Steamer certification – is there such a thing? What do you when you don’t know how to use a new steam cleaner? Experimenting on surfaces isn’t an option in professional house cleaning, it’s too risky.
Knowing how to use your tech before entering a customer’s house is essential to the job.
So, how does a house cleaner learn to use different cleaning equipment like steamers?
Listen: Steamer Certification – Is There Such a Thing?
Watch: Steamer Certification – Is There Such a Thing?
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. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Steamer certification, is that even a thing? There’s a house cleaner that bought a steamer, and she wrote in to the show and wanted to know, “Is there steamer certification that I can take?”
It was a great question, and the answer is probably not. When you buy a piece of equipment, unless it’s a high-end piece of equipment and the manufacturer is going to walk you through how to use it, pretty much it’s you on your own.
When you buy a vacuum, a steamer, or any of these things that you buy on a regular open marketplace, you’re kind of on your own.
Read the User’s Guide and Read it From End to End
And so, if you run a cleaning business, you need to get the user’s guide and that you read it from cover to cover. Once you’ve understood the different fine print bullet points, then write questions that the answers are in the bullet points.
And then have a training day at your business. It’s going to be different for every business, it’s not something you buy training for, sit down and watch the training. Because every business has their own equipment.
They have their own steamer, their own vacuums, they have their own equipment that works for their type of business.
Create Your Own Training
So, create your own training, where on a Saturday, for example, you bring in your employees and you let them test out the equipment.
That way they know how strong and how powerful a vacuum might be. Or when they use a vacuum hose, here’s how to put all the attachments together.
If it’s a steamer, how do you disconnect the handle if you’re going to use it as a handheld steamer, and what is the pressure of the steam that comes out?
How Do You Steam a Bathtub?
So, if you’re going to steam the grout in the side of a bathtub, where do you stand? Where do you put your cord? How do you turn the machine on and off? What do the buttons mean? Does one mean high steam and one means low steam?
Therefore, it’s important to be familiar with the equipment that you’re using. The worst thing for anyone is having a house cleaner that shows up to a customer’s house with a new piece of equipment that they’ve never used.
And they’re trying to figure out how to use it, and they’re experimenting on the surfaces of the customer’s home. And then they don’t know, can I use this brush, or should I not use it?
Steamers Come With Different Attachments
Like a steamer, for example, the one that we recommend comes with 25 different attachments. One of those attachments is a wire bristled brush. Now, if you didn’t know any better, you’d say, “Wow, this is going to get some icky stuff off.”
But if you use that, for example, on the inside of a toilet, you would scratch the porcelain right off, so that’s an absolute no-no and you should never try that.
That should be inside your company training. This wire bristled brush is to be used on nothing else, nothing else, except a barbecue grill.
You Need to Have a Test in Your Company Training
And then when they know exactly what that is, there’s a test, and they have to sign off on the test. And they say, “I know the answers.” And they take a test on all the different pieces of equipment you have, and the different attachments, and what you use this for, and what do you use this for.
And then here’s the attachment we have that goes to the vacuum here. Do you use this on upholstery or on a stairway? And they need to know the difference. Can you tell me what this is for by looking at it? Are there other ways that I can use this, and what are the other ways that are acceptable by my company?
You Might Have a Different Purpose Than Manufacturers Intended
Because while the manufacturers may say one thing, you might have a different purpose for it. It might work for you because you never intend to use the manufacturer’s warranty because the product you’re using is not warrantied under commercial use.
So, you might have a different use for it altogether, which is fine if you articulate that upfront, and then everyone in your company plays by the same rules. And you want to make sure that it’s safe to do.
You Could Put Employees in Danger if You Don’t Follow Directions
If you go rogue and you say, “Here’s how we’re going to use this equipment,” and it’s not safe by the manufacturer, you could be putting your employees in harm’s way. And so, don’t under any circumstance give your employees some equipment and turn them loose.
But if you have training where you ask questions, you let them touch it, you let them roll up the cord, you let them figure out here’s how heavy it is. If I’m doing a job and I’m tired, this is how I maneuver it or operate it. If there’s an extension cord, where does the extension cord need to be if I’m using this?
What can you get this close to? Can you get it close to electrical objects? Can you get it under running water, or must it stay away from running water? You need to know those things, and it needs to be tested by your employees.
Keep a File of Your Employee Training Records
Then you keep a file of the employee training that your employees have had on that particular equipment. Then there are no surprises and no guesswork.
When you send them out into the field with whatever your upsell kit is, and that’s the special equipment that you’re training them on then they’re trained, and you’ve watched them be trained.
You know that they’re trained, you’re comfortable with them using it. You’re familiar with the process in which they’re going to be using it.
Your Employees Need to Know How and When to Use the Equipment
They know what jobs use this equipment and what jobs don’t. They know what personal protective equipment is assigned to this particular product. So, if they ever use this steamer, this is the personal protective equipment they must be wearing at the same time.
There are all these little different facets, and you should create that and set that up so that there are no surprises. That way when you send them out, they’re comfortable with the equipment and they’re good to go. Resources
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