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How to Get Rid of Permanent Stains

Permanent Stains shrugPermanent stains are driving me crazy. I want to know how to get rid of permanent stains on sinks and vanities. I’m trying to clean my space but the discoloration and tint in the toilets and showers won’t budge. 

We Ask a House Cleaner pro cleaning tips for permanent stains. What to do about a blemish or burn mark, and when to walk away. 

Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru gives expert cleaning tips and cleaning advice to help you keep the job and please the customer.

Today’s sponsors are Savvy Cleaner (house cleaning training.) HouseCleaning360 (a hub connecting homeowners with home service providers.) Savvy Perks (an employee benefits program for house cleaners and maids.) And My Cleaning Connection (a resource hub for cool cleaning stuff.)

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Listen: How to Get Rid of Permanent Stains in Tubs, Showers, and Sinks

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Watch: How to Get Rid of Permanent Stains in Tubs, Showers, and Sinks

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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How to Get Rid of Permanent Stains in Tubs, Showers, and Sinks

Permanent Stains, Stained sinkPermanent stains. What do you do when you have permanent stains that you can’t get out of the bathrooms and the bathtubs and the kitchen? We’re going to talk about that today.

“Hi, Angela. I’m wondering about those stains in the guest house that you just can’t get out. And no matter how hard you scrub it just still looks dirty. There are so many stains that are just permanent because of neglect for so long. Do you tell them that you can’t get the stains out or just leave them? Thank you.”

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I Hate the Permanent Stains

Permanent Stains, Stained VanityPermanent stains. Oh, I hate the permanent stains, rust, and hard water spots. When a customer hires us to come clean their house, they’re not expecting that we are us to come in and refurbish all their appliances. 

No, the appliances, sinks, tubs, and showers did not get the permanent stains overnight. It was a series of neglect over a long period of time.

It’s using that curling iron and set it on the counter without something being underneath it.  Or it might be that they’ve used hair dye or other chemicals that stain. And then they didn’t wipe it up immediately, so there was neglect.

You Can’t Erase Permanent Stains Overnight

Now, you can’t expect that a house cleaner can come in and in one or two cleanings erase all the debris and residue that’s there. 

Permanent Stains weightNow, that would be akin to waking up one day and seeing you’re 300 pounds. And you’re like, “Oh, oh my gosh. I’m 300 pounds! I think I’ll go on a diet today.”

Well, that’s fine if you go on a diet today, but at the end of the day, you’re not going to be skinny.  You can’t erase a series of errors in judgment that happened over a period of time. It takes time to do that.

And so, if there are stains you can whittle away at them over time. Maybe try different chemicals until you find one that works. There are stains that are just stains and there’s nothing you can do about them. Unless you replace the countertop, or unless you bring in some kind of an industrial buffer or something like that. 

Did Your Bid Include Removing Permanent Stains?

Permanent Stains personal trainerNow, as a normal everyday house cleaner, if you did not bid for this type of service, don’t do it. If you just came in as a maid or a house cleaner you’re here to do routine cleaning. Renovating and repairing someone’s house and repairing stains that have been there for a long period of time is beyond the scope of your job. So, you have to be clear about what it is you’re expected to do.

Now, there are people that think, “I hired a professional, that’s going to come in and make everything look like new.”

That is like hiring a professional trainer. And the first day that you show up at the gym you expect them to take you back to your svelte self when you were 20 years younger and you were in much better shape.

If You See Permanent Stains – Set Realistic Expectations

Permanent Stains cleaning teamSo, you can’t promise miracles if you can’t deliver them. So, when you do your walk through and you look, you need to start recognizing, “Are these stains?” And “Is there a way that this is going to come up?” 

Because if it’s not going to come up and you’re not going to be able to get it up, don’t overpromise. Even if the customer says: “Well, see what you can do.”  

This is where you say, “I will do my best. But there is nothing in my cleaning caddy that removes permanent stains.” And just be honest about what the realities are.

The Customer Knows They Are Permanent Stains

Permanent Stains, man buffs stains out of cultured marbleWhen you create realistic expectations, the customer has realistic expectations. But if the customer expects that you’re going to change everything in one or two cleanings, well, they’re in for a surprise and so are you. 

So as the house cleaner, there are times you just have to put your foot down and say,” Hey, those look like burn marks from a curling iron. There’s nothing I have in my cleaning caddy that removes burn marks. 

That’s going to have to be buffed or professionally sanded, and that’s going to have to be somebody else that you hire.” 

And then you recommend them to somebody like Housecleaning360. There they can go find another service provider that deals with that type of work.

Permanent Stains Are Outside the Scope of Routine Cleaning

Permanent Stains, Stained marks on Marble CountertopBut as a regular house cleaner, removing permanent stains of hard water, mineral and rust is not your job. And I’m saying don’t be flippant about it, but I’m saying you have to set realistic expectations. Otherwise, you will go home feeling inferior like you did a crappy job. And they will feel like, “Oh, they promised me they could do this and they couldn’t. I’m so disappointed.” 

No 100% satisfaction guarantee is going to have you come back as a maid or as a house cleaner to do renovations and repairs. Don’t make that part of your business. Just say right up front, “Hey, that’s beyond my scope of cleaning.” 

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During the shows we recommend services, sites, and products to help you improve your cleaning and grow your cleaning business. We have partnerships with these companies to provide you with discounts, and savings. By clicking on and buying from the links in the show notes, we may receive a commission which helps pay for the production costs of the show.

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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

Whink Rust Stain Remover –

American Hydro Systems Rid O’ Rust Liquid Rust Stain Remover –

Workshop Hero WH290487 Metal Rescue Rust Remover –

Spray Nine Heavy Duty Cleaner/Degreaser and Disinfectant –

RotoScrub Bathroom Cleaning Drill Accessory Kit –

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