How to Sanitize your Phone or Tablet

How to Sanitize your Phone or Tablet

We all wash our hands regularly because they are in contact with the rest of the world – shopping cart handles, doorknobs, money, toilet seats, other hands – the list goes on and on. We wash our hands to stay protected, it’s also a good idea to clean and sanitize your phone and tablets to continue that protection. Add to this that flu season is here. SNiPER is perfect for cleaning your devices because it is not corrosive and won’t cause harm to touch screens. Here’s how to use SNiPER to clean and sanitize your phone or tablet.

What you’ll need

– One or two clean, lint-free soft cloths that won’t scratch. A lens cloth is perfect, but you can also use microfiber cloths.
– Cotton swabs
-Sniper disinfectant

Here’s the process

First, remove any protective cover from the device.

No matter how careful you might be, you aren’t going to spray the phone directly, (but you can spray down the protector case later if needed). Instead of spraying the device directly, spray a corner of one of the cloths until it is damp. Take that damp cloth and wrap the damp bit around one or two of your fingers so that the wet bit is around your fingertips. Then you can use your wrapped fingertip to gently scrub down the screen of your device. If you scrub for at least 1 minute with the wet cloth, you can be satisfied that your phone/tablet screen is sanitized. Clean the back and sides if they need it.

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Buy a 32 oz spray bottle of SNiPER SNiPER Disinfectant 32 ounce

Other important bits to clean

Find the charging port and inspect it. If there is a lot of dust present, blow onto it gently. Don’t use compressed air because that can bend the tiny connecting wires. If that doesn’t get it, use the cotton swab very gently to wipe around the exterior of the port. If dust persists inside, where the connections are made, blow sharply into the port. Don’t use a toothpick to try and clean inside. It is far too easy to bend the connecting wires out of alignment, and then you’ll have a new problem!

Cleaning the case or protector is easy. You can spray it directly, or you can use the still damp cloth to wipe it down thoroughly. After everything has dried, you can put it all back together again. It’s easy to clean and sanitize your phone or tablet!

You can also use SNiPER to sanitize your computer mouse, keyboard and other devices. The same techniques of spraying the cloth – and not the device – will work perfectly.

Additional information here: https://blog.nokout.com/what-level-of-clean-is-right-for-you/

Want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine?

Want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine?

Great Idea! Here’s how.

Maybe your new puppy has had a few accidents on your carpet and it is beginning to smell bad. Or maybe you have a new baby that is soon to be crawling on your carpets or rugs and you’d like to disinfect them. There are many reasons you might want to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine, and using either of them on your carpets and rugs can be a great idea. It will work just fine and can remove the odor or do a great job of sanitizing – or both. Remember that Nok-Out eliminates odors. SNiPER both eliminates the odors and sanitizes.

It doesn’t matter what type of machine you have – they all work more or less the same. Nok-Out and SNiPER are both non-corrosive and will not cause harm to the machine so they are perfectly safe. It’s easy to use Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine. Best of all, it works great!

Deodorizing with Nok-Out or SNiPER

First – give your carpet a good vacuuming. Most of the ‘soils’ in your carpet are not water-soluble and vacuuming them up will prevent the formation of ‘mud’ when it gets wet. It’s a lot easier to pull that stuff out of your carpet while it is dry.

Next, you have to make a decision. If your carpet is really dirty and needs washing, then clean it first using your favorite carpet cleaning detergent and hot water. I think it is better to clean first – if needed – and deodorize or sanitize after. This eliminates the possibility of the detergent reacting unfavorably with Nok-Out or SNiPER (this is highly unlikely but better safe than sorry). Nok-Out or SNiPER will be able to do a better job of deodorizing or sanitizing when the grime is gone first. When you have finished the cleaning phase, the ‘best practice’ is to perform a clean water rinse to be doubly sure you are not leaving detergent residue behind.

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Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

Maybe your carpet is fairly clean looking but has odor issues. In this case, you may not need to shampoo first, you can instead just focus on the next step when you are deodorizing using Nok-Out or SNiPER. We recommend a ratio of 4 (cold) water to 1 Nok-Out (or SNIPER) for deodorizing. It is highly unlikely that Nok-Out or SNiPER might cause color bleeding, but it is always a good idea to test this in an inconspicuous area first. This is especially true for natural fiber carpet or rugs. Use your machine slowly during this step. When finished, make a final pass that is vacuum only to try and get up as much of the liquid as possible. Put fans on the carpet to speed drying. In the summer, turn the AC down to a lower-than-normal temperature until the carpet has fully dried.

Sanitizing is quick and easy with SNiPER

For sanitizing, you can dilute SNiPER by 6 to 1. The process is the same as for simple deodorizing. Do not perform an additional ‘rinse only’ step at the end. For more information on the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting, see: http://blog.nokout.com/what-level-of-clean-is-right-for-you/.

So you see, using Nok-Out or SNiPER in your home carpet cleaning machine is easy and reliable. It can make a big dofference in your home. Give it a try! You’ll be glad you did!

What ‘Level of Clean’ is right for your home?

What ‘Level of Clean’ is right for your home?

Keeping Your Home Safe – Sanitizing or Disinfecting?

There is nothing like that feeling of satisfaction when you survey your newly cleaned home. But we all know that just because something looks clean, it doesn’t mean that it truly is clean, because germs that can cause illness are all around us. Some germs, such as Salmonella, E. Coli, canine parvovirus or Influenza can persist on hard surfaces all around us at home, at work and at school.  Some can persist on those surfaces for a year or more. For more than a century now, we have been taught to sanitize and clean so as to remain healthy and germ free. Preventing the spread of illness through hard surface disinfection or sanitizing can help keep your family safe and healthy. But what ‘level of clean’ is appropriate for your home?

Here are some tips to help you decide what ‘level of clean’ is appropriate for your home and work place.

What is the difference between Disinfecting and Sanitizing?

A non-technical explanation is that disinfecting means that you kill 99.999% of germs within a certain time limit (usually not exceeding 10 minutes).  Disinfecting ensures a high level of clean. Sanitizing means that you kill 99.9% of germs within 1 minute. The difference between 99.999% and 99.9% may not seem like much to you or me, but a microbiologist will tell you it is a big difference. Certainly it takes more work to achieve disinfection.  Sanitizing, on the other hand, is a level of clean that is practical and realistic and can be achieved in 1 minute.

How do I Know Whether to Disinfect or Sanitize?

You can think of disinfection and sanitizing as 2 points on a continuum. To the right is disinfected. In the middle is sanitized. To the left is dirty. Disinfection will require a high degree of care to achieve. This means more work. Often, however, that level of cleanliness is what is needed. If, for example, you brought home a new puppy and then discovered that the pup had canine parvo virus, you would need to thoroughly disinfect, because that is a really difficult pathogen that can live for a long time on a wall or something, just waiting for the right conditions to activate again.

Your bathroom, for another example, is probably a place where you would want to get closer to disinfection. In other places, ‘sanitizing’ is likely a level of clean that is ‘clean enough’. We’ll never get rid of all the germs in our homes, but we can find the ‘degree of clean’ on that continuum where our families can live safely and happily.

Where Exactly are These Germs?

High-touch areas where many people will put their hands such as door knobs, light switches, computer keyboards and mice, refrigerator door handles, car door handles, telephones (both desktop and hand helds) even pencils and markers! Any surface where many hands touch is a candidate to spread germs.

Kitchen – the cutting board is a surface that needs to be cleaned regularly and well, lest that chicken you cut up spread germs (such as salmonella) to your tomatoes and lettuce. Sanitizing your cutting boards regularly will go a long way towards keeping your family safe. The door handle to your fridge – in addition to the inside – is another area where you can expect that germs will multiply if allowed. The sink drain area, being wet often, is a growth spot for germs. Add faucet handles to the list

Bathroom – as crazy as this may sound, there are studies showing that the bathroom is cleaner than your kitchen. This may or may not be true for you, but in many homes, bathrooms are the subject of frequent and intense cleaning. Especially when those homes have small children. High touch surfaces here would include the toilet flush handle, light switches, the hand towel, handles to the shower and cabinet doors. Don’t forget the shower floor!

Office – how many of you eat or drink at your desk? I know my computer keyboard is too scary to think about. Then there is also office equipment where many hands other than just yours touch.

Classrooms – all it takes is one kid coming to school with the flu, and it can spread rapidly.

Other hard surfaces that need regular cleaning include countertops, toys, changing tables and remote controls.

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Mold

You can dilute SNiPER by 6 to 1 for no-rinse Sanitizing.

First, clean any mess that is present. Then just spray dilute SNiPER onto that surface, and walk away. It’s that easy. It’s that effective. Just one minute to a ‘sanitized’ level of clean!

Can I ‘sanitize’ food preparation surfaces such as cutting boards with SNiPER?

Yes, you can. Clean away any debris first, then spray diluted SNiPER onto the board – and walk away allowing it to air dry naturally. It’s that easy. It’s that effective.  Again it is just one minute to a sanitized level of clean.

How do I use SNiPER to disinfect a hard surface?

Pre-Cleaning Instructions:  Remove gross filth and heavy soil by cleaning. Thoroughly wet surfaces, by spray, sponge, mop, or immersion, with SNIPER® on to soiled surfaces then thoroughly clean and wipe away gross filth with sponge or cloth.

Disinfect Hard Non-Porous Surfaces:   For disinfection of pre-cleaned hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, plastic, painted or finished wood, chrome, stainless steel, aluminum, polyurethane coated hardwood floors, glazed ceramic tile, sealed concrete and linoleum floors.

Disinfect Items such as appliances, bed frames, wheelchairs, chairs, counters, tables, doorknobs, cabinet handles, handrails, light switch covers, tubs, showers, toilets, faucets, sinks, waste containers, etc.

Spray SNiPER® at full strength wetting surfaces thoroughly. Allow surfaces to remain visibly wet for 5 minutes for disinfection of bacteria1. Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes for virus inactivation2.

Notes

1) Allow surfaces to remain visibly wet for 5 minutes for disinfection of Gram-negative bacteria and Gram-positive bacteria, Salmonella enterica ATCC 10708, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 15442, Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) ATCC 33591, Vancomycin Resistant Enterococcus faecalis (VRE) ATCC 51299.

2) Allow surfaces to remain wet for 10 minutes for virus inactivation of Swine Influenza virus, Type A (H1N1)* ATCC VR-
333 and Canine Parvovirus* ATCC VR-953.

Water Damage from Small Flooding

Water Damage from Small Flooding

Not All Water Damage is from Bad Weather

You leave for work one day, and then when you come home, you open the door and see that there is water everywhere – your home is flooded.  The water supply line to your washer burst during the day and now there is 2 or 3 inches of water on the floor throughout your house.  You need to act quickly to avoid costly water damage .  It’s not Harvey or Irma, but it is a real mess nonetheless. Here is what to do.

First – turn off the water.  You should be able to turn the valve just before that burst water supply to shut off the water.  But if it is not accessible, then you will have to find the valve for the whole house.

Next – take photos of everything as documentation for the insurance company.  And that is your third step – call your insurance agent and find out if they will send an adjuster and what they require you to do.

Get rid of that water!

Water is the stuff of life, but when it gets out of control it can create it’s own problems, even in a small-flood issue like this.  Your most important task to minimize water damage is to get everything dry within the next 48 hours to prevent the growth of mold, mildew and fungus.

If it is a large amount of water you have to deal with, the easiest solution is to call a carpet cleaner and request immediate water extraction services. Their truck mounted machines have tremendous vacuum power and large storage tanks. They can vac up that water quickly, and they may have powerful ‘air movers’ that can speed drying.

If it is not so much water, you may be able to use a shop ‘wet vacuum‘ to vacuum up that water. Peel back the carpet (unhook it from the ‘tack strips’) and pull the carpet back until you see dry floor underneath.  The pad underneath is cheap – don’t hesitate to bundle it up and just throw it outside, where you can later decide whether to replace it or dry it for re-use.

Be aware that the reservoir is small in a wet-vac, and you will have to stop and empty the tank frequently. Remember that water is heavy!

NOTICE:  It is crucial to get standing water out from under your carpet as quickly as possible. If the restoration company tells you they can extract water through your carpet and pad using ‘deep extraction tools’ – fire them and get a new company!   There is a time and place for such tools – but a flooding event is not one of them.

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Keep the Air Moving

Once you have vacuumed up as much as you can, point fans at wet areas, turn the fan in your HVAC  to the ‘On’ position, borrow more fans, do everything possible to keep air moving and keep that water evaporating.

If the drywall is waterstained higher than the baseboards, you may need to remove those baseboards to check for trapped water. Hope and pray that there is no water trapped in the walls behind the baseboards!

It is absolutely crucial that you get your home dry within 48 hours or mold WILL start growing. Mold only needs one thing to start growing  –   water. In dry conditions, spores which are floating around us everywhere may land on the carpet. But since it is dry, nothing happens, mold does not begin to grow.  Add a bit of wetness, however, and natures little recyclers come to life and start growing resulting in water damage.

Remember that bleach DOES NOT KILL  MOLD.  It will weaken the mold and it may make it change color, but bleach does not kill mold.

SNiPER  kills mold and if you spray the air using atomizing sprayer, you can kill the spores in the air too.  SNiPER is so safe because it is not a poison.  You don’t need to wear protective gear to apply it, it doesn’t leave toxic residues, and it is non-corrosive, so you can spray it down – and walk away. Nothing could be easier.

We have several documents to help guide you in dealing with mold.

Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

Introducing Chlorine Dioxide – ClO2

The active ingredient in Nok-Out and SNiPER™ is a substance called chlorine dioxide. This substance has unique properties and is responsible for both eliminating odors and for disinfecting. The wikipedia entry1 for ClO2 tells us, “As a disinfectant it is effective even at low concentrations because of its unique qualities.”

In it’s natural state, ClO2 is a gas like helium or nitrogen. As you might imagine, gases are quite difficult for most people to use. For our products, this gas has been stabilized into a water base. If you examine the ingredients on the SDS, you can see that SNiPER™ is 99.59% water.

Historically, no consumer grade product was developed for 3 important reasons: 1) gasses are hard to use – most of us can’t. 2) In it’s gaseous state, gas ClO2 is toxic. And 3) in it’s gaseous form, it’s useful lifespan is measured in minutes. In our formulation, when ClO2 was stabilized into this water base, all 3 of those flip-flopped. It went from hard to use gas, to easy to use liquid; from toxic to very low toxicity (the EPA gives Sniper a “IV” rating for toxicity – that’s the lowest toxicity rating they give out) and third, it went from from very short lifespan to a lifespan measured in years and years.

“Many evaluations have shown ClO2 compounds to be non-toxic. Five decades of use have not indicated any adverse effects on health. The main areas of use have been disinfecting water supplies, the elimination of unwanted tastes and odors…”2

How Does It Work?

Nok-Out and SNiPER™ are highly selective oxidizers and when they come into direct contact with something smelly, they oxidize that stuff, thus eliminating that odor permanently.

Oxidizers require direct contact with the odor source to be able to do their work. It takes some time for this oxidization process to occur, so if you were to spray onto a hard surface and then immediately wipe it up, there may not be time for this work to take place. it’s usually best to spray, wipe (to smear it around evenly) and walk away, allowing it to air dry. It is during this drying time that Nok-Out does it’s job.

Why Should I Use ClO2? Why Not Just Use Bleach?

The dangers of using bleach are well documented, (do a google search for “is bleach dangerous?” and you’ll see!) but there is no protective agency warning consumers of these health hazards. In the workplace, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) requires anyone handling bleach to use a mask and gloves when handling this substance. Even scientists in a lab will wear gloves and mask and have good ventilation when using this product. Do you take these precautions when cleaning with bleach in your home?

Unlike bleach, the reaction that takes place in removing odors or in disinfecting when using ClO2 does not result in by-products that are toxic to wildlife or the environment. That environment includes your home! So both Nok-Out and Sniper products can be relied upon to clean and deodorize while not contributing to a toxic home or office.

Additionally, bleach is a strongly corrosive material that WILL irritate the eyes, skin and respiratory tract. These dangers are greatly increased when it is mixed with other cleaners, sometimes forming toxic gasses that can seriously damage your health.

How is Nok-Out and SNiPER™ Different from Bleach?

In our formulation of ClO2, the technology we have is a management system that manages ClO2 in such a way that dangerous by-products are not formed and no raw chlorine is ever released. This stabilized formulation is recognized by the EPA as being of very low toxicity in the 4 categories of toxicity they care about:

  • toxicity to skin – level “IV”  (the lowest rating they allow)
  • toxicity to eyes – level “IV”
  • toxicity to be inhaled – level “IV”
  • toxicity to be ingested – level “IV”

After thorough testing, the EPA has granted us the lowest toxicity rating they give out.

Is ClO2 Environmentally Friendly?

“Because chlorine dioxide oxidizes but does not chlorinate, chlorinated organic by-products (e.g., THM, HAA, dioxins, furans) typically are not produced. Neither does chlorine dioxide produce appreciable amounts of aldehydes, ketones, ketoacids nor other problematic compounds associated with oxidation of organic matter by other, less selective means.” Additionally, toxicological studies have shown that Chlorine dioxide disinfection pose no significant risk to human or animals. So yes, both SNiPER and Nok-Out can be considered as being ‘green’.

Thanks for reading! If you have questions, please send an email to ted@nokout.com or call 866 551 1927.

References

1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_dioxide
2) http://www.grandcircuitinc.com/sites/default/files/Howard%20Alliger%20-%20An%20Overall%20View%20Cl02.pdf

Additional references

http://www.nokout.com/SDS-SNiPER.html
http://globalenvironmentalrestoration.com/sniper-faq/

Refrigerator Odor / Freezer Odor

Refrigerator Odor / Freezer Odor

A customer called recently and told me a story – the electricity had gone off for several days and her refrigerator had begun to stink. She asked whether SNiPER would be safe to use inside her fridge. We all have to clean the refrigerator now and then. Spills, mishaps and the occasional leak are reason enough to give the fridge a good thorough cleaning now and again. Some of those spills may have gone unnoticed and may have become the source of odors no one wants to come from their fridge! SNiPER can safely disinfect and remove odor from your fridge for you. Or, if you don’t need disinfection or sanitizing, Nok-Out will remove refrigerator odor. Here’s how.

What you’ll need

  • 1) bucket of warm, mildly soapy water, a sponge and a couple of rags or dishwashing towels.
  • 2) You may also need a soft scrub pad that won’t scratch plastic.
  • 3) SNiPER disinfectant and odor eliminator in a spray bottle

First off, you’ll need to unplug your refrigerator. Both Nok-Out and SNiPER work best in temperatures above 40 F (and below 110F, if you were wondering!) and since the fridge door will be open for a while, you might as well allow it to warm without wasting electricity. Keep the freezer door closed if you will not be cleaning it as well. Start removing items from the fridge. As you are emptying the fridge, wipe down all bottles and containers with the soapy water to remove any gunk. Don’t forget the bottom of those containers!

Once all the items have been removed and cleaned proceed to dismantle all the removable trays, drawers and what have you. Anything that can come out, should. Take these things to the sink and spray, wipe down and clean them using warm soapy water and then rinse them clean. Use a dishtowel to dry them. After they have dried give them a spray with SNiPER and use a small piece of paper towel to make sure all surfaces are wet evenly. Air-dry naturally at room temperature to both disinfect and remove refrigerator odor.

Go to the fridge itself and wipe any crud away. If you find a sticky mess somewhere, use a rag dampened in the warm soapy water to clean away all that mess. Make sure you get all the little bits and pieces out of the fridge. Spray the inside of the fridge and again, use a bit of paper towel to ensure that all surfaces are evenly wet with SNiPER. Allow to air dry naturally.

SNiPER and Nok-Out both have a bit of ‘soapiness’ that can leave a tiny amount of soapy residue. After everything has fully dried, you may want to give all surfaces a wipe with a dry towel to remove this tiny amount of residue.

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Mold
Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

Extreme cases – powerful stink!

Sometimes in situations where the electricity was off for several days, you may find that you have a really big problem and simple cleaning doesn’t take care of the odor. Most likely, the odor is now impregnated in the plastic itself (plastic is porous!) In this type of situation, you will need to warm the unit to fully room temperature. Spray the entire inside. Use a rag to wipe it around and provide gentle agitation. Leave the door open and allow it to air dry naturally. Don’t be discouraged if the stink isn’t gone after the first treatment. Repeat the process, perhaps many times. Every time you apply, you’ll get a little more of the stinky stuff and eventually, you will completely remove refrigerator odor and the fridge will be ready to go back to work for you.

No Rinse Sanitizing

Dilute SNiPER by 6 parts water and you can ‘sanitize’ your fridge, your counters even your cutting boards. Just spray and walk away – no wipe! Say goodbye to refrigerator odor!

Related Reading

Disinfect your Pet Carrier

Disinfect your Pet Carrier

Recently, I received an information request from a customer who carried a sick puppy to the vet and discovered that her poor little new puppy had canine parvovirus – Horrors! Canine Parvo is a really nasty, hard-to-kill virus that is highly contagious and is spread by direct contact with feces. Since diarrhea is a hallmark for this sickness, it can spread easily and is difficult to eradicate. The question was how to disinfect the pet carrier she used to take the pup to the vet. SNiPER is lab tested to kill canine parvovirus and can be used to safely and thoroughly disinfect your pet carrier – and other surfaces too.

First, remove any cushion, towel or blanket from the carrier. If you see feces on the cushion, take it to the sink and carefully rinse that stuff away. Clean the sink as soon as you can using an abrasive scrubbing compound such as Barkeeps friend or Comet or the like. Try to avoid splashing.

Find yourself a washtub just big enough to hold that cushion. Add around a half-gallon of cool water and then a pint of SNiPER disinfectant. You are aiming for a 4 water to 1 SNiPER dilution ratio. Immerse the cushion and hold it under, forcing it to become fully wet all the way through. This step is essential because direct contact with the virus is essential. If it floats too much, put something heavy on top to hold it down under the SNiPER solution. Allow it to soak for an hour. If you can’t keep it all underwater, come back and flip it over every 10 – 15 minutes. When the hour is up, hang it up to dry.

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Canine Parvovirus

As for the carrier itself, spray it down thoroughly with SNiPER inside and out, top and bottom. It needs to remain wet with SNiPER for 10 minutes, so you are likely to need to come back before it dries and spray again to get to the full 10 minutes.

That should do it for you. It is really the cushion that is the challenging bit because it’s not so easy to get the disinfectant to penetrate deeply into that cushion. Even heavily diluted, SNiPER can still kill the virus, it just needs more time to accomplish it, therefore, the long soak time.

Other Reading

For information on how to disinfect other things that might be contaminated by parvo, see https://www.nokout.com/Canine-Parvovirus.html. Also see a previous blog article here: http://blog.nokout.com/canine-parvovirus/

How to Improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality  (IAQ)

How to Improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

June is National Healthy Homes Month

One of the important things you can do to maintain a healthy home, is to maintain and improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). The EPA regularly tells us that your indoor air can be up to 400% MORE polluted than outdoor air. Since we spend so much time indoors, it is important for the health of your family that the indoor air not be polluted and instead, be a healthy place to relax, work, sleep, play and to enjoy. Here are some strategies to help you improve your home’s Indoor Air Quality.

Wait – why is indoor air so much worse than outside air?

The main reason is that homes are built to seal tightly, keeping inside air in, and outside air out. This has the benefit of keeping our energy bills as low as possible. On the other hand, anything toxic that gets into your home, can’t get out, so those toxins accumulate.

Solutions and Strategies

Source control

Find pollution sources in your home and reduce those emissions. If you have a gas stove, it can be adjusted to decrease the amount of pollutants it releases. Other sources can be sealed or enclosed. New items may need time to ‘offgas’ before bringing them into your home. New mattresses are a good example. Paint that bookshelf outside where any VOC’s released are not inside. Allow it to sit a day or two if possible to further reduce the volatiles otherwise released inside. Not allowing pollution sources inside your home is the best kind of prevention. It’s the easiest and cheapest.

Do not smoke inside your home. You already know this. It’s solid thinking.

Avoid using bleach as a cleaning agent! There is no good reason to ever use bleach as a cleaning agent inside your home. You have alternatives that are nowhere near as toxic. Avoiding bleach inside your home is an easy way to improve your home’s indoor air quality.

Increased Ventilation

An easy way to improve IAQ is to increase the amount of outdoor air coming in. This is most often useful during mild weather because you can just open the windows. Running the exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room will also increase outside air coming in. Increasing outside ventilation dilutes the pollution that would otherwise accumulate. Modern home construction seals homes tightly to reduce the infiltration of outside air. This results in lower energy bills, but the unintended side effect is that pollutants can’t get out. Ventilation reverses this effectively, resulting in improved home Indoor Air Quality.

The EPA says, “The most economical and effective way to address indoor air pollution is usually to reduce or eliminate avoidable sources of pollutants and then to exhaust to the outdoors the unavoidable particles, gases, and excessive water vapor that come from normal indoor activities such as cooking, cleaning, and showering.”

Buy a Gallon of SNiPER Disinfectant & Odor Eliminator SNiPER Kills Mold
Buy a Gallon of Nok-Out Odor Eliminator NokOut Odor Eliminator

Filters and Air Cleaners

In the hottest and coldest months of the year, it may not be easy to ventilate your way out of indoor air pollution. This is when filtration can help. Your HVAC system has an air filter for this reason. When replacing the filter, choose the one with the highest filtration standard (it filters out the smallest particles). This can go a long way towards improving your IAQ.

Particulate air filtration only removes particles and does nothing to remove chemicals and VOC’s from your air. There are specialty filters for this, but they are expensive. It is smarter and more appealing to use houseplants to remove VOC’s and other contaminants.

Some pollutants are not particulates and wont’ be trapped in a particulate filter. A good example of this is the volatile organic compounds that are released from newly manufactured goods, from paints, glues and so on. One of the best ways to filter out these pollutants is – houseplants. Studies by NASA show that many of your favorite plants will filter VOC’s from your indoor atmosphere. Plants improve your home’s indoor air quality and make your home a better place to live.

Use “Green’ cleaning products

Green cleaning products leave no toxic residues and do not form toxic by-products as you are cleaning. Nok-Out and SNiPER both are definitely ‘green’ all-purpose cleaners in addition to their specialties of odor eliminating and disinfection. Most disinfectants are poisons – not SNiPER! At a ph of 8.5, both SNiPER and Nok-Out are ‘green’ and you can use them throughout your home for everyday cleaning that will not accumulate poisons in your indoor environment.

Related Reading

http://blog.nokout.com/allergy-season-and-indoor-air-quality/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-part-1/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-sick-building-syndrome-part-2/
http://blog.nokout.com/indoor-air-pollution-the-green-solution/

Spring Cleaning For your Mattress

Spring Cleaning For your Mattress

One Spring Cleaning Chore that often goes overlooked is cleaning your mattress. Since that mattress is where you spend about a third of your life, it makes sense to give it a good cleaning periodically. Especially, if you suffer from allergies or asthma. Regular cleaning of sheets and linens is the first line of defense, but periodically, your mattress will need an especially thorough round of cleaning and maintenance. Spring cleaning for your mattress is a good idea and can help you breathe easier at night! Here’s how to use Nok-Out and /or SNiPER to do a good job of cleaning it, and help you sleep easier.

A Breeding Ground

Your mattress is likely to come in contact with sweat, blood and other body fluids, and because you are lying in it, it is a warm moist place. That warm moist place is inhabited by bacteria, living and dead dust mites, the feces of those mites (which can cause allergic reactions), dead skin cells, fleas from pets and their feces, and so on. There is a regular ecology of critters living in your bed. Being warm and moist, with all those ‘food’ sources, it is indeed a breeding ground. A good Spring Cleaning of your mattress will reduce that population of critters to a healthier level.

What to do?

Daily: Leave the covers pulled back and allow the sheets to air out and dry. Run the AC in summer to keep indoor humidity levels low.

Weekly

Check the washing instruction on your sheets and if permitted, wash your sheets in the hottest water available. Don’t overload the washer! Triple rinse. While the sheets are in the wash, vacuum the mattress. Despite sheets separating you from the mattress, there will still be lots of dead skin cells and vacuuming them up removes a food source for many tiny critters, including dust mites. Pay special attention to the seams and vacuum them carefully. This is where many mites like to hide. If you are allergic to dust mites, this is an important step!

Spring Cleaning for Your Mattress:

Vacuum the mattress thoroughly using some kind of ‘beater brush’ attachment. Inspect the seams carefully, looking for living bugs or eggs. It may be that you can use your carpet floor vacuum for this. The beater brush will shake and scrape loose stuff that has attached to the fibers of the mattress cover. When done, spray the mattress thoroughly with SNiPER and allow it to dry thoroughly before putting sheets back on.

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If you do find bedbugs, call a specialized pest control company that has expertise with these pests to help you deal with this problem. Or, the EPA has good guidelines here: https://www.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control

Urine

Nok-Out can help with any odors in your mattress, including urine odors. Locate the source of the odor to find where to spray (remembering that Nok-Out and SNiPER both, need to be in direct contact with the odor source to be able to do their jobs) and spray directly on the source – allow to air dry. If the urine has soaked deep into the mattress, Nok-Out also needs to go that deep in order to get to all of the urine, so it may be a good idea to dilute some Nok-Out with 4 parts water and spray heavily. If this is the case, put fans on it to speed drying.

Bacterial Contamination

If your concern is for bacterial contamination, use SNiPER. Friendly to pets and people, SNiPER is lethal to microorganisms and can disinfect your mattress without leaving behind any toxic residues. Vacuum the entire bed thoroughly. Spray the entire bed until it is uniformly damp. Allow it to air dry.

Additional Reading

https://www.redfin.com/blog/allergy-proof-home/

Something Smells Fishy: How to Troubleshoot Odors in your Home

Something Smells Fishy: How to Troubleshoot Odors in your Home

The last thing you want to hear when someone walks into your home is, “What’s that smell?” It’s even worse when you don’t know how to answer the question because you have been wondering the same thing.

If you’ve found yourself in this predicament, it’s time to follow your nose and get to the bottom of “that smell” once and for all. Let’s look at a path to freshness that you can follow in order to identify the source of odors, treat and eliminate them, and prevent them from returning in the future.

Locate the source

“Articulating” with your nose is the best way to begin when attempting to identify the source of an unwanted odor. For instance, if you can describe the smell as smelling musty or like dirty socks, it is likely that you have a mold problem or built-up bacteria in your home.

To find the source of this kind of odor, look in the most likely sources: leaky plumbing, areas with poor ventilation such as the bathroom, and window frames that may have accumulated moisture from the elements.

You might also experience a burning smell. This could be from appliances overheating, a dirty HVAC filter, plastic melting in the ductwork, or exposed electrical wiring throughout the house that’s actually melting the insulation around it.

Perhaps the most dangerous odors are chemical or sulfuric in nature. Hopefully, a rotten egg smell is coming from a running faucet. If it’s not, it could be a gas leak.

There is another common odor, the “old food” smell. To find the source more specifically, take a good whiff from above your garbage disposal and pop your head in the dishwasher. These are the most likely sources for smelly food odors.

Finally, your carpet soaks up more and more odors as time passes, including pet odors and smells left behind from the many feet that traverse it.

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Treat odors accordingly

Once you have honmed in on the sources of odors in your home, you can take action to eliminate these unwelcome smells.

  • Mold—If you have discovered that you are dealing with mold, you first need to repair leaks in your plumbing. Seal your windows and doors as well to keep more moisture from accumulating. Once sources of moisture have been properly sealed, it is time to remove the mold and follow up with SNiPER Disinfectant and Odor Eliminator.
  • Electrical—You should never ignore a burning smell. If you believe it could be electrical, you can troubleshoot by sniffing out each room. Your nose might lead you to an overheated clothes dryer in the laundry room or a very concentrated area along a wall. If it’s either of those, you might file a home warranty claim and have an electrician take a look. If the smell seems to be in every room, it’s likely coming from your HVAC and being pushed through all the vents in your home. Inspect your air filter.
  • Gas—If an egg- or chemical-like smell is coming from your sink or shower, you likely just have hard water. It might be time to flush the water heater or service the water softener. If it’s not the water, it’s in the air, which could mean you have a gas leak. You should address this immediately. After all, carbon monoxide poisoning kills 400 people in the US each year.
  • Food—If the dishwasher or garbage disposal tested positive for “smelly food” odors, it’s again time to break out SNiPER Disinfectant. You can also refresh your dishwasher with vinegar. If you’re already deep cleaning your kitchen, it might be a good time to thoroughly clean and disinfect your refrigerator as well.
  • Carpet—To really be effective at eliminating odors from your carpet, it is important to use a solution specifically designed for not only the source of the odor but the type of carpet you have as well. If spot cleaning and vacuuming won’t do, you have the option of buying or renting a carpet steamer or you can hire a professional to do it for you.

Prevent odors from returning

Now that you have found where the odors in your home were coming from, you can make and execute a plan to prevent them from returning. One way of doing this is to keep up with routine maintenance of your home appliances and systems. Vacuum regularly, replace air filters and smoke detector batteries on a seasonal basis, ventilate rooms through open up windows, and use dehumidifiers or exhaust fans in windowless rooms, like the bathroom or basement.

Resources:

https://www.nokout.com/Odor-Eliminator

https://www.nokout.com/SNiPER-Disinfectant

https://housemethod.com/reviews/best-home-warranty

https://www.webmd.com/allergies/features/household-mold#1

https://www.hannabery.com/faq14.shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_monoxide_poisoning

Prepping for Last Minute Guests: A 30-Minute Step-by-Step Guide

Prepping for Last Minute Guests: A 30-Minute Step-by-Step Guide

The week may have been full and your house may be unprepared for guests, but no worries. You’ve got this. With this step-by-step guide you can complete in roughly 30 minutes, you can quickly prep your home for last-minute guests and even wow them too. Here’s how.

1. Clean and deodorize

A 2018 survey revealed that the first two things people notice when they walk in your home is how clean it is and how it smells—for better or for worse.

When you get home, set aside 20 minutes to power clean: vacuum, sweep, wipe down counters and tabletops, load the dishwasher, Use Nok-Out or SNiPER to clean the bathroom guests will use, and spray some Nok-Out into the air using the finest mist setting on your sprayer. This doesn’t have to be an exhaustive clean, just enough to leave it looking and smelling fresh.

2. Eliminate pet hair and odor

Your guests won’t feel comfortable sitting down if there is pet hair on every surface, and they won’t have a very pleasant experience if there’s a lingering pet odor in the air. Vacuum furniture and finish with a lint roller to capture all stray hairs. Spray Nok-Out into the air to brighten the room and eliminate odors. Voila!

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3. Take out the trash

Make a sweep of all the trash cans in the house and empty them. Because you’re in your home every day, you may not notice some odors, specifically those coming from the kitchen garbage. Empty all and replace with fresh trash can liners. That’s one more chore taken care of.

4. If you’re expecting last-minute overnight guests…

If you’re expecting overnight guests, you’ll want to take a few more steps.

Make sure the guest bed has clean sheets and pillow cases, lay out fresh towels and washcloths. I also like to put a few fresh flowers in a vase on the bedside table and use a fine mister or cold vaporizer to spray Nok-Out and safely leave the room smelling fresh.

Because you’ll need some refreshments on hand for your houseguests, quickly scan the pantry and fridge, writing down your shopping list as you go. It’s nice to have snacks like crackers and cheese, olives, dips, and veggies on hand for hungry travelers. Also pick up some sparkling water and fresh lemon for a cold drink. If you’re short on time, try a grocery delivery service who will do the shopping for you and deliver to your home—usually in just a couple of hours.

5. Remember that guests are forgiving

One important thing to remember is that while you certainly want to make a nice impression and make your guests feel welcome, most people are very forgiving. They know it was a last-minute request, and ultimately, they’ve come to spend time with you!

Sources

https://housemethod.com/lifestyle/what-people-judge-about-your-home-statistics/

https://www.elledecor.com/design-decorate/g21054701/house-guests-horror-stories/

https://www.nbcnews.com/better/pop-culture/9-quick-easy-recipes-throw-together-last-minute-guests-ncna946771

https://www.forbes.com/sites/houzz/2015/07/07/how-to-welcome-weekend-guests/

5 Overlooked Messes That Make a Big Difference

5 Overlooked Messes That Make a Big Difference

For many, the weekly chore list includes the usual vacuuming, sweeping and mopping; sanitizing sinks, toilets and showers; dusting and disinfecting all surfaces; removing garbage from the home; and tidying up around the house. While these are tasks that most of us are good at remembering, it might also be important to add at least one chore to our weekly cleaning that involves an “overlooked mess.”

An overlooked mess is often located in an area of our home that is hidden from view or is not easily accessible. For this reason it is often neglected and, over time, can build up dirt, grime, germs and other invading horrors that pose risks to our health. Here are five overlooked messes that can easily become hazardous if not handled.

What lies beneath, behind and within the refrigerator

If strange noises or off-putting smells are coming from the kitchen, it could be time to clean the refrigerator. First, clean and vacuum its coils. Then, eliminate debris from behind and underneath it. You’ll need to unplug and move your refrigerator to do this. And while you’re at it, clean out the inside of your refrigerator too. Before you fill it up again, consider using SNiPER Disinfectant to completely disinfect your refrigerator.

No fan of a dirty blade

There’s the old cleaning adage about checking the top of the refrigerator to see if a house is truly clean. The same applies to ceiling fans. Because they are hard to reach, they’re frequently neglected. And rarely do humans look up these days. As a result, dust can accumulate over time, adding to allergies and poor air quality in a home. There are many dusting tools with extended handles designed for just this task. If your ceiling fan is low enough for a step ladder, sliding an old pillowcase over the blade will also do the trick.

Fluffy’s bed

If you’re a pet owner, it’s all you can do to keep up with the mess in the yard or litter box. You may be thrilled that your furry friend is at least choosing to sleep on the cushion you lovingly provided instead of on your couch. However, it’s easy to forget—especially since you’re not the one sleeping on it—that a pet bed will get just as stinky and dirty as fluffy is. Be sure to buy hardy cushions with removable covers that can be easily laundered and replaced on a regular basis. And spray it down with Nok-Out Odor Eliminator to freshen up between washings.

A forgotten furnace

That giant metallic monstrosity humming away in the corner of some dark closet in your home, the one with the shiny vents and knobs and scary words and neon notices plastered all over it? It needs love, specifically your love. It needs you to change it’s filter on a regular basis. If you don’t, your house will stink, your lungs will betray you and give way to allergies, and you’ll shrink in horror from your utility bill. Additionally, over time, your furnace could actually break from the lack of maintenance, and without a warranty, you will be paying exponentially more than the cost of changing your furnace filter regularly.

The nitty gritty

Have you gotten cozy with your oven’s grease filter lately? Stared into the yawning abyss of your dryer’s hose? Have you peeked inside your appliances lately? What about your microwave’s turntable or the refrigerator gasket? Remember that your appliances have insides as well as outsides and it is necessary to keep them clean as well since they have the closest contact with what you put both in you and on you. Clean your appliances thoroughly, both inside and out.

While we cannot clean every single nook and cranny of our home every week, simply paying more attention to just one overlooked mess per week will work wonders for our health, safety, and our checking account. Horror movies will always be around, but at least your home will not be the star feature.

Related Reading

External References

https://www.nokout.com/SNiPER-Disinfectant/

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/10-places-you-forget-clean.htm

https://www.nokout.com/Odor-Eliminator/

https://housemethod.com/reviews/best-home-warranty/

https://www.marthastewart.com/267602/cleaning-appliances

https://fairmontcustomhomes.com/the-overlooked-furnace-filter/

Remove Urine Odor from Chairs and Cushions

Remove Urine Odor from Chairs and Cushions

Recently I spoke on the phone with a long-time customer of Nok-Out who told me a story from her workplace. They had a temporary worker – a volunteer – who had an untreated incontinence issue. She leaked a little bit of urine somewhat regularly as she moved around in the office area, sitting in different chairs to do different jobs. The cushioning in the chairs was absorbing the urine and once bacteria get a hold of that urine as a food source, the chairs start to stink. The caller was purchasing some Nok-Out to eliminate urine odor from those chairs. It got me to thinking about the difficulty in treating foam cushioning. Here is how to treat smelly cushions for odor – including urine odors.

Problem: Nok-Out works when it comes into direct contact with the odor source. In fact, it can ONLY work, when it is in direct contact with all of the odor source. If you miss a bit of the source, then that missed place will continue to stink. Cushions are thick and are not necessarily as absorbent as a sponge, so it can be a bit of a challenge if urine or other smelly stuff has penetrated deep into the cushioning. How do you get Nok-Out to work for you in this case?

Solution 1

If possible, remove the cushion from the covering. There may be a zipper in the back and if you are lucky, you can pull the foam cushion out and put it back later. You will need a largish tub. It doesn’t necessarily have to be as large as the cushion, but it should be big enough that you can ‘dunk’ large portions of the foam in it. Add water to this tub,and then add Nok-Out. A dilution ratio of 8 water to 1 Nok-Out will work here and will be efficient. Dunk a portion or all of the cushion in your mixture and palm flat, squeeze it down slowly, forcing the air out. Then slowly release the pressure, allowing the diluted Nok-Out mixture to be drawn into the cushion. Do this a couple of times. Treat the entire cushion in this way. This will both rinse away the dried urine and will leave a bit of Nok-Out behind to eliminate the urine odor. Allow it to dry and put the cushion back into its covering. This is the easy, most reliable method.Unfortunately, not all cushions can be removed from the covering. So another plan may be required.

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Solution 2

Even if you can’t get direct access to the foam, you still need to get Nok-Out to penetrate deeply into the cushion to achieve direct contact with any urine source deep in the cushions. But it is not efficient at all to just pour Nok-Out directly on the seat or sofa. We can, however, dilute Nok-Out at a dilution rate ranging from 4 to 1 to the same 8 to 1 in the ‘tub’ method. Put this diluted Nok-Out into a sprayer and go to town on that cushion! Spray heavily. Wait a few minutes for it to be absorbed – and spray again. And maybe again and again as needed, to get this dilute Nok-Out mixture to penetrate deeply. Much like ‘lather, rinse and repeat’, you may have to go through this process more than once to be successful.

Why not just spray the cushions directly with Nok-Out?

You can, but your success will depend on how deeply you can get Nok-Out to penetrate into the cushion material. However deep the urine went, Nok-Out needs to get there also.

Will this work for pet urine also?

Yes indeed. At some level, urine is urine, whether dog, cat, ferret, pot-bellied pig or people. Nok-Out will work as long as it comes into direct contact with the odor source. It will remove ALL the odor if you can get it to come into contact with all the smelly stuff.

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