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If you are not taking this year’s flu outbreak seriously, you should be.  Reports keep coming in about how strong this flu virus is and just how many people have been affected.  The flu virus is highly contagious and can lead to extreme illness and, unfortunately as we have seen, even death.  ABC News reports on just how bad the flu is this year, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta said 14,676 people have been hospitalized with influenza since the flu season began in October, double the number from all of last year and the highest ever recorded…The CDC’s latest influenza report shows that at least 53 children have died from the flu this season, including 16 just last week.”  There are many person hygiene precautions such as washing hands and covering when you cough or sneeze that should be taken to help prevent the spread of the flu but many times that simply is not enough.  If your home, school or office has been hit by the flu it is imperative that you take every precaution to stop it in its tracks.  Chemical cleaners use harsh chemicals that are often not safe to be breathed in by adults or children and should not even be touched for fear of skin contamination.  And, what about carpeted areas?  What do you do if bodily fluids such as vomit are in the carpet – can you truly clean and disinfect carpet?  With a steam cleaner, you can!

If you run a professional janitorial service or building maintenance service, you probably have a team of professionals on staff to tackle all of the cleaning tasks at hand.  Additionally, you probably have invested in a wide array of cleaning products (that constantly need replacement), as well as cleaning tools.  But, have you invested in a high-quality, professional-grade steam cleaner?  If not, you need to ASAP.  An investment in a commercial-grade steam cleaner will more than pay for itself in hours saved and reduction in cleaning product costs, and will ultimately transform how you do business.

Steam cleaning is the best cleaning method for a variety of applications from industrial settings, to hospitals, to schools, to homes.  It is quick, efficient, and effective for cleaning just about anything.  But, steam cleaning is more than just a great cleaning method, it can actually disinfect surfaces.  It doesn’t just get rid of some of the bacteria like a lot of cleaners, it gets rid of up to 99% of bacteria without a single chemical! Because it does not use chemicals to disinfect it is ideal for use in hospitals, food preparation areas including both industrial settings and kitchens, and more.  People are often skeptical that just water can actually disinfect so well but it is actually the safest and most effective way to disinfect just about any surface.  Below we explain how steam cleaning disinfects things like bacteria and even MRSA.

This winter many cities have experienced particularly bad cold and flu seasons.  It seems like infection is everywhere and if there is one place that those germs are always present it is classrooms.  Children simply are not as good at infection prevention techniques like covering when they sneeze or cough or washing hands frequently.  That means that they are at an elevated risk of contracting an infection.  Proper classroom m cleaning is incredibly important but not always as simple as it may sound.  With so many children it can be difficult to thoroughly and effectively clean and disinfect throughout the day.  There are a myriad of surfaces that need to be cleaned including hard flooring, carpet, rugs, countertops, sinks, toilets, writing utensils, scissors, toys, and more.  Because there is such a wide range a teacher would typically need multiple different chemical cleaning products and cleaning tools.  And, it is not safe to expose children to so many harsh chemicals so there is not very many practical moments during the day to clean.  Because of this, adequate cleaning is often not achieved in the classroom setting.  But, it does not have to be this way.  Steam cleaning classrooms can overhaul classroom cleaning procedures and produce a new level of cleaning and disinfection.

If you are like us, the mention of bed bugs makes your skin crawl.  Bed bugs are disgusting and typically incredibly hard to get rid of once there is an infestation.  Most people will grab the chemicals and start trying to annihilate bed bugs but it can be hard to get them all, particularly when they are imbedded in fabric or upholstery.  And, bed bugs are slowly but surely becoming resistant to chemical cleaners and pesticides as they are routinely exposed to it.  That means that your efforts may all be in vain!  Don’t panic and start nervously scratching yourself – all is not lost.  Steam cleaning cleans and disinfects but it can also actually kill bed bugs and help you on your quest to completely eradicate an infection.

If your home has already been hit by cold and flu season, brace yourself, it might not be over.  This cold and flu season has proven to be particularly bad and many are saying it could be very severe.  Today describes how bad cold and flu season is, “The latest report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that the flu is spreading across the country: Activity has increased in twelve states, compared to just seven last week. There was “high activity” of flu in four states: Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. And it’s still just the beginning of the season. Dr. William Schaffner, who is involved in the CDC’s flu surveillance network in Tennessee, has noticed cases of influenza picking up “dramatically.”Even worse, it appears the dominant strain will be H3N2, which can produce more severe illness, said Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center…“It is possible that we will experience low vaccine effectiveness against influenza A (H3N2) viruses and a relatively severe influenza season if they predominate,” Fauci and colleagues wrote in an article published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Whether you run a daycare, childcare facility at a gym or church, preschool, or other any other place where children spend time you know that it gets dirty – fast.  Not only does it get messy, it gets dirty with germs and bacteria.  Between diaper changes, snot, drool, sneezing, coughing and any other bodily fluids, most places where children spend any time will probably be filled to the brim with germs.  Children love to play with toys but have short attention spans so they play with a toy (or worse, put it in their mouth), get their germs on it, then drop it and leave it for the next kid to play.  And that is how quickly germs and illness are spread. Keeping a daycare or childcare facility clean is no easy task and typical chemical cleaning products are not the best cleaning option.  Chemical cleaning products are filled with harsh chemicals and toxins that are harmful for the health of both the workers and the children.  When it gets on skin or ingested it can lead to breathing problems, asthma, and has been shown to be linked to cancer.  And, keeping chemical cleaning products in an area where children play is not particularly safe unless they are locked away very carefully.  For these reasons (and MANY more), a steam cleaner is the best tool for cleaning and disinfecting a childcare or daycare facility.

When you think about all of the cleaning projects you should tackle with your steam cleaner, cleaning your shoes is probably not one of the first things to come to mind.  After all, a steam cleaner can be used to clean your house from top to bottom, be used to clean your car, be used to clean sports gear, be used to clean patio equipment, and so much more.  The possibilities for cleaning and disinfection are endless!  If you are like most households, at least one member of your family (or more!) have a pair of stinky shoes.  Even if the shoes are in great condition, the interior may have unpleasant odors locked into the fabric.  And that means the every time that person wears those shoes, the minute they take their shoes off, that unpleasant odor will invade your home.  Do not throw out of a perfectly good pair of shoes when all you need to do is reach for your steam cleaner!

If you, a loved one, or your household pet has begun to show symptoms of ringworm, it is important to get treatment right away.  Ringworm is highly contagious and easily spreads through human to human, pet to human, or object to human contact.  Mayo Clinic describes what exactly ringworm is, “Ringworm of the body is a fungal infection that develops on the top layer of your skin. It’s characterized by a red circular rash with clearer skin in the middle. It may itch. Ringworm gets its name because of its appearance. No actual worm is involved…Mild ringworm often responds to antifungal medications that you apply to your skin. For more-severe infections, you may need to take antifungal pills for several weeks.”  If someone in your home has ringworm antifungal medication should be used as soon as possible but it is also a good idea to thoroughly clean and disinfect your home so that the infection is fully eradicated from your home.  Because ringworm is so contagious and can be spread through so many different ways, cleaning must be thorough and the best way to do so is with a steam cleaner.