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Is it safe to hire home cleaning services while you are living through a pandemic? We have some ideas to help you decide.
Our concerns regarding safety have evolved, and not for the better!
Since the pandemic, we’ve all been struck with a new sense of hesitation in doing many things that we wouldn’t second guess before 2020, especially when it comes to letting anyone but family into our homes.
What if we are able to adapt? Certain measures can be taken to keep you and your family virus-free while continuing to use your home cleaning services.
Let’s dive in.
5 Points to Consider for Cleaning Service in your Home
If you’re considering hiring a cleaning company or continuing your service but are having second thoughts due to COVID-19, stay tuned…
Here are 5 key points to think about:
1. Communicate safety standards with your housekeeping service
Communication with your house cleaning company is worthy of the first mention since it sparks the beginning of a trust relationship.
If both parties, the service provider and the customer, are on the same page with safety, then everyone is at lower risk of infection.
Here are a couple of example questions you can use to open up a conversation.
How have you followed social distancing and other COVID-19 policies?
Sure, if you ask anyone if they have followed social distancing policies, most may answer with a simple “yes”. However, asking “how” may help you gather a bit more insight into their level of commitment to social distancing and other pandemic policies.
Your cleaner may mention policies they have implemented in their business, and maybe even some personal practices that they have passed on to their employees. Some of the adjustments to their business should include:
The idea here is to get a feel for the company’s health and safety protocols and what they are doing to keep their cleaners and clients healthy and safe. It also won’t hurt to ask if they have been tested recently, if they are feeling well, and if they have had any symptoms.
The image below shows a summary of the CDC guidelines for business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can use this as another reference when talking to your cleaning company.
Have you adjusted your cleaning service to be the most effective against a virus?
Let’s face it...many of our standards of “clean” have changed significantly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they should especially for professional house cleaning services.
We have also likely been more concerned about how other people define their standards of cleanliness. Lucky for us, there are ways to keep our minds at peace when considering the cleaning habits of others.
Asking your cleaning service provider about how they’ve adjusted their cleaning process to prevent the coronavirus from living on surfaces can help you gauge how mindful they have been about preventative washing, sanitizing, and disinfecting.
As far as cleaning products go, not a lot has changed in how well they kill viruses, germs, and other bacteria. However, the process in which surfaces are cleaned deserves some attention.
Be sure that your cleaner is clear on the differences between cleaning and disinfecting, and that they are doing both in that order.
Cleaning refers to removing dirt, germs, and other impurities from a surface. Cleaning removes germs but does not kill them. Disinfecting involves using chemicals, such as EPA registered disinfectants, to actually kill germs on a surface. Disinfecting doesn’t always remove germs, but killing germs on surfaces after cleaning it can further lower infection risk. Once this understanding is established, the cleaning process is worth reviewing.
An effective cleaning service during this pandemic should take special care in washing, sanitizing, and disinfecting high-touch areas, objects, and surfaces that are frequently touched. Some of these surfaces include:
Aside from paying extra close attention to high-touch surfaces, your housekeeping service should be putting effort into detailing their cleaning so that they don’t miss a spot, similar to what deep cleaning services would entail.
A couple examples of this “detail cleaning” include thoroughly sanitizing and disinfecting corners and hard-to-reach areas, such as the far back sides of shelves and tops of surfaces above eye level. Let’s take this further one more step and talk about gloves.
Pandemic or not, every person working in professional house cleaning services should be wearing disposable gloves when performing their service. These gloves should be thrown away after each job and never be reused in the next house.
After the cleaning job is finished, bag them and forget them!
Along with proper use of disposable gloves, also be sure that your cleaner has properly disinfected their cleaning tools, like spray bottles and brushes, before entering your home. Now let's discuss some ways you can prepare for your maid service
2. Preparing your home for professional house cleaning services
It’s the housekeepers job to clean, but we can ensure our house gets the best service possible by contributing to safety and efficiency! Before hiring a maid to clean, have a process down to prepare your rooms. Let’s start off by talking about ventilation.
Everyone is familiar with that lingering smell of citrus and bleach after a thorough clean, but those chemicals floating in the air are not doing much for your health. Properly ventilating your home is essential for not letting you and your family breathe in any harmful chemicals after they have been used.
The best way to easily ventilate your home is to open enough doors and windows to allow air to steadily flow through all the rooms being serviced. To achieve an ample airflow, it is good practice to keep windows and doors open on both sides of the house so that the air can pass from one side to the next. Ventilation has a couple benefits when it comes to cleaning.
With fresh air passing through your rooms, airborne chemicals are able to escape and not float in the air just to be breathed in by whoever lives in the house. Also, it never hurts to get some fresh air into the living space, which will decrease the buildup of contaminants including dirt and pet dander. After ventilating, or before if you prefer, it’s time to declutter.
Seems like almost everyone could use some more inspiration of what to do while being at home more often, and one idea we have for you is...drumroll...decluttering!
You want your housekeepers to be swift and effective with their cleaning job, right? Your favorite book left on the counter, dirty dishes in the living room, electronics laying around, and anything else that could get in the way can slow the cleaning process down.
Your maid can move through your home more effectively if they aren’t having to shift things around and think about where to put them, or remember where they were.
Decluttering also helps YOU! Sometimes things are left out even when they won’t be getting used again soon, so going through a decluttering process can put your home in better order. Maybe your decluttering frenzy will even lead you to sorting through some of those boxes that haven’t been opened in ages, or you happened to notice a pile-up that can be a safety or hygiene hazard.
All said, decluttering is great for both you and your housekeeper. Once you have decluttered, you will want to make soap and hand sanitizer available.
Soap and Sanitizer
If your maid happens to have to change their disposable gloves, in the case of rips, tears, or excessive dirt buildup, it will be wise to have hand sanitizer or soap readily available for them to use before putting on a new pair. They will likely have some hand sanitizer with them, but having it around can be a convenient courtesy.
Before hiring a maid to clean, have a checklist to run through to prepare your home for an efficient cleaning process. Moving on, a significant factor to safely hiring a housekeeping service is making sure that everyone involved understands how the coronavirus spreads.
3. Understanding how COVID-19 spreads
Knowledge is safety.
So is communication. Knowledge of how COVID-19 spreads coupled with communication with your cleaning company will reduce risk of infection for you, your family, and your housekeeper. Let’s quickly review how COVID-19 is spread.
COVID-19 spreads between people when someone infected comes into close contact with someone else. Small liquid particles from a person’s mouth or nose are released into the air when they talk, sneeze, cough, or breathe.
If this person is infected with COVID-19, these liquid particles can get into the mouth, nose, or eyes of someone who is not infected, causing them to be infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
According to current evidence, the most common way the virus spreads is by respiratory droplets from people close by. The chance for this type of transmission is increased in:
This virus can also spread when no one is around by clinging onto high-touch surfaces after someone sneezes or coughs such as on door handles, desks, countertops, or electronics like TV remotes. If someone touches a surface infected by the virus, and then touches their face, they are at high risk of contracting the virus.
Although most of us should be familiar with the practices if protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19 infection, let’s review the basics just to be safe:
With this knowledge in mind and understood by you and your maid, both parties can effectively use the mentioned preventative measures to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Knowing how the virus spreads is important to keep you and your housekeeper safe, but it is also important to know your personal comfort level of being around others during this pandemic.
4. Knowing your personal comfort level
Let’s not force ourselves into an uncomfortable situation that can strike us with anxiety when it comes to our health. Knowing your personal comfort level with social interactions during the pandemic is essential to making decisions for yourself and your loved ones.
We are all in this together, these times of uncertainty have made many of us feel unsure about how to approach people and be around them. If you do feel uncomfortable with letting others into your space, such as when hiring home cleaning services, you are not alone.
There are ways to help yourself feel more comfortable though, and also some subjects to consider where you may need to be a bit more careful with social interactions.
Following the proper COVID-19 protocols, communicating with your cleaner, and preparing your home can make a house cleaning job a safe endeavor. However, it’s crucial to think about the people you may come into contact with who are at higher risk of serious symptoms due to underlying health conditions. These conditions include:
If you plan to be in close contact with someone with health conditions like these, it is advised to take extra caution in public and around people you do not often see, such as your maid. A good example of an extra precaution is removing yourself from the area as much as possible to guarantee safe distancing.
A great way to remove yourself from the area, in this case your house, is to have a plan to get outside for the duration of the cleaning service. You can go for a walk or jog, have a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe, spend some time in your garden or yard, or go for a drive while listening to your favorite music or audiobook.
Minimizing risk can also include hiring only one housekeeper to clean your home, as multiple cleaners in your home will naturally increase the risk of infection.
Perhaps some of you are feeling a bit more comfortable with certain aspects of the pandemic situation after reading about some of the preventative measures noted in this article, and maybe some of you are still on edge, and that’s okay! It is important to make your own decision on what you think is best.
5. Tips for when you don't have a maid to clean for you
You arrive home from your time spent outside, your housekeeper packs up their supplies and leaves, and your rooms smell fresh and looks pristine! Should you assume that your house is safe from COVID-19 until your cleaner returns a week or two later?
Probably not. Risk management of virus infection comes down to daily tasks and good habits, especially if you have family or friends going in and out of your door. Even after deep cleaning services are performed, please follow these tips on how you can contribute to maintaining a healthy home and community (some repeated from earlier):
So there you have it, a comprehensive guide of ideas to consider while determining how safe it is for you to hire home cleaning services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We started off by discussing the importance of communicating with your house cleaning company.
Communication with your housekeeping service provider is an important element in developing a trust relationship. Open and transparent communication ensures that both the service company and customer each have an understanding of protocols and boundaries to keep each other safe and comfortable. It is beneficial to have some questions in mind to ask your cleaner to get a feel for their dedication to safe practices.
A couple of the topics to ask about include how closely they have followed social distancing and other COVID-19 policies and how they have adjusted their service process since the start of the pandemic. Second, we talked about how you can prepare your home for a cleaning.
If your house is prepared for a thorough cleaning, your housekeeper can be more efficient and your home less likely to trap lingering chemicals, viruses, dust, germs, and other impurities. When prepping your house for a clean, three important action items to keep in mind are:
A third point we went over in determining safety is understanding how the virus spreads.
Knowledge + Communication = Safety. If both you and your cleaning company understand how the virus spreads, both parties can more effectively apply preventative measures while making sense of them and why they work to reduce risk of infection. Next, we talked about the importance of knowing your personal comfort level.
With the many uncertainties the pandemic situation has caused, we do not want to force ourselves into an uncomfortable situation. You’re not alone when it comes to being weary of letting outsiders into your home, and there are ways to help yourself feel more comfortable if your situation requires someone other than your family or friends to pay a visit.
There are also points to consider where you may want to use extra caution, such as being around someone with an underlying health condition. Making your own decision on what is best for you and your family is what’s important. Finally, we reviewed some cleaning tips for when your maid is not around.
After the cleaner leaves, you should not assume that your home is immune to viruses until the maid returns a week or two later.
It is important to maintain a clean environment by practicing COVID-19 safety protocols and be consistent with good cleaning habits such as sanitizing and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, washing hands, using hand sanitizer, not touching your face, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.
We hope that this article gave valuable insight on deciding how safe it is for you to hire a cleaning company during this pandemic. Thank you from Cleaning Services Marysville. Please stay healthy and safe, we are all in this together!
What are some ways you have determined safety when hiring home services?