Getting the Most Out of ProperHands (for New Customers)

Thinking of booking a cleaning session with us? Here are some suggestions and tips based on our experience to help you with your decision-making process as well as getting the most out of your booking!

Keeping an Open Mind

Engaging a new cleaner can be scary. You are basically inviting a stranger into your home for the first time, and literally display all your mess to him/her. Trust us, it can be as terrifying for the cleaner as well. Because of that, both home owners and cleaners tend to be cautious and wary when meeting for the first time. We hope that everyone can be as open-minded as possible and give it some time for the both of you to get used to each other, and for the cleaner to get used to your home. That is how we advise our cleaners as well when they are slightly apprehensive when faced with uncertainty.

Especially if you have hired someone to clean your home previously, please do not expect the same kind of behaviour and personality, or even the same style of cleaning as your previous cleaner as they are entirely different people. If you have certain preferences as to cleaning style and order, do communicate that with the cleaner and I’m sure that all the cleaners will try their best to adapt to you. Of course, we’re not asking you to tolerate behaviour that you’re uncomfortable with. If that does happen, do let us know and we’re speak to the cleaner or find someone else more suitable for you.

Allocating Enough Time for Cleaning Tasks

We understand that time is precious and some of you would like the cleaning to be completed as quickly as possible or you might not be willing to pay for more hours and thus have booked the shortest duration possible for your cleaning session. However, this normally doesn’t give cleaners enough time to complete the cleaning tasks, thus leaving customers with a bitter taste with a half-completed cleaning.

That is the reason why we have recommended hours for homes of a certain size. Typically it takes a cleaner an hour to vacuum and mop a 3-bedroom (4 or 5-rm HDB) home. Bathrooms take around 30-45 min each and the kitchen usually occupies 1 hour. If you’re looking at ironing, a rough average would be around 10 pieces of clothing ironed per hour. We’re not saying that all cleaners will clean at the same exact speed nor this applies to homes with different levels of cleanliness. That is why usually for the first two cleaning sessions, it might take longer than expected to complete all the cleaning tasks.

If you’re clear about the exact tasks and the standard time it needs for cleaning, please feel free to adjust the duration. If you’re not, we would advise you to book with our recommended duration and if there’s a need to, we can always adjust the duration after the first few sessions once you are used to the cleaner and the cleaner is used to your home and preferences.

Using the Right Tools for the Right Jobs

We’ve written about using the right tools for window cleaning to ensure safety for our cleaners. This also directly affects how clean the windows have been cleaned and how fast the task is completed. That is the reason why we also request that home owners provide the right tools for the right jobs. A good example is using a vacuum cleaner vs a broom. It is common knowledge that a vacuum cleaner is a much more comprehensive cleaning tool than a broom, therefore your expectations have to be lowered if you are only providing a broom for the cleaner. Another example is using a mop vs a cloth to wipe the floors. We have encountered families where the floors have always been wiped clean using a cloth, and although that can definitely done, the cleaner would have to spend more time and physical effort to get it cleaned. In the long term, some cleaners might not be willing to use this method for long as it puts extra strains on their backs and legs, thus choosing to quit the job. Providing the right tools and cleaning agents is important to ensure that the cleaner is able to do the cleaning in an efficient and effective way.

Booking for A Service on the ProperHands Website

If you’re still not familiar with our booking process, our website allows you to simply sign up and book for a cleaning in just 3 simple steps when you click the Book a Cleaning button:

  1. Sign up with your contact details and address
  2. Choose your service frequency (one-time or recurring), appointment timing and cleaning duration/tasks.
  3. Make payment by entering your credit card.

All these can be done within 5 minutes. Our system makes it easy and convenient for you to make payment so you don’t have to send cash manually every time a cleaning is done as well as this is handled automatically. We are currently Braintree as a payment gateway since our new website was relaunched in September 2016 and this is the same gateway that companies like Uber uses to store your credit card details. All your credit card information is stored in the Braintree Vault and not with us, therefore we do not have any access to your credit card information. Our new website also allows you to re-schedule or cancel your cleaning sessions without the need to contact us directly. This request will be sent directly to the cleaners for them to respond.

Conclusion

When you engage a cleaner, you are effectively building a new relationship. For a relationship to bloom, it’ll have to be nurtured with care and concern. This is similar with working with cleaners. We hope that the cleaners are given the respect that they deserve as they are human beings like you and me. To make it work, both you and the cleaner have to put in effort to make it work, and that includes proper communication and understanding. This builds trust and is the foundation for a long and lasting relationship. Many of our customer-cleaner relationships has been blossoming due to the right amount of effort being put in and that has definitely created happiness and satisfaction for everyone.

The Window Cleaning Dilemma (Part 2)

Previously we talked about the dangers of high rise window cleaning in Singapore and the steps that MOM has taken to protect the foreign domestic workers when performing this task. We’ve also mentioned that we expect our customers and cleaners to observe the same safety precautions while cleaning the exterior windows.

However, because of safety reasons, not all of our cleaners might be willing to clean the exterior windows. Or you might not have allocated sufficient timing for the cleaners to clean the windows as it’s a very time consuming task and you require him/her to finish up other more important cleaning tasks like ironing. Is there an alternative way to get your windows cleaned?

Because of technology, automatic window robotic cleaners have started appearing in the market a few years ago and have been a welcomed addition to robotic vacuum cleaners. There are several robots available for purchase in Singapore and some function differently than others.

Hobot 188

The Hobot 188 window cleaning robot uses 2 alternating suction pads to traverse the surface of your window pane, with 1 suction pad activated while the robot swivels around to clean the glass using the attached micro fibre cloth and to position the other suction pad in place for the subsequent repeating action to follow. There is also a vacuum which sucks out any dust on the surface. This model comes with the fully automated feature as well as a remote control for you to clean more specific parts of your window.

Evovacs Winbot 950

The Evovacs Winbot 950 is the highest end model in the Winbot range of robotic window cleaners. This is also known for its range of robotic floor vacuum cleaners, the Deebot. The Winbot 950 also utilizes a suction cup to adhere to the glass and moves in a straight line, turning 90 degrees when it hits and detects the window frame or even the edge of a frameless glass. Similar to the Hobot, the Winbot also has a remote control function which allows you to control the movement of the robot cleaner.

MyWindoro

The final robotic window cleaner we’re introducing here is MyWindoro. Using a different method to keep the machine on the glass, MyWindoro uses magnets to keep the 2 parts of the unit together and moves in a zig-zag pattern to clean the glass pane. Now you might think that this is a smart way to clean both sides of the glass at the same time. On the contrary, each part has a different function, one acting as the navigator while the other side does the cleaning, carrying the spinning pads as well as the detergent.

These robots represent a new era in home cleaning and automation. With their invention, it does seem that our lives have become simpler and safer. That being said, there are definitely ways which these robots can improve on such as better battery life, lowering the noise output and also reducing the size of these robots.

To purchase these robots, you can find them and other similar products online at e-commerce sites like Lazada. If you’re looking at a live demonstration of some of these robots, check out the electronics superstores or some of the local DIY stores such as SelfFix DIY.

The Window Cleaning Dilemma (Part 1)

Since we’ve started connecting customers and cleaners back in January 2015, we have received quite a lot of questions pertaining to the task of window cleaning. In Singapore, this issue is especially relevant to us as the majority of residents live in high rise buildings and therefore, there’s always the danger of falling whilst cleaning the exterior window panes.

It was reported in 2012 that there were 10 cases of foreign domestic workers who fell to their death while cleaning windows. This led to action by MOM, implementing a law which requires that all foreign domestic workers to have an adult present to supervise them while they were cleaning the exterior window panes, especially if the window grills are unlocked and open. Because of this move, the number of deaths fell to one in each of the 2 years since then.

At ProperHands, we expect the our cleaners to follow similar safety requirements. We strictly do not allow them to lean out of the windows to clean the exterior window panes. So how then should they do their job? We advise all our customers to have an extendable window wiper available so that the cleaner can simply reach out to clean even with the window grills safely locked.

These window wipers can typically be purchased at many local stores selling housewares and home cleaning tools or at your nearest supermarkets. For those seeking a slightly higher quality and multipurpose wiper, 3M has a 3-in-1 multipurpose wiper which allows you to Foam, Scrub and Wipe all window and glass surfaces. Although it can be slightly more expensive than a normal wiper, it enables you to clean the windows in an enjoyable and effortless manner.

No matter which tool you get, this will definitely ensure that the cleaners are kept safe while they keep your home clean!

How to migrate from our old to new site

Here’s a simple to use visual guide for how to migrate from our old site to our new one. If you are a current customer or have signed up with us before, you will need to follow the 3 steps below to get started using our new and improved website.

Step 1

The first step is to login. Visit http://properhands.com/ and click on the red Login button on the top right. A popup window will appear to ask for your mobile number. Login with your mobile number to get a One Time Password. Your old login details are no longer needed here.

step1

Step 2

After logging in, you will need to confirm your booking details. As an existing customer, this page will be automatically pre-filled with details of your existing booking.

step2

Step 3

The last step is to input your credit card details. We no longer use PayPal for payment, this is why we are asking for your credit card again. You can use any credit card you like.

step3

Once you confirm and pay, you’re done!

Important!

Do note that upon migration, only jobs scheduled from 15 October 2016 onward will be displayed. Jobs before 15 October will still be managed in our old site. You can access the old site at http://old.properhands.com.