When I spoke with Mause recently to hear the story of San Francisco-based Mause Cleaning, he was in the middle of a cleaning job for a client. “Right now, I’m on my knees cleaning in the bathroom, using kneepads,” he laughed as he used his Bluetooth headset while multi-tasking.
I asked what cleaning supplies he was currently deploying on the bathroom and found he was wielding two spray bottles, one with Windex for the mirrors and one with an all-purpose cleaner. He also had two cloths, one with microfibers. One of Mause’s secret weapons is to wash kitchen and bathroom floors by hand with the microfiber cloths. “You can get into the corners and under the refrigerator with cloths in a way you can’t with mops,” he said.
Originally from Guatemala, Mause and his brother arrived in San Francisco on New Year’s’ Eve in 1989. They had a friend already living in the city and were able to get help from him in getting situated in a new country. Mause found work as a house painter but didn’t enjoy working outside. When someone offered him a job in the cleaning industry, he jumped at the chance. “I love this industry more than any other. I love cleaning. I can clean on my knees, I can clean on my stomach, on my back, whatever. I enjoy it all!”
Mause has been working in the cleaning industry since 1995 when he started as a subcontractor for a large company doing commercial cleaning in San Francisco. After working with them for fourteen years, he started his own business and has shifted the focus to residential cleaning. He works with his wife, Isabel de la Paz, whom he met on the job. “Her mother was working with me and I didn’t know she had a beautiful daughter. One day she was talking to her on the phone and I asked who that was. A year passed before I actually met her.”
Since starting his own company in 2009, he’s gotten a handful of clients who have been with him from the start. When his son Jack celebrated his first birthday, he invited a few of those clients to the party. “There are no words to describe how great it was to have them come,” Mause said.
When he’s not working or playing with his two sons, Jack and William, Mause coaches a soccer team that he used to actively play on. Now 46 years old, Mause decided to yield the field to the players who were younger, faster, and eager to play, but he still enjoys coaching and occasionally playing. “I’ve been playing all my life, since I was three years old. I remember playing back in Guatemala with cousins, neighbors, with anybody really.”
Our head of Operations at Cleanify, Taylor, is also a soccer enthusiast, and he went to watch one of Mause’s games last weekend in the Mission District of San Francisco. Mause told Taylor that he likes playing soccer as a way to get to know his community while doing something that he loves.
With his mother still living in Guatemala, Mause and his brother are trying to arrange the paperwork for a long visit for her. “That’s why I wish I had a superpower of flying,” he said. “Then I could fly and go see her anytime I wanted.”
In the meantime, he has the superpower of being able to run his own business and manage five employees. Mause likes being able to make decisions about what to do with the business and not merely enact the orders that come down from someone else. He also enjoys being able to meet customers and show them what Mause cleaning has to offer.
Things don’t always go smoothly on the job, and Mause related a story about one of his cleaners ringing him up during the middle of a job to let him know that the client’s dog had just slipped out and run down the street. “I told her to please go after the dog, and then I headed over to the house after calling the client. We looked like crazy for the dog. An hour later, the client got there and was upset that we hadn’t found the dog. Two minutes later she went into the garage and the dog was there. We had been chasing after another dog altogether! I don’t know whose dog was running down the street, but the client’s dog was safe in the garage.”
To book a cleaning service with Mause Cleaning—and they’ll totally make sure your dogs stay in the house—visit their San Francisco profile page.