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/

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!

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

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.

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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9 Surprising Office Germ Havens

Sure, germs are everywhere, and being paranoid about them won’t keep you from getting sick. But considering the amount of time we spend at our desks and in our offices, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the places where germs tend to congregate. Here are the nine germiest zones in most offices and what you can do about them.

Germ Haven #1: Computer Mouse and Keyboard

Barring an occasional visit from your company’s tech guy, you’re the only one who touches your mouse and keyboard, so how dirty could things get? In a word: very. “According to data, these are the worst offenders,” says Donna Duberg, assistant professor of clinical laboratory science at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri. The reason is simple, she says: People rarely clean them and it’s unheard of for cleaning crews to go to that level of detail. So, take matters into your own hands and give your keyboard and mouse a weekly wipe down with disinfecting wipes after you turn your computer off. The key word here is “disinfecting,” not sanitizing. Look for products that say “Kills 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria” on the label. This is an indication that they will get the job done.

Germ Haven #2: Top of Desk

Research shows that women spend more time at their desks than men. Our hardworking nature, however, is rewarded with bacteria—and lots of it. “Women tend to be at their desks longer than men, and they tend to keep a lot more things on their desktops, too,” says Duberg. Lunch, snacks, a stash of chocolate, magazines, photos of the kids, flowers, plants, candles—all reasonable things that are commonly found on women’s desks—can end up being a germ playground. And when a desktop is rarely or never cleaned, Duberg says, it can become a “buffet for bacteria.” What to do? You guessed it: Clean! Wipe down your desktop frequently—daily if you eat at your desk—with disinfecting wipes or with a disinfecting spray cleaner.

Germ Haven #3: Office Doorframe

Of course, you already know that the door handles or knobs are germ magnets, but the doorframe? Just think of all the people who pop into your office and stand in the doorway, says Duberg. Next time, notice how they lean on and run their hands along the edges. Everyone does it! This, she says, is why the humble doorframe can be a hidden germ zone. Wipe yours down yourself every week or so, or talk to the person who supervises the office cleaning crew to see if they can include doorframes on their list of things to disinfect.

Germ Haven #4: Phone

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your phone, it’s probably due for a scrub. If you share a phone, stop reading this article and go wipe yours down this second. Even a personal phone can be a vector for bacteria transmission. Don’t believe us? A study from researchers at the University of Arizona found that there are more than 25,127 germs per square inch on the average office phone receiver. Now, think of what you do when you’re talking on the phone. Are you rubbing your nose? Your eyes? People tend to do mindless, repetitive motions while talking on the phone. But follow Duberg’s advice and after you’ve touched your phone, “don’t touch your T-zone—eyes, nose and mouth.” If you share a phone, see if your boss will invest in a headset that only you can use when you’re talking on the phone, or wipe down the shared one frequently.

Germ Haven #5: Books

Nobody ever thinks that books carry germs, but surprise: They do! “Most of them are harboring mold spores, dust mites and bacteria,” warns Duberg. While it’s impossible to thoroughly clean all of your books, you might consider wiping down the covers of frequently used books at your desk with a little disinfectant on a cloth, suggests Duberg. Better yet: Wash your hands after handling them, especially if you’re an allergy sufferer. This could cut back on some of the microscopic allergens that can travel from your hands to your face.

Germ Haven #6: Candy Dish

Are you tempted by the dish of M&M’s or chocolate-covered espresso beans that your office manager keeps at the front desk? As good as they may look—especially during the 2 p.m. slump—most health experts will warn you: Step away from the candy dish. “I wouldn’t eat anything from a communal dish,” says Duberg. “Just think of where people’s hands have been.” Better idea: If you have a sweet tooth and frequently make your way to the communal candy dish to kill a craving, consider keeping a personal stash at your desk instead.

Germ Haven #7: Copy Machine

Duberg says it surprises many people to hear that a copier could be a germy place. But just think of how often this machine gets used and how many people share it. One push of a button can leave behind countless germs and bacteria that could make you sick. While you can’t walk around the office wearing plastic gloves (nor would you want to), you can remember not to touch your face after handling shared office equipment. Better yet: Wash your hands after using the copier—whether it’s just one quick copy or a stack of sorting and stapling.

 

Germ Haven #8: Fridge

Moldy sandwiches, condiments that expired in 1993, and a petrified carton of half-and-half that nobody will touch—office refrigerators can get out of control fast. Take the incident at an office complex in San Jose earlier this year: The break-room refrigerator situation got so out of control that when a cleaning crew was called in to toss rotten food and sanitize the situation, the fumes made employees so sick that seven people were hospitalized and 28 sought medical treatment for nausea and vomiting. Avoid refrigerator-induced health drama by instituting an office-wide toss day, where unmarked and expired food is thrown out every week, or every two weeks. In addition, adds Duberg, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands after touching the fridge door handle or suspicious-looking food.

Germ Haven #9: Conference Room Table

Think about the chain of events for the average conference room table: breakfast meeting at 9 a.m., creative brainstorming session with doughnuts at 10 a.m., team powwow at 11 a.m., followed by a staff birthday party luncheon at noon. Does the table get wiped down between sessions? Not likely. Instead, germs and viruses left behind from previous meeting attendees begin to multiply, eager to hitchhike onto your hands and arms as you sit around the table. The best way to take a conference room table from a breeding ground for bacteria to a clean surface is to institute an office-wide cleaning policy, advises Duberg. If food was served and eaten on the table, the table needs to be wiped down with a cloth and disinfecting spray.

5 Unusual Fun Facts – About Toilet Paper!

Toilet paper is used every day by most people in America. Understandably, it isn’t something that we tend to talk about.

But, as with almost anything, when you start to think about it you realize that it is really interesting.

Here are ten of the most unusual and fun facts about toilet paper – and there’s a poll at the end so you can join in!

1. Who Invented Toilet Paper?

Well, it was the Chinese who invented paper so it is little surprise to discover that they were the first to use it in their personal hygiene practices.

The earliest recorded use of paper as a toiletry comes from China in the sixth century AD but it only became really popular from the fourteenth century when the Imperial Court of the Ming Dynasty started having it manufactured for the purpose.

In 1393 the Court ordered no fewer than 720, 000 sheets to be made to keep the royal seat clean. The astonishing thing is that each sheet measured the equivalent of 60 cm by 90 cm. That’s nearly 26,000 square miles of paper!

The Emperor Hong Wu was particularly delicate in his habits and ordered 15, 000 sheets to be made especially soft and perfumed for his personal use.

2. So What Did Folks Use Before Toilet Paper?

Well, what you used for your personal bathroom needs before the invention of toilet paper depended to some degree on your social status and your geographical location.

If you were wealthy then you might use wool, or a soft – and washable – rag. The Ancient Romans used sponges on sticks and then soaked in water.

If you were not so well off, then the most common thing to do was simply to grab a fistful of grass, leaves or straw to do what needed to be done.

In some parts of the world, going to the toilet always meant just going to the nearest river or stream and letting the current carry the waste away. Any wiping was done just by hand. That is why in India and some parts of the Middle East it is considered offensive to eat or pass food at table with your left hand – because that’s the one that you would use in the river.

In many European countries today, the use of toilet paper is considered dirty and unhygienic. In these countries the most common practice is a thorough, soapy wash and rinse afterwards using a ‘bidet.’ This is a sort of low basin with hot water tap and soap that you sit on and is usually placed next to the toilet for convenience.

3. How Many Sheets on a Roll of Toilet Paper?

In fact, the number of sheets on a roll varies depending on the manufacturer and the type of paper being used. It also depends on if it is one-ply or two-ply.
One-ply has a single layer of paper per sheet. Two-ply has a double layer for added strength and softness.

The average number of sheets per roll can vary enormously from as few as two hundred up to a thousand. In general, there will be more sheets if it is one-ply and fewer if it is two-ply.

Why not check out our range of toilet toilets? http://bit.ly/1vwx5nn

4. Toilet Paper Wedding Dress

This was a surprise to me!

There have actually been hundreds of wedding dresses made out of toilet paper – and many of them have really been worn to actual weddings.
It turns out that toilet paper can be a very adaptable and resilient material with special qualities that make it an interesting challenge for dressmakers to use.

There is even an annual competition in New York for the best wedding dress made from toilet paper. The prize is a lot of publicity for the designer and $2000.

5. Toilet Paper in Space

It may not be something that you thought about before but even astronauts need the bathroom.

The toilets that they use are different to earth toilets because there is only a very small pull of gravity (known as microgravity) and so a special vacuum and suction device is used for disposal of the voided matter. But toilet paper is still the wipe of choice for American astronauts when using the facilities in The International Space Station.

The paper is disposed of in special, sealed containers where it is compressed and destroyed on return to earth.

The End of the Roll…

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