Note: The following interview is with Amy Adams, co-owner of Hellertown-based cleaning company Cleanhaus along with her husband, Braden Adams. The business has a website, Facebook page and Instagram account (@cleanhauslv).
1. When did you start Cleanhaus? What led you to open a cleaning business here in the Saucon Valley area?
We can’t claim full responsibility for beginning this company. A friend of mine started this company because she couldn’t find a cleaning crew that met her standards. She was tired of being continuously disappointed. So she started her own company. When her family couldn’t pass up a wonderful professional opportunity out of the area, I was desperate to keep the cleaning service. They were the best I had come across and I didn’t want to lose the quality I had become used to. She offered to sell the company to me and I jumped at the chance.
2. What sets Cleanhaus apart from other local cleaning businesses?
Everything is different! Clients have the option to book online, reschedule online if necessary, and pay online. Texts or emails prior to the cleaning remind you that the team is coming, and an email after the cleaning asks if you were satisfied and gives clients the opportunity to mention areas of concern. Cleaners are uniformed, trained, and appear and behave like professionals, because that’s exactly what they are.
3. Please tell me about the scheduling process. How does it work?
The process is simple. Go online to Cleanhausco.com. From the homepage you can get an instant quote by using the slider bars to indicate the size of your home and choosing if you’d like a recurring service. Then click “schedule an appointment.”
The next page allows you to input your name, address, the time you would like to have your house cleaned, credit card payment information (it’s an encrypted payment). Then click “book now.” It’s that simple. One of our managers will arrive on the day and at the time you selected and give you a quick run-down of what to expect and address any concerns you might have. The cleaning team will begin working within minutes of arriving!
We provide cleaning equipment and supplies. If you have a preference for a certain line of products, as long as they are safe to use, we are happy to use your provided supplies.
If a person prefers to speak directly to us, we are always happy to answer any questions via phone and they can text or call us at 484-893-0208.
Commercial clients are given custom quotes. Just give us a call and we’ll schedule a site visit to discuss your specific needs.
4. What can someone expect the first time their home or business is cleaned?
Before they clean, do your best to tame the general clutter in the home and put things where they belong so we have access to the actual dirt and grime. Straightening is the easy part, leave the scrubbing to us. The first clean always takes the longest. Prior to owning the company, I always wondered why the first clean would always take what seemed like hours longer than subsequent cleanings. As it turns out, offices or homes take forever to clean if they have been neglected for a while, and that goes double for bathrooms and kitchens. The crew is also getting used to the space and an owner’s preferences and begins to establish a routine the more they become familiar with a space.
5. What is included in a standard cleaning?
Dusting (more important than it sounds–take a second to move a lamp or picture frame on your bedroom dresser–you may be shocked at what you find), emptying of trash, cleaning mirrors, vacuuming, cleaning all floors with appropriate products, and we replace bed linens if fresh linens are left out on top of the bed. In addition to those tasks, in bathrooms we clean fixtures, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks, cabinetry/countertops. In the kitchens, countertops and cabinetry are wiped down (spot scrubbed if needed), and the exterior of refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens are cleaned as well as the inside and outside of the microwave. Our website has the entire list of “What to Expect.”
6. People are often apprehensive about allowing cleaners into their homes. What measures do you have in place to help give your clients peace of mind?
People should be apprehensive. Prior to learning about this business, I never realized the full risk I previously took by randomly hiring under the table/uninsured workers to clean in my home. Many of our customers found us out of a desire to protect their assets. Some of them learned the hard way that all it takes is hiring one uninsured contractor or worker who gets injured to find yourself on the receiving end of an invitation to court or as the recipient of a large medical bill for someone else. What a relief it never happened to me personally, but I do have friends and clients that have been through this. It is stressful and expensive. Yes, hiring under the table workers is absolutely cheaper in the short term if everything goes flawlessly every time you take that chance, but you are breaking the law and putting your nest egg at risk.
The other peace of mind potential clients may take is that the cleaners that work for us are our employees. We do not subcontract out work, and we pay a competitive wage that brings and keeps quality employees. Our employees are fully background checked. We get to know them and their history. These are not random people willing to work for the lowest pay. We only hire people we trust to work unsupervised in our own home.
7. What area do you cover, geographically?
We are based in Hellertown. We cover Saucon Valley, Center Valley, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Coopersburg, Easton, Allentown (for special projects or clients that are outside of these areas, call us; we may be able to make an exception depending on the job).
8. How often do you recommend scheduling regular cleaning? How long do most homes take to clean?
Like many people, when I first hired cleaning help I started out once a month and realized that no matter how much effort I put in throughout the month, I just couldn’t quite keep up. My house still ended up looking like a staging area for a hoarders intervention.
However, I finally embraced that fact that cleaning and my personality don’t mix and that living in a pig sty was not an option. Cleaning my own house felt like a Sisyphean task. I would rather invest my time doing ANYTHING other than dusting baseboards or scrubbing my toddler’s jelly off the floor (including working a few extra hours at my job to pay someone to do it). One day, my husband laughed at how long I was procrastinating cleaning the kids’ playroom. I even volunteered to help him cut firewood to avoid it. The LAST thing I wanted to do with my free time was pick up messes…he chuckled and said, “Honey, please, let go and just delegate the dirty work.” That has now become our tagline.
The plain and simple answer is: As frequently as you can afford it. Yes it seems like a luxury, but the peace of mind it brings makes such an incredible difference. There is a link posted on our facebook page from a money-saving blog of a woman who calls herself ‘frugal mom.’ In it, she praises the value of hiring professional cleaners.
As far as length of time it takes to clean, the size and condition of homes vary so widely that it’s impossible to give a blanket answer. We have 1 bedroom/1 bath condos that take an hour as well as clients with large complicated homes that require 6 hours of work from two cleaning teams.
9. You have an online feedback system. How does that work and how do you respond to negative feedback?
We don’t like to think of any feedback as negative, we classify complaints as constructive criticism and use them as a roadmap for improvement. We honor and appreciate the time someone took to let us know that improvements can be made and appreciate the opportunity to reassure them that we care and that our team will double up the effort to improve that area at the next appointment. Prior to cleanhaus, if a cleaner I hired started skipping things, possibly without even realizing it, there was never an easy way to request that they correct the issue. The few times I actually worked up the nerve to address issues with previous cleaners, I was met with defensiveness, or treated to a really awkward and uncomfortable conversation and I always felt self-conscious about telling someone else how to do a job, despite the fact that I always did my best to communicate expectations from the moment I hired them. We find that our clients really like the online feedback system. It’s easy and efficient to send a note and get the message to the appropriate party so that any necessary changes in future service will be made.
If there is ever major dissatisfaction, and I can still count the times this has happened on one hand, we are happy to send the cleaner/team back out to make the correction. We strive to meet every single expectation every single time, but we are human. Most clients are happy to have them double up the effort the next visit, but on very rare occasions, an immediate follow-up visit is necessary and we are grateful for the opportunity to right a wrong.
10. If someone wants to give Cleanhaus a try, what’s the first step?
Log on to to the website, indicate the size of your home, fill out your details, pick your cleaning day and book immediately. It really is that easy. If there are questions, please email us at [email protected] or text/call 484-893-0208. We’ll be happy to hear from you.
11. Please tell our readers a bit about you as owners of this company and what makes you uniquely qualified to own a business like this?
We were house cleaning clients first and are well familiar with the frustrating common obstacles one encounters when attempting to successfully hire in-home assistance.
Prior to beginning this company, we both had extremely erratic schedules due to work demands. Braden and I both have a long history with the aviation industry. We traveled frequently, had little time at home, and when we were home, we wanted to be able to relax and enjoy the precious free time we had. To help us manage our home and keep our free time free, it has always been necessary to hire a cleaning company to stay on top of the chaos. We have hired a lot of them over the past decade. With this company, we have really changed the approach to streamline some of the most challenging aspects of hiring a cleaning service. Managing bookings, rescheduling, getting feedback to cleaners and paying is all online. (We are always available via phone if that is more convenient for someone.)
Most importantly, we’d like everyone to know we are licensed and insured and 100 percent locally-owned. We are not a franchise. We truly care that our customers are happy with our service. When someone contacts our company they are contacting us directly.
I also have a history in real estate, and have seen thousand of homes over the years. I’m familiar with the parts of the home that frequently get overlooked for cleaning simply due to lack of time, or due to the fact that after a while, some people simply don’t notice such things as toothpaste spatter on a bathroom mirror.
Because of obstacles we encountered through the years personally hiring cleaners, and my exposure to cleaning needs specific to real estate marketing, we are thoroughly versed in the detail work required to make a home shine. (In addition to regular home cleaning maintenance, we also do move-ins, move-outs and deep cleans.)
12. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, please, it’s 2018, it’s time to JILT the GUILT and prioritize what you would like to do with the precious little free time you have. Do you really want to scrub floors and shine fixtures or would you rather explore the Hoover-Mason Trestle in Bethlehem, catch up with friends or taste test some cupcakes from the local bakery while someone else does your dirty work? So many people would appreciate assistance cleaning their home because they don’t enjoy it, physically can’t do it anymore or aren’t that great at it to begin with, but they can’t shake a feeling of guilt or indulgence by hiring assistance. What if the neighbors saw? What would they think? Who cares? Let them dust and shine and scrub if they enjoy spending their Saturdays doing that…maybe you could drop off a cupcake for them on your way home.
Finally, we are a family-owned, local company, not a franchise. Thank you for considering us.