Bathrooms, Cleaning, DIY, Home maintenance, Recommended Products, Spring Cleaning, Tips

Q&A: Pink Slime

pinkslime

Question: What is that pink slime invading my shower, and what can I do about it?

Answer: Ah, yes. Your friendly, neighborhood Serratia marcescens. This ‘pink slime’ is an airborne bacteria that thrives in damp environments, and chows down on your soaps, shampoos, and other fatty substances. The bad news is, because it’s airborne, there’s not much you can do to eliminate the issue. Fortunately, this bacteria is generally harmless to your health, and we can help you minimize growth with these tips.

afterBecause this bacteria thrives on moisture, the key is to dry your environment as thoroughly as possible and keep soap residue at bay. We recommend running your ventilator while you shower and for at least 30 minutes afterwards. Since it feeds on soap scum and residue, keep your shower fresh with an after shower spray and keep up on routine maintenance. Dry the shower after each use as best as you can — if you have glass walls, using a squeegee to dry the glass can be helpful. Make sure you allow all cloth and plastic shower curtains to hang dry outside the shower, as they are common places for the bacteria to thrive in trapped moisture, and clean your shower curtain periodically to refresh.

In showers with grouted tile, an unfortunate cosmetic side effect to the bacteria is grout-staining. Maintenance is key because the ‘pink slime’ can work its way into the grout and leave your shower tinted. Keep the staining under control using a scrub brush and a bleach or hydrogen peroxide cleanser (check to be sure it’s safe to use with your fixtures first) can help lighten any staining. Abrasives, such as Barkeepers Friend and Bon Ami, can help break through any build-up. However, unsealed grout and areas where the bacteria is allowed to hang around for long periods of time can require regrouting and sealing to mitigate.

While harmless to most people, in hospitals, the presence of the bacteria was linked to pneumonia and urinary tract and open wound infections in some. An expert at North Dakota State University suggests chlorine to control the growth. Many water systems are already treated with chlorine, but if you’re using a charcoal filter, you may be removing that from your water.

All else fails, we’re always happy to help!


Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

Sources & Additional Resources:

Anderson, Jessica Cumberbatch. “The Other Pink Slime Lurking In Your Home.” The Huffington Post, 7 Dec. 2017. www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/03/pink-slime-shower-gunk_n_6793586.html.

Huber, Jeanne. “Why Did My Grout Turn Pink?” The Washington Post, 3 Apr. 2017. www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/home/why-did-my-grout-turn-pink/2017/03/31/0bb5e8c8-0fea-11e7-9b0d-d27c98455440_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a27bfc413e71.

“Pink Mold in Shower? How It Got There and How to Get Rid of It | Bob Vila.” BobVila.com, 19 Mar. 2018. www.bobvila.com/articles/pink-mold-in-shower/.

“Red Substance in Tub, Toilet Is Bacteria.” NDSU Agricultural Communication, NDSU Extension Service, 2010. www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2010/aug-9-2010/red-substance-in-tub-toilet-is-bacteria/.

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Bathrooms, Cleaning, Home maintenance, Kitchen, Laundry, Recommended Products, Tips

How to Care for Your Home After Illness

allergy-cold-disease-flu-41284The 2017-2018 flu season has been challenging, and many clients have been asking what they can do to around their home to keep illness at bay. Preventative methods such as periodic disinfection and hand-washing can be helpful defenses against the spread of illness.

To help prevent the spread of the flu and other viruses, make periodic disinfection part of your cleaning routine. Be certain to follow the directions for your chosen disinfectant. Focus on shared spaces and objects, particularly areas that are frequently used.

Some household items are shared by many family members, such as cell phones, remote controls, and computers.  Light switches, door knobs, handles are touched frequently. The kitchen sink, cutting boards, and sponges harbor bacteria and should be disinfected frequently. In bathrooms, focus on your toilet and the surrounding area, the tubs/showers, and sink basins. Bed linens, blankets, towels, and stuffed animals should be washed in the hottest water the material allows after illness.

Most importantly, to prevent the spread of illness, wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Many hand-sanitizers have also proven effective against the flu.

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What disinfectants do we recommend? Our preference is Lysol or Seventh Generation Disinfecting Multi-Surface Cleaner, but there are many on the market that can accomplish similar results.

Click here to check out disinfectants recommended by the Environmental Working Group. Interested in more recommendations? Bestseekers has several recommended products here.


Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

References:

Chodosh, Sara. “How bad this flu season really is-and what you should do about it.” Popular Science, 30 Jan. 2018, www.popsci.com/how-bad-flu-season-2018#page-4.

“De-Germing Your House: Words to the Wise.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 21 Jan. 2011, www.cbsnews.com/news/de-germing-your-house-words-to-the-wise/.

Fields, Lisa. “Your Home Cleaning Hit List: What to Disinfect.” WebMD, symptoms.webmd.com/cold-flu-map/cleaning-hit-list.

“Is your house hit with the flu? 7 cleaning tips to keep it from spreading.” TODAY.com, www.today.com/home/how-protect-flu-cleaning-tips-your-house-t121435.

Cleaning, Floor Care, Recommended Products, Tips

Q&A: Hardwood Floor Maintenance

floorsQuestion: How do you maintain hardwood floors?

Answer: With a flat mop, a lightly dampened microfiber mop head, and an appropriate cleaner.

The National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA) recommends dusting as needed with a dust mop or broom, vacuuming weekly, and traffic-based cleaning with the floor cleaner recommended by the manufacturer monthly. Spot clean as-needed, and wipe up spills immediately.

For traffic cleaning, rather than a traditional mop and bucket, manufacturers recommend a flat mop with a clean, microfiber pad. Wet the pad and wring it out so it is lightly dampened. Spray and mop a small section of the flooring at a time with a hardwood-safe cleaner and rinse your pad between rooms.

Hardwood-safe floor cleaners we love? Bruce and Pledge Floor Care (*). Want to be extra safe, and prolong the beauty of your floors? Use plain water, or water with a drop of wood-safe all purpose for scent. Avoid anything with the words “finish”, “polish”, or “oil”, as those products will build up on your floors.

Using a steam mop or wet mop can damage your hardwoods, especially when used routinely. While there are newer models on the market that are safer for hardwoods, the NWFA advises avoiding steamers altogether to prolong the life and beauty of your floors.

Have questions? Let us know! We’re happy to help. Want more information on floor cleaners? Check out Good Housekeeping’s wood floor cleaner reviews or the EWG’s guide to healthy cleaning.


Whether you have a cleaning question or want to discuss services, we are happy to help! Contact us or complete our quote request form for more information.

*We have not been paid for any product reviews for this post. All product suggestions are our professional preference.