Is Bleach a Safe Disinfectant? Here’s How to Use it To Get Rid of COVID-19.

Is bleach a safe disinfectant? It depends. Read this guide to understand when bleach is dangerous — and why.

is-bleach-a-safe-disinfectant?

Chlorine-based bleach has been around for a long, long, time. It was invented in Europe in the late 18th century, and many consider it the be-all and end-all solution to their cleaning needs. And now with concerns about the coronavirus (Covid-19), people are using bleach as a disinfectant at increasing rates. And with this increased use, we’ve heard households wondering, Is bleach a safe disinfectant? While bleach can be dangerous in some instances, the good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a diluted bleach solution for disinfecting your Chicagoland home during Covid-19. (But make sure your bleach isn’t past its expiration date or it’ll be ineffective against the virus.)

The CDC recommends using the following solution on suitable  hard surfaces:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
    OR
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

Be sure to let your mixed solution set for at least one minute before using it to disinfect. 

When Is Bleach Not Safe?

However, for some soft or hard surfaces, the CDC does say that bleach is dangerous — and instead recommends that you disinfect with any of these EPA-registered household disinfectants. (They meet EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.)

Even though in general bleach is a safe disinfectant, it’s important to remember that it can do your house great harm if you’re not careful. This is because bleach contains chlorine, which is a dangerous chemical. Here are ten reasons why bleach isn’t always the safest choice for cleaning your Chicagoland home:

  • Chlorine lacks detergency – in other words, it contains no wetting agents that allow it to penetrate soils, so surfaces must be pre-cleaned before chlorine will effectively kill germs. This is a 2-step process that requires more time.
  • Chlorine is very caustic to human tissue. It can produce irritation and burning on your skin and could cause blindness.
  • Chlorine reacts with other chemicals to create toxic byproducts and gases. For instance, when bleach mixes with ammonia, it can form chlorine gas, causing cellular damage in nasal passageways and lungs. The accidental mixture of these two products has resulted in death. It’s also incompatible with products that contain hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, and acetic acid (vinegar).
  • It may harm your children. After using, bleach remains on surfaces and continues to emit fumes. Recent studies show that children who been exposed to bleach in their homes are more likely to suffer from respiratory illness. In addition, various studies have linked the use of bleach in a household to a higher prevalence of asthma and allergies.
  • Using bleach can hurt your pets. Your cleaning products can stay on a pet’s paws or fur. Since cats and dogs often lick themselves, they may ingest harmful chemicals. Due to their tiny size, birds can become sick upon inhaling only a small amount of the fumes. Bleach poisoning in pets can result in vomiting, convulsions, and sometimes death.
  • Bleach can kill mold, BUT it depends on the surface the mold is on. Mold grows on both porous and non-porous materials. When dealing with mold on non-porous materials such as shower tiles, tubs, vinyl window trims, countertops, etc. you can use bleach to kill the mold and disinfect. But using bleach to remove mold from porous materials like drywall and wood can actually accelerate mold growth rather than killing it! How? When bleach is used on porous materials, the chlorine is left on the surface and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, aggravating the situation as this provides more moisture for the mold to feed on, where it may then produce allergens and irritants. If your Chicago area home or business has a mold infestation, call ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons to professionally remove it
  • Chlorine is extremely corrosive to metal surfaces and can permanently discolor countertops. It can also damage floor finishes, requiring them to be stripped and recoated, which is an expensive process.
  • Chlorine discolors fibers and colored surfaces. Carpets, upholstery, and clothing are just a few of the materials that may be damaged.
  • Chlorine bleach’s disinfectant power is rapidly inactivated by contact with organic matter, such as blood, saliva, tissue, urine, feces, dirt, etc. Chlorine is also weakened by sunlight.
  • Diluted chlorine bleach quickly loses its effectiveness, is unstable and can lose its disinfectant qualities very rapidly compared to other, more stable disinfectants.

Safe and Effective Alternatives to Bleach

If you’re looking for a safer alternative to bleach, here are some ideas:

  • Baking soda and white vinegar – they’re non-toxic and non-corrosive. Use them to freshen fabrics, eliminate grease, and clean glass. (Not effective against COVID-19)
  • Rubbing alcohol – effectively cleans plastic surfaces of electronics (A concentration of around 70% will kill COVID-19)
  • Hydrogen peroxide – it’s non-toxic and can be used to disinfect household surfaces. Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide is safe to use around food products. (Effective against COVID-19)
  • Soap and warm water – the basics! It’ll clean just about anything in your home and won’t present any health risks. (Follow up with a disinfectant to be effective against COVID-19)

Bleach is a safe disinfectant —usually. And, it’s a cheap chemical to find at the store, making a great purchase for families on a budget. However, although bleach products may be a bargain, you owe it to yourself, your family, and coworkers to use a product that truly cleans, thoroughly disinfects and is safe to use. We’re not saying not to use bleach to disinfect your home, but definitely consider if it’s safe in specific instances, and don’t be afraid to use alternatives that are just as effective if you are worried about it!

Sometimes, DIY disinfecting with bleach just isn’t an option. If you’re looking for COVID-19 disinfection or cleaning in the Chicagoland area, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We provide effective coronavirus cleaning and Decontamination Services to commercial and residential properties — complete with a stamp of disinfection! 

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, and the North Shore.  ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides Disaster Restoration Services including  COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration,  Mold Remediation, and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning,  Post-Construction Cleaning,  Carpet Cleaning, and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons provides Specialty Cleaning Services For Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

Does Your Building Project Budget for Post Construction Cleaning Costs? Here’s Why It Should.

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterwards, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a post-construction cleaning until the very last minute.

Post-Construction Cleaning Chicago - Oak Park - River Forest - North Shore Illinois - ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons

Budgeting For Post Construction Cleaning Costs – ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons Chicago – Oak Park/River Forest – North Shore IL

 

If you’re planning a residential or commercial construction project in Chicago, Oak Park/River Forest, or the North Shore, and you’re not already thinking about a plan for clean up afterward, you should be. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons have decades of experience in cleaning up after construction projects. You’d be surprised how often we find that customers have forgotten to budget for or schedule a Post Construction Cleaning until the very last minute.

The problem is, customers, don’t realize that post-construction cleaning is an important part of any building project. They don’t understand that Post Construction Cleaning is some of the most important projects a restoration company will take on. These kinds of jobs usually require a company’s entire crew to be onsite for anywhere between a few days to a whole week depending on whether it is a residential or commercial project.

We like to make sure that customers understand the level of care and commitment that goes into each of our post-construction cleaning projects. The professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons are IICRC Certified and well-trained in providing unrivaled and thorough post-construction cleaning. We use products and equipment that meet the highest standards to remove all dust and debris properly. Some of the post-construction cleanup services we offer the Chicagoland area include:

  • Dusting air diffusers
  • Cleaning light fixtures within the construction area
  • Cleaning restroom fixtures
  • Wall washing or spot cleaning walls
  • Ceiling washing
  • Cleaning interior windows
  • HEPA Vacuuming
  • Cleaning carpet areas
  • Damp mopping hard-surface floors
  • Renewing hardwood floors
  • Roto buffing ceramic tile or linoleum

For larger jobs that need further cleaning after construction work has cleared, we often bundle the cleanup with these services:

Our process is one that maximizes efficiency while still delivering the highest level of service. Ideally, our process begins well before the construction project occurs — when a customer reaches out proactively for a quote. No worries if you’re one of the many who let post-construction fall by the wayside during the planning stages; if we can accommodate your dates, we will absolutely still offer quotes to contractors and homeowners who reach out during the construction project. After our professional quote is approved and we are hired for a Post Construction Cleaning, we begin to formulate a scope based on the job’s specific needs and we gather up the necessary personnel and equipment.

Sometimes, we are asked to begin our on-site cleaning for a mid-way cleaning while construction is still taking place. This is helpful for large construction projects that generate so much debris that it creates an unsafe environment and poor air quality for workers. We are available to come in and clean periodically during construction so that waste and dust are properly removed and workers can continue building and renovating on schedule.

Most of the time, though, our on-site cleaning starts immediately after construction concludes. We have two primary objectives during our cleanup: The first, to eradicate and control the dust generated by sanding and plastering before it ends up in the air ducts; and the second, to remove all dust and debris in a timely manner to restore safety to the job site. We do this in five steps:

  1. Schedule air duct cleaning
  2. Wipe down all hard surfaces, nooks and crannies, furniture, and items in renovation space
  3. HEPA vacuum carpet and upholstery
  4. Clean flooring with wet mopping, WoodGlo Renew, or roto tile buffing depending on the floor material
  5. Dispose of all construction debris on-site according to municipal guidelines and regulations in a safe manner

Because these jobs can be so large and costly, it’s important that customers budget for them in their initial construction project plan. Customers are sometimes floored to learn the cost of their site’s post-construction cleanup and are too late in the game to make room in the budget for it. Instead, they choose to DIY the cleanup or, worse, forego it altogether. We never recommend this and we would rather see customers reach out for a quote during the planning stages of a construction project so they can budget accordingly.

Though professional cleanup services are costly, they are always one hundred percent worth it. Here are three reasons why:

  • A professional cleaning increases safety

With construction projects, there will inevitably be debris left behind. From sawdust to nails and broken glass to stray wires, these debris present dangers to both the building crew and those responsible for a DIY cleanup. Accidents during cleanup happen more often than you might think. Hiring a professional crew trained to deal with hazardous materials will ensure the safety of everyone involved. A restoration company is equipped with better equipment than a broom and a dustpan.

  • Professional cleaning ensures debris is properly disposed of

Most municipalities have special rules for the disposal of residential and commercial construction waste, like paint and other chemicals. In general, they must be separated, sorted and eventually delivered to a special facility for lawful disposal. It is important to work with a professional restoration company like or you could face a fine.

  • A professional cleaning promotes efficiency and timeliness

We estimate that a professional cleaning crew will likely be able to complete a post-construction cleanup job four times faster than a DIY-er. Professional crews come with the necessary equipment it takes to clean thoroughly and efficiently. A quick cleanup allows you to move on to the final stages of your construction project. Plus, calling in the professionals for a quick turnaround can mean all the difference for contractors whose agreements include penalties for going overtime on the project.

Here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, we understand that every good construction project includes a professional and thorough post-construction cleanup. Our crews have decades of experience clearing construction job sites safely and quickly to ensure peace-of-mind for contractors, homeowners and business owners alike. For a professional quote, please give us a call as early as possible in your construction planning process. As always, your satisfaction is our number one priority!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is an MBE/WBE certified firm and family-run company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore.  Recently, the company was awarded a variety of honors, including the ServiceMaster Achiever Award and outstanding service in disaster restoration by Build Magazine. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons provides disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning and Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers residing in Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, and the North Shore.  For more information, give us a call at 773-376-1110 or visit servicemasterbysimons.com.

 

 

 

 

Your Number One Guide to Oven Safety

Some of the most dangerous items in your house are the very ones that you would least suspect — like your oven! Even though you might use your oven and stove regularly, without the proper precautions and maintenance this kitchen appliance can quickly become dangerous. Oven incidents can cause kitchen fires, which lead to smoke and soot…and the need for kitchen restoration after the fact.

5 Home Improvement Gifts for Aging Mothers

Up next in Holidays-You-Probably-Forgot-About is Mother’s Day, and if you’re anything like us here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Simons, you’ll be searching for something nice for Mom.

Odor Removal – Clearing the Air of Pesky Odors

Odor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons. Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or

Lemon Carpet CleaningOdor Removal Services from the Professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons.

Benjamin Franklin said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” Although you probably will likely not experience odor problems from guests, there may be odors from fire, smoke, water damage or biological concerns that are hard to remove from your home or business. At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons 855-9-SIMONS, we are experts at removing unpleasant odors that can affect your home.

Our trained and certified technicians understand how to remove and eliminate persistent odors by using a combination of professional products, systems and odor removal technologies. Many commonly used deodorizing products only mask the smells temporarily, but properly removing the odor will ensure the disagreeable scent does not resurface later.

At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, we use a four-step odor removal process:

1. Identify and eliminate the source of the odor.
2. Clean the affected area to properly remove odor residue.
3. Select the necessary deodorization process.
4. Seal the surface if necessary.

While it may be necessary to perform multiple treatments to eliminate severe odors, the use of neutralizing agents included in our extensive line of OdorGo® deodorizing products, coupled with advanced technologies such as nano-particle air cartridges in our air filters, gives us the ability to quickly knock down odors. This effective combination can help to reduce additional living expenses by allowing you to remain in your home.

With our advanced technologies, extensive training and years of experience, there is no odor too strong for our team to handle.

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons is a Woman-Owned and Family Operated Cleaning & Restoration Company. With three locations to serve our customers, ServiceMaster By Simons serves Chicago, Oak Park-River Forest, Elmwood Park, Cleaning Services in Chicago’s North Shore and the North Shore of Lake County to Wisconsin’s State Line.

For immediate service or a free consultation and quote, call us at 773-376-1110 or toll free at 855-9-SIMONS.

ServiceMaster By Simons Comes to the North Shore!

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This […]

ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons - North Shore, Illinois - Professional Disaster Restoration Services - Professional Cleaning ServicesServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, Chicago’s leader in professional Water & Fire Damage Restoration, opens North Shore Cleaning location in Skokie, Illinois

The ServiceMaster By Simons companies including ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, ServiceMaster Oak Park-River Forest and ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons is happy to announce its new North Shore warehouse facility at 8124 Ridgeway, Skokie, Illinois.  This new state-of-the-art facility will serve commercial & residential customers in Chicago’s North Shore. It offers the same great services that the ServiceMaster By Simons’ companies offer in the city and west suburbs.

The company offers professional services in Evanston, Wilmette, Winnetka, Glencoe, Glenview, Deerfield, Northbrook, Buffalo Grove, Lake Forest, to name a few. “This new facility will help us meet the demand for services that we are receiving from the North Shore area,” said Sam Simon, ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons’ owner.  Our brand name has grown so much over the past two years with radio ads and television commercials. It made sense to open the second location to meet the growing demands for our services.

Water & Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since opening its first location in Chicago at 400 North Paulina Street in 2013, we  remain the leader in Water & Fire Damage Restoration and professional Cleaning Services to homes and businesses in the Chicago-land area.  This includes the newly acquired ServiceMaster of Oak Park-River Forest. The franchise that has offered quality Disaster Restoration and Cleaning Services for the residents of Oak Park and River Forest for over 30 years. “We were receiving so many calls from the North Shore, it made sense to open the second location to serve our customers faster, rather than spend time in traffic,” said Neda Howell, ServiceMaster By Simons’ manager.  “Our reputation not only depends on our quality cleaning services, but on the timeliness of our professional technicians.”

As a result, North Shore businesses and residents can now experience our quality, professional services.  By calling 855-9-SIMONS, you can conveniently schedule your specialty cleaning services.  Our services include Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Hard Surface and Wood Floor Cleaning. It also boast the best in Post-Construction Cleanup, Move in/Move out Cleaning, Air Duct Cleaning, Steamed Carpet Extraction and Hoarder Cleaning services.  If you prefer, you can click here to schedule your services on our website.

 

Keep the Heart of Your Home Clean With Professional House Cleaning in River North

The kitchen in your River North home is likely much more than a functional space; it’s where you and your family cook, eat, use the computer, do homework, chat, and just hang out. Have you noticed that when you entertain, your guests inevitably end up congregating in the kitchen for good conversation and some laughs? […]

The kitchen in your River North home is likely much more than a functional space; it’s where you and your family cook, eat, use the computer, do homework, chat, and just hang out. Have you noticed that when you entertain, your guests inevitably end up congregating in the kitchen for good conversation and some laughs?

With so much going on in the kitchen, wouldn’t it be nice to have it regularly and professionally cleaned by the well-trained, responsible, and reputable employees of ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons? When you hire ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons for house-wide cleaning, we’ll pay special attention to your kitchen, the true “heart of your home” where much of the daily traffic from your busy family occurs.

We’ll wipe down all counters, appliances, shelves, and other flat surfaces; sweep or vacuum and scrub the floors; and wipe down the walls and baseboards. Upon request and for an extra fee, we’ll also clean the fridge and the inside of the cabinets.

Often dubbed the “heart of the home,” here are several reasons the kitchens in our homes are so very special:

  • A kitchen is required in every home because that’s where our foodwhich is needed for daily sustenanceis prepared. Without it, we would not survive.
  • Important conversations take place in the kitchen. Maybe you’ve noticed that your kids are more likely to open up about their daily activities and feelings while you’re prepping for or cleaning up after the evening meal.
  • Each member of the family utilizes the kitchen every day, whereas other rooms likely go unused by the entire family. Your kitchen might be used as “homework central” or the place you go to enjoy a glass of wine after a long, hard day.
  • Special connections are made in the kitchen. Cooking, baking, and cleaning up together bring family members closer.
  • The kitchen is the place where we organize our daily lives. Often, the kitchen is where calendars and schedules of our busy days and weeks are kept.

Contact ServiceMaster Cleaning by Simons at 773-376-1110 for all of your whole-house cleaning needs in River North, IL. From the kitchen to the bathrooms and every room in between, we’ll leave your house clean and freshsmelling, so you have extra time to relax and enjoy time with your family.

ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons Can Give Your Lakeview Kitchen a Little Sprucing Up for Spring! Invest in Kitchen Cleaning.

Spring cleaning time is approaching! While some of the heftier projects can be put off until later, there are some easy tasks you can do today! It has been said “The kitchen is the heart of the home.“ If that’s the case, why not start by cleaning away the stubborn accumulation of grease, grime, and […]

Spring cleaning time is approaching! While some of the heftier projects can be put off until later, there are some easy tasks you can do today! It has been said “The kitchen is the heart of the home. If that’s the case, why not start by cleaning away the stubborn accumulation of grease, grime, and dust from your beautiful kitchen in Lakeview, IL?

The following are some simple and easy tips on spotcleaning you can use to brighten and improve the overall look of your kitchen.

Get rid of the dust! Dusting and wiping down surfaces will make a noticeable difference in the appearance of your kitchen. Dust accumulates all over your home, and when combined with the sticky coating of cooking grease which inevitably settles on your kitchen cabinets, countertops, and walls, the buildup will be even more visible.

Wiping your cabinets with a damp cloth won’t really cut through the grimy buildup. Use a solution of lukewarm water and a small amount of dish soap. Dampen the cloth or sponge and wipe the cabinets until they no longer feel tacky to the touch. Rinse the cloth or sponge clean of soap and wipe the cabinets again. Dry with paper towel. For wooden cabinets, follow the same steps.

Dust and wipe the walls and backsplash, switch plates, light fixtures, cabinet knobs, countertops, appliances, and plumbing fixtures.

Vacuum or wash any curtains on your windows. For blinds, wipe them down with a damp cloth. Clean the windows inside and out to remove the winter’s worth of grime and filth, and don’t forget to wipe down the sash and sill areas!

Clean, sanitize, and air out your microwave. Food gunk can splatter all over the walls of your microwave. Closing the microwave right after use can trap smells of previously cooked foods. Use a sponge and mild dish soap to clean away the splatter and mess. Also, use baking soda to deodorize any smells, and leave the door open for a little while to let it air out.

After these steps are completed, your kitchen should have a fresh look and improve the feel of your home. If your kitchen requires a degree of cleaning you just can’t handle, please give us a call! ServiceMaster Cleaning By Simons can tackle any and all cleaning tasks to get your kitchen refreshingly clean, sanitized, and deodorized. We have the equipment and know-how to expertly get the job done. Call us at 773-376-1110 to get started on sprucing up your kitchen in Lakeview and the surrounding Chicagoland area.