The minds at Popular Science have found that the lifespan of germs can vary greatly – it just depends on the type of bacteria and the type of service.
- E.coli can live up to 24 hours.
- The calicivirus, the mastermind behind the stomach flu, can live for weeks.
- The culprit behind bloodstream infections, pneumonia, or bone and joint infections, Staphylococcus aureus, can survive almost a month on anything you haven’t washed yet.
- The anthrax bacteria can form spores and survive for hundreds of years.
All of this is pretty alarming (right?!). The good news is there are easy, simple ways to keep bacteria from living the high-life at your expense.
Here are the most common culprits and how often to clean them.
Even though most of us are pretty clean when we slide between the sheets, the dead skin cells that naturally leave our bodies as we sleep are food for a host of bacteria, fungi, and mites. These can all cause skin irritation and even lead to other health risks.
How: Machine-wash all bedding in hot water that comes in contact with the skin. (Comforters, duvets, and additional blankets that are clean can be tossed in a hot dryer once a month to kill any stragglers).
How often: Every 10 to 14 days.
Save a step: Taking showers before you go to bed can keep your sheets cleaner, longer.
No matter if they are in the kitchen, bath, or at the gym, towels are a magnet for microbes. Kitchen towels are exposed to raw meat, dirty hands, and food. Bathroom towels create the perfect, humid environment bacteria and fungus love. Gym towels … are gym towels.
How: All towels should be machine-washed in hot water. You can use vinegar or bleach on colorfast products.
How often: Kitchen towels that have traces of raw meat or other high-risk items should be washed immediately. Bath towels can be used two to three times before laundering; add your hand towels to the load at the same time. Gym towels should be burned. Just kidding. Toss those in with hot water too.
Save a step: Color code your kitchen towels to save you from washing every towel all of the time. Use one color for hands, one for clean dishes, and a dark-colored one for everything else.
Think your feet can’t track in germs? Not only can they bring them in from your daily travels, but they can also spread them around your house, into your beds, and, if you have crawlers, climbers, and cuddly creatures, there’s no telling where else. The more feet you have in your house, the more often you should consider cleaning them.
How: Carpets and rugs should be vacuumed slowly and steadily to capture everything. Hard surface floors should be swept and scrubbed as needed. Don’t forget crevices and corners!
How Often: The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends vacuuming all rooms at least once per week, hitting high traffic areas once a day to keep dust, allergens, and pet hair at bay. Hardwood, tile, and vinyl floors need a good wash every one to two weeks depending on the foot traffic and use; kitchens and baths may need more attention (and more disinfectant).
Save a Step: Check dirt, grime, and germs at the door by making everyone take their shoes off when they enter your house.
The constant moisture and food particles make your kitchen sink ground zero for pathogens, microbes, and bacteria – oh my!
How: A one-to-one mixture of rubbing alcohol and water sprayed into the sink daily will disinfect it, giving you a nice shine and peace of mind. And don’t wait for your sponge to remind you it needs a bath: Extend its lifespan by dropping it into boiling water for two minutes (or throw it in the microwave on high for three).
How often: Sinks, after each use. Sponges, as needed (at least every 5 to 7 days)
Save a step: Other than eating out all the time, this kitchen hygiene practice can’t be avoided. Get in the habit and stay healthy!
Door Knobs, Railing, and Light Switches
Since these items get touched almost anytime someone enters or leaves a room, they can easily become germ factories.
How: Wipe all surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and a mild soap. This is a perfect job for kids–just give them each a prepped cloth, assign them a task, and let them go!
How often: At least once a week or anytime your child says he’s bored.
Save a step: Clean hands make for light work. The more often you wash, the less dirt you’ll spread.
While not exactly a germ magnet, your refrigerator’s health depends on keeping its coils clean. Everyone forgets to do this five-minute task until they have to call for repairs–and then it’s just embarrassing (and expensive).
How: Pull out your fridge and vacuum your coils with a brush attachment. (Can’t find them? Some coils are under your appliance.)
How Often: Every three to four months
Save a Step: Add this task to your calendar, along with changing your air filter on your HVAC unit, checking batteries in your smoke detector and washing the filter on your stove vent.
Is it time for you to clean like your health depended on it? The answer is probably yes. And if you don’t have time, don’t worry. We know a great team who can help.
15 Quick (and Easy) Cleaning Products to Use in 2018
It’s a new year, and that means it’s time to refresh (AKA deep clean) your home. Before you go into panic mode when you see smudges on the walls, dust on the shelves, and fingerprints on your stainless steel refrigerator, check out this list of quick and easy cleaning products to stockpile in your closet so your home can be spic-and-span in no time at all. Seriously, a tidy home in mere minutes. Scroll through to see which products will help make you look like a happy homemaker without all that old-fashioned elbow grease.
1. Bamboo Towels ($8): Talk about going the distance! These thick and sturdy paper towels are reusable and machine washable (just don’t use fabric softener). So not only can you clean efficiently, but you’re doing something good for the earth too.
2. Method All-Purpose Cleaner, Lime + Sea Salt ($3): If you only have time to use one product, this is it. Not only is it an effective all-purpose cleaner, but it’s chemical free, which means it’s safe to use around children and pets. Plus it smells like a margarita, which makes it a must-have in our book.
3. Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit ($13): Swiffer — the classic, easy-to-use floor cleaner — gets an upgrade in this kit. With one simple change of the pad, you can go from dry sweeping to a quick mop.
4. Clorox Disinfecting Wipes ($6): These hardcore wipes are essential when you want to sanitize anything and everything quickly and efficiently. The best part? You can use ’em on multiple surfaces.
5. Method Antibacterial Bathroom Cleaner, Spearmint ($4): Store this spray under the bathroom sink and use it on surfaces where germs might be lurking, like toilets, sinks, and tubs.
6. Clorox Toilet Wand ($22): Got a few seconds to spare? With this magical wand, you can kill toilet germs and dispose of the pads in one fell swoop.
7. Windex Glass and Surface Wipes ($3): Everyone knows that Windex is the go-to cleaner for windows and mirrors, but now it’s conveniently packaged as wipes so you can clean those smudges in just one step.
8. Bar Keepers Friend Multipurpose Cleaner ($2): Know someone who will comment on the cleanliness of your kitchen sink? Use this, and it’ll sparkle like a diamond right before their eyes.
9. Method Squirt + Mop, Spearmint Sage ($5): No bucket needed for this handy floor-cleaning solution. Simply squirt it straight from the bottle onto the floor and run your mop over it.
10. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser ($7): Run this white sponge under a little water and then set your sights on what you need to clean. We love using it to erase rogue marks on walls and doors, but you can use this handy scrubber on pretty much every surface.
11. Clorox Urine Remover for Stains and Odors ($6): If you have pets, then you need this spray. It removes pesky stains and smells in less than five minutes!
12. Pledge Multi Surface Wipes ($4): While Pledge may be known for their wood cleaners, these wipes can be used to clean televisions and computers as well.
13. Black + Decker Compact Hand Vacuum ($32): If you need to give your carpet a touch-up cleaning or get between the cushions of the couch, this hand-held vacuum is clutch. It only weighs two pounds, and the cyclonic action keeps the suctioning power strong.
14. Weiman Stainless Steel Wipes ($4): These wipes remove fingerprints, water residue, and grease from stainless steel appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and microwaves.
15. Swiffer Dusters ($13): These “trap and lock” dusters are a must for ceiling fan blades, tops of bookshelves and cabinets, and any other hard-to-reach places where dust likes to gather.
Having a carpeted staircase can add texture, colour and an extra boost of safety precautions to your house. You can definitely opt for plastic runners for protecting the carpeted staircase from gathering dirt. But this again will bring on just temporary relief. Thus, if you want to keep the flight of stairs squeaky clean then you need to follow the tips of Bestazy experts as mentioned below:
- Selecting The Right Vacuum
Your staircase carpet also requires regular vacuuming similar to the carpet sprawling across your house. Vacuuming is imperative for removing tiny bits of gravel, dirt and debris which, when left UN catered to for long can lead to disastrous results. The standard vacuum cleaner is not designated for staircase cleaning given its bulky nature which becomes difficult to move it around the stairs. Thus, it’s best to invest in handheld, lightweight options which come with various attachment options. While vacuuming, the stairs make sure to start from the top and slowly work your way down.
- Using A Brush Attachment
You can make use of a hose for sucking up both surface dirt and the filthy particles laying loose in the pile. Using a brush, roller attachment can lead to improved results. These attachments look like the beater brush found in your standard vacuum. This ensures longevity of your carpet by loosening up the impacted dirt.
- Stiff Broom Cleaning
Many people stick to stiff brooms for cleaning their carpeted staircase. Such brooms are much lightweight in comparison to the traditional vacuum cleaner. Your carpet shall surely get a makeover post stiff broom cleaning. But for deep-down cleaning it is highly recommended to opt for vacuuming. Start from the top of the staircase and slowly move down while sweeping the carpeted staircase. Sweep every step meticulously until all the debris gets accumulated on the bottom floor, which can be swept or vacuumed away.
- Steam Clean
Just like any normal carpet, you can also steam clean the staircase carpet. However, you will require a steam cleaner having a handheld hose attachment for doing the same. We do not clean our stair carpets on a regular basis. Thus, it is unnecessary to purchase a steam cleaner for sporadic use. You can readily rent the same from a local store.
- Hand Scrubbing
If you are one of those perfectionists who is simply not satisfied with the automatic working of machines, then you can shampoo the carpet using hand. This is regarded as one of the very best spot cleaning methods. Certain stains such as those cropping from an oil base might require the administration of a pre-treatment solution for loosening the dirt from the carpet fibres. You can mix water with a specially formulated carpet shampoo until to stir up a light lather. Use a scrub brush for applying the same over your carpet. Use a vacuum cleaner to soak out as much liquid as possible out of the carpet. In case if you do not have a vacuum cleaner handy, opt for a soft and absorbent cloth or towel to pat dry the carpet by soaking out the water content.
Wall-to-wall carpets have been in vogue for quite some time. It’s all the more popular in colder countries wherein the carpets aid in insulating the house from extreme weather conditions. These carpets are an absolute must in houses having children as they prevent slipping and cushions the fall.
Here’s how you can get rid of stains and rust in your home using vinegar.
Vinegar isn’t just useful for fish and chips! Oh no, that humble bottle of vinegar that’s sitting in your kitchen cupboard is actually one of life’s secret weapons.
So next time you’re stuck with a tough stain or find yourself wondering how you can clean without your trusty bleach, simply turn to your pantry.
Here are five cheap and cheerful ways a bottle of vinegar can be used for cleaning in the home:
Brighten Up Your Rugs
If the rugs in your house are starting to get that dull and faded look from too much foot-traffic, vinegar can help you out. Rather than taking the rug outside and scrubbing it down, simply dilute a cup of white wine vinegar in 3.5 litres of water. You can then use a clean brush or broom to brush them down, and the colours will brighten right up. The best part about this is that you don’t even have to wash the mixture off! So no heavy, soaking wet rugs for you to have to deal with. If you want to prevent your rug from getting that musty smell, you can also use neat white vinegar in a spray bottle to mist the underside of the rug and prevent mildew from forming.
Make Your Glassware Sparkle Again
Glasses that have been stored for a while or which are frequently used can get a cloudy look about them. Once this happens, no amount of ordinary washing seems to clear it, and you might be resigning yourself to throwing away your beautiful wine glasses. Hold your horses! To restore your glasses to their sparkly selves, all you need to do is soak a cloth in vinegar and use it to wipe the inside and outside of your glasses. Let them sit for ten minutes or so, and then rinse them all off with clean water. Any cloudiness should be gone, and your glasses and glass bowls will be bright and clean again.
Get Rid of Stains
Kids getting grass stains on their freshly washed clothes? Or did you spill red wine on the couch? Vinegar can help lift a tough stain – though as with all stain removal tips, it works best when the stain is fresh. Simply cover a tough stain in white vinegar, and then add some liquid washing powder. Rub it in, then wash the dirty item on a hot setting and the stain should disappear. White vinegar is particularly good for red and purple stains as it neutralises the pigments. You can also add a capful of vinegar alongside the washing powder to your washing cycle for stubborn stains.
Freshen up your fridge
Many people are wary of using harsh chemicals on their fridge. After all, the food you eat comes directly from there and you might not want to eat your fresh fruit off a shelf that’s been cleaned with bleach. A solution of one part vinegar to one part water can be used to wipe down the shelves and drawers in your fridge to kill bacteria. Any particularly dirty areas can be cleaned with neat vinegar and then rinsed down. This doesn’t just apply to fridges – you can also use vinegar to clean cutting boards or counter tops!
Get rid of rust
If your kitchen scissors are getting sticky, you don’t want to wash them in water because you run the risk of them rusting. If some of your kitchen (or even garden) tools are looking worse for wear thanks to rust, soak them in vinegar for a couple of hours. The vinegar will help dissolve the rust, and you can then scrub it off. Magic!
4. Don’t: Rinse Plates. (Scraping Is Better)
6. Don’t: Unload From Top to Bottom
“A piece on the upper rack may have a pool of water,” says Mott. “If you unload the top rack first, the water can spill onto dry dishes below.“
We know, you’re reading this because you want a straight answer—and probably straightened cushions, furniture, and vacuum lines. But the truth is how much de-cluttering you do before house cleaning service arrives is up to you, and it depends on where and how you want them to clean.
Some of our customers choose to do a quick run-through of their house before our teams arrive. They’ll put toys in their organizers, books back on the shelves, paperwork in a stack and dirty laundry in hampers. “I basically do what I would do if my mother-in-law gave me a 10-minute heads up that she’s on her way to the house,” said Susan H, a Homeworks customer in Philadelphia, PA. “I don’t want them to focus on the stuff I can do. I’d rather them spend their time on the kitchen and the bathrooms, which I don’t have time to clean properly.”
Tips for a quick prep: Give yourself 10 minutes. Pick up a large bin and start at one end of your house, grabbing whatever doesn’t belong in that room. Distribute as you comb through the house.
It comes down to how you want your Cleaning team to help you. As a cleaning company, we are there to scrub, vacuum, disinfect, and polish. We’ll straighten and fluff as we move along, but we won’t necessarily know how to stack your papers the way you want or which toys go where. “If I don’t have time to declutter before my team arrives, I just put out an empty laundry basket and ask them to put all rogue items they find in the basket,” said Christine C. “That way I don’t slow them down, and I still come home to an awesome uncluttered house.”
And some of our customers don’t do a thing. “I’ve had cleaning professionals come for a number of years, and we have our system down,” said Jessica., who lives in the Old city neighborhood in Philadelphia. “I rarely have time to give it a once over, and they still do a marvelous job. It’s helped that they come every two weeks—my house stays cleaner, and I end up keeping it that way.”
These are just a few ways our customers have gotten ready for our house cleaning services. How do you prep for your Cleaning visit?
The following checklist to help you evaluate potential house cleaning services:
1) Do they return calls in a timely manner?
As with any professional service, you should expect a timely response, whether you’re calling to schedule an appointment, request information, or complain about a problem.
2) Do they provide a consistent level of service?
A professional company will use a checklist to ensure that nothing gets missed during a cleaning, giving you the peace of mind that your home will be cleaned the way you like it, each and every time.
3) Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee?
It’s important to know in advance what steps the company will take to remedy the situation if you are unhappy for any reason with their service. A professional service will want to know if you’re not satisfied and take the necessary steps to make it up to you.
4) Is the company insured and bonded?
A professional will answer “yes” to all of the above. If they are not insured licensed and/or bonded, you have little recourse should something be lost or damaged during a cleaning.
5) Does the company conduct background checks on its employees?
Be sure to ask about their policy, after all, these people will have full access to your home. A reputable company will have a stringent screening process for all employees.
6) Will they provide you with a written quote?
Having your agreement in writing lets you know exactly what you can expect from their service, and save you from surprises later when your bill arrives.
7) Do they use your in home products?
Many Services bring cleaning products and equipment into your home for each cleaning. Avoid them. Think about where those products, mops, buckets, vacuums etc. have been over the past 24 hours or week or year. Do you really want those items coming into your home? Choose a service that only uses your products and equipment. Most reputable services will offer to purchase items for you or will leave a list for you to purchase. This asures that your home will not be contaminated with critters from other homes the company provides service to. Professional cleaners will know how important that is to your home.
8) Do they arrive and finish the job at the agreed upon time?
You’re busy enough already, a professional housekeeper won’t make you wait on them to arrive or to finish cleaning your home.
9) Check their online reviews:
A reputable cleaning service should have numerous reviews from happy and satisfied customers. Reviews should be short and concise. Overly detailed reviews with long extensive details are most likely purchased reviews and suggest that the company is attempting to influence or mask negative feedback.
Having someone clean your home is very personal and you should find a service that you’re happy with. Local services tend to be more personable and able to deliver an excellent, consistent and reliable service to your home.