January 2023


Swindon-based cleaning company So Fresh and So Clean has become one of only a small number of companies in Wiltshire and the South West qualified to undertake extreme cleaning services.

This means the company can dispose of biohazard waste. Further they can perform specialist cleaning services that are beyond the training of other companies. This includes drug paraphernalia and bodily fluids following trauma or death. Also supporting people to deal with hoarding situations.

Company director Laura Dent explained how a request from a regular client that prompted the move into extreme cleaning.

‘During the pandemic, we were carrying out carpet cleaning for one of our regular commercial clients, a hotel in the town centre that the council was using to house the homeless. We got to know the support workers who asked if we carried out needle sweeps. At the time, because of the pandemic, there was no in-person training available, so we completed an online course and gained our qualifications. 

‘It’s an area of cleaning where we’ve striven to become qualified because we know we can help vulnerable individuals. Also, we can help local organisations deal with very difficult situations.’

Laura Dent of So Fresh and So Clean doing some Extreme Cleaning Services
Laura Dent of So Fresh and So Clean doing some Extreme Cleaning Services

So Fresh and So Clean

Neil and Laura Dent, who live in Swindon, started So Fresh & So Clean as a carpet cleaning company in 2011. Back then they had one carpet cleaning machine with Neil as the only employee. 

‘Neil started doing carpet cleaning and end-of-tenancy cleaning out the back of our car,’ said Laura. ‘I did the accounts and invoices and sometimes helped with larger jobs.’

From those humble beginnings, the company has grown. It now offers a variety of services that include specialist and bio-hazard cleaning. All growing out of the company’s other services.

‘I never expected to go down this path but now we’re here it seems inevitable,’ Laura explains. ‘It’s become obvious there’s a clear need for these types of services across Swindon, Wiltshire and beyond. 


‘Last year, we went on a biohazard cleaning course in Somerset. The training involves knowing how to keep yourself protected and what chemicals it involves. Also, how to use them and how to carry and dispose of biohazard waste in a safe way. All staff that come on board will go through the same training.’

Because of nature of the environments in which specialist cleaning takes place, Neil and Laura have added Level 3 mental health first aid training to the company’s portfolio.

‘It was natural for us to have a much deeper understanding of why someone might hoard. Or how they get to a situation where their home becomes a hazard rather than a safe place. 

‘We’ve gained the skills to recognise and respond to a mental health crisis in a safe and effective manner. This type of training has helped us to:

  1. Identify early warning signs of a mental health crisis
  2. Understand how to provide appropriate support
  3. And know how to access professional help if needed. 

‘Further, the training has helped us reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health illnesses. It will help us to create a more inclusive and supportive environment for those suffering. This is important because it can help ensure we treat our clients with empathy, compassion and understanding.’

Reasons for extreme cleaning services

There’s a range of reasons why the need exists for extreme cleaning services. The company works with:

  • Support workers
  • Hospital discharge teams
  • Mental health charities
  • Probate solicitors,care homes and care providers, and directly with clients and their relatives

They might get called in when a person has been suffering from mental health issues. One where their property has reached a level where it’s unsafe and too overwhelming to deal with. It might be for a person who needs help with hoarding. Or a person with mobility issues or an elderly person who needs help in cleaning where the level has gone beyond what a domestic cleaner has a remit for.

Other clients might include a probate solicitor or relative of someone who’s died. And where cleaning and clearing the property has become too big a task to deal with physically and emotionally. 

‘Another situation would involve dealing with any type of bodily fluid clean-up following trauma or death, infection control and outbreaks, crisis cleaning, needle sweeps and drug den clean-ups.

It’s sensitive work and whoever needs to use these lifeline services needs a company that is approachable and understanding. One who will conduct their work with the respect and dignity it deserves.’

As well as offering extreme cleaning, the company also offers a full range of commercial cleaning services. To find out more about So Fresh and So Clean please visit https://www.sofreshandsoclean.org.uk

It’s all a far cry from Shake ‘n’ Vac isn’t it?

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