The world has been affected by Coronavirus, and a lot of things have changed!
It’s essential to prepare now for the reopening of our workspace, schools, public spaces, and homes. Below are four ways to prepare for the reopening of America:
Hire a Professional Cleaner
The professional cleaning service is the frontline of defense against infection prevention and containment. It’s essential to have a professional cleaning service come in regularly to help with keeping your home, business, school, and public spaces safe! There are many reasons why hiring a cleaner is better than doing it yourself! Mostly when hiring a professional, they have the knowledge of processes to help BREAK THE CHAIN OF INFECTION!
Safe Up to Date Procedures
Professional cleaners should always be up to date on the safe, correct procedures and processes to keep you safe. It is vital that you, as the consumer, ask questions and do due diligence when hiring a service to disinfect your home, workplace, school, etc. by using a fogger or electrostatic sprayer. You also want to ensure that they will disinfect all the touchpoint areas in your home.
Some examples of frequently touched surfaces are:
doorknobs both inside and out
handles and cabinet pulls
faucets, and sinks
Another critical factor is to ensure that their processes and procedures are updated to the situation at hand and will protect you, your family and home against cross-contamination by either using your vacuum and/or sanitizing their vacuum between customers.
We feel that the best practice for our company is to use your vacuum and have the customer purchase the Maid For You kit through Microfiber Wholesale. Having your microfiber kit will ensure extra safety measures and help with your peace of mind that there will be no cross-contamination.
Dependable professional cleaners believe it’s essential to take any courses or classes to get adequately certified to give their clients the safest, cleanest experience!
They will ensure that they are cleaning for your HEALTH!
During this time, we at Maid For You, have taken measures to continue our education and work towards certification with IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification) and have become an Accredited Infection Prevention Exert through the Academy of Cleaning Excellence. We have also taken the Microbial Warrior Fundamentals Workshop through GBAC (Global Biorisk Advisory Council) to help prepare for, respond to, and recover from biological threats and biohazard situations in real-time crisis.
Professional Cleaning Products
Look for a cleaning company that is confident in cleaning with microfiber cloths because they have more than 200,000 fibers for every inch of fabric, and are very absorbent! These make these environmentally friendly cloths more effective than using regular ones!
It is important to note that microfiber alone will not disinfect a surface. Disinfecting involves the killing of the pathogens. That doesn’t mean microfiber can’t assist in the disinfecting process. In fact, in an article by Infection Control Today, “microfiber was both laboratory and clinically tested and proven to remove up to 98 percent of bacteria and 93 percent of viruses from a surface using only water (no chemicals).”
When paired with a disinfectant product, microfiber can be a great weapon against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Please also note that Covid-19 is a virus and cannot be killed as it is not alive. Using microfiber and a disinfectant will help dismantle and prevent the Coronavirus.
When cleaning your own home, microfiber cloths save you time on cleaning and money because they last for a long time! We have partnered with our vendor Microfiber Wholesale to provide professional cleaning products, like microfiber cloths, to our customers. If interested, you can check them out and purchase them HERE.
We also recommend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for approved products for cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing your home or office. Your cleaning products should say EPA certified.
Proper PPE should be worn, and LABELS MUST BE READ AND DIRECTIONS FOLLOWED!
It is against Federal law to use any disinfectant other than stated in the Safety Data Sheet. If you are unable to find an EPA approved disinfectant, alternate solutions can be used, such as bleach or 70% alcohol solutions.
NEVER MIX BLEACH OR OTHER CLEANING/DISINFECTING products as this can cause a dangerous and deadly gas/fumes.
For up to date information on COVID-19, visit the CDC website.
For more information on the recommended cleaning products, visit the EPA website.
The world’s learning that we take everything for granted. When we prepare to re-enter the world, we need to be careful not to continue doing this!
When you’re able, schedule visits with your grandparents, local elderly homes, your loved ones, and family. Be careful with how often, until we know that this virus is no longer imminent – but do visit!
Connect with People
Just as you plan to visit people you’ve missed, think of others who have had little to no connections during this time. Perhaps, medically unwell people, those who are disabled, elderly, etc. They need someone to reach out to them more than you realize – and they matter just as much!
Everyone’s been affected by this virus – people have lost their jobs, businesses forced to close, people suffer worse mental health. People are grieving, stressed, paranoid about the world, angry about government decisions, etc.
The next time you’re out in public and someone snaps at you – don’t take it personally – empathize that they may be having a rough time with this new world. Go out of your way to be there for others!
Important Reminders about Coronavirus and Breaking the Chain of Infection
We need to learn the lesson in safe cleanliness by using proper procedures when it comes to staying healthy and breaking the chain of infection! Even when this is all over!
Wash your hands often, lathering for 20 seconds, sanitize your touchpoint areas in your home, sanitize cart handles when shopping, cover your nose with your arm when you sneeze, stay home if you’re sick, etc.
Coronavirus can live on surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface material. Warmer temperatures and sunlight exposure reduce the time the virus can survive on surfaces and objects. Thankfully, we are starting to experience milder temperatures! Open the windows and air out rooms as much as possible.
Routine cleaning with soap and water can remove germs and dirt from surfaces lowering the risk of spreading COVID-19.
The use of disinfectants kills germs on surfaces. They must be appropriately used to do their job. Always make sure to read the label and follow instructions. A DWELL time is required and is usually up to 10 minutes. Merely spraying a disinfectant on a surface and instantly wiping it down is not the proper process. CLEAN first then disinfect. A rinse of surfaces is needed after the use of some disinfectants.
Always store and use disinfectants as intended. Be sure to read the label. Also, never mix any cleaning products as they create toxic and sometimes deadly fumes. Always make sure all disinfectants are out of reach of children and pets.
The use of disposable gloves is required as proper PPE, personal protective equipment when working with chemicals. Some even require more PPE as shoe covers, Tyvek suit, goggles, and face shield.
Continuing to social distance, wearing face masks, and following proper hand hygiene procedures are still very much important.
Be Prepared and Have a Plan
It is crucial to continue following these steps and safety guidelines as the world, and the United States begin to reopen. As more states open and the stay at home orders lifted, everyone needs to realize that the daily life of most will not be the same as it was before this pandemic. Following safety precautions will still need to be followed to prevent the virus from further spreading. Hopefully, this will prevent another lockdown.
Before going out in public, wash your hands, reduce your risk as much as possible by touching as few surfaces as possible, wipe down surfaces before and after touching them along with washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently.
If working in a building for an eight (8) hour day, you must wash your hands ten times, once upon entry, one time every 8 hours and one time before your leave for the day.
All of these safety recommendations should reduce your risk significantly. Check out this CDC resource to Prevent Getting Sick.
Remember, Maid For You is here for you and the community. We are proud of our commitment to continuing education and being an Accredited Infection Prevention Expert. We are proud of our commitment to cleaning and disinfecting your home or business for health. We will continue to follow CDC/EPA for up to date recommendations when servicing your home or business.
You may have heard that putting a dirty sponge in the microwave will sanitize it or get rid of 99.99% of the bacteria in it. If this is the case, we are sorry to say this to you, but this is a huge misconception. Microwaving a dirty sponge will make things worse!
As it turns out, if you try to sanitize your sponge by leaving it to microwave for a few minutes, you’ll do the complete opposite. It only gets rid of the weakest bacteria. The strongest ones will survive and use the newly-found space to propagate and thrive for time to come.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
In fact, sponges are great ecosystems for bacteria to harvest. They are warm, moist, and could potentially be full of nutrients that bacteria can and will live off of.
There are a lot of articles on the topic. However, an article in The New York Times written by Joanna Klein brought the issue to the mainstream. The article’s main focus was on a study done on 14 different kitchen sponges that were previously used for cleaning.
As Klein wrote: “By looking at the DNA and RNA in samples from 14 used sponges that may be as dirty as the one sitting in your sink right now, Markus Egert, a microbiologist at the University of Furtwangen in Germany, and his team identified 362 different species of bacteria living within them. And the scientists were surprised to find how densely microbes occupied such close quarters: About 82 billion bacteria were living in just a cubic inch of space”.
If this isn’t enough to throw you off, we don’t know what will!
Sponges are one of the dirtiest items to find around your house. Surprisingly, many people don’t replace them as often as they should. Here’s a rule of thumb: if it’s smelly, it’s time to do something about it.
It makes sense to desire to replace your sponge quite often. They are the number one cleaning supply most use for cleaning dishes and kitchenware.
In fact, they could even harbor mold or yeast, yuck!
We recommend you swap out certain cleaning utensils regularly to make sure they’re not making things dirtier. But after a while, it may become slowly less and less cost effective. Of course, after some time you’ll have to swap out your sponges no matter what; however, there are ways to stretch their lifespans a bit in harmless ways.
One method that will kill a lot of the bacteria currently living in your sponge is to soak it in water with some bleach. It will get rid of a considerable portion of the bacteria and give you more peace of mind when it comes to using a semi-old sponge for doing the dishes. After this, you may want to soak it in water with lemon juice to deodorize and give it a pleasant smell.
Although this is a good solution to the problem, we don’t recommend you do this all the time. After all, you’ll have to buy new sponges eventually; however, you can stretch some time before the next trip to the store.
We all look forward to the beauty of spring: blooming flowers, warm weather, and longer days to enjoy it all. However, the joys also bring headaches, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing. According to WebMD, almost half of Americans will test positive for mold and other types of indoor allergens. Without our realizing it, allergens make their way into our homes, causing flare-ups while we work, relax and sleep. Read on for some of Maid For You, Inc.’s best tips on helping your family suffer less from indoor allergens.
How allergens come indoors
Brought in by you and your guests
You may not realize it, but each step you take outside later brings allergen irritants into the home. Everywhere you go, your shoes track pollen, dust, and dirt into your home. Even the most careful person will unknowingly get an irritant on the bottom of their shoe, which is then brought into and spread throughout the home. Wiping your feet on a pretty welcome mat may prevent some of this, but, inevitably, irritating material still makes its way inside.
Produced by everyday activities: cooking, sleeping, etc.
When we use our stove or oven and heat is produced, moisture forms from the condensation. This moisture then cools down and has the potential to develop into mold. The kitchen can be a breeding ground for mold, especially when weekly deep-cleanings are not done. The same goes for the bathroom, which tends to be a smaller space. The lack of ventilation further invites mold to grow.
Comes in through windows and doorways
We all love fresh air, and it’s important to ventilate a home, but windows are the perfect place for allergies to come in. Each time you open up your window, you let pollen come inside and spread onto furniture and the floor. Similarly, the force from opening up the door brings in unwanted pollen, not to mention how much comes in when you leave your door open for any extended amount of time. A screen door may help to shield some irritants from entering in, but it’s impossible to block them all out. That’s why keeping on top of cleaning during allergy season is so important.
How you can reduce allergies
1 – Get a serious rubberized bristle mat
They may not be quite as cute and inviting as other welcome mats, but a serious rubberized mat may help to reduce the amount of allergens tracked on the bottom of shoes. Go for one that has longer, thick, rough bristles, and place it outside of the most often used entrances.
2 – Keep moisture out of the home to reduce mold
Mold is a major irritant for most people. It can’t always be seen, but mold circulates throughout the air. To keep it to a minimum, always use vent fans in the kitchen and the bathroom. When you see condensation forming on appliances or on sinks and tubs, wipe it down immediately.
3 – Keep the kitchen spick-and-span
Our kitchens can be the perfect place for allergens to hide, unbeknownst to the untrained eye. A professional housecleaner will know how to spot areas where mold and irritants gather. For example, the refrigerator drip pan can be a hot bed for germs if not cleaned out once a month. Hidden mold can also grow on the oven’s vent hood.
4- Vacuum carpets regularly
Carpeting provides warmth, but it also collects and hides dust and dirt. Carpeting also attracts pollen that shoes track into the home. Regularly vacuuming (as often as every few days or so) will allow you to prevent this dirt from collecting and further spreading. If you can vacuum using a HEPA-filter, that will help even more.
5 – Wash your kids toys
Kids’ toys provide fun and comfort, but their plush material collects dust and attracts dust mites. Wash stuffed animals on a regular basis and avoid keeping them in one big pile.
6- Wash your bedding regularly One major contributor to allergies are dust mites, which live and breed anywhere dust collects. They particularly love bedding, mattresses and pillows, which explains why they prefer the bedroom. Make sure you regularly wash your sheets and bedding. If you don’t have the time, you can always turn to a professional like Maid For You, Inc. and let them take care of your laundry needs.
Let professionals help
It’s never easy to find time to clean your home as much as needed to keep your family’s allergies to a minimum. Maid For You, Inc. can help by providing the type of regular cleaning that will minimize irritants in your home. Save yourself a headache and give us a call today at (215) 370-7993 for a free quote.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, followed closely by Christmas, which means your home will soon be full of holiday guests. As tempting as it is to panic that your house is hardly presentable for the mailman to drop by, let alone the influx of family and friends sure to be knocking, fear not. We’ve put together a list of affordable ideas to get your home refreshed, organized and ready for even your mother-in-law’s approval.
1 – Replace old towels
If your towels are tattered and threadbare, this is your excuse to replace them. You don’t need to go overboard with pricey bath sheets, but a few new hand towels in bold shades can brighten up your bathroom. Use your current color scheme as a guide and choose one or two complementary hues. Hang some towels on the rack, but we also suggest placing an unused stool by the sink and displaying a pile of neatly folded towels on top for easy access and added elegance.
2 – Clear the counter
One of the most important ways you can get your home ready for guests this season is to clear your counter of unnecessary items. A clean, uncluttered countertop gives your bathroom an instant facelift and makes your home look organized. A nice liquid soap and hand cream should be the only things on the counter when guests arrive, with the exception of simple decor items such as candles or a dried flower arrangement (dried hydrangeas are always beautiful). Place all other toiletries in small baskets under the sink.
3 – Add some greenery
If you have enough light in your bathroom, plants can instantly brighten the space. Find some pretty containers (baskets or clay pots work well) and add your plants of choice. Place on the counter or anywhere they are sure to receive enough light (and remember to water!).
4 – De-clutter
Other than the dining table, your living room is where most of the action will occur during holiday hosting. Make sure all toys, exercise equipment, errant shoes and anything else lying around on the floor is moved out of sight before guests arrive. The coffee table should also be cleared off, and any clutter replaced with a few simple coasters.
5 – Add festive touches
Adding seasonal decorative touches doesn’t have to cost much. Fill a glass bowl with miniature pumpkins or apples and display on the mantel. Or place lightly scented candles (pine, cinnamon or nutmeg) on various surfaces, string twinkle lights along the banister for a festive ambiance and bring some of the outside in with large bowls of pine cones and ribbons of birch bark.
6 – Spice up the conversation
Depending on the types of guests, conversation cards can be a good way to break the ice. You can buy them or make your own (print topics of interest to inspire discussion on nice cardstock) and leave them on the coffee table or dining room table.
Entrance hall or foyer
7- Add hooks
Having a pile of coats on the stairs or otherwise lying around the house is not a good way to welcome guests. Adding a row of hooks provides a place for you and your guests to hang coats instead of heaping them somewhere.
8 – Clear your coat closet
Along with hooks, clearing your closet of the family’s coats before a large gathering is a good idea. Put your own coats somewhere else (in the basement, in a bedroom closet) so there’s ample room for guests to store their outerwear.
9- Provide a basket for keys, gloves and hats
If you live in a climate where holiday time means a dip in temperature, guests will most likely be arriving with gloves, hats and scarves. Providing a large basket at the front door for them to leave their cold-weather items, and a smaller basket for keys, helps ensure no one forgets or loses anything they arrived with.
10 – Make space
If you know you’ll be having overnight guests during the holidays, it’s important to make space for their belongings. Even if they’re only staying one or two nights, clear out some space in the guest closet for them to hang their items.
11 – Provide toiletries
No, you don’t have to spend a small fortune at Sephora to accommodate an overnight guest, but it’s nice to leave a travel-size hand cream and shower gel for them to use during their stay in case they forgot to bring their own.
12- Create a comfortable atmosphere
Along with toiletries, leave a fresh bath sheet and hand towel for your guest at the foot of the bed, along with some light reading material (magazines or a book of short stories) and a bedside lamp. Be sure to show them everything they might need to know, such as how the shower works and where to find basics like coffee, cereal and milk.