The Smart Way

Tips and Advice

Many of us stay ignorant about the good housekeeping practices. We have summarized the following information to show you that keeping your household clean don’t have to be a complex, time and money consuming process. Just by reading and using some or all of the information below, your household would immediately become a cleaner and healthier living environment. We have summarized crucial information regarding the most commonly used cleaning products and we have provided you with some recommendations.

Cleaning Detergents
If we want to clean in a more sustainable way, keeping the environment safe and improving our family’s health – we could easily do so by using high quality Belgian cleaning detergents, produced by ECOVER.
Traditional cleaning products are released to the environment during normal use through evaporation of volatile components and rinsing down the drain of residual product from cleaned surfaces, sponges, etc. The toxic chemicals contained in them can affect both our health and the environment. Please, have in mind that:

    • Volatile organic compounds (VOC) in cleaning products can affect indoor air quality and also contribute to smog formation in outdoor air.
    • Certain ingredients in cleaning products can present hazard concerns to exposed populations (e.g., skin and eye irritation in workers) or toxicity to aquatic species in waters receiving inadequately treated wastes.
    • Ingredients containing phosphorus or nitrogen can contribute to nutrient-loading in water bodies, leading to adverse effects on water quality.
    • Some all-purpose cleaners contain the sudsing agents diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA). When these substances come into contact with nitrites, often present as undisclosed preservatives or contaminants, they react to form nitrosamines – carcinogens that readily penetrate the skin.
    Shop SMART
    Be careful in interpreting vague or generic claims such as “environmentally friendly,” “eco safe,” stay aware of “greenwashing”. If you are not sure what to buy you should ask vendors and manufacturers offering green cleaning products to clearly and specifically define their green claims. However, sometimes this could be easier said than done. Therefore, purchasers should focus on the following issues when deciding what cleaning detergents to buy:

     

            • Use cleaning detergents from ECOVER.
            • Use products that have an EcoLabel certificate.
            • Use concentrated formulas with appropriate handling safeguards.
            • Buy cleaning detergents with low VOC content.
            • Low flammability.
            • Buy detergents that are designed for use in cold water in order to conserve energy.
            • Are biodegradable by standard methods and definitions – materials degrades relatively quickly in an aquatic aerobic environment.
            • Buy products that have clear labeling and information on use and disposal.
            • You could always ask us for more information and recommendations simply by contacting us.
    Microfiber
    Microfiber is a lint-free synthetic material that has been around for nearly a decade and has become one of the most preferred cleaning materials used in the professional cleaning industry. Microfiber is constructed with millions of microscopic hooks that attract, absorb and remove all kinds of dirt, dust and bacteria from surfaces.

     

          Often, it’s a product that is misunderstood, underutilized and considered too expensive. Despite these perceptions, studies show that microfiber technology makes for a cost-effective cleaning tool that cleans efficiently and reduces labor hours and money from the bottom line.

     

          As demand has grown for microfiber technology — specifically mops, mats and cloths — manufacturers have created products that are more effective, easier to use and more affordable. A properly implemented microfiber-based cleaning program can streamline cleaning tasks, improve cleanliness, while reducing water and chemical usage. It’s also a cost-avoidance program, as microfiber technology minimizes product replacement.

     

          Not all microfiber are with equal quality. People should evaluate the following factors when selecting a good quality product:

     

            • Durability – the number of times a microfiber can move across an abrasive surface before wearing through, degrading or developing holes.
            • Abrasiveness – the higher the scrub factor the better the performance of the cloth in removing dirt and bacteria from a surface or microscopic crevice.
            • Absorbency – the more liquid the cloth will absorb and hold.
            • Wash Cycles – the longevity of the cloth through machine wash and dry cycles before deteriorating.

    If you want to purchase high quality microfiber products we would recommend you to try the Belgian microfibers that NICOLS has been developing for years. If you need advice on what type of microfibers you should use for various surfaces, or have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Microfibers mops
    These mops consist of a lightweight handle with a very maneuverable flat rectangular head. The tiny fibers of the mops make the fabric very absorbent, efficient and reliable. The microfibers have a positive charge that attracts dust, which has a negative charge. Here are some additional advantages when using microfibers mops:

     

            • Microfiber mops significantly reduce the amount of water and chemicals used.
            • The reduced volume of cleaning chemicals results in avoided purchase costs.
            • The need to repeatedly transport, empty, and replenish large buckets of cleaning solution is eliminated.
            • Because microfiber holds liquid without dripping, it leaves only a light film of water on the floor which dries quickly, resulting in less opportunity for slips and falls on a wet floor.
            • Dust and dirt particles are not only attracted to the microfiber, but are held tightly and not redistributed around the room.
            • Microfiber should not be laundered in industrial washers and dryers because high temperatures can damage the material. It is recommended to use standard washers with mild detergents that do not contain bleach, caustics or harsh cleaners that can degrade the microfiber.
    Microfiber cloth
    A fundamental of color coding in the professional cleaning industry is the emphasis on infection control and preventing cross-contamination between different departments and wiping applications. The color coding is implemented in our services, and should be used by everyone who is concerned about health related issues. By making sure you have a color-coded cleaning program in place, you will help prevent cross-contamination. By using different colored cleaning microfiber mops when sanitizing a restroom than you would a common area or a food preparation station.

     

          Although technically there is no “color standard”, there are general trends that have emerged, which many have come to observe:

     

            • Red – Used in areas with a higher risk of cross-contamination and spread of infection – most commonly for cleaning restroom areas including toilets and urinals.
            • Yellow – Used for cleaning objects and surfaces in rooms and lower risk areas of restrooms including sinks.
            • Green – Used in areas where food is handled and prepared.
            • Blue – Used in lower risk areas such as common areas and for general purpose cleaning of surfaces such as glass and mirrors.

    By applying color to your cleaning program, you are breaking down any language barrier that may exist between you and your staff. This is extremely important because it removes the degree of uncertainty, resulting in consistent cleaning from your entire staff/household. If you have pets or small children at home, you need to be even more cautious and strict regarding your home cleaning practices. If you need professional advice, SMART Cleaning will be glad to help you. All you have to do is to contact us and we will gladly arrange a visitation to your home and prepare an individual program – how to keep and maintain your home a healthier and cleaner place.

    Microfiber mats
    The key to controlling dirt in your facility is to keep it from entering the building in the first place. By using microfiber mat system you will trap dirt, grime, and moisture right at the front door. Use different microfiber mats – entrance mats, scraper mats, interior mats, etc., depending on your household. This way you could improve your protection from mud, heavy dirt and dust, that otherwise enters your living space easily.

     

            • Entrance mats – Entrance mats are the initial defense against tracking in dirt and moisture. The good ones are created using nylon pile which is static-dissipative, pulls dirt to the bottom of the mat and thirstily soaks up water.
            • Scraper mats – Designed with tough, skid resistant raised rubber cleats that scour shoes with every step. Collects moisture and heavy dirt, sand, gravel and mud in its deep recesses to prevent it from being tracked in.
            • Walk-off mats – Microfiber mops are more absorbent than traditional mops and the positively charged microfibers attract dust particles (that are negatively charged), with fibers that penetrate the surface pores of most flooring materials.
            • Interior mats – Interior mats can be used as runners in hallways or reception areas, or as decorative protection with the look of an expensive area rug in restaurants, hotels, banks, or other professional facilities.
            • If you need more information for the most suitable usage of microfiber mats, simply contact us.
    HEPA Filter
    HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air, and a true HEPA filter is widely regarded as the ultimate filter. It was invented during World War II, when the Atomic Energy Commission needed a filter to protect researchers from radioactive dust particles that might present a health hazard to them. It traps particles as tiny as 0.3 microns with an efficiency rating of 99.97%.
    To provide an idea of the size of a micron, it takes 25,400 microns to equal 2.54 cm. In metric terms, a single micron is 1 millionth of a meter. A particle of 10 microns is invisible to the naked eye. Pollen ranges between 5-100 microns, while human hair between 70-100 microns.
    This type of filter is so efficient that, for every 10,000 particles that enter it within its filtering range, only three particles will get through. Surprisingly, HEPA filters become even more efficient the longer they are in use. For this reason, they are used in environments that rely on high clean-air standards, like surgical facilities, tuberculosis wards, NASA clean rooms, and laboratories. They are particularly useful for allergy sufferers. Many imitations filters pervade the marketplace, usually called HEPA-type filters. They are less expensive, rated lower, and do an inferior job of filtering the air. People whose health requires the specific benefits and efficiency of a HEPA filter should check the packaging to make sure the filter is rated at an efficiency of 99.97% for microns 0.3 in size. A real one will be clearly marked.
    HEPA Vacuum Cleaners
    Traditional cleaning devices would suck in large particles, while expelling the smaller particles of bacteria in newer areas. If anything, the older cleaning models would make the spread of bacteria and allergens worse. HEPA filtration systems will suck in and isolate allergen and bacteria particles. They are designed to trap the smallest pollutants as air is forced through a fine mesh by isolating particles that will then cling to the individual fibers. Air pollution isn’t just car exhaust or factory smoke. Dust mites, mold spores, pollen, and pet dander in the air inside your home can cause problems if your family has allergies or asthma. The HEPA filter vacuum cleaners can trap these pollutants and may help bring allergy relief. One way to make sure you will buy a sustainable and reliable HEPA filter vacuum cleaner is to choose one from the amazing Miele models.


    Did You Know That ...

    By sprinkling baking soda in the bottom of your trashcan you can eliminate the stink smells?

    Chocolate strains disappear if you pour mineral water on them a few times before washing?

    Ingredients with high acute toxicity include chlorine bleach and ammonia, which produce fumes that are highly irritating to eyes, nose, throat and lungs, and should not be used by people

    When you mix white vinegar and bleach, you will produce a very dangerous chemical weapon?

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