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.

How to unblock a sink and other tips for regular Kitchen Cleaning

When it comes to your kitchen, hygiene is essential – food should never be prepared in dirty or bacteria-ridden environments. Regular cleaning is the only way to ensure good hygiene, but this is easier said than done, with so many different appliances becoming staples of the 21st century kitchen.

Obviously, the more you use an appliance to prepare food, the more frequently you should clean it. But here’s a quick guide to the different parts of your kitchen and how often they should be cleaned:

Kitchen Sink
Even with all the water and detergent that it comes into contact with, your kitchen sink still needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Every time you use it to wash raw meat, you should disinfect your sink afterward. If your sink gets a lot of use, it’s a good idea to wipe it down with dishwashing detergent at the end of every day. Otherwise, treat it to a thorough scrub every week or two. Helpful webpages can tell you how to unblock a sink, but to prevent this from happening, use a drain unblocker to keep your drains clean and odour-free.

Refrigerator
A dirty refrigerator breeds bacteria and mould, so it’s important to go through your fridge weekly and toss out any expired food. Also, wipe away any spillages immediately. A more thorough cleaning should be performed every month or two — this involves removing the trays and shelves, wiping them down with a spray detergent, along with the interior of the fridge, most importantly: don’t forget to disinfect your fridge door handle on a weekly basis!

Blenders, Slush Machines, Coffee Machines
Some people thrive on these appliances, so if you use them often, it’s also important to clean them often. Slush machines should be at least rinsed after every use, but given how sticky they can get, a more thorough cleaning with dishwashing detergent should be done monthly. Likewise, blenders and coffee makers should be washed or rinsed with every usage, but a thorough monthly cleaning is necessary to get rid of hard water deposits.

Dishwasher
Check your dishwasher frequently to clear away any food particles. A more thorough clean should be done every month: use a dishwasher cleaner to keep your dishwashers clean and in tip top condition. You should also wipe down the door with a spray and wipe cleaner.

Oven
For those ovens that aren’t continuously cleaning, it’s a good idea to clean your oven at least every other month with our Brawn Oven Cleaner. If a heavy duty oven clean is required you can also soak and scrub the racks until they’re free of any burnt-on grease.

Floor, counter, surfaces
For very busy kitchens, the floor, counter, and other surfaces should be wiped down and disinfected daily with a Catering Degreaser to dissovle and float away the toughest grime. Otherwise, you can get away cleaning the floor once a week, but counters and surfaces should still be cleaned every day.

Microwave
Remove and wash the glass trays, and wipe down the microwave interior with a spray detergent at least once a week. And remember to clean the outside panels and door handle too.

Freezer
For maximum efficiency and cleanliness, freezers should be emptied and defrosted once a year, or once half an inch of ice crystals builds up on the interior surfaces of your freezer.

Toaster
This should be emptied of crumbs once a month. Wipe down the exterior while you’re at it.

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What’s in your Cleaning Cupboard?

Over recent years we have seen an increase in asthma and allergies, which has triggered concerns over the chemicals in products we use on a daily basis, such as cleaning supplies.

Whether you share these concerns or not, it’s worth finding out more about the ingredients in average household cleaning products and how they could affect you. There are many chemicals used in traditional products, but below you’ll find a list of the most common:

Perchlorethylene

Perchlorethylene can be found in some carpet and upholstery shampoos as well as in paint remover formulas.

Dangers: Is said to be bad for the kidneys, liver and is a nervous system depressant. Repeated exposure also causes symptoms such as headaches and dizziness.

These dangers occur with repeated or chronic exposure.

Perchlorethylene has low toxicity.

Ammonia

Ammonia is mainly used in agriculture as a fertiliser, but can also be found in both commercial and domestic cleaning products. Commercial or industrial products use approximately 25% ammonia in their formulas, whereas 5-10% ammonia can be found in household products.

Dangers: Inhaling low levels of ammonia can cause symptoms of coughing and nose and throat irritation. The chemical can also cause irritation when it comes into contact with skin and eyes.

NEVER MIX AMMONIA AND CHLORINE BLEACH – this will release the poisonous gas, Chlorine gas.

Phosphates

Phosphates are found in laundry and dishwasher detergents, but primarily used as a water softener.

Dangers: Phosphates are also fertilisers and so when this chemical is washed away, it dissipates into rivers, promoting algae growth andthus polluting the natural ecology of the water.

Triclosan

Triclosan can be found in cleaning products and other household goods.

Dangers: Triclosan is suspected to have damaging effects to human health. Statements made by several major British retailers have said they hope to phase it out of their available products. It is dangerous due to it characteristic to kill friendly bacteria.

Chlorine

Chlorine is in bleach, but originates as a poisonous gas used in the Great War.

Dangers: Low levels of exposure are considered safe as chlorine is present as a disinfectant in water. However, it has been argued that consistent low levels of exposure can weaken the lungs.

NEVER MIX OTHER CLEANING PRODUCTS THAT COULD CONTAIN CHLORINE – this can produce toxic fumes consisting of chlorine gas, chloramine and nitrogen trichloride.

To accommodate those who are environmentally conscious take a look at our ‘Green Valley’ environmentally friendly range.

WHY YOU SHOULD USE OUR GREEN RANGE

Want to clean in a greener way which is safe to the environment? Then you have come to the right place!

The use of environmentally friendly chemicals is becoming increasingly popular as the drive for a cleaner and more ecologically minded society increases.

The use of harsh chemicals has, for many years, caused concerns with regard to our environment and protecting and safeguarding the environment that we live in.

The ‘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, and is significantly more economical than some of its branded rivals.

All of our 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.