Thursday, February 28, 2019

The 3 Most Unsanitary Places In Your Home

Do you know what the germiest, dirtiest, bacteria-ridden places are in your home? The winners might surprise you.
According to a recent study from NSF International (involving 660 tests in 22 homes), these three places in your home contain the highest average germ count (and none of them are your toilet). Don’t worry, though--we’re providing you with some tips for cleaning each one of them.

3rd Place: Your Toothbrush Holder

Although it is not at all comforting to think about, your toothbrush holder is probably the third-most bacteria-ridden place in your entire house. One reason for this is its close proximity to the toilet, making it susceptible to traveling bacteria whenever you flush the toilet. Another reason is that your toothbrush itself contains millions of bacteria, and it rests directly in your toothbrush holder.
According to the study, of all the toothbrush holders tested:
  • 64% harbored yeast and mold
  • 27% tested positive for coliform bacteria
  • 14% contained staph bacteria
How to Clean Your Toothbrush Holder:
  • First, rinse it thoroughly with hot water and wipe it down with a clean cloth.
  • Use a pipe cleaner or a similar long object so that you can clean inside each toothbrush slot.
  • Depending on your holder type, fill it or soak it in antibacterial mouthwash for 2-3 minutes.
  • Let it air dry.

2nd Place: Your Kitchen Sink

Your kitchen sink sees a lot of action, and with the amount of food waste, heat, and moisture that accumulate there, it can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. In addition, the sink is where you also clean unwashed fruits and vegetable and rinse off raw meat, which can introduce additional bacteria to your kitchen.
According to the study, of all the kitchen sinks tested:
  • 45% tested positive for coliform bacteria
  • 27% contained mold
How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen Sink
  • Rinse it thoroughly to get rid of any food scraps.
  • Sprinkle it with baking soda, and rub the baking soda over the surface until it forms a paste.
  • Rinse thoroughly again.
  • Soak paper towels in white vinegar (a natural disinfectant), and line your sink with them. Let them sit for 20 minutes.
  • Throw the paper towels away and rinse your sink one more time with warm and soapy water.
  • Use a cloth soaked in vinegar to clean your faucet and handles.

1st Place: Your Kitchen Sponge

This is pretty alarming news for most people, especially because this is what most households use to clean their dirty dishes. However, when you stop to consider how much food waste touches dish sponges, how little sponges themselves are actually washed, and how frequently wet sponges are, a high bacteria count and even mold growth begins to make sense.
According to the study, of all the sponges tested:
  • 86% contained yeast and mold
  • 77% contaied coliform bacteria
  • 18% contained staph bacteria
How to Keep Your Kitchen Sponge Clean:
  • Replace your sponge regularly. Use each sponge for only 2 weeks.
  • Microwave your sponge for 2 minutes daily to disinfect it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

10 House Cleaning Shortcuts You'll Wish You'd Known About Years Ago

Time is precious, and no one (well, almost no one) wants to spend most of it cleaning. Between all the other things you have to do on a day-to-day basis (running errands, going to work, taking care of kids and/or pets, etc.), you want to ensure yourself some spare time at the end of the week for whatever strikes your fancy.
With these 10 speed-cleaning tips, you’ll be ready reclaim your free time in less time than ever!
1. “Trick” yourself by attaching a quick chore to something you actually enjoy doing.
For instance, you can wipe down your kitchen counters and clean your sink while waiting for something delicious to bake in the oven. You can also work on sorting your laundry while enjoying a moisture-infused face mask.
2. If you live in a two-story home, keep two sets of cleaning supplies.
One set will be for upstairs, and the other will be for downstairs. This saves you the hassle of lugging them around from one floor to the other and allows you to start cleaning more quickly.
3. Break up chores into “bite-size” pieces.
Don’t try to tackle the whole house or even a whole room at once. Try focusing on just one side of one room for half an hour, and make it your goal to clean as much of it as you can. If you finish with time to spare, you might even feel like attacking the other side of the room.
4. If you have kids, keep bins or baskets for toys in multiple rooms.
Instead of trying to herd all of your children’s playthings into one toy box, keep some stylish baskets or bins in several rooms--or even every room--so that you have a place to collect toys for a quick cleanup.
5. Keep new garbage bags at the bottom of your trash cans.
This eliminates the extra steps of going to the cupboard or closet to fetch a new bag every time you empty the trash. Once you lift up and tie off the full bag of garbage, your next bag is right there waiting for you.
6. Don’t wait to clean or wipe down your shower.
Just pick a day and clean your shower while you’re still in it, or tack on a small section of grout each day for a few minutes with a toothbrush. If your shower has glass walls, keep a squeegee handy or use a towel to wipe it down after each use.
7. Don’t wait to wipe up a spill.
The longer you wait, the more a spill solidifies, and the more it solidifies, the longer it’s going to take to clean.
8. If a spill has crusted onto your stove, let it soak.
Don’t waste time scrubbing away at spots on your stove. Instead, lay a rag soaked in soapy water over the area you wish to tackle, find a different thing to clean for ten minutes, and then wipe the dirty spots away.
9. Clean a lampshade with a lint roller and a hairdryer.
Roll the lint roller along the inside and outside of the lampshade to pick up dust in a hurry. If dust collects in the seams, use a hairdryer to blow it out.
10. Start vacuuming/sweeping/mopping from the corner farthest from the room’s doorway.
Once you do this, work your way out towards that doorway. This prevents you from stepping directly onto the floor that you just cleaned.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Avoid These Toxins in Common Household Cleaning Products

While it does feel good to scrub down your house until it’s squeaky clean, just the smell of your cleaning products might make you wonder exactly what it is they’re made of… and if those ingredients include anything dangerous. After all, if you've ever accidentally inhaled too soon after spritzing your shower with a tile cleaner, you probably had a good coughing fit before you were able to continue cleaning.
It’s unpleasant to contemplate, but unless your household cleaning products are solely made of ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils, they probably contain chemicals that could be quite hazardous to your health.
The FDA Does Not Regulate Cleaning Products
You might be surprised to learn that unlike drugs, food, and beverages, there is actually no federal regulation of chemicals in household cleaning products. Because they are not meant to be ingested, chemical cleaners don’t fall under the FDA’s regulations. At best, the EPA requires cleaning product makers to list potentially harmful ingredients, but that doesn’t stop those makers from including the ingredients in the first place. Consumers must use the products at their own risk or find alternatives.
Toxins in Household Cleaning Products
A majority of the toxins in household cleaning products fall into three major categories: neurotoxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors. Neurotoxins are responsible for affecting brain activity. What they can do ranges in severity from headaches to actual memory loss. Carcinogens are harmful agents that cause or promote various forms of cancer.
Endocrine disruptors have a wide range of possible bad effects on the body because they mimic hormones. In doing so, they cause false signals inside your body, confusing its inner workings. Endocrine disruptors have been known to cause issues including ADHD, premature puberty, menstrual issues, infertility, miscarriage, and cancer.
Many cleaning supplies also carry volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene. VOCs can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation, as well as cancer and damage to internal organs, including the central nervous system.
Avoid These Home Products to Avoid Toxins
  • Air fresheners
  • Products with artificial fragrances
  • Dryer sheets
  • Fabric Softeners
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Chemical drain cleaners
  • Corrosive kitchen and bathroom cleaners
Alternatives to Conventional Cleaning Products
If you’re ready to say farewell to your current cleaning products in favor of healthier alternatives, begin by making friends with white vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and essential oils. These are often used in combination with each other or with other all-natural ingredients (like lemon juice and kosher salt) to make homemade cleaning products.

To the professionals at GreenPro Cleaning & Restoration, your health is an integral part of your quality of life. Our HVAC, attic, and crawl space cleaning services use products that are bio-safe, and all of our methods are bio-friendly. We do not use any toxic chemicals, and our cleaning systems produce superior results.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Air Purifying Plants for Your Home

Enjoying “the great indoors” with the windows and doors shut can be a welcome relief on a cold or hot day. However, enclosed spaces can suffer from a lack of airflow, which can cause an accumulation of indoor air pollution. Luckily, NASA made the wonderful discovery back in 1989 that houseplants have the ability to absorb airborne chemicals and toxins, particularly in enclosed spaces with stagnant air, like many rooms in energy-efficient households.
Not only do plants have this miraculous ability, but they also have been known to reduce fatigue and stress while also boosting mood and productivity. Some studies have revealed that indoor plants even enhance concentration and memory. It’s no wonder that houseplants have become a staple in contemporary decor!
To help your hunt for the perfect, air-purifying houseplant (or plants) for your home, we’ve compiled some lovely and diverse options to spruce up any room. Keep in mind, not all of these plants are safe for pets, so if you do have pets, be sure to choose pet-friendly options or to put the plants well out of reach of your animals.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
This plant is perfect for those who’ve had trouble keeping plants alive in the past. Your pothos will require very little tending, and in return, it will help eliminate carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, and even more toxins from your indoor air. As far as care, it requires watering when its soil gets dry, and because it can grow several feet long, you’ll want to trim it every so often to keep it under control. Just a warning: this plant is toxic for both dogs and cats.
Bamboo Palms (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
This is a great option if you’d like a plant with some height but without a wide girth, which makes it a good alternative to other indoor palms. It will do best in a bright room without direct sunlight and will require consistently moist soil. Not only will a bamboo palm help rid your air of chemicals like chloroform, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide, but it also has a subtle humidifying effect on the air, which is great for normally dry environments or cold weather. The bamboo palm is non-poisonous for cats and dogs.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Once it gets going, the Boston fern drapes beautifully and helps remove xylene and formaldehyde from the air. The catch: it’s going to require a special location with both indirect light and high humidity. A bathroom with a window where the shower or tub is used frequently would be an ideal location. In terms of watering, this fern will require one soak monthly, and you’ll have to check its soil on a daily basis to make sure it's moist.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Like the Boston fern, the spider plant is another great option for hanging containers, and they help eliminate xylene and formaldehyde from indoor air. Unlike the Boston fern, they are quite hardy and can survive with little tending. They’ll need to be watered about a couple times a week, and they are also non-toxic, making them a great choice to have around kids and pets. Just a word of caution: this plant tends to grow rapidly, so keep an eye on it.
This plant is known commonly as the dragon tree, which in and of itself might be enough reason to purchase it. Perfect for contemporary or exotic decor, they come in a variety of colors, including variations with red, cream, or white lines along their leaves. While dracaenas do eliminate trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and toluene, they are toxic to cats and dogs, so pet owners will want to steer clear of this option.

Maintaining your home’s indoor air quality is a vital aspect of keeping you and your family healthy. If you are looking for even more ways to increase your indoor air quality, consider a professional air duct cleaning or an attic and crawl space cleaning to eliminate bacteria, mold spores, dust, and allergens that may be infiltrating your air supply.