Bristol Mum’s views on Gleem Cleaning

A gleaming house clean with Gleem, Bristol


As a mum, I have a lot of things to do and limited time in which to do them.

Looking after the kids, running a house, cooking, cleaning, keeping on top of the laundry, running my own business, seeing my friends – I find it hard to do everything and consequently something often has to give.

Continue reading Bristol Mum’s views on Gleem Cleaning

We love our cleaners – Startup Serial #11

We love our cleaners

Our stock phrase here at Gleem is ‘adding sparkle’.

We use it to steer our customers away from the event of cleaning, and towards the idea of a Gleem clean being an experience: a seamlessly operated clean, with happy cleaners, who are friendly, professional and go the extra distance, ensuring our customers’ satisfaction.

Two of our excellent Gleem cleaners
Two of our excellent Gleem cleaners

But the metaphor ‘adding sparkle’ doesn’t end there; we use it to talk about our opportunity to provide clean drinking water to India through Frank Water.


We use it to outline the professionalism and kind nature of our operatives on the end of the phone, live chat and emails.

The most poignant place we enjoy saying we ‘add sparkle’ is regarding our cleaners: I started the business because I wanted to build a business that people enjoy working for.

I didn’t want to feel bossed about and undervalued, and so why would I want anyone else at my business to?

From Day 1, we have focussed on finding cleaners who identify with the service that we are looking to provide.

We vet our cleaners thoroughly ( and so, when they start, we know that they are the right fit for us, we are the right fit for them and together we can provide an amazing service for Bristol and Bath citizens.

And it works!

My conversations with other cleaning companies mark this difference: the comparative churn rates of our workers.

Gleem has barely let go of any cleaners since the day we started, whereas other firms talk to me about the volume of turnover being the main sticking point in the businesses. They struggle to expand because they keep losing their cleaners, whereas we are growing strongly, primarily due to our commitment to finding the best: this may take more time, but it is worth it for the long term sustainability of the business.

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The Bristol Post, 16.04.2014

Tidy and Shiny Joseph is cleaning up as his business expands

A YOUNG entrepreneur who started a cleaning business in January is taking on staff and is set to move into new offices.

Joseph Edwards, aged 25, set up Tidy and Shiny from his parent’s home in Westbury-on-Trym just 10 weeks ago.

After winning four office contracts and 60 domestic projects in that time, with several more pending, he is now taking on two admin staff to look after the 15 cleaning staff he will soon be subcontracting work to.

With the aim of moving into offices near Temple Meads, Joseph plans to use his freed-up time to develop the business, first expanding in Bristol then moving to other cities around the UK with his web-based service.

Ultimately he hopes to be operating in 66 major towns and cities in the UK within three years.

Tidy and Shiny offers a standardised service, with set options for deep or light cleaning, and a money-back guarantee if customers are not satisfied.

Full story here

Dishwasher Woes – Dinner Party Woes 9

Dishwasher Woes

Dishwasher clean (part 3)

In our final instalment on how to clean the dishwasher, we’re singing the praises of the main component to Fish and Chips: versatile vinegar.

A fighting force
A fighting force


1. Fill two mugs with vinegar

2. Place one on the top rack and one on the bottom

3. Run a hot cycle with everything else apart from the mugs in the washer. As the water fills the machine, it will overflow the mugs and disinfect the dishwasher due to the acidic quality of the vinegar.

Also, the vinegar’s properties mean it will automatically eradicate any odours lingering around – the best of both worlds!

Happy Gleeming!

If you liked this post, comment below and tell us what you think.

Also, if you’d like to book a clean with us, visit us at or call 0800-808-5544 and we’ll be on our way to make your home shine!


Benefits of paying for directory listings – Startup Serial #10

Benefits of paying for directory listings

Advertising the old fashioned way: much more worthwhile in my opinion
Advertising the old fashioned way: much more worthwhile in my opinion

As I’m sure anybody who works in a small business will agree with: online directories are extremely annoying.

Take up a free listing on their sites and they will hound you, trying to sell premium listings, web design, SEO, even the kitchen sink.

At this point of the business, I had managed to avoid the majority of these, as I couldn’t justify the extortionate cost of a listing on a website I had never heard of, but then I got called by the big boys: Yell and Yelp.

Company Logos-b8f66a35-fd85-431e-b777-f0c0d0c311d2

I got sucked into the sales pitches and ended up taking up their offers for paid advertising. What did I discover from paying for Yell and Yelp advertising? In my opinion, it totally isn’t worth it.


It was early days, and we were trying to be as frugal as possible with our spending: focussing on advertising like Google Adwords that has an immediate ROI that is extremely measureable.

I had made bad decisions and was tied into two 12 month contracts, and was receiving nothing in return. I let this frustrate me, and researched whether paid Yelp or Yell advertising was supposedly any good for small businesses: and I discovered the answer to be a resounding No.

We still focussed on trying to build an identity on these sites, and invested decent time into optimising our pages, but in Bristol UK, where no directory has a large portion of market share (in the USA Yelp is a powerhouse of a directory).

This is by far the most negative blog post I’ve written, but paying for this advertising did teach us one lesson: 

Some things do require a punt, as they may pay huge dividends, but if research proves that it’s unlikely to be a profitable venture, it’s probably worth avoiding.

We learnt a valuable lesson from paying for this advertising, and won’t be doing it again so spontaneously.


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Weekend Dinner Party Woes (Part 8)

Dishwasher clean (part 2)

After last week’s great Bicarb bomb solution, we’ve been hard pushed to find any crafty fixes but we have discovered probably the most satisfying way to clean a dishwasher: an old toothbrush and some hard graft!

Our weapon against caked on grime...
Our weapon against caked on grime…

1. Fill the sink with hot water, washing up liquid and a cup of vinegar. Dip an old toothbrush into the water and scrub along the dishwasher door and into any crevices.

2. Use a sponge dipped in hot, soapy water to remove any of the grime loosened by the toothbrush. Wipe down the sides and door of the dishwasher too.

3. Put the machine on a rinse cycle to remove any remaining grime

Plus, for a citrus aroma, why not place a cup of lemon juice at the bottom of the washer and switch on the rinse cycle? This will leave your appliance smelling lemon-fresh!

Happy Gleeming!






Weekend Dinner Party Woes (Part 7)

DIY dishwasher clean (1)

The dishwasher, saving our bacon since around 1950. Yep, this truly is a miraculous, time-saving piece of machinery. But, many of us forget that it needs some TLC too if we want to be sure our dishes are really getting scrubbed.

dishwasher copy
If anyone has a dog, they’ll know this sight very well!


Many of us are flummoxed by this as considering its function, we automatically assume the dishwasher to be self-cleaning. Yet shockingly, a 2011 study found that 62% of dishwashers across 6 continents tested positive for fungi –  lovely news!

Gleem will be looking at a number of solutions as to how to deal with this problem over the next few weeks. Our first fix being…

The Baking Soda Bomb:

By far the most fun option, with the crafting involved we are massive fans of this approach. The recipe involves 2 cups baking soda, 3 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide and 20 drops of lavender oil.

Mix all together and shape into balls, rest overnight to set and leave in the bottom rack. Combine 2 cups vinegar and 1 tablespoon detergent and place on bottom rack. Put your dishwasher on and wait and see/hear!

Keep an eye out over the next week, when we’ll be continuing our focus on dishwasher cleans.

Happy Gleeming!



Breakages – Startup Serial #9


All my time was spent looking into business, cleaning, and into cleaning businesses.

I’ve joined a number of forums and trawled through them, posting on occasion, then I located the holy grail: ‘Entrepreneur Ride Along’: a community that was part of the well known website

Entrepreneur Ride Along was started by Washington D.C based Rohan Gilkes: founder of Lawn Tribe and Maids in Black. He started it to document how he began his lawn care website, the processes he went through and what he focussed on.

He later transferred this across to Maids in Black, a cleaning company.


I had located an amazing resource, and off the back of his foundations, many other people in the USA had followed suit and started their own companies.

This meant there was a community of active, ambitious entrepreneurs talking about cleaning that I could join: what a result!

A few days later I received a phone call from an irate customer: we’d broken their hob and they were moving out of their home in 2 days.

My cleaner sent me photo of the clean and I couldn’t see and breakage, but the customer was keep saying that they did it.

I jumped onto Entrepreneur Ride Along and asked what I should do: almost everyone told me the same thing: replace the hob and take the cost hit.

At this early stage in the business even one piece of bad feedback could limit the potential of the business from the outset.

Fortunately my dad is an electrician and helped me out: we bought a new hob, went to the property and replaced the hob.

I’m still not convinced that the cleaners broke it, but at least we avoided a raging criticism online! 

This is what was in my head. A well-satisfied customer will bring repeat sales.

That’s exactly what happened.

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Weekend Dinner Party Woes (Part 6)

Sticking with it?

We all know the situation: everyone gets a bit merry and vocal, with plenty of hand gestures and next thing you know, there’s a puddle of wine/G&T/fizzy drink dashed across your floor. You quickly mop up the spillage whilst an embarrassed guest apologises profusely and think nothing of it. But the next morning, you wander downstairs – feeling ever so slightly fragile – to find your gait is even slower than normal, as the floor remains intent on capturing your feet.

spill copy

Yep, sticky floors really are the worst in our opinion. Even after you’ve scrubbed them, they can remain clingy for weeks afterwards. Here’s our top tips to get rid of the icky feeling once and for all:

1. Vacuum the area thoroughly to remove any solid dirt

2. Fill a mop bucket with boiling water, add half a cup of vinegar, plus half a cup of lemon juice to freshen up the smell

3. Swish the mop across the offending area

4. Now the important bit: empty and then fill up the bucket with another gallon of hot water and then swab down the area again. This will remove the final resistant patches.

There you have it, a simple method to restore your floor to their former glory and avoid the longlasting sticky feeling underfoot.

Happy Gleeming!



Business Picks Up – Startup Serial #8

Business Picks Up

I was 2 weeks into running the business and energised by growing my own company.

We had received a few one-off cleans, where Olga and Karolina were doing a good job. I was meeting them at every clean, greeting the new customers and then flyering in the area around the clean.

I gave Olga a bottle of wine to put in her bucket at each clean. When they finished the clean, they left the wine and a thank you note somewhere subtle, with the intention of the customer finding it later in the day, providing a nice little surprise…

Hiding in plain view: a bottle after very clean
Hiding in plain sight: a bottle after very clean

A surprise gift: I’ve decided this was a great way to operate differently to other companies.

When was the last time a cleaner left wine, chocolate or flowers once they’d finished? Not very often. I wanted to maintain the surprise element to the gifts we offer, as it seemed like a more genuine way of trying to elevate the service we provide, plus it stops customers from expecting something after every clean.

I soon wrote this gift into the plan for the business: it would be a way to say thank you to our customers spontaneously.

It worked, with all of our customers loving the wine. In fact, 2 of our first 10 customers ended up upgrading to a regular clean!

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