New study shows the dangers of prolonged use of cleaning chemicals

Do your cleaners have protective masks?

Do your cleaners have protective masks?

When sending in professional crews to take care of your building’s maintenance, you want to make sure that they’re using the best products in order to reduce the spread of germs. However, you want to make sure that the chemicals they’re putting on the cleaning carts are safe for not only building occupants, but also the cleaners themselves.

According to Fortune, using cleaning products for a long period of time could be the equivalent damage to the body as smoking 20 cigarettes per day. Researchers looked at people who were responsible for cleaning their homes and looked at their health versus people who didn’t clean on a regular basis. The study went on for more than 20 years. This could lead to respiratory problems such as asthma and other problems, so it’s important to wear protective masks if you can to keep your health in good form.

The BBC reports that the chemicals in cleaning products can irritate the mucus membranes, which line the airways to the lungs, causing damage. As a result, the researchers report using microfiber cloths and water can help you clean without damaging your health like you would with chemicals. You can still clean without putting your health at risk.

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Try to keep germs from spreading by focusing on these surfaces

Keep up with cleaning door handles and light switches.

Keep up with cleaning door handles and light switches.

Things you come into contact with every day at work could be some of the biggest germ carriers. It’s important to have professionals with cleaning carts go through the office and wipe down all surfaces in an effort to stop bacteria from spreading and keeping as many employees as healthy as possible.

The Sun reports that light switches and door handles are two of the most common sources of germs. Because they are used so frequently throughout the day by a large number of people, it’s easy for them to be major sources of bacteria. Make sure you instruct your cleaning crew to disinfect these surfaces on a regular basis, even in the surrounding areas should the bacteria be spreading without your knowledge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are things employees can do on their own to stop the spreading of germs. In addition to having cleaning crews on hand, it’s a good idea to have employees continually wipe down surfaces, particularly if they’ve been suffering from an illness while at work. By encouraging more people to clean throughout the day, it reduces the chances of germs spreading and infecting more people.

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What’s the angle for starting your cleaning business?

What to know before you start your cleaning business.

What to know before you start your cleaning business.

Thinking about getting into the cleaning business? In addition to starting with the basics like purchasing equipment such as cleaning carts, products and business collateral, you have to think about the bigger picture.

According to Small Business Trends, it’s important to think about the angle at which you’ll approach cleaning. Because there are so many professional cleaning services available, you have to think about what will set your business apart when trying to reach potential customers. The news provider suggests looking at what the need might be local to you. For example, if there are a lot of office parks in your city, consider specializing in cleaning that best addresses their needs.

Additionally, the news provider reports you want to be strategic about advertising, as those costs can escalate quickly without much return in the beginning of a business. By picking local businesses to advertise to, you can reduce costs.

Entrepreneur reports that when starting a services business, snail mail can still work. The news provider also suggests taking a look at your local Yellow Pages, so you can determine the size of competition in the area for the kind of service you’d like to provide. This way, you can figure out where to target your resources.

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There are things you can do to avoid germs this season

Keep cleaning to keep germs at bay.

Keep cleaning to keep germs at bay.

During the winter months, it can be easy to spread germs, particularly at work. However, there are things employees can do to stay healthy. Building managers may want to consider bringing in a professional cleaning crew with carts on a more routine basis in order to help disinfect surface areas throughout the workplace.

However, Elite Daily reports there are things employees can do themselves to steer clear of germs. For starters, it may be beneficial to be a little antisocial over these next few weeks. The source reports that avoiding coworking spaces and the office kitchen can help prevent you from coming into contact with germs. The news provider points out that because your personal space is infected with your own bacteria, you could avoid coming into contact with some of the illnesses your coworkers are currently suffering from.

Everyday Health reports that people with the flu can spread germs to people from up to six feet away, which means that even if you’re sitting at your desk, you still might catch something. Managers should encourage employees to take sick time when they’re not feeling well, as they could be highly contagious, even for hours after they feel better.

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Clean out the break room fridge a regular basis

Clean the office kitchen on a regular basis.

Clean the office kitchen on a regular basis.

In the office break room, there’s a lot of mess that can quickly pile up. Even though bringing in professionals with cleaning carts can help reduce the stains and buildup that occur on the surfaces of the break room, you should also look at some of the appliances to keep everything clean and everyone healthy.

According to CNET, one of the focuses of an office cleaning spree should always be on the break room fridge. It’s easy for things to pile up there when multiple employees are leaving their meals and condiments, but the news provider reports that whenever a spill occurs, it should be wiped up immediately and to deep clean the fridge on a seasonal basis. This means purging condiments that have expired and also soaking the meat and vegetable drawers with warm soapy water.

HGTV reports it’s easy to create an all-purpose cleaner that is fridge-friendly. By combining hot water with ammonia, vinegar and baking soda, you’re able to degrease the fridge without exposing any of the food inside to any strong chemicals that could be hazardous to one’s health. It’s important to keep bacteria from building up in the office fridge, but strong chemicals could be an issue when exposed to food, so it’s important to look into natural solutions.

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Look at your own desk when trying to stop germs from spreading

Look at your own desk when preventing germs.

Look at your own desk when preventing germs.

The flu is running rampant throughout offices across the country, and while professionals with cleaning carts can put up an offensive strategy that helps reduce the number of people affected by constantly disinfecting surfaces, there are things employees should be doing to ensure they are not getting their coworkers sick.

If you work in an office, chances are you’re typing away at your keyboard for at least part of the day. That’s where germs can build up, and if you’re not frequently disinfecting your own workspace, you may find yourself catching the flu. According to WFXL, workers should wipe both their keyboards and computer screens every day or so to stop bacteria from growing. Even if the employee is not sick themselves, bacteria can find its way to any surface. Additionally, the news provider suggests having antibacterial wipes or gel in common areas, so people can work to kill germs.

Total Wellness Health suggests if you see your coworkers starting to come down with something, try and keep your distance and also not share anything, such as a phone, because it can reduce your chances of coming into contact with their germs and help prevent you from being a carrier to other employees.

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Work to keep the flu from spreading in the office

Stop germs from spreading during flu season.

Stop germs from spreading during flu season.

The flu is running particularly rampant this year, and it’s important for facilities managers to communicate with their cleaning crews the importance of disinfecting the workspace to keep germs from spreading further. It’s important to have disinfecting wipes and other cleaning solutions on the cleaning carts, because they can help combat germs. However, it’s important to think of other ways to prevent the spread of germs.

Time Magazine reports the break room is the main culprit for spreading germs, since it’s one of the most trafficked areas in the office. The news provider reports any of the appliance handlers, faucets and buttons should be at the top of the disinfecting target list.

In addition to cleaning surfaces, it might be a good idea to encourage people in the break room to use disposable products for a while, according to the Washington Post. This way, people are reducing the risk of cross-contamination by sharing dishes and utensils. This can be a quick way to spread germs, even if you’re regularly cleaning them. Just be sure to have a strong recycling program for the disposables so as not to create too much waste. Also make sure cleaning crews are regularly picking up the trash.

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Vinegar could be the answer for work kitchen spills

Add vinegar to the cleaning routine.

Add vinegar to the cleaning routine.

Whenever you have professionals coming in with cleaning carts to tidy up around the office, you want to make sure special attention is paid to the kitchen. While deep cleaning solutions can be helpful for really troublesome areas, they can harsh on the environment and people who are breathing in the fumes, like your cleaning crew.

Instead, vinegar might be a solution to a lot of cleaning problems. Bon Appetit reports that vinegar has a place in the kitchen for things other than cooking. In fact, it can be used to clean the kitchen sink, floors and even surfaces where grease and residue has built up over time. By diluting it with water, you can create an eco-friendly cleaning solution that not only cleans the surface, but also helps disinfect without the strong chemical fumes.

Not only is this great to have around the kitchen, but a bottle of vinegar could be helpful to keep in the closet on days when cleaning crews aren’t scheduled to appear. Good Housekeeping reports that vinegar can help remove unwanted stains in a carpet, by mixing it with a liquid dish detergent. This is great to have on-hand for any unexpected spills that could occur throughout the day.

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Trying to keep the office healthy? Add plants!

In addition to cleaning carts, plants can help.

In addition to cleaning carts, plants can help.

It’s easy for people to get sick in the workplace. When you’re sharing communal space with people, germs are easily passed, particularly if it’s cold and flu season. Bacteria runs rampant, which is why it’s important to have a professional crew to come in on a regular basis and disinfect all surfaces.

However, there are other ways to keep people healthy throughout the year. According to the Independent, having a plant in the workplace could help rid the air of chemicals and keep people healthier. The news provider reports this can help balance the bacteria in the air, keeping people in the office healthier for longer. Not only can this help purify the air, but it makes the office smell better as well. There are a lot of benefits to adding plants to the workplace.

You can also go one step further in keeping sick days at bay. The Huffington Post suggests encouraging employees to clean their desks often. The desk isn’t always covered by the cleaning crew, so it’s a good idea to empower your employees to take control of the mess and help do their part in preventing the spread of bacteria in the workplace, helping their coworkers stay healthy.

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Time to assess the cleanliness of your office

Is your cleaning routine working for you?

Is your cleaning routine working for you?

Having the right cleaning team is critical for a building manager and all of the tenants. The workplace needs to be clean for all guests and employees, so having the right team to keep things looking pristine is important.

According to Facility Executive, now is the time to make sure you have the right people on staff to handle the cleaning carts. The news provider reports that because the cleaning industry is incredibly competitive, it’s important to make sure your team is providing the best service.

Be sure to assess whether or not your cleaning team is being efficient and keeping all offices clean. It may also be the time to take a look at costs and make sure the best products are being used in order to keep bacteria at bay.

Especially during this time of year, one of the hardest things to keep clean is the floors, as people tend to track in salt and snow. CleanLink reports that one of the most common mistakes a building manager can make is not having the carpets cleaned on a more frequent basis during the winter months, as this is the time where they need the most attention to continue to look polished.

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