Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living

Create and maintain a clean environment of your very own.

Bottled Water: Fact or Fiction?

Posted on February 12, 2013

Mountain water, filtered water, spring water…oh, my! What is fact and what’s fiction when it comes to the great bottled water debate?

For years, frugal shoppers have been pointing out that the Evian brand of bottled water is just Naïve spelled backward. While the makers of Evian are (probably) not consciously trying to taunt consumers, the naïve label does seem to apply to bottled water advocates these days, a group of consumers that’s growing by leaps and bounds.

The road to this leap in bottled water consumption is paved with good intentions. Research shows that people are drinking more bottled water because they want to be healthier. In fact, the average person is drinking 15.9 more gallons of water today than in 1997. That’s the good news. The bad news is that most bottled water has no more health benefits than drinking water straight from the tap, and it might even be harmful to your health.

Consider these startling facts:

  • Nearly half of all the bottled water we buy is actually just tap water in a plastic bottle, according to a new report by Food & Water Watch
  • After a yearlong investigation, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan research group, concluded that plastic water bottles are almost certainly leaching chemicals into the water they hold; which, by the way, isn’t as strictly monitored for contaminants as the water coming out of your tap for free.
  • DEHP is a nasty chemical that’s usually only found in plastics, but which may also be showing up in the bottled water you drink. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) closely monitors this and other toxic chemicals to keep them out of our tap water, but the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t monitor bottled water the same way. DHEP has been linked to hormonal imbalances, male fertility problems, and even obesity.
  • This isn’t entirely the fault of the FDA, they don’t have the authority to hold bottled water manufacturers to the same standard the EPA applies to our tap water. Bottled water suppliers could test water quality on their own, but they aren’t required to report contaminated water results to any governing body.
  • Our health isn’t the only victim to potentially contaminated bottled water; the health of our environment is also falling prey to this phenomenon. More than 75% of used water bottles end up in landfills. This might be because unlike soda and beer cans, very few deposit laws are in place to give cash incentives to recycle bottled water.

The best answer? Filtered water + eco-friendly water bottle.

Since tap water is carefully monitored and tested it remains the safest water to drink, but depending on your city, it can taste a little…well…funny.

Home water filters can take away that strange taste and make tap water safe and enjoyable to drink. The trick is buying the right type of filter to treat your tap water. Differing local regulations, regions, and delivery systems result in different tap water. Find out what your water quality is on the EPA’s website.

Do you get your water from a private well? It’s probably worth testing your water quality with a home test, or if you’re in a farming area you may want to have it professionally tested since your risk of contamination from pesticides, animal waste, or heavy metals is higher. Contact the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Hotline at 800-426-4791 or visit www.epa.gov/safewater/labs for details.

Most tap water can be purified using carbon, reverse osmosis, or a combination filter. The results you get from the EPA website or a home contamination test will guide you toward the correct type of filter. The EWG’s Water Filter Buying Guide is a handy resource to determine what filter you need.

You can also purchase filters for your shower and sinks so you can not only drink healthier, but also shower, cook, clean, and live healthier too. Of course, you don’t have to give up the bottle altogether, carrying water in a bottle is a handy way to stay hydrated, just choose a reusable, eco-friendly water bottle so you save Mother Earth right along with yourself.

No matter what side you take in the bottled water debate, be proud of your decision to live healthier and continue making healthy lifestyle decisions with everything you do. Are you already drinking filtered water over bottled water? What else do you do to practice green living every day? Let us know here or chat with us on Facebook.

 

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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.