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Renovations and Repairs While House Cleaning?

Should you do renovations and repairs while house cleaning? Upselling renovations and repairs to fix broken stuff is great if you have handyman skills. You can remove fingernail polish from wood, for example. But you’ll need furniture markers, furniture crayons, and colored furniture polish for this small job. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru says renovations and repairs, are not scalable or duplicable. Speed cleaning, maintenance cleaning, and deep cleaning don’t allow time for small projects like this. Upsell a repair only if you are a solo cleaner and you’re done with your routine clean. 

Today’s sponsors are My Cleaning Connection (a hub for really cool cleaning stuff.) (a referral hub where you can send your client to find a handyman.) And Savvy Cleaner (House Cleaner and Maid Service training.)

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.

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Question: Should You Offer Renovations and Repairs While House Cleaning?

Renovations and Repairs nail polishRenovations and repairs. When you go to a customer’s house and there’s something broken, is it your job as a house cleaner to fix it? We’re going to talk about that today.

Okay, so the other day I got a question from a house cleaner who was at a customer’s house. And the customer asked her if she could remove dried fingernail polish from a wood table top. All right. First, I’ve got to remind you that as house cleaners, our job is to go in and dust and spray and wipe and mop. It’s not to do renovations and repairs. Now, we’ve talked before about upselling. If you have handyman skills, you can upsell the repair of special projects. But only if you are a solo operator and you have 100% control of your time.  But that is not part of regular house cleaning.

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Answer: Renovations and Repairs are Not Speed Cleaning

Renovations and Repairs regular cleanSpeed cleaning, maintenance cleaning, and deep cleaning don’t allow for household repair. Your job is to go in and clean. You remove dirt. You do not remove cigarette burns. Or burns from countertops that curling irons have burned. It’s not your job to go in with a sander and buffers and all these things. That’s not what they are paying you to do on a routine clean. Renovations and repairs are not part of a regular maid service. 

If You Did Remove Fingernail Polish From a Wood Table

Renovations and Repairs rubbing alcoholAll right, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk for a second about how do you remove fingernail polish from a wood table top. 

You have to be careful and you have to use rubbing alcohol. You’re never, ever, ever going to use fingernail polish remover on a wood table top because it will remove the finish. 

Now, the rubbing alcohol is going to dissolve part of the finish, but it’s not as abrasive as fingernail polish remover. 

Use a gentle touch to dissolve the polish. Because if you put a lot of force in there, you will take the top finish off the table.

Replace What You Removed – Minor Renovations and Repairs

Renovations and Repairs furniture markersNow, in the area where the fingernail polish was, you can fill the discoloration with furniture markers. 

And remember that all wood is not created equal. There are different colors of wood. So you will need different colors of markers. 

Did you know they sell packs of colored markers that are great for filling in nicks, dings, and scratches? It’s true and you can use them on different types of wood, and also hardwood flooring.

You Can Also Blend The Finish With Colored Furniture Polish

Okay, so after you have removed the fingernail polish, you want to go back in with a magic marker or a magic crayon. A wax furniture crayon can also help fill in the gaps in the wood. And you can blend any blemishes with a colored furniture polish that matches the table top.

Money Clock suggest racing to a job doesn't mean breaking driving rules.35-minRenovations and Repairs Take Up Gobs of Time

All right, now after all the things I just described to you, do you see why this is not wise to do renovations and repairs on a regular cleaning? If you’re in a hurry, you’re moving from house to house. And let’s suppose you have three houses in the course of a day. For you to stop and do the whole thing with the fingernail polish it’s going to take you 20 or 30 minutes and many tools. And that’s just to get a couple of drops of dried fingernail polish off a table. 

You’ve got to bring the rubbing alcohol, furniture markers or crayons, and colored furniture polish with you.

Renovations and Repairs Are Not Scalable for Employees

girl in front of clock freaking out because she's lateRenovations and repairs for house cleaners are not duplicable. So yes, if you have handyman skills, you can upsell that as a service. But it is not duplicable, and it is not scalable to employees that you hire. If your employees see you and they watch you doing renovations and repairs, they too are going to think, “Oh no. I’m supposed to do renovations and repairs.” 

And if you pay them by the hour, or you pay them a percentage of the work, this extra stuff will slow them down. Especially if you haven’t trained them to repair and renovate. 

Quick Notes on Renovations and Repairs:

Renovations and Repairs not scalableAs house cleaners tell your customers you don’t repair leather. Don’t clean stains out of carpets. You can vacuum carpets because that’s part of cleaning. But if there are wine stains and animal urine stains, turn that over to a professional carpet cleaner. They have the proper equipment and insurance to do carpets. 

Don’t clean upholstery. You can vacuum it and wipe it down, but don’t use chemicals or steam clean it. 

Don’t remove or slide heavy furniture. And don’t try to fix things chipped, cracked, broken, any of those things. It’s not a part of what you do for a maintenance clean.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

Total Furniture Repair System – 12Pc Scratch Restore & Repair Touch-Up Marker Kit – Felt Tip Markers, Wax Stick Crayons –

Total Furniture Scratch Restore & Repair System & Touch-Up Kit – 6 Wax Stick Crayons & 6 Felt Tip Markers – Works on Leather Too! –

Rejuvenate Wood Furniture & Floor Repair Markers Make Scratches Disappear in Any Color Wood – 6 Colors; Maple, Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Mahogany, Espresso –

Minwax Wood Finish Stain Marker, Ebony –

Old English Scratch Cover for Dark Woods Polish –

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