April is here…Spring Cleaning tips to get you started…

There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable, and even enjoyable. This blog offers an overview of everything you need to know, including information on cleaners, stain removal, fabric care, and storage — to zip through the process and arrive at a happy end.

After you read through the tips and techniques, tailor the list to your home and garden. Create a realistic schedule, keeping in mind that a single weekend won’t suffice, as you’ll need several days for more involved projects, such as shampooing carpets and organizing wardrobes. Whether you prefer to proceed from the loft to the basement or start outdoors and wind your way inside, focus on one task at a time. And be sure to enlist the help of family members.

Throughout the house

The basic techniques that will help you clean almost every surface (or object) in any room. The tasks are broken down by location, including outdoor spaces. This blog also focuses on window washing and upkeep, which is essential if you’re going to let the sun shine in on the bright days to come.

Wipe Walls and Ceilings: Use a vacuum to remove dust. Tackle stubborn surface grime, especially prevalent in kitchens, with a degreaser (test it first in an inconspicuous area to ensure it won’t mark the surface). http://vipclean.co.uk/product/magisolve-multi-purpose-cleaner-1x4x5-litres/

Reseal Grout Lines: The cement-based material between wall, floor, and countertop tiles is extremely porous and stains easily. Clean it with a grout cleaner; it’s best to apply it with a small foam brush. http://vipclean.co.uk/product/hg-grout-cleaner-x500ml-rtu/

Vacuum and Shampoo Rugs: Synthetic carpets and rugs with waterproof backings can be deep-cleaned with a rotary shampoo machine and a hot-water extraction machine. Rugs without backings require professional cleaning. Check out our Prochem Range – http://vipclean.co.uk/brand/prochem/

Dust Books and Shelves: Take everything off the Shelves, and brush shelves and books with a feather duster. Use the dust-brush or crevice tool on a vacuum to reach into tight spots. Wipe the spines of leather-bound books with a clean, soft cloth.

Clean Upholstered Furnishings: Take cushions outside and gently beat them by hand to remove dust. If there are stains, check the pieces for care labels. Use a vacuum’s upholstery and crevice tools to clean under seat cushions. See our full range of Henry’s and accessories – http://vipclean.co.uk/?post_type=product&s=henry  

Polish Metal Door and Window Hardware: Liquid polishes and polish-impregnated cloths work well for medium tarnished surfaces; pastes and creams are for heavier work. If tarnish doesn’t come off, try a stronger product. http://vipclean.co.uk/?post_type=product&s=brasso

Dust Your Home Thoroughly: This includes hard-to-reach places, such as the tops of ceiling fans and window casings. Always work from the top of a room down, vacuuming the dust that settles on the floor. http://vipclean.co.uk/product/lambswool-telescopic-flick-duster-30/

Wax Wooden Furniture: Wipe surfaces with a soft cloth dampened with water and mild dishwashing liquid. Apply polish a few feet at a time with a cotton rag folded into a square pad. Let wax dry; buff with a clean cloth. http://vipclean.co.uk/product/heritage-beeswax-antique-furniture-polish-1x12x480ml-aerosol/

Ensure Fire Safety: Change batteries in smoke detectors (this should be done twice a year), and make sure units are free of dust. Teach everyone in your household how to use a fire extinguisher, and review escape plans.

Clean Window Treatments: Many curtains are machine washable; check labels. Dry clean fabric shades. Wipe wooden blinds with a damp cloth; warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid is safe for metal and vinyl blinds.

Wax Non-Wood Floors: Vinyl and linoleum floors that have lost their shine should be waxed with a polish designed for these surfaces. Most stone and tile floors can be treated with either a paste or a liquid wax designed for the material. http://vipclean.co.uk/product/black-diamond-emulsion-floor-polish/

http://vipclean.co.uk/product/stonebrite-neutral-terrazzo-cleaner-1×5-litre/

The Complete Childproofing Guide

When it comes to mammals, humans have the most vulnerable babies beyond the point of birth. They are completely dependent upon their parents/carers and are born with relatively underdeveloped brains.

This means that human babies need more sustained help, and every parent knows that once their baby is able to move themselves, their home will need to go through a phase of childproofing.

This is no bad thing; after all, humans have positioned themselves at the top of the food chain, and unconditional support is one of the things you sign up to when you have children. Plus there’s a belief that our comparatively slow brain development is what enables us to surpass all other species, due to it allowing human babies the time to absorb their surrounding culture.

So, how exactly should you approach baby proofing your home? The answer is with extreme paranoia… sorry, only joking! This doesn’t need to be a stressful course of action, but you do have to reprogram your mind to consider what dangers there are in and around your home for a child – and it’s a process that evolves as they become more and more mobile.

Common accidents and injuries

According to the RoSPA, the largest numbers of accidents occurring in the home take place in the living/dining room, whereas the most serious accidents tend to take place in the kitchen or on the stairs. Meanwhile, accidents are statistically more likely for 0-4 year olds, with boys more prone to them than girls.

The nature of injuries can be quite wide-ranging, but can generally be categorised within the following areas:

Falls

Scalds & Burns

Glass-related

Poisoning

Suffocating & Choking

Strangulation & Blind Cords

Drowning

A good way to approach child proofing and to make it all less daunting is to systematically consider what needs to be done to make each room of your house a safe environment. Here are some pointers on what to look out for.

Kitchen

  1.  When your baby begins to actively crawl around, you’ll probably find them gaining satisfaction from endlessly opening drawers and cupboards. As a result, these will need securing first – because if it can be opened, then little ones can trap fingers and pull out whatever’s tucked away inside. There are plenty of locks available to counteract the curiosity of a child, from safety catches that fit inside a drawer, to sticky tabs and the more expensive magnetic catches. The best advice is to read up on reviews from other parents to find what is most durable and effective.
  2.  In the kitchen you’re bound to have several cleaning products and items of electrical equipment. Needless to say all of this needs to be kept well out of the way. The same goes for plastic bags, cardboard and any glass or tins. Ultimately use your common sense, if it can be broken/eaten/suffocating then be sure to have it out of reach.
  3. Hot pans and drinks are a common source of danger in the kitchen, and as your child grows you’ll have to adapt your habits. For example, once they are practicing their standing, they’ll suddenly be able to dramatically increase their reach. Start using the hobs at the back of your cooker and never leave drinks near the edge of your work surfaces.
  4. Spillages and breakages will occasionally happen when you’re cooking. Needless to say, these are gateways to falls and other potentially serious mishaps. Therefore, the best way to avoid any issues is to immediately and thoroughly clean them up.
  5. Finally, you have other utilities and furniture to keep an eye on. There will come a time when ovens, dishwashers, fridge freezers and washing machines all become accessible and further locks are required. Chairs can represent a tempting climbing frame too, so be sure to tuck them away to lessen their appeal.

Living Room

This is the part of your home that will probably contain the most risks, largely due to furnishings and furniture. Consideration must be given to things that were never before on your radar, for example remote controls (when chewed upon, their buttons can lead to a choking hazard).

  1. With that in mind, you’ll have to view each piece of furniture with suspicion. The truth is that your child will eventually see your bookcase as a heavily disguised ladder. Any furniture that could be pulled over must therefore be secured, and there are several varieties of straps and brackets that can do the job.
  2. Now that your furniture is not going to topple over, you should make sure that the accessible edges aren’t going to present a hard surface to fall head first into. As babies start to get more confident and develop their skills at manoeuvring, they also have a phase where they tumble and fall. Learning about balance can be hard! To counter this there are different corner protectors and sticky edge cushions available.
  3. If your TV is not attached to a wall, then it too will become accessible one day. However, as with your furniture, there are straps you can buy that are specifically designed to keep your TV intact and upright. Wiring in general should be kept under control, with cable ties or tubes a good option for minimising trips etc.
  4. If you happen to have a fireplace within your living room, then clearly these can present a serious danger, either due to heat or a hard surface. Depending on what you need there is lots out there to help, ranging from edge guards, soft furnished covers and gates/complete guards.

Bathroom

It’s fair to say that for their first few years, your child is unlikely to be unsupervised in the bathroom. During bath time in particular you should always be present, as a toddler only needs 3cm of water to drown.

  1. The temperature of the bath water should be approximately 37 °C, and you can keep track of this with some effective baby thermometers.  With regards to water depth, for newborns and up to 6 months old you want the water to cover their shoulders as they are unable to regulate their own body temperature at this stage. You can also use bath seats to make it easier to support them, but never rely on it as a tool to prevent drowning.For older children the water does not need to be more than waist high (sitting down), but you should consider a rubber non-slip bath mat to avoid falls.
  2. If you find it to be something that you need, you can even get hold of soft or inflatable style covers for your taps. There are some fun designs around that will reduce the impact of a fall or a still hot tap.
  3. Being the bathroom, you’re bound to have cleaning chemicals. Not just the ones that keep you smelling fresh, but also those that keep the room hospitable! All of these need to be kept out of the reach of curious little hands, so whether this means shelving, bathroom cabinets or cupboards, you know what to do. The same applies for medicines etc. and don’t forget locks for any doors.  Be mindful of radiators and towel rails which can easily cause burns, with some research it is possible to cover these up professionally, or you should at least use a towel itself. As for the toilet, you can prevent any unhygienic touching and the depositing of your mobile phone with a further lock.

Nursery/Bedroom

Even though this room will act as a personal sanctuary for your child, it should  – in theory – be the easiest room to make safe. This is the part of your home that is being specifically set up for your little one, whereas the remainder of it is being adapted to fit this need.

You should note in this section the important advice on buying cots and avoiding Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

  1. When it comes to moving your baby into their own room for the first time, you really want to have everything in place. The first thing to consider is their sleeping arrangements; it’s advised that you don’t place a cot near a window, which is once again due to babies having an inability to regulate their own temperature at a young age. For the same reasoning you should keep the cot away from radiators.As your child grows, it is still best to keep your furniture away from the window so they aren’t encouraged to climb up onto window sills.
  2. If you intend to have cupboards and drawers in this room, then obviously the same rules apply as before with regards to the need for locks. Personally I avoided these and went with storage that was high up on the wall – and therefore out of reach for years to come.
  3. It’s a good idea to have your changing table well-stocked with everything that you need at all times, and with one side against a wall. Your baby will at some stage learn to roll over and you’ll want to be focused when changing them to avoid a nasty drop.
  4. Doors can pose a danger to small fingers too. You can purchase finger guards which will prevent them being trapped in the space between the hinged edge and the door frame. Alternatively, there are foam guards that slot over the top of the door and act as a buffer when it closes.
  5. Baby monitors and window blinds with cords, can both lead to incidents of strangulation. To avoid such tragic circumstances, these types of monitors should be positioned so that they cannot be grabbed from a cot, and then tidied away when your child is roaming free in their nursery.

With regards to blinds with cords, European laws introduced in 2014 have made it illegal for these products to be sold unless they are fixed to the wall or include a snap-mechanism. On top of this, use your common sense and make sure that cords are positioned out of harm’s way.

Garden

Your garden should offer a safe space for your little one to explore and discover more about the world around them, but just like the inside of your home you’ll have to make sure it’s suitably safe.

  1. Babies & small toddlers are curious, and one of the ways that they begin to find out about things is by sticking it in their mouth. This is why small objects should be kept away, and why in the garden you’ll want to be aware of what plants could be harmful.
  2. If your garden contains a pond or water feature, then this should be securely fenced off or covered to make it safe. If this isn’t an option, then the best course of action is to remove it.
  3. Be sure to keep any chemicals or tools you have securely locked away – and when it comes to having BBQs or doing DIY, your child should be well supervised.
  4. Finally, it’s easy to forget that children have more vulnerable skin when they are out in the sun. Always take care to use sun cream that will sufficiently protect them from the rays as they play.

Other Safety Information

Stairs

As mentioned before, some of the most serious accidents for young children occur on the stairs. For their safety (and yours), this part of the house should be free from toys and clutter.

A stair gate is also a must, and depending on the design of your home, you’ll probably need one at the top and bottom of the stairs.

It’s also key to check that your carpet and banister are securely fastened and fitted into place.

Plug Sockets

In the past it has been recommended to cover up your numerous plug sockets, but normal household sockets in the UK are considered safe and there are now debates on how socket covers could actually increase the risk of electrocution.

Windows

When the time comes that your child is old enough to get to the window, you’ll want to ensure that they cannot then open them. The easiest option is to have lockable windows that only an adult has the key for. But there are also many guards, stops and locks that you can add if you do your research.

First Aid

In case you are ever in the situation when you need to deal with an emergency situation, you’ll want to know the correct techniques to respond. There are first aid courses available from St John Ambulance, Red Cross & NCT to name just a few.

Summary

Naturally you will always worry about the welfare of your child, especially when they are young and vulnerable.  But with the help of this guide, you should have a much clearer understanding of what’s needed to make your home a safe haven. The more children grow, the more their curiosity will aid them in learning about the wider world, all parents have to do is protect them from getting too many injuries as they do it!

Autumn Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning!

‘Autumn Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning!

Why has the autumn clean become the new spring clean? The experts at Valley Industrial Products say it’s simple: We’re back from our summer holidays, back to work and to school. We tend to be more rested and raring to go in preparation for the winter months, which we will spend indoors being warm and cosy. The next major festivity in the calendar is Christmas and therefore we all like to get on top of household tasks before that. In terms of practicalities, autumn is a great time for a deep clean for a number of reasons:

Cobwebs – It’s spider season and the inside of your house might start to look like you’re decorating for Halloween early! Getting rid of spider’s webs isn’t too tricky. Ensure you remove them with one of our extendable Flick Dusters or even better, use one of our Cobweb Dusters, and be careful when attacking corners of ceilings where you’ll often find them!

Leaves – Although the roads and fields look pretty with autumn leaves, the leaves themselves can prove challenging in the home, garden and drive way. It is quite blustery at this time of year so leaves can regularly blow in when you open the doors and they will find their way around your home in no time! Sweep them up today with one of our Yard Brooms to avoid your garden and drive looking messy.

Weather – Autumn can be a wet season, therefore start imposing a ‘shoes off’ and a ‘wipe your paws’ rule for the family to limit mud and debris being traipsed through the house. Where mud is trampled into carpets, it is best to blot up any excess staining, and then apply our Prochem Citrus Gel directly to the area, blotting with a white towel after 2-5 minutes to remove the stain/s.

Condensation – This can be a big problem, especially on window frames. Wipe all window sills and clean windows inside and out. However, one of the biggest problems with windows is the condensation that forms, which often leads to mould growth. Using our Astonish Mould & Mildew cleaner which has a powerful bleach action to remove even the toughest mould and black mildew stains whilst killing 99.9% of bacteria and mould. Quick and easy to use, no scrubbing action required. Regular use will help prevent return.

Upholstery – After much traffic of family coming in and out from the outdoors, vacuum your upholstery gently with one of our Henry or Hetty vacs, removing all cushions and covers if necessary for cleaning to ensure that you have fresh clean furniture free from food and rubbish in time for the winter holiday season. If any stains occur wipe down leather with a damp cloth, or use our Prochem Stain Pro to remove all stubborn stains, can be used on all fabrics and even carpets!

Bedding – It’s important to air your mattress regularly and to turn your mattress (check the instructions on your mattress) particularly after the warmer months. Try vacuuming your mattress too. Schedule some time to launder or wash duvets and pillows to prevent dust mites and change to the appropriate tog duvet.

De-clutter – It doesn’t take much for your home to be overrun with summer sport equipment, games, balls and other summer garden paraphernalia which have kept the family entertained. Take the chance to sort through the various toys, equipment and banish sports shoes to the cupboard for safekeeping and you will be amazed how much more space you feel you have!

A Guide to Deep Cleaning…

While many people enjoy the benefits of a clean home or office, few enjoy the time and effort required to yield the results. A clean home can improve air quality, health and sanitary conditions. A clean environment can also reduce trips and falls resulting from items being in walking paths. Regular cleaning can reduce dust mites and other allergens like mould and prevent bugs and insects from establishing homes in your environment.

A guide to a deep clean

Deep cleaning restores your home or office to its cleanliest form. While deep cleaning only needs to occur a few times a year, typically at the start of each season, it makes a huge difference when it comes to maintaining a clean environment.

Kitchen Tasks

• Clean out and defrost freezer
• Clean the outsides and insides of cabinets
• Clean the fridge
• Clean the top of kitchen cabinets and any decorative items
• Clean oven and hob
• Scrub the floors
• Polish cabinetry
• Wash windows, inside and out
• Wipe down walls
• Wipe down baseboards
• Wash bins

Bathroom Tasks

• Disinfect toilets, sinks, bath and surfaces, shower screen/curtain
• Scrub floors
• Wipe down walls
• Polish cabinetry
• Wash windows inside and out

General Tasks

• Remove cobwebs
• Wipe down walls
• Clean windows inside and out
• Steam clean carpets, if needed
• Remove and clean rugs
• Wipe down walls
• Wipe down skirting boards
• Wipe down windowsills
• Wipe down door frames
• Clean under beds
• Flip mattresses
• Clean glass doors, inside and out
• Vacuum and/or wash curtains
• Wash fixtures and light switches
• Vacuum furniture
• Polish wood
• Remove books from bookshelves and clean shelves
• Remove knickknacks and clean them as well as display surfaces
• Wipe down or disinfect surfaces

10 Tips for Deep Cleaning Your Home or Office
Deep cleaning gives you the opportunity to restore your home or office to pristine condition. While you can deep clean at anytime, deep cleaning before a big event or at the beginning or end of each season are natural times to do so. Depending on the size of your space, deep cleaning can take 1 to 3 days.

To successfully deep clean your home, follow these tips:

1. Set aside time to clean. Deep cleaning isn’t something you’ll want to do spare of the moment. Put it in your calendar and make a commitment to spending the time required to achieve your desired results.
2. Remove clutter. Getting the chaos out of the way is essential before tackling deep cleaning. While it can be tempting to clean around the clutter, don’t. Instead remove the clutter first.
3. Put things away. As you tackle each cluttered areas, put the items you wish to keep in the proper place. Throw away anything that’s rubbish and fill a rubbish bag with items you wish to give away.
4. Start high. When deep cleaning start up top and work your way down. Cleaning your ceiling before your floor will ensure that you don’t have to clean surfaces and floors again when the dust falls.
5. Look beyond the obvious. Get down on your hands and knees and explore your environment. Open cabinets and drawers. Don’t forget to clean behind the toilet or on top of the fridge.
6. Use the right tools. To get the job done right the first time, invest in the right cleaning tool. Using a microfiber cloth for example, will yield better results when cleaning glass than using a paper towel.
7. Check batteries. Spring cleaning is a great time to check batteries in smoke detectors, torches, remote controls and wall clocks.
8. Check filters. Before deep cleaning, be sure to check the water filters, vacuum filters are clean.
9. Don’t forget outside. During your deep cleaning, don’t forget porches, walkways and other outside areas of your home or office space.
10. Hire outside help. If you’re feeling overwhelmed consider outsourcing your deep cleaning.

4 Ways to Make Vacuuming More Fun

4 Ways to Make Vacuuming More Fun

Ok so lets face it, there are apparently some other activities that have been described as being more fun than vacuuming the dust off the living room or office carpet. However, the fact is that vacuuming can be both satisfying and enjoyable. If you are sceptical then check out these 4 ways to make you’re vacuuming more fun:

1. Listen to music

Whether you are a fan of Justin Bieber, The Rolling Stones or Bach, you can enjoy the benefits of combining your favourite tracks with perhaps one of your least favourite activities – vacuuming! With the ease of listening to music on your Smartphone these days, there really is no excuse! By plugging in and becoming energised by the music, you will find the rhythm of vacuuming practically like dancing and the job will be done in no time!

2. Make a game of it

Have you ever noticed that playing a game or sport is far more enjoyable than endlessly jogging on a running machine? Well, the same applies for cleaning and vacuuming in particular. Why not give yourself a time limit for cleaning a particular room? Perhaps the length of a song? By doing this you will race through the task at hand, and have a lot of fun doing it!

3. Provide an Incentive

One of the main reasons why we work hard in our jobs, apart from the satisfaction that it brings, is that we are looking to get rewarded for our efforts, whether in the form of time off, a promotion or bonus schemes. Well, you can apply the same principle to your chores (including vacuuming). So set an incentive for vacuuming the entire house, for example, a bar of chocolate or a nice cup of tea on the sofa, catching up on the soaps.

4. Use the Right Equipment

Now it is true that a bad workman blames his tools but it is also true that poor quality equipment can make our lives a lot harder. So, we recommend choosing a vacuum cleaner that is easy to manoeuvre, with great suction power that will last a long time. This will prevent you from getting frustrated and ultimately despising the job of vacuuming. For that extra bit of fun, why not choose one of the Numatic vacuums, some are characterised with cheeky faces which will sure raise a smile!

Our Vacuum Cleaners

At Valley Industrial Products have a huge range of vacuum cleaners available to buy online, from various well known industrial brands. View our ‘Vacuum Cleaner’ category look through our vacuum cleaners from all the major manufacturers. Our machines are more purposed for industrial or commercial use, but we have domestic alternatives available too. Whether you’re looking for a vacuum cleaning machine which will comfortably deal with an entire block of offices, or a more domestic cleaning machine such as the cheeky Henry or George vacuums, then you have come to the right place!

SPRING CLEANING TOP TIPS

Valley Industrial Products Top 8 Spring Cleaning Tips for 2016

Every home needs at least one big clean a year; and spring is often considered the best time.
Historically, this was due to all the dust and dirt generated from burning coal, oil and wood through the dark, cold winter nights, but even today our homes are in need of big clean, following months of muddy shoes and boots being dragged through the home.

So, let’s shine those windows and move the furniture for a thorough deep clean.
Before you tackle your home, check out our tips for spring cleaning your house below, to make sure you don’t miss a spot.

1. Make a Schedule
Scope out your home: What areas need the most work? Where do you often leave off during routine cleaning? Those are the best places to start. Regardless of where you start, having a plan for when you’re tackling each room will keep you focused on the task at hand.

2. De-clutter
Studies have shown that a disorganised home adds to your stress level. The scientific implications of inhaling dust gathered on piles of old magazines – combined with the psychological stress of coming home to a pile of unsorted laundry after a hard day at work – can take a sudden, unexpected toll. Spend some time organising your wardrobes, spring cleaning your office, and finally looking into that junk drawer to eliminate unnecessary stress from your life.

3. Always Work from Top to Bottom
When you think about how to spring clean your home, it’s important to start from the ceiling down. This will force dirt downward and keep you from having to re-dust or re-clean your space. If you have a vacuum with a long extension hose, use it to get cobwebs and dust from your ceilings and fans. Then dust your furniture and other items before vacuuming all the dust from your floors.

4. Use a Vacuum
Spring cleaning on your carpets and rugs is very common this time of year. People often shampoo their carpet or have it professionally cleaned during the springtime.
This spring, don’t just use your vacuum on your floors. Nearly all vacuums come with attachments (like dusting brushes and crevice tools) and hoses that can be used to clean all over your house. Use these tools to clean ceiling fans, cobwebs in corners, furniture, pillows, and tight spaces like behind furniture. Be sure to move your furniture too (or at least vacuum under it).

5. Walls and Windows Need Love too
People almost always think to clean their floors during a good spring time clean, but they almost always forget about walls and windows. Most dust settles on the floor and other surfaces, but not all of it. Painted walls are pretty simple to take care of: Just use a sponge or damp microfiber cloth to wipe down walls (starting from the top). You can simply use a microfiber cloth to wipe down blinds too. From the outside, remove and wipe down the screens. When it comes to the actual window, using a steam cleaner with a squeegee is a great way to clean windows.

6. Don’t Be Scared of the Kitchen and Bathroom
The dreaded areas for most people…but don’t fear, you’ll get through it:-
Kitchens
• Wipe down your cabinets
• Clean out your ovens
• Go through your food cupboard and refrigerator, wipe down the shelves, and throw away any old items
• If you have stainless steel appliances, be sure to use gentle cleaners or a steam cleaner to avoid scratching or other issues
Bathrooms
• Change your shower curtain
• Go through your cosmetics drawer and throw away any expired items

7. Spring Cleaning Safety
Cleaning will more than likely unsettle all the winter dust on furniture and fixtures. If you suffer from allergies or are using heavy-duty cleaners, be sure to read the labels. For safe spring cleaning, wear rubber gloves, masks, scarves and even hairnets. Protective clothing will help guard against skin irritations and allergic reactions.

8. Let Spring Cleaning Set a New Tone
If your space feels dark and heavy, you can make small changes to help make it light and fresh for spring. Adding new colourful pillows or art are great ways to change up your space. Replacing items like bedding, towels, table linens, and even window treatments are other ways to transform your rooms for spring and warm weather ahead.

Finding a Safe Cleaning Solution

I came across a safety story today while browsing the HSE’s website and I have to say, despite the serious message it carries, it did make me giggle a little.

A manufacturing company moved into a new office that had linoleum floors, and straight away a very high number of slip and trip accidents were being reported. The company safety advisor was tasked with trying to identify the problem and approached the manufacturer of the floor cleaning products they used. They too could not establish the causes of these accidents and the product had never created a problem like this before.

The safety advisor then spoke with the cleaner and established that she was using regular washing up liquid instead of the right cleaning product. The reason she gave was that the floor cleaner was located on a different floor and it was ‘inconvenient’ for her to go and get it!

Subsequently, the floor was cleaned with the right product and the problem was resolved. They now store bottles of the cleaning product on each floor so the cleaner is never ‘inconvenienced’ again!

This story led me to thinking about a chap by the name of Ken Woodward. Ken suffered a workplace accident that resulted in him losing both eyes as a result of mixing two cleaning chemicals. The chemicals reacted together and exploded in Ken’s face. The explosion was so forceful chemical residue was found on the ceiling above the accident site, some 70 feet high!

It was only the quick reactions by work colleagues that saved his life; manhandling him into a shower and holding him under the water despite Ken’s attempts to get out.

His employer at the time, Coca Cola Schweppes, was charged with a breach of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and subsequently fined. The company estimated the total cost of the accident at around £2.6 million.

It goes without saying, that in comparison, the cost to Coca Cola Schweppes of providing suitable eye protection and some basic safety awareness training would have been negligible. For Ken of course, the cost of this easily avoidable accident can never be calculated in financial terms. Faced with the loss of sight, his determination to live an active life and raise awareness of workplace safety is quite inspiring and well worth reading about at: http://kenwoodward.co.uk/kens-accident/

Since the use of chemicals in the workplace and at home is such common practice, it is easy to be complacent and think nothing of the risks associated with their use.

However:
How many of us have actually read the label on the everyday products we use?
Would we know what to do in the event of an accident involving any of these substances?
What happens if they should become mixed together? Will they explode in your face, like they did Ken’s?

If you are unsure of the substances and chemicals you are using, read the labels. After all, that’s what they’re there for!

If you need further advice or wish to discuss your business requirements under the COSHH regulations please feel free to get in touch, one of our advisors will be more than happy to work with you to find a Simple Safety Solution

Christmas Cleaning Tips – How to have a Sparkling Christmas!

The task of getting your home ready for Christmas may be daunting, but we’ve put together some tips to help you make the most of the festive period – by getting ready now, you’ll be able to put your feet up more often and enjoy a glass of mulled wine without panicking about the washing up!

It’s not just cleaning though; here are Valley Industrial Products top 5 tips for a sparkling Christmas…

1. Pay close attention to the room’s people will spend the most time in
There’s no point spending your precious hours labouring over rooms that people will only sleep in. Focus most on areas like the lounge or dining room. And of course, get that kitchen sparkling so you can have a relatively stress free day when it comes to cooking. Use our VIP Multi-Surface Spray Cleaner  to get all your surfaces germ free and sparkling this Christmas.

2. Get your oven cleaned!
Nobody likes to open the oven on Christmas day and realise that it’s full of grease and needs a good scrub – get ahead of the Christmas day panic and clean your oven beforehand with our effective Valley Oven & Grill Cleaner.

3. That goes for cooking equipment too
You’re not going to be pleased if you’ve only got greasy baking trays to use in your new sparkly oven, so to make sure all your bake ware and glass ware is prepared Christmas day, using the popular Luxury Green Velvet Washing Up Liquid. Even if it means it all being out on the dining room table beforehand, it’s worth making sure that you’ve got enough of everything (we always forget the gravy boat!) and that it’s all in tip-top shape.

4. Stock up on kitchen roll
Christmas is prime time for spillages and sticky fingers making a mess everywhere, so to avoid a big clean up post-Christmas, strategically place kitchen roll around your home, so there’s no excuse! People can soak up any spilt bevies, plus catch any crumbs from those late night mince pies! View our popular super absorbent Nicky Kitchen Towels today.

5. Plan in advance
If you’re lucky enough to be hosting the whole family this year, get prepared! Even if you have to create a spread sheet to track your cooking, arrival times of distant relatives, or washing up rota, it will help minimise stress on the day (and hopefully less arguments over the traditional game of Monopoly!).

And voila, hopefully you’ll have a stress-free festive period!

Merry Christmas from the Valley Team!

How office cleaning has changed for the better over the years

We have been slowly integrating new forms of technology into the office for many years now, so it’s no surprise that we have adopted new methods of office cleaning to ensure the workplace is in a splendid condition on a regular basis, for both commercial and health and safety purposes.

So how exactly has the shift taken place and what could we have expected from an office environment back in the 70’s and 80’s?

A lot of office furniture was recycled back in the old days so that expenditure was cut upon relocating; so many workplaces were seen as dull, drab and unpleasant places to work effectively in. In recent years we’ve seen offices develop into brighter, vibrant and much more enthusiastic environments that encourage a more pragmatic commercial business. The open plan concept has really taken off over the last decade and more people and treating their work space with respect in order to enjoy themselves a little more.

Here’s how new recycling methods and the introduction of technology over many years has contributed to a far more practical approach to office cleaning and ultimately a much improved working environment.

New technology
Vacuum cleaners are now as efficient as they’ve ever been. They offer enough suction to leave any type of flooring in the best possible condition and compact dust and debris enough so that you wouldn’t need to change the vacuum bag at all during the shift.

Many cleaning companies take advantage of the vacuums that can be carried rather than dragged to improve efficiency and get the job done much faster. Even the smallest of cleaning products has received a much needed technological boost, with cleaning rags and dusters now incorporating microfibers that kill germs once they’ve been trapped, meaning you won’t be helping superbugs spread around the office at all, costing your business time and money.

There’s nothing worse than staff shortages at the most demanding of times, so this is one reason why modern cleaning techniques have benefited businesses immensely.

Recycling
I don’t mean recycling old workplace furniture; instead I’m talking about recycling waste products. It’s important that businesses recycle as there are often plenty of employees stationed at one premises, so a build-up of waste products is to be expected.

Bins need to be sorted out nowadays to separate waste that can be recycled from stuff that can’t. By separating up recycling from everything else, you make the cleaners’ job a whole lot easier.

In the old days, most used items, food wrappers or products would be chucked away and forgotten about. Modern cleaning techniques encourage recycling in the workplace to contribute to a healthy environment and to keep your workplace in the healthiest possible condition all the time.

As far as the environment is concerned, there are other ways the modern office can promote health and safety besides recycling. Many cleaning agents used over 30 years ago would have contained harmful chemicals, so modern offices almost always use safe, environmentally-friendly cleaning agents.

Modern offices also use automated lighting to prevent lights being left on, subsequently wasting electricity. You will also find many modern offices helping the environment by recycling paper towels and ensuring any pest control methods were suitable and humane.

Reasons to stick to ‘Green Cleaning’ methods

It wasn’t that long ago that people kept sticking to the same old tried and tested cleaning supplies and chemicals that have been used for years during office and business cleaning. We used them for cleaning floors, toilets, carpets, upholstery and more, but despite their effectiveness some can be fairly dangerous if we don’t pay attention to their negative impact.

Many of these products today can be easily replaced by more eco-friendly alternatives, such as our ‘Green Valley’ range which get the job done just as well, but don’t have the side effects of their predecessors.

There are many reasons why you would want to keep those away from your office environment or business, starting with the following examples:

Chemicals used in products may be hazardous to your health
When you happen to use cleaning products sold commercially, you may end up inhaling their fumes that could be a health hazard you’re not even aware of. The main suspects here remain the time-honored ammonia and bleach, which are pretty unpleasant on their own, but become potentially lethal when combined due to the subsequent chemical reaction. You need to be aware of the properties of such chemicals and what they have to offer in terms of toxicity, so you can avoid them as much as possible in your future cleaning projects, regardless of what they may be.

Sodium Hydroxide, Ammonia and other suspects
If you were working with a good number of older cleaning products, then you are likely already aware of the loyalty some people feel toward brand name products. We really do need to ask ourselves the question about what they really contain and what we can do to mitigate it and see what other alternatives we can use to make it all work out in the long run. There are some substances we would do well to avoid at all costs, such as chlorine, triclosan, 2-Butoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, ammonia and so forth, as they can not only trigger allergies, but they can also become a potential health hazard.

Keeping ground water safe
A lot of the chemicals we use in cleaning have long-lasting ecological effects on the environment and its groundwater supplies, especially petroleum, ammonia, phosphorus and alkylphenol ethoxylates as well. Every time we use such dangerous chemicals to do a task and we wash them down the drain, they will return to haunt us further down the line, slowly poisoning the area and wildlife around in it. Avoiding this at all costs is something we not only owe to nature, but to ourselves as well in the end.

Keeping allergies away
A lot of the harsher chemical cleaners used on the market today can easily become asthma triggers, as well as creating an allergic reaction in more sensitive people. You can do your best to mitigate that effect by ensuring you don’t use any level of toxic cleaners around your business, keeping your employees safe and sound.

Our Green Valley range of cleaning and hygiene products balances a number of core factors and delivers a fit for purpose range of products with the highest standard of environmental performance.

All products comply with EC Detergent Regulations EC648/2004 and are manufactured under ISO9001 & ISO14001 compliant systems.

We promote the use of concentrated products with high dilution rates that utilise re-usable trigger sprays, reducing packaging waste and delivery impact.

All packaging waste is offset through association with Valpak within the UK.

We only promote the controlled use of fragrances and biocides where necessary and formulations are designed to be highly effective at in-use strength, whilst remaining highly biodegradable.

For more information and to purchase environmentally friendly products view our ‘Green Valley’ range of products.