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Sep
09
2019

How beneficial is it to take off your shoes before entering your home?

Americans remain divided on the subject of wearing shoes inside the house. Should you take shoes off before going inside? We've all seen this scenario on television: An actor enters the room, throws himself on the couch or bed, kicks up his feet…and he's still wearing his shoes. 

Make no mistake. Just like the rest of the world, many of us are thinking the same thing. Oh, gross!
For those who do see it that way, we're correct. Americans realize the dirty costs of tracking all kinds of disgusting stuff into their homes.

The main reason to take off your shoes? Poop.

Most cultures are fully aware that outdoor shoes are unclean, and in many countries, it's considered flat-out rude if you don't remove your footwear. Some hosts won't even allow outdoor footwear inside their homes at all. Except for Hawaii and Alaska, this is a world tradition; the United States has been slow to embrace.

96% of shoes contain fecal matter even if you don't step directly on it. Besides the fact that tracking poop into your home is revolting, it can be a severe health issue for anyone with a compromised immune system, children and the elderly. Shoes make microorganisms reasonably mobile, and you're tracking that all around the house, transfer of bacteria from your shoes to the floor is between 90 - 99%.

If poop isn't enough to get you to unlace your kicks, how about allergies? Footwear carries in a significant number of allergens like pollen, mold, and mildew spores. When allergists have consultations with patients, wearing shoes indoors is deemed a giant no-no.

Still not convinced? How about Ecoli? There are various strains of the bacteria E. coli, and not all will make you sick. But it's easily transferable from person to person, and some strains can make you pretty ill, causing stomach pains, explosive diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia, according to the CDC. Taking your shoes off at the door may be a big help. Consider the fact that a single cell of E. coli bacteria can multiply to over 2,000,000 cells of E. coli bacteria in just seven hours. The fewer infectious organisms you expose yourself or your family to, the healthier they will be.

Spit and mucus, allergens, toxic chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fecal matter, dirt, mold, urine, and public restroom germs are just a smattering of what you're bringing into your home.

In America, the location has always played into the shoes-on-or-off lifestyle. For those in the northeast and mid-west, snow, ice, and mud make the no-shoes indoor policy a part of life. As such, homes are built with larger foyers or mudrooms to accommodate this culture. In sunny California, where weather is more stable, and real estate space costs a premium (lack of foyers), shoes worn indoors is much more common. If you want to implement what you've read, but going shoeless is not your thing, you always have the option of slippers or wearing indoor-only shoes.

Gator Clean can help your floors get off to a new fresh clean slate. Contact us today to schedule a cleaning. 

Aug
05
2019

Don't Overlook These 3 Things If You Have Allergies.

In some areas of the country, such as Florida, allergy season is ten months out of the year. Allergies and air duct cleaning. That's a long time to be in misery if you're a sufferer and all too often, being indoors is just as bad as being outside. However, there are ways to reduce or even eliminate indoor issues, and some are entirely overlooked.

Don't Wear Shoes Inside the House

If you're immune-compromised or have allergy issues, it's a good idea to take your shoes off at the door. Footwear picks up mold and pollen, and if you have any rugs or carpet, it can get very challenging to remove. In mass testing of shoes that are at least a month old or more, 93% were positive for fecal matter, e-coli, and more that you probably don't want inside your home.

Quality Filters

Regular air and furnace filters are designed to protect the equipment, not your breathing. Use a filter with a high MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. Having a HEPA air filter unit and a HEPA filter in your vacuum is also beneficial. Both are relatively inexpensive these days, as are the replacement filters, which need to be changed out regularly.

Clean Your Air Ducts!

This one is a biggie. Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) forced air systems can be a collection site for contaminants that aggravate your allergies and asthma. Consider this: What happens when you blow the dust off an object? Often the airborne dust blows back at you. For those with allergies, what happens next is a sneezing fit. Dust mites, pollen, pet dander, smog, mold, mildew, bacteria, viruses and VOC's (harmful gases are given off by everyday household items) are what's being circulated and recirculated by your HVAC system.

This is an often-overlooked culprit of allergy and asthma attacks. "Routine cleaning of air ducts has always been a commonsense move," says Allergist Dr. Anthony Montanaro. "If you're sensitive to what's found in dust and dander, it's to your best advantage to minimize exposure to it." Montanaro, a professor of medicine and chief of the allergy and clinical immunology division at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, often talks with patients about their air and heating systems as he investigates the possible environmental triggers of their allergies.

"If they have forced air, that's part of the conversation," he says.

Additionally, when your HVAC blows air through ducts coated in dust, you end up with airborne dust in your home. It makes sense that cleaning dust, allergens, and other contaminants from ducts could vastly improve air quality and reduce allergy symptoms.

When you invest in HVAC maintenance, your equipment is cleaned and tuned up, which results in cleaner air, better performance, and more consistent comfort. Regular maintenance also helps lower your energy bills and prolong the life span of your equipment. Click here for a free quote to have your air ducts cleaned by Gator Clean.

Jul
08
2019

What are travertine floors and how do you care for them?

Travertine is a natural stone made of limestone that is formed at the mouth of hot springs or in limestone caves. What are travertine floors? How to care for travertine floors. The colors vary but are usually very light colors such as white, tan, cream-colored or rusty tones. It is porous and used in many different applications. Travertine was a choice of building materials for the Romans. Today it is sought out by both home and business owners for a unique and elegant look.

Travertine stone is a beautiful, popular stone choice for flooring, countertops, and showers. Not as dense as marble or granite, travertine can be stained and etched by liquids that are acidic, like juice or coffee and even cleaners not explicitly made for the material. While having your travertine floors sealed professionally helps to guard against most staining and etching, really knowing how to maintain and protect your travertine surfaces adequately will assure you that they remain in pristine condition.

Because they are more susceptible to damage, high traffic areas of your home with travertine floors, like entryways and hallways, need more protection in addition to sealing. You might consider protecting these areas from dirt that causes scratches, abrasions, and grime with color-coordinated doormats, area rugs, or runners.

When dry cleaning your travertine floors, use a soft broom, or handheld vacuum cleaner and dry mop to avoid dragging heavy cleaning equipment over the flooring to prevent scraping travertine's sensitive surface.

For regular washing of your travertine surfaces and floors, use only a product that is soap-less with a neutral PH 7 mild abrasive cleanser and water. Always precisely follow the instructions included with the product and only use broad, sweeping, overlapping motions to clean the travertine. Let dry and then polish using a clean, microfiber cloth.

To remove water stains, never use steel wool with a grade above #0000. For organic stains like juice, coffee, or pet urine, only use food grade peroxide. No peroxide with anything over 12% hydrogen mixture should be used. Instead of pouring the peroxide directly on the stain, apply the peroxide to a cloth, and lay the cloth over the stain.

For oil-based stains, again do not pour detergents or ammonia directly on the porous travertine surface, instead of using household detergents or ammonia, pour the product on a damp cloth and lay the cloth on the stain to draw it out.

For professional cleaning and sealing of your travertine floors and surfaces as well as routine maintenance and care, contact the experts at Gator Clean today.

May
13
2019

The horrifying truth of the ecosystem of your mattress.

On average, a person spends a third of their life asleep, and it's usually on the same mattress they've had for years. What lives in my mattress? Mattress ecosystem.  Most people have heard the salesman spiel on mattresses and how you should get a new one every ten years. Well, ten years is a pretty long time, an entire decade of having someone lying in it for up to 8 hours every day. That can lead to some pretty questionable stuff being left behind after you've woken up and gotten ready for the day.

Get ready to have your day ruined as we dive into the ecosystem that is your mattress!

Let's get the worst out of the way first. Your bed, right now, is covered in dead human skin, fungus, bacteria, grease, and even bugs. I know, I'm sorry, it was tough to type that and not want to put up a tent in the backyard - but we must continue.

Bugs. No one wants to hear they have bugs in their bed, but we do. Fortunately, these bugs aren't ones we can usually see with the naked eye because they are so tiny. That would be D. pteronyssinus, or more commonly referred to as dust mites. Under a microscope, these little buggers look fierce, but they hold a purpose in the crevices of your mattress. They help clean up all of that dead skin you shed while you're asleep.

The fungus among us isn't all that bad either. The fungus commonly found here is called A. penicilloides, and it too feeds off the dead skin cells left behind. But the fungus is more attracted to the fat left in the dead skin cells. A normal human skin cell contains too much fat for a dust mite to ingest, which is where the fungus comes in to absorb all that extra the mites couldn't finish.

The grease and the bacteria all come from our skin, sad to say. But again, this is a natural thing and isn't necessarily considered to be a dirty trait. Oily skin can create excessive excretion from the skin and cause natural oils to be absorbed by the bed.

So all in all, it sounds gross to know what all lurks on your mattress but it's all relatively normal. It is best to keep it as clean as possible, and there are many products available in bedding that can keep the dust mite/fungus count very low as it does cause some allergen issues. The ecosystem in your mattress is daily occurring thing, but it can be significantly cut down by having it cleaned and sanitized with low moisture cleaning by Gator Clean. 

Contact Gator Clean today to have your mattress cleaned and sanitized.

Apr
15
2019

Awesome unconventional ways to remove pet hair from your carpet.

Pet owners all have the same problems when it comes to sharing our homes with our four-legged friends. Awesome unconventional ways to remove pet hairs from your carpet. Remove pet fur from carpet. The fur is everywhere, especially on the carpets! Getting rid of the animal is out of the question, so what are we supposed to do? Vacuuming regularly helps but the fur still seems to linger.

There are other simple ways of moving pet hair with everyday products you already have in your home.

Sponge mop: This can be achieved by lightly spraying a sponge mop with water and mopping the carpet. It will lift the fur, and you can push it into a pile and pick it up.

Window squeegee: attach a window squeegee and an old mop handle and rake it across your carpet. It will collect in a pile which can be easily vacuumed.

Lint roller: Just like you roll the lint roller over your clothes to remove pet hair, the same can be done on the carpet, sofa, and chairs. Some companies even sell attachments to make rolling it on the carpet easier.

Fabric softener: Add one part fabric softener and three parts water to a spray bottle. Lightly spray your carpet and let it dry. Run the vacuum over the entire area and the fur should come up with ease.

Rubber bristle brush: This is an excellent tool for removing fur from the carpet. One side has fine bristols and the other bigger bristols for tougher jobs. Just brush the carpet and rack the pet hair into a pile and vacuum it up.

Deshedding gloves: This not only works on removing loose hair from your pet but also helps to collect it from the carpet and furniture.

Our furry friends make life better in every way possible. If you are still having trouble with pet hair or maybe pet stains contact Gator Clean and we can get you all set up!

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