Ten common cleaning misconceptions

If you’re going to do something, do it properly. Don’t let these common misconceptions derail your spring-cleaning efforts!

1. If it smells clean, it must be clean

A clean bathroom shouldn’t smell like lemons or potpourri. The ultimate test is if it doesn’t smell like anything at all. Treating odours with perfumes and the occasional squirt of disinfectant doesn’t mean it’s clean. It means you’re hiding bacteria, and possibly other harmful pathogens, with deodoriser. You need to scrub at it with hot soapy water and good old-fashioned elbow grease.

2. Dusting isn’t necessary

Not dusting thoroughly can lead to poor air quality, allergies and asthma. Even if you don’t have allergies, dust is packed with dead skin cells, pet germs, dust mites, dirt, debris and even excrement!

3. Extra detergent makes clothes cleaner 

Excess suds can hold dirt and bacteria, getting caught up in areas that won’t always rinse clean, such as the collar, and creating a residue.

Will extra detergent make clothes cleaner? Photo: Stocksy

4. Vinegar is the best disinfectant

As far as vintage cleaning tips go, vinegar always gets a mention, touted as a cheap and green alternative to commercial products on the supermarket shelves. Don’t believe everything your grandmother told you! Vinegar contains 5 per cent acetic acid, so it may not be suitable for every surface. Also, it kills some bacteria, but does nothing against salmonella and other household pathogens. Yes, not as great as you think, even when mixed with its best mate baking soda!

5. Bleach can be used on any surface

Chlorine bleach may kill germs quickly, preventing mould and mildew, but it’s highly toxic and less effective at getting rid of stubborn build-up. It’s also heavily corrosive and shouldn’t be used on porous materials or metal. Also, mixing with hot water can actually stain white surfaces, causing them to turn yellow. For a gentler alternative, try diluted hydrogen peroxide, which can be bought from supermarkets at a 3 per cent concentration.

6. Professional cleaners are overrated

Even the most pristine house would benefit from a professional clean once or twice a year. Allergens, germs and soil can accumulate on carpets, curtains and windows and are difficult to remove without a bit of professional help.

7. Antibacterial products are the best way to clean

Antibacterial agents don’t necessarily work better than regular soaps. In fact, they can actually promote infections. Their widespread use may lead to bacterial resistance, even aiding the development of superbacteria. Triclosan, one of the most common chemicals found in antibacterial products, has even been pinpointed in a recent study as promoting staph. Of course, antibacterial products do have their place, but be wary of overuse.

What happens after you get your carpet professionally cleaned? Photo: Stocksy

8. Steam cleaning can cause mouldy carpet

When you have your carpet professionally cleaned, it usually stays damp for a day or two after. This does not cause mould, despite the musty smell. Dirt promotes mould growth much more than humidity. As well as containing spores, soil is a hygroscopic material, readily soaking up any nearby moisture. If you want to curb the risk of mould, a regular steam clean is a good idea.

9. All green products are completely safe 

A growing number of Australians are buying eco-friendly cleaning products – made from natural, non-toxic, biodegradable ingredients instead of synthetic agents. Yet just because the ingredients are plant-based or natural doesn’t necessarily mean they’re safe. The market goes largely unregulated – so be wary of what’s in the bottle. Many contain some fraction of synthetic chemicals, such as the cancer-causing compound called 1,4-dioxane – and natural ingredients such as coconut diethanolamide and limonene can cause allergies. Green or not, always check the cleaning product’s safety information before using them.

10. Cleaning takes all day

Sure, spring cleaning sounds incredibly arduous and stressful, but deep cleaning needn’t be seen as a twice-yearly, all-day marathon event. If you take care of your house periodically, setting aside time for upkeep, you won’t become overwhelmed.

Cleaning doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Photo: Stocksy

 

Author: Kathleen Lee-Joe

Source : http://www.domain.com.au/

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Clean Offices Boost Productivity and Efficiency

Clean Offices Boost Productivity and Efficiency

Let’s face it, unless you are a neat freak, you probably don’t really enjoy the task of keeping the office clean. But there are definite benefits for companies that run a tidy office, beyond not having the wastebasket overflow. Hiring a cleaning service can have benefits beyond the specific services they offer. They might even contribute to your bottom line in unexpected ways.

Improved Morale

Even for those that don’t mind it,  a messy space can tend to wear us down and by keeping it neat, it helps to create a sense of pride in the space that will carry over into their work. After all, your job is where you live a big part of your life, why not make it as pleasant an experience as possible? With improved individual morale, comes better working relationships that go toward building a team mentality for success.

Increased Productivity

Wasted time is bottom line killer and eats away at your company’s profits. While this may not feel directly related to those that don’t get profit sharing, a healthy company is one that offers long term, steady employment. Time spent looking for things that should have been put away, or dealing with crises caused by a messy environment can be put to better use.

Increased Professionalism

When an office runs smoothly, the people in it tend to take the work more seriously. When that happens, they present themselves as more professional and that, in turn will be evident to clients and fellow workers. As the saying goes, “a high tide raises all ships” and the ripple effect of gaining control of an unruly office can come back to you in business success.

Why Hire a Professional?

As with so many things in life, it’s not that you can’t do it yourself, or are even unwilling to, but this is what we do. In addition to better quality of care that comes with years of practice, comes the consistency of having the tasks done every time, when they need to be done, instead of juggling cleaning in your list of work priorities.

 

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Steam Cleaning VS Dry Carpet Cleaning

Is it time for your carpet to be revitalized?

Or perhaps you’ve got some nasty stains driving you completely mad?

When you’re looking at getting your carpets cleaned you’ll find that many companies boast their own techniques and equipment, making it hard to select the right cleaning method. You should always be wary of what any professional advises, especially if they have only one option for you.  It’s advised you get some accurate information by having a look at the various sources of information available, or by talking with a carpet cleaning company who offers a few different methods.

You’ll find that most companies only utilize one method, usually steam cleaning, or dry cleaning.  Additionally some carpet cleaning companies will come up with their own name for their techniques, making it hard to decipher what you’re actually getting. However don’t allow this information to turn you against carpet cleaning companies, just make sure you do a little bit of research before asking for a specific carpet cleaning service.

Not surprisingly both popular carpet cleaning techniques are  effective in their own manner and in the right context, consequentially they also have their own negatives. It’s important you request a service that suits your circumstances (stains type, carpet material, time constraints and budget).

stain

Steam Cleaning :

Method:

In basic terminology your steam cleaning service is the application of hot water onto your carpet, which is dried straight after water application. A steam cleaner utilises a machine which can suck up the dirty water which the hot water extracts. Your steam cleaning method works based on a mixture of chemicals and hot water which releases dirt or stains from the deeper depths of your carpet (which is then removed through suction).

Benefits:

  • It is perfect for stains that have been left to soak into the carpet
  • Utilises powerful chemicals to rid hidden stains
  • Provides an overall deeper clean
  • You can complete this method yourself with use of hire equipment

Negatives:

  • Can leave carpet wet for 2 hrs or more depending on the company (who will provide you an estimate)
  • If too much water is saturated into the carpet it can create bad hygiene
  • You’ll be unable to use the carpet area whilst it still remains wet

carpet cleaning 1

Dry Cleaning Carpet:

Method:

In comparison to your steam cleaning method the carpet drying (bonnet clean) does not use the same amount of water, instead it has a focus on utilising a chemical based cleaning technique. As moisture is beneficial to all carpet cleaning the dry carpet cleaning method does incorporate some water moisture, but mainly it sprays a chemical on the carpet which is scrubbed with a pad. Mixture of the chemicals and the pad fabric allow the dirt to be transferred onto the pad. However the carpet should also be vacuumed after the process to ensure all the grime that has turned into crystal powder, is effectively sucked up.

Chemical Forms: Granules (and in some cases your professionals will be able to utilise the ‘Foam Method’, which includes similar principles but utilises foam).

Benefits:

  • Most popular benefit is that it allows you to step onto your carpet immediately after application
  • Less water consumption (meaning no risk that your carpet will be over saturated)
  • Often cheaper

Negatives:

  • Doesn’t have the same effectiveness as steam cleaning for stubborn or liquid stains
  • It only really freshens the outer layer of the carpet (which can be appropriate if you have no real major stains)

Choosing out of these two main carpet cleaning methods may result in confusion, but with these basic bullet points and information you should be able to get an understanding what your carpet requires. It’s also best to talk in detail with your carpet cleaning professional before asking or accepting a specific method. In order to prevent the need for regular steam cleaning services you should always get on top of stains straight away, with off the shelf cleaning products, or basic carpet cleaning techniques (hot water and disinfectants).

 

Source – http://www.cleaning-tips.com.au/cleaning/

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Stressed At Work? These 5 Office Mental Health Tips Will Help

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to handle stress at work — but most of it assumes that you’re the boss, or at least someone powerful enough to demand that your office install some soothing non-fluorescent lighting. But while you might be stressed out like a boss, you might not yet have the kind of power needed to request that someone feng shui the filing cabinets. Luckily, there are plenty of work stress-relieving techniques that anyone working in an office can put to use immediately.

And odds are, you do need to put them to use immediately: the American Stress Institute estimates that work is the number one source of stress for Americans, with 40 percent of American workers claiming that they need help managing that stress. And if you work in an open plan office, those stresses become even more specific. Though open plan officeswere created in hopes that their lack of structure would lead to free and spontaneous exchange of ideas between coworkers, numerous studies have pointed out that open plan offices come with their own set of pressures — many of them related to lack of privacy and noise complaints. And since 70 percent of American offices are now open plan offices, that’s a lot of stress to deal with.

These five simple techniques can help you better manage office stress, which can make you more productive, more creative, and more able to have after-work conversations about things besides how stressed you are at work

1. Get A Plant

Why It Helps: What can having a plant on your desk do? I mean, what can’t it do? According to interior designer Sherry Burton Ways, maintaining something green and leafy by your work space can help “reduce absenteeism, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase positive feelings, lower noise levels, decrease room temperature and lower humidity.”

And studies have shown that as few as three desk plants can reduce the CO2 level by 25 percent in a room with no air flow. Plants are also believed to encourage productivity, and researchers at Texas A & M University found that workers with plants nearby had more creative ideas than workers who just had to stare at their bare office walls or Mandy from Human Resources.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Get a plant, any plant, and plop it down on your desk. And no matter your specific office requirements or personal flaws, there is a plant out there to suit your needs. Bad at remembering to water plants? Snake plants don’t need to be watered very often at all. Work in an office with very little natural light? African violets, lucky bamboo, peace lilies, or other plants that thrive in low light can still keep you happy and remind you that there’s a world out there beyond your TPS reports. And even if you work in Sub-Basement Three, jade plants can grow with nothing but the soothing glow of your fluorescent office lights.

2. Stand Up

Why It Helps: Surely by now you’ve read some of the studies about how sitting for your entire work day can increase your risk of stroke and heart attack, and negatively impact your overall health in ways that can’t be fixed by popping out to the gym at six. But odds are, your job won’t throw down for one of those schmany standing desks. Luckily for you, you actually don’t need a standing model in order to avoid death by desk (in fact, standing all day can come with its own health problems, like leg, knee, and back problems). All you need to do is stand up throughout the day for short periods of time, to reap benefits like improved blood flow and increased metabolism.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Experts recommend that you stand up twice an hourwhen you’re working, which can be easily integrated into regular office activities like going to the supply room, using the bathroom, or checking the office fridge to see if anyone has left any cakes unattended.

And if you tend to get in the zone and lose track of time for hours at a stretch, there are plenty of apps that can remind you to keep your butt in motion, like Stand Up, which reminds you to stand up at the interval of your choice, or Smart Break, which also encourages you to take strategically-timed breaks that help you avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and similar typing-related problems.

3. See The Sun

Why It Helps: Many of us work in offices so densely packed and window-free that we have to chat nine different coworkers before we find someone who can tell us what the weather outside looks like. While you might be inclined to punch your own skylight through the weird particle board ceiling, there is a better way to get the sunshine that you need to keep your mind and body healthy: go outside. Crazy, right? I know. But it works! Since UV rays can’t penetrate glass, you’re going to have to actually get outdoors to reap the stress-relieving and sleep-improving benefits of sun exposure.

How To Put This Tip Into Action:  According to experts, you may need anywhere from just a few to 20 minutes in the sun each day, depending on factors like your skin tone and the intensity of your sunscreen application — so you might have to get creative about how to find your time in the great-ish outdoors.

Try eating lunch at your desk and then taking a walk during your actual lunch break, or, if your work situation is just not conducive to mid-day sunny strolls, get some sun on the way to work, possibly by getting up a little earlier (sorry) and taking a longer walk during your commute.

4. Personalize Your Desk

Why It Helps: There’s a trend these days towards so-called “lean” offices — that is, offices that look like sexy, streamlined spaceships, with no traditional office distractions like piles of papers or someone’s collection of hideous big-eyed cherub figurines. These offices are usually assumed to lead to a sleeker, more productive work day, but the opposite is actually true.

According to a study conducted by Dr. Craig Knight, a psychologist at the University of Exeter, office worker productivity increased by 16 percent when workers were allowed to surround themselves with personal artifacts like art, plants, family photos, and hideous big-eyed cherub figurines. And a 2010 UK study found that workers who were able to personalize their workspace were one third more efficient than their decor-free counterparts.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: Bring in something that you like and keep it at your desk. Even if it’s small, and even if you have to bring it home with you every day. This reminder of your life outside of work — whether it’s a family photo or a limited edition framed Sharknado 2 poster — can help keep you going through your work day.

5. Block Out The Noise

Why It Helps: According to psychologist Nick Perham, the noise of open plan offices is the biggest irritant to the modern worker — it can prevent us from focusing completely on our projects, retaining and recalling basic information, and even doing simple math. But there is a way to cut through the noise: blocking it out can improve mood, cognitive functions, and other abilities that take a dive when we’re exposed to office noise.

How To Put This Tip Into Action: A good set of noise-canceling headphones can help — they won’t block everything out, but they can give you greater control over the sonic landscape that you’re immersed in. But even regular headphones can give you a boost: listening to music can help improve your mood or achieve the kind of focus that can help you get some kinds of tasks done.

And, most importantly, playing our own music makes us feel like we have some control in the sometimes-chaotic open place office environment — which is psychologically worth its weight in gold (or at least its weight in sleek, streamlined office desks).

By :

Source :http://www.bustle.com/Woman looking stressed at her desk

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