Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living

Create and maintain a clean environment of your very own.

5 Things to Clean to Prevent Germs from Spreading

Posted on January 22, 2016

Towels

 

While the timing of cold and flu season is quite unpredictable, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds cases peak in the United States between December and February.  Now that the holiday rush is over and kids have returned to school while parents have returned to crowded offices, keeping your home safe from germs is a top priority during these final weeks of winter.  Here are five things you should clean more frequently in order to help prevent the spread of germs and viruses in your home:

 

Personal Tech Items
Let’s face it, we’re constantly touching our computer keyboards and cell phones, making them a major breeding ground to all sorts of bacteria.  Keeping them clean is critical all year long, but especially during cold and flu season.  As a rule, clean your cell phone daily and your keyboard weekly.  With microfiber cloths, isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs, you’ll have a simple but mighty arsenal against germs.  Click here to learn all you need to know about tech gadget cleaning.

 

School Gear
According to Good Housekeeping, your child’s backpack and lunchbox can house germs and carry them into your home.  Wipe down your child’s gear at the end of each day, using a spray bottle filled with a 50/50 water and vinegar solution.  Just a few sprays and a scrub with a clean cloth will naturally disinfect and deodorize.  Many lunch bags and tote bags are machine-washable.  Check tags first to make sure and then give your child’s bag a weekly wash and hang to dry.  For those items that can’t mix with your Maytag, wash by hand in your sink with a mild detergent and dry overnight in a dish strainer.

 

Towels
While germs generally don’t live on towels long, WebMD suggests they can live long enough to make a healthy family member sick.  Generally, you should wash bath towels after every third use; however, if a family member is sick, consider tossing them in the wash after each use (especially hand towels and wash cloths). Consider skipping the fabric softener to keep towels more absorbent and carry laundry to the washer using a basket, and not your arms.  “If you carry them in your arms near your face, some germs can remain on your clothing or hands and cause problems,” writes Mary Marlowe Leverette for About.com.

 

Trash Can
The trash can may be the last thing you think about cleaning during the cold and flu season, but between used tissues, disposable food containers and crumpled papers, your trash can is a haven for harboring cold and flu germs.  Once a week, after your trash can is empty, take it outside and spray with a hose (or, if the weather is too cold, use your shower or bathtub).  Spritz with vinegar to absorb odors and wash the inside with a scrub-brush.  Let air dry outside of possible—sunlight will help kill any additional germs and mold.

 

Kitchen Sponge
You may be really diligent about keeping your kitchen countertops clean and disinfected, but what about your kitchen sponge. Germs and viruses love the kitchens sponge and most of us forget about keeping it clean as well.  At the end of each day, soak your sponge overnight in a mixture of 1 cup of hot water, ½ cup white vinegar and 3 tablespoons of salt.  The next day, rinse and toss in the microwave on high for at least one minute (but not more than 2 minutes)—make sure the sponge is still very wet and use caution when removing it from the microwave. You can also put your sponge in the dishwasher using the “heated dry” setting.  Don’t get too attached to kitchen sponges.  The rule of thumb is to discard after 3-4 weeks of use.

 

Talk to us:  What is your trick for keeping your home clean during cold and flu season?

 

image courtesy of flickr CC/mason bryant

 

 

Cold and flu season Health and wellness Healthy Cleaning Staying Healthy

Latest Posts

Move Out Cleaning Checklist

Move out cleaning checklist

Are you getting ready for a big move? There's no shortage of things to do when moving, whether you are selling a home or leaving your old apartment for a new one. Cleaning your living place properly one last time is one of them.

Move-out cleaning is particularly important for apartment renters. Most renters will need to deep clean their old space for a chance to get their security deposit returned. At the same time, those selling their home will want to leave it in the best possible condition for the new owners. Of course, it's best to use a move-out cleaning checklist to plan your cleaning, based on the size of the property and how clean it is already.

Here, we've compiled a move-out cleaning checklist that you can use to get started.

Here's a brief move out cleaning checklist to make sure you are all set before you move:

  • Before your cleaning, remove all personal property. For the quickest and most effective move-out cleaning experience possible, all personal household items must be out of your space already, from your furniture, shelving, and rugs to wall decorations.
  • Start by vacuuming. Give a once over with the vacuum, including closets, stairs, and other difficult places to reach usually.
  • Dust and wipe household surfaces. Next, tackle areas around the home with a duster and all-purpose cleaner, including countertops, bookshelves, or window panes. Also, make sure to dust blinds and other fixtures belonging to an apartment.
  • Work the kitchen. Thoroughly clean the stove and oven. This problem area can be cleaned with something as simple as a baking soda and water mixture. However, make sure to clean everything beneath the burners and up. Also, make sure to disinfect and wipe down frequently touched areas like the kitchen counters. 
  • Clean the refrigerator, freezer, and other appliances. You'll want to clean by removing all remaining food and clean surfaces by wiping them down with a disinfectant spray. For most other appliances, an all-purpose cleaner will do.
  • Clean out your cabinets. Whether your cabinets have cobwebs or old food remaining, you'll want to clean them thoroughly.
  • Deep clean showers and bathtubs. You'll need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your bathroom space to remove all mold, rust, or mildew before moving out. Also, make sure to disinfect and clean all glass and mirrors.
  • Repair any wall damage. If you've rented and have used any nails, hooks, and drywall anchors, you'll want to remove them and patch up holes in the wall. This can usually be done with a small amount of spackle and matching paint.
  • Mop all floors. Leave your place in style with a final scrubbing.

Because moving can be a stressful experience, a great option to explore is hiring a professional cleaning team to handle the heavy cleaning for you. Especially for renters seeking a security deposit, hiring an experienced cleaning service is one of the best ways to ensure that you get your money back. For home sellers, having a trusted cleaning team on your side can help immeasurably in giving you one less thing to worry about during such a significant transition.

For more comprehensive tips than on this move-out cleaning checklist and instruction sheet, contact Greenhouse Eco Cleaning today.

Office Cleaning Checklist: Daily, Weekly and Monthly Tasks

Office Cleaning Checklist

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining a high standard of hygiene and organization in the office certainly has its benefits — from boosting your employees’ health and morale to increased productivity. However, just as proper planning and keeping to schedules is key to any business’s success, the same is true when cleaning your workspaces. 

A clean office that routinely impresses clients and employees is best achieved by crafting a cleaning plan or office cleaning checklist. Here are some essential tips that may help formulate a professional office cleaning checklist that will make office cleaning and organizing easier to manage.

Try a Basic Office Cleaning Checklist Template 

While each office space may have different needs that should be considered when creating a cleaning plan, most office cleaning checklist templates or office cleaning checklist pdf can find an online break down a cleaning schedule based on daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning tasks. Cleaning under each of these categories will serve to form a good cleaning routine while prioritizing the vital, high-traffic areas around the office as needed.

Daily Cleaning Checklist

Especially after a busy day, every office requires some cleanup and tidying. However, the daily cleaning schedule may not be as in-depth as weekly or monthly routines. The areas that should be cleaned daily by your cleaning crew or staff should include the most frequently visited spaces that attract dirt and messes quickly, including reception areas, restrooms, garbage bins around the office, as well as kitchen or pantry areas. Daily cleaning of such areas can include essential vacuuming, mopping, dusting, and organizing desk spaces.

Weekly Cleaning Tasks

Unlike daily tasks, your office’s weekly cleaning checklist will involve more in-depth functions that are typically needed to be done over weekends by cleaning crews. Weekly cleaning routines are key to maintaining healthy air quality and the environment overall, involving deep cleaning of carpets, restrooms, and the kitchen. Other tasks might include hard floor mopping/polishing/buffing, sanitizing refrigerators and appliances, as well as dusting around cubicles, and window cleaning.

Monthly Cleaning Tasks 

As you might expect, monthly cleaning tasks aren’t required as often but are essential to ensure a healthy office space. Tasks to put on your monthly office cleaning checklist might include in-depth cleaning of HVAC grills and vents, as well as dusting all high surfaces, or challenging to reach areas. Top-down office cleaning might also include all windows and window covers, polishing wooden furniture and hardwood surfaces, and cleaning fabric chairs and upholstery.

Overall, whether you are concerned about keeping an organized workplace to boost productivity day-to-day or concerned about ensuring a safe and sanitary work environment, having a solid checklist will keep you on track. 

Of course, office cleaning checklists can be tailored to meet the unique needs of your office space. Typically, a diligent cleaning company should work with you to identify those needs and craft a plan that fits your schedule and budget. 

For more tips on creating your office cleaning checklist, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Not every cleaning job is the same. Even though they may be some overlap, there is a definite difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting your living space. And with each different cleaning job comes different methods for each.

Here, we’ll describe the difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

Cleaning

No one should be a stranger to cleaning, but there are some key differences from disinfecting and sanitizing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning “removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects.”

Simply, cleaning can involve using soap, water and detergents to remove dirt, allergens and microorganisms from a surface, which can help reduce the number of germs that can lead to infection. However, cleaning does not necessarily mean the same thing as killing germs. 

When to Clean:

Cleaning can easily be done daily in places like kitchens and many other high-touch areas with visible dirt, dust, fingerprints and other marks using a simple cloth or wipe in conjunction with a detergent, soap and water. Cleaning is also an important first step that makes sanitizing or disinfecting most surfaces or objects area is much easier.

Disinfecting:

Disinfecting is the use of chemicals such as bleach and alcohol solutions to kill germs on surfaces and objects. Unlike cleaning, disinfecting does not guarantee dirt, germs, and impurities are being removed from surfaces. However, killing germs does lower the risk of spreading infection.

When to disinfect:

It's recommended using an EPA-registered disinfectant on high-touch surfaces like toilet handles or sinks regularly. Note, however, a key difference between disinfecting and sanitizing is both the chemicals involved and the length of time you need to let them sit on a surface. About 10 minutes is the appropriate dwell time for most disinfectants, but follow the product’s label instructions.

Sanitizing:

Unlike using disinfectants, which kill virtually all viruses and bacteria identified on the product label, sanitizing doesn’t aim to kill everything on a surface. According to the CDC, “Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.”

The EPA defines sanitizers as chemical products that can kill at least 99.9% of germs on hard surfaces.

When to Sanitize:

Sanitizers may be best for places where harmful bacteria isn’t as frequent or surfaces and objects that you’d want to keep free of powerful chemicals. After cleaning, it is often a good idea to sanitize areas such as kitchen countertops where food is frequently prepared, or objects such as cooking utensils or toys.

For more cleaning tips, or to learn more on what is the difference between cleaning sanitizing and disinfecting, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

5 Top Office Carpet Cleaning Tips from Our Cleaning Professionals

Office Carpet Cleaning Tips

Office carpet cleaning takes time and effort, but it’s worth keeping the carpeting looking fresh and clean for employees and clients. Determining how and when to maintain your office’s carpets through proper office carpet cleaning plan is the first step. Here are five tips for office carpet cleaning that can help.

1. Choose the right carpet and treat your high-need spaces.

Maintaining your office carpeting is a continuous process. Still, that process is a little easier if your office has a commercial-use carpet handling the heavy foot traffic that comes through. Also, having your office carpet come in neutral colors, such as grey, brown or beige, can help conceal light stains or shoe marks. Having to figure out how to get stains out of white carpets is a problem you can avoid. 

Meanwhile, areas such as bathrooms and kitchens in the office should avoid carpet all together to keep them sanitary. Of course, some high-traffic areas of your office should be cleaned more frequently than others that aren’t as busy. High-traffic regions—such as entranceways, hallways, break rooms if carpeted, watercooler, and copy areas—may require more attention. Stain guarding some of these areas is a great way to protect them from excess dirt and damage. At entryways, you can be proactive in protecting your carpets by using "scraper" mats and absorbent textiles that reduce a significant amount of damaging moisture, dirt, and dust from reaching your carpet.

2. Vacuum On a Regular Schedule.

There is perhaps no more important step to keeping your office’s carpets clean than maintaining a regular vacuuming schedule. Not only is it a critical step in refreshing the look of your carpet each day and extending its lifespan over the years, but it also protects the air quality of your office for workers by removing dirt, dust, and allergens that can build up quickly. It’s essential to ensure your maintenance team is scheduled to vacuum each day. Typically, a regular maintenance plan can even be customized to include vacuuming daily for high-traffic areas and two or three times a week for moderate traffic areas.

3. If There’s a Spill, Act On It

Unfortunately, accidents happen. Your cleaning professionals are the surest way to remove stains from carpets in your office, and the best way to avoid permanent carpet stains is to have your cleaners treat and remove any spots as soon as they can. In the meantime, make sure that carpet cleaning supplies are easily accessible in common areas for employees.

4. Surface Clean Regularly, But Add Deep Office Carpet Cleanings As Well

While daily vacuuming and surface cleaning is a must for keeping office carpets sanitary and great looking, your office carpets will sometimes benefit from deep cleanings that helps eliminate dirt, grime, or dust mites trapped below the surface. Carpet deep cleaning is recommended about once a month for high traffic areas and seasonally throughout the office.

5. Avoid Chemicals in Your Carpet Cleaning.

While cleaning or removing stains from carpet, many carpet cleaning solutions on the market include harsh chemicals, which can remain in traces in the carpet, possibly attracting dirt over time while diminishing air quality. Fortunately, cleaning companies can work with the many eco-friendly, non-toxic solutions available for cleaning your office carpets. Regardless, your cleaning professionals should know the proper methods for removing these traces after carpet cleaning.

If you want to learn more tips for office carpet cleaning and how to get stains out of carpet, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

As an essential business, Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning is continuing to serve our customers during the COVID-19 emergency. Learn about the steps we’ve taken to protect our customers and employees and our Coronavirus Cleaning and Disinfection Services that can provide extra peace of mind during these challenging times.