Why it’s important to clean gym equipment….the gross truth.

imgresThere are many reasons for keeping gym equipment clean –  from the happiness of the patrons (who likes to work out on machines that smell like day old sweat?) to the prevention of disease spread. Gyms are a breeding ground for germs, and unless properly cleaned, could wreck havoc on the immune systems and bodies of the individuals working out. The golden rule of gym patrons has always been to wipe down the machine after use, but just like there are people who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom (gross), there are people who don’t wipe down their machines after use. We recommend to wipe the machine before and after use just to be sure that you are using and leaving a clean machine.

Now let’s get into all the fun bacteria details about what is lurking in unclean gym equipment. Warm, moist environments are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria – which is exactly the environment of a gym.  According to Dr. Pritish Tosh, MD of the Mayo Clinic, there is definitely potential for transmissions of certain kinds of infections. One of the biggies being Community-Acquired MRSA – which has been documented among athletic teams with shared equipment.

Even more problematic than weights and treadmills are the soft, porous equipment, ie. yoga mats and machine padding, as bacteria thrive in the squishy materials. “Other germs that may linger on shared equipment could cause urinary tract infections, E. coli, fungus growth (ie. athletes food) and warts including those cause by human papillomavirus” reports Men’s Fitness. Let’s not exclude the common cold, flu and ringworm which are so easy to contract on shared surfaces.

The good news is that working out regularly boost the immune system and there are also great cleaning supplies that allow us to prevent a lot of this contamination through simple cleaning steps. We recommend providing wipes in gym facilities for patrons use before and after their workouts. Because wipes are convenient, patrons are much more likely to use them over sprays. Wipes are pre-soaked, so they help give you control over the amount of liquid being used to clean the machine. They also provide better surface coverage than traditional sprays. Give us a call to find the right wipes for your facility!

“It’s Peanut Butter Jelly….” Wait a Minute….What about the Peanut Allergen?

imgresWith the peanut allergen being the 3rd most common allergen in young children and the most common in older children, adolescents and adults, you can imagine the stress it puts schools where a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a prevalent lunch choice. The peanut allergen is the allergen most capable of causing severe, life-threatening and even fatal allergic reactions. It is no surprise that schools are looking to establish a method for ensuring that all students entering a classroom to not have peanut residue on their hands as it could easily set off a reaction.

In a study conducted by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, they tested the prevalence of the peanut allergen after a variety of different hand cleaning methods. Participants were asked to wash their hands with plain water, Tidy Tykes wipes, Wet Ones wipes, liquid soap, bar soap and antibacterial hand sanitizer. They found that water and antibacterial hand sanitizer left residual while all other methods were successful in removing all allergen traces.

Read the Full Study Here!

An easy way to prevent students from bring peanut allergen traces in to the classroom is to have them use a Triple S Hand Cleaner Towels upon entering. The unbeatable cleaning power of SSS Hand Cleaner Towels remains an industry leader. The patented, citrus-based formula is combined with a tough, textured-orange towel to loosen, dissolve and absorb dirt and grease leaving your hands truly clean. Buy yours Here!

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The Germs Lurking in Your Winter Weather Gear

It is officially cold and flu season! Germs are spreading like quick fire everywhere you go and contaminating places that you would not even think of, specifically the gloves and scarves you use to keep warm during the cold Chicago winters! You and the people around you have all been guilty of using a glove or scarf to wipe a nose or block a sneeze at some point when a tissue is not handy. Most of the time, no one realizes that these actions are contaminating your gloves and also everything else you touch while wearing said gloves. Also, if you are one of the many people who don’t properly wash their hands when appropriate, then the inside of your gloves are contaminated as well! The germs are spreading everywhere!

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Most germs survive 2-3 days on inanimate objects, some even longer. They don’t have to look soiled or smell bad to be loaded with germs either. Follow the steps below and take the steps needed for a healthier winter season this year! 

  1. Wash or use antibacterial on your hands often- it is the most important thing you can do when preventing the spread of germs. Read “Don’t Get Caught Dirty Handed! – Why Hand Washing is So Important” to get tips on how to properly wash your hands (there is even a video with a hand washing dance!!)
  2. Carry tissues and hand sanitizer with you at all times
  3. Keep your hands from touching your face
  4. Take your gloves off when using or touching objects that other people are using or touching – the best examples of this would be door handles or subway poles.
  5. Remove your gloves with your hands only to avoid spreading germs to your mouth
  6. Don’t stuff dirty or wet gloves into your pockets – they need time to dry in order to kill bacteria.
  7. Wash your gloves and scarves often – we recommend  once per week or more often if soiled
  8. Get the flu shot every year – you will be happy that you did
  9. Avoid people who are sick
  10. Cough or sneeze into your elbow

By following these simple steps – you will stay healthy and prevent the spreading of your germs making other people less susceptible for illness. Its a win/win situation. We can help you as well with any tissue or antibacterial needs you many have!

Disposable Microfiber cloths: The Better Option for HAI Prevention

While the rates of Healthcare Acquired Infections continue to loom, there have also continued to be dramatic advancements in technologies and products that help fight HAI’s by eliminating harmful bacteria from patient areas and other hard surfaces.  One of these such technologies is the microfiber cloth. Microfibers have emerged as one of the most important developments for environmental services and the prevention of HAI’s. As microfiber technology advances, we are learning more and more about better solutions and options currently available to us. For instance, we love microfiber cloths and their many purposes, but now we are finding that the best option in microfibers for infection and bacteria reduction is really disposable microfiber cloths.

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Recent studies are finding that reusable microfiber cloths, while great at picking up dirt, are harder at releasing the dirt and contamination during laundering. This contamination that is not released can be harmful in a couple of ways:

  • Unreleased contamination can spread infectious materials from one location to another
  • Contamination left in microfibers will deactivate disinfectants by consuming the active ingredients – if you continue to use reusable microfibers, it is very important to check the disinfectant frequently to make sure that it is still working.

In addition to the threat of cross-contamination and deactivated disinfectants, reusable microfibers also have to be laundered after every use driving up water and laundering costs.

Disposable microfibers offer a great alternative and a solution to many of the problems found in reusable microfibers. They are convenient and save money when you consider all of the costs associated with reusable microfibers. There is no risk of pathogen transmission due to improper laundering methods because disposable microfiber towels are designed to be used once and discarded when dirty. Thus by using disposable microfibers you save money, increase efficiency, improve disinfection and reduce the risk of HAI’s.