Category: Commercial Cleaning Service

Green Cleaning for the Future of our Planet

 

Cleaning is an important part of everyday life, whether you’re running a small household or a large office building. Cleaning helps prevent the spread of germs, eliminates unsightly dirt and dust buildup and provides an overall sense of wellness. But in recent years, more individuals and facility managers have grown concerned about standard cleaning practices and how they can damage the environment and human health.

For years, we’ve been led to believe that the only way to get rid of germs and bacteria was to nuke them with harsh chemicals and toxins. Unfortunately, we now know these practices are not only ineffective but also harmful to our planet and our own health.

This is where green cleaning services swept in with an opportunity to eliminate dirt and germs while keeping humans and the environment safe. The evolution of green cleaning has come a long way and will only continue to improve as the countless benefits of this better way to clean become known.

What Is Green Cleaning?

Green cleaning is a term used to describe household and facility cleaning practices that address environmental and health issues. Green cleaning prevents negative environmental and human health consequences that occur with the use and methods of traditional cleaning.

Green cleaning addresses concerns like waste, consumption, recycling, energy usage, air and water quality, pollutants, chemicals and sanitation practices. Environmentally-friendly cleaning services are offered by experts in the green cleaning field. Their knowledge and expertise can help improve the indoor environment and sanitation levels of many different types of buildings, from offices and restaurants to schools and hospitals.

The History of Green Cleaning

The very first known cleaning product was a form of soap dating back to 2800 BC, and it was as green as green can be. Ancient cleaning products were developed long before the advent of synthetic chemicals and toxins. Soap products didn’t have chemical-induced scents like lavender and ocean breeze. But eventually, common belief was that by killing germs with harsh toxic chemicals, we would be protecting our health and our environment from these illness-causing microorganisms.

In the early 1960s, however, questions started to arise about the safety of these chemicals. Scientists began to question how these toxins may be affecting our environment and our human health. By the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency began waging war against specific chemicals. Exposure to environmental toxins was being linked to all kinds of health conditions, including certain types of cancers.

By the 1980s and 1990s the general public was becoming more aware of the chemicals used in their everyday cleaning products. This awareness also happened to coincide with the discovery of “sick building syndrome.”

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome is a condition where the occupants or workers in a building suffer from a range of symptoms that are believed to be attributed to the indoor conditions of the building. In other words, the building itself makes the occupants sick.

Occupants found to be suffering from sick building syndrome experienced symptoms like eye, nose and throat sensitivity, skin irritation, fatigue, headaches, dizziness and an inability to concentrate. In 1983, the World Health Organization declared that sick building syndrome was a global health threat. This was due to poor indoor air quality inside buildings resulting from chemical off-gassing and toxic pollutants, including those emitted by harmful cleaning agents.

Green Buildings and Green Cleaning

In reaction to the disturbing findings of sick building syndrome, environmentalism, human health protection and construction merged to create a new field: green building. Green buildings are constructed with the goal of addressing the building’s entire impact and how it can be more environmentally-friendly and healthy for humans.

Green building standards began including requirements like toxic-free materials such as low- and non-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints, glues and other substances. Green builders also looked at ways to improve indoor air quality scores to prevent respiratory ailments and other health conditions.

The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) was formed and became the early pioneers in environmental construction, setting the highest level of standards for green building using their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

With the increasing interest in green building, business and facility managers began to look at environmental design and performance from a holistic perspective. This means they started taking into consideration not just the building itself, but its complete impact, including how it is cleaned and maintained.

This is where green cleaning on a commercial level began to take off. Once building managers began to look at their facility in its entirety, they noticed how something seemingly as simple as cleaning was threatening their vision for sustainability. From the types of products being used to how service providers managed and disposed of waste, they realized there was huge opportunity for environmentally-friendly and health-conscious cleaning practices that could match the high-level goals of green buildings and offices.

How Green Cleaning Has Evolved

When research about toxic cleaning first became an issue in the 1960s, many forward-thinking businesses and facilities began to look for alternative cleaning products that reduced the number of harsh chemicals being used in indoor spaces. However, at the time, there simply wasn’t enough selection available in the marketplace, and any products that had been developed were much more expensive than their traditional counterparts. Consumers and businesses also feared their effectiveness was limited.

This continued to be a challenge for those who saw the benefits of toxic-free cleaning but were unable to justify the costs. As is the way with most revolutionary products, though, more and more began to adopt greener cleaning products and practices into their homes, offices and facilities. Products like microfiber cloths, allergen-free dusting tools and non-chemical cleaning agents became more popular.

Increased demand in chemical-free cleaning lowered product prices and opened the marketplace up to all kinds of new competitive green cleaning products and services. This also opened the market up to another challenge: greenwashing.

Greenwashing

Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing and product development practice that plays on consumer fears of harmful chemicals or desires to be eco-friendly. It came to light in the 1980s when many companies realized they could market themselves as “green” without having to provide any shred of evidence to support it. They targeted consumers they knew would purchase a product simply because it was labeled “eco” or “green.” To help consumers, Green Seal was created as a way to indicate to consumers that products met actual environmental standards.

Growing awareness about greenwashing is also part of the evolution of green cleaning. Today, many consumers are aware of deceptive marketing practices when it comes to environmentally-friendly cleaning products. That’s why a company’s image and brand play such a significant role in today’s marketplace.

Green Cleaning Value

When the USGBC included green cleaning in their LEED accreditation system, environmentally-friendly cleaning services became more popular. The products, services and entire footprint of the practice of cleaning have come a long way. What used to be cumbersome and expensive products have now developed into effective and beneficial business practices.

In fact, the evolution of green cleaning today has reached the point where environmentally-friendly cleaning services and products today are seen as “cost neutral,” meaning that the facility gets back from it what it has invested into it due to its abundant benefits. Additionally, the argument for green cleaning, while still important for the environment, is actually more focused around protecting human health, which bolsters other business and economic benefits as well.

Types of Green Cleaning Products and Services

Green cleaning products have certainly evolved since the earlier days of this practice. Some of today’s green cleaning products and services include:

  • Chemical-free cleaning agents
  • Non-VOC products
  • Fume-free and scent-free products
  • Non-pollutant and non-allergen vacuums, dusters, microfiber cloths and other cleaning tools and equipment
  • Recyclable or recycled packaging for cleaning products and equipment
  • Safe and environmentally conscious waste management, reduction and disposal practices

Organizations Using Green Cleaning Products and Services

There are many factors to consider when it comes to green cleaning practices. This is why today there is a demand for environmentally-friendly cleaning services that specialize in green cleaning practices. These professionals are experts in green cleaning, including the most effective green cleaning products and equipment as well as lowering footprints as a result of cleaning.

Here are some of the types of organizations and facilities that use and benefit from green cleaning services:

  • Office buildings
  • Condo and apartment buildings
  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Stadiums, arenas and other entertainment venues
  • Factories and warehouses
  • Schools and universities
  • Hospitals and clinics
  • Airports
  • Retail stores and shopping malls

Green cleaning services offer large-scale solutions that take into consideration the customer’s triple bottom line approach to operations. Triple bottom line is an accounting method that businesses use today to assess how their operations impact their people, the planet and their profits.

The Benefits of Green Cleaning

Organizations are choosing to partner with environmentally-friendly cleaning services because they are looking to operate from this triple bottom line approach. Green cleaning can deliver benefits to the building’s staff and occupants as well as the environment while proving to be cost effective in the process.

Here are the most important health, environmental and economic benefits of green cleaning for facilities:

  1. Protects Occupant Health: Today, green cleaning is widely recognized as a good practice for human health. There has been ample research done on the effects of sick buildings, including the types of chemical products that are used to clean them. Today, individuals and companies alike want to act more intentionally when it comes to prioritizing occupant and worker health. Green cleaning products and practices eliminate health risks that traditional cleaning products don’t.
  1. Meets Environmental and Health Goals: Buildings that are LEED certified or attaining LEED standards can support these goals by using green cleaning services. This helps the company reach its vision of being more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. This goes for existing buildings, too, which can use LEED and other similar standards as a guideline to improve their environmental and health impacts.
  1. Reduces Environmental Footprint: Green cleaning companies offer their services in a way that reduces their environmental footprint from start to finish. This includes items like waxing floors and disinfecting surfaces using green products to changing lightbulbs for energy efficient kinds. Additionally, green cleaning products such as cleaners, microfiber cloths and wipes as well as other equipment last longer than traditional cleaning products, which reduces waste because the products don’t need to be repurchased as frequently.
  1. Improves Air and Water Quality: Using environmentally-friendly cleaning products ensures that the fumes from harsh chemical cleaners aren’t being trapped inside the building and contributing to toxic and harmful indoor air. Additionally, water quality can also be protected when green cleaning agents are used because it doesn’t send toxins down the drains and into waterways.
  1. Prioritizes Waste Management and Reduction: Green cleaning services consider how the waste associated with cleaning will damage the environment. Green cleaners reduce consumption waste such as trash bags and janitorial paper products to consume less and ultimately save on natural resources required to produce these products. When you consider how often facilities are cleaned, this can add up in just a few months to a significant reduction in waste.
  1. Increases Cost-Effectiveness: Because green cleaning produces less waste and uses longer-lasting products, environmentally-friendly cleaning services can save on their overall operating costs. These cost-savings are then passed along to the customer, whether it’s a private corporate building or a public school that’s being cleaned.
  1. Improves Employee and Worker Productivity: Green cleaning can increase workplace satisfaction, worker and occupant well-being and even increase productivity while lowering absenteeism. First, green cleaning can adequately disinfect the building, which stops the spread of viruses and subsequent illnesses among workers. It also eliminates exposure to toxic chemicals, which can cause eye, respiratory and other health problems that prevent workers from being productive and even causes them miss work. Good air quality can also improve energy levels and focus, while poor air quality can make workers feel sluggish and distracted. This overall feeling of better focus and energy in the workplace helps employees feel a stronger sense of well-being. In fact, a World Green Building Council report from 2014 concluded that improved indoor air quality by reducing exposure to pollutants and increased ventilation raises productivity by 8%-11%.
  1. Strengthens Brand and Corporate Image: Because employees and consumers today have access to more information about companies, they are much savvier. This means companies that set high standards for health and environmental protection can improve their corporate and brand image among customers and employees.

Having a positive brand image builds customer loyalty and helps to retain employees, both of which are important for businesses in competitive markets. Companies that shift their building management practices toward healthy and environmentally-friendly ones can demonstrate to customers and employees that they take these issues seriously.

Future of Green Cleaning

In 2006, New York became the first state to require the use of green cleaning products and practices in all private and public schools. Over time, this will eventually become the standard in all facilities, public or private. When you consider the important benefits of green cleaning inside facilities, it’s easy to see why organizations like the USGBC have included green cleaning as one of their environmental and health standards.

If your facility is in need of environmentally-friendly cleaning services, Wiz Team, Inc. to improve the health, environmental impact and performance of your building.

 

Should You Wear Gloves to the Grocery Store? Why Dr’s Say It’s Not a Good Idea…

If just the thought of going grocery store is giving you anxiety now days, you’re not alone. As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb-there are currently 800,932 reported confirmed cases in the US, most of us are taking precautionary measures to avoid contracting the virus. Recently, the CDC and Prevention has modified its recommendations to include wearing face coverings when you’re out and about and as more people start covering their faces, many of us can’t help but wonder if we should cover our hands with gloves as well.

For the general public, that answer is no. In fact, there are only two times the CDC suggests the use of gloves in regards to the Coronavirus: 1.) If you’re cleaning and disinfecting your home, and 2.) If you’re a healthcare worker treating someone who is a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patient. Gloves have not been advised as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 for the average public and that’s largely because of how the disease is (and isn’t) transmitted.

Why gloves cannot protect against coronavirus for the general public?

First, it’s important to understand how coronavirus can travel from person to person. The novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 disease, is a respiratory virus carried on droplets, which means it needs to enter the respiratory tract to cause disease. Its primary way is that it enters the respiratory tract is when people inhale infected droplets. They think that a small portion of infections happen when people touch surfaces where the virus lives and then touch their face.

Basically, what they are saying is that you can’t contract COVID-19 through touch alone, it does not get absorbed through our skin and in order to acquire coronavirus through touch, we have to touch something contaminated and then touch our face. That’s what essentially renders gloves useless. It seems gloves might create a barrier between our hands and infected surfaces; they do not prevent COVID-19 infection because we can still touch our face with our gloved hands. Gloves are a physical barrier between our hands and the shopping cart or the card machine at the register, but they can harbor germs themselves; and we can also contaminate our bare hands when we put them on and/or take off.  Because of that gloves are no more protective than social distancing, washing hands, and not touching our face. It’s also important to remember that gloves don’t prevent any potential contaminants from traveling home with you on items that we pick up at the store, so cleaning food item packages and containers properly would be more beneficial.

Why are gloves necessary for healthcare workers, but not the general public?

Just remember that healthcare workers and other hospital employees come into contact with greater amounts of the virus and in a medical environment, gloves provide a physical barrier between a patient and physician. They are a layer of protection since they are deliberately touching and examining us as patients.

They put gloves on when entering a patient’s room and remove the gloves before leaving the room, and then wash our hands. Usually healthcare workers wear gloves to examine patients all the time, with or without COVID concerns in order to protect both the patient and the doctor. They don’t want to pass on any germs from their hands, fingernails, etc. to patient’s body, especially if they are touching inside patient’s mouth, nose, eyes or elsewhere. At the same time they don’t want to be exposed to patients germs from a potentially infectious any body fluids, skin rash, lacerations or nose bleeds.

I am sure that in hospitals, healthcare workers must complete training on how to put on and take off PPE equipment and wash their hands in between each step, something most of non-medical workers don’t understand.  According to nurses and doctors gloves are not a free ticket to touching our face.

How to wear and use gloves properly if you still want to wear them:

Wearing a pair of gloves may make you feel safer and possibly remind you not to touch your face, and then there is no real harm to yourself in doing so. Just remember gloves are only keeping our hands clean, which means, even while wearing them, we still can’t touch your face, and when it comes time to take the gloves off, we need to remove them properly. Wearing gloves also doesn’t give us a free pass to stop washing our hands – after removing gloves; we still need to wash our hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

If you do decide to wear gloves to the store, there are some very specific steps you need to take in removing those gloves, according to the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-remove-gloves.pdf

With both hands still gloved, grab or pinch the outside of the glove near one wrist, without touching your bare skin.

Peel the glove away from your body, turning it inside out as you remove it. Hold the removed glove with the still-gloved hand.

Slip your now-bare hand under the wrist cuff on the gloved hand.

Peel the glove away from your body, turning it inside out as you remove it once again. You will end up with both gloves inside-out, one wrapped inside the other. Dispose of the gloves safely—do not reuse them. Wash your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.

Bear in mind however, wearing gloves should not replace any other precautions you have been taking. That includes proper social distancing and wearing a mask when necessary, per the CDC.

The information in this story is accurate as of publishing time. As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, it’s possible that some data may change since publication. While Wiz Team, Inc. is cleaning for health and is trying to keep our blogs/stories as up-to-date as possible, we also encourage you to stay informed on news and recommendations for their own communities by using the CDC, and local public health department as resources.

If you have any questions, need an advice or like to schedule any of our services, please give us a call at (847) 526-6060.

 

Cleaning and Disinfection for Households

Interim Recommendations for U.S. Households with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Summary of Recent Changes

Revisions were made on 3/26/2020 to reflect the following:

  • Updated links to EPA-registered disinfectant list
  • Added guidance for disinfection of electronics
  • Updated core disinfection/cleaning guidance

Background

There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about the virus, and about similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, spread from person-to-person happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets, but disease transmission via infectious aerosols is currently uncertain. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that SARS-CoV-2 may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. Facilities will need to consider factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate [air changes per hour] and location of supply and exhaust vents) when deciding how long to close off rooms or areas used by ill persons before beginning disinfection.  Taking measures to improve ventilation in an area or room where someone was ill or suspected to be ill with COVID-19 will help shorten the time it takes respiratory droplets to be removed from the air.

Purpose

This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of households where persons under investigation (PUI) or those with confirmed COVID-19 reside or may be in self- isolation. It is aimed at limiting the survival of the virus in the environments. These recommendations will be updated if additional information becomes available.

These guidelines are focused on household settings and are meant for the general public.

  • Cleaningrefers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
  • Disinfectingrefers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

General Recommendations for Routine Cleaning and Disinfection of Households

  • Community members can practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, and electronics (see below for special electronics cleaning and disinfection instructions)) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectantsexternal iconthat are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
    • For electronics follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products. Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics. If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

General Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfection of Households with People Isolated in Home Care (e.g. Suspected/Confirmed to have COVID-19)

  • Household members should educate themselves about COVID-19 symptoms and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in homes.
  • Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)
    • In the bedroom/bathroom dedicated for an ill person: consider reducing cleaning frequency to as-needed(e.g., soiled items and surfaces) to avoid unnecessary contact with the ill person.
  • As much as possible, an ill person should stay in a specific room and away from other people in their home, following home care guidance.
  • The caregiver can provide personal cleaning supplies for an ill person’s room and bathroom, unless the room is occupied by child or another person for whom such supplies would not be appropriate. These supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants (see examplesexternal icon).
  • If a separate bathroom is not available, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use by an ill person. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as practical after use by an ill person to clean and disinfect the high-touch surfaces.
  • Household members should follow home care guidancewhen interacting with persons with suspected/confirmed COVID-19 and their isolation rooms/bathrooms.

How to clean and disinfect:

Hard (Non-porous) Surfaces

  • Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean handsimmediately after gloves are removed.
  • If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • For disinfection, most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
    • A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available herepdf iconexternal icon. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products for (concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
    • Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions (at least 1000ppm sodium hypochlorite) can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application, ensuring a contact time of at least 1 minute, and allowing proper ventilation during and after application. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
  • Prepare a bleach solution by mixing:
    • 5 tablespoons (1/3rdcup) bleach per gallon of water or
    • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Soft (Porous) Surfaces

  • For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning:

Electronics

  • For electronics such as cell phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, and keyboards, remove visible contamination if present.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
    • Consider use of wipeable covers for electronics.
    • If no manufacturer guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol to disinfect touch screens. Dry surfaces thoroughly to avoid pooling of liquids.

Linens, clothing, and other items that go in the laundry

  • Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from an ill person and then discard after each use. If using reusable gloves, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other household purposes. Clean handsimmediately after gloves are removed.
    • If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry, be sure to wash hands afterwards.
    • If possible, do not shake dirty laundry. This will minimize the possibility of dispersing virus through the air.
    • Launder items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. If possible, launder items using the warmest appropriate water setting for the items and dry items completely. Dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
    • Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces. If possible, consider placing a bag liner that is either disposable (can be thrown away) or can be laundered.

Hand hygiene and other preventive measures

  • Household members should clean handsoften, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
  • Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygieneand avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Additional key times to clean hands include:
      • After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      • After using the restroom
      • Before eating or preparing food
      • After contact with animals or pets
      • Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)

Other considerations

  • The ill person should eat/be fed in their room if possible. Non-disposable food service items used should be handled with gloves and washed with hot water or in a dishwasher. Clean handsafter handling used food service items.
  • If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the ill person. Use gloves when removing garbage bags, handling, and disposing of trash. Wash handsafter handling or disposing of trash.
  • Consider consulting with your local health department about trash disposal guidance if available.

Additional Resources

Source Credit: CDC.GOV

Carpets, Upholstery, and the New Strain of Coronavirus

 

At Wiz Team, Inc. we’re doing our part and including a hospital-grade disinfectant with all cleanings at NO CHARGE to our clients!

Most people in Chicagoland know by now, with all the media attention given to a new strain of coronavirus, that coronavirus and similar viruses are distributed through coughing, sneezing, talking, and physical contact. Our clients want to know whether they should be concerned about coronavirus on carpets and upholstery. It’s not as if you can douse your furniture and carpets with hand sanitizer or disinfectants like countertops, doorknobs, and other hard surfaces. This article offers some answers, as well as some valuable information on how to sanitize your home against any cold or flu virus.

How long can Coronavirus survive on Carpet and Upholstery?

The infectious lifespan of viruses, in general, depends on temperature, humidity, and the porosity of the surface where the virus is found. We have flu “season,” because cold, dry environments allow viruses to remain infectious longer.

In a 2011 study called Survival of Influenza A(H1N1) on Materials Found in Households: Implications for Infection Control by Dr. Jane Greatorex at Public Health England, findings showed the virus remained infectious about twice as long on non-porous surfaces, such as plastic and metal, as porous surfaces, like clothing, wood, and the like. Your carpet and upholstery are porous, which means it is less hospitable to viruses than non-porous surfaces. However, your carpet and upholstery is still cool and dry.

According to a study recently published in The Journal of Hospital Infections entitled Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents, the new strain of coronavirus, like similar viruses, such as SARS and MERS, can survive for anywhere from 2 hours to 9 days on a surface. Although there are proven methods for preventing the spread of known coronaviruses, these methods have never been tested against this specific virus. So, until more information is available, our recommendations for dealing with the new strain of coronavirus on carpet and upholstery can only be based on what coronaviruses in general, and we cannot offer any guarantees that professional carpet cleaning will eliminate the new strain of coronaviruses.

Keeping Surfaces Clean

It is always a good idea to protect your family by keeping all of your surfaces clean, especially during the flu season.

  • Wash your hands often with sanitizing liquid soap and warm water.
  • Disinfect surfaces that see a lot of hand-traffic, such as doorknobs, and light switches, as well as countertops, walls, and floors.
  • Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum so that small particles are trapped instead of being blown back into the air. Vacuum often.
  • Schedule professional cleaning services for your carpets, rugs, and upholstery and ask that a disinfectant be applied.

Why Professional Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning Matters

As you step up your normal cleaning routine and sanitize your home, don’t forget about your fine surfaces, such as upholstery, carpet, and rugs. These surfaces are often overlooked. The couch is a cozy, comforting place to rest when one has a virus. A professional carpet, tile or upholstery cleaning with a hospital-grade disinfectant such as what Wiz Team, Inc. uses can help prevent the possibility of the spread of the new strain of coronavirus by removing any deposits by professional carpet, tile, mattress or upholstery cleaning.

Proper professional carpet and upholstery cleaning involves both heat and moisture, so having your carpets and upholstery cleaned and then treated can help ease your mind while addressing the Coronavirus. . If the new strain of coronavirus proves to be like those already tested in the past, professional cleaning with a hospital-grade disinfectant will decrease the chances of coronavirus surviving on your interior textiles.

Wiz Team, Inc. is a Certified by the prestigious IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification), Carpet & Rug Institute, the Wool Safe Certified, and A+ Rated by the Better Business Bureau.  Our cleaning solutions are allergen-free and safe for pets and children.

From now until the government declares the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has run its course, Wiz Team, Inc. will provide, with all services, a germicidal disinfectant that meets EPA standards with all cleanings that will help fight the Coronavirus.  Additionally, prior to our technicians entering your home, any equipment used will be disinfected.

Our services include professional carpet cleaningtile and grout cleaningupholstery cleaning and draperies cleaning,  hardwood floor cleaningair duct system cleaning and sanitizing,  as well as commercial cleaning service.

Also we are ONLY Certified Master Rug Cleaners in Illinois, so we are your trusted experts in oriental and area rugs cleaning

For more information about Wiz Team, Inc. please visit us online at www.wizclean.com and call us at anytime at (847) 526-6060 

 

Wiz Team is Here For You!

As residents of the Chicagoland area, we are all experiencing a time of significant anxiety and stress. At Wiz Team, Inc., we are impacted too, and we truly want to help.

Learn what the CDC recommends for cleaning your home and carpet.

Carpet Cleaning COVID-19 FAQs

How can carpet cleaning help my family have a healthier environment?

Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces is the first step the CDC recommends for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households. Providing a cleaner, safer and healthier living environment has always been one biggest benefit Wiz Team provides for their customers.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html

Can carpet cleaning bring COVID-19 into my home?

The CDC tells us COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html

What does Wiz Team recommend I do to keep my home safe?

We advise you follow the counsel of the CDC. “Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (for example: tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks) with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface, following label instructions.”

Also – specifically for carpet the CDC recommends. “For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning – use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims that are suitable for porous surfaces.”

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html

Can Wiz Team disinfect my house?

Wiz Team will help with the first step the CDC recommends – cleaning. The CDC states “Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.”

Cleaning will prepare for you to follow the second step the CDC recommends – disinfecting. They advise “Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Should I cancel my appointment until after COVID-19 goes away?

Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces is the first step the CDC recommends for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households. Providing a cleaner, safer and healthier living environment has always been one biggest benefit Wiz Team provides for their customers.

The CDC tells us that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. Transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented.

Does the CDC give advice about cleaning carpet?

The CDC specifically recommends the following process for cleaning carpets. For soft (porous) surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes, remove visible contamination if present and clean with appropriate cleaners indicated for use on these surfaces. After cleaning – use products with the EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims that are suitable for porous surfaces. Wiz Team is the industry leader in removing contaminants from carpet.

Looking to take precautionary measures for disinfecting work environment? Call us today (847) 526-6060 – we are certified company using EPA approved disinfectants.

We take pride in knowing that we are contributing to the well-being of the local community to help reduce further risk and potential exposure.

Grout: Sealers 101

 

Let’s face it, grout can be tough to clean. The problem is, grout maintenance takes time and effort. And many homeowners don’t know how to properly care for grout around kitchen, bathroom, and living room tiles, leading to problems down the road. Sealing grout is the most important thing you can do to keep it sanitary and avoid having it erode. With proper grout maintenance, care and cleaning is easier and grout will last for years to come.

After you’ve cleaned the grout with the method that works best for your home, you’ll need to reseal it. (Note: epoxy grouts don’t need to be sealed.) Choosing the right sealant depends on the job. For instance, surface sealants or coatings are not sufficient sealers in a bathroom. They need silicone, not water-based products. Your selection depends on several factors, such as the type of the grout, location, your intention, applying method, and budget.

 

Why Seal Grout?

Regular cleaning for good grout maintenance isn’t usually enough to prevent buildup of mold and bacteria. Because grout is porous, it traps dirt and is a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and fungus, so sealing it is a must. Properly applying a grout sealant protects the grout and helps keep you and your family healthy. Apply grout sealant based on traffic or usage patterns. The tile floor in a living room may get a lot of traffic, but little moisture, whereas bathroom tile gets a lot of use and moisture, especially tile showers or tubs. Reseal grout once per year for these “hotspot” areas and also after you have deep cleaned your tile and grout. Low traffic or usage areas need resealing every 4-5 years to remain effective.

 

Different Types of Sealers

There are many types of sealant products and each offers different benefits depending on your objective for grout maintenance. Regardless of product type, sealants fall under one of three categories:

 

Coatings

Color Sealers

Penetrating Sealers

Coatings are a thin layer on the grout surface so no oil, water, or dirt can penetrate the grout pores. There are two coatings available: permanent and strippable.

Permanent coatings are difficult to remove. They are made of epoxies, polyurethanes, and such. Because they are so difficult to remove, this type of product is not always recommended.

 

Strippable coatings are easier to remove from the grout’s surface. These are made of styrene, acrylics, polyethylene, and other polymers. Most are water based making removal easier to do. Check the label for acrylic, high speed, metal cross link, and so on.

Color sealers will bond to your grout, filling the pores, while keeping the same look and texture of your original grout. Color sealers will also allow you to change your grout from dark to light, or even light to dark. Penetrating sealers are made to penetrate the grout surface and deposit particles that will protect the grout, preventing water and dirt from penetrating the grout. These types of sealers mostly contain silane, siloxane, silicone, or some other silicon derivative.

Depending on traffic patterns in your home, and general condition, when you keep up with grout maintenance, it can help your tiling and flooring sparkle for many years.

Beware that improperly sealed grout lines may trap dirt permanently. For professional assistance always remember, Wiz Team, Inc. offers free in-home consultations of all of our Tile & Grout cleaning and sealing services.

 

Simply call our friendly office staff at 847.526.6060 to set up your appointment today!

Master Certifications: Is it important?

Master Certification: Carpet cleaning (basic) IICRC Certification is just the start. Think of Master Certifications as the “graduate degrees” of our industry. With the additional requirement of experience, beyond classroom learning, Master Certifications communicate a higher level of experience, expertise, efficiency and credibility, not to mention the confidence.

Master Certified Technicians exhibit higher productivity, increased technical competency, lower error rate and higher level of client satisfaction.

IICRC Certified Firms: Certification of a firm provides concrete evidence to clients that the company is staffed with people who know what they are doing and that the firm conducts business to an IICRC-prescribed set of ethical business practices and standards. IICRC stands for the highest standard of excellence in certification.

Although a lot of technicians become IICRC certified in basic techniques and stop there, three master certification paths – textile cleaning, fire and smoke restoration and water restoration – journeyman and master designations are reserved for those who truly developed their skills.  

Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner and Master Fire & Smoke Restorer are highest “graduate degrees” in our industry.

All master certifications must be achieved over a minimum of three years so classroom learning and certification is combined with real-world work. The IICRC Master status is the highest technical certification in the cleaning industry.

Certification: Why It Matters

Just as certified accountants, electricians, plumbers and mechanics project a higher level of competency in their fields, and just as members of the American Medical Association and American Bar Association set themselves apart through training, experience and comprehensive examination, IICRC certification helps to immediately identify the cleaning, restoration and inspection industries’ most skilled and dedicated technicians and businesses.

However, unlike electricians, plumbers, accountants, doctors and lawyers, the cleaning, restoration and inspection industry does not require a technician or the firm to be certified in order to perform these services. Certification matters because outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

Being certified is voluntarily, therefore it is important to check if you’re cleaning and restoration service provider is in fact certified.   

Wiz Team, Inc. is keeping up with the latest education and training, techniques and technologies. We are staffed with experienced and educated, well-trained, satisfied employees who are the key to our satisfied clients.

The history of cleaning and restoration certification is long, but for us it all started from – a deceptively simple question: What works best for our clients?

It has driven us to research chemistry, extraction techniques, fiber identification, airflow and many other subjects.

Thanks to the strength of the schools and instructors, our technicians have knowledge and skills to achieve education on cleaning and restoration – improving their skills and serving our clients with best practices.

In the end, certification matters because we all work in service industry – and outstanding service means consecutively correct service, every time.

We obtain science-based information for best practices and build technical and scientific knowledge in the restoration and cleaning industry in order to provide the most outstanding service experience ever to our clients.

Wiz Team, Inc. is the ONLY cleaning and restoration firm in Chicagoland holding quadruplet Master Certifications designations.

We are certified as: Master Water Restorer, Master Textile Cleaner, Master Fire & Smoke Restorer and Master Rug Cleaner.  So, before you call a company whose technicians have only basic or worse yet have no certification, call the Wiz Team, Inc. – true Cleaning and Restoration Specialists – best in the industry.   

The Myth of the Vacuuming

Vacuum

You would be hard pressed not to find this noisy, electrical and often-underused mechanical device in any home, apartment or business.

What is it? The vacuum cleaner. You know, that silent sentinel in your closet that comes to life when you plug it in and push the power button, and it buzzes all over the carpet as you chase it around the house.

Vacuuming gets all the dirt?

The problem with the vacuum cleaner is we trust it too much. No, we’re not saying you shouldn’t vacuum your carpet. You should vacuum once per week per occupant, on average, for the main areas. You might vacuum the bedrooms less frequently. We all know that proper vacuuming is important in caring for the carpet.

But some feel that vacuuming the carpet is equal to carpet cleaning. That’s a myth and it is simply not true. Professional carpet cleaning removes so much more than a vacuum can remove. Yet it has been reported that consumers feel that frequent vacuuming removes the dust and grime from their floors and they can either skip or prolong regular carpet cleaning.

That’s not the case.

A good vacuum, no matter how powerful or advanced, removes only dry soil. The stuff that is tracked in every day and should be removed every day, as well. Vacuums don’t remove the sticky, greasy soil stuck to the carpet fibers. You need professional cleaning to remove those soils.

Compare this to washing your car with a dry rag… or brushing your hair and skipping the shower and shampoo… or — well, you get the point. You need quality cleaning, deep carpet cleaning, to get your carpet thoroughly cleaned.

Do yourself a favor. Keep that vacuum cleaner working, use it all the time, but also use your professional carpet cleaning pro. We know what it takes to remove ALL the dirt!

 

Back to Basics: How to Keep Carpet Clean in Your Facility – Island Lake, Il

Keeping carpet clean is an easy way to add to the overall appearance of your facility’s interior and CRI is here with some tips to help you keep carpet fresh, clean and lasting, especially with Seal of Approval-certified products.

The following tips cover the different aspects of a maintenance program you will need to keep you carpet looking great all year.

1.      Vacuuming

Vacuuming is the simplest and easiest way to keep carpet clean and lasting. Regular vacuuming is imperative to the life and beauty of your carpet. For high traffic areas, you should vacuum daily. Be sure to use a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum.

2.      Interim Maintenance

Interim maintenance is a recently added aspect to the Seal of Approval program, but that does not minimize its importance. Interim maintenance is a scheduled frequency appearance cleaning for all traffic areas. Its purpose is to refresh carpet with a surface cleaning.

3.      Deep Cleaning

You may know deep cleaning by a number of different names (i.e. hot-water extraction, steam cleaning), but deep cleaning is vital to the life of carpet. An annual deep cleaning will remove the deepest, ground-in dirt residing in your facility’s carpet.

4.      Spot Removal

Spots and stains happen in almost any environment, but the most important thing you can do is treat the stain as soon as it happens. This will dramatically reduce the chance of the spot or stain resoiling. Wiz Team Solutions are tested and certified for their ability to effectively remove stains and minimize resoiling.

As mentioned earlier, following these tips will allow you to keep your carpet beautiful and lasting throughout the year.

The Wiz Team is a full service carpet cleaning and restoration service. We service Lake Forest, Highland Park, Glencoe, Winnetka, Wilmette Glenview, Northbrook, Deerfield, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights, Palantine, Lake Zurich, Barrington, Mundelein, and more. Contact us today for your cleaning and restoration needs.

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