Tired of the drudgery of sweeping and bathroom cleaning? Hire a housekeeping service, says Suvasini Sridharan

Let’s see now. The daily help takes leave the day after a massive dinner party. You can’t get a cook for love or for money. The ayya drinks up the baby’s milk… The list of domestic help complaints is endless.

“I went through three people in two months,” says IT professional Sandhya Kumar from Chennai. “My biggest problem was that they would never come on time in the mornings for me to leave for work.” Finally, Sandhya and her husband did what a whole lot of families are now doing: they decided to hire professional home cleaners. “They come in once a week and do a thorough cleaning of everything from kitchen and bathrooms to fans and window grills. For the rest, my husband and I manage.”

Shanthi Premraj has been running the Chennai-based Hygenics for the past 35 years, and says she has now begun to service homes as well from the earlier hotels and offices. Most of her employees are women who have had difficult lives; Shanthi has trained them in housekeeping and they are happy to earn a living. “All cleaners are given uniforms and aprons and are taught to be tidy, besides being trained in house cleaning,” says Premraj.

From scrubbing bathrooms and kitchens to clearing out cobwebs and cleaning fans, house cleaning service providers take care of it all. Whether it’s a once-in-six-months spring-cleaning job or a weekly general clean-up, customers get various options. “We offer many packages for residences,” says P. Arun, operations executive at Pegasus Facilities, Chennai. “We have annual maintenance contracts for home cleaning, bathroom cleaning, kitchen cleaning etc and clients can choose a plan that suits them.” Pegasus even offers car-cleaning services.

Usually, three to four workers are sent for a general home cleaning exercise, along with a supervisor. Almost all of them bring their own cleaning products and machinery as well. Clean Fanatic in Bengaluru prides itself on using scientific methods. Besides general cleaning, the company is known for mattress, sofa and carpet cleaning.

“A lot of us don’t realise that regular cleaning of mattresses is necessary to get rid of dead skin that attracts allergy-causing microbes,” says Nishant Prasad, founder, Clean Fanatic. “We use ultra-violet lights, HEPA filter vacuums, and spray disinfectants to make sure the mattress is as good as new.” Clean Fanatic is also known for a special carpet-cleaning technique that extracts dust and shampoos the carpet.

The services are especially useful for detailed spring-cleaning. You can sit back and let the pros clean out hard-to-reach cupboards and ceiling nooks, vacuum under the beds and wardrobes, and get the dirt off toughies like the stove and microwave. Gardens, terraces, pools and windows, tackle them all at one shot.

Before choosing a housekeeping service, do some research, talk to the people in charge, find out the products they use and their terms and services.

For instance, Prasad ensures the customer and workers are on the same page by drawing up a list of services and making sure every one has a copy.

If you are unhappy with the service, don’t be afraid to give feedback. “We learn a lot and improve via feedback,” says Arun.

“We have a customer service team that checks in after the service and any problems are rectified immediately.” Looks like customers will soon be swept off their feet!

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