Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living

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Eco-Clean 8 Scary Halloween Stains

Posted on October 25, 2016

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While Halloween festivities are often filled with fright, cleaning up after the fall holiday fun shouldn’t be. Here is a list of some of the scariest Halloween stains you may encounter along with quick DIY eco-friendly fixes that will help you get your clothing, furniture and floors back to their pre-Halloween cleanliness.

Pumpkin
Before you even start carving, place pumpkins on newspapers for an easier cleanup. If your little pumpkin carvers get some of the jack-o-lantern parts on your table or floor, put white vinegar on the stain and wait a few hours before you vacuum or wipe. When Halloween is over checkout 5 ways to reuse your old pumpkins.

Sticky Candy
Lollipops and taffy are the delight of kids young and old, but when you lay sticky candy down on your carpet or couch, the stain isn’t so sweet. Scrape as much of the candy off as possible and then blot with a mixture of vinegar and warm water. Continue to blot until the stain is completely removed—rinsing well with water to remove all the sugar.

Chocolate
Who doesn’t love to indulge in chocolate during a Halloween outing? If chocolate lands on your furniture of clothing, rub the stain in a circular motion with warm, soapy water or a borax solution. Rinse with cold water.

Gum
If you find yourself with gum on carpet, furniture or clothing, press ice to the sticky area until it hardens and then scrape it off (a piece of clothing can actually be placed in the freezer until the spot hardens). Gum in your hair? Gently rub the strands with olive oil or peanut butter to get out the wadded-up mess before shampooing.

Glitter
Although the princesses and rock stars have left the building, they’ve left a trail of glitter behind them. Once you vacuum up as much glitter as you can, try this tip from AllYou.com: Roll some Play-Doh over the mess to pick up the remaining sparkles.

Makeup
Halloween makeup is often used for dramatic effect, and tends to be heavier than everyday makeup. Use all-natural oil (i.e. coconut oil) to gently remove Halloween makeup from your (or your child’s) face. For makeup on clothing put a few drops of glycerin on the stain and scrape off or gently rub with hydrogen peroxide.

Candle Wax
Nothing casts a scary glow on your home better than some well-placed candles (and it saves on electricity), but don’t let candle wax sit on your table for long. Once the wax has cooled and hardened, use a dull knife or paint scraper to remove it from the surface. For carpet and fabrics, cover remaining spot with several layers of paper towels and press with a warm iron. Follow up by blotting with rubbing alcohol.

Toilet Paper
If you wake up to find your trees and bushes covered in toilet paper, don’t waste any time getting out there to clean it up—it’s much easier to remove when dry than when wet. Use double-sided tape attached to a long stick (like a broom handle) to grab the strands hanging from trees and bushes. If you were unable to get the cleanup completed before it rains, use a hose and clean the residue with diluted vinegar.

Talk to us: What is your scariest Halloween stain?

 

image courtesy of flickr CC/Karol Franks

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How Long Does The Coronavirus Live On Surfaces?

In late 2019, SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the illness known as COVID-19 — began spreading person-to-person, primarily through respiratory droplets produced as someone with the virus talks, coughs, or sneezes in proximity to others. 

While it is less common, touching surfaces with traces of the virus is also known as another means for transmission, and there is published research into how long the SARS-CoV-2 lasts on different surfaces. However, how long SARS-CoV-2 remains infectious on these surfaces is still unknown.

So far, two major studies have been published testing how long SARS-CoV-2 stays on surfaces:

Since March, health officials have stressed regular cleaning and disinfection of all kinds of surfaces that we touch routinely to fight the spreadCOVID-19 and regularly cleaning one's hands. With that in mind, we'll summarize how long coronavirus can live on surfaces based on these studies' findings.

How long does coronavirus live on surfaces?

  • Plastic (3-7 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Food packaging, water bottles, and milk containers, credit cards, remote controls, light switches, computer keyboards and mouses, ATM buttons.
    • The NEJM study detected the virus on plastic for up to 3 days while the Lancet detected the virus on plastic for up to 7 days.
  • Stainless Steel (3-7 days)
    • Common Surfaces: door handles, refrigerators, handrails, keys, cutlery, pots and pans, industrial equipment.
    • While the NEJM article found that the virus could remain on stainless steel after three days, researchers for the Lancet article detected it for up to 7 days.
  • Copper (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Coins, cookware, jewelry, electrical wires.
  • Paper (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Paper, money, stationery, magazines and newspapers, tissues, towels, toilet paper.
    • The Lancet study found that the virus could last three days on printed paper, while on other paper types such as money, it could last four days.
  • Glass (Up to 4 days)
    • Common Surfaces: Windows, mirrors, drinkware, screens for TVs, computers, and phones.
  • Cardboard (Up to 24 hrs)
    • Common Surfaces: Food packaging, shipping boxes.

With the information of how long the coronavirus lasts on various surfaces from these studies, it is a good idea for homes and businesses to appropriately clean and disinfect high-touch surface areas, such as kitchen or break room counters, fridges, and sinks, dining tables, doorknobs and workspaces on a set schedule. 

If you're looking for more information and tips on the most effective ways to keep your surfaces clean, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today.

Office COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Safe

Once we are able to safely return to work, we'll need to consider how we regularly clean our offices and workplace facilities in ways we may not have thought of before the coronavirus (COVID-19) upended our everyday work and life routines. While anxiety about returning and sharing workspaces with co-workers is certainly understandable, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested several important strategies for space-hygiene that we can adopt to promote safe, clean offices.

Along with observing social distancing, encouraging face coverings and practicing proper hygiene (regular hand washing) as part of following the CDC guidelines, this office cleaning checklist will help you update cleaning practices for your everyday work routine and a healthy work environment.

Get the Right Cleaning Tools

There are several important cleaning tools every office should have depending on different situations, such as routine cleaning, deep cleaning, or disinfection. The CDC suggests often using green cleaners and soap and water solutions for routine cleaning of surfaces, while stronger disinfectants can be used more for eradicating viruses or bacteria, particularly in spaces where a co-worker has shown signs of illness for instance. Here are a few items to mark on your checklist:

  •  PPE — maintain stocks of face masks, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer and cleaning solutions for all employees and staff onsite.
  •  Paper towels
  •  Green/chemical-free cleaning spray
  •  Disinfectants such as wipes, spray, or bleach solution — verify disinfectants are on the EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
  • Trash bags
  • For disinfection, stock appropriately-rated respirator masks and protective gowns

Office Cleaning Procedures

Along with updated cleaning routines, various public health organizations have suggested a few other strategies for keeping employees safe in addition to a modified cleaning routine. Some of these suggestions include:

  • Consider staggering work shift schedules where employees rotate (A/B shifts) coming into the office. This will not only limit contact and possible spread of illness but accommodate cleaning schedules and limited workstations.
  • Keep necessary cleaning supplies stocked, labeled and accessible in high-traffic areas, such as disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and paper towels etc.
  • Encourage employees to use the office’s cleaning supplies to wipe down surfaces in their personal workstation.
  • Provide a channel for employees to suggest improvements in space-hygiene as well as request cleaning supplies and services.
  • Consider touchless office upgrades that reduce contact at high-touch areas such as technology for touchless access into the office, as well as motion-sensing lights, towel dispensers, soap and hand sanitizer dispensers.

Recommended Office Cleaning Schedules

While every office is different and will have different cleaning needs, there are a few things to consider when it comes to cleaning routines. According to the CDC, “at least daily, clean and disinfect all surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple people.” Such high-touch areas include: 

  • High-touch surface areas typically include: 
  • Door handles
  • Desks
  • Breakroom appliances
  • Light switches
  • Bathroom Fixtures such as faucets and toilets 
  • Workstations and workstation electronics
  • Keyboards 
  • Telephones
  • Handrails
  • Printer/copiers
  • Drinking fountains

There are times your office may need to escalate its cleaning schedule and regiment during the year in terms of disinfecting surface areas and deep cleaning in the office (upholstery, window treatments, and carpets). That could include:  

  • Should a significant outbreak of transmissible illness/rise in COVID-19 cases occur in your region 
  • After any relatively large office meetings
  • During peak flu season in late fall/winter
  • Should an employee report they have a transmissible illness

Finally, any business should identify a professional cleaning company that can meet the demands of your business's cleaning needs to ensure you maintain a safe and sanitary workplace every day. They should be able to provide deep cleaning of your office spaces before your business’s re-opening and be able to continue ongoing decontamination cleaning as needed, as well as thorough routine office cleaning each day.

For more tips and details on recommended office cleaning schedules for COVID-19, or to schedule a consultation with our specialists, contact Greenhouse today.

Coronavirus Reopening: How to Mitigate the Risk of COVID-19 in Your Workplace

In the turbulent times of Covid-19, business need to make critical decisions quickly. As we all learn to navigate our new "normal" with the Covid-19 pandemic, Greenhouse remains invested in working in tandem with our New York City business community to safeguard the health of their workforce. Contact Us Today!

Making an Eco-Friendly Move

  Cardboard boxes in apartment, moving day   Boxes, tape and bubble wrap, oh my! If you have a move on the horizon or have experienced one in the recent past, you understand well that the act of moving doesn’t lend itself to eco-friendly living at first blush. So much packaging can make the least green of us shudder. Rest assured, you can remain environmentally conscious and stay committed to controlling the waste during your move, while also keeping your transport emissions down. Just follow these simple tips: Box smart. According to Move.com, the average move uses about 60 boxes (see infographic below).   That adds up to a whole lot of trees over time. Keep usage down by getting the word out about your move as early as you can. If you know folks who are making a move before yours, ask them to save all their packaging, including bubble wrap and protective packing paper, so you can reuse it during your own move. Choose box alternatives. Before you buy new boxes for your move, make sure you’ve exhausted all possible resources for box alternatives. Pack in empty large plastic bins you own, borrow from friends or ask your mover if they supply or rent reusable bins. Not only is this a great green option, it takes some of the work off your plate as movers drop bins off ahead of time and take them away after the move. No need to break down boxes or recycle them, you can move on to decorating your new home. Fuel emissions. The size and distance of your move makes all the difference when it comes to emission of CO2. When interviewing moving companies, be on the lookout for green options such as these:
  • Fuel type—ask each company what type of fuel they use. Many organizations have converted trucks to biodiesel fuel, an upgrade that helps reduce your move’s carbon footprint.
  • Car shipping—if you’re moving an automobile, price out both truck and rail shipping options. Train transport can represent huge savings to you and lighten the moving truck’s load on the road.
  • Clean out before you move—whatever you can do to reduce the number of goods you plan to move will make a big impact on related emissions. Don’t pack mindlessly and hurriedly, instead, think about items you can donate before making your move.
Get things clean.  Make sure you leave your old space clean and healthy for the next inhabitants.  Use eco-friendly cleaning products for floors, countertops, and windows or hire an eco-friendly cleaning company—like us!—to come in and take care of dirt, dust, and debris. Grab this great online checklist from our friends at MakeSpace for all your pre- and post-cleaning tasks.   Talk to us: Have you made an environmentally conscious move in recent months? Share what you learned and your best tips for other readers below.

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.