Whether it’s due to your child getting over-excited with a permanent marker or you’ve accidentally let a pen fall down the back of the sofa, it’s surprisingly easy to get pen marks on furniture. Just like knowing how to remove ink stains from clothes, however, once you’ve got a few handy tips up your sleeve, those pesky pen stains will prove no match to your awesome powers of cleaning. And luckily for you, we’ve got those handy tips right here. Read on for some top tips on how to get ink stains out of all types of different materials and never worry about falling asleep with a biro on the sofa again!

Removing ink stains from wood

There are numerous unfortunate ways of accidentally getting a pen mark on your wooden furniture, but luckily, there are also some pretty straight-forward methods of getting it out. One technique often recommended by experts is to use baking soda. This kitchen ingredient has natural eroding qualities that make it great for getting rid of stains. Add one teaspoon to half a cup of water and mix well. The powder should dissolve into a thin paste. Spread this over the stain and wait for around 15 seconds. Remove the solution with a soft, clean cloth and the ink should come away, too.

Haven’t got any baking soda in the house? Try washing-up liquid instead. This requires half a teaspoon of the soap to one third of a cup of water that should be slightly warm. Mix up the solution until you have lots of bubbles – it’s these rather than the liquid itself that has the impressive stain removal powers. Take some of the bubbles with a soft cloth and apply to the stain. Use a damp cloth to remove and then voilà: pen-free furniture!

Removing ink stains from your sofa

If you want to remove ink from a sofa, start by blotting the stain with lukewarm water. Avoid rubbing it as this can push the stain in further. Next, apply rubbing alcohol. This is pretty potent stuff so make sure to do a patch test first somewhere you can’t see, just to check it will not adversely affect your sofa’s material. Assuming it’s all fine, put the rubbing alcohol – sometimes also known as isopropyl alcohol – onto a clean cloth and apply with gentle dabs. The ink stain should come away on the cloth. Let the sofa dry naturally after.

Removing ink stains from painted surfaces

If you or your little one has got ink stains on painted surfaces, there are a few different tricks you can try. Many people swear by insect repellent. These sprays often contain powerful chemicals that will banish both bugs and ink stains. Again, make sure to do a patch test first and no one wants to make things worse, then apply liberally to the affected areas, wait for a few seconds and remove. If you don’t have insect repellent to hand another option is hair spray. Sometimes less potent, this can still be pretty effective in getting ink stains gone. Because of the contents of the insect spray, you’re best off doing this when you don’t have any children around.

Just like when you want to remove ink stains from clothes, there are lots of options when it comes to removing them from furniture. Depending on the surface affected, try some of the above techniques and see which works for you. If in doubt, consult some of our other useful tips and tricks online.

Got pen stains on your carpet? It’s a good idea to get your carpet professionally cleaned from time to time – get in touch with ServiceMaster Clean for a quote.

Office Kitchen Problems & Solutions

Any time a group of people work together day after day, you’re bound to run into some issues regarding shared spaces – especially in the kitchen. Individuals’ pet peeves and personal cleanliness habits tend to clash if there aren’t set rules for break room and kitchen etiquette at work.

Think of your workplace as a community. Everyone must do their part to pitch in and keep things running smoothly. All the members of the office community need a clear understanding of the office rules and how to obey them. In the kitchen, hang a friendly sign with office kitchen rules for everyone to use as a reference.

What kitchen rules should you put on this handy list? Take a look at some of the top etiquette problems found in office kitchens, and use the simple solutions from the experts at ServiceMaster Clean® to help construct your own guidelines. You can even print out our playful list, written directly to employees, and post it in your kitchen:

Office Kitchen Etiquette  

Problem: A messy kitchen counter and dirty dishes in the sink.

Stacks of dirty dishes piling up turns the sink into a breeding ground for bacteria and odors. By the same token, garbage and food left on the counter invites bugs and pests while simultaneously taking up space that your coworkers need to prepare their food.

Solution: Clean as you go. If you create the garbage, throw it away. If you dirty the dish, wash it. If everyone picks up after themselves, there will be no mess left at the end of the day.

Problem: Food debris left in microwave.

Spills happen, wipe them up. No one wants to see what’s left of your soup explosion when they go to heat their own lunch.

Solution: When using the microwave, cover your dish with a lid or paper towel to prevent splattering. If food debris does dirty the inside of the microwave, use a damp cloth to wipe it up down before the food dries and needs a chisel for removal. If everyone offers the same consideration, no one will get stuck with a messy microwave.

Problem: Rotting food in the fridge.

It’s simple. Spoiled meat, sour dairy and mouldy produce smell bad. Don’t let your food reach this point.

Solution: Keep track of the food and beverages you store in the community fridge. At the end of each week, check the expiration date and toss out old food. Don’t leave anything questionable in the fridge to rot over the weekend.

Problem: Stolen food.

Have you ever experienced the disappointment of opening the fridge door and finding your food missing? There’s an easy way to stop this phenomenon from ruining your day.

Solution: Clearly label personal food with your name and the date. If you bring goodies to share, label them “for everyone.” Even if you find unlabeled food, avoid eating anything that isn’t yours or hasn’t been offered directly to you.

If you notice any of your coworkers aren’t using proper office kitchen etiquette, respectfully remind them of the rules or speak privately with your manager. It’s up to everyone to help ensure the kitchen and shared spaces stay clean and friendly places.

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It’s no surprise that air quality in an office can often be poor. With so many people in such a small space, dirt, dust and other debris can really build up quickly – not to mention the added influence of any office renovations or new building construction nearby.

Poor office air quality can lead to Sick Building Syndrome, which affects employees anytime they’re inside. If workers complain about headaches, respiratory problems, coughing or fevers while on the job, it could very well be due to an indoor air quality issue – especially if these symptoms only occur at work and clear up by the time people get home.

How You Can Improve Office Air Quality

Luckily, there are ways to improve air quality and keep employees happy and healthy in any office environment. At the very least, try the following ideas from ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services to lower the chances of your staff getting sick and to improve office air quality overall:

  • Keep your air vents open and unblocked. If furniture, boxes or other items block the path of your air vents, the air inside your office won’t circulate properly and could cause health issues.
  • Replace air filters frequently. If your air filters are clogged, air flow becomes nonexistent. Over time, dust and debris will build up behind the filters and settle inside your air ducts, putting your employees’ health at even more risk. As a general rule, air filters should be replaced every 6-12 months.
  • Maintain a healthy level of humidity. Humidity between 30 and 50 percent helps keep dust mites, mould and other allergens under control. Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners to control the humidity level in your office.
  • Clean spills immediately. Excess moisture or residual dampness supports the growth of mildew and mould, which can cause severe health risks. It’s more expensive to remediate mould damage than it is to prevent it, so it’s in your best interest to reduce the risk of mould growth by cleaning up spills or leaks as soon as you see them.
  • Add some office plants. Not only do plants add a pleasing, peaceful aesthetic to any office, they also absorb toxins and produce more oxygen, which means employees will be able to breathe more easily.
  • Use fresh air whenever possible. If your office has windows, open them up and let that fresh air in. When weather permits, keeping your windows and doors open helps circulate fresh air in and stale air out.
  • Keep your office clean. Regularly vacuum, dust, sanitise, clear away clutter and promptly dispose of all rubbish as it accumulates. Often, it’s easiest to schedule regular professional cleanings to ensure this crucial component of indoor air quality doesn’t get overlooked. Keeping clean ensures less pollutants have a chance to mix with the air and make your employees sick.
  • Inspect and clean your air ducts. If there are any signs that your air ducts are impacting air quality or circulation and need to be cleaned, call in experts to assess and correct the issue before anyone’s health is compromised.
  • Have your air quality tested. Experts in air quality have the right tools and know how to measure air quality in offices, from air flow to humidity levels, ventilation, odours, leaks, standing water, water damage, mould growth and more. After a thorough inspection, you’ll know exactly what needs to be fixed to improve office air quality moving forward.

If you need help correcting an indoor air quality issue in your office, call the experts at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services. We’ll be there right away to inspect your office, clean your air ducts and set up a regular cleaning schedule to ensure your staff members stay happy and healthy. With our proven expertise and commitment to holding ourselves to the highest cleaning standards, we’ll always be there to deliver exceptional results for you. Find you nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services to discuss your requirements.

Employees who are able to work in a clean, healthy office often have less sick days and are more productive. A professional cleaning service enables you to focus on running your business and not the daily removal of dirt, grime and more from your premises. There are multiple benefits of using a professional office cleaning service such as ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services.  Here are just five:

5 Benefits of Professional Commercial Office Cleaning

  1. Healthier work environment
  2. Better first impression for customers, visitors and guests
  3. Less hassle
  4. Accommodates your business schedule
  5. Clean done right the first time

Professional Cleaning Service for Healthier Work Environment

Bacteria, allergens and germs are everywhere. Employees as well as customers and visitors can easily spread illness by simply touching surfaces such as desks, computer keyboards and door handles. Regular professional office cleaning that includes dusting, vacuuming, mopping and other cleaning can improve the health of your work environment as it reduces the presence of bacteria, germs, and allergens in the workplace. Allergens such as dust mites and mold spores can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms,  possibly resulting in sick days and reduced productivity.

Clean Office = Good First Impression

Customers and visitors will feel more welcome and happier entering an office that has stain-free carpets and reception area seating as well as dust-free lighting fixtures and a clean bathroom stocked with paper goods and full soap dispensers. You’ll feel confident meeting with customers and guests in a conference room that smells fresh and looks clean to even the most discerning eye.

Commercial Office Cleaning: Less Hassle for You

Running a business takes a lot of time and you shouldn’t have to worry about routine chores like vacuuming the lobby or restocking the paper towels in the restrooms. A professional janitorial service eliminates the hassle of removing the daily grime from your facility. Our ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services janitorial services can accommodate any schedule – we have teams that can clean daily, weekly or monthly as well as day-time only cleaning services.

Office Cleaning Done Right

It’s important your employees have a clean work space and that your customers are impressed with the look of your office each time they visit. A regular office cleaning team can ensure all your needs are met. When our cleaning professionals combine their expertise, we have more than 55 years’ experience in the industry, with technologically advanced equipment and high-quality cleaning products. We promise to get the job done right the first time.

Contact your local ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services to discuss which office cleaning services may best suit your business or facility.