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.
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We point to the questionable practices of open-air markets in other countries as a source of new diseases, while in our own backyard we have restaurants, for instance, who are so dirty we are entertained by news segments on “Dirty Dining.” The latter being a major source of foodborne illnesses and rodent attraction (which bring about more disease).
Another example of society not taking cleanliness seriously is the lack of custodians or janitors in our schools. Let’s take a look at the San Dieguito School District in Encinitas, California. They publish their list of janitor duties. In that publication they start by stating, “Each custodian has on average, 27 classrooms (approx. 32,000 sq. ft.) to clean daily, as well as specialty rooms, and events to prepare for/clean up after.” So they probably have 1.5 janitors per school (just a guess). What that means is janitors are stretched thin and have absolutely no time to clean our children’s classrooms. Here is their extensive list of daily duties in each classroom:
Where’s the sanitizing of desks? The disinfecting of doorknobs? The mopping of floors? Oh yeah, that’s only during the summer break:
Washing/disinfecting desks (done through the year as needed, as well)
I’m not picking on the San Dieguito School District either. After researching, there are multiple schools with very similar “cleaning” schedules. I’d go as far to say most schools employ the same sorry practices. That is why, with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, we now see emails to parents saying schools have ramped up their cleaning efforts. Well that’s pretty easy to do when you have done nothing in the first place.
The next outbreak doesn’t have to be COVID-19, it could be something more common like the norovirus. You know that virus that infects over 19 million people per year, sends 400,000 kids to the emergency room and shuts down our schools? What is the affected schools’ response after they shut down? Ramp up their cleaning efforts…SMH.
It would be laughable if our kids’ health isn’t at stake.
Why wait for an outbreak or pandemic to take cleanliness seriously? This “heightened” awareness should be sustained to the point where it becomes part of our daily routine, decision making and culture. We owe it to our children to provide them with a healthy environment.
One way to make good on that is to hire more janitors in our schools who are truly responsible for the hygiene of our childrens’ environment, not just taking out the trash.
To all the school janitors and custodians who actually GAF about the safety and health of our students, THANK YOU! I see you!
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!