Category Archives: Office Cleaning Services

Infographic: On The Go For a Business Trip? So Are Germs

At one point in each of our lives we’ll need to take a business trip either domestically or internationally.  Then we have to worry if we’ve packed enough clothing for the duration, brought enough magazines or books for the flight, and ensured your wallet, keys, and other belongings are on your person.

But have you given any thought to traveling with germs?  Most hotels, car rental offices, and airlines do not properly clean and sanitize their products.  Below is an infographic (via Kimberly-Clark) of what we mean…


Isn’t it time you call in the professionals to ensure viruses are not spread person to person?

Preventing the Spread of Measles in Your Office

The spread of virusesIf you’ve read a newspaper or viewed a nightly news program recently then you know about the growing problem of the measles spreading. NBC News has stated on their website that the outbreak of measles at a California theme park just last week is likely from overseas carried over by a tourist.

A few days ago an Illinois daycare facility reported 1 adult and 6 children were diagnosed with the measles. Overall the CDC has confirmed 122 people across 18 states have been infected.

For those unaware of what the measles are, it’s a respiratory disease caused by a virus that grow on the cells that line the back of one’s throat and lungs. Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-10 days after a person is infected and include: blotchy rash, fever, cough, runny nose, red watery eyes, achy, and white spots found inside the mouth. Other complications may include pneumonia, ear infections, or diarrhea.

If you have not contracted the measles, there are several precautions you can take:

1) Get your MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine from your doctor or local hospital. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommend children receive two doses (12 to 15 months of age and 4 to 6 years of age). Adults should receive at least one dose of the vaccine.
2) If at work, vigorously clean your desk, computers, pens and other items. Measles are an airborne virus spread by sneezing, coughing, or speaking. Disinfecting items around you will help.
3) If at home, vigorously clean countertops, bedding, and commonly touched items (remotes, door handles, sinks, toilets, etc.

Measles outbreaks have occurred in the past (most recently in October 2007), but the advancement of medicine and better trained physicians have stopped the spreading of measles.

Keeping the Office Tidy in Between Cleanings

Providing a clean workplace benefits both your employees and the impression you leave on clients that visit your office. Cleanliness makes workers more productive, happier and less likely to become ill. It also puts clients at ease and makes you look very professional. If your office is being commercially cleaned, but not every day, there are ways to help keep the office tidy in between cleanings.

Eating at the deskProvide a Designated Break Area and Discourage Eating at Desks
Eating at a desk usually used for work can lead to messy surfaces, food stained paperwork and crumbs that attract bugs. Discourage employees from keeping or eating food at their desk and provide a proper break room instead.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum with Organized Paperwork
It’s easier to clean surfaces when they aren’t covered with paperwork. Furthermore, cluttered paperwork and boxes of files lying about make your office look disorganized. Have a file storage system in place and use off-site storage if a lot of paperwork must be kept. One of the easiest ways to cut down on office paperwork is to digitize documents and use an online file storage system.

Disinfect Office Equipment
Desk phones and computer keyboards can easily spread illnesses, especially during flu season. Wipe them down with a mild disinfectant each day. This will keep your work area germ free and will also freshen the smell of the area at the same time.

Empty Trash and Recycle Bins
Make sure to empty the trash and recycle bins each night. This will take away smells and make the office look less cluttered. If you had a daily cleaning service they would empty all the bins everyday so make sure you do the same. Don’t forget any small wastebaskets in the common areas and the trash in the bathrooms.

Clean Common Areas Nightly
Make sure the break room is wiped down and all items left out have been put away each night before closing. If there is a sink clear out all dishes. It is especially important to straighten up the lobby and keep it smelling fresh and clean as well. This is your “first impression space” and you want everyone to be entering your office with a smile on their face.

Carpet Cleaning Tips To Keep Your Carpet Looking Brand New All Year­Round

Most homeowners would agree that having new carpet installed in the home looks great, feels wonderfully plush under your feet, and adds value to a home. But as a homeowner, do you know how to properly care for and maintain your carpets so they have that “brand new” look and feel all year round?

In this article, you’re going to learn some great carpet care tips that will extend the lifespan of your carpet, keep it in like new condition for many years, and thusly save you lots of $$$ over the cost of having to replace it prematurely.

Tip #1: Use A High Quality Carpet Protectant Spray

Beverage spilled on carpet.

While many homeowners choose to neglect the fact that a good carpet protectant spray can add years to the lifespan of a carpet, others have chosen to “cash in” on this great opportunity.

A good carpet protectant spray is able to prevent dirt and grime from adhering to carpet fibers, thereby eliminating any chance of permanent staining.
Also, danger from red wine, blood, grape juice, oil, and grease are also eliminated, as spills simply bead up and aren’t able to leave a stain! Scotchguard makes a great carpet protectant that’s received a very high review score at Amazon.

Tip #2: Use Carpet Mats/Rugs For High Traffic Areas

This is a simple carpet preservation tip you can use for all the high traffic areas in your home. For areas with frequent traffic, lots of mud and/or grime depositing from sneakers/boots, a good plastic carpet runner is a great idea. Not only do they keep the dirt/grime off your carpets, but they’re also very easy to clean outside with just a water hose.

But if it’s just carpet traffic protection you’re after, with no danger of dirt/mud/grease accumulating, then an attractive area rug would possibly be more appropriate.

Tip #3: Purchase A Professional Carpet Cleaning Machine And Clean Your Carpets Often

Carpet cleaning machines allow you to save money over the cost of hiring a professional carpet cleaning team. For around $400, you can purchase a high quality carpet cleaning machine like the Bissell Big Green Deep Cleaning Machine that will save you money over professional cleaning services all year round!

Your carpets will remain in pristine condition, and stay looking just like the day you originally had them installed.

Also, be aware that not all carpet cleaning solutions are created the same, and some solutions may perform better than others. For example, Bissell provides their own line of high performance carpet cleaning solution that’s highly rated in the Amazon review section.

Tip #4: Be Aware That New Carpets Vary Greatly In Quality – Choose The Right One!

In the event that you’re going to be installing new carpets in your home, you should know “right off the bat” that not all carpets are created equal in terms of performance and value. As a homeowner, make it your mission to DO YOUR RESEARCH and find out which carpets are currently offering the best combination of overall value and quality.

For example, a high quality stain resistant carpet will be more apt to resist stains than its cheaply designed competitors. Also, a carpet that’s designed with high quality fiber will be more likely to hold up to high traffic without wearing down prematurely.

Remember that reviews left by customers at online carpet stores can give you a great idea about the product quality and whether or not it will be a good fit for your home. Stainmaster is a good pick, and comes with stain resistant fibers and static prevention built in.

Tip #5: Vaccum Frequently And Never Pull Out A Loose Carpet Snag

Vaccuming often will prevent soil deposits from being “ground in” to the carpet through frequent walking. This helps to extend the life of your carpet significantly.
Also, if you encounter a loose carpet string/snag that’s come loose, DON’T pull it out! Resist that temptation, and instead use scissors to clip it down so the offending snag is no longer visible.

Finally, if treating a stubborn stain with spot-cleaning, spray on carpet solution, be sure to never grind or rub the carpet fibers too hard as you can damage them this way.

Restroom Germ Myths And Truths Revealed

When it comes to using a public restroom, many people try to avoid it out of the fear they might pick up some kind of disease. In this article, we’ll explore 5 different things you should know.

However, the fears most people have when it comes to public restrooms aren’t actually based in reality.

1. Public Restrooms Are Dangerous And Should Be Avoided? False!

While it’s a fact that public restrooms, depending on the way they’re cleaned, can be a breeding ground for bacteria, the fears people have are generally without grounds.

These days, companies have strict regulations regarding the design of their restrooms.
Proper ventilation and a spacious interior does a lot to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Also, most companies generally have professional cleaning services that come in on a daily or weekly basis to ensure the restroom(s) remain clean and in accordance with local and state public health agencies.

2. It Helps To Cover Public Toilet Seats To Protect Yourself

Toilet seat covers are designed to protect your body from skin to surface transfer of bacteria. Generally, there is a danger of public toilet seats because of bacteria strains like Community-Associated Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA). Similar Staph bacteria strains, as well as streptococcus, while not as serious, can also be transferred through contact.

Getting a “MRSA” or “staph” infection can make you incredibly sick, make you miss work, and make you feel terrible, but using a toilet seat cover minimizes the risk of this type of bacteria transfer/infection.

3. Proper Bathroom Etiquette Is Key To Staying Safe

Individual with bucket full of cleaning supplies.

Many people worry about public restroom germs, and yet completely forego any form of restroom etiquette. The proper method of washing your hands in a public restroom requires that you first wash your hands as usual, then dry your hands with a paper towel.

Then, in order to prevent any form of contamination when you turn the water off, proper restroom etiquette instructs us to use a dry paper towel when turning off the faucet handle. Also, when opening the restroom door to leave, you should use another dry paper towel to grip the handle.

Many people don’t to wash their hands, and when they grip the handle of the door, germs remain on the handle.
If you’re flushing the toilet, use toilet paper to press the handle also helps to prevent the spread of germs. Flushing the toilet with the lid down is also a courteous practice to prevent germs from becoming airborne.

This way, when the next person enters the restroom, they’ll have less of a chance of inhaling germs in the air.

Also, if using the hand dryer, don’t touch the “on” button with your hands. Instead, press the button with your elbow (if you have a long sleeve shirt on) or lean against it with your body so you don’t contact your skin where other people have been touching.

4. The Strength Of Antibacterial Soap Doesn’t Actually Make Much Of A Difference

There’s a growing debate in the commercial cleaning world as to whether or not the chemical strength of the soap you use to wash your hands actually makes a difference when it comes to preventing infection.

The truth is, the amount of time we spend washing our hands isn’t enough time to kill bacteria strains like E.Coli, Staph, and Strep. Additionally, the chemical strength of current antibacterial soaps isn’t strong enough to kill the viruses. If antibacterial soaps were created in the strength needed to kill the viruses, it would damage our skin.

Point being, it’s currently a raging debate whether using antibacterial soaps is a step backwards. The Food and Drug Administration states that “antibacterial soap offers no discernible benefit over plain old water and soap. There’s also sufficient evidence and claims that antibacterial soap is actually contributing to antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.

Many commercial cleaning services are switching to “green friendly” soaps in response to public outcry.

5. Just Because There’s A Clean Smell In A Restroom, It Doesn’t Always Count For Much

Many people are under the common misconception that if a restroom smells clean, it’s actually clean. This isn’t always true, and it can sometimes lead to commercial cleaning employees spending less time cleaning, as they know the restroom will “smell” clean to the customer base without them having to put the time and effort into an appropriate cleaning practice.

In all actuality, janitorial companies should spend time training their employees to use soap, but also put emphasis on the importance of “deep cleaning” the restrooms properly to prevent bacterial growth.

Stop The Spread Of Disease With Commercial Cleaning

Surfacing cleaning alone in your office space will do little to stop the spread of disease among your employees. In fact, if done incorrectly you could even cross contaminate yourself into an epidemic. Fast spreading communicable viruses have been all over the news lately and the largest culprit of them all, the common flu virus, can bring your office to a grinding halt. In fact, the flu virus is responsible for over $87 Billion a year in lost productivity and medical bills in the US.

Many small companies struggle with justifying the cost of hiring a cleaning company. In addition to making the office presentable, the right type of cleaning can also help create a healthy environment for all employees. If you have been noticing that viruses spread like wild-fire throughout your company then improper cleaning might be the culprit.

First of all, commercial cleaners are experts at knowing what to clean and how to clean it. Due to repeated use, keyboards and telephones in an office can harbor more bacteria than a toilet seat. These items as well as other office tools and surfaces need to not only wiped down but completely disinfected. There should be a schedule for deep cleaning and replacement of these items over time.

Bucket full of cleaning supplies being carried by a gloved hand.

Access to better quality cleaning products is another great benefit to hiring an outside company to do your cleaning. Your cleaning company should use EPA regulated hospital grade disinfectant to stop germs and bacteria from taking over. They will also have systems in place for preventing cross contamination between different areas of the office. For example, you don’t want to use the same rags to clean the bathroom, kitchen and lobby because you could be spreading germs from one area to another.

The office kitchen and appliances are another area that can easily spread viruses. While employees should be encouraged to clean up after themselves, commercial cleaning should also be utilized to clean tables, floors, dishes and appliances. Clean out the refrigerator and coffee pots regularly as well.

Other great tips to keeping your office virus-free are: implementing a stay-at-home policy for anyone exhibiting cold or flu symptoms and having alcohol-based hand sanitizing stations throughout the office. Hand washing and sanitizing can go a long way in helping to stop viruses from spreading as hand to face contact is one of the biggest risk factors.

Using commercial grade cleaning products and hiring a cleaning company to keep things tidy and disinfected will greatly help to cut down on employee sick time and loss of productivity. A company can easily reclaim the money spent on commercial cleaning with the elimination of so much downtime.

Top Three Values of Commercial Cleaning

A service has value when it can solve a problem, generate income or create efficiency for your business. Surprisingly, hiring a professional cleaning company for your office can generate tons of value that you may normally overlook. With the correct services in place, the cost of your cleaning service can be recouped with less employee downtime and more business won.

  1. Creating A Comfortable Work Environment – Problem Solved!
  2. Each individual has a type of work environment that makes them more productive. These preferences might be unique from person to person but one universal truth when it comes to productivity is having a clean workspace. Coming in to a clean office each morning will increase production, instill a sense of company pride and show employees that you respect and value them. Additionally, clean surfaces can radically lower the spread of infectious diseases and lessen downtime. During cold and flu season, having a clean office can be the difference between a few sniffles and a full blown office epidemic.

  3. Look Totally Professional – and Generate More Income!
  4. Never underestimate the power of a clean office! When clients visit you it pays to have a spacious, well lit, freshly cleaned lobby to greet them. Imagine the embarrassment if your clients are made uncomfortable by smelly full trashcans or an unclean restroom. Make sure your workspace looks and smells fantastic! This pride of ownership will help clients see you as a trusted professional they can do business with. An untidy office can be a huge turn off. Win more business when the look and feel of your workspace matches the level of service you bring to the table.

  5. Bringing In Specialists Saves Your Precious Time!
  6. Lady dusting the surface of a table.

    Your specialty probably isn’t cleaning toilets and dusting countertops and you don’t pay your employees for emptying wastebaskets or taking out the trash. In order to effectively leverage your time you need to delegate tasks to third parties who specialize in that area. Professional cleaning crews have the right equipment and supplies on hand to get the job done with skilled employees who have specific knowledge about corporate cleaning. Specializing and leveraging can lead to more hours in your day and more money saved overall. Carefully interview the top cleaning companies in the area to find the right fit for you.

Depending on the size and needs of your business, your cleaning crew might need to clean throughout the day or do more complete cleanings at night when staff is gone for the day. Either way, custom plans exist for all types of companies. Once you have professional cleaning services in place you’ll wonder how your company ever survived without them!

Looking for high caliber commercial cleaning, contact us today for a free quote!

5 Advantages to Green Cleaning

Advertising and branding play a huge role in deciding which cleaning products people and companies choose to use. When it’s time to buy some new window cleaner you go to the store and choose a brightly colored bottle with a clever name and a good price – but do you actually have any idea what’s in the bottle?

Cleaning supplies displayed.

The chemical recipes of many household cleaners are actually quite harmful to humans, animals and the environment. Once you know the risks, it’s easy to see why “green cleaning products” are getting so much attention these days.

There are many advantages to going green when you clean; here are a few of the big ones!

  • Healthier Humans
  • Toxic chemicals get absorbed through the air, water and skin by the humans (and animals) that are exposed to them. Young people and the people who do a lot of the cleaning are the most at risk. Exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritations. Prolonged exposure can cause allergies and asthma.

  • Purer Environment
  • Chemicals from cleaning products can contaminate the air and water causing damage to the environment. Switching to greener cleaning products can help protect the ozone and make the air and water around you safer and more pure.

  • Less Expensive
  • Green cleaning products contain less expensive ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil. Not only can you curb your cleaning bill with these all natural ingredients but businesses can also benefit by reduced sick time and healthier employees.

  • Fewer Antibacterials
  • Antibacterial soaps and cleaning compounds were all the rage for a while but now we know better, over use of antibacterial products can lead to resistance to drugs you need when you are sick and has contributed to the creation of “super viruses.” Green cleaning does not contain harmful antibacterial agents.

  • Knowledge is Power
  • It is much easier to know exactly what you are putting on your surfaces and in turn, your body, when you use green products with ingredient labels you can understand easily. If a product has too many long complicated sounding ingredients, chances are, it’s not healthy for you or the environment! 

    Caution sign on freshly waxed floor.

5 (+1) Myths of Dust

Dust is omnipresent. It coats your counter tops, lines your floors, covers your carpets, floats in the air and settles on your body.

An organic or inorganic solid particle, dust is visible and invisible, ranges in size from below 1 µm up to around 100 µm – i.e. from microscopic particles to the consistency of grains of sand – and is released into the air either via natural decay or through man made processes. Dust is generally regarded as a nuisance that can cause minor and major health issues – including nasal irritation, itching, asthma, cough – and in worst cases, affect the brain, kidney and other organs.

SEE MORE: Benefits of a Healthy Work Environment

But there are several prevalent myths about dust that need to be addressed, so you could take proper precautionary measures to subvert negative consequences. Following are five (PLUS one) common ones:

1. Mopping eliminates all dust: While sweeping and swabbing your home regularly is definitely recommended, it does not remove all the dust. Dust is still present on your mattresses, pillows, sofas. Regular vacuums recirculate dust into the air, which then settles down on surfaces and into other hidden nooks and crevices. More importantly, dust is not produced just one time. It is constantly moving into your home through open doors and windows. Even internal appliances, fabric fibers and cooking can contribute to dust particulates in your home. Hence, it is near impossible to eliminate dust simply by vacuuming and mopping, although some vacuum cleaners equipped with a High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filter do a better job than regular vacuum cleaners.

Individual mopping with cleaning cart next to him.

2. Dust cannot be explosive: On the contrary, many products – including agricultural products, metals, chemical dusts, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, textiles and plastics – can become combustible dust in the right conditions and concentrations. In essence, any workplace that generates dust is at risk. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety , when combustible dust of the right size is dispersed in air and confined within a limited area, pressure builds up, and this increases the probability of an explosion. Routinely screening your workplace might help prevent any combustible dust hazards.

SEE MORE: 3 Reasons to Outsource your Commercial Cleaning Services

3. Household Dust is Not Toxic: Household dust is made up of several components, depending on your locality, weather conditions, cooking preferences, lifestyle and so on – and, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT mostly human skin cells. It is a complicated and icky mixture of internal and external pollutants, some of which are toxic. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) states that a common household toxin is chemical flame retardant, which has been added to several everyday items, such as TV, computers and furniture. These chemicals have been known to ‘escape’ or ‘shed’ from products and settle as household dust, which can prove quite harmful to your family, especially to young children. Periodically cleaning your home with special-filter vacuums and wet mops, along with dust-proofing hard-to-reach crevices, might help minimize the negative side effects of these unfortunate toxins.

4. Dust and Dust Mites Are the Same: In actuality, dust and dust mites mean different things. While dust is an accumulation of tiny, non-living particulates from various natural and man made sources – and are generally suspended in air – dust mites are living organisms that are tinier than dust particles and feed on shed human cells. Most of the allergies occur due to our intolerance to the fecal matter of such dust mites. Dust mites – like any fungi – thrive in humid environments, so a dehumidifier will go a long way in negating their presence!

5. All Kinds of Dust Pose Similar Hazards: As per the World Health Organization (WHO), the health risks associated with dust particles varies depending on the type of dust and the exposure to the dust. The exposure, in turn, depends on the air concentration, particle size and length of exposure. The particle size determines how long it remains suspended in air and where it gets deposited in the respiratory tract. In addition, whether you inhale through your mouth or your nose, and how long you hold your breath, affect the impact of the dust particles. Inhalable dust (less than 100 microns) enter the mouth and nose during normal breathing; Thoracic Dust (less than 10 microns) are particles that will pass through nose and throat to reach the lungs, while Respirable Dust – the smallest dust particulates of less than 5 microns – penetrate into the gas exchange region of the lungs, making them the most hazardous for your health. This way, the effect of dust depends on a gamut of factors, and it is crucial to take timely and apposite preventative measures depending on the type of particle.

Lady dusting wooden surface.

Now, for the +1 myth that deserves to be noted:

Dust Has NO Benefits: Dust has gotten a bad rap – and quite deservedly. They are scratchy, itchy and simply a pesky pain in our lives. HOWEVER, just like there are two sides to everything, dust too has its benefits. Dust particles scatter sunlight in all directions, which prevents our surroundings from turning completely dark for around couple hours around sunset. Also, the scintillating and multi-hued twilights, sunrises and sunsets could be attributed to dust particulates suspended in air. Finally, certain types of dust particles – called condensation nuclei – retain moisture and cause rain when water vapor condenses around them during cooler conditions.

Hopefully, busting these myths help you better understand the enigmatic phenomenon of dust. You can now take appropriate measures to incorporate a healthier lifestyle at home and outside.

Your Office Space – The Real First Impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression; we’ve all heard the phrase but what really counts as the first impression? If your business has a physical location then your first impression might not be made by a person but by the customer’s experience as they visit your company for the first time.

Do a simple exercise to try to see things from your customer’s perspective. Walk into your office and really pay attention to what a customer would see and feel upon entering. Does your lobby and reception area give off an aura of calm success or is it chaotic and messy?

The first step to making a lasting positive impression is to have a clean, well-lit space that is organized. Many companies pay to have a cleaning service come in each night so that first thing in the morning they are ready to impress customers!

If you don’t own your own building you might not have much authority to change the harsh overhead fluorescent lights but you can counter-balance this less than optimal feature with some low lighting around the reception area. Make sure to have comfortable seating with professional looking furniture. The walls should be painted a neutral color that is professional and friendly at the same time. You can also match colors and décor to your company’s brand.

You never allow customers to see dust, over flowing trash cans or stacks of files you can’t find a place for. Your organizational skills and over all décor should inspire confidence in your business. With a little paint, lighting and a few decorations you can create a lobby and reception area to be proud of. Your customers will feel welcomed and comfortable while waiting to meet with you, leading to more business!