Don’t Try This At Home – When to Call A Professional | Anyclean

updated: 13/11/2023

Most of us like to be independent and think that we are competent enough to give things a go and do it ourselves.  Even if we hire a cleaner to do the regular round-the-house tidying, we like to think that we would be able to handle the dusting, vacuuming and polishing ourselves.

However, there are a few jobs that it’s best not to try tackling yourself but leave to a professional instead.  If you try to do these yourself without the proper safety equipment or tools, you’re bound to make a huge mess – worse than the one you started with – or hurt yourself or your property.

Chimney cleaning is the first one that springs to mind here.  Don’t ever be tempted to try doing this yourself.  The tools of the chimney-sweeping trade have been developed over many centuries, and these can’t usually be bought at the supermarket or department store.  If you try doing it yourself using one of the methods talked about in some self-sufficiency books, such as a bundle of holly twigs tied onto a rope that has one end up and one end down the chimney, or a broom fixed to a rope in a similar way, you are either going to get your improvised tool stuck up the chimney (making the problem worse), or you will be successful and have clouds of soot pouring down the chimney all over the person pulling the rope down the bottom and all over your carpet and furniture.  Those who are tempted to try this should read the account in John Seymour’s book Forgotten Household Crafts about how he and a friend tried to clean a chimney themselves, albeit under the influence…

Another job best left for a professional are those that involve removing nests of social insects other than ants.  Ants can be tackled with poison or by pouring boiling water down the entrance to their anthill, but dealing with bees and wasps is harder.  In the case of bees, someone could probably make good use of a hive or swarm, so if you find bees have built a hive in your roof (or, as nearly happened to my father, in the buoyancy chamber of a boat), ring an apiarist – they will be only too happy to come and take it away.  They also have the equipment, such as smokers and veils, to protect themselves from stings.

Wasps are, on the whole, best exterminated.  Poison has some use, but you can never be sure that you’ve killed off the whole nest – and poking the nest to make sure is not wise.  Methods such as pouring petrol down the nest can also be tricky, especially as you have to wait for a chilly night to do this, as the wasps will be too cold to attack you.  Don’t set fire to the petrol if you do this.  Even if you do pour petrol down, the fumes may not kill all of the wasps.  Leave this one for the professionals.

Cleaning or repairing anything inside electronic equipment (apart from routine cleaning of a CD/DVD drive with a cleaning disk) is also best for a pro.  Circuit boards are very delicate instruments and shouldn’t be tinkered with on a computer you’re hoping to keep using (experimenting on an old unused one is a different proposition).  Computer circuitry is very vulnerable to dust, which inevitably seems to creep into the wiring of the processor and slow things up.  Professionals have a special type of vacuum cleaner that is designed for cleaning in and around the circuit boards, and do a really good job.  Your regular vacuum cleaner, even using the nosy-parker attachment, won’t do this job, or will damage the circuitry.

Never attempt to do anything inside the monitor of a TV or computer, particularly the old cathode-ray type (as opposed to the flat screen types – but don’t tinker around inside these, either).  Clean the front of them, by all means.  But stay out..

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.