stain can be removed. Simply cleaning it with either of the above method after a long period isn’t enough. The correct steps in line with the correct chemical choice is key, but again speedy reactions will prove the most successful.

The client should also not hold its vendor to ransom, if certain stains are not removed…there something’s outside of everyone’s control.

External Condensers for Convenience Store Refrigeration Plant

Lime scale chocked condenser…no problem!

TotalCare works with operators and contractors in solving problems with contaminated on refrigeration heat exchangers.

TotalCare was called to attend a site inspection of some large condenser coils situated on top of known supermarket. The coil being covered in lime scale kept tripping due to high pressure, resulting in the unit switching itself off – The possible losses of food revenues would have cost 1000s – Luckily with our trained eye, TotalCare team showed how the issue was caused by the lime scale and demonstrated the right method on removing the cause without compromising the integrity of aluminium coil.

Final Score

Lime Scale 0 – TotalCare 1

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Air conditioning coil cleaning in retail and cafe environments.

Contaminated AC = COST £££

Every environment may have different types of airborne dirt. A coastal environment, one would expect to find higher concentrations of salt. An office may have printer inks, moisture, paper and fabric fibres. A salon you will find hair and proteins from lotions and hair sprays. All of these contaminants, overtime, will find their way into both refrigeration and air conditioning systems.

Both types of cooling systems circulate air through a refrigerated coil, which is designed to remove heat energy from the environment. Airborne particulates follow the circulating air and are then drawn into the unit. Dirt begins to collect and clog the coil and filter (if fitted).

A dirty heat exchanger, if left untreated, could see energy costs increase by up-to 36%. Other related issues around poorly maintained coils include:

System refrigerant leaks

Higher energy costs

Higher tax on climate change levy’s

System repair

Component failure

Drain blockages

Ice build-up

Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) helps to

Other benefits may also be enjoyed, such as improved Indoor Air Quality fewer particulates in the air and a reduction in potential cross contamination.

Cleaning the filter isn’t enough, it will help, but dirt can find its way into all surfaces within a AC and Fridge.

TotalCare supports refrigeration contractors in the delivery of their PPM contracts.

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