“How do we keep uniforms looking nice? I want to grow my cleaning company and brand my professional look.”
We Ask a House Cleaner about stain resistant, non-fade, wrinkle-free clothes and how to keep uniforms looking nice.
Angela Brown, the house Cleaning Guru gives tips to keep uniforms looking nice with a disposable apron. Especially if you use bleach. A must-have for every maid service.
Listen: Tips to Keep Uniforms Looking Nice
Watch: Tips to Keep Uniforms Looking Nice
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.
Question: What Are Some Ways to Keep Uniforms Looking Nice?
“Hi, Angela. My name is Christine and I’ve been watching your show. And I do love it, by the way. Your segment on what you wear to a job if you’re a house cleaner, about your clothing being neat. How do you keep your clothing neat when you use bleach? Because most of my shirts look like crapola and I can’t keep affording to go out and buy new clothes.
I’m a fan of bleach. I don’t use a lot, but it only takes a day to mess a shirt up. And when we are bending over and doing all kinds of stuff, you just don’t realize that you are in the bleach. My pants included. Nice big old bleach spot on the back. I would love to hear more of your thoughts.”
All right. That question had a lot of bleach thrown in there, but the original question was, “How do I keep my uniforms looking nice?” So, I’m going to answer the bleach question first, and then we’ll talk about the uniforms. So, the bleach question comes down to why are you using so much bleach?
It’s Hard to Keep Uniforms Looking Nice if You Use Bleach
Why are you using so much bleach? The bleach has other alternatives. And so, if it’s mildew, mold, grease, or thick gunk that you’re trying to dissolve, you may want to consider a degreaser.
They sell degreasers like dishwashing liquid that are less caustic than bleach.
Now bleach is good for what it does. and it’s touted as having a multiplicity of things that it does. But you have to look at, “Is it for everyday use?” And the answer is, “No.” There are hazardous precautions that you have to take if you’re going to work around a bleach because it will damage the inside of your lungs. And I’m not raining dissatisfaction on any of the bleach companies. Bleach is amazing for what it does.
Bleach is Not an Everyday Cleaning Product
All right. Having said that, look at what it does to your clothes. If it’s ruining your clothes after one day, oh, my goodness.
What happens if bleach spills on a customer’s carpet? What happens if it leaks for some reason out of your cleaning caddy? Or you dribble it all along the customer’s carpeted floor? Now you’ve got to replace that carpet because there’s no way to fix that. And so, there are a lot of things that you have to consider when using bleach in a customer’s home. My recommendation is, don’t use bleach unless you have to.
Okay. Now back to the uniforms. Your house cleaning uniforms are part of your brand. And so, you’re going to take as good of care of your uniforms as you do of your car. And your cleaning supplies, and as you do of your company image.
Keep Your Uniforms Looking Nice – It’s a Branding Thing
Uniforms looking nice are part of your company image. Every day when you show up, you want to look like a million bucks. Because you are a sales piece, that if you look the same every single day, then your customers will say, “Wow. I can promote this. I’m not sending somebody that’s all covered in bleach over to my neighbor’s house. I’m sending somebody that looks like a million bucks.”
You make your customers look better when you keep uniforms looking nice. And so, I mean, it comes down to the basics. You’ve got to shower every single day. You’ve got to do your hair every single day. If you’re a female and you wear makeup, wear your makeup every single day. Make sure that you press your clothes or chose clothes that are wrinkle resistant.
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice – Wear Wrinkle Free Fabrics
Now I’ll be honest with you. I don’t press my clothes. To me, that is too high maintenance, so I’m not going to buy fabrics that wrinkle because, to me, that’s too high maintenance.
I want something I can pull out of the washing machine, that I can hang it over the banister. When it dries, I put it on, and I look like a million bucks. To do that, you need wrinkle-free clothing. It’s great if it’s stain resistant too.
Stain resistant will not resist bleach, but it will resist small, minor stains. So, if something flicks up there, you get some dirt, you get some grime or grease, it’s going to resist that for the most part.
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice with Constant Care
If you get something on your shirt … (This does not go with bleach. Bleach is just in a league of its own,) but if you get some gunk on your shirt, you can put a little bit of dishwashing soap on the spot. Or, you could put a little bit of vinegar on there. And you let it soak for a little bit, wash it out, and you’re good to go.
Okay, so there are things you can do to keep uniforms looking nice. And my recommendation is that you have seven. Seven of every uniform. Because if you have seven and you’re only working five days a week, that gives you a uniform for every day without having to do the wash.
At the end of the week, you wash them all together and you hang them up to dry, and now you have a new uniform for every day of the week. Halfway through the year, when one or two of your shirts start getting grungy, then you go ahead and you toss the other two into the mix. The same goes for pants.
Wear Non-Fade Clothing to Keep Uniforms Looking Nice
Now if you buy colorfast or fade resistant clothing, it’s not going to fade with frequent washing. So, what happens if you buy a colorfast product? It doesn’t matter how many times you wash it, it’s going to hold the color. The cargo pants that I wear, I’m in my fourth year of these pants. Wearing them every day for four years, they are slightly faded, but still look nice.
The uniform tops I’m going on year two, with the seven shirts. And I’ve just added two more to the mix because maybe they started looking a little bit grungier. I got something on there I couldn’t get off, or whatever. And clothes that you’re wearing every single day, and you’re working in, sweating in, they’re going to start to show signs of wear. And when they start looking a little not so professional, that’s when you want to get rid of them and get a new shirt.
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice with Annual Rotation
The clothing I buy is not expensive. The shirts are like 15 bucks. The pants are a little bit more. They’re going to be 20 to 30 bucks. But they’re going to last for a few years. And if you’re rotating between several pairs of pants, they’ll last a while.
And because uniforms are a business expense, your investment is a tax deduction. So, any of the money that you spend on uniforms, you’re going to tax deduct. And so, it’s up to you to stand tall and to look professional. Keep uniforms looking nice. It’s a small marketing cost.
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice – A Word to the Wise
Keep in your cleaning caddy a bib apron that covers the front of your clothes or one of those recyclable, disposable aprons for single use.
That way if something flicks upon you, it won’t ruin your clothing.
Money saved is money earned.
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice – Your Marketing Depends on it
But your image is paramount. It’s paramount to your success because when you feel like a million bucks, you act like a million bucks. And the professionalism and consistency show up in your work.
Your image is a consistent product that you bring to peoples’ homes. When you bring a top notch consistent looking person into a home to clean your message is. “This is something (someone) I can promote.”
Keep Uniforms Looking Nice – Or It Your Brand Can Suffer
Not caring about your image could cost you more in advertising money. Because if you don’t look like someone people want to recommend, you won’t get referrals.
So, it’s just my personal preference, but I’ve been doing this for years. We’ve trained companies for years and this is a system that works.
Anyway, that is how you keep your uniform looking professional.