Hiring a large franchise cleaning service does not guarantee a consistent cleaning crew in your home or office. “When you have hundreds of accounts to track and dozens of employees to schedule, there is a lot of room for error”, according to Bryan Akner owner of Clean Extreme Pro, a small local cleaning service serving North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, that prides itself on excellence and personal service. Having worked for other cleaning services in the past, Akner has learned a thing or two about how to run a successful cleaning service.
In a recent nationwide trend, there has been a move away from the big franchise cleaning services to small local service providers such as Akner’s due in large part to new stories like the one below where the staff of a national franchise cleaning company is caught stealing. When choosing a housekeeping service, maid service or cleaning company, get to know the owner. If you can’t talk to the owner of a company that is entrusted with the care of your home and personal items, that company may be too big and impersonal. Always make sure the company is licensed and insured. And ask for references. Clean Extreme Pro’s success is due in large part to a steady stream of referrals. “We’re not looking to be the biggest cleaning service in Northern Palm Beach County. We want to be the Best Cleaning, Housekeeping and Maid Service in the area and that means slow growth, consistency, exceptional service and getting to know clients as well as our staff on a personal level”, Akner said. “I know everyone of our customers personally and that gives me the opportunity to really personalize our service rather than being a cookie-cutter cleaning service.”
According to Akner, advertising like the big franchise companies is so expensive that it can lead to cutting corners in other areas in order to stay profitable. Areas such as properly screening and really getting to know your employees before letting them enter a clients home or office. We acquire our clients by word of mouth advertising and personal recommendations like the ones that you can see on our website at www.CleanExtremePro.com. We would never send someone into your home or office that is not professionally screened and that we haven’t taken the time to know on a personal level for quite some time. Our focus on the customer experience rather than on rapid growth of the company has lead to our success and contorlled steady growth. Our glowing referrals have helped make us an in demand cleaning service in North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter Florida and the satisfaction we get from a happy client is priceless.
A former employee of the Merry Maids housekeeping service, who has a criminal record, has been ordered to appear in court on May 4 on charges of stealing $2,300 worth of jewelry from two elderly women in Stillwater and pawning their property.
If convicted, Becky Sue Peters, 54, of Perry, who remains in Jail on $15,000 total bail, could receive as much as four life prison terms, since she has three prior felony convictions, court records show.
In her latest case filed earlier this month, Peters was charged with stealing two class rings and a gold medallion, with a total value of $800, from a client for whom she was providing housekeeping services and pawning the jewelry on Jan. 31.
In another case that was filed in February, Peters was charged with stealing a $1,500 cocktail ring from an 86-year-old client for whom she was providing housekeeping services and pawning it on Jan. 29.
According to court records, Peters was convicted in 2013 of three counts of second-degree forgery, for which she was initially placed on seven years’ probation, except 120 days in jail, with an order to pay $4,533 restitution.
Peters was also convicted in 2013 of committing a pattern of criminal offenses by making fraudulent ATM withdrawals on a Perry man’s card, for which she was also initially placed on seven years’ probation, except 120 days in jail, with an order to pay $2,596 restitution in that case.
Peters was also convicted in 2013 of second-degree forgery for passing a $2,000 check that had been stolen from a resident’s room at the Renaissance Assisted Living Center, where she had previously worked, for which she was also initially placed on seven years’ probation, except 120 days in jail, with an order to pay $2,000 restitution.
In all three of her prior felony convictions, Peters was found eight months later to have violated her probation, for which she was ordered to spend 180 days in jail, with credit for time served.
She had been released from jail in mid-December, about six weeks before the latest allegations on which she now is in custody, court records show.
Cleaning Lessons from The Kitchen
What’s the best way to clean granite counter tops? Bryan Akner, president of Clean Extreme Pros housekeeping and maid service of Palm Beach Gardens Florida says he hears a lot of varying views on this — use Windex! No, never use Windex! Use a special granite-only cleaner! No, you don’t need a special granite-only cleaner! — but after doing our research, we think we’ve discovered a consensus among stone experts on how to care for granite. The best part? You really don’t need any special cleaners to get those counter tops shiny and streak-free.
The Dos and Don’ts of Cleaning Granite
DO: Make sure your granite counter top is sealed. While granite is a very hard surface and less porous than marble, unsealed or weakly sealed granite will soak up oils, spills, and stains. To check whether your granite is sealed, leave a few drops of water on the surface. If it beads up, you have a secure seal. If after a few minutes the water has soaked into the granite, then it’s time to reseal the stone.
DON’T: Use harsh or abrasive cleaners and sponges, Windex, acidic cleaners like vinegar, lemon, lime, or anything with ammonia or bleach. Frequent use of these chemicals will dull and weaken the sealant over time. Basically, the harsher the cleaner, the quicker it will break down the sealant.
DO: Wipe up spills as soon as you notice them.
DO: Use warm water, a mild or gentle dish soap, and a nubby washcloth or microfiber cloth for daily wipe downs.
What About Disinfecting?
A well-sealed granite counter top is relatively impervious to bacteria. Hot water and dish soap should be adequate for daily sanitizing. However, if a stronger disinfectant is desired, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid bleach or ammonia-based cleaners.
And then there is the Clean Extreme Pro’s favorite method of using a commercial grade steam cleaner. Super-heating the granite counter top with nothing but pure steam and a clean micro-fiber cloth is not only safe for the granite, its also a great way to clean if there is anyone that is chemically sensitive in the home according to Mr. Akner.
What About Special Granite-Safe Cleaners?
There are granite cleaners out there, like this one from Method and this one from Granite Gold. Some all-purpose surface cleaners also specify that they’re safe for granite. Use these cleaners if you want — just know that you don’t have to buy them if you don’t want to. The cleaning tutorial below will work just fine!
All you need to clean granite counter tops are warm water, mild or gentle dish soap, a dish cloth, clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel, and 91% Isopropyl alcohol (optional).
How To Clean and Disinfect Granite Countertops
What You Need
Mild or gentle dish soap
Clean microfiber cloth or terrycloth towel
Isopropyl alcohol (optional)
Wet your dish cloth with warm, soapy water. Fill the sink with warm water and a mild dish soap, then thoroughly wet a clean dish cloth.
Wipe down the granite counter tops. You don’t need us to tell you how to do this part. Just wipe away any spills or crumbs on your counter top!
Dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid streaking. Dry and buff your granite counter top thoroughly with a microfiber cloth or soft terry cloth towel to avoid streaking.
Shine and disinfect with a water and isopropyl alcohol solution. To periodically disinfect your granite counter tops, remove soap residue, and restore shine, mix together a 50:50 solution of water and 91% isopropyl alcohol. Spray onto the granite, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, then rinse with water and dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Enjoy your nice, shiny, clean granite counter tops!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW TO CLEAN ANYTHING, CONTACT BRYAN AKNER OF CLEAN EXTREME PRO OF PALM BEACH GARDENS FLORIDA AT (561) 891-1300
APRIL 28, 2015
Original Post:APRIL 1, 2015 LAST UPDATED: THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2015, 12:16 AM
BY DEB AIKEY
CORRESPONDENT | SUBURBAN TRENDS
There was time that having a maid was a perk of being wealthy. Today, with many two-income households and numerous extracurricular activities for family members, hiring a maid, or a housekeeper or cleaning service, is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for many busy families.
According to the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARSCI), the number one reason people hire cleaning services for the home is “to save valuable time.”
On its website, ARCSI states that, “It seems that life just keeps moving at a faster pace. It is easy for valuable, personal or family time to get shortened. Hiring a good home cleaning service can give you back some of that time.”
Making time for family and other activities is a main reason area residents are opting for a cleaning service or housekeeper to keep up with the mundane tasks that take time away from other, more desirable activities.
“We are a two-working-parent household with two tween kids. We have had cleaning ladies for about a year now,” says Lisa Gordon, a Pequannock resident. “With working full time and other sports and activities, the time on the weekend that I would normally spend cleaning the house I can now spend quality time with the family. It’s less stressful.”
Carolyn Hook of Palm Beach Gardens agrees.
“Lots of my coworkers have someone clean their homes and I resisted for a long time,” says Hook. “Fifteen years ago, during a stressful time, my boss actually told me to get a cleaning lady. I resisted because I felt disappointed in myself for not being able to take care of my own home, a home I love and pride myself in making a home. Finally, I realized, she’s just cleaning! She’s not taking over my house.”
Hook’s cleaning service vacuums, dusts, cleans the hardwood floors, cleans the kitchen and bedrooms, makes the beds and changes the sheets if needed.
“I’ve had her clean the fridge, oven (inside) and windows as needed. She has offered to do the laundry, but I haven’t had her do that. I supply cleaning supplies,” Hook says.
Once the decision is made to hire a housekeeper or cleaning service, there are a number of factors to consider and questions to ask before finding the right fit for the family home.
According to ARSCI, all reputable, professional cleaning services should offer a list of what services they provide. ARSCI states the most common services include cleaning most surfaces in the kitchen, bathrooms, living areas, bedrooms and floors. Key services such as vacuuming and wet mopping are usually also included. A quote should then be secured for these basic services. Additional services, such as laundry, oven cleaning, and doing dishes, should be discussed and quoted separately.
Other issues that should be discussed with an individual or a service are the types of insurance the company or individual carries (liability, theft bond and workmen’s compensation), what to do with the family pet, what happens if something is broken in the home, who provides the cleaning supplies and what happens if the cleaning person is injured in the home.
“I found my private cleaning service Clean Extreme Pro from word of mouth,” says Theresa Graham Emma, whose North Palm Beach Florida two-working-parent household includes a 9-year-old and a 4-year-old. “I have had my cleaning service for the seven years. They come every other week and it’s the best money I could spend. I find that the time I would be spending cleaning could be spent with my kids.”
Gordon also found her cleaning service, Clean Extreme Pro through a recommendation from a neighbor. Bryan vacuums, dusts, washes floors and generally cleans the family’s three-bathroom, one-kitchen home. He also changes the sheets in each of the home’s three bedrooms.
“There are some things I wish they did better, but at this point, we trust them and that is the hardest thing (to do), letting someone in your home when you are not there,” says Gordon.
Hook says that she is usually home when Clean Extreme Pro comes, but before she had a dog, there were times that she couldn’t be home and the housekeeper would have access.
“We’ve never had any problems. Bryan is great with pets,” Hook says.
While having a housekeeper or cleaning service does free up the family for more fun activities, a phenomenon called “cleaning for the cleaning lady” persists in many homes.
“The night before is always ‘cleaning for the cleaning lady’ night,” laughs Hook. “Putting clutter away, throwing papers out, making sure no one’s underwear is on the floor. When she came every other week, the night before wasn’t so bad. We all were good about keeping things tidy, but we’ve gotten lax,” says Hook.
Gordon agrees saying her family also has to clean the house the night before the cleaning service comes.
“If things are left out, they will stuff it in places and then we can’t find anything, she laughs,” Gordon says.
Clean Extreme Pro is here for all of your cleaning needs in North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens and Jupiter Florida. You can find them them on the Internet at http://www.CleanExtremePro.com.