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June 1, 2022  |  Home

Get to know our cleaning expert, Ketia Daniel

Ketia Daniel, BestReviews cleaning expert

Ketia Daniel is the daughter of a military man. From a very young age, the importance of maintaining a tidy home was instilled in her: Before she left for school each morning, she cleaned her room and made her bed. Over the years, this good habit turned into a matter of pride.

Daniel’s attention to detail and her ever-accumulating knowledge of cleaning products and techniques made her a go-to resource whenever one of her friends or coworkers had a question about cleaning. This led her to starting her own cleaning service, BHM Cleaning Co. Daniel quickly became so in demand that her clients paid her to travel hundreds of miles because no other company could match the level of service she offered.

As her popularity continued to grow, Daniel added influencer and author to her list of achievements. Her insight, knowledge, expertise, and effervescent personality has made Daniel one of BestReviews’ most valuable and respected contributors.

Q&A

Q. You're BestReviews' cleaning expert. How did you get into cleaning?

KD: I like to say that I was called to start cleaning. For the longest time, most of my life, I wanted to be a U.S. Marshal. I was going to school for criminal justice, but I didn’t finish my degree because I started working at Target. They thought I was such a good salesperson that they moved me to pharmacy cashier so I could sell pharmacy rewards. I did so well that they made me a Pharmacy Technician.

If I didn’t become a Pharmacy Technician, I don’t think I would be a cleaner. My boss’ mom was selling a house, but she didn’t have anyone to clean it up. So I said, “I can help, y’all.” They were so impressed; they told me that I did the job much better than any other cleaner they ever had. That sparked an idea of how I could use my lifelong obsession with cleaning to help others. About a month later, I got my first client and started BHM Cleaning. I told my mom that I had no idea what I was doing. I even told my first client that they were my first client and I would be learning on the job. They were so impressed with my work that I still clean for them to this day.

Q. What makes you such a good cleaner?

KD: My mom used to say that growing up, even as a young kid, if I thought the house didn’t smell right, I would start cleaning. I don’t know how to explain the smell that the house has to have, but I think it’s a mix of bleach and fresh air. If the house doesn’t smell like cleaning supplies, I don’t feel like it’s clean.

Now that I’m an adult, I realize that I have inherited my dad’s obsession with cleaning. My house always has to be clean. I can’t leave or go to bed if everything isn’t picked up. I am constantly aware of what has to be done to keep my home spotless. If I go to the store, when I come home I’m thinking, “I have to take the tags off, then clean up the tags, and wash these clothes before I can put them in my closet.” I always have something in the back of my head that I know needs to be done.

Although I am not always a list person, I notice that when I do make a list, I’m not as stressed about what I need to get done. And I do have a better day when I make a list for myself. However, because I can obsess about what needs to be done, I find myself doing extra work at my clients’ houses — which I think they appreciate. For a basic clean, it takes roughly two to three hours. But when I’m doing a deep cleaning, my OCD kicks in and I can spend up to six hours cleaning a home.

Q. What basic products should every homeowner have in their cleaning arsenal?

KD: To tackle most cleaning tasks, homeowners need at least 11 products. I recommend glass cleaner, disinfectant spray, several microfiber towels, bleach spray, fabric freshener, multipurpose spray, toilet bowl cleaner, paper towels, Swiffer duster, Old English furniture polish, and a scrub brush. If you have animals or children or you’re concerned about the environment, it’s important to use earth-friendly products.

Q. What is your opinion of air purifiers? Do they help keep the house clean? 

KD: Yes. I think air filters do make a difference. I live in an older house, and I feel like dust particles and allergens are everywhere. We also have a crawlspace in my house as well as a water problem, and you can get that musty smell that comes with it — if you’ve smelled it before, you recognize it immediately. I use a couple of air purifiers in my house. I can tell a difference in air quality, and it helps keep the room smelling fresher.

Q. Are there special areas you have to be more aware of when you have kids?

KD: Yes! Because I know what my daughter gets dirty, I know what to look for and which areas to target when there are kids in the home. If you lift the pillows up, go back against the headboard, and look down — I guarantee there will be stuff there. Also, you need to look under the bed, go into the closet and pick up those shoes. Look at door handles, light switches, walls, and baseboards. Sticky stuff is everywhere in a kid’s room.

Q. Are all cleaning products basically the same, or is it possible for people to use the wrong one?

KD: I know this might sound a little crazy to the average person, but there are like five or six different types of glass. Windex works on certain types of glass and Sprayway Glass Cleaner works on other types of glass. The point is, you can’t use Windex for every single type of glass.

You also have to watch out for stainless steel cleaners: Some of them are oil-based, and some of them are water-based. You need to have one of each because, just like glass, there are different types of stainless steel. For some appliances, you need an oil-based cleaner, while others require a water-based cleaner.

If you use the wrong product on the wrong surface or you use an inferior product, you can actually damage that surface. For example, using bleach on stone tile can give it a white wash that requires it to be refinished. 

To make matters even more complicated, new products are steadily coming out. These products are often targeted towards a particular area that people have a hard time cleaning. If you don’t take the time to stay up with all the new products coming out, you won’t know which is the best to buy.

Q. How did you become so popular on TikTok?

KD: I don’t know what in the world made me post my first video on TikTok. I just did it for fun. Then, when people started commenting on my videos and liking what I did, that motivated me to keep going. When I had my first viral video, my mom said that it just blew up my head and made me go, “Whoa, I think I know what I’m talking about. I think all these people know that I know what I’m talking about too.”

I never realized how many people don’t know the proper way to clean things. People have no problem jumping into your comment section to tell you what you should have done — even if they don’t know what they’re doing. I had one person tell me I should use Comet on stainless steel. Absolutely not. Comet contains bleach. You do not use bleach on stainless steel. It was comments like that which made me realize people do not know how to clean. I have to delete comments like that because I never want someone to try something that could damage anything they own. Those kinds of comments actually motivated me even more to get my message out about proper cleaning.

Q. Could you tell us about your book?

KD: Absolutely! My book is called “Keeping It Clean with Ketia,” and it's a tell-all about how to start your own cleaning company. It also talks about the mistakes I have made and the lessons that I have learned as a cleaner. The book contains all the basics that someone would need to know when they were starting a cleaning company. It was written for the people writing to me and asking, “I’m starting my cleaning company. What do I need to do first?”

I got the idea for the book from TikTok because people kept asking me what’s the best way to clean this or what’s the best product for cleaning that. Fellow cleaners were always coming to me for advice. But TikTok only allows so many characters, and as soon as I would answer one question, someone else would ask a question about a totally different product. That’s when I realized I couldn’t respond to everybody who wanted to start a cleaning company, so I decided I would just write a book.

Q. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult for consumers to find the cleaning products that make sense for them/their homes/their lifestyle/their experience level, etc. What's your advice for people shopping in this current e-commerce climate?

KD: It’s important for people to know what type of results they're looking for because that will make looking for the correct product a lot easier. You also have to know what type of surface you want to clean. For example, if I have marble in my kitchen and I want it to look shiny and streak-free, I would look for a product that promises that. However, if I wanted to sanitize my marble and couldn't care less about the shine, I would look for a sanitizing spray. 

Also, don’t focus on the products that cost the most just because they’re expensive. A lot of times, people think, “I need to buy this stainless steel cleaner because it’s $5.99 versus this one, which is only $2.99.” They think it’s better simply because it costs more, but a lot of times, products use the same ingredients. 

Q. How has your experience shaped your expertise and approach to making purchasing decisions?

KD: My experience has taught me which products work the best, so I can buy the correct products in the first round. I also have learned how much product I use for certain cleaning tasks, so I’m not wasting money buying more than I need.

Regarding cleaning appliances, my experience has made it clear which features are truly important. For instance, I would never buy a vacuum that doesn’t have a light on the front. When you’re vacuuming, that beam lets you see items, such as crumbs under a stove, that you would never even notice without it. A vacuum also needs to have a suitable length of cord and a setting for both hardwood and carpet floors — if you don’t have a hardwood or hard floor setting, it will take you forever to clean up pet hair. If a vacuum doesn’t at least have all three of those features, I won’t buy it.

Q. How does your philosophy as an expert align with BestReviews’ mission to simplify purchasing decisions?

KD: I’m not going to try and make it seem like I’m perfect because I’ve been doing this for many years now. I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve learned how to fix them. I know which products work best. As a consumer, I know which products can make cleaning easier for people on a day-to-day basis. However, when I started, I couldn’t find anybody to give me any knowledge. That’s why anything I know, I’ll tell people openly and freely. I can’t individually answer all of my followers on TikTok because there wouldn’t be any time left for me to clean. Being invited to be a BestReviews expert is one of the high points of my career because it gives me a platform to share what I have learned and help others.

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.