Chinese New Year is only three weeks away, so you ought to get cracking with the spring-cleaning, guys. We get cleaning hacks from someone whose job is to ensure that people’s homes — over 100 homes in Singapore, to be specific — are as clean and welcoming as a five-star hotel room.
Poon Da Qian (pictured), 24, is the founder of Butler in Suits, a housekeeping service for residential homes. Besides sprucing up the house daily or weekly (from $240 monthly, depending on the customer’s subscription), the year-old company prides itself in efficient cleaning methods — it also places a robot vacuum in the home and programmes it to clean for an hour daily.
“Traditional part-time or freelance cleaners don’t have a process. We train our housekeepers in a structured and optimised way and cut down the time needed to clean [for weekly cleaning] to two hours. We do that by hiring a team of full-time in-house housekeepers. And running robot vacuums in the homes every day for an hour equates to seven hours of vacuuming in a week, compared to a part-time cleaner who comes in once a week to vacuum for 45 minutes,” he explains. “We have a detailed 50-point checklist based on customer requests. We gathered all the addressable issues and fixed those. It’s a very systematic process so customers get to see and know what’s done, what’s not, and what’s going to be done.”
And yes, the boss himself does get his hands dirty. “I service clients’ homes on weekends and in the event where there are last-minute requests and no one else can make it. That’s one way for me to get feedback from clients about our services,” he muses.
#1: Map out your cleaning routine. The most efficient way to clean a room is to start from the furthest corner of the home then work your way out towards the door.
#2: Spilled red wine on the carpet? Bin the rug — it’s a hopeless cause trying get it clean again, especially if it’s light-coloured. However, if you spill red wine on the wall (don’t ask us how, but it happens), wipe it off with alcohol. It’ll take a couple of days and won’t be 100 per cent stain-free, though.
#3: Try this foolproof way to remove water spots. To eradicate limescale (aka ‘water marks’) on glass, mirrors or even stainless steel faucets, scrub with a lemon or lime, let it seep for a few minutes, then wash it off.
#4: Patience. Any cleaning solutions you use for the bathroom should be left to seep for at least a few minutes for it to work its magic.
#5: Multi-task wisely. To maximise time while you’re waiting for the bathroom solutions to work their magic, work on other parts of the house before returning to the bathroom to clean it off.
#6: For hard-to-remove stains, concentrate. For greasy stoves, go for really concentrated dishwashing agents like Mama Concentrate. It’s efficient and faster, especially for tough to remove stains. Wipe once, let it seep, then wipe it off.
#7: Skip regular mops. According to Poon, “Wet mops are unhygienic and don’t really disinfect the home. Instead, we use Magiclean wet wipes — it’s pretty expensive but it gets the job done and disinfects the home.”
For more info, go to https://www.butlerinsuits.com.