Do you ever stop to think if your floors are safe enough for your kids and pets? After all, they spend a lot of time there. Children can pick up germs when they put their hands in their mouth or rub their nose after touching the floor with their hands. Dogs lick up scraps of food off the floor. Indirectly, they are ingesting whatever is present on your floors to some degree.
So, are you removing the dirt and germs on your floors sufficiently to make them safe for your kids and pets? Are you using cleaning chemicals that are harmful to your kids (or pets) health? Read on to find out what you (or your cleaning service) can do to keep your floors safe.
1) Household Floor Cleaners May Contain Irritating Detergents:
Soaps contain surfactants, which are chemicals that help dissolve and remove dirt from floors and other surfaces. Soaps are not well tolerated by animals or humans when ingested. They can cause GI discomfort, diarrhea and vomiting (in high enough concentrations) and shouldn’t be used to clean floors on a regular basis. If you (or your cleaning service) use detergents, make sure they’re diluted properly. If stronger concentrations of cleaning detergents are needed, make sure the floors are thoroughly rinsed with water to remove any soap residues that are left behind.
2) Avoid the Use of Toxic Cleaning Chemicals: Check the Label!
If you’re using store bought cleaning solutions, check the label to make sure that they don’t contain hazardous chemicals. If there is a warning on the label that says: Keep this out of the reach of children and pets, don’t use it! If you use a janitorial service ask them to show you what type of cleaners they use. Don’t assume that they will be using pet safe cleaning chemicals.
3) Use Green Cleaning Products:
Not all green cleaning products are created equal. The FTC has issued warnings to check the labels on the cleaning products you buy. According to their guidelines, the green cleaning product should be “certified by an independent third-party with appropriate expertise.”
Green Seal is a well-respected independent third party that certifies green cleaning products. Green seal certified cleaning products should not cause harm to your children or pets when used according to label directions.
4) Carpet Stain Removers can Be Toxic:
There are many different carpet stain removers on the market. Enzyme digesters can be very effective in eliminating the stains and odors caused by your dog’s accidents. Some are pet safe and others aren’t. Again, check the label of the stain remover you plan to use.
5) Water is the Safest Chemical to Clean with:
Most people assume that you have to clean your floors with some type of detergent or chemical, when in many cases using plain water will suffice. Water is a solvent and can dissolve dirt all by itself, making it easier to remove. And, there’s no chemical that is less toxic than water!
You can always resort to stronger (green certified) cleaners that are safe for pets and children when you have to. However, water alone can be an effective method of cleaning if you’re using the right type of mop.
6) Microfiber Flat Mops Clean Better than String Mops:
Many cleaning services still use old-fashioned string mop and bucket systems to clean floors. Many studies have shown that string mops spread dirt and germs around and aren’t very effective. They also use lots of water, which can be harmful to certain types of flooring. The EPA (environmental protection agency) recommends the use of bucket less microfiber flat mops, a newer and safer way to clean floors. The flat mop dispensing system helps minimize the amount of water and cleaning solution that is applied to your floors (as opposed to string mops and buckets that flood the floor’s surface).
7) Use Manufacturer Suggested Floor Cleaning Products:
Certain types of flooring can be damaged when they’re cleaned with water. Some examples when water may be harmful to your floor include wood and wood laminate. Check with the floor manufacturer to make sure you are using chemicals (including water) that are safe for the type of floor you are cleaning. But, remember to check the label to make sure the cleaning product is also safe for pets and children!
8) Using Elbow Grease Can Help Remove Dirt and Germs:
Studies have shown that the use of water and friction can be sufficient to remove most of the dirt and germs that are present on floors and other surfaces. So, don’t forget to use some elbow grease when you’re mopping regardless of what you’re using to clean with.
9)Change Mop Heads Frequently to Prevent Spreading Germs Around:
Regardless of the system you use to mop floors, you shouldn’t be using one mop to clean your entire house. Mop heads used to clean your bathrooms shouldn’t be used anywhere else in your home. Change your mop heads frequently so you aren’t spreading germs around from one area to another.
10)Launder Mop Heads after Each Use:
Don’t forget to launder mop heads after each use. Leaving wet or soiled mop heads around are a reservoir for germs. Use disposable mop heads when possible. Re-usable mop heads should be laundered correctly to ensure that all germs have been killed.
The Way to Healthier Floors for Your Kids and Pets:
Look in your cabinets to make sure the chemicals you’re using are safe for children and pets. Use mops that don’t spread dirt around and change mop heads frequently. If you want to hire a professional cleaning service for your home, make sure they’re using cleaning supplies that are safe for your children and pets. Let’s keep our kids and man’s best friend safe by cleaning our floors better! If you would like the link to the microfiber mop we use in the commercial facilities we clean please email me at the address below.
President, Ace Cleaning Systems, Inc.