House Cleaners tidy bathroom nightmare
When we started Choice Cleaning about 10 years ago, our work mostly involved cleaning apartment complexes after tenants moved out. We loved transforming a dirty home into a sparkling sanctuary. But we quickly found that many of those who rent, perhaps because they’re living in a temporary home, neglect upkeep and don’t bother to tidy up before they leave, leaving us with some nightmarish bathroom cleanings. With homeowners, we more often clean a livable home, but we still walk into our share of nightmares.
In the bathrooms, we regularly find tubs coated in soap scum and slime, mirrors completely obscured by water spots and toothpaste, sinks covered with hair clippings, hairspray and other residue, and toilets transformed into something you wouldn’t even see in a portable restroom. You know that warm, comfortable feeling you only experience at home, when you let yourself go and don’t worry about a thing? Well, for some, that includes failing to properly aim while using the bathroom.
Ready and willing to save the day, we put on our gloves, grab our chisels and set to work. Recently, we estimated a job for a couple moving to another city — a combined residential and move-out clean. (Our regular cleans start at $95, but more work-intensive move-out cleans begin at $175.) On a swift house tour, rather than let us in the bathrooms — which typically require the most time to clean of any room — our prospective customer simply opened the door and said, “Bathroom, shower, toilet.” We submitted our bid of $275, which he accepted on the spot — eerily fast.
When we returned to the house about a week later, we immediately noticed issues concealed during the walk-through, such as carpet turned from a lovely shade of blue to cream by prodigious amounts of dog hair. But nothing could have prepared us for the bathrooms, where we’d been denied full access previously. The once cream-colored insert tub was black from the bottom to about 3 feet up the walls. Hair, toothpaste and nail clippings blanketed the white sink, turning it a greenish, speckled color. But the pièce de résistance was the toilet.
Clearly in the four years the couple lived there, a toilet brush never touched that rarely flushed commode. It was covered in — well, you know — and the walls and floor took the extras the toilet couldn’t handle. Our faces felt flushed with disgust. This made the nastiest truck-stop restroom look downright immaculate and there were two other bathrooms in similar shape. Being professionals, we set to work, using heavy duty cleaners and razor blades to scrape off thick scum. In addition, we applied serious elbow grease, our most proven cleaner. We scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed until we were happy with the results.
Not surprisingly, when the couple returned, they told us their house, including those horrific bathrooms, hadn’t looked this good since they moved in. At the end of the day, that’s the payoff for dirty jobs. No one wants to walk into a nightmare. But we take pride in the sense of accomplishment that comes with cleaning it up. As for the bathroom surprises, we didn’t charge extra. But when we estimate jobs now, we lift toilet seats and thoroughly inspect everything customers want cleaned.