Did you know that the typical office can be inhabited by more than 500 types of germs? If you’re a lady, you have a reason to feel less concerned. Researchers have found out that the desks and work spaces of men tend to be contaminated by a bigger number of bacteria than the desks of their female coworkers.
You probably know that some germs are a bit scary while others can coexist peacefully with human beings. How about the bacteria found in the office? Let’s take a look at some of the most common varieties.
Sounds scary and it can be problematic. Staphylococcus aureus loves the keyboard and it’s one of the bacteria that can cause infections. It’s interesting to point out that this bacterium is starting to develop resistance towards certain kinds of antibiotics.
Also known as staf for short, these bacteria can be found in up to 25 percent of people without causing health problems. At room temperature, staf will multiply quickly. Thermal processing destroys the bacterium completely. Some of the best disinfectants that can kill Staphylococcus aureus include bleach, Lysol, concentrated hydrogen peroxide and even white vinegar.
This is one of the most common bacterial varieties found in the office. These are both terrestrial and aquatic bacteria. Though predominantly found in the soil, actinobacteria can easily spread and multiply on the surfaces in the office.
The most harmful members of this group are the Actinomycetales bacteria. These bacteria can cause various medical problems, among which an infection called actinomycosis.
Actinobacteria can once again be destroyed completely through thermal processing or by wiping surfaces completely with bleach. Using anti-bacterial wipes isn’t the best approach but if you don’t have any other solution, these will do the trick for the day.
Unfortunately, some harmful bacteria that we’re more or less familiar with can also be found in the typical office. E-coli has been found on office keyboards and on shared equipment like telephones, printers, scanners and even doorknobs.E-coli bacteria typically live in the intestines of healthy individuals and are harmless. There are a few, strains, however, that can cause nasty infections and that can easily spread in the typical office.
The symptoms of an E-coli infection include abdominal cramping, nausea and diarrhea. Most healthy adults will recover from the infection within one week. To reduce the risk of contamination and kill E-coli in the office, wash your hands frequently, use anti-bacterial soaps and disinfect the equipment that you touch frequently.
This is another bacterium having a rather scary name. Poor personal hygiene and the failure to wash hands can easily spread Heliobacter pylori in the office. Just like E-coli, this bacterium can cause gastrointestinal problems. The infection increases the risk of experiencing gastric ulcers and even stomach cancer.
Just like in the case of all other office bacteria, washing hands several times per day (especially before having a meal) will be sufficient to reduce the risk of contamination.
We’ve saved the worst for last. Norovirus is very contagious and since it’s not a bacterium, it can’t be killed by anti-bacterial products.
A norovirus infection is characterized by severe GI upset, diarrhea and vomiting. Close contact with an infected person and with surfaces on which the virus is found can contribute to spreading the medical issue. Norovirus infections are very common in closed environments that feature people sharing the same space like schools, nursing homes and… yes, you’ve guessed it – offices.
Impeccable personal hygiene is the only way to prevent a norovirus infection.
Since you’re sharing the office with each other, it’s important that everyone is on board when it comes to getting rid of bacteria. Frequent professional office cleaning is the first step towards preventing contamination. Maintaining equipment disinfected will also make it a lot easier to enjoy a healthy work environment.
All that you have to do is build an inventory of disinfecting soap, wipes and bleach. If everyone builds a habit of using those on a daily basis, the risk of infections at the workplace will be taken down to a minimum.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial
Focused on keeping chemicals out of your home? If so, you may be having a hard time keeping all the surfaces clean. The market does feature various environment-friendly detergents but still, opting for cheap and green will require some effort.
Wouldn’t it be nice to use everyday items and products in your pantry for cleaning purposes? We’re glad you asked! So many surprising things have cleaning qualities. Here are some interesting products designed for other uses that you can harness in the cleaning process.
That’s the perfect wood polish that you can use instead of waxes and other synthetics. Olive oil is natural and you don’t need the extra-virgin variety to clean wooden floors and furniture.
It’s also possible to get rid of stains on wooden surfaces by using a mixture of olive oil and salt. Use a soft piece of fabric to gently rub the mixture into the wooden surface that’s been stained or partially damaged. Leave it on for a few minutes, wipe the surface clean and buff it. You’ll be surprised by the outcome.
You’ll be surprised by the number of things you can clean with Coke.
Oil stains can easily be dissolved if you pour a bit of Coke on top and let it do its magic. Coke is also an excellent rust remover that you can use in the shed or when doing a thorough household cleaning.
To shine the tile grout, pour a bit of Coke on top and scrub gently. For best results, use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Mop with clean water and your tile floors will regain their original shine.
Once again, you don’t need the expensive variety to clean your home. Vodka, just like Coke, has a number of practical uses and here are some of the best.
Vodka will shine old fixtures, even if they’re covered in lime scale. It’s equally suitable for chrome, porcelain and even glass fixtures. Just soak a cotton cloth with vodka and rub the fixtures gently.
You can incorporate vodka in laundry washing, as well. Vodka has deodorizing properties and it will keep your clothes smelling great for a much longer period of time (reducing the number of laundry days, woohoo!).
On top of its cleaning uses, vodka can also repel insects, make your hair shiny and treat poison ivy rashes. Just stock on a few bottles and enjoy the benefits.
Don’t limit yourself solely to foods – a few kitchen essentials can also help you clean your home. Coffee filters are great, especially when it comes to making sure that screens are stain and fingerprint-free.
A clean coffee filter is ideal for gentle polishing. It removes stains and dust and it also reduces the static electricity, reducing the annoying habit of screens to attract even more dust.
Salt has a number of uses. As we’ve already pointed out, it’s ideal for restoring old wood. In addition, salt is perfect for unclogging drains and toilets because of its mildly corrosive characteristics.
Is there some sticky residue on your iron? Rub a bit of salt on the cold metal surface and even old, stubborn messes will be removed effortlessly.
If you don’t find these uses enough, you can use salt to clean brass and copper, deodorize the fridge, get rid of rust, absorb oily stains, brighten laundry colors and even repair damaged walls! Mixing equal amounts of salt, cornstarch and water will give you the ideal substance for dealing with holes and cracks.
To deodorize the fridge, you can use coffee instead of salt. Just put a small plate of freshly ground coffee inside a stinky refrigerator. Within hours, you’ll have a fridge that’s completely neutral in odour.
If you have a fireplace, you know that cleaning can get messy. Wait for the embers to get completely cool before you start cleaning. Sprinkle used coffee grounds inside the fireplace. Let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes and scoop out the mess. You’ll find the cleaning process to be quite simpler.
Coffee is also great for scrubbing all kinds of surfaces (your skin included, it can be used to make a natural exfoliant). It’s slightly acidic and abrasive (without being very harsh). You can get rid of stains without scratching the surfaces – one of the most common problems with the harsher commercial scrubs.
These are just some of the things you can repurpose and use for cleaning. You’re probably already familiar with the characteristics of vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice as cleaning essentials. Adding the items mentioned in this article to your cleaning arsenal will boost your abilities to deal with just about every stain and household mess.
By Cliff Derksen
Owner of First Impressions Janitorial