Natural Cleaning Tips For Healthy Living

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Getting Kids in the Kitchen

Posted on September 12, 2017

Kids in the Kitchen

Now that school is back in session, your days are busier than ever. Wouldn’t it be great if you could get some help in the kitchen? Look no further than your own family—specifically your kids.

Getting your kids into the kitchen is not only good for family conversation, but it also teaches them valuable life skills such as how to cook simple and healthy meals and how to work well with others. Before you think your child is too young to help, try some of these age-appropriate ideas from The Kitchn.

18 Months to 3 Years

  • Pour dry and liquid ingredients into a bowl
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables (includes scrubbing potatoes)
  • Tear greens into pieces
  • Stir batter in a bowl
  • Pick herbs off the stem

4 to 5 Years

  • Roll out and knead pizza or bread dough
  • Crack an egg
  • Measure and level dry ingredients
  • Whisk a vinaigrette
  • Spread butter or jam

6 to 9 Years

  • Use a small paring knife
  • Cook with you at the stove
  • Peel fruits and vegetables
  • Grate cheese with a box grater
  • Scoop batter into muffin cups

 

Every child is different, so experiment with tasks to find out the ones that work best for your family.  Also, don’t forget the clean up—even very young kids can help get the kitchen back in order after dinner including putting silverware in the dishwasher, wiping down counters, and putting ingredients away.

 

Talk to us: What tasks do you have your child do in the kitchen?

Cooking Family Kitchen

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What Cleans Viruses on Surfaces?

While it’s great to frequently clean our living areas with something as simple as soap and water, the current pandemic has reinforced the need to regularly disinfect these spaces to eradicate viruses. It’s important to keep up a balanced schedule of hygiene cleaning, or removing visible traces of dirt, and disinfecting, using harder-hitting cleaners that are proven and recommended by experts to kill viruses around your living space. A healthy schedule includes cleaning once a week, and disinfecting high-touch surface areas you frequent every day.

Even though SARS-CoV-2 (the pathogen that causes the new coronavirus disease) is known to spread mainly through respiratory droplets from person-to-person, the Center for Disease Control says that COVID-19 can also be picked up by touching a surface contaminated with the virus, transmitted when your hands then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces anywhere from hours to days depending on factors such as surface type and temperature.

Fortunately, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has created a list of nearly 400 products that they’ve approved for combating emerging pathogens, including the new coronavirus. Featured on the list are household cleaners such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide and items common on the grocery store shelves, such as Clorox disinfecting wipes (containing chlorides and isopropyl alcohol) or Lysol disinfectant spray.

And if you're looking for a more environmentally-friendly product that is effective in cleaning viruses, the good news is that EPA has included a few all-natural products containing the ingredient thymol. Thymol is naturally antimicrobial botanical, made of oil of various herbs including basil and thyme. CleanWell’s thymol product featured on the EPA’s list is alcohol-free, non-toxic, and safe for food surfaces.

If these disinfectant options are unavailable to you at the moment, another virus cleaning option that you may already have at home are alcohol solutions that contain at least 70% alcohol. You may have them in stock for use as an antiseptic. In fact, the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol are usually recommended to disinfect touch screens and other high-touch electronics.

For more on what kills viruses on surfaces, and other cleaning and hygiene tips, contact Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning today. 

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!

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.