New parents often ask me how often they should get their child's car seat cleaned and sanitized. While we at Germz Be Gone would love for people to have their child's car seat cleaned every day, we know that's not practical nor necessary. The answer depends on many factors, but I've come up with a basic guide for you to use and share with your friends who have kids too.
From what I've observed, the cleanliness of a child's car seat depends on their age. For instance, a newborn is not going to have gummies stuck in their seat, but they may have an explosive diaper and such. On the other end, a five year old shouldn't have an explosive diaper, but their car seat will have plenty of crumbs and small toys hidden in its crevices.
So really, a child's age dictates which activities are taking place in their car seat and, in turn, how often cleaning should happen.
It should go without saying that ANY leakage or deposits of bodily fluids like blood, urine, vomit and poop warrant immediate and prompt attention with the appropriate cleaning solutions.
Feel free to link to this guide on all of your social media pages.
Part of preventing the spread of germs is basic cleaning and sanitizing of the environment around you. Think about your shared office space and all the gross little germs that float around and stick to your belongings and things you use on the daily. Things like your keyboard and mouse are easy pipelines for germ transmission. But what about other items?
Here are five things you should sanitize in your office immediately to help prevent the spread of disease in your office:
Keyboard, wrist rest, mouse and mousepad – you touch your face almost as much as you touch your keyboard and mouse. That’s just nasty. No biggie though. Just lock your computer before cleaning those keys. Spray a nontoxic cleaner onto a microfiber rag first and then get to cleaning. Try this gel to get in the crevices.
Telephone/cellphone – you’d be surprised how much oil and makeup get caked onto telephone receivers and cellphones. A little cotton pad and rubbing alcohol go a long way in this process. If you have a phone cover, be sure to use a qtip and clean those crevices where the microphone, selfie camera, charge port, headphone jack and earpiece are located. If you have a landline, make sure to get into the crevices of the phone cradle too.
Desk and filing cabinet handles – you can take a glance at your desk right now and probably see all kinds of smudges and prints. You better believe germs are lurking right there. Use a clean microfiber rag for the most efficient results.
Doorknobs and light switches – the first things you touch on your way in and out of your office should definitely get sanitized. Particularly if you’re a smoker, you can avoid the tar buildup on the switch and knobs by doing this frequently.
Purse/Wallet/Lunch Bag – When was the last time you sanitized your handbag? Your lunch bag? I know, pretty gross, right? Maybe that stomach issue you had yesterday was from one of the billions of bacteria or fungi lurking in your bag that magically made its way onto your face after you pulled out your lip balm. Piece of gum any one? Fellas…you nasty too! I’m pretty sure you never thought about cleaning your billfold since you got it. Why do you think it’s sometimes called “dirty money?”
Insider Tip: Review your cleaning contract. Most commercial cleaning services have terms in place that prevent them from touching anything on your desk–let alone your keyboard and mouse. If your service is supposed to include your desk and items on it, and these things aren’t being cleaned, your cleaning company is putting you at risk. Maybe it’s time to start looking for a commercial cleaning service that places customer service and your health first.
Contact us for a FREE estimate. We’ll spend the time to get to know your pain points and wishlist, then tailor a cleaning program just for your office.
Picking Up The Blitz
Keep in mind that when you use toxic chemicals to sanitize you are likely killing all microbes–both bad and good.
The good ones are known as probiotics and are all around us. They are on our skin, in our mouth, in our gut, in the air we breathe even the dirt we grow food in and play with. Probiotics act as the first line of defense from harmful germs.
Toxic chemicals kill these good microbes and leave us more defenseless when under attack from the flu, cold, and, yes, coronavirus. It’s like a quarterback being attacked by a blitz and no offensive line is even on the field for protection.
Probiotic cleaners contain good bacteria that help maintain a healthy microflora in your environment. They protect you from germs in the following ways:
Probiotics eat the food sources germs would normally eat. Germs die of starvation.
Probiotics crowd out germs so they have no place to live. No shelter, germs die.
Probiotics “eat up the dead bodies on the battlefield.” When most disinfectants kill every living thing, unless you wipe and clean afterwards, they leave dead microbes behind on the surface. These dead microbes act as a buffet for the next germs to come along, feed, and grow stronger. This helps lead to the creation of superbugs too. Probiotics, on the other hand, eat up the dead microbes because these microbes are food for them too. Less food in the food supply and germs die of eventual starvation.
Probiotics reduce allergens. They eat up pollen, pet dander, dead skin cells, dust, etc. With less allergens attacking your body, your immune system can focus on the more sinister threats like viruses.
Probiotics “quorum sense.” When bacteria and other microorganisms get together, they take a vote. This is called quorum sensing. If they’ve multiplied enough and have the numbers, they’ll vote to turn on their virulence and infect their host. However, if they hold the vote and determine they are outnumbered by the probiotics and won’t be successful in their attempt to infect, they won’t turn on their virulence. In other words, as long as the good germs outnumber the bad, the bad germs have very little chance of survival and you stay healthier.
Keep your office healthier this season and sanitize the items you use every day every day.
With all the scare concern about viruses (especially coronavirus COVID-19) and other dangerous pathogens, I have to ask: are you wiping properly?
You’ve heard of people running to Costco, Sam’s Club or other bulk-buying centers to purchase bottled water, rice, and, yes, wipes. While I can understand the bottled water and rice purchases just for basic disaster preparedness, what really concerns me is the wipes-buying trend.
As far as wipes go (Clorox, Lysol, and others), I believe them to be one of worst inventions EVER in cleaning and sanitizing history.
For starters, using wipes leaves virtually no “dwell time.” Dwell time is the time it takes for your sanitizer (kills most microorganisms) or disinfectant (kills nearly all microorganisms) to remain on a surface to actually kill the germs it is designed to.
According to how Clorox registered with the EPA, in order for bleach to disinfect, a dwell time of at least 10 minutes is required–and that’s after the surface has been thoroughly cleaned. To sanitize, bleach must remain on the surface for one minute or longer.
“Ahh,” you say, “but that’s for bleach, what about wipes?” This is directly from the Clorox Wipes EPA registration [emphasis mine]:
TO DISINFECT [AND DEODORIZE}: Use to disinfect hard, nonporous surfaces. Wipe surface to be disinfected; use enough wipes for treated surface to remain visibly wet for 4 minutes. Let surface dry. For highly soiled surfaces, clean excess dirt first.
For surfaces that may come in contact with food, a potable water rinse is required.
The problem with wipes is that when you use one, whatever disinfectant it is, the liquid evaporates within seconds–nowhere near the required amount of time to destroy the germs you set out to in the first place. Are you seriously using enough wipes to keep the surface visibly wet for four minutes? Of course not.
So what are you doing?
When you fail to thoroughly disinfect or sanitize you create the perfect conditions for germs to learn how to become resistant to chemical cleaners and other antibiotics: superbugs! You’ve heard of MRSA, C. diff, etc. You can read more about superbugs here.
Besides creating superbugs, you are also exposing your family to some really nasty chemicals and toxins. Does someone in your family have asthma? Suffer from “allergies”? Get headaches? It could be the toxic chemicals you’re using to clean and disinfect with.
Nontoxic Doesn’t Mean Non-Effective
Marketing agencies have done their job in convincing you chemicals are the only way to go. They couldn’t be further from the truth!
For millennia humans have used things like vinegar, essential oils, even fermented foods to protect themselves from the ills of dangerous microbes. For some reason (money and lobbying) these nontoxic remedies don’t get marketed like disinfecting wipes or sprays do. For instance, when was the last time you saw a commercial or an ad for white vinegar? Yet vinegar is nontoxic: you can cook with it, do laundry with it, deodorize with it, buy it for less than a bottle of Smart Water and it kills about 90% of harmful microorganisms. (The vinegar industry or any one else can thank me later by sending payment to my PayPal here).
Aside from vinegar there are a slew of nontoxic cleaners and sanitizers on the market I strongly urge you to try. Just google them here.
The Bottom Line
If you find yourself slow to make the switch, that’s okay. I trust that if you have read this far, you may be considering it down the road. Just know that if you continue to use the wipes and follow the real instructions, disinfecting your surroundings may become a more expensive endeavor than you bargained for–in terms of both health and money. No matter the case, if you absolutely must, please be healthy and wipe properly!
When it comes to stroller cleaning, I’ve cleaned my fair share. I’m talking hundreds. I’ve cleaned different brands from UPPAbaby and Graco to Chicco and Bugaboo. Yet, the most challenging stroller cleaning project seems to be the B-O-B.
That’s right, BOB stroller proves to be the most difficult stroller to clean, sanitize and detail. And, for some reason, I tend to see them as very popular in Las Vegas.
BOB strollers are used by active parents–specifically moms–who may take pleasure in running, nature hikes, and other outdoor activities. That probably speaks to the rigidity of the stroller itself, being made of quality components that can take a beating (I mean really, the quality is a step above most strollers).
That popularity may also stem from FIT4MOM, a fantastic community of moms getting and staying active, as it seems many members push BOB strollers.
Despite the quality and popularity though, as I highlight below, there are several issues I have with BOB stroller cleaning. Just know that I’m not saying they’re bad strollers (they are quite good actually), I’m just saying a little design improvement would make cleaning them easier.
Top 3 Reasons BOB Strollers Are Hard To Clean
The mesh pockets on the BOB stroller trap all types of crumbs. BOB places them in the exact location where junior can tuck his cheddar bunnies without mom knowing (or discovering).
Vacuum cleaner crevice tools work a little, but often suck up the side fabric before it can get to the tight corner. The result: more-difficult-than-what-needs-to-be vacuuming requiring extra time.
Turning the stroller over and shaking it out doesn’t help either as the elastic can be pretty tight towards the top of the pocket, not allowing debris to escape.
Wheels are normally more challenging than other parts of any stroller. However, the wheels on the BOB prove to require more detail time than others.
The fact the wheels have a pinwheel design I think is what makes them challenging to detail. The tight corner near the axle is near impossible to get into (thank goodness for steam!).
Thanks to the easy removal of the wheels, the corners can get touched easier, but they still require removal of the wheel, which takes more time.
I’ve cleaned BOB strollers with both soft rubber and foam handles. Each of them just as filthy as the next.
After hours of gripping the handlebars to weave in and out of pedestrian traffic, both soft rubber and foam tend to attract the oils from hands which becomes real sticky and tacky to the touch. Talk about a germy situation.
There’s no easy way of cleaning soft rubber or the foam handlebar. Using a toxic chemical will only eat away at the material and make the situation worse–a super sticky handlebar. I can tell when a chemical has been used to clean the surface too…it becomes quite evident just from the feel.
So there you have it. The top three reasons BOB stroller cleaning is more difficult than the rest. Sure, other strollers have their issues too, but I cringe when I see a BOB stroller. The other strollers just don’t have the same issues at all at the same time.
No matter though. The price for a BOB stroller cleaning is the same as any other. I just I have to think of more ways to make the process more efficient.