One would be forgiven to think that a paramedic turned professional cleaning company owner must have been obsessed with cleanliness since childhood. But not Johnson Zhuo. “I was always called the “dirty boy” of the family in my primary school days by my mum!” he shares.
In his secondary school days, Johnson’s younger brother caught the chickenpox that led to his family home being thoroughly wiped down and disinfected. He has associated cleanliness with safety and protection ever since.
The increase of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) in Singapore in 2014 made him notice a gap in Singapore’s cleaning industry so he started this professional cleaning and disinfecting company he called Dream Sparkle.
HOW HAS DREAM SPARKLE EVOLVED?
It started with four people. Today, we have over a hundred cleaners for commercial term contracts, professional disinfecting cleaners for clinics, room attendants for hotels, tea ladies managing office pantries and dishwashers for F&B.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CLEANING AND DEEP CLEANING?
Regular cleaning comprises the tasks you do weekly to maintain a certain level of cleanliness at home and to keep it dust-free. Deep cleaning, like the name suggests, involves a more extensive set of tasks, takes longer to complete and covers areas often overlooked. Because of this, people usually hire professional cleaners.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE DEEP CLEAN OUR HOME?
At least once every six months.
DO YOU CHARGE BY THE HOUR?
Dream Sparkle doesn’t charge on an hourly basis because we don’t want clients to feel that we drag the timing to increase charges.
WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST HOME YOU’VE HAD TO CLEAN?
One customer called on a Saturday night in 2016. She was very secretive and insisted we go to her that night and start cleaning and deodorising her rented apartment. Upon reaching the corridor of the unit, it had the familiar smell of a decomposed body – something I’ve remembered since my paramedic days. My colleague looked at me and joked that the owner might not be from this world. Not! The owner is human. Her tenant had passed away about a week before. She’d just found out and just had the body removed.
WHAT IS THE MOST SATISFYING PART OF YOUR JOB?
Every time I see babies crawling happily on the shining floors or well made bed afterwards.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR HOME CLEAN DURING THE PANDEMIC
1 Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in your home frequently to lower the risk of infection. These include door knobs, remote controls, sofas, handles of kitchenware and more.
2 Follow instructions on cleaning products for safe and effective use. This includes the precautions you need to take when applying the product such as wearing gloves and ensuring there is proper ventilation.
3 If a surface is dirty or stained, clean it with soap or detergent and water. Then use a disinfectant product to wipe down the areas.
4 If a family member has been exposed to Covid-19, it’s important to wipe down everything the patient touched and air the room.
5 Do not wipe cleaning solutions off as soon as you’ve applied them. Do allow some time for the disinfectant to be effective.
6 Consider using wipeable covers on electronics to avoid damaging sensitive items such as mobile phones, furniture and other electronic devices.