Why cleaning in Switzerland is a job for professionals
Published: 16 Mar 2012 12:51 GMT+01:00
For foreigners who struggle with Switzerland’s draconian cleaning laws when moving out of a property, or for those who simply want a weekly clean to whip their home or office into shape, Zuericlean offers a one-stop-shop cleaning service. And an added bonus: it’s all done in an environmentally friendly way using eco-friendly Swiss-made cleaning products.
Sometimes in Switzerland it’s hard to know if it’s tougher to be a landlord or a tenant due to its stringent rules governing the state a property needs to be in when you hand over the keys to your landlord or agent. While this guarantees that you always move into a spanking clean property; it can also pose a serious headache for those moving out.
Removing the rubbish, doing a quick spin around with the vacuum cleaner and a splash around the sink won’t be well received by your landlord or agent who will probably take a chunk of your deposit to pay a professional cleaning company to finish the job on your behalf.
“The agency or landlord will check EVERY MILLIMETRE of the property … sometimes they even comb through it with white gloves,” explains Intizar Ahmed (pictured), owner of Zurich-based cleaning company Zuericlean. “And, if any little millimetre is not thoroughly cleaned you won’t get your entire deposit back.”
With a master’s degree in physics, and a strong interest in environmentally friendly cleaning solutions such as nanotechnology, Ahmed saw a golden opportunity to offer private and corporate clients a one-stop-shop for cleaning services.
Just over ten years ago, he set up Zuericlean; today it is a multilingual team of 12 speaking English, German, Italian and Spanish. He has also expanded his reach to towns within a 100-kilometre radius of Zurich and opened branches in Zug and Lucerne.
Zuericlean offers pretty much every type of cleaning service imaginable from building, carpet, façade and event cleaning to pest control, building maintenance and relocation cleaning.
When asked why he chose Zurich to launch his business, the Pakistan-born entrepreneur replies: “Switzerland – and Zurich in particular - has very high standards of cleanliness and quality. People living here are used to getting their property or offices cleaned regularly.”
But, he says, forget the idea that cleaning is just about buckets and mops. “It’s also about the plastic used to make these items and the chemicals that go into our cleaning products. I want to limit the impact of cleaning on our environment. That’s what motivates me,” he says passionately.
While most people are just happy to have a clean home or office, they often forget what is used to get this result. “I believe it’s very important to know which products your cleaner used and the quantity to use. I have seen other companies that have no clue about what they are using and how much they need to use.”
“Cleaning products have a high concentration of toxic substances. The water used for cleaning flows back into our groundwater and contaminates it so it’s important not to use too much; if you do use too much it takes thousands of litres of water to neutralise it.”
“At Zuericlean, when we wash a floor we estimate how dirty it is. Based on that we decide what PH value the cleaning product should have, to avoid the groundwater damage.”
“The products we use have a maximum PH of 7 ,which is almost neutral.After washing the floor we neutralise it just with water several times so that the floor is completely neutralised and anybody - kids or pets - can walk on it without any risk.
Based in a country where cleanliness, sustainability and quality are key words, it’s not surprising that all the products Zuericlean uses are Swiss-made.
While routine cleaning of private homes and offices are a large part of its business, Zuericlean’s relocation cleaning service is proving extremely popular with expats in Switzerland who often find the cleaning process before the key handover process an additional headache to the stress of packing up and moving.
It’s easy. Zuericlean visits your property, gives you a quotation, organises all the cleaning and maintenance and then carries out the cleaning inspection with the tenant and/or landlord or agent.
Besides its popular routine cleaning and relocation cleaning services, Zuericlean has also branched out into another area of interest for Ahmed: nanotechnology. His company uses nanotechnology sealants for all types of flooring as well as to seal and protect antique, upholstered and outdoor furniture, as well as applying it to items like bathtubs, sinks, mirrors and windows, which makes it easier to keep them clean. He’s also offering a nanotechnology service for solar panels to protect them from excess dirt which helps to optimise their productivity.
And, if the thoughts of coming home to a sparkling clean home, cleaned with eco-friendly products, is not enough to convince you, another bonus is that cleaning services in Switzerland are tax-deductable so simply save up your receipts and file with your tax return.
Article sponsored by Zuericlean.