Can your home be too clean?

NO, it can’t. Why? The definition of “clean” as it relates to your home is “the absence of unwanted matter”. If there is a desirable benefit to dirt or soil, then it is not “unwanted”.

“Unwanted matter” is empty pizza boxes, soda cans and bottles. You get the idea. There is no sound argument for them decorating your home. Sorry. It is also soil (dirt and oils) that can cause excessive wear on carpet and hard surface floors. The grit in the soil can scratch and ruin surfaces. Oil traps soil in carpet.

Then, there are germs. Yes, there are good and bad germs. Bad ones are called pathogens. They are alive. They communicate with each other. They are designed to stay alive by defending themselves against threats, including chemicals. One defense they use is their formation of biofilm. Biofilm is often made up of many types of pathogens. They can include bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi.

The major surfaces where you do not want germs are kitchens, bathrooms and high touch areas. Foodborne illness in the home often comes from cross-contamination while preparing a meal. Bathrooms harbor bad germs too. Mold and fungus frequently cause illness and are not easy to kill or remove completely. Most people who get sick from this source do not realize or appreciate how or why they are ill. Other germs are transmitted from people. Avoid sharing towels and cloths. If someone has been in the hospital, it is highly suggested that they have exclusive use of a bathroom for a time when recuperating at home.  

Chemical disinfectants and biocides are regulated solutions that are designed to kill germs. They do not know the difference between good and bad germs. To protect you and your home it is not always necessary to kill germs. Germs can be removed from a surface and disposed of in a sewer or trash container. Germs can be killed without chemicals that can harm you or your home. Some ways this can be done is with heat, light and ozone. Ozone generators are dangerous, highly corrosive and recommended for professional use only and should never be used when people, pets or plants are present.

Chemical solutions are appropriate in some cases to restore the “clean condition” to a home. There may be a need to remove chemical residues after killing germs or pests. Bombing a roach infested home is one example of this. No, roaches are never “wanted”! They excrete an endotoxin that can cause illness in humans.

Some chemicals are frequently confused as cleaning solutions. Bleach is one example. Bleach does not clean. It oxidizes or corrodes. It kills and is regulated as a biocide.  Which kills everything, this is not good, a too sterile environment leads to multiple allergies, and a weakened immune system and homemade solutions can be very risky. Tests using vinegar and lemons have shown these recipes do kill many germs, but not enough. There are other factors to consider when using chemicals such as “dwell time” or sit time. To do their job, chemicals must be in contact with germs. They must be kept wet and allowed to react with the germs. This can take up to 10 minutes. A great way to remember this is when you eat out and watch your table being cleaned just before you sit down. Have you ever seen anyone let the chemical solution sit for even 3 minutes? Keep your tableware on your plate or napkin!

There is a place and time to be in dirt. Dirt and rich soil of the earth has many healthful benefits. Studies show working and playing in the dirt allows you to touch and breathe positive beneficial organisms. They help protect you from negative pathogens and build your immune system. Working and playing in the dirt with bare hands or feet has been shown to benefit the electrical activity in humans.  Helping the body to be more balanced, and transition into a more relaxed state.  With all these positive effects, this does not mean it is a good idea to bring a bucket of dirt in the house and let the kids dump it on the floor.

YES. Dirt is good for you. Just not in the house!

5 ITEMS TO KNOW FOR YOUR CLEAN HOME

  1. Understand the definition of “clean” for your home. This means realizing that there are germs inside your home that are a dangerous threat to you and your loved ones. A single person who travels and never cooks at home has different needs than a family of four with a cat and a dog.

  2. Based on your needs, establish a cleaning routine. Emphasis should be placed on kitchens, bathrooms and high touch surfaces like doorknobs. Some surfaces may require cleaning daily.

  3. Do not share personal items like towels, razors or brushes.

  4. Use cleaning solutions and disinfectants (biocides) responsibly. Many dangerous germs can be removed from a surface into the sewer. When using any disinfectant always follow the label directions. Follow the dwell or sit time instructions.

  5. Spend time in the dirt. Outside. Plant something. Take a walk barefoot. Let your kids play outside in the dirt. Have some limits. Muddy shoes on the sectional sofa is not a good idea.

Spring Clean Tips For Your Facility

You can find a myriad of reasons an office manager or restaurant owner should undertake some “spring cleaning” of all spaces and places within their place of business.  There are health reasons, such as the prevention of virus’ spreading, as well as marketing reasons — for instance, you want customers to remember your establishment in a good way.  Or, you may just want your place to look better so you can boost employee morale.

Here are five tips you can use to get your workplace up to a higher standard of cleanliness:

  1. Pull out tables and furniture to get all dust buildups and dirt accumulations. In both offices and restaurants, you will be surprised how quickly the dust and dirt gathers. Often, when an employee, untrained in true cleaning practices, performs their daily mopping task they will mostly be just moving dirty water into corners and baselines.  When this muck dries the substance that remains can be a dark-gray or black scum that hardens like cement. A deep cleaning will rid the space of this eye-sore.

  2. Give hard floors a “deep cleaning.”  Floors see a lot of traffic in any business and dirt, debris, bacteria, allergens, and pollutants accumulate quickly over time. If your business is in the food or drink industry, additional food or drink spills can worsen the state of your flooring. If you don’t maintain it, you are putting your business at risk for a number of issues.

  3. Sift through and throw out unwanted boxes, equipment that doesn’t work anymore, and any unnecessary items that causes clutter to a storage space.  You want to remove unsightly items that can be seen by customers. Especially in restaurants, this kind of activity is necessary and needs to occur regularly.

  4. Don’t ignore your carpets. Moisture from rain, mud, debris, and dirt assault carpets and usually get ground in deeper after people wipe their feet upon entrance.  For restaurants, all mats or removable rugs should be taken out and brush through them after applying a pressure hose. Then, let them take in sunlight as they dry, and this will not only clean the fabric, but freshen the carpet.

  5. Restrooms in both restaurants and offices need a deep cleaning – at least three times a year.  You should also use disinfectants that will eliminate odors to ensure your bathrooms are smelling fresh.  Have someone thoroughly scrub the urinals, toilets, floor areas surrounding these receptacles, and even the walls.  The key word for this is disinfectant.  There are many products on the market that can get the job done but one of the best solutions (and a more natural, chemical-free approach), however, is white vinegar.

If your business does not have the time to spare to handle a deep spring cleaning of your office or restaurant, you can always count on the Empty Mirror Cleaners. We provide numerous commercial cleaning services from one time deep cleans to routine maintenance of your whole business. We not only ensure your place of business looks clean but that it is actually clean.

Cleaning a Medical Facility With Tips From The CDC

Medical facilities require extra care and handling when it comes to their professional cleaning services. In addition to the need to meet OSHA standards and HIPPA requirements, medical facilities must ensure that the commercial cleaning company they hire can also meet the standards and regulations recommended by the CDC to ensure that the facility maintains a low risk of spreading or exposing patients and healthcare workers to bacteria and disease.

Five of the top strategies recommended by the CDC are:

  1. Proper maintenance of all medical equipment.

  2. Appropriate use of cleaners and disinfectants.

  3. Immediate action against any water -intrusion into the facility.

  4. Strict adherence to water-quality standards for Hemodialysis (Kidney Dialysis).

  5. Strict adherence to ventilation standards for “Special Care Environments” (e.g. operating rooms, isolation rooms, etc.)

The goal of these CDC recommendations helps medical facilities to ensure that they take the proper measure to reduce the risk or prevent the spread of infections associated with water, air, or other environmental elements. These standards are recommended for all medical facilities that may provide any type of health care, including: hospitals, walk-in clinics, urgent care clinics, outpatient surgical centers, skilled nursing facilities, and physicians’ offices.

Other guidelines set forth by the CDC for proper facility maintenance include:

  • Using proven cleaning and disinfecting products and strategies, especially in respect to antibiotic resistant microorganisms.

  • Properly handling, transporting, storing, and destroying medical waste.

  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect carpeting and cloth furniture in addition to hard surface cleaning.

  • Paying special attention to detail in facilities that care for immunocompromised patients.

  • Special care of ventilation and water systems in order to ensure Infection control.

  • Proper handling and cleaning of blood or bodily fluid spills.

  • Infection controlled laundry and bedding services.

Empty Mirror Cleaners takes pride in our management of medical facilities. We strive to always fulfill the recommendations provided by the CDC in order to reduce the exposure of patients and health care workers to environmental and airborne pathogens.

We have experience maintaining the following types of medical facilities:

  • Hospitals

  • Outpatient Surgical Centers

  • Urgent Care and Walk-In Clinics

  • Physicians’ Offices

  • Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities

  • Dental Offices and Vision Centers

A Clean Workplace Is A Productive Workplace

Most citizens of the U.S. spend more of their awake time at work than they do participating in any other activity of life. Because the need to be productive at our jobs is so profound, especially now, our work stations or offices should be well organized and neat.  Efficiency is the overall goal, it needs to be one of our highest priorities.

When desks and other surfaces become cluttered, it usually creates stress within the people who work in that area.  Stress leads to several health issues, in many cases.  Some of the negative outcomes are stomach issues among the staff or the use of drugs to relieve the symptoms of allergies.  Another health issue enabled by a cluttered work area is allergies. Dust or filth accumulates in messy areas and this helps to place allergens in the air.  Asthma attacks can result from these conditions as well.  Dry eyes, scratchy throats and other reactions are all more likely in environments where a cleanup is needed.

Employees who work in unkempt areas struggle to remain productive.  When you can’t find the necessary ‘tools’ to do your job, such as a functioning stapler for example, the wasted time adds up at the end of the day, limiting productivity.  Often, supervisors will walk by a cluttered desk and wonder how useful the person is that sits at that location.  Studies have shown that a tidy workspace helps a person keep his mind organized.  And a productive-minded employee should do everything within reason to maintain a neat, organized work space.  All employees should be encouraged to clean their entire areas, including shelves and desk surfaces, on a regular basis.

Of course, when germs accompany the dust and dirt is allowed to sit on surfaces around the office, health issues usually result.  People will begin to miss work when the flu resides in unkempt areas, when germs are ignored and left to reside on door knobs and latches.  Using good disinfectants and the proper chemicals becomes essential, if a company wants to limit all those absences from sickness.

Boosting morale around the office can be another goal of maintaining a clean environment.  When employees feel good about the sanitation procedures used in all areas they must work in, including the cafeterias and breakrooms, they tend to perform better.  All organizations with goals to raise productivity and gain competitive advantage should work to encourage clean habits among their staff. 

Why You Should Consider Commercial Hard Floor Cleaning

Although your company may have chosen to go with hard surface flooring to avoid special maintenance, it is still important to properly care for your hard surface flooring. Tile, vinyl, concrete, and even hardwood floors are less likely to retain dirt, debris, pollen, and other allergens that are trafficked into your office than carpet does – but that doesn’t mean they don’t ever need a deep cleaning. Over time, select hard flooring can lose its shine or finish, can become scratched, or the grout between your tiles can be noticeable (and not in a good way).

Routine sweeping and mopping can help keep up with some of the daily impact of traffic and what is trafficked in, but to maximize the look and lifespan of your flooring you’ll need the aid of a professional commercial floor cleaning company. Our cleaning crews can handle not only the daily upkeep of your floors, but we can also perform routine or one-time deep cleaning and care for your hard-floored surfaces. We have an advantage over your in-house cleaning crew when it comes to deep floor cleanings – we have the knowledge, experience, and the tools to properly and quickly get the job done. Our commercial cleaning company can handle any sized office space, medical facility, warehouse, retailer, restaurant, or financial institution to perform the following deep floor cleaning tasks:

  • Stripping, sealing, and refinishing tile floors

  • Scrubbing and buffing ceramic tiles

  • Scrubbing and recoating tile floors

  • Deep grout cleanings

  • Concrete floor cleaning and sealing

  • Concrete floor repainting

In addition to helping extend the life of your flooring, these services can reset your business’s image. Your old, aging tile will look new and inviting once more. A clean environment can have beneficial side effects on the psychology of your customers. If you’re willing to put that much effort into maintaining your floors, then your customers will only imagine the effort you will put into serving their needs.

As an added bonus, well maintained floors are less likely to cause a slip and fall injury. You can further prevent this issue by employing our business day porter services to make sure your floors, and the rest of your business, is spot free.