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Seven Green Cleaning Tips to Avoid the Flu

ATLANTA—Despite this year’s flu season being the slowest to start in three decades, Americans aren’t out of the woods yet.

The mild winter temperatures and lack of snow are contributing to the late start of the flu season but according to The Weather Channel, California is reporting widespread flu outbreaks and more than a dozen states are reporting regional and local flu outbreaks.

Dr. Lyn Finelli with the CDC says in an article for The Weather Channel, "It [flu season] usually peaks in February or March and lasts until about May.”

So, if you haven’t already been bit by the flu bug now is the time to take the necessary steps to avoid flu exposure and contamination. Below are seven green cleaning tips from the nation’s leading green cleaning service company – Maid Brigade – to help limit flu exposure.

1. Focus on key surface areas. Pay special attention to clean and disinfect highly trafficked areas prone to harboring germs and bacteria like kitchen counters, desks, doorknobs, light switches, bedside tables, bathroom surfaces, and children’s toys and books.

2. Wash before sharing. Make sure towels, bed sheets, dishes, and eating utensils used by those who are infected with the flu are thoroughly cleaned first before sharing. Avoid embracing the laundry prior to washing to prevent contamination and make sure to immediately wash your hands after handling any infected linens, dishes, or utensils.

3. Let it sit for proper disinfection. Three out of four consumers disinfect home surfaces incorrectly by spraying and immediately wiping the surface, according to the 2011 Maid Brigade Work/Life Balance Survey. When cleaning to eliminate flu germs, remember that the disinfectant needs to remain on the surface being cleaned for up to 10 minutes to successfully kill lingering bacteria. Also remember that proper disinfection occurs on a surface that has been pre-cleaned.

4. Invest in microfiber cleaning products. Wiping products are used in all areas of cleaning and are crucial in eliminating the spread of germs. Microfiber technology is extremely effective in preventing cross-contamination as microfiber products such as microfiber cloths, mops, and rags absorb about 95 percent of bacteria on a surface – while traditional cleaning products often spread bacteria around. Even though the initial cost is more than a cotton cloth or mop, microfiber products are more effective and are 400 to 700 times more washable.

5. Dispose of infected waste immediately. To prevent the spread of the flu virus, infected tissues and other disposable items should be thrown in the trash at once. After touching, make sure to wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, to stop the spread of germs.

6. Use natural cleaning remedies. For tough kitchen stains, squeeze lemon juice on the spot and let sit for 10 minutes, then wipe. To kill germs, mix 2 cups of water, 3 tablespoons of liquid soap, and 20 to 30 drops of tea tree oil.

7. Bring in professionals. Cleaning to help prevent the spread of germs and disease can be a daunting task in your every day life, not to mention when you’re feeling under the weather. Call in the cleaning experts when you need help. Many house cleaning companies offer seasonal cleaning services that can help eliminate bacteria and the spread of infectious disease. Also make sure they are using green cleaning products and practices that protect the health of your family and the environment.

About Maid Brigade
Maid Brigade cares about the health of today’s families. With more than 25 years of experience, the company is the national leader in green cleaning practices and has a longstanding legacy of offering the latest in house cleaning services and technologies. Maid Brigade is the first and only Green Clean Certified® housekeeping services franchise that implements a certification program for green house cleaning so customers know that they’re getting a green cleaning that is safe and truly green. For more information on Maid Brigade or for healthy living cleaning tips visit www.maidbrigade.com or http://blog.maidbrigade.com.