How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

Knowing how to clean a Camelbak reservoir is important to prevent them from getting moldy and gross. By cleaning the Camelbak reservoir properly, not only do you avoid drinking gross stuff, you also extend the life of the reservoir, saving you time and money to replace it.

If you use your Camelbak for anything other than water, it is even more important that you clean it properly to avoid mold growth. Thankfully, it is easy to clean your Camelbak reservoir no matter what you put in it.

Instructions for How to Clean a Camelbak Reservoir

It is best if you clean your reservoir after every use by following these instructions as provided by Camelbak:

  • Mix hot water and 2 tablespoons of baking soda or bleach inside the reservoir camelbak (you can also use Camelbak Cleaning Tablets (8 Pack)).
  • Hold the reservoir up high while pinching the bite valve so the bleached water can run down through the tube but don’t empty the reservoir.
  • Let the cleaning solutions sit in the reservoir for approximately 30 minutes.
  • Empty reservoir.
  • Wash the reservoir with hot water and dishsoap, being sure to completely rinse away any bleach or cleaning solution (Camelbak has brushes and a cleaning kit to scrub the reservoir and tube: CamelBak Bottle Brush Kit, Blue ). Using a brush can ensure you scrub all areas inside the reservoir and tube.
  • Prop the reservoir open and air dry completely so there is no moisture left in the reservoir. If there is moisture trapped inside, mold can grow.

By keeping your Camelbak reservoir clean, you will get longer enjoyment out of using it.

How to Wash Your Hands Properly

How to Wash Your Hands Properly

Learning how to wash your hands properly is very important. The number one way to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria is by proper and frequent handwashing. By washing your hands, you can avoid getting a cold, the flu and other diseases.

When to Wash Your Hands

Think of all the things your hands touch during the day. Germs from these surfaces accumulate on your hands and then can spread to your eyes, nose and mouth. While it isn’t possible to keep your hands completely free of germs, you can limit the transfer of germs.

You should always wash your hands before:

  • preparing food or eating
  • treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • putting in or taking out contact lenses.

You should always wash your hands after:

  • if they look dirty or feel sticky
  • using a toilet or changing a diaper
  • preparing food, particularly raw meat or poultry
  • touching an animal or its things like toys, leashes, harnesses, clothing
  • picking up dog poop
  • blowing your nose
  • coughing or sneezing into your hands
  • treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • shaking hands with someone
  • handling garbage, chemicals, dirty laundry, soiled shoes

Steps for How to Wash Your Hands Properlyhow to wash your hands

  1. Under clean running water (warm or cold), wet your hands
  2. Turn off the water (think of the environment and save water!)
  3. Apply soap to your hands. Soap can be liquid, bar or powder.
  4. Lather the soap and rub your hands together for more than 20 seconds, being sure to scrub all surfaces including backs of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails
  5. Turn water back on and rinse hands well
  6. Turn water off using the back of your hand or a towel
  7. Dry your hands with an air dryer while rubbing hands together, or use a towel

Does Water Temperature Matter?

In order to kill bacteria, the water temperature has to be really hot, much hotter than our skin can handle. Therefore, water temperature is not really a factor when washing hands. More important is the use of clean water, soap, scrubbing action and drying.

A Tip for Children

When teaching young children how to wash their hands, try suggesting they sing the Happy Birthday song while washing their hands. When the song is over, they are finished washing their hands properly.

Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is an alcohol-based cleanser that doesn’™t require water to properly clean your hands. When using hand sanitizer, it is important to rub all the surfaces of your hand as you would when washing with soap and water. Hand sanitizers come in a variety of sizes, including travel sizes, so it is easy to take hand sanitizer with you and always be able to clean your hands even if you don’t have access to soap and water.

Washing your hands properly prevents the spread of disease and infection, helping you and the people around you to stay healthy.

Microfiber Cloths – How They Work

Microfiber Cloths – How They Work

Microfiber cloths are the best, easiest and most effective cloths to use when cleaning. In order to truly appreciate how well these cloths clean, it helps to understand what microfiber actually is.

How Microfiber is Made

Microfiber is synthetic fibre made up of tiny strands that are smaller than strands of silk which are 1/5 the diameter of human hair. That is tiny! During the manufacturing process, fibers are split, producing multi-stranded fibers. If you cut a cross-section of fiber, under high magnification it would look like an asterisk. The split fibers and the size of the individual filaments working in conjunction with the spaces between them make the cloths more effective than other fabrics for cleaning purposes. The structure traps and retains the dirt extremely well, and also absorbs liquids. Microfiber cloths are very soft and hold their shape well.

The best microfiber, especially for water-soluble soils and waxes, should be a split microfiber. Non-split microfiber is little more than a very soft cloth.

microfibre clothsBenefits of Using Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths clean on a microscopic scale. Using Microfiber materials to clean a surface leads to reducing the number of bacteria by 99%. Standard or regular cleaning cloths reduces this number only by 33%.

The increased surface area of a microfiber cloth leaves no lint behind on the surface you are cleaning, unlike a cotton cloth that leaves lint. There is one exception; some cloths are microfiber blends where the surface has been mechanically processed to produce a soft plush feel. These cloths can leave lint behind. Microfiber cloths are electrostatic so they grab or attract dust better than other cleaning cloths.

Even though microfiber cloths are more expensive, the overall cost of cleaning can be lower because you can get more use out of a microfiber rag before it is completely soiled and you can often clean very effectively using far less chemical or cleaning solution than a standard cotton rag. For example, you don’t have to use glass cleaner to clean mirrors and glass; a little water in a spray bottle and a microfiber cloth will do a great job. A big plus about this is you are not putting more chemicals into your home and into the environment.

Microfiber can hold up to eight times its weight in water. It also has the exceptional ability of being able to absorb oils and it is not hard enough to scratch even delicate surfaces, unless they have retained grit or hard particles from previous use. Microfiber cloths are used to clean photographic lenses as they absorb oily matter without being abrasive or leaving a residue. Small microfiber cleaning cloths are commonly sold for cleaning computer screens and sun and eyeglasses.

How to Use Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths can be used wet or dry, on many surfaces, with or without cleaning solutions or chemicals. Cleaning techniques are important regardless of the type of cloth you are using. Because microfiber works so well at attracting and holding dust and dirt, it accumulates grit so it can damage high tech coated surfaces, as previously mentioned. Always use perfectly clean cloths when cleaning these type of surfaces.

Caring for Your Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber Cloths must only be washed in regular washing detergent, not oily, self-softening, soap-based detergents. Fabric softener should not be used. The oils in the softener and self-softening detergents will clog up the fibers and make them less effective until the oils are washed out.  Also never wash microfiber cloths with non-microfiber towels or clothes. Typically those fabrics have so much more lint. You will find the microfiber cloths will grab the lint from the non-microfiber materials and next time you use the microfiber cloth, it will leave lint behind on the surface you just cleaned.

Microfiber cloths are an amazing innovation, making the job of cleaning much easier. Now that you understand what microfiber is and how is it used, you can fully benefit from using microfiber cloths in your cleaning tasks.

Kitchen Blender: How to Clean It

How To Clean A Kitchen Blender

A kitchen blender is a useful appliance that can be utilized for making drinks, smoothies, milkshakes, sauces and soups. They are inexpensive, a must-have in any kitchen and easy to clean. Two types of kitchen blenders are the ones with a base and separate carafe, and a hand blender where the blade end is dipped into another container like a tall glass or bowl.

Cleaning a kitchen blender is very easy. Typically, for a blender with a carafe and base, the carafe and base come apart into pieces for easy washing. All of these pieces can go in the dishwasher or be hand washed in warm soapy water. (Watch out for the sharp blades!) If your carafe has a rubber washer in the base, it is best to hand wash it in warm soapy water instead of the dishwasher.kitchen blender how to clean

Glass carafe blenders retain a nice look longer because the plastic carafes can get a scratchy and frosty appearance. A glass carafe is dishwasher safe whereas a plastic carafe should probably not go in the dishwasher and instead be hand washed.

The base of the blender and cord can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Do not submerge the electric base of the blender in water.

kitchen blender how to clean it

Hand blenders are typically while plastic or stainless steel. The washing methods are the same for either surface. For hand blenders, do not submerge the whole appliance in water. Only put the blender end with the blades into warm soapy water. Swish the blades end of the blender through the water. This should be sufficient to remove the food bits attached to the blender blades. You may also use a cloth to wipe off any stuck on food. Be careful of the sharp blades. Do not put a hand blender into the dishwasher.

Flu or Cold? Know the Differences and Keep Your Employees Healthy

Flu or Cold?

How much do you really know about the influenza virus? Do you know what you need to do to prevent it? It is the flu or cold?

Unfortunately, most employers don’t think about the flu until it has decimated their workforce. Only then do they realize they need to do something to stop it from spreading further.

Flu Symptoms

Do you know the common flu symptoms? Do you know how the flu is different from a cold?

Flu symptoms make you feel miserable. Common flu symptoms to be on the lookout for are:

  • Body aches and headaches
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion
  • Fever in excess of 100 degrees or simply feeling feverish
  • Sore throat, often accompanied by a cough
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Vomiting, nausea and diarrhea

If you have an employee suffering from one or more of these symptoms, they may need to checked out by a medical professional for an accurate diagnoses and treatment plan. All of these symptoms can also be signs of a cold. But there are several additional symptoms that indicate a more serious problem.

Knowing When to Go to the Doctor

If an employee experiences the following symptoms, they need to get into the doctor for treatment right away:

  • Confusion
  • Trouble breathing
  • Lip discoloration
  • Pressure or pain in the abdomen
  • Vomiting that won’t subside
  • Sudden bouts of dizziness
  • Flu symptoms that seem to improve but suddenly grow worse
  • Seizures

Ignoring the signs and symptoms of a severe illness could make the situation worse and cause the recovery process to take far longer than needed.

Types of Flu

Even though you might not realize it, there are numerous types of flu that you can get. Check out some of the following to give you an understanding of what you might be dealing with.

Avian flu occurs when you are infected with the Type A virus from a bird. While it naturally occurs in wild aquatic birds, it can infect domestic poultry and other animals. It isn’t all that common in humans, but it can happen.

Swine flu is a type of respiratory disease found in pigs from the Type A virus, however, it can end up affecting humans and making them ill.

Most people are familiar with a seasonal flu. This tends to strike during the cool fall and winter months and subside during the spring and summer. It often ends up spreading at a rapid rate from coming in contact with someone who is infected with the virus.

Flu Symptoms or Just a Cold?

Is it a cold or flu? How can you tell the difference?

Since the common cold and the flu tend to have a lot of the same symptoms, it can be quite difficult to differentiate between the two. The most accurate way to get an accurate diagnosis is to go to your healthcare provider for a test within the first couple days of becoming ill.

The topic of viral illnesses will always remain somewhat confusing, since the body has a relatively small number of symptoms with which to respond to an ever-changing, wide variety of viruses. – Dr. Alan Greene

Generally speaking, the flu is far worse than just being hit with a regular cold. When you are struggling with the flu, body aches, fatigue, fever and cough tend to be amplified. If you have nothing more than a cold, you will probably be dealing with something simple like a stuffy nose.

Taking the Necessary Steps to Prevent a Flu Pandemic

One of the best things you can do to prevent a flu pandemic from taking over your business is to make sure everyone is washing their hands, staying home when sick and keeping the office clean. Click here to get tips on handwashing.

Bring in a professional commercial cleaning company on a regular basis during peak flu season to prevent the virus from taking over your workforce. By doing your part to prevent the area from becoming contaminated, you can ensure the health and well-being of your employees. There is no time like the present to start preventing the illness from spreading through your workplace.

Preventing Flu Outbreaks in Office Environments

Preventing flu outbreaks is a primary concern for most office managers and people who have to work in office environments. The recent outbreak of measles originating in Disneyland highlights how having lots of people together in an environment where someone is sick can have far-reaching effects when it come to the spread of illness.

Certainly the single most critical illness prevention tip is to wash your hands properly. We’ve recommended this repeatedly, and we won’t stop!

Hand Washing and Preventing Flu

How often should you wash your hands?

  • Before you prepare food and after you prepare food
  • After you eat
  • Before and after going to the washroom
  • After handling animals or animal waste
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • Whenever your hands are dirty
  • More frequently if you are around anyone who is sick

What is proper handwashing technique?

Hands should be wet before you apply soap. Wet hands will allow the soap to lather up better and gives you better coverage over your hands when washing.  Wash for 10-20 seconds.

Using an alcohol-based sanitizer in the absence of soap and water is acceptable however it is not as effective as using soap and water.

7 Additional Ways to Prevent the Spread of Illness in the Office

1) Ensure that any re-usable towels are laundered or replaced daily.  In an office environment, paper towels are better at limiting the spread of infection.

2) Have disinfectant wipes on hand for employees to use at their workstations. If an employee has a sneeze or cough, they can attempt to wipe the affected area with the quick wipe. This wipe down will make their work environment cleaner and help prevent the spread of illness if someone else comes by or shares the workstation.

3) The next most critical way to preventing flu in your office is to be sure people do not come to work when they are sick.  This seems like common sense, but it cannot be overstated.  Coughing or sneezing those germs causes them to become airborne and leads to the beginnings of an outbreak that spreads the flu.

5) Educate your employees how to contain a sneeze or cough. The easiest method being, of course, a tissue.  However, it is not always possible to grab one quick enough so be sure everyone knows how to catch a cough or sneeze in their sleeve.  This certainly is not ideal but still a better alternative that sending the germs airborne for all to catch.

6) Source and use as many touchless dispensers as possible in the washroom and lunchroom.  Using touchless soap dispensers and towel dispensers can go a long way to stopping the spread of infection, by having one less touch point where germs can hang out and be spread among the users of your office.

7) Also be sure to encourage employees to take a flu shot.  If you have enough employees even arranging a flu shot clinic on site is a great option to help keep your office healthier during the flu season.  Even finding a flu shot location or mobile site close by is a good choice.

Many people make excuses to not get the flu shot. Often the reasons are personal rather than medical. Certainly the flu vaccination is an excellent prevention technique for preventing flu in your office this flu season.


Truly hand washing could be so critical that if you just focused on that fact the spread of illness in your office environment would decrease significantly.  On average people touch themselves on their faces 18 times per hour.  This frequent touching is the largest factor why hand washing is so important.

Do You Need Harsh Chemicals to Kill Germs and Bacteria?

Do You Have to Use Harsh Chemicals to Kill Germs and Bacteria?

There is a lot of talk in the media about the spread of germs and flu bugs. The question that naturally arises from this is how to kill germs and if harsh chemicals are necessary.

Universally the number one recommendation that come from every authority figure on the prevention of picking up germs that lead to infection and illness is hand washing.

Are Antibacterial Cleaning Products Necessary?

What kinds of chemicals kill germs, bacteria and viruses? Do you have to use harsh chemicals or antibacterial cleaners?

The discussion of anti-bacterial soaps and cleaning products does present some controversy.  Anti-bacterial products kill germs on contact, however, the debate arises in that many people feel that the overuse of these products can create super germs with more and more resistance to antibodies.

Whether this fact is true or not is not 100% clear.  However the CDC (Center for Disease Control) performed a study of 224 households using anti-bacterial soaps and found them to not be any healthier than people who don’t use anti-bacterial soap.

Regular soap releases germs from the skin so they can be washed down the sink or wiped up with a towel.  Manufacturers would have you believe that anti-bacteria soaps are better than regular soap.  However, the study clearly shows that the health levels of the soap and anti-bacterial soap users are the same.

Antibacterial or Not? How Do You Decide?

So if the health effects are the same how do you decide which is the best way to go?  If you take the iatrogenic impact of the anti-bacterial soap (the possible creation of resistant super-germs), maybe regular soap is a safer choice.

It is clear that the antibacterial soaps or cleaning chemicals you may use kills the germs on contact. However, if you use a general purpose cleaner alongside proper cleaning techniques, you can remove germs and bacteria just as effectively.

What are Proper Cleaning Techniques?

By proper techniques I mean:

  • You are using properly laundered cleaning cloths.
  • You allow the cleaner or soap time to work
  • You remove the suspended soils using a clean cloth and polish the surface dry.

The problem arises when cleaners are not using properly laundered cleaning materials, are over wetting them or are using unacceptable cleaning methods.  In these cases, the soils and germs are not being removed; rather they are just being redistributed as the cleaner cleans.

You could argue that in the presence of unprofessional cleaners that using chemicals, which kill germs on contact, is best. However using poor cleaning techniques will significantly reduce if not eliminate the effects of any chemical used.

I have lost count of the amount of times I have seen otherwise professional looking cleaners using the same cleaning cloth in the washroom and in other areas of an office or home. Â I have also witnessed self-laundering of cleaning cloths. Self-laundering is where the cleaner rinses out the cloths under the tap and rings them out.  If your cleaners are not walking out of the building with a bag of cloths to launder be suspicious of their skill set or training, unless the building has a laundry service.


Certainly you need to have an understanding of what chemicals need to be used to be sure you are properly killing germs. However, the techniques being used are far more likely to have a greater effect on the success of any cleaning program than the cleaning products themselves. Don’t underestimate the impact of proper cleaning technique if you are seeking to have a germ free or nearly germ-free environment.

3 Everyday Preventive Actions To Stop the Spread of Germs

Stop the Spread of Germs

It is important to understand some terminology when it comes to cleaning. Understanding this language will lead you to be able to take a wider approach to maintaining your environment to be germ free and to help stop the spread of germs.

What is cleaning versus sanitizing and disinfecting?

The differences are significant as each level plays a role in the overall cleaning process.


Cleaning is just that, cleaning. It is the act of removing dirt, germs, and residue. It does not necessarily kill germs or bacteria. Cleaning large amounts of soil, dirt, etc. is critical before sanitizing or disinfecting can occur.  If sanitizing or disinfecting is the goal, large quantities of dirt or soil will impede the ability of chemicals to do their work effectively.


Sanitizing is the act of lowering the number of germs on surfaces.  Sanitizing reduces the germ count to a level considered safe by public health standards to decrease the risk of spreading infections. (The removal of 99.99% microorganisms).

For a surface to be sanitized it must be cleaned sufficiently, otherwise it is impossible to obtain close contact between the sanitizer and the surface to be sanitized.  Also some chemical sanitizers (e.g. chlorine and iodine) react with organic matter and so will be less effective when the surface is not properly cleaned.  Sanitizers are designed to clean and sanitize at the same time. However, excessive soil and dirt should always be cleaned and removed first.


Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces using chemicals.  The act of disinfecting does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. The act of disinfecting usually involves a certain amount of dwell time for the chemical solution depending on the manufacturers recommendations.  Even disinfecting doesn’t necessarily kill all organisms.

So having an overall cleaning strategy that has an understanding of the true elements of cleaning are important if you are hoping to prevent the spread of germs.

Does Everyday Cleaning Plan Include All Categories of Cleaning?

Does your cleaning plan include all categories of cleaning or are you just cleaning without any awareness of the need to properly sanitize or disinfect? Most professionals will recommend that at the least you should be sanitizing surfaces that are frequently touched in your home or office.

The question becomes, do your people understand what this means?  Go into your cleaning closet or janitorial room. Do you see cleaning cloths hanging to dry? If so, you know that your cleaners are very likely just cleaning with a damp cloth. This means they are removing visible soils but not likely taking the next steps in combating the spread of germs by properly sanitizing or disinfecting.

Stop the Spread of Germs

You can help stop the spread of germs by having cleaning supplies on hand for your workstation or keys areas of your home.  The quickest and easiest are pre-moistened disinfecting or sanitizing wipes, which you can use to clean the surfaces you touch the most before you start for the day work.

Ensuring a work environment that is clean and sanitary doesn’t have to be difficult. Preventing the spread of germs is really everyone’s responsibility and that starts with good hand hygiene.  Be aware of how germs spread and have a good cleaning plan.  This helps set the stage for a well-rounded plan to keep germs at bay.  Also look for clues (or ask them) to see if your cleaning professional understands the correct techniques to help you stop the spread of germs in your work environment.

Don’t Touch That: How Poor Cleaning Practices Spread Viruses


How much has sickness affected your workplace productivity this year? Preventing the spread of viruses in the workplace is becoming more and more important especially during the flu season.

The peak flu season occurs during the coldest part of the year. Depending on which part of the world you are in, the time of year will vary. In North America, it is October to May, peaking normally in February.

Occurrences of flu increase 10 times or more during these colder periods. Why is the flu so much more prevalent in the winter?

Continue reading “Don’t Touch That: How Poor Cleaning Practices Spread Viruses”

5 Ways To Prevent the Spread of Ebola


The Ebola virus and its devastating affects are one of the top health issues in the media these days.

Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF) is the severe, life-threatening disease caused by infection with the Ebola virus. EHF is a serious disease with a high mortality rate.

Ebola viruses are transmitted either:

  • Through direct contact with blood or body fluids/substances (urine, feces, vomit etc.) of an infected person with symptoms.
  • Through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected blood or body fluids.

The role of the environment in transmission has not been established. Limited laboratory studies, under favorable conditions, indicate that the Ebola virus can remain viable on solid surfaces, with concentrations falling slowly over several days. However, given the apparent low infectious dose and disease severity, higher levels of precaution are warranted to reduce the potential risk posed by contaminated surfaces in the patient care environment and beyond.

Continue reading “5 Ways To Prevent the Spread of Ebola”


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