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Oksana Clancy

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Champagne life style on lemonade budget

Yes, why not! Everyone loves a bit of a bargain … I will show to you how you can get professional cleaning and save some money.
1. Wright down a list of what needs to be done. Have 3 separate columns for urgent cleaning jobs, another one for work that needs to be done but you either can’t do yourself or that you don’t have time to do and finally, a column for little bits which not so urgent but need to be done. Go via this list to see how much time it would take and you can pick and choose what you need to pay for, what you can leave for later or what you can do yourself.
2. Agree beforehand with cleaner/business what tasks the cleaner should do. Be very specific to avoid confusions. Maybe, even draw a schedule based on your list above. Plus, if you make a list, the cleaner can prioritise work and just get on with it without having to ask you what you want next.
3. Make sure you supply the products that your cleaner will need to do a professional job. Sit down and discuss with the cleaner. She can suggest quality products which are not too expensive or she will most definitely know where to buy them. Also, buying in bulk often works out cheaper. Sometimes cleaners do bring their own products; this is something that you can discuss beforehand, but you will most likely will have to pay for it anyway and personally I don’t like the thought of someone mopping my house with a mop, which was previously goodness knows where!
4. If you decide to buy everything yourself, choose wisely. There is no need to buy different floor cleaner for every room if you can have a multi-purpose floor cleaner. Make sure there are sponges, microfiber cloths, a mop, a broom, a working vacuum cleaner. Always make sure that there’s enough of each product.
5. To save money in the long run you can ask the cleaner to do a deep clean in your house and subsequently to come for an hour or two every second week, or for 3-4 hours once a month. It’s much easier to maintain a clean house than to start from scratch cleaning a dirty house every few months.–After a deep clean there’s no need to clean everything from top to bottom every month, instead this can be done maybe every 6-9 months.
6. To save time forthe cleaner in the kitchen, either wash and put dishes away (so she can get on with more pressing matters) or if you don’t have time, just make sure that they are soaked well (it will definitely cut down time). A clattered sink will prevent the cleaner from properly cleaning it and also the work surface. It’s also worth remembering that some cleaners generally don’t do dishes.
7. Put clatter away! If you are on a tight budget then there’s no need to pay a cleaner for this. You can use her time more wisely and productive. This way, she can focus on actually cleaning your home. If you want to pay her to fold your laundry, that's up to you but you may not be making the most of her skills. Similarly if you put your clothes away (or generally just pick up everything from the floor) the cleaner can get more cleaning done in the allotted time.
8. Another option to consider if you are overwhelmed with clatter and don’t know where to start, is to get a professional organiser (Roxy’s Domestic Bliss provide this services too).Its quicker if someone else oversees everything and it’s easier to clean and to keep clean.
9. Make a cleaning caddy. No matter where you or the cleaner is in your house, all the products will be at your fingertips. This way you make cleaning more efficient and less time consuming. No more spending time trying to find something or going up and down the stairs every time you need something!
10. There’s always some tasks which a cleaner will not do (cleaning the outside of windows for example). You always have to check beforehand these services ,but if you need this to be done you can always ask your cleaner/business to do it but be prepared to pay extra, or you can ask the cleaner to recommend someone (which may lead to discount because of the recommendation).
11. Cleaning with a discount. If you ‘share’ your cleaner, you might get a discounted price. For example, you and your neighbour happy to have the same cleaner on the same day. In this case, Roxy’s Domestic Bliss most likely would agree to give some discount for both of you.
12. There’s another way to get a discount on cleaning. If you recommend our cleaning services, we will always give you a discount (either money off your invoice or we will provide cleaning services for free for a specified amount of time).. Just ask us or ask your friend to mention who recommended us to them!
13. Want to save some more money on cleaning services? Instead of booking a regular appointment, call us to be notified of discounted slots that become available at very short notice (last-minute slots).Alternatively, see if you can become a “training home” for new cleaners.
14. Sometimes, you just don’t have enough funds or you’ve had some unexpected outgoings and can’t afford a cleaner for everything you need. Just ask the cleaner to come for an hour or so and prioritise - provide a list of the most urgent jobs. Usually it’s a bathroom and/or kitchen – with both or at least one of them clean, the rest is an easier job. easier.
15. Last, but not least, be nice to your cleaner. If you are nice to her, she will happily go the extra mile for you or stay an extra 15-20 min free of charge to help you. A simple ‘thank you’ and a showing of appreciation for her work will definitely pay off.

Finally, some advice on what type of cleaner not to hire.
Beware of the cleaners/business who give you a price over the phone without seeing your property and discussing your needs. The chances are, you will end up paying a lot more than the price given on the phone or you won’t get what you asked for.

Quality is not cheap, and cheap is not always quality. If prices for cleaning are below the going rate, it might be a bargain, but it’s highly likely that something is not quite right – it could be that the cleaner(s) has no experience, no insurance or simply that the price will go up as soon as you hire them or once the work has been completed.

more about what type of cleaners

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10 places you probably forgot to clean

1. Shower head and taps Tie a bag of vinegar (diluted with water) around it and leave it to dissolve overnight (or at least 6 hours). In the morning, rinse well.
2. Bags (make up, gym, shopping etc).Turn them inside out, wipe the inside with makeup removing wipes, all-purpose cleaning wipes or with baby wipes. Don't forget to disinfect!
3. Computer keyboard. Get a sticky note, using the sticky side go between the rows of keys. The sticky bit will pick up any dust, hair etc. Or for a more fun experience, get some slime, gently spread it over the keyboard and then pull it up. Obviously, you won't be able to play with the slime anymore!
4. Drains. In order to prevent them clogging or producing bad odours they need to be cleaned quite regularly. The quickest way is to mix 1:1 salt and backing soda, pour the mixture down the drain, pour in some warm vinegar (white vinegar works the best) followed by 1 or 2 kettles of boiling water.
5. Toys. They need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Steam clean for plastic toys, washing in washing machine – for soft toys. Please check manufacturer’s instructions!
6. Toilet brush– Spray brush and holder over the toilet, let it sit for at least 30 min under the toilet sit. Rinse thoroughly with hot water (over the toilet) and let air dry. Toilet brush and holderneeds to be changed regularly, but if you clean every 1-2 weeks it could last up to 6-9 months.
7. Radiators– wipe them down with all-purpose wipes and dust them regularly. Of course, this should be done when radiators are cold!
8. Door handles and light switches. Disinfect them regularly. Eraser sponges are ideal for getting rid of a built-up of grease on things that are touched often, like door handles and light switches.
9. Clean Fridge Coils.Remove the refrigerator's kick plate and vacuum the fur, dust and hair around the coils. Not only will your refrigerator be cleaner, but also it will run more efficiently -- saving you money on your energy bills.
10. Ceiling fan. Take a pillowcase and slide it over each blade. Press down and slide the pillowcase back off; it’ll take all the dust with it.
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15 things you need to remember to clean

1. Window ledge. Sprinkle a bit of bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda), spray with white vinegar and let it bubble for a while. Rub gently with a brush or sponge. Wipe with a clean dry cloth or a kitchen towel.

2. Rubbish bin. Spray with a multipurpose cleaner, wipe down. Don't forget to disinfect regularly!

3. Chopping board (wooden) Sprinkle coarse salt, cut a lemon in half and rub with the board with the lemon (cut side down), gently releasing some lemon juice for a nice smell.Chopping Board (plastic) – Use baking soda instead of salt. Wipe down the board with a paper towel. Optional – rub in a bit coconut of oil (to protect your board, to give it a nice shine and to keep any bad smells away).

4. Utensil holder. Spray with a multipurpose cleaner and wipe down.

5. Make up brushes and sponges. The quickest way to clean these is to get a jar, ½ a cup of warm water and a few drops of hand soap. Let the brush/sponge sit for a while, rinse thoroughly and then let it dry. Alternatively, mix 1:1 washing up liquid and olive oil. Dip in warm water, then in the mixture of oil. Swirl a bit, then run under running water, while gently rubbing the brush/sponge. Let it dry.

6. Hair brush or comb. Pull hair our from between the teeth, if hair becomes stuck in the comb or brush then use a toothpick (or pen) to lift it out. Additionally, you can wipe between the teeth with baby wipes.

7. Iron. Squeeze a bit of toothpaste on the metal part, rub the area with a sponge or paper towel. Don't forget to rinse carefully.

8. Pet's bowls. Hand wash with warm water and washing up liquid.

9. Pet's toys.They do need to be cleaned too, often just warm water will do.

10. Door handles and light switches. Disinfect them regularly.

11. Lampshades. Dust them with a lint roller or vacuum cleaner and wipe with a damp microfiber cloth.

12. Phone. Mix 1:1 water and rubbing alcohol (70% max), spray and wipe with a microfiber cloth.

13. Hairdryer filters. Unscrew or just gently pull out the back cover, take the filters out, clean them and put them back.

14. Inside the http://microwave.In a 'microwave safe' deep dish pour in 1 cup of water, 1 lemon (cut in half, squeeze the juice in the water). Put in the microwave on high for 3-5 min, then let it sit for about 5 min. Repeat once. Take the dish out, then wipe inside the microwave with a paper towel.

15. Dishwasher. Sprinkle inside a bit citric acid (to get rid of lime scale, smell or grease) or bicarbonate of soda (to get rid of grease and smell)
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10 things you need to remember to clean

1. Clean mop and broom. You can thoroughly clean your broom and mop by soaking it completely in warm water mixed with washing up liquid or hand soap. Let it air dry and your broom is as good as new!
2. Sponges. Soak them in warm water with washing up liquid. You can add a little bit of bicarbonate of soda and/or lemon juice (1 tea spoon for 2 cups of water) to disinfect and get rid of nasty smells.
3. Remote controls. Wipe them down regularly with baby wipes or all purpose wipes – anything will do!
4. PC/laptop screen. You can use a microfiber or special cloth for a screen (coffee filters could do same job).Wipe over dust and smudges.
5. Inside the wardrobe – Take everything out of the wardrobe and use a damp cloth and an ‘all purpose’ cleaner.
6. Inside the washing machine. Either run a ‘short rinse’ cycle with baking soda or wipe inside the drum, using baking soda and white vinegar.
7. Side boards. Vacuum the sideboard to get rid of dust. Use a sponge or microfiber cloth dipped in soapy water.
8. Light bulbs. Dust the bulbs with a microfiber cloth. Make sure that the light bulbs are not hot while you do this!
9. Shower curtains (plastic).Soak in the bath with detergent.
10. Jewelry. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions!
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Bleach is a 'must have' product for your household. It has the capability to enhance everything from your laundry work to your front lawn. The following list gives you a brief overview of how bleach is a good source to use in your daily life.


1. Disinfectant: Mix 5 liters of cold water with ¼ of a cup of bleach to clean surfaces (kitchen, bathroom etc). Clean the surfaces with soapy water, wipe them dry, then wipe with bleach solutions and let it dry. Toys and utensils etc can be disinfected with a diluted solution (apply 1 spoon of bleach to 3-4 litres of lukewarm water).

2. Bleach not only cleans but it also disinfects and removes nasty smells after some time. When this product is used, it kills bacteria, mold, and fungus that maybe found around the house that you can't even see.

3. Whitening: Chlorine bleach whitens and brightens your laundry and is useful in removing stubborn stains in fabrics. It can be used to brighten up wooden furniture, floors, fences etc.

4. Bleach can also be used to clean mildew (while preventing it from reappearing). It can also clean mildew stains and soap scum.

5. You will not need to use any other cleaning products for a job and you won’t have to start scrubbing the place as the bleach is very powerful. Bleach can a save you a lot of time as you can spray it and let it sit on the affected areas.

Although bleach is a 'must have' household product, it can also have its disadvantages. Here is a list of disadvantages.

1. This product is very corrosive, meaning that it could corrode the skin and leave it very irritated.

2. If this product is in contact or mixed with other cleaning products, it'll react with it and release dangerous gases like ammonia and chlorine.

3. While bleach can whiten clothing it has the disadvantage of fading colours on clothes that are made from cotton.

4. This product is very toxic. Hence, when consumed or smelt, the chemicals can cause respiratory problems like Asthma. That's why it's important that you use a mask and also rubber gloves when using bleach. Also make sure that the room you're working in is properly ventilated.

5. Not only can it affect a human's life but the chemicals can harm the environment and kill the organisms that live in the environment like fishes. This happens because the chemicals given off when reacting with the water, will replace the H2O molecule with the Cl molecule.

6. Although there are many types of bleaches, the most dangerous one is chlorine bleach because it's very toxic.

7. Approximately 28% of poisonings from household products are due to bleach. Not only can this product harm humans, but it can also harm pets because of their lower air intake. Also this product can harm anyone who spends a lot of time in the home because they are in daily contact with it.
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1) A large mixing bowl
2) Suitable moulds to shape the bath bombs
3) Kitchen scales
4) a hand sprayer containing clean cold water
300g Bicarbonate of Soda
100g Citric Acid
10ml Fragrance
Colour - most food/cosmetic/soap liquid colours are fine.
Essential Oil i.e. ultramarines (not blue) or oxides will work
Epsom salt
Dried flowers

Measure out the bicarbonate of soda and the citric acid into the mixing bowl, sieving if necessary and thoroughly mix together until you have a consistent texture.
Always wear safety goggles/glasses and use protective gloves when soap-making to avoid injury from spills and splashes.

If using liquid food or cosmetic/soap colours, add, in drops, enough colour to make the shade you want, mixing it in quickly to avoid it fizzing up. If using a powdered colour, simply add, a little at a time, and mix until you have your desired shade.

Blend in the colour until you have a consistent shade throughout the mixture to avoid 'spots' especially important with powdered colours.

Measure 10ml of either fragrance or essential oil into mixture. Most essential or fragrance oils will not cause the mixture to fizz, but certain citrus oils may, so if this happens, mix in quickly and thoroughly. Do not leave the mixture to stand or it will slowly start to set.

Now, a little at a time and working the mixture all the time, spray a little water on it with the hand sprayer. Mix continuously to avoid it fizzing-up in the bowl and ONLY ADD ENOUGH WATER TO HAVE THE MIXTURE START TO HOLD TOGETHER WHEN LIGHTLY SQUEEZED IN YOUR HAND.

Test the mixture by squeezing some in your hand. It should JUST hold together and not be too damp.

Once this point is reached you need to work quickly to compress the mixture into your moulds.

Fill each half just proud of the surface and press together for a few moments.

Then remove one half, being careful not to let the bath bomb fall out.

Leave to set in the remaining half for 20-30 minutes (typical). You should end up with 5 bath bombs sitting in 5 half moulds with 1 half mould left, into which you can press any left-over mixture if you wish.

You could choose to use all kinds of moulds including something simple like ice-cube trays or small yogurts pots, silicone baking moulds, cup cakes etc. If making these with children it's often easier to use simple moulds that don't need 2 halves.

After 20-30 minutes they should be quite hard. Simply take the bath bomb from the mould and leave it to dry. If they've not hardened enough, just leave them in their moulds a little longer and test again.
To extend the life of your plastic moulds, don't leave the bath bombs in them any longer than necessary and wash the mould thoroughly immediately after use.
To keep your bath bombs in top condition, keep them in a sealed container at room temperature until you want to display them.
Beginners will usually find Granular Citric Acid easier to use. To improve the look and finish of the bath bomb, use Powdered or very fine Citric Acid, although care needs to be taken not to use too much water or they will start to 'grow' before they set hard.

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Uses for baking soda

•Clean floor – add half a cup of baking soda to a bucket of warm water.
•Clean dishes. Add a scoop of baking soda with washing up liquid to a warm water. Let it soak for a bit, rinse.
•Clean bath, sink etc – either sprinkle some soda and wipe with wet clothe or make a paste – 3 spoons of soda + 1 spoon of water, mix, apply, wipe or rinse well.
•Cleaning brushes and combs – soak in warm water with a scoop of soda, rinse, dry.
•Cleaning washing machine – sprinkle a bit on the bottom, let it soak for a bit. Put on quick rinse.
•Clean kitchen sponges – soak in warm water with a scoop of soda. Rinse well.
•Cleaning cooker – sprinkle soda and spray with water or make a paste (3 spoons of soda + 1 spoon of warm water), apply, let it sit for a while. Wipe with a wet cloth.
•Cleaning oven – generously sprinkle soda, spray with water. Let it sit for a bit (from 1 hour to overnight). Wipe with wet clothe.
•For microwave - make a paste (3 spoons of soda + 1 spoon of warm water), apply, let it sit for a while, wipe with a wet cloth put some soda on a wet cloth, wipe microwave.
•For washing – softening, getting rid of greasy stains and odour. 1 cup of soda + 4-6 cups of detergent.
•Unclog drain – pour some soda down the drain (2-3 spoons), pour half a cup of vinegar, pour hot water. Also, pour 3 parts of soda, gently add 1 part of citric acid, pour quickly 2 parts of vinegar, add hot water.
•Clean a toilet and get rid of odour – pour a cup of soda down the toilet, let it sit for at least an hour, flash.
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Difference between express manicure, regular manicure and deluxe (spa) manicure.

Express manicure.
• Old polish removed.
• Quick hands wash with warm water, cuticle treatment.
• File and shape nails
• Quick hand massage
• Nail varnish applied (either just treatment or base coat/colour/top

Regular manicure
• Hand soaked in warm water with soap.
• Removing old polish, cleaning nails, file and shape nails. Cuticle treatment and removal.
• Moisturising skin, quick hand massage.
• Nail polish applied (base coat/colour/top coat)

Deluxe (spa) manicure
• Hand soaked in warm water with essential oils.
• Removing old polish, cleaning nails, file and shape nails. Nails treatment. Cuticle treatment and removal.
• Moisturising skin, applying scrub or paraffin bath and deep tissue massage.
• Nail polish applied (base coat/colour/top coat).
Amazing nails and more
Amazing nails and more
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What type of cleaning services and which one to choose?

Individual/self-employed (sole trader).
Basically, without too much technical information - this is an individual, who working for themselves (self-employed). Usually, they are working by themselves for themselves (sole-trader). Normally, paying own taxes and insurance.
There’re few pros and cons to consider.
Pros. Individual/self-employed cleaner’s prices can be cheaper than the average price in your area, which could potentially save you some money in a short run. You could have a flexible arrangement between you and cleaner – it could be easier to rearrange or cancel. You are not tided to any contracts.
Cons. You can become too close to your cleaner, which could lead to all sorts of problems – for example, if quality will drop, it might be a bit difficult to point out. If a cleaner is off sick or on holiday – there’s no replacement. There’s no quality control. If some damage or breakage happened – there’s no guaranty that your cleaner would have appropriate insurance cover and could cost you quite a lot. Same with accident cover. Also, if it is just cash in hand job, technically you became your cleaner’s employer and you will be responsible for taxes and insurance.

Cleaning franchise.
In simple words, franchise is an agreement between two parties which allows one party to market product or services using the trademark and operating methods of the other party.
Positive. All franchise managers had few months training so does all staff. With a cleaning franchise you will get brands that are perceived as trusted and reliable as they have stood the test of time. A franchise will provide replace cleaners for holidays or sickness. Although that is not always the case and can be down to the franchisee and how meticulously the standards are checked
Downside. They usually focus on volume rather than quality. They often have fast turnover of staffs, which could be a bit unsettled – who want to see every fortnight new person, who cleaning their place? Even if you hire same company as your friend 2 streets down – chances are that you will get totally different management, which means different customer service and different quality. There’s no consistency throughout all company and cleaning staff, which could affect quality. Cost tends to be considerably higher than others and less flexibility.
Cleaning agency.
A cleaning agency is an organisation providing cleaning services on behalf of another organisation, person or group. Basically, a cleaning agency finds and (often) vets workers. It then “sells” the workers to people that need a cleaner. This is quite similar to a franchise.
Positive: Normally you will have a minimum contract. You do not have to worry about employing (or replacing) a cleaner. Additionally, you can tailor make their cleaning rota for your home. There’s always someone available, even at very short notice.
Negative: Cleaners usually have no training; there’s no quality control of cleans and most importantly, the customer is not provided with any support and there is no structure or plan. With there being little, or no benefit for the cleaner the staff turnover is high. Agencies are not always locally based so quite often you need to vet the cleaner and check their insurance. Additionally, the homeowner has to pay to the cleaner, the agency’s fee and supply all cleaning materials. It can feel like agencies do not give a value added service to either the homeowners or the cleaners involved. The only party that seems to benefit is the agent!
Cleaning business.
A cleaning business is normally owned/run by an individual operating in their own local area employing a number of cleaners. The business can be run as a sole trader or a limited company as the business grows.
The pricing tends to be similar to sole traders with (depending on if the business is subject to VAT, provides the cleaning materials etc.). There are usually several ways for clients to pay when using such as online, by card, direct debit etc.
A cleaning business may have a contract or, at the very least, Terms of Service which may impose charges on a client for cancellations and lock outs. This is because the cleaning business will have an obligation to pay its staff.
Positive. With a cleaning business you have the added security of an uninterrupted cleaning service and you will get higher insurance cover. Bonding on staff as well as spot checks and training to ensure standards are met and kept. And there will be a manager you can talk to who can either have a word with your cleaner or even replace your cleaner if necessary.
Negative. There is sometimes a high turnover of staff within the cleaning industry so you may not always get the same cleaner.
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Steam cleaning

How it works - Water turned into steam, and released under very high pressure.

There are numerous advantages to steam cleaning over traditional methods of cleaning. These are the big 3:

1. A Higher Standard Of Cleaning

A steam cleaner works by using ordinary tap water to produce superheated dry steam. The temperature and power of this dry steam mean that almost any area can be cleaned and sanitised and brought back to its original condition with minimal time and effort.

The steam will cut through any dirt, grime, grease and chemical film to give amazing cleaning results. All bacteria are killed, and all surfaces are left dry.

2. Save Money

Using the steam will save you a lot of money off your annual cleaning spend:

· No more costly chemicals to buy
· No need to use mops, buckets and other traditional cleaning tools
· Save money on refurbishing as all surfaces will be brought back to as new

3. Improve your Health and the Environment

All steam machines are proven to kill 98% of dust mites and neutralise their allergens so using our steam cleaners can really help asthma and allergy sufferers. Mattresses are where dust mites live and breed. Allergy and asthma sufferers will also benefit from the steam using only ordinary tap water and therefore leaving no chemical residue, which can trigger an allergic reaction.

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