I’ve been thinking about this a lot while I’m spending hours cleaning. We all know there are ways to make your space actually clean, and then there are ways to make it seem as though it is clean, which may or may not be accurate. I’d like to highlight these little jewels of cleaning psychology. I’ll start with THE LINT ROLLER. After I put each layer of clean bedding on the bed, I touch it up with my iron in one hand and my lint roller in the other. I have to thank @michelle for the lint roller tip, when she shared, “One of our first guests complained about finding one of my hairs in the sheets (I had just washed them in that very morning), and so now I always use a lint roller to make sure the bedding is hair-free (even if I can’t see any),” in the post about Top Tips for Making Guests Happy. Clearly, this is an example of how the bedding was actually clean, but it was perceived as being unclean (sans lint roller usage). The flip side of this example is the post that horrified many when @vancouverhost graciously shared the outrageous story about someone who actually advocated the use of an Ikea lint roller instead of washing sheets if they didn’t appear too dirty in the Craziest Discount post . What other cleaning psychology tidbits can we highlight?
Here’s another: THE SINK STOPPER. Special thanks to @Rory_Taylor for this tidbit he shared in the Top Tips for Making Guests Happy when he mentions that, in his list of cleaning details, he like to, “plug the sink and shower stoppers–just like some hotels instruct maids to do–leaves impression (at least subconsciously) the bathroom was ‘professionally cleaned’ by a Cleaning Service.”
lint roller VERY important because it always picks up hairs you cant see or miss. I have tiny carpet door mats, the get vacuumed but I still go over with the lint roller and still get hair on the roller! I used to iron sheets and pillowcases, no more. Pull them out of dryer BEFORE it shuts off and all the wrinkles should be out. I also have a powerful flashlight;I will walk around the room and check the floors for stray hairs;I cant stand ANY hair at all in the guesthouse,after I clean when I do a walk thru to double check I always find at least one extra hair. Also, check all cabinets for tiny hairs and bits of food on the lower lazy susan, they leave cabinet doors open and they take the cereal out and spill it inside the lower cabinet.
I have a hair doily. It’s gross but it catches the hair, and can even highlight to the guest how much hair they leave in my plumbing. I’ve never had a guest clean out the hair before they checked out.
Another tool to talk about is THE BLACK LIGHT. Several hosts have referred to it, but I’m giving special thanks to @KKC for the photos, product link, and explanation of how it shows hidden biological specimens in the post titled, “Black Light Gives Big Fright.” Clearly, a bathroom or other space can appear to be clean, but this nifty gadget may show if there is actually major nastiness lurking there! By the way, a coordinating product to consider is the special UV protecting yellow glasses, which, according to reviews, increases the contrast of the black light. When my budget allows, I will add both of these to my arsenal. In the meantime, I am wiping down the walls around my toilet on every cleaning!
Thanks for the tip, @konacoconutz! I had to search what that was, and (after passing the results about decorations to be worn on one’s head!) I found lots of hair catching devices for drains. If you have a particular one you recommend, I’d love to get a link or more details!
Steam mop for the bathroom/shower tiles is a good one
Not really a tip but I have garbage bins with a chrome lid and I think having a sparkling, mirror-like lid on these “dirty” objects increases perceived cleanliness.
Finally, a statement I think makes sense. Polishing the chrome fixtures in the bathroom makes me gasp. So silly, but there it is. My coffee machine glistens when guests arrive, especially the chrome parts. I can’t believe how clean my spaces are, and to date, my guests have agreed.
Here’s one I definitely want to share: THE GROUT PEN. When we purchased our home, the shower in the separate apartment we rent out had some seriously old grout. I scrubbed the heck out of it with all manner of products, even using a specialty acid and a hard steel brush. There was no way actual dirt remained, but the stains made it look dirty. I hired someone to re-grout it, and they dug out the top layer of old grout before adding fresh white grout. Would you believe that some stains still bled through? Finally, I used a grout pen that adds a layer of white paint to make the grout look pristine (and waited 24 hours before allowing use of the shower). It’s a miracle–we finally have beautiful white grout! Here’s the link:
Great tips, everyone! You reminded me of another one! DRYING THE SINK.It’s so silly, because a sink or tub/shower is meant to get wet; but for some reason, if you dry it so there’s not a single water droplet, it looks more clean! Every time I’m done cleaning the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, and the shower, I use a hand towel to dry them off completely.
The smell of clean. I’m not advocating artificial fragrance, but rather we use Mrs. Meyer’s all surface cleaner in lavender–there are many scents to choose from. The place smells divine when we are finished with it.
I also second chrome polishing. All chrome is polished to perfection with microfiber cloth and a little glass cleaner, and adds the finishing touch. We also make sure there are no fingerprints on the remote controls, the hair dryer, etc. “Clean” looks like no one has ever stayed there.
Lint roller my best friend:)
This, I think this is the goal for a vacation rental. I also agree about the lavender scent, I think this is the best scent for cleaning products, I use a lavender fabric softener and it is enough to give a very light, clean smell in bedrooms and bathroom.
2x yearly…every owner needs to either put a good book on the ipod, or blast out some great music, and spend a huge amount of time looking at every piece of molding, every wall, every corner, every vent…and stop and clean everything. If it can not be cleaned then it needs to be repainted or replaced. Accepting the normal dirt and grime is insidious, and hard to see. The devil is in the details.
Ash , I just got mine at Home Depot. It was no more than $3-4. Ever since using it I have had no clogged drains due to hair.
I don’t know whether this makes a difference, but perhaps a fresh coat of paint helps. Peeling paint might give a subconscious impression of uncleanliness. Opinions?
Peeling paint, especially in older homes, is never okay. Always a chance that the chips have some lead in them.
This is why I still iron the sheets. Though I take short-cuts - I think pulling back the comforter and seeing the freshly ironed sheets shouts “CLEAN”. And white sheets, of course. Also when the sheets have been ironed they someone ‘stick’ together, so there’s no doubt those sheets are fresh and clean.
I do just run the iron over the fitted sheet after I put it on the bed. Then I iron the top 1/3rd of the top sheet on the board (even when I use a duvet - I just can’t imagine not having that layer…sorry my friends across the ocean…) and then rest when it’s on the bed.
@diamond54 I do take the sheets out promptly, but they are still very wrinkled - perhaps because they are all cotton?
Great tips, everyone! I just thought of another! TOWEL TRICKS. I first heard this one from @konacoconutz in the post, “It’s the little things that count.” She said, “Maybe it’s me but the unfolded hems almost signal that the towel could have been used. I always fold the hems under, like they do in hotels.” And I have since seen a similar comment from @KKC in the post, “Is it common to make the bed.” K9 commented, “I used to hang the towels in the bathroom, now I leave them folded on the bed. I did it because it’s just one tiny step less for me but I could also see where a folded towel on the bed seems cleaner than what could be a used towel hanging in the bathroom.” On a similar note, I’ll throw in the fact that, after I hang my towels in the bathroom (with their unslightly hems showing!), I touch them up with the iron so they look pristine.