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Cleaning with the Kiddos

Cleaning with the Kiddos

Here we are yet again with another blog centered around cleaning. Children love to make a mess, but cleaning? Yea it isn’t their strong suit. It can be a challenge to keep things clean, neat, and orderly when you've got young children at home, but it's not impossible. Start teaching your kids how to clean when they're young and you won’t end up cleaning their room for them when they're 17! 

The Basics 

When teaching your little ones about the world of cleaning you have to start small. Our bodies are amazing!  Day after day, they work hard to digest food, pump blood and oxygen, sending signals from our brains, and much more. However, there are tiny invaders that tend to make our bodies sick. We call them germs. Germs are found all over the world, in all kinds of places!  The four main types of germs being bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. They invade plants, animals, and people, and sometimes they can even make us sick. Once germs are inside of us, they stay there. They eat our nutrients and can produce toxins that can be harmful to us. So how do we protect ourselves from germs? Cleaning! Remember the words that germs fear soap, water, and disinfectants. Now that you know the facts about germs, let’s learn some ways to make your kids part of the solution, rather than the problem. 


 Little kids may not have the coordination or dexterity to neatly make their beds every morning, so a good first effort may be to have them pull the comforter up to the top of the bed! It is important to be proud of the little things and not to expect perfection on the first try. Give kids a timeframe to focus their attention and get the task done. 

Chores can be fun! 

Make housework fun by incorporating games into various chores. If your kids feel like 30 seconds is a lifetime when washing their hands, pick a catchy song to dance and sing to whilst they’re doing it as a distraction to make the time fly by. If your kids are a bit too old to believe the idea of “tiny monsters” that live inside your body, why not turn arts and crafts into a valuable learning opportunity. This will give an accurate enough representation of what germs look like underneath a microscope

Chore Chart 

Chore charts are great as they encourage kids to go above and beyond expectations in keeping the house neat and organized as well as being recognized and celebrated for kind, generous, or helpful behavior! Add a smiley face for every time they washed or brushed teeth or made bed and offer a fun reward at the end. 

No Redo’s 

The last thing you want is to send your child a message that their work wasn’t good enough. They can grow discouraged and defeated by the task leaving them less likely to attempt the same task in the future Try to be as supportive and encouraging as possible when teaching your kids how to clean. Even if the job isn't done precisely, you should thank them for their effort rather than insincerely praising them for a less-than-successful execution. Then practice the task again together and offer helpful hints that will result in more success! 

The Chemistry of Cleaning Supplies

The Chemistry of Cleaning Supplies

It happens to the best of us. We take simple things for granted, like how our food is made, where our garbage goes, and why our cleaning products work. Today, it’s time to get scientific. We will look into the unique chemical characteristics of different cleaning agents to learn their value in order to better protect your home from germs. 

Now, right off the bat, it is important to remember that just because something is chemical, does not necessarily mean it is an effective cleaning solution. There is an extensive list of products out there that are helpful and work beautifully without chemicals. Some chemical cleaners are costly, smell horrible, and are dangerous for the environment.

Chemical agents don’t all work the same way. Even the best formulations will not be effective if applied incorrectly or inconsistently. Most disinfectants are anti-microbial whereas some are sporicidal. This means that it kills spores which prevent the regrowth of bacteria.  

Isopropyl alcohol, in solutions between 60% and 90% alcohol, is antimicrobial against bacteria and viruses and is one of the most effective cleaners. Alcohol agents force cell proteins to clump and lose their function. Specifically, the cell membranes lose their structure and collapse, eventually dying. Alcohol cleaners should be diluted with water, as water acts as a chemical catalyst to assist in penetrating the cell wall more completely. Once it permeates the entire cell, the proteins coagulate, and therefore the microorganism dies.

Most people know it as a chemical used to treat the water in swimming pools, however, Chlorine is also a very common disinfectant used in a variety of cleaning solutions and applications. Very few chemicals are considered sporicidal; however, chlorine compounds in higher concentrations have been shown to kill bacterial spores. Chlorine works by oxidizing proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Hypochlorous acid, which is a weak acid that forms when chlorine is dissolved in water, has the most effect on the bacterial cell, targeting some key metabolic enzymes and destroying the organism. 

Phenol is a disinfectant and antiseptic cleaning solution found in everyday products like air fresheners, hair spray, and cosmetics. Phenol and its derivatives exhibit several types of bactericidal action. At higher concentrations, the compounds penetrate and disrupt the cell wall and make the cell proteins fall out of suspension. The next step in the damage to the bacteria is the loss in the membrane’s ability to act as a barrier to physical or chemical attack. Though phenols can act at the germination stage of bacterial spore development, this effect is reversible, making them horrible at eliminating spores. 

You may have heard about formaldehyde from its use as a sterilant in the embalming process. However, formaldehyde is also used as a surface and space decontaminate. Formaldehyde is a simple chemical compound made of hydrogen, oxygen, and carbon. All life forms including bacteria, plants, fish, animals, and humans naturally produce formaldehyde as part of cell metabolism. Formaldehyde-releasing ingredients found in everyday products, act as a preservative to kill microorganisms and prevent the growth of bacteria and other pathogens, extending product shelf life.

Having to use a different cleaner for each room and surface can be tedious. Hydrogen peroxide is unique because it is a multi-purpose cleaner that can be used on multiple surfaces. You can use it on tables, light switches, and laundry. Hydrogen peroxide is safe to clean with since it is a non-toxic substance. It won't hurt the environment, cause pollution, or create mutant animals, yet it is a strong disinfectant. The only caution that you'll need to take with hydrogen peroxide on hard surfaces is your countertops. If they are made of marble or granite, using hydrogen peroxide once in a while is okay but not for continuous use. 

The final cleaning agent we will be talking about today is iodophors or iodine solutions. An iodophor is a combination of iodine and a solubilizing agent. Iodine is the only cleaning agent that is consistently active against bacteria, spores, amoebic cysts, fungi, protozoa, yeasts, drug-resistant bacteria. 

Understanding how chemistry works in cleaning products can help you evaluate which ones are best suited to your family's needs. 

Housekeeping Tips and Tricks

Housekeeping Tips and Tricks

Keeping your home clean and organized is no simple task. However, there are plenty of amazing tips, tricks, and hacks that can help you keep your house clean and tidy. With all these tips available, we’re going to take a closer look at the problem areas within the house. These places get extra dirty and stay that way without your intervention, but we’re here to share with you some practical cleaning tips to destroy germs and keep your home tidy. 

There are likely times when cleaning is just overwhelming. It is beneficial to break your tasks up into smaller chores so that they seem more manageable. Take into account the space you will be cleaning. Start with one room at a time to separate tasks and make your chores more manageable. If this isn’t your thing then break it down more by focusing on specific tasks. Sweeping floors, dusting shelves, wiping down counters, or removing grime from bathroom surfaces are ways to separate your cleaning routine. 

Capturing Dust 

This is easier said than done. Feather dusters and rags pick up some of the dust, but most of it just settles elsewhere. Using products that attract and hold onto dust like Swiffer actually works. The same goes for cloth products that use waxes or oils to trap dust. Microfiber rags are great, they work well and can be reused over and over again. 

Polishing Surfaces 

Microfiber cloths also excel at putting the finishing touches on countertops, mirrors, and even tile and fixtures. For shining, spotless results consider the type of surface when choosing a furniture polish for the cleaning task at hand. Not all cleaners are universal. One might work great for marble counters but be terrible for wooden tables. Make sure to do your research on the type of finishes that are on your household items. This will dictate the type of cleaner you should use. 

Mopping Floors

Similar to the previous section, you can’t just mop every type of floor in your home and expect the same results. Mopping floors can prevent a buildup of grime. The art of mopping a floor is a simple process, but you can always get the job done faster. Always sweep the floors prior to mopping. This may seem redundant but is crucial to the process. Once you are prepared to mop the floors, use warm, soapy water and mop in sections. Remember to wring out the mop, this gets rid of the gross stuff. Let the floor air dry, there’s no need to wipe it down yourself. Remember to always dump your dirty water into the toilet and not the kitchen sink. 

The Bathroom

Possibly one of the germiest rooms in your home, it’s incredibly important to keep this area clean. When the time comes that you need to give your entire bathroom a makeover, we’re here to help. When cleaning your toilet bowl generously apply a toilet bowl cleaner.  Wipe down the toilet seat and handle with disinfectant wipes. Remember that toilet brushes need cleaning, too. When it comes to the tub, there's no room for mildew and mold in the place you rely on for clean hygiene. Get ahead of the grime by cleaning your tub on a regular basis

Hopefully, this tidbit of information helps you with your cleaning process. Check back here for the second part of our housekeeping series.