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Brass Attacked: Sweat Boosts Bacteria on Brass and Copper Fixtures

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Cleaning Tips, News, Office Cleaning by alan0 Comments

The use of brass and copper has been a standard in building interiors such as schools, hospitals and offices for decades. Any element that uses a copper base, like brass, has been proven to help fight bacteria on contact over hundreds of years of research. However, brass door handles and panels could be facing an unlikely threat; sweaty palms. Washroom Services The University of Leicester revealed this week that findings from it's latest study show that he salt in human sweat could counter-act the bacteria-beating chemistry of copper. It's understood that the unique make-up of brass creates a small electrochemical reaction on contact with living organisms that disrupts the DNA of nasty germs, preventing them from reproducing. However, a team lead by Dr. Bond say that within an houor of contact, the sodium in sweat can nullify that reaction by corroding the surface of the metal creates an oxidising layer, preventing the hygenic reaction taking place. Dr Bond said: "The antimicrobial effect of copper has been known for hundreds of years. It is thought to occur as a result of a charge exchange between copper and bacteria, which leads to a degradation of the bacteria DNA. We have discovered that the salt in sweat corrodes the metal, forming an oxide layer on its surface, which is the process of corrosion – and this corrosive layer is known to inhibit the effect of the copper. We have shown that it is possible for sweat to produce an oxide layer on the metal within an hour of contact. "While it is well known that sweat corrodes brass, this is the first study to quantitatively analyse the temporal corrosion of copper alloys such as brass in the first few hours after contact between fingerprint sweat concentrations of salt and the metal.” Brass still has it's hygenic uses in offices, schools and hospitals but now we can conclusively say it needs a little help to stay at it's bacteria-busting best. So be sure to drop us a line at Total Clean to help with all aspects of keeping your premises clean at all times of day.
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Five Unlikely Cleaning Organic Cleaning Products

In Carpet & Floor Cleaning, Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, commercial cleaning, Janitorial Supplies by admin0 Comments

Organic. Natural. Eco-Friendly. There's more pressure on both commercial bodies and households than ever before to make their products and services kinder to the environment and nasty chemical-free. Even in the world of commercial cleaning, where people expect industrial-strength detergents and high-powered equipment, regulations to protect the environment are consistently being tweaked. lemons-cleaning Whilst we wouldn't necessarily use any of these in our duties of office cleaning in London, here are 5 unlikely organic cleaning alternatives you could use in your own home or office. 1. Lemons One of the old favourites and the inspiration for a million cleaning products (or at least, their fragrance) the natural acidity of lemons has made them a firm favourite in the world of cleaning. Cut a lemon in half and it becomes the ideal cleaning tool for wood. Spruce up chopping boards and wooden surfaces with this citrus solution. 2. Coffee Grinds Have a coffee machine in the office? Use the grinds to clean greasy surface and as an unlikely deodorant. As something that is readily available in any London office, we'd suggest using it to give the communal microwave a new lease of life and doing everyone's food a favour by placing an open zip-lock bag full in the fridge. 3. Walnuts Is your office home to a lot of wooden floors or furniture? Then it's inevitable there's going to be some chips, scraps or scratches making things look unsightly. Take the edge off any damage to wood anywhere by chopping a walnut in half and rubbing on the offending area. The natural oils help fill in the surface without damaging any of the surrounding area. 4. Olive Oil If there's anything stainless steel in your office that needs a bit of a buff, olive oil is a great alternative to specialist polish. But if it's more of a scrub you're after, mix the oil with some coarse salt for a solution that's perfect where a job requires a little more elbow grease. 5. Cream of Tartar Something that should be in any good baker's cupboards, cream of tartar is a slightly acidic ingredient that seems to have limited uses. But with a couple of drops of water per tablespoon, you'll have a paste works miracles on cleaning pots and pans. If your selection of cookware now boasts brown spots where it was once silver - this is the solution to your problems!
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Clean Fleets: The 10 Minute Car Cleaning Routine You’ve Been Waiting For

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, commercial cleaning by admin0 Comments

Whilst we're all about office-cleaning, many people forget that a commercial cleaning company's duties don't always end at the door. car-cleaning-tips Many of our clients have fleet vehicles or company cars that need the same TLC as any other working environment, and one of our biggest requests is how to keep your car in order. For some it's just a means of getting from A to B (and on the weekends, C and D) but for others, it's a mobile office, a first impression or a tool of their trade - so why is it our cars are clutter magnets? Never fear, though as your motor will be back to it's neat and tidy best once you've put this list of car cleaning tips into effect. SPACE For anyone that's heard of Julie Morgenstern’s SPACE method, this guide will sound awfully familiar. For those who haven't, the SPACE method of cleaning makes your task easier by splitting it into five smaller, more easily-accomplished tasks. The result will be a perfect baseline, that you can then go on to manage more easily from then on. So, grab yourself a heavy-duty bin-bag and roll up your sleeves - it's time to get stuck in! S - Sort Start off by removing everything from the car that was not in there when you bought it. No excuses, it doesn't matter how small and insignificant it may seem - once you start letting one nicknack keep it's place, you'll start making excuses for others! Once everything is out on your driveway or depot floor, it's time to put sort into action. Divide up all the items you now have into logical groups. We can't lay these out for you, as they'll depend on what line of work you're in, but for us, it's something like documents (insurance, manual, service history) Work-related, (rubber gloves, cleaning solutions, janitorial supplies) Electronics (Sat-Nav, iPod cable, Bluetooth Kit, SatNav) and so on. Once you've got over the shock of all the stuff you keep in your car, it's time to go to step 2… P - Purge It's time to set aside your feelings and start being ruthless - it's time to start binning the things you don't need. And remember - everything you bin here, will save you time later. Start with the obvious; any old food packaging, receipts, parking dockets, water bottles and so on should be the first thing to go. Then, move on to the things that are broken, now-useless or pointless. Do you really need all ten of those pens? Of course not, put some back in the office. How about that outdated road atlas? No, no-one on eBay will want it. Bin it. Now your car is freshly purged, grab the vacuum if you have one and give the surfaces a clean with a damp cloth. A - Assign Now you've established what you really need in your car, it's time to find a place for it all. If you're cleaning a company car you might be using to pick up clients, you'll want to keep everything out of sight, so maximise the glove-box and storage compartments in the door. If you're in a company van or vehicle with a large boot, consider buying a box to keep in the rear of the vehicle for all your work-related items - freeing up the glovebox and centre console for things you need to have on hand quickly. E - Equalise The final hurdle is the hardest - and the longest - this step means looking after your car from now on. Set a time when it's convenient to sort out the inside of your vehicle, first thing on a Monday or last thing on a Friday are personal favourites to carry out a quick whip-around; put all your rubbish in a plastic bag, scoop up that loose change and - please - don't eat that chewing gum you just found under one of the mats.

SPRING OFFICE CLEANING: THREE TOP TIPS

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, commercial cleaning, Office Cleaning by admin0 Comments

Spring is here in London, and after a hot and bothersome tube journey, no-one wants more of the same as they step into the office! So, how can you make your workplace that little bit more bright'n'breezy? Here's our top three tips to getting your office workplace in the spring cleaning spirit!

office cleaning tips - workstations

1.De-Clutter Look around your desk right now. Chances are - barring the compulsive tidiers in the audience - you've got some stuff that simply doesn't need to be there; envelopes from the post this morning, notes that you've since typed up, some old business cards - in an office, the list of clutter is nearly endless. So, start with the things right in front of you - put old bits of post straight in the bin, file away the important things on your desk and scrap all those waste bits of paper you use to make notes whilst on the phone. But don't just stop above the desk - have a look through your desk drawers for things you really don't need, and get rid of them! As an office cleaning company in London, we find the biggest cause of in-desk clutter is promotional tat from conferences and expositions - if you'll never use it, bin it or give it to someone who will! 2. Disinfect Just as beauty is only skin-deep, your office's cleanliness can only be surface-clean! Alongside getting the duster and furniture polish out, add a disinfecting regimen in to your office cleaning schedule and you'll really thank yourself by the time summer hits! Anything that your hand comes in to contact with (phones, mice, keyboards, door handles etc.) should be given the once-over with a disinfectant wipe or cleaner at least once a week. For those of you who hot-desk, we're sure you'd appreciate knowing that the phone you're going to be using all day has been given a thorough once-over after used by someone else yesterday! If you're guilty of eating at your desk, make sure that your keyboard is blasted with some compressed air, too, to make sure that any crumbs are dislodged. Anyone with allergies or sensitive sinuses that uses your keyboard will be able to breath a little easier knowing that there isn't debris being dispersed under their nose with every keystroke! 3. Rejuvenate Every office has at least on set of files that are in desperate need of some TLC. So, why not make it your Spring Office Cleaning mission to give them a new home? Whether they're old directories, contracts or spreadsheets, the chances are if they've hung around this long, they're important. Re-organise them into fresh ring-binders, insert particularly old information into plastic wallets and condense down anything that's taking up too much room. They whole office will be grateful knowing that there's a little more elbow room and shelf space being created. Whilst likely to take a chunk out of your day, studies have shown that cleaner workplaces with less clutter increase the productivity of the staff that work in them, so you'll probably make that time up over the rest of the week! That is it for now but stay tuned for more office cleaning tips here at Total Clean Office Cleaning London!

Cleaning Industry Health and Safety Acknowledgements

In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Office Cleaning by admin0 Comments

If we stop to think about the cleaning industry, it is probably the only industry together with the utilities industries that provides its services to all the other industries. Employing large number of people in all sectors of the economy from schools to hospitals, public places to private offices, shops to factories. With an extensive work range that covers all cleaning activities from strenuous industrial cleaning jobs to day to day office cleaning services and even household cleaning can be included. In this article I'll take an in-depth look at health and safety for office cleaning services. Before I dig any deeper into this subject, did you know that a risk assessment is required before a company can start to provide its office cleaning services? Please share your thoughts in our comments section below. That said, lets take a look on how to create a Risk Assessment for a new cleaning contractor. Risk assessments are not rocket science but do need special attention as they are used to identify hazardous working conditions and provide practical actions to protect people from harm and injury. According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) to create a risk assessment you only need to follow 5 steps:
  • Identify Hazardous workplaces and possible working conditions
  • Point out who and how workers can be harmed by the hazards
  • Evaluate the risks and decide on precaution
  • Record your findings and implement them
  • Review your assessment and update if necessary
  • An example of an office cleaning risk assessment can be found at the HSE's website as a pdf file. Now we all have a brief on how to create and the importance of a risk assessment for office cleaning services, lets take a look at the most common injuries and accidents faced by cleaning professionals working inside offices and buildings in general. The three most common accidents faced by office cleaners are slips and trips, manual handling and falls from height. These accidents are directly related to the most common injuries affecting the cleaning industry. They are: Injury to backs and upper limbs and occupational dermatitis. To sum things up I'd like to point out a few working places and conditions where there might be risks for those of you working or hiring office cleaning services. Wet floors are the most common working condition with a certain accident degree of risk. Make sure all staff are provided with anti-slippery footwear and wet floors are signalled at all times. Electricity is another area to be extremely aware of, ensure that all cables are covered properly; sockets are not overloaded with too many power leads and keep water away from these areas. Storage room cleaning, ensure that all the old file' boxes are pilled up evenly and do not exceed the recommended stacking height to avoid them falling on people. Having covered the basics of health and safety within the cleaning industry now you are more prepared an aware of what needs to be done before you hire a cleaning company. In most cases, cleaning companies offer the risk assessment for free and prior to you signing their contract. Office Cleaning Expert with over 15 years of experience working with commercial cleaning in central London and surrounding areas.
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    Top 10 Green Cleaning Tips

    In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips, Environment by admin0 Comments

    Green is the new trend. Every industry is at least trying to convert their procedures to environmentally friendly. One industry that has been investing big to earn the “Eco-Friendly Label” is the cleaning industry with the developments of biodegradable cleaning products and cleaning methods that will keep a place smelling fresh without the toxic effect. Here at Total Clean we strive to deliver an environmentally friendly office cleaning service by applying cleaning products and methods that are less harmful as possible to the environment. We also have a great concern for our clients’ homes, reason why every once in a while we publish cleaning tips to help them maintain their houses as fresh and clean as we leave their working place. This time we compiled a list with our top 10 Green Cleaning tips for you to keep your house fresh-smelling without harming your family's life. 1.Employ green cleaning products As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren’t for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you’ve got yourself an all-purpose cleaner. 2.Avoid poor indoor air quality It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home. 3.Be careful with antibacterial cleaners The antibacterial and antimicrobial 'cleaners' that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don’t clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding "super germs," bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided. 4.Help your home smell baking soda-licious Baking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it's also a great odor-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odors and then vacuum it up. 5.Clean your indoor air naturally Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air--pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice. 6.Toss toxic cleaners carefully When replacing your cleaning products, don’t just throw the old ones in the trash. If they're too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you (see How to Go Green: Water for more). 7.Avoid conventional dry cleaners Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet. 8.Employ a green house cleaning service For people don’t have the time to clean their own homes, fortunately there are an increasing number of green cleaning services out there to help get things spic and span. If you can’t find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify. 9.Leave the toxins at the door Imagine what’s on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy. Many green buildings now include entryway track-off systems as a means of maintaining a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals. 10.Design with clean in mind Designing houses and other building with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain. In larger buildings, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver as cleaning costs can often add up to as much as half of a building’s total energy costs. Why not help us extend this list? Share your green cleaning tips and lets make the world a cleaner place without harming it.

    Office Cleaning Tips: Reducing Paper Clutter

    In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning Tips by admin0 Comments

    Anyone who has ever visited a company’s head office to find their office looking like it’s been annihilated by adverse weather conditions, will probably admit that their opinion of the company went down as a result.

    Reducing paper clutter

    In the same way that you can’t help but judge the author of an email littered with spelling and grammatical errors, you invariably judge a company whose employees’ work at desks piled with seemingly random papers.

    It all comes back to that age old rule: your first impression counts - mess that up, and you’re facing an uphill battle that could’ve been easily avoidable. Whether we like to acknowledge it, a cluttered, untidy and - worst of all - unhygienic office is likely to scare off new clients. In fact, never mind about new clients, you want your current partners to hold you with high esteem, right? If so, undoubtedly the best way for that to happen is creating a clean, organised environment and sometimes the best way to do that is by hiring a professional office cleaning company.

    As a business manager, the key is to shift the company’s attitude to creating clutter. This is significant for two reasons.

    First is because the overall efficiency and productivity of a business can increase when employers spend just a minute a day less searching for documents etc. By itself a minute doesn’t sound like much of course, but accumulatively - over the space of weeks, months and years - it can make profound difference to your business’ growth.

    office cleaning tips

    Secondly, cleaning gets harder the worse mess becomes. It’s human nature to put off chores like cleaning until tomorrow. Problem is; tomorrow comes and the mess is worse, making tidying up even more of a chore. It’s a vicious (and ultimately messy) cycle!

    So how can you sort this? In today's office cleaning tips we will bring you a wise and environmentally friendly  idea to help you reduce paper clutter in your office. The tidiest offices are generally those that simply have less material clutter to begin with. And how do they manage this? By bringing in a digital filing system…

    It’s likely your business already has a network, and that’s a great starting point. Next comes a complete overhaul of the network’s file structure. This will take some time and careful consideration. A general rule-of-thumb is that an effective digital file system – when compartmentalized – reflects exactly how the business is organised and leaves room for future amendment and likely change.

    Of course, there will always be a need for hard copies. However, to discourage printing unnecessary hard copies, some organisations have avoided giving each employee their own filing cabinets, and instead, opt for a communal filing station that of course means getting up, walking over and finding the appropriate file.

    Although simple, making this change and gathering your troops for a inspiring talk about the reasons behind, is a sure fire way to instal greater productivity and the priceless benefit of your employees and clients enjoying spending time at the office - the value of which barely needs our endorsement!

    Eco Friendly Cleaning, Telling the Real From the Fake

    In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Cleaning Tips, Environment by admin0 Comments

    Eco-friendly is the big buzzword right now in the cleaning industry and manufacturers of cleaning and maintenance products have caught on to this trend, introducing eco friendly cleaning solutions to their products lines.

    Green Cleaning

    The main criticism with eco-friendly cleaning services and producs is that it’s a higher expense for something that has the same outcome as traditional cleaning solutions. Overall, it’s easy to wonder if you’re getting bang for that extra buck.

    Now, you will see a lot of terms thrown around such as “green” “eco friendly” and “biodegradable” when looking at cleaning products or services. The truth is that companies will grossly exaggerate their green credentials in order to convince you that their products are non-toxic, non-corrosive and non-carcinogenic.

    If this is the case, then how do you tell apart the real from the fabricated?

    Well, for a start, the Environmental Protection Agency offers an eco-friendly certification called Design for the Environment – which essentially validates any claims to being eco-friendly.

    Another way is to look for “Green Seal” certification which, again, will appear on a product’s packaging and identifies the product as fulfilling eco-friendly standards. That said, such certifications are voluntary, meaning that not all products without these certifications are not eco-friendly.

    In our experience, super-slick branding and packaging for products that profess to being eco-friendly often turn out to contain ingredients that are chemical-based as opposed to citrus-based solvents, vinegar, natural abrasives and essential oils.

    This is mainly down to its parent company responding to the demand without wanting to invest in new product development. We’d suggest that, when all else fails, look for minimal packaging or cleaners that can be refilled from concentrate to cut down on packaging waste – as they often turn out to be the most effective and genuinely eco friendly cleaning solutions.

    Now for cleaning companies a way to certify that their cleaning services are eco-friendly is to ask for their green accreditations and for their environmental cleaning policy.

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    Green Cleaning Ideas For Your Home

    In Cleaning Advice by admin0 Comments

    While it might seem rather arcane to use natural ingredients for cleaning, most modern synthetic cleaning products are based on the same principles of chemistry that allow tea tree oil to remove mould.

    Not only are these natural ingredients equally effective as branded products, most can be found in your kitchen cupboards and are entirely non-toxic. Meaning you can clean every inch of your home safe in the knowledge that you’re doing it in an environmentally friendly manner using ingredients that cost - ounce for ounce - about one-tenth of the price of their commercial counterpart. Making and trying your own toxic-free cleaning equipment takes no time at all with these simple directions.

    First off, you’re going to need some essential, basic ingredients - which you can mix-and-match to find the best cleaning solution. They are: baking soda, white distilled vinegar, tea tree oil, washing soda and a good liquid soap or detergent. To mix and apply the solutions you’ll want, ideally, 6 clean spray bottles and 2 glass jars handy.

    Now you’re ready to get cleaning – green style! Let’s start with the most straightforward but versatile cleaning solution:

    Multi-purpose cleaner

    All you need for this is 1/2 teaspoons of washing soda, a dab of liquid soap and 2 cups hot tap water. Then simply combine the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag. Simples!

    Window cleaning

    green cleaning windows

    For this one, you’ll need to mix 1/4 teaspoons of liquid detergent, 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 2 cups of water, again, into a clean spray bottle. Shake it good and use as you would a regular branded product. The soap in this recipe is important, as it cuts the wax residue from the branded products you might have used in the past.

    Oven cleaning

    The notoriously hard-to-clean feature of every home: the oven can turn into a grimy mess without regular cleaning. To stay on top of this, measure 1 cup (or more) of baking soda, fill a jar of water and prepare have liquid detergent at-the-ready.

    oven cleaning

    Clean by sprinkling water generously over the floor of the oven. Cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is virtually turned white. Then sprinkle some more water on top and let the mixture set overnight. The grime will loosen considerably by the next day, allowing you to wipe away the grease. Once you’ve cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent (or soap) onto a sponge and wash the remaining residue. If this recipe doesn’t work for you, use more baking soda and water next time! Don’t worry, just pile it in.

    Mould removing

    mould removing

    This spray is a proven winner with removing mould and mildew. It works particularly well on mouldy ceilings and mouldy shower curtains. The key ingredient in this mix is tea tree oil, which can be expensive, but a little goes a very long way. All you have to do is combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups water in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. And voila, you done.

    Now we want to hear from you. Have you got any green cleaning tip that you would to share with us? Please use our comments to share your eco-friendly cleaning tips.

    Green Cleaning – The Healthy Option

    In Cleaning Advice, Cleaning News, Cleaning Tips, Environment, Hospital Cleaning, Office Cleaning by admin0 Comments

    Cleaning is essential for maintaining hygiene and health. We clean our offices and homes to remove dust and germs, and it also makes us feel good, no one likes to stay in a dirty, untidy mess. Different cleaning processes and endless varieties of cleaning products are available for office or home use. It has been proven for some time that some commercial cleaning products can pose threat to your health. According to scientists and physicians, strong chemical compounds used in cleaning products can cause different dermatological and respiratory problems for people and that’s why people are opting for green cleaning. Indeed, green cleaning is the ideal form of cleaning which does not involve the use of any chemical based cleaning products and thus has no side affects that could harm the health of people or the environment. As the name suggests, green cleaning is a natural formula for keeping your surroundings clean and fresh. Unlike factory-made, cleaning solutions and detergents, green cleaning is totally free from all kinds of toxic chemicals. More and more places like hospitals and nursing homes are implementing green cleaning as  the safest cleaning process. The USA and European countries are using green cleaning in commercial areas like offices, markets and shopping centres that witness the presence of large numbers of people with different health conditions on a daily basis. It is also extremely beneficial to cleaning staff who work with cleaning agents on a daily basis. Another major reason why people have largely accepted green cleaning is the availability and cheap cost of the items; lemon juice, vinegar, baking soda and washing soda are the most effective green cleaning product and are purchased at a much cheaper costs compared to toxic chemical-based solutions and detergents. You can apply these natural ingredients for cleaning anything in the office, home and leisure industry, without  any kind of threat to your health minimise the risk of damage to your belongings.