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Winterizing Baby Gear: Expert Car Seat and Stroller Cleaning Guide | Germz Be Gone

Beat the Freeze: Essential Tips for Winter-Proofing Your Baby's Gear

Understanding the Winter Threats to Baby Gear

Winter brings a unique set of challenges for baby gear, particularly car seats and strollers. The cold weather can significantly affect the materials used in these items. Fabrics may become less flexible and more prone to tearing, plastics can become brittle and more likely to crack, especially when exposed to the freeze-thaw cycle. Metals are at risk of corrosion, especially with the increased use of road salts, which can be corrosive.

Additionally, the winter elements can lead to issues such as mold and mildew from excess moisture, salt stains, and a general buildup of winter grime. These aren't just cosmetic concerns; they can affect the functionality and longevity of your baby's gear, and more importantly, they can pose health risks. Mold and mildew, for instance, can lead to respiratory issues and allergies, while the chemicals used to melt ice on public pathways can be toxic if they come into contact with your child's skin or mouth. For more information on how winter weather affects various materials, the University of Illinois Extension offers valuable insights.

The Cleaning Checklist Before the Frost Sets In

To combat these winter threats, a proactive approach is necessary. Here's an in-depth checklist to ensure your baby's car seats and strollers are winter-ready:

  1. Fabric Components: Begin by removing all fabric components from the car seats and strollers. Check the manufacturer's instructions for washing and care. Use a gentle, fragrance-free detergent to avoid any irritation to your baby's sensitive skin. If possible, choose a sunny day to air-dry the fabrics outside, as UV rays have a natural sanitizing effect.
  2. Hard Surfaces: Next, tackle the hard surfaces. Start by vacuuming to remove crumbs and debris from every nook and cranny. Then, using a microfiber cloth and a non-toxic cleaner, wipe down all surfaces. Pay special attention to areas where your baby's hands might explore. For a homemade solution, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar, which is a natural disinfectant.
  3. Mold Spots: Inspect every part of the gear for signs of mold or mildew, which can thrive in the creases of fabric and the hidden corners of the seat. If you spot any, a solution of lemon juice and salt can act as a natural bleach to remove these spots without using harsh chemicals.
  4. Cleaning Agents: It's crucial to select the right cleaning agents. Harsh chemicals can be harmful to your baby and degrade the materials of the gear. Look for EPA-registered disinfectants that are safe for use around children or make your own using natural ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides a list of safer cleaning products that are effective and environmentally friendly.

The Deep Clean – Why Professional Help Matters

While a thorough home cleaning routine is essential, there are times when professional help can make all the difference. Professional cleaning services, such as Germz Be Gone, offer a level of cleanliness and disinfection that can be hard to achieve on your own. They use commercial-grade steam cleaners and probiotics kill bacteria and viruses without the use of chemicals. This deep clean is particularly important before winter sets in because it can remove the deep-seated dirt and germs that can compromise the health and safety of your child.

Protecting Baby Gear from Winter Wear and Tear

Protection is the next crucial step in winterizing your baby's gear. Here's how you can keep the car seats and strollers in top condition throughout the cold months:

  • Weather-Resistant Covers: Invest in high-quality, weather-resistant covers for both car seats and strollers. These covers should be easy to put on and take off, and they should fit snugly to prevent any moisture from seeping in.
  • Fabric Protectants: A fabric protectant can help repel water and prevent stains. Make sure any product you use is safe for children and does not contain any harmful chemicals. Test the product on a small area first to ensure it does not discolor the fabric.
  • Regular Spot Cleaning: After each outing, take a moment to wipe down the gear, especially if it has come into contact with snow or road salt. A quick clean can prevent long-term damage and is much easier than trying to remove set-in stains or corrosion later on.

Storing Baby Gear During the Winter Months

If there are pieces of baby gear that you won't be using during the winter, proper storage is key to ensuring they're in good condition when you need them again. Store gear in a dry, temperature-controlled environment. Basements and garages can be prone to dampness and temperature extremes, which can lead to mold growth and material degradation. If you must store gear in these locations, make sure they are well-covered and placed on shelves to avoid direct contact with the ground.

Ensuring Comfort and Safety in the Cold

Comfort and safety are paramount when it comes to winterizing baby gear. Here are some tips to keep your baby snug and secure:

  • Layering: Dress your baby in multiple layers rather than one bulky piece. This allows you to adjust your baby's temperature by adding or removing layers as needed.
  • Car Seat Safety: Avoid bulky coats or snowsuits in the car seat. These can prevent the harness from fitting properly. Instead, dress your baby in thin layers and tuck a blanket around them after they've been strapped in.
  • Stroller Accessories: Use footmuffs and handmuffs designed for strollers to keep your baby warm during walks. These accessories are made to fit securely in the stroller without compromising safety.

Post-Winter Recovery – Preparing for Spring

As the winter season comes to an end, it's time to think about the transition to spring. This is an excellent time for another deep clean, especially to address any salt residue or mud that may have accumulated. It's also a good opportunity to inspect the gear for any damage that may have occurred during the winter months, such as cracks in the plastic or rust on the metal components. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent them from becoming bigger problems down the line.

Embracing Winter with Confidence and Care

As the winter season wraps its chilly arms around us, it's more important than ever to ensure that our little ones' gear is well-prepared for the cold months ahead. Winterizing your baby's car seats and strollers isn't just a routine task; it's a crucial step in safeguarding their comfort, health, and safety. By following the comprehensive guide outlined above, you can confidently face the winter weather, knowing that your baby's gear is clean, safe, and ready for any snowy adventure.

Remember, the effort you put into maintaining and protecting this gear not only extends its lifespan but also ensures that your child is nestled in a safe and healthy environment. And for those times when you need an extra hand, professional services like Germz Be Gone are always there to provide that deep, thorough clean, giving you peace of mind and more time to enjoy those precious winter moments with your little one.

As you bundle up and step out into the winter wonderland, take pride in the knowledge that you've taken every step to ensure your baby's gear is as prepared for the season as you are. Here's to a winter filled with joy, safety, and the warmth of family!

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Sunrise Children’s Foundation Las Vegas

DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT

Germz Be Gone will be at this weekend’s event hosted by Sunrise Children’s Foundation here in Las Vegas. This event will have food, fun and prizes. Plus we will be offering child car seat cleaning service on location for just $20. Do not miss this event! If you ever wanted to try our services and you’re in the area, be sure to wing by!

Sunrise Children’s Foundation

2795 E Desert Inn Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89121

“Sunrise Children’s Foundation programs support a myriad of critical areas focusing on optimal child development including prenatal care and breast-feeding education; infant and toddler health and development ; wellness, nutrition and health education; parent education; reading and literacy skills; and positive family relationships. SCF delivers a full scope of services from birth to five and provides a comprehensive continuum of care to ensure that children in Nevada have a chance at success.” Visit Sunrise Children’s Foundation website and learn how you can get involved.

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Pregnancy Due Date Calendar For Planning

pregnancy due date calendar

Pregnancy Due Date Calendar

Use the below pregnancy due date calendar to assist in your planning efforts.

Expanding your home by two feet and preparing for your family’s newest arrival can be a daunting task. From painting the baby’s room to putting the crib together to preparing your mind for one of the biggest changes you will face in life. Doing things right takes time and you will certainly need some help. Call your friends and family to help you paint or assemble furniture. Call Germz Be Gone when you’re ready to clean and sanitize your child’s gear before they use it.

To assist in your planning, I found an easy to use pregnancy due date calendar. Input a couple parameters, click submit, and….happy planning! Scheduling our amazing baby gear cleaning services is just as easy. Simply follow this link and choose what you need to get cleaned and sanitized.

when am I ovulating

Powered by javascript ovulation calculator
The above pregnancy due date calendar is for entertainment only. No one really knows when your baby will be introduced to the world. You should consult your doctor and complete the recommended checkups. Germz Be Gone is not a licensed healthcare organization.
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How To Remove Hard Water With A Pumice Stone

Pumie Scouring Stick Removing Hard Water Toilet

Hard Water Removal from Toilet (Video At End)

In this video I show you how to remove hard water spots from your toilet with a pumice stone. No chemicals lingering around to negatively impact your health.

After answering this question on Angie's List and posting the video, one person commented saying that a pumice stone is the "WORST" thing you can use in a toilet. They pointed to the potential for scratching and gouging--which does exist. However--and I can't stress this enough--if you use it properly, keep it wet, and apply light even pressure you should be fine (particularly when using on real porcelain as opposed to a light porcelain / enamel-like coating.

Since I felt compelled to respond and further explain my position, my response was as follows:

"The classification as "WORST" recommendation is an extremely subjective one and does not apply in this case. However, I do concur with LCD to an extent. I don't own nor represent Pumie. I'm simply providing a non-toxic solution as opposed to offering a chemical laden approach.

If pumice stone is used improperly (i.e. not keeping it wet), then for sure you will have scratches all over the place. However, used properly, the porcelain surface (if truly porcelain) will survive scratch free. Any enamel coated surface will not be able to stand up to the pumice

If you are one to use chemicals to rectify cleaning situations, then by all means go ahead and poison the air the you breathe. Hopefully you don't suffer from any respiratory issues or have an allergic reaction to the chemicals you are treating with, have little kids that may play in the bathroom too much, or have any pets that drink out of the toilet.

Any chemical cleaner in your toilet is going to do a few things:

- interact with other chemicals in your water

- leave behind VOCs for several days

- most will contain a bleaching element which will simply turn colors "translucent" rather than actually remove what's on the surface. This means solid buildup happens faster and you have to clean it more frequently. Cleaning more frequently with chemicals places you at further risk of suffering from their effects.

Pick your poison (pun intended) or simply use the pumice stone properly."

The full comment thread can be found here.

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Explore Why We Clean: Looking Back to the Future

Why do we do clean? What sparked its evolution? If we take the time to think about this subject maybe we can come up with better ways of cleaning, indeed, better ways of protecting ourselves and our families. In this post, I'll provide my own analysis of why we clean and hopefully spark a conversation bucking current practices and moving us toward a new era of cleaning.

Paleo Clean(se)

Long before paleo diets became a lifestyle choice, people dwelled in caves. They hunted animals for meat. They gathered other edible sources of nutrition. More than likely, at first anyway, they consumed their prey and what they gathered on the spot rather than return back to the cave with it. It may not have been long; however, that the necessity to take their food togo was born and back to the cave they went with the day's meal in tow.

Caves didn't come with laminate or tile flooring. Instead rocks and dirt were responsible for the ambience. So cleaning back then was not for the purposes of removing dirt. I'm sure our ancestors found that if they left their old bones and food scraps in the cave, they would invite unwanted predators. Rather than place their lives at risk, after finishing a meal, cleaning consisted of throwing out the unused and unwanted food scraps from the cave. The very crux of modern-day cleaning evolved from there as a means to rid our environment from threats to our survival as an animal species. Simply: cleaning is a human trait we need for survival.

Vanity Fair

Some time ago, cleaning became engrained in our instinct and a periodic ritual ensued. Around that same time, families became clans, clans became tribes, tribes became villages, and societal structures shifted from more utilitarian to aristocratic. People sought the advantages of cleaning and "elites" in societies began to exploit their perceived power. Cleaning didn't necessarily shift from a mode of survival to a status symbol; the survival aspect will always remain. Rather, the reason why folks clean now included a new perception of status, wealth and power.

As we know today, keeping a clean home requires tons of time, which typically requires more than one or two people keeping it clean. Back then, though--we're talking since the dawn of civilization as we know it--if the family wasn't big enough, help was hired or slaves and indentured servants performed housekeeping duties amongst other things. The cleaner the home, the wealthier the family. One could argue this reason of status stills hold true, minus the slaves in most cases (I'll save the dehumanizing of service workers for a later post).

Matter of Pride

For those who couldn't afford the help or were slaves themselves, keeping a clean home and having good hygiene carried an additional component to the reason: self-esteem. I say "added," because the perception of wealth and power still exists; however, if not possessed by an individual, the fallback is usually pride, self-esteem and self-respect. This reason of self-respect also holds true today. No matter one's station in life, cleanliness can always be achieved and some form of self-respect maintained.

Extremist Thought

The discovery of bacteria and pathogens not only reconstituted the instinctual, survival reason of why we clean, but took it to the extreme. The idea of "kill everything we can't see" made sense at the time. People died for no apparent reason. So if there was something we couldn't see that was killing us, by any means...get rid of it. Our reasons for cleaning now included a fear factor.

Unfortunately, some people saw a profit to be made and a plethora of concoctions were created and sold in the marketplace. An entire multi-billion-dollar industry that we see today was born from the extreme and overuse of antiseptics. Antiseptics, disinfectants, sanitizers and so on were used in every way imaginable and unimaginable (see Lysol used as birth control and douche).

What's Worse?

The perversion of biological science for profit has proven dangerous. Marketers haunt people's fears, promise convenience, and hide the negative side effects of the chemicals used in the very products they promote--all while exacerbating the issue. The birth of superbugs has risen more in the last decade as our societies use of anti-life chemicals becomes more ubiquitous. The time, money, and effort spent in fighting respiratory issues caused by chemicals, for instance, shows up in extra doctor visits, inhalers, and missed opportunities at work or in the classroom. Is a $3.99 bottle of bleach for the sake of white socks worth $156 in copays, medication, missed wages, with no real results to show for it? So why, then, do we keep using chemicals to clean? Fear and fear itself.

Snake Oil

We've been brainwashed to think certain chemicals clean and sanitize better than others. That a specific smell means clean. That all microbes are bad. Folks, the snake oil is still being sold like it's 1895. Let's take Original Pine-Sol® Multi-Surface Cleaner, made by Clorox. They market it stating it: "powerfully cleans, deodorizes and has a clean, fresh scent, disinfects and kills 99.9% of germs, longer-lasting scent, even stronger on bathroom soils (soap scum, rust and hard water)." Looking at the ingredients on the Clorox website, not only do they list what's in there, but they even provide their own definition of each ingredient--albeit pretty rosey and vague. The further down the list, the nastier the ingredients get. For instance, according to the site, Pine-Sol contains a preservative known as Methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT). Clorox says CMIT is "a class of ingredients used to help prevent products from deteriorating over time, maximizing their shelf-life, and ensuring efficacy and safety." Meanwhile Safecosmetics.org says CMIT additives "may be hard to pronounce, but they can be even harder on the body. These common preservatives are found in many liquid personal care products, and have been linked to lung toxicity, allergic reactions and possible neurotoxicity." Once again, the snake oil does more harm than good.

Silver Lining

With the rise of superbugs and science pointing to antibiotics as ineffective in managing microbes to safe levels, people's minds are shifting back to the original reason of why we clean: survival. We are seeing that chemical cleaners, even some claiming to be antibacterial, are actually harming us. Our cleaning practices are contributing to poor air quality and respiratory issues, cognitive issues, even reproduction complications. Chemical cleaning practices are no longer on our side; instead, they are quickly becoming outlawed. The FDA banned soaps with antibacterial ingredients because they are not safe for long-term daily use and less effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. For the FDA to take a stance like that, there must be something really bad about our prior and current practices which are only symptoms of our fear.

Fortunately, there are more studies and research being done on probiotics and other non-toxic means that get the job done and protect us in the process.

The Future of Clean Is In The Why!!!!

How do we change our practices when we've been doing them for so long?

First, let's highlight our reasons for cleaning. This will give us a baseline to refer to when seeking answers on our quest for change:

  • survival - rid our environment of dangerous threats, including those we can't see
  • status, wealth and power
  • self-respect - pride
  • fear - we've been duped for a long time by folks selling snake oil

Use Common Sense. Since we now have the knowledge we didn't have years ago, we need to apply it and use common sense. We know chemical cleaners aren't really working and they're harming us physically. Listen to your body the next time you step into a room recently cleaned with chemicals or sprayed with a deodorizer. Your nostrils and sinuses will likely plug up, your breathing will become shallow, your eyes might water. That's your body telling you to, "Get out! It's not safe!"

To avoid chemicals in cleaning, use natural cleaners. If you can't find a probiotic cleaner, use vinegar or some of the non-toxic soaps available. They work well, are effective, and usually less expensive in the longer run.

If you find your place of business or the company you contracted using chemicals, simply require they switch or look for a company who does use alternative methods. Your health is not worth taking the chance.

Vote With Your Wallet. Question the studies you read, hear and see. Believe in your own experience. Chemical companies will tell you anything for you to buy their products. Challenge their claims and do not buy their products until they can prove they are effective and safe to use. For every dollar you spend on nontoxic products, you are signaling to the market your demand for such products.

Education Is Key. A quick google search can lead you in all sorts of directions, but one word from a trusted friend and a person's mind opens a little more to new information. The more educated people are on using harsh chemicals to clean, the less use of them in our homes and other environments there will be. Common sense will prevail at some point.

Change Regulations. Many people, especially in organizations, would have you believe their policies and procedures cannot change. For instance, in most preschools, a spray bottle of bleach and water is "required" to be used to wipe down surfaces. Why? We know there are better, less harmful alternatives out there. Why harm our kids in trying to stick with an archaic regulation that doesn't work?

For example, for bleach to be effective, a surface needs to be cleaned and dried first. Then between five and ten minutes of dwell time is required before the solution should be wiped up. I highly doubt cleaning staff knows this--and if they do, I doubt they're doing it. Nevermind the fact that bleach loses its "power" just 24-hours after mixing with water.

Stay Vigilant

The reasons we clean may have been lost in translation over the last few millennia; with a few tweets, posts, phone calls or dollar votes you can change the future and set a trend that cocoons into a lasting legacy for mankind to follow for the next few generations. Do what's right for your family. Teach your children well. The rest will be history.