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Cleaning for health has never been more important than right now. With the cooler months ahead and viruses on tBliss Home Care | Cleaning for healthhe brink of becoming a world-wide epidemic, taking care of your home and its cleanliness should be a priority. And because the people and pets you share your home with are important to you, we recommend using natural cleaning products which are also environmentally friendly.

So let’s take a closer look at cleaning for health and how you can avoid spreading germs and bacteria throughout your home.

  1. Avoid Cross-Contamination

This is a significant issue and germs and bacteria can easily spread from one area of your home to another. One way you can significantly reduce the risk of infection and cross-contamination is to use different cleaning cloths for each area of your home. You can simply colour code cloths or ensure you are particularly careful with the cloths you are using. Always avoid dipping a dirty cloth into a bucket of clean water. Instead place it under running water and give it a wash before putting it back into the bucket of cleaning water.

Tip: Make a natural cleaning solution for surfaces and floors by simply adding 1 part tea tree or eucalyptus oil to four parts of warm water. Once wiped or mopped, allow surfaces to dry naturally so the disinfectant is on the surface long enough to kill and eliminate any germs.

  1. Green Products That Continue To Work

We use natural cleaning products that have bio-bacterial and enzyme technology which keep on working even after you have finished cleaning.

These natural cleaning products are made up of “good” living bacteria to break down and liquefy soils such as fat, proteins, carbohydrates and grease while eliminating odours. These products keep on working even after you have finished cleaning.

When this type of bacteria cleaning product is applied, the microorganisms begin to digest the waste and the “good” bacteria in turn multiply. The soil is broken down and continues to break down the soil into smaller pieces, until there is nothing left.

For more information on safe and natural cleaning products you may like to read our article, An Insight to Natural Cleaning Products which breaks down the facts on these Australian made natural cleaning products. The range has been certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), an independent body who assess the products to ensure they meet environmental, human health, ethical impact criteria.

Tip: Use natural cleaning products that continue to work, long after you have finished cleaning.

  1. Air & Sunshine, Natural Born Killers!

That’s right, Mother Earth provides us with the essentials we need when it comes to keeping things clean and making our homes and our environment safe.

Keeping doors and windows closed means that the air quality in our homes becomes compromised with pollutants which can quickly become a breeding ground for more bacteria when someone is unwell. If you’re about to reach for air freshener, think again! The scent and gasses emitted from these products will release more harmful chemicals in your environment, adding to your indoor air pollution.

The solution? Open windows and doors, daily if possible. It’s the cheapest and healthiest thing you can do to improve your air quality. Try to do this for even just 5 minutes a day to create airflow circulation and flush out any of the harmful pollutants and bacteria.

What else can you do to ensure you’re cleaning for health? When the sun’s out take full advantage of it – it’s great at killing bacteria, dust mites and other microscopic critters that we can’t see. These may be thriving in your pillows, cushions, doonas, rugs, and blankets without you even realising.

If possible, remove the covers from items and place them on a clean bed sheet or towel to keep them from getting dirty, and leave them out in the sun for 30 to 60 minutes. Rotate them and turn them over to ensure even coverage. This practice is also great for deodorising any smells from sweat and body odour.

Tip: Open your doors and windows to create airflow throughout your home. Be sure to take advantage of the sunshine to kill bacteria and unwanted critters in pillows, blankets, rugs and doonas.

In our article, 7 Reasons to Choose Green Cleaning, we share healthier ways you can incorporate natural cleaning products in your home.

As you can see from reading this article, cleaning for health is not difficult, however it is something we need to do regularly to keep our home, our family, our pets and our environment safe and free from harmful bacteria, germs and viruses.

With so many choices for vacuum cleaners on the market the choice can be difficult, particularly if you are seeking an environmentally friendly vacuum cleaner. Here we have prepared a list of things to help you pinpoint what you need to look out for when making your next vacuum cleaner purchase.

The purpose of a high performance vacuum cleaner is to get as much dirt and soil out of carpets to ensure your home is clean and fresh. During this process we should take note of the toll this may be having on the wider environment, our home environment and our lives, particularly if you are an allergy or asthma suffer or have family members who are.

Environmental Rating

These sucking machines consume energy in the form of electricity to operate efficiently. It’s important to note that corded vacuum cleaners are deemed more energy efficient than cordless/battery powered vacuum cleaners. This is due to batteries that require recharging which in the long run, increases your energy consumption. The batteries also increase the presence of toxic particles in the environment. So opt for a corded vacuum cleaner.

Check Dust Containment

Let’s face it vacuum cleaners are dirt and dust collectors. Essentially that’s their purpose, however there are many vacuum cleaners that leak dust because they don’t have strong quality seals. If you suffer from allergies or asthma or someone in your home does, it can also increase the likelihood of health concerns if dirt and dust are being moved around in your home, rather than being eliminated. It’s also important to choose a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter which will be the most effective at reducing particulate matter in the air.

Bag or No Bag?

Bagless vacuum cleaners create less waste and are most cost effective because you don’t have to replace the bags. They are also easier to clean however, it’s important to consider how and where you dispose of the waste that collects in the canister. We recommend you wear a mask when emptying the canister because of the dust that is released, particularly if you are an allergy or asthma sufferer. However there are pros and cons for both bag and bagless cleaners. You can read more about these at: https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/laundry-and-cleaning/vacuum-cleaners/articles/bag-versus-bagless

How to Keep the Odours Out of Your Vacuum Cleaner?

If you are using vacuum cleaners that have cloth bags, you may have noticed odours coming from the vacuum.  This is due to improper maintenance or not servicing the vacuum cleaners.  The odours are caused by bacteria or mould that grow inside the bag.  It is important to empty the bags to keep the vacuum running efficiently, it is also important to keep it emptied to prevent bacteria and mould from growing and causing foul odour.  It is also equally important to clean or replace the filters regularly.  If you vacuum any food items, strongly recommended to empty or change the bag daily.  You may also consider investing in vacuum cleaners that have sealed HEPA filtration system.  This will keep odour-causing bacteria from escaping the bag.

We hope this guide helps you when it’s time to make your next vacuum cleaner purchase. Look for environmentally friendly factors that give the best results whilst also caring form our future and our health.

We all want our homes to be sparkly clean and want to do what’s best for ourselves, our family, our pets and the environment. Choosing environmentally friendly cleaning products can be a challenging task. Many off-the-shelf household cleaning products claim to be eco-friendly, however there are many hidden chemicals in these. Often many of these are toxic and can do harm to your health and that of your family.Bliss Home Care - Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products

Through a number of studies and research we know that household cleaning products can be linked to health conditions such as asthma, cancer, reproductive issues, lung damage, burns and more. The manufacturers claim that in small amounts toxic chemicals are not likely to pose any health problems, but when you are routinely using these it’s difficult to measure the risk to your health.

You may use an array of products including scents, soaps, detergents, bleaching agents, softeners, glass cleaners, bathroom and drain cleaners just to name a few. Let’s take a closer look at these and what their warning labels state: corrosive, may produce burns, vapour may be harmful, avoid contact with skin, contents can be harmful or fatal. So why do consumers continue to use these products?

Being aware of what’s in your cleaning products may help you understand why they can be so harmful used over a long period of time. Here are four common chemicals that are used in commercial cleaning products and how it may affect your health:

Phthalates
Often found in fragranced household products such as air fresheners, dishwashing soap, scented soaps and event toilet paper. Phthalates are known to affect the reproductive system of men and women.
2-Butoxyethanol
Often found in glass cleaners, laundry stain removers and carpet cleaners. Sometimes also known as 2-BE or butyl cellosolve is known to be associated with blood disorders and may even cause liver and kidney damage.
Ammonia
Often found in window cleaners, toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners and all-purpose
cleaners. Vapours from ammonia can irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs. Asthmatics are particularly sensitive to the effects of breathing ammonia.
Sodium Hydroxide
Often found in oven or drain cleaners. This product is extremely corrosive and can cause severe burns. When inhaled it can also affect your throat and respiratory system.

Replacing your cleaning products with a few simple ingredients such as water, baking soda, vinegar, lemon juice and clean sponges can be as effective as the toxic commercial chemical products. You may want to visit our Clean Home Pinterest board for inspiration on natural cleaning tips: https://au.pinterest.com/blisshomecare/clean-home/

Make wise choices and eliminate environmental toxins that are harmful to your health. Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals by choosing safer, healthier options that also minimise the impact on our environment and keep you healthier, for longer.

Bio Bacterial Cleaning Explained

When we established Bliss Home Care Services we decided we wanted to be an innovative cleaning company that uses only earth friendly cleaning products. The products, together with our proven earth friendly cleaning practices ensure the highest grade of cleaning for homes and offices which is not only safe for our environment but for families, pets and children.Bliss Home Care - Biological Cleaner

One of our favourite cleaning products is Biological Cleaner. This product is a general purpose cleaner that contains active “good” bacterial ingredients and is the perfect alternative to harsh chemical solutions. The active bacterial ingredients means that it is able to effectively remove grease, grime, dirt and soap scum that is commonly found throughout all homes. The most important thing about this product, apart from the fact that it’s a highly effective cleaning product, is that it’s 100% chemical free, is biodegradable and non-hazardous.

Let’s take a closer look at how this earth friendly cleaning product works…

This natural, earth friendly cleaning product is even effective enough to be used to keep bathrooms and restrooms free of germs and build up of unhealthy bacteria, mould and soap scum. It is often used to clean busy washrooms, urinals and toilets and is much safer for the environment and human health in comparison to chemical cleaning products.

When considering purchasing cleaning products please ensure you choose wisely and carefully to maintain and protect this beautiful planet we live on, now and into the future.

Make sure it's Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified - Why?

Until recently and even at present time, most cleaning companies cleaned for appearance which is what their clients were looking for.  However, more and more home owners are concerned with the chemicals that are used in their homes and are looking for better alternatives.  Green cleaning is not only cost effective, but it is better for a home’s indoor air quality and making it better environment for families.

But with so many products on the market these days, how do you know which ones are truly "Green"? Here are some suggestions on what to look for when choosing green cleaning products:

  1. Is the product certified? Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) is Australia's only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector Eco-labeling program and is the only Australian member with GENICES recognition from the Global Eco-labeling Network (GEN).
  2. Is the product non-toxic? Look for products that are non-toxic to humans and aquatic life.
  3. Is the product biodegradable? Biodegradable means that it can be broken down by microbial action. The longer it takes to break down, the more harmful it is to the environment. Check the label to see if it says it's biodegradable.
  4. Is the product concentrated or ready-to-use? Ready-to-use cleaners are composed of 90% water, which means extra energy and packaging went into making this product. And extra packaging means extra solid waste ending up in our landfills. Concentrated product however, uses very little water and less packaging, which is much more environmentally friendly. It also cuts down on weight, which means less cost associated with the fuel needed to transport product to its final destination.
  5. Does the product work in cold water? Using cold water saves energy, whereas the need for using hot water with the chemical uses more energy.
  6. Does the product contain chlorine bleach? The waste water after using a product containing chlorine bleach can react with other chemicals, which can be toxic.
  7. Is the product derived from petroleum? Petroleum-based solvents are made from non-renewable resources, they are flammable, and can be toxic when inhaled. It's better to use solvents derived from pine oil or citrus because they're considered renewable resources.
  8. Is the product an aerosol? Aerosol bottles can be dangerous if punctured, as they may produce an uncontrolled spray, which can put you at risk of exposure.
  9. Is the product neutral in pH? Neutral pH products are safer for the environment and end user. Acidic or alkaline products can burn if accidentally spilled on your skin. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral.
  10. EDTA and NTA. Avoid purchasing products that contain these ingredients.  Instead look for alternatives such as sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate or sodium silicate.
  11. VOC Concentration. Look for products that have a VOC concentration of no more than 10% of weight of the product when diluted for use as directed.
  12. Is the packaging made from recycled products? Many containers and cardboard boxes are made from "post consumer" materials.

Once you've decided to make the switch to green cleaning products, use this as your guide for making the right choices.

Microfiber: More Than Just a Cleaning Cloth

Microfiber is no longer a "buzz word" that is taking the cleaning world by storm.  Most cleaning companies should be using them on a daily basis as a basic cleaning tool.

How to choose the right microfiber cloth for your all cleaning needs.  There are different grades of Microfiber for different types of tasks and most manufactures will carry at least 3 different types of  Microfiber cloths.  The most common types are:

  1. Heavy Duty Microfiber Cloth - which is mainly used for heavy duty cleaning to remove deep soil and oils.
  2. Medium Grade Microfiber Cloth - used for dusting and medium duty tasks such as wiping bench tops and sinks.
  3. Microfiber cloths that have a suede like texture are used for glass, mirrors and for polished surfaces.  These cloths are usually much thinner than heavy or medium grade cloths, are more tightly woven and may come in blue colour.

When purchasing for your Microfiber cloths, visit your local cleaning suppliers, as they more likely to supply high quality Microfiber cloths.  You can usually tell a good quality Microfiber cloth by doing couple of tests.  First, run the cloth across your hand.  Does it seem to catch?  This is caused by the dense fibers and indicates quality Microfiber.  Next, put a small amount of hand lotion on mirror and then wipe your mirror cloth to see how many passes it takes to remove the lotion.  A good quality Microfiber cloth will remove the lotion in only one or two passes.

Microfiber cloths come in variety of colours and the reason for that to prevent cross contamination.  You certainly would not want to use to clean a toilet and then use the same cloth to clean your kitchen bench tops.

Bliss Home Care Microfiber Cloth Earth Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

How to Care for Microfiber Cloths

when washing microfiber cloths, it is best to wash and dry them separately from other laundry items such as cotton cloths, towels or clothing.  If you don't wash them separately, they will pull the lint off these items and become so loaded it may make them useless.  Avoid using bleach and fabric softener.  Bleach will damage the fibers and fabric softener will reduce the static charge, which is an important part of what makes Microfiber cloth works so well.

when cleaning Microfiber, use about half the amount of laundry detergent you would normally use for a load of laundry.  Microfibers release soil very easily when washed, so more is not better in this case.  It is recommended that your water temperature not to exceed 95 Celsius.  Microfibers can air dry (Microfiber cloths dry very quickly) or you can use a machine to dry them as long as you use a low heat setting and do not add a fabric softener sheet.

The Importance of Green Cleaning

Green cleaning is much more than using few chemicals labeled as GREEN.  Green cleaning is defined as a system of cleaning promotes healthy surroundings for children, families, visitors and pets that we love.  It is equally important and detrimental to environment that we live and share.

We are becoming more concerned and aware about the health of the environment.  Awareness is also growing about importance of air quality.

Did you know that the air in our home can be more toxic than the air outside....

The air inside your home can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside.  If you are not regularly airing your home (allowing fresh air to enter) will have stale, stagnant and filled with chemical pollutants. Poor air quality in your home can lead to health problems such as allergies, respiratory problems, eye irritation and tiredness.

We are also constantly adding to the air pollution in our home with products we use such as hair spray, deodorants, perfumes, cleaning products, pesticides etc. and we are constantly breathing this polluted air in our homes.  The air in the home is not moving around and refreshed by winds and renewed by plants.   Pollutants and soil is brought in all the time with our shoes.  Cleaning is an important part of removing dirt and pollutants from your home and allowing fresh air to flow in pushing stale air out will create healthy breathing for you and your family.

It has been, and still is a traditional practice, in many countries to air out the blankets and rugs on a daily cleaning ritual.  This would remove dirt and toxic spores and the sun light would kill and re-freshen bed coverings and rugs.  These days houses are sealed, covered to avoid nastier from coming in but what we are doing is trapping pollution from the outside and concentrating the fumes from hundreds of products we use inside in our homes (air fresheners, deodorants, insecticides, cleaning products) which can lead to toxic indoor atmospheres.

How a home is cleaned can be a major factor in the quality of indoor air.  It is important to eliminate individual sources of pollution or reduce their emissions.  A simple practice is to OPEN THE WINDOWS on a regular basis to let fresh air in and help move the stale stagnated air to move around.  Good practice to air your home on a regular basis, especial your bedroom after you have woken up let some fresh air in.   When cleaning your home open the doors and windows.

Another is to use non-toxic and eco-friendly cleaning products in your home.

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