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).


Steam Cleaning :


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).


  • 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


  • 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:


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).


  • 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


  • 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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Are ‘Mutated’ Daisies Really Caused by Fukushima Radiation?

Radiation from damaged power plant may be responsible for odd flowers, but there could be other forces at work.

A picture of malformed daisies uploaded to Twitter from Japan is going viral, causing many people to speculate that radiation from the damagedFukushima nuclear power plant, which was rocked by a 2011 tsunami is to blame for the oddity.

“Frightening. Fukushima daisies go viral as nuclear radiation is blamed for deformities,” one twitter user noted.

But plant scientists aren’t so sure. It’s possible the radiation could be involved, but there are a number of other explanations as well, they say.

Twitter user @san_kaido first shared the picture in late May, fromNasushiobara City. That’s about 108 miles (173 kilometers) southwest of the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, which was disabled by the March 2011 tsunami and leaked radiation into the environment.

The radiation at the site where the stretched-looking Shasta daisies were photographed was 0.5 μSv/h, wrote @san_kaido, an account set up in the Tochigi Prefecture Nasu district to disseminate information about radiation and Fukushima. That might sound scary, but that level is considered only slightly above normal and is classified as safe for “medium to long term habitation.”

It’s possible the flower deformity could have been induced by radiation, says Jeffrey J. Doyle, a professor of plant biology at Cornell University. However, “this is a pretty common mutation in daisies that I’ve seen sporadically in various places not associated with radioactivity,” he says.

There are many factors that can cause the oddity, Doyle says, from chemicals to diseases, a hormone imbalance, or random mutations to inherited genes. This particular malformation has been seen in numerous species of the world’s 20,000 members of the daisy family, from Holland to Idaho.

He’s not ruling out a role for Fukushima: “It wouldn’t surprise me to find mutations of all types, including this one, in places that have higher than average levels of mutagenic agents, such as a radioactive site or toxic waste dump.”

But this single plant is not enough to make a connection. If many other plants were found in the immediate area with mutations, that would provide more evidence of a possible link, he says.

Even if radiation levels were 10 times what was reported at the site, “the dose rate would be highly unlikely to induce a significantly higher level of mutations,” says Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “But at areas closer to the release site, local dose rate levels were much higher at the time of the accident and possibly could have caused high additional mutation rates in flora in highly contaminated areas.”

“Not That Rare”

Beth Krizek, a plant biologist at the University of South Carolina, agrees that radiation is a possible cause of the flower oddity, but says there are many other possible explanations.

“It’s not that rare,” Krizek says of the odd daisies. “You could occasionally see this just in plants growing in your garden.”

That being said, it’s likely that the nuclear disaster has been impacting wildlife in Japan, scientists reported in the Journal of Heredity in 2014. As in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, scientists have observed higher mortality rates among birds, insects, and plants in the immediate vicinity of the radioactive leaks.

—Rachel Becker contributed reporting to this story.

Source – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150723-fukushima-mutated-daisies-flowers-radiation-science/CGAcNp4UoAITw69

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