Clean Up to Get Dirty

dirty-kitchen
(photo credit – Shutterstock/ Christian delbert)

Calling all Lotharios. If you want to – ehem – ‘clean up’ in the love department then we have news for you – a dirty bachelor pad just isn’t going to cut it.

We all remember Ross Gellar’s (F.R.I.E.N.D.S) honourable yet unsuccessful attempt to “do it in the mess” in ‘The One with the Dirty Girl’…

And it seems Ross isn’t alone – according to a recent study by LOVESPACE, 63{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of the British public refuse to have sex in a dirty or messy house. Basically – if you want to get filthy, your home should be anything but.

The survey reveals than men, unsurprisingly, are less likely to let a little thing like mess put them off from doing the deed, with 34{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of them saying no amount of dirt could stop them…

The fairer sex, however, are much more picky, with less than one sixth (15{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0}) of women saying they would consider rolling around in a messy house.

Moreover, if you’re from Northern Ireland you should take note; 84 {a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of inhabitants said a filthy house as a setting for love-making would be a serious no-no. North Easterner’s needn’t be as bothered though; over 30{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of people surveyed said they’d be more than happy getting hot and heavy – messy or otherwise.

The survey also revealed that 18-24 year olds were the age group least concerned about clutter when a hook up was imminent; over 30 {a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} weren’t in the least bit worried about fornication in the filth. 45-54 year olds were less sympathetic to mess though, showing up as the age category least likely to forget the mess and fool around. Cougar-files take note…

So it’s pretty clear that cleanliness goes hand in hand with getting laid, but if your house doesn’t currently make the cut, never fear. www.londoncleaningsystem.co.uk has laid out the 10 biggest passion killers – in order of importance – so you can work out exactly where you should be focussing your cleaning efforts.
1) Horrible smells
64{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of Brits said this was their biggest turn off. Moral of the story? No fornication without Fabreeze.

2) A kitchen overflowing with clutter and dirty plates
Students – take note.

3) Pictures of ex-partners on the walls
TAKE THEM DOWN.

4) Cluttered bedroom floors
The only clothes on the floor should be those belonging to your date…

5) Freaky collections
If you are the sort of person who has dolls or teddy bears, we’re pretty sure you don’t get many dates. So when you do get one, for the love of God hide your stuffed animals.

6) Evidence of past parties or nights out
No empty beer cans, please.

7) Weird memorabilia, like life sized celebrity cardboard cut-outs
Self-explanatory.

8) Dust
Sneezing just isn’t sexy. So get yourself a cloth and have at it.

9) Children’s clothes and toys
Big old mood murderers.

10) Sports equipment
Yes, health is sexy – but let your body do the talking. Because nothing kills romance quite like a muddy pair of trainers…

Half of Brits need a wash

dirty-man
(photo credit – shutterstock/ g-stockstudio)

Its official, half of Brits need a bath. You’ve probably thought it standing in a packed tube, but it turns out that 58{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of men skip morning showers and a quarter would rather have an extra ten minutes in bed and the remainder just can’t fit a wash into their hectic lifestyle. So it seems that the modern man is not a clean one, it’s like we’ve gone back to primal ways, the only difference is Fred Flintstone’s car. So why is it that some of us just don’t prioritise cleanliness over timeliness?

An international Dettol HABIT study discovered conscientious and careful personality types developed 10{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} fewer colds and diarrhoea than others and are more likely to practise better hygiene habits. People with good manners are also two and a half times more likely to have good health. What goes around comes around with germs, literally, as if karma plays a role in cleanliness. Whether or not karma has anything to do with it is up for interpretation, but what is proven is the more conscientious you are, the healthier and cleaner you will be.

A report by ‘The Global Hygiene Council’ found that around half of us Brits just aren’t scrubbing up. With less than 50{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of us always washing our hands after visiting the toilet. Another study, carried out by hygiene experts from Queen Mary University London and the London School of Hygiene, found faecal bacteria was present on 26{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of hands, 14{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of banknotes and 10{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of credit cards. Eugh! Three years ago, the UN said that washing hands is the most cost-effective solution to the worldwide control of disease, according to a BBC report. It feels to simple to be true, but the truth is washing hands will lower your chances of getting ill, so it makes sense that the rest of the world will benefit from your hand-washing habits.

Initial Washroom Hygiene completed a survey of 100,000 people on office worker bathroom habits. Finding a staggering 62{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of men and 40{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of women who do not wash their hands after going to the toilet. This is particularly worrying as germs and bacteria spreads easiest in an office environment, with so many surfaces viable to hand and mouth contact i.e. keyboards, telephones, desks, pens, chairs and doors.

And it’s not just our personal hygiene that is suffering.

Rug Doctor conducted a study of 2,000 people finding more than half would not change their bedsheets for more than two weeks. The survey showed one in ten do not wash their towels weekly, and the same amount of people do not brush their teeth twice a day. Further findings revealed a third of pet owners allowed their pets to sleep in the same bed as them. So our beds are another sanitation security threat, but what else?

Carpets

There are many undesirable bugs stamped into our carpets without us even knowing. The rug doctor found traces of horse manure, pollen, tar, skin, hair, urine and vomit after studying a cross section of homes in the UK. Following the results, 41{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of respondents still insisted that they would not remove their shoes before entering their house.

Kitchens

The Global Hygiene Council also found that 19{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of kitchen surfaces were contaminated with E. coli. This food-borne disease is regularly associated with raw red meats, beef in particular. This highlights the importance of careful hygiene in food preparation.

But what is the truth behind these hygiene horrors? Why do people fail to control cleanliness? A study by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners found that most people are unaware of the real household health hazards. With many considering bathrooms the biggest risk when the kitchen is by far more dangerous. The biggest offender were dishcloths, with 86{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of them harbouring harmful bacterial levels with kitchen taps, light switches and TV remotes not far behind.

Household hygiene tips:

Keep a lid on it. When flushing, toilet aerosols travel in the air and that means your toothbrush can pick up what’s in your toilet. Who wants that?

Leave your shoes at the door. With all the nasties from outdoors being dragged in on the bottoms of your family’s footwear, make sure all shoes are left on a shoe rack or storage unit. That way, the carpet is easier to clean and keeps out all the bad germs.

10 second rule. And no that’s not the time that food stays edible when dropped on the floor. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend people wash their hands for a total of 15 seconds or more after visiting the restroom to kill the 3,000 types of bacteria lurking in lavatories. And the Hygiene Council recommends 20 seconds as optimal time, so start with ten and work from there.

Double up on soap. A bottle of hand soap is not expensive, so no need to be stingy on the squirty stuff. Hand-washing is essential after handling raw foods, blowing your nose or visiting the bathroom, so use twice as much to be safe.

Dump dirty dishcloths. You should change your dishcloth every week at least. But a good tip is to boil used cloths in hot water to sterilise them for continual use.

Disinfect contact areas. Your hands are pretty useful body parts aren’t they, just think of all the places they get to. That’s why you need to disinfect all areas that your hands regularly come into contact with such as TV remotes, phones, light switches, bin lids and door handles etc. to kill nasty bacteria transferring.

Don’t forget the floor. It seems so obvious, but sweeping and mopping hard floor surfaces is actually an oversight for many homeowners. The problem with laminate is that it can look clean when it isn’t because of its shiny finish. Make mopping/sweeping a regular part of your household duties.

6 reasons going green is the new trend!

We all know cleaning is a necessity of life; whether you enjoy it or not and with the 21st century, there are endless varieties of cleaning products at our disposal. How often do you pick up a bottle of bleach at a supermarket and comprehensively read the ingredients? Let’s assume the answer is zero to none. Often enough, people would never think twice about what products they are using to clean their household or office and what toxic ingredients are inside the very product you are wiping down kitchen surfaces and toilets with. As long as it produces spotless results, with surfaces that sparkle and shine, then no one seems to mind what they use. There’s the famous saying ‘Why fix something that isn’t broken?’

Yet, with many cleaning products, there are a host of unfamiliar toxic chemicals which can have negative effects on our health. Having unveiled methods to traditionally clean your home or office, there are a whole range of things to consider before using a product purchased off the shelf. Not only are many of these products dangerous to our health, they are dangerous to our children and pets. So it’s about time, you considered a switch to products which are ultimately environmentally friendly above all else. The use of eco-friendly products is on the rise, so here are 6 main reasons why you should be green!

Keeping your children (and pets safe)!

Mollycoddling your children is a natural way of life and you can’t protect your children from all evils but limiting their exposure to dangerous chemicals found in cleaning products is a piece of cake. Statistics have shown that household cleaning products are ranked within the top 5 causes of childhood poisoning. If you do have strong chemical products at home, ensure they are locked away from harms reach. Even better, become accustomed to using green cleaning products which will protect your children from any dangerous solvents.

Deep cleaning can cause health issues

We all love a good deep clean from time to time, where the smell of cleanliness empowers a room. Whether you choose to use antibacterial spray or wipes, many of these cleaning products contain quaternary ammonium compounds, also known as Quats (benzalkonium chloride). These chemicals can increase your chances of developing asthma and can harm your lung function. Research by the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning, claim that 53{a35617fc15653e3814e2bcbba04476704e6bc197bb17b3d80dbd33208febbce0} of cleaning products were tested positive for chemicals known to cause asthma and other health issues.

Chemicals to watch like a hawk

‘Warning’ or ‘this product is harmful’, are a few examples of labels stuck at the back of many cleaning products. This is clearly a reason to go green! Take time to read what your cleaning products contain as experts reveal that an average home has around 62 toxic chemicals. When shopping around for new cleaning products, take a look at the back and watch out for the following chemicals: phthalates (fragranced products), chlorine, 2-Butoxyethanol (multi-purchase cleaners) and triclosan. Let’s just say it’s safer to go green and know what you’re inhaling on a daily basis!

green-cleaning-spray
photo credit – shutterstock/ Diana taliun)

You could be poisoning your water

Drinking water out of the tap in Britain is an everyday normality, yet some chemicals found in cleaning products are toxic and could be poisoning your water supply. Chemicals such as ammonia, alkyphenol, petroleum, phosphorus and ethoxylates could be making their way back into your water supply after flushing your toilet, doing some laundry or washing the dishes. Not only can these chemicals effect human health, it is damaging to the environment and wildlife.

Are your products regulated?

If you live within the EU, regulations on all soaps, detergents and cleaning products available are controlled to ensure they are safe for the user and the environment. REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) is the authoritative piece of legislature concerning the use of chemicals in the EU. All companies within the EU must comply with these regulations and members of A.I.S.E (International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products) and Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council) are there to monitor the how safe your products are for use at home and your office.

Going green could save you some cash

Everyone likes to clean up their finances and going green could rid yourself of monthly costs you hadn’t anticipated. Buying eco-friendly cleaning products is becoming far more popular with more and more manufacturers choosing to go green. With more companies going green, natural products are now competitively priced against your typical off the shelf brands. All you need to do is spend a little time looking whilst doing your weekly shop…

Traditional Cleaning Solutions That Work

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(Photo credit – Shutterstock/ Africa studios)

There are a million and one cleaning products on the market that claim to crack every cleaning problem under the sun. From multi-surface cleaners to disposable mop pads, yet many household cleaning problems can be solved much more effectively with a simple traditional solution. Plus you can declutter your cupboards from all those useless bottles and sprays. We say out with the new and in with the old.

Lemons and limes usually sit idle ripening in your fruit bowl, but they are one of the most useful everyday groceries in your house. With countless cleaning uses, you’ll be buying more citrus fruits than anything else. Lemons in particular are great for polishing copper, brass, aluminium and stainless steel. Sprinkle two teaspoons of salt on half a lemon and rub the surface till shiny. Mix some lemon juice with water in a squeezy bottle and spray on white shoes then leave in the sun. For a natural furniture polish whip up one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil, apply and wipe clean. You can even throw a lemon half in with your next dishwasher load for cleaner fragrant dishes. A great tip for stopping crafty neighbourhood cats using your lawn as a litterbox is to mix up orange peel and coffee granules then sprinkle them in the trouble areas. Grass, grease or ink stain? Apply plenty of lemon juice right away, then wash in a normal cold cycle. As you can see there are loads of uses for lemons other than on your pancake.

lemons
(photo credit – Shutterstock/ igor normann)
A staple of any kitchen and better known as a raising agent, baking soda is also a great all-round cleaning product. Baking soda is commonly used in teeth-whitening products, so it makes sense then to take advantage of its cleaning properties. It’s perfect when mixed with water to be used as a scrub on all kinds of surfaces, and it’s not corrosive, unlike many commercial cleaning commodities. It can work wonders on strong stains like tea and coffee, or even removing tough crayon marks from walls. Another great use for baking soda is for ridding your house of nasty odours, not masking them like some supermarket sprays. Baking soda works well on anything particularly smelly, i.e. soaking up smells on the carpet or for cleaning bins of lingering odours.

baking-soda
(photo credit – Shutterstock/ ThankC)
A less known compound, but highly practical to boost your household cleaning power. Particularly good when mixed into detergent in a normal load of washing. But for the ultimate overall cleaning spray mix two tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of washing-up liquid, ½ teaspoon of soda crystals (otherwise known as washing soda) and one teaspoon of borax into two cups of warm water. This will get to work on everything from soap scum to limescale and dirty grouting.

Great on your chips and an even better cleaner. We’re not talking malt vinegar here though, this is clear white vinegar and can be used as an excellent glass cleaner for streak-free windows. Another great tip is to pour a cup of white vinegar in your washing machine drawer and run an empty cycle once a month. This will unclog your machine, keep it fresh and running well. White vinegar can be used to polish most of your favourite jewellery too, just soak a cotton ball in vinegar and rub the silver in circular motions, then wipe clean with a towel. Table salt is great at soaking up any spillages, be it fizzy drinks, gravy or anything else. Cover the area in enough salt to mask the spill, then hoover it up after the salt has taken up the moisture. White vinegar has many other household uses; sprayed on weeds as a weed killer, poured into ant’s nests to eradicate ant problems, to unclog drains and even as a shampoo to rid of oily hair!