The year 2020 showed us that the Earth is what we all have in common and more than before we need to be mindful of the impact of human activity on us and the Planet.

Organic cleaning is based on identifying the routes of pathogens spread in the home/workplace and introducing hygiene practices to keep your home clean and safe. It excludes harmful chemicals being released into our atmosphere, improves your overall indoor air quality and thus contributes to reducing certain health risks, such as chemical poisoning, skin irritations, and eye and respiratory infections. It is a forward-looking approach that integrates respect for nature and the desired cleaning effect.

The reason to be environmentally focused is to prevent spreading diseases by taking care of the ecosystem.

What is hygiene?

Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.

Cleaning processes remove infectious microbes as well as dirt and soil and means to achieve hygiene. We want to REMOVE germs as much as we can with cleaner and water and then kill the few microbes left with sanitizer. Sanitizer to be effective should contain not less than 70% v/v alcohol kill coronaviruses.

Hygienic cleaning can be achieved through:

  • mechanical removal using a soap or detergent; to be effective as a hygiene measure, this process must be followed by thorough rinsing under running water to remove pathogens from the surface.
  • using a process or product that inactivates the pathogens which is achieved using a “micro-biocidal” product (disinfectant or antibacterial product, waterless hand sanitizer or by application of heat).

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

  • Cleaning = removing microbes, but not necessarily killing them
  • Disinfecting = killing (most) germs, but not removing them

What is the NCS way of cleaning?

Green cleaning to achieve the best results, requires knowledge about the chemistry of a formulated product, proper tools, and relevant techniques. It should be directed to the routes of unwanted substances and adjusted to given factors.

We are using self-made, biodegradable cleaning products, made with natural ingredients. Compounds are mixed with essential oils to add antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties and aroma.

The main ingredient is naturally scented white 6% vinegar infused with lemon or orange peels, to remove its odor and increase the potency of the cleaner by antibacterial properties of citrus. Depending on a need we use other common compounds like baking soda, citric acid, hydrogen peroxide or plant-based soap.

How vinegar works?

Vinegar has about 2,5 pH level which means it’s very acidic. It helps loosen mineral deposits, such as lime, calcium, and rust, dissolves soap scum, grease due to their alkaline nature and removes grime. Its smell evaporates together with undesirable odors in your home.

Vinegar (as well as citric acid) reduces the number of pathogens. The main component of vinegar is acetic acid, which has the ability to cross the cell membrane of bacteria to prompt a release of protons, which causes the cell to die. It can inhibit the pathogenic growth of bacteria and mold.

The current invention of NSC products overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art by providing a cleaning composition, which is non-toxic to man, safe to the environment when disposed of as a water-waste and effective in achieving hygiene.

Vinegar is not an EPA registered disinfectant, which means you can’t count on vinegar to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. Vinegar can inactivate viruses, but it isn’t confirmed on coronaviruses.

Under the risk of COVID-19 disease, NCS completed cleaning techniques with DISINFECTION, appropriate medical equipment and usage of soap in rinsing water.

Disinfection would be performed on tables, desks, hard dining chairs, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, handles, bathroom counters, faucets, and faucet knobs and toilet seats and handles.

Besides that, we would perform inhalation therapy with antiviral and antibacterial essential oils.

How to fight viruses?

With soap, essential oils, and disinfectants.

The top defense mechanism is good hygiene. Viruses are extremely vulnerable to detergent because they are contained inside a fatty protective membrane that is detergent soluble. Soap breaks the outer layer (fat membrane) and the virus is split apart.

Disinfecting refers to killing 99.9% of viruses and bacteria germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading the infection.

The ecological alternative is hydrogen peroxide. It is water with an extra oxygen molecule. Hydrogen peroxide can be used at a 3-5% concentration. It should be left on surfaces for one minute before wiping. Unlike chlorine bleach, it breaks down into oxygen and water and is kind to the environment.

It’s recommended to disinfect keyboards, tablets, smartphones, TV remote controls and game controllers. Check the advice of the phone manufacturer to make sure you don’t void the warranty.

Essential oils play an important role in the protection of the plants as antibacterials, antifungals, antivirals have the same function in cleaning art. They are bactericidal, although it may be bacteriostatic at lower concentrations. The results of several studies indicate that some essential oils may act against enveloped and nonenveloped viruses, although the range of viruses tested to date is very limited. Expanding our basic knowledge of the molecules present in the EO’s will support future studies into the comprehensive modes of antimicrobial and antiviral action of EO’s.

How COVID-19 spread?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 10 meters) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic although some spread might be possible before people show symptoms.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How to fight COVID-19?

World Health Organisation (WHO) and scientists have not been successful in finding the treatment of this new strain of the coronavirus yet. The only way to curb the growth of the virus is by taking necessary precautions.

To decrease the number of transmissions it is recommended to stay home and avoid large gatherings. When in public stay at least 10 meters away from other people. If you’re coughing or sneezing, wear a protective mask.

Wash your hands.

Regular soap and water clean germs away rather than killing them, but that’s still a key step in reducing infection, the CDC points out. Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the main recommendations for limiting the spread of the novel coronavirus since it seems to spread primarily from person to person via respiratory droplets, which are often found on our hands and easily transferred to our faces. Again, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer / disinfect.

Use essential oils.

Take care of yourself and your home. Inhaling essential oils would improve the health of your circulatory and respiratory system and the air indor.

Thyme, oregano, melaleuca, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, geranium, lemon, orange are natural disinfectants and have antiviral properties. While tea tree oil and eucalyptus control the virus that causes cold sores, there is no evidence yet that it can kill coronaviruses.

Natural compounds of these volatile oils like limonene, thymol, carvacrol, geraniol, linalool santalol etc. can kill or stifle the growth of bacteria and fungi. Most EO’s have a more powerful effect on Gram-positive bacteria than Gram-negative species. Phenolic compounds of EO’s allow them to easily penetrate the hydrophobic molecules of the bacteria cell wall. At low concentrations, they can interfere with enzymes involved in production of energy, and at higher concentrations, they can denature proteins.

Trust your cleaning service.

For more information about essential oils or ingredients NCS uses, check out the NCS blog or please contact me via email.

General disinfecting guidelines:

  • The CDC recommends the use of detergent or soap and water on dirty surfaces before disinfection.
  • If someone in your home is sick with flu-like symptoms, consider regularly disinfecting objects in your home since SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to survive for 16 hours on plastics.
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends daily disinfection for frequently touched surfaces such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as-is or diluted to 0.5% concentration for effective use against coronaviruses on surfaces.
  • Whatever cleaning solution you use, let it remain in contact with the surface long enough to kill viruses and other pathogens. The time needed will depend on the chemical. The main component of sanitizers is alcohol. Solutions of 70% alcohol should be left on surfaces for 30 seconds to ensure they will kill viruses. Pure (100%) alcohol evaporates too quickly for this purpose.


CAUTION WHILE DISINFECTING! Don’t use different cleaning agents at the same time. Some household chemicals, if mixed, can create dangerous and poisonous gases. Don’t use bleach. It disinfects but it’s also a potential hazard to human health, capable of not only irritating sensitive tissue in the eyes, skin, mouth, and throat but also contributing to long-term respiratory problems like asthma. Bleach can also be hazardous to pets, wildlife, and ecological health.

Check out safety of detergents you use at home here: https://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners/

References:

  1. https://cleanfax.com/carpet-care/the-role-of-ph-in-cleaning/
  2. https://davidsuzuki.org/sign-up-queen-of-green-popup/?email=
  3. https://www.house-cleaning-howtos.com/cleaning-with-vinegar.html
  4. https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-disinfectant-cleaning-guide/
  5. Potassium bicarbonate (073508) and Sodium bicarbonate (073505) Fact Sheet.
  6. ALL NATURAL DISHWASHING COMPOSITION COMPRISING LEMON POWDER, VINEGAR POWDER, AND SALT George A. Gorra; Leila R. Gorra, 2013
  7. Antimicrobial Properties of Orange (Citrus reticulata var. Kinnow) Peel Extracts against Pathogenic Bacteria P. Yashaswini* and Arvind
  8. Antibacterial activity of essential oils and their major constituents against respiratory tract pathogens by gaseous contact, Shigeharu Inouye, Toshio Takizawa, Hideyo Yamaguchi Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 47, Issue 5, May 2001, Pages 565–573, https://doi.org/10.1093/jac/47.5.565
  9. Chemical Compositions, Antiviral and Antioxidant Activities of Seven Essential Oils. Ramy M. Romeilah, Sayed A. Fayed and Ghada I. Mahmoud, 2010
  10. COMPOSITION FORACLEANER AND/OR CID 7/26 (2006.01) FRESHENER COMPRISINGVINEGAR, A61 L 9/013 (2006.01) VANILLA EXTRACT, AND WITCH HAZEL Margaret Mary McKeown, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2011.
  11. Disinfectant test against monoculture and mixed culture biofilms composed of technological, spoilage and pathogenic bacteria: bactericidal effect of essential oil and hydrosol of Satureja thymbra and comparison with standard acid-base sanitizers. Chorianopoulos, N.G., Giarouris, E.D., Skandamis, P.N., Haroutonrian, S.A. and Nychas, G.J.E. 2008. J. Appl. Microbiol. 104: 1586-1596 doi: 10.3390/ph6121451
  12. Effect of Essential Oils on Pathogenic Bacteria. Filomena Nazzaro,1,* Florinda Fratianni,1 Laura De Martino,2 Raffaele Coppola,1 and Vincenzo De Feo2 Open Microbiol J. 2014; 8: 6–14.doi: 10.2174/1874285801408010006
  13. Essential Oils, A New Horizon in Combating Bacterial Antibiotic Resistance. Polly Soo Xi Yap,1 Beow Chin Yiap,2 Hu Cai Ping,3 and Swee Hua Erin Lim2,*
  14. Inactivation of Airborne Influenza Virus by Tea Tree and Eucalyptus Oils. Oleg V. Pyankov, Evgeny V. Usachev, Olga Pyankova &Igor E. Agranovski, Pages 1295-1302 | Received 24 Apr 2012,
  15. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. C. F. Carson,1 K. A. Hammer,1 and T. V. Riley1,2,* Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan; 19(1): 50–62. doi: 10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006

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