Top 5 Germ-Laden Things You Touch Every Day

We all get up every day and go about our business. We have things to do, places to go and people to see. Most of us do all of this without thinking too much about the germ-laden things we come into contact with – until we encounter a gritty park bench or a greasy handrail on public transit.

But, surprisingly, some of the creepiest crawliest things are in our homes and workplaces – and some are even right there in our pockets and purses.

So, without further ado, let’s pull back the curtain and take a look at what we deal with every day. Ready?

#5 Sponge Bob is Not Your Friend

Your kitchen is a hot spot for cross-contamination of many different types of bacteria, and guess what interacts with just about all of them? That’s right, your kitchen sponge — one the dirtiest things in your house. Sponges are very effective for cleaning pots and dishes because they’re full of tiny holes that hold soap and water. Those warm, damp crevices are also the perfect environment for germs to propagate. So let your sponges dry out — germs hate dryness — and wash or replace them regularly.

#4 On the Throne

Let’s face it, when ya gotta go, ya gotta go — and there’s probably nothing grosser than a public bathroom toilet seat. Roughly half of all North American women won’t sit on a toilet seat in a public bathroom. But covering the seat with a barrier of toilet paper isn’t the answer either and, in fact, might actually be worse. Toilet seats are designed to repel germs, (hard plastic deflects bacteria and germs). Adding a layer of absorbent paper can soak up those nasty microbes and pass them to your body much more efficiently. Bottom line, pun intended, your best bet is to always wash yours hands with soap after you’re done.

#3 Talk Dirty to Me

By now everyone knows that cell phones are not the cleanest things in the world. To put that into clearer perspective, your toilet seat is actually cleaner. In fact, every square inch of your phone has about 10 times the number of germs than your toilet seat has. Bacteria thrive in warm places, the phone itself generates heat and so do your hands. It’s no wonder that smartphones are prime breeding grounds for microbes. Think about that the next time you’re texting at the dinner table.

#2 Let There be Light

It’s something we do every day, at home and at work we turn on the light. And light switches are one of those rarely thought-about germ-laden hideaways. They’re often overlooked when cleaning. Recently researchers did a study of hotel rooms, looking for hidden germ locations. They discovered that light switches, especially on bedside lamps, are crawling with bacteria. So the next time you’re cleaning a room, flip the switch – then clean it.

#1 Money Laundering

Talk about dirty money. The stuff is rife with germs… and cocaine, especially American money. Which is one of the reasons the UK and Canada have switched to plastic-based notes. Plastic acts to repel bacteria and is easily wiped clean. Paper money has tiny crevices that allow bacteria to grow — it can even transfer a live flu virus for up to 17 days. Just like our cell phones, money has more germs  than an average toilet seat, including staphylococcus aureus — the bacteria that causes staph infections. Again, always wash your hands after handling money… or send it to us.

Don’t Freak Out

In the end, it’s best not to obsess too much about the germ-laden things around us every day. But with a few simple changes to your routine, you can keep yourself, your family and your staff healthy and safe from harmful bacteria and viruses.

Get in touch today to find out how we can keep your workspace not only looking clean, but also healthy and germ-free using eco-friendly cleaning products and practices.

We care about clean.

Is Washing Your Hands Really Necessary?

hand-washing

When you were a kid you were taught to wash your hands — before every meal, after using the bathroom and after coming in from outside. But now you’re an adult and you know all about hand-washing. And if you don’t wash them occasionally, it’s not the end of the world, right?

In 2015, Initial Washroom Hygiene conducted a massive survey of 100,000 people about their hand-washing habits. According to the survey, a staggering 62% of men and 40% of women didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. So, is this just another harmless oversight or does it have real health consequences?

The average person has about 1,500 bacteria per square centimetre on their hands, so good hand hygiene is crucial in reducing the spread of germs and controlling disease. Germs, such as bacteria and viruses are invisible and everywhere. They’re on everything you touch, cellphones, hand rails, shopping carts, even your toothbrush. Germs can spread rapidly after handling raw meat, by using the toilet or by coughing and sneezing.

As mentioned above, you should be washing your hands throughout the course of your day, but let’s get real and talk about the bathroom. Bathrooms are where bacteria really like to hang out and plot their next attack.

Properly washing your hands, especially after using the bathroom, prevents the spread of germs and keeps you and the environment around you clean. Proper hand-washing reduces the risk of getting diarrhea by about one-third and reduces the risk of contracting respiratory illness by up to 20%.

So, what’s the right way to wash your hands? Follow the five steps below to wash your hands the right way every time.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air-dry them.

This video can also help you learn how to wash your hands the right way.

We care about clean – hands.

Get in touch. We’d love to help you banish the bacteria in your organization.

Preventing the Growth of Moulds in the Workplace

The public has increasingly become aware of the health effects and symptoms of exposure to mould. For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear about schools closing when mould growth is discovered. Mountainview Elementary School in Howie Centre, Nova Scotia was the latest to close.

An indoor mould growth
Indoor mould can impact the health of a building and those who live or work in the space.

Mould is a serious issue that needs to be addressed to prevent human exposure and further damage to building materials and furnishings. Every Allcare cleaner pays close attention to moulds, making sure to check janitor rooms, window sills, washrooms, and elsewhere for the first signs of mould growth.

In this post, we’ll explain how mould develops and what your workplace can do to eliminate a mould problem.

What do Moulds Need to Grow?

Moulds need moisture and nutrients to grow, so keeping a dry and clean environment is an essential step to prevent them from growing.

It’s also important to note that different kinds of moulds grow on different materials. Certain kinds of moulds like an extremely wet environment. Other kinds of moulds may be growing even if no water can be seen. Even dampness can give certain kinds of moulds enough moisture to grow.

Sources of Moisture

Moisture can enter the workplace in various ways. It could be from leaks in the floor, walls, or roof, or through plumbing leaks, poor drainage and window condensation.

Dampness and moisture can also build up in a workplace throughout the day from activities like washing or cooking. Moisture also accumulates when there is not enough ventilation to expel that moisture.

In your workplace, you should constantly be aware of musty odours, condensation, and discoloration, which are signs of moisture problems, water damage, and mould growth. And take action once you suspect a mould problem is developing.

Removing Mould

When dealing with mould, you should always limit your exposure by wearing a dust mask and rubber gloves.

Small areas of mould can be cleaned by scrubbing the area with detergent, then sponge with a clean, wet rag and dry quickly and thoroughly. Large areas of mould should be cleaned by professionals.

Simply killing mould with is typically not enough since people can react to particles present even in dead mould. Removing mould entirely is usually necessary.

Extra attention should be paid to porous materials like wood that moulds can infiltrate from the inside out, and grow on or in. These materials that are wet and have mould growing in them usually have to be removed and replaced.

And remember…

Unless the root cause of the moisture and water accumulation is corrected, mould will continue to come back time and again.

H1N1 Flu Virus: Things you can do to prepare

Is your business at risk in the event of a catastrophic event, whether related to terrorism, power supply, natural disaster or a pandemic influenza outbreak?

H1N1 virus

With the H1N1 outbreak upon us, we need to ensure we all know the methods of protecting ourselves and the symptoms associated with the flu virus.

Does your company have a “Pandemic Plan” and a “Business Continuity” Plan? Is your business at risk in the event of a catastrophic event, whether related to terrorism, power supply, natural disaster or a pandemic influenza outbreak such as H1N1?

Ways to protect yourself

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes nose and mouth
  • Cough and sneeze into your arm and not your hands
  • Get your H1N1 flu shot (personal choice, not endorsed by Allcare)
  • Keep common surfaces areas clean and disinfected.
  • If you’re sick, stay home!

Symptoms Associated with H1N1

  • Almost always: sudden onset of cough and fever
  • Common: fatigue, muscle aches, sore throat, headache, decreased appetite, runny nose
  • Sometimes: vomiting, nausea, diarrhea

Severity Indicators:

  • Shortness of breath, rapid or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Bluish or grey skin colour
  • Change in mucous/spit colour
  • Dizziness and confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • High fever for more than 3 days
  • Low blood pressure.

For more information visit:

www.fightflu.ca
www.hc-sc.gc.ca
www.who.int/en
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

Are you prepared for the H1N1 virus?
Is your company prepared?
Are your employees protected?

To learn more about how to develop a plan and become prepared, contact us.