The importance of soap & water in the fight against Covid-19

Wash-Your-Hands-001We’ve all been hearing “wash your hands” as the singular best way to stay healthy during these dark days of Coronavirus Covid-19.
It seems so basic— after all, it’s what we teach toddlers even before they are able to stand up on their own. Every parent has asked their child, even tweens and teens: “Did you wash your hands?” followed by a “Yes” and an eye roll, followed by “With soap?” followed by…. silence and said eye rolling and slouching child returning to the sink to wash with said soap.      

Washing with soap and water is not a new phenomenon it didn’t just become a new hot latest and greatest practice weeks ago. It has been said that the ancient Babylonians invented soap around 2800 B.C.

However, the current health advice for washing hands with soap and water is based on the ability of soap molecules to interfere with lipids in the Covid-19 virus membrane, breaking down the outer fatty (lipid) layer of the virus. Moreover, the soap molecules can compete with the other non-covalent bonds between the proteins, RNA and lipids, effectively ‘dissolving’ the glue that holds the virus together. The soap can also disrupt the interactions between the virus and the skin surface, removing viruses from the skin.

What is it about soap that gives it such superpowers? (the science bit!)

Plain old hand soap, no, not antibacterial soap (remember, this is a virus we are dealing with, not a bacteria), contains molecules called ‘soap molecules.’ 
Each soap molecule has a hydrophilic (‘water-loving’) head and a hydrophobic (‘water-hating’) tail. Viruses are surrounded by a ‘lipid-bilayer’ made up of two bands of hydrophobic tails sandwiched between two rings of hydrophilic heads. When exposed to soap and water, viruses are prised apart, as the hydrophobic tails of the soap molecules attempt to escape from water and wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of the virus rupturing the viral membrane. In effect breaking down the proteins to help prevent the virus from entering the cells on the skin.

Why soap and water is the ‘Gold Standard’ and NOT alcohol-based hand sanitizers?

There are two types of hand sanitizers alcohol-based and alcohol-free. Only sanitizers with a high concentration of alcohol (more than 60%) are effective against Covid-19.
Ethanol and other types of alcohol are solvents and are therefore more lipophilic
(‘fat-loving’) than water. This means that alcohol does dissolve the lipid membranes and disrupt the virus. These hand sanitizers are useful when soap and water are not available. Even so, soap and water will still remain the ‘gold standard’ as the virus detaches from the skin and falls apart readily in soapy water.

To sum it up!

  • Clean hands protect against infection
  • Protect yourself
  • Clean your hands regularly.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly.
  • Use alcohol-based hand rub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.
  • Repeat often.
  • Tell a friend.

How do I wash my hands properly?

Washing your hands properly takes about as long as singing “Happy Birthday” twice, which is around 20 seconds and following the images below:

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Illustration Courtesy of the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Gerrards Fly the Flag!

flag-united-kingdom_Freepik      Gerrards Logo (2) (2016_08_22 20_00_12 UTC)

Gerrards have made a commitment to buy British made cleaning solutions, whenever and wherever possible. We have always chosen British made products when possible, however we have now decided to actively source as many products that have been made in Britain as we can. 

The Coronavirus pandemic has already triggered a wave of high street failures, especially in the fashion industry. Hundreds of thousands of retail workers have been furloughed, with the aim that they will return to the shop floor when stores are allowed to reopen. But will these jobs and customers still be there?

Hopefully we can all play our part in supporting local businesses and shops by buying British made products. The lockdown has prompted huge changes in the way we shop, more home deliveries, more local shopping, and changes in the way we buy goods and services. 

Local producers are already seeing uplifts in sales and local farm shops and other community stores are already benefiting from a new customer base which hopefully will stay loyal after the lockdown has been lifted and we learn to live with the ‘new normal’.

Lets make ‘Buying British’ the next fashionable trend!

  Acknowledgment for Union Flag – Photo Courtesy of Freepik

Office Carpet Cleaning Saves You Money!

One of the most popular types of flooring material for office buildings is carpet, but it’s not the type of carpeting typically found in homes—like plush pile, shag or woven. These options are ideal for average residential use, as they are intended more for comfort in low-key environments. Work environments are a different type of animal; the heavy foot traffic nature of commercial buildings calls for a lower-profile, thicker industrial carpet material designed to stand up to regular use and extra abuse.
From the soles of footwear to wheeled carts to food and drink spills, your office carpets are put through the wringer day in and day out. This is inevitable. Since these things cannot be avoided, it’s up to you to be extra attentive to the appearance of your office or retail space.

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Professional carpet cleaners can help. Sure, this service is another business expense, but it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here’s how office carpet cleaning can actually save your business money.

Positive Impressions
The biggest benefit of choosing to hire a professional carpet cleaning company for regular services is that it can help boost the appearance of your commercial space. Whether you own a hotel, office building or retail establishment, the success of your business depends on returning customers or clients. People are more likely to frequent places that are clean than places with dirty or stained carpets.

 

Prevent Wear and Damage
Cleaning plays a big role in preventing wear and damage to your commercial carpets. Carpets that are not cleaned at regular intervals will start to look dirty and unhygienic. The longer you let your carpets go without cleaning, the sooner they’ll need to be replaced, and maintaining your carpets is much more cost-effective in the long run than having to pay for replacement carpeting prematurely.

Supplies Not Needed
As a business owner, you have all sorts of different expenses to include in your budget, such as employee payroll, utilities, computers and office maintenance. You don’t need to add on the cost of carpet cleaning supplies and equipment. If you decide to hire an in-house cleaning team, that’s an additional expense for your business. However, if you call professional carpet cleaners only when you need the carpets cleaned, you’ll only pay for a single service – and they provide all the cleaning supplies. This is by far the more affordable option.

Focus Your Time Elsewhere
Running a business, office or shop keeps you and your employees busy, so the time required to properly clean your commercial carpeting may not be available. Additionally, this task takes away precious time from your team, which could lead to missed deadlines or disorganization. Time is money – consider hiring outside carpet and upholstery cleaning service. Consider hiring Gerrards!

 

Gerrards UJ logo-001Gerrard’s have a range of the most modern and effective carpet cleaning systems in the world, giving us the means to clean any commercial carpet in any location, regardless of age or condition. We will visit your premises and carry out a detailed inspection and then tailor a cost-effective cleaning package to your exact requirements, which may include the use of different systems and techniques to suit specific areas, rather than a one size fits all approach. And with 45 years’ experience in the industry, you can be sure that you will be dealing with a specialist professional company, totally committed to high levels of service and quality.

Call us: 01744 649554


 

Spring Clean Survey!

As part of National Spring Cleaning Week the general public were asked to help with a Spring Clean Survey to undercover general attitudes towards cleanliness and cleaning habits.
The survey found that around 40% of typical households considered it rude if guests did not take their shoes off when visiting their house. However, around 8 to 10% of those admitted to wearing their own shoes around the house.
The survey revealed that 70% of people had brought mud into their home, and 25% admitted to treading dog poo in their carpet. Dog faeces carries a wealth of bacteria, and if it is not removed promptly and correctly, it can be passed on to adults, children and other animals. Professional cleaning can ensure elimination of such germs and bacteria.

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Interestingly, over 25% of those surveyed said that they’d changed a baby’s nappy on the carpet. Some carpets may look clean on the surface, but the visible grime we notice is just the tip of the iceberg.

 

 


Over 85% of soil is buried deep within the carpet pile, and most domestic vacuum cleaners and steamers haven’t got what it takes to get rid of these deep-down germs.
Professional cleaning not only improves the appearance of carpets and upholstery, but also creates a more hygienic environment, by removing accumulated soil and debris.

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It is not uncommon to rest on our sofas when feeling unwell, so it is crucial to keep your home clean to prevent spreading germs further around the house, and even to the wider community. NHS research has shown that two thirds of Britons don’t follow basic hygiene, which makes the need for regular, professional cleaning all the more important.

“What are your thoughts?”

These Common Shop Bought Cleaning Products Can Ruin Your Carpets and Upholstery!

In addition to carpet and furniture cleaning jobs, we often get calls about stain removal.
Most spillages and common stains can be treated and removed successfully if we know what we’re dealing with.
But the real problems occur when a customer purchases and uses one of the common stain removal products that are sold in most supermarkets (no names mentioned but there’s more than one offending brand that fits the criteria here…)

       Seen here damage to carpets by using over the counter stain removal products.

I still can’t quite get my head around how some of these products can be sold as “stain removers” when they rarely get rid of the stain and often make it far worse and much more difficult to remove to the point sometimes were the stain has been sealed in to the carpet and cannot be removed at all. Often causing irreversible damage to the carpet fibres.

OK, so now I am actually naming and shaming one particular product, however there are many other products that do similar damage.

This is the reason why Gerrards give all our customers a bottle of our own label professional spotter/ stain remover to use in between deep cleans.
It is also our way of saying “Thank You” for your business too!

Gerrards spotter. (2015_10_03 09_36_17 UTC)-003

Your Carpet is the Biggest Filter in Your Home!

When you were selecting the carpet in your home, you may not have thought much about how carpet contributes to your family’s health and well-being. Perhaps you were thinking style, colour, and durability. However, one of the greatest, but often overlooked benefits of carpet is its contribution to healthier indoor air quality.

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Your carpet is the biggest filter in your home. Just like your washing machine filter or vacuum cleaner filter or air conditioning that filters out airborne soils that pass through it, your carpet does the same thing. During the autumn and winter months when your windows are rarely opened, it becomes a bigger issue.

draught-marks-001                              Draught Marks clearly seen round the edges of this room!

Carpeting absorbs tracked in soil like dirt, asphalt, pollens, insecticides, bacterial matter, and fungus. This can be clearly seen with “draught marks”.
The black lines that appear on light coloured carpet around the skirting boards, under the doors and around cool air returns is called “filtration soiling” or “draught marks”.
The filtering process that your carpet provides keeps those soils from becoming airborne. These soils are trapped in the carpet. They are then removed with regular vacuuming and regular professional cleaning.

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If you do not clean your carpet on a regular basis, the filter becomes full. Would you leave your air conditioning filters for years on end without replacing them or cleaning them? No. The cleaning industry at large has not done a good job of educating the public about these kinds of issues; therefore many consumers are uninformed of the impact.
Not maintaining your carpet not only leaves it exposed to permanent traffic area damage and permanent staining, but it contributes to an unhealthy indoor environment.