The Holidays and Life After Suicide Loss

If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 at 800-273-8255, 

Life after suicide can feel impossible. Knowing someone you loved was hurting so deeply that they took their own life is crushing. Not only are you mourning the loss, but it’s common for survivors to contemplate what they could have done to save their person. This contemplation can seem life-long.

The holidays can often feel like a mirror, amplifying our loss back to us in our own reflection. Life seems to go on as it does — but your person isn’t here anymore, and life never got to carry on for them. The way things move forward on their own, without pause for the devastation, can feel cold and crass. 

Grief does not visit when it’s convenient and shows up unannounced all the time. And although everyone says this is normal, you might be wondering how a feeling so debilitating could ever be called ‘normal’.

You may feel like you just survived the hardest thing anyone has ever endured, but you are not alone

International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day is November 19th, 2022 — just days before Thanksgiving. This international day of remembrance was created for people who have lost a loved one to suicide. Losing someone to suicide is a very unique situation that can be hard for others to understand. Connecting with others who are going through the same experience, or similar, can help mourners cope with the loss. 

International Survivors of Suicide Loss was created by an organization called the American Association for Suicide Prevention. ASFP is an incredible resource for information regarding all things suicide prevention, loss, and community. If you are struggling with the loss of a loved one, we strongly urge you to lean on this organization for support.

Each year the organization holds events on International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day, in different cities. We’ve included a few below, but if your state isn’t included in our short list, check out the website for more information. Every state has a chapter and each state will hold an event.

San Diego, California
November 19th, 2022
8am – 12:30pm
Location: University of San Diego (USD), Joan B Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
5555 Marian Way, San Diego, CA 92110

Las Vegas, Nevada
November 19, 2022
10am-12pm
Location: TBD

Tempe, Arizona
November 19, 2022
9am-1pm
Rio Salado College Conference Center
2323 W 14th St Tempe, Arizona

Globally, over 800,000 people lose their lives to suicide each year. That equates to around one person taking their own life every 40 seconds. Unfortunately, suicide is common—but the shock and loss felt by those left behind ripples through communities, relationships, and more. 

As if dealing with grief wasn’t enough, here come the holidays right around the corner. It’s supposed to be the ‘happiest time of the year’; but if you’re struggling to even get out of bed in the morning, it can easily become the most challenging time of the year.

The following tips might seem simple or redundant, but we hope you consider them. They are statistically proven to be helpful in giving your mind and body what they need to survive this time. 

Say No 

Grieving is a deeply chaotic time for the body, and ‘grief brain’ is a real thing. You might find that you walk into rooms with no idea why you came in the first place. Forgetting what you’re talking about, or forgetting important things are common. 

Sometimes grief will take precedence over things you want to do and spending time with people you love — and that is okay. If you are unable to do something (like meet friends for a holiday dinner or happy hour), just say no. Don’t force yourself to do things that you can’t do. Mourning bodies and brains need exponential care and softness.

Say no if you don’t have it in your tank. It’s okay to do so. People that love you will understand. 

Sleep Well

If you’re grieving, chances are you’re very sleepy—often. Your body is fighting to regain homeostasis, and loss shocks the system. Let yourself sleep if you need to. If you have children, lean on your community and ask for help so that you can nap. Do not feel guilt or shame if you can’t keep up with others right now.

Sleep is the number one way that our bodies get stronger and heal. Give yourself sleep, and don’t feel bad for how many hours you need. You may find that you can sleep well past 8+ hours. This is normal, this is necessary.

love and kindness concept, heart painted on frozen glass window

Have Grace

Life after suicide looks different for everyone.

Rage might appear in your life, anger, resentment, and deep sadness. There is no playbook or manual on how to deal with these things. This is not a normal situation. However you deal with your grief, is how you deal with your grief. Have grace for yourself and the way that you’re dealing with the insurmountable loss felt after suicide.

In our line of work, we see many families directly after the loss of a loved one. We witness their pain, confusion, and shock— and we show up with rolled up sleeves and a deep softness for their situation.

We witness their pain, confusion, and shock. The BioClean team meets each family with deep compassion and care, and cleaning up the unimaginable is our honor.

What is ‘Gross Filth’ Cleanup?

Gross filth cleanup is different from a hoarder cleanup situation for seceral different reasons. Gross filth results from left behind trash, feces, food waste, dirty dishes, etc.  This kind of extreme filth can occur for many different reasons. 

Consider a person being too sick or elderly to take care of themselves. Trash will accumulate—especially if said person cannot use the restroom alone anymore. Sometimes people die in their homes without anyone finding them for a while. Some of those people may have many animals in the home that are uncared for— leaving behind mass amounts of feces, urine, and debris behind.

It’s also common for this level of filth to occur in meth houses or transient spaces. And of course, places in extreme hoarding situations.

Cleaning up a gross filth scene is challenging and can feel incredibly distressing.

The amount of trash and filth that is considered to be a gross filth cleanup is an unbearable job for anyone. In most cases, the person tasked with cleaning up the filth is not the person who made the mess in the first place. 

It’s common for landlords to encounter gross filth when a tenant moves out of their apartment, for instance. The landlord has no idea that the tenants are living in filth, and when they move out, the landlord is shocked with what’s left behind. This is also a similar situation for investors or homeowners who have bought an abandoned property or a fixer-upper.

Family members of deceased loved ones are often faced with cleaning up a gross filth situation, too. Sometimes when people are sick, especially elderly people, they can no longer take care of themselves. In many cases, the sick individual does not alert their family or friends of the growing situation in their homes. And when they pass, their family members come into the home to organize their belongings, only to find a serious mess that they feel overwhelmed with cleaning.

Examples of ‘gross filth’ are: 

  • Excessive common household trash and debris building up over long periods of time without removal.
  • Pets urinating and defecating freely inside the home without cleanup.
  • Food laden plates or containers piled up in the sink, bathtub, and counters unwashed.
  • Unflushed, overflowing, or broken toilets and sinks.
  • Human waste in other areas of home or bathroom besides proper vesicles.
  • Mattress, couches, or other items soaked in urine, blood, or loose stool for a variety of reasons.
  • Light switches, walls, entryways, and door jams smeared with food waste, dirt, feces.

Many regular clean up companies, like housekeepers for instance, will not clean up a gross filth situation.

Why?

Because when filth goes to the extreme (feces, old food, animals, etc.), it becomes a biohazard. Housekeeping companies are not licensed to clean up biohazardous waste and do not have the tools to do so safely.

That’s where The BioClean Team comes in.

How is Gross Filth Cleanup Different From Hoarder Cleanup?

Hoarder cleanup is a different situation from gross filth cleanup. Hoarding is a mental illness that provokes people to constantly consume. You can read more about hoarding here.

Cleaning up a hoarders home requires compassion, patience, and understanding of the disorder. The BioTeam takes great care in helping a hoarder throw away their things and determine what items to keep. We will carefully comb through every item, throw away trash, and clean any areas of filth.

The goal of hoarding cleanup is to give the hoarder a fresh start and a clean space to live in again. Many times when we clean a hoarder’s home, the hoarder is still there. Hoarding is a serious mental health disorder that makes a person believe that “more” will make them feel safe.

People can hoard animals, things, or trash. It really depends on the individual.

Most items will be thrown out in a gross filth cleanup.

Carpet will be replaced, tile busted out, fresh drywall hung up again. Gross filth is often a situation where people can’t live in space until it is completely cleaned out and remediated of any biohazard threat.

Feces and urine from animals and humans alone is enough to qualify for a growth filth clean up. Cleaning spaces where meth or other drugs have been made is also considered a gross clean up situation. Make sure not to expose yourself to bodily fluids or mold, either. 

If you have a gross filth cleanup situation on your hands, please give us a call. Allow professionals with the education and appropriate gear handle the situation for you. Risking your health just isn’t worth it! 

Trauma Scene Cleanup: What You Should Do After A Death in Your Home

If someone has passed away in your home, specifically in a violent or bloody matter, you’ll need to hire a crew to conduct a trauma scene cleanup. Blood and human remains can leave behind biohazardous, bloodborne pathogens that must be cleaned up and disposed of appropriately. 

First and foremost, though, we want to acknowledge how absolutely harrowing this experience is. If you’re reading this because this has happened to you, know that our entire team sends our condolences and deep regards for your well-being.

Someone dying in your home, traumatically or not, is unimaginable. It’s something that no person wants to go through or experience, and witnessing this event can be psychologically traumatizing. If you are struggling with witnessing a violent or traumatic event, we strongly encourage you to lean on those you love and seek psychological support. Mental health matters— and you are not alone. 

The BioClean Team prioritizes compassion, discretion, and kindness above anything else. This is a non-negotiable for any company you hire to conduct a trauma scene cleanup, and we hope that you keep that in mind when searching for help.

Now, onto the blog. 

What is a Trauma Scene Clean-Up?

A trauma scene clean-up is a service conducted by licensed bioremediation professionals. The trauma scene cleanup takes place after the body has been removed by the coroner. If the person did not pass away but still left mass amounts of blood and bodily fluids behind, a biohazardous clean-up crew will still be necessary. 

It is a common misconception that EMTs or police officers clean up human remains, blood, or bodily fluids after traumatic events. Unfortunately, though, the job of cleaning up remains is left to family members, friends, or business owners if the tragedy took place inside of a business building.

If there is blood or human remains left behind, police will condone the space as a biohazardous area and will clear the scene in order to keep people safe. When the scene is cleared and the victim or person who was hurt is removed, police will then let you know when you can call a company to come in and clean the area. 

If you have just watched someone die, chances are that you’re not up to the task of sifting through the internet to find the right company to hire to clean up—and certainly not able to clean up what’s left behind on your own. It’s an unthinkable thing to expect someone to do after experiencing something so shocking and tragic. 

That’s where the BioClean Team comes in. 

Making Your Space Livable Again 

With extreme compassion for grieving family members and friends, we clear the area and begin to disinfect the scene. Our team will have proper PPE gear, chemicals for disinfection, and specific storage for contaminated objects to be disposed of at licensed facilities. We use layers of gloves and take other protective measures to ensure that our staff is safe. 

Hiring a bioremediation company like BioClean is the only way to ensure that your home can be livable again. When we perform a trauma scene cleanup,  we’ll remove any materials or objects that are contaminated with blood. We will also clean the interior of your home where the blood has made its way. This ensures your living spaces are clear of any lingering infectious diseases. This includes any splattering of blood, tracking, or dripping. 

When left behind, human blood can contain infectious organisms called bloodborne pathogens that can make people gravely ill. Some examples are HIV, Hepatitis B and C, MRSA (a bacteria that can’t be treated with antibiotics), and C. Difficulty. 

When are Trauma Scene Cleanups Necessary? 

If someone has lost lots of blood, human remains and tissues, and bodily fluids, you’ll need to hire a cleanup crew. As stated above, these materials are incredibly dangerous to your health and can cause life-threatening diseases if not disinfected properly. Possibly even death. 

The BIOClean Team offers services for the following traumatic events: 

  • Crime Scenes
  • Suicide
  • Homicides
  • Traumatic Accidents
  • Accidental Death
  • Undiscovered or Unattended Death 

Give The Bioclean Team a Call

We understand how tender these situations are, and would be honored to help you get through this incredibly difficult time. Not only will we make your personal space safe to live in again, but we will also offer deep compassion to those on the scene who are in shock or deeply grieving. Losing someone you love or witnessing someone else lose their life is one of the most traumatic things we can ever face. Let us help you bear a piece of the burden by making your home a place you can be in again.

Where Does the Biohazard Symbol Come From?

The biohazard symbol is the most recognized symbol in the world — and that’s by design. We’ve seen it everywhere, but how did that come to be? Read more to learn about who designed the symbol, why, and how the biohazard symbol keeps us safe today.

Who Created The Biohazard Symbol and Why

The biohazard symbol was designed with intention by Charles L. Baldwin, an environmental health engineer of Dow Chemicals, and Rovert S. Runkle of the NIH in 1966. It was created to be an international symbol—one that could be recognized by anyone in the world, no matter your background or what language you speak.

Baldwin, working in a facility with numerous hazardous substances, realized that not everyone in the facility understood what every symbol meant in the lab. He saw this as a problem and a barrier to keeping the public safe and informed. 

His drive to keep people safe is what inspired him to create a new, universal symbol that everyone could understand.

Instead of creating a different symbol for every chemical and hazard, Baldwin created a single symbol to avoid any further confusion. This one symbol allowed his coworkers and the rest of the world to recognize something as dangerous without having to understand the exact ingredients of the substance.

When we see the surgeon general’s warning label on cigarettes, we know that cigarettes are dangerous to our well-being. We don’t need to have knowledge of every ingredient and why it’s harmful.

The same goes for alcohol. We don’t need to understand every ingredient inside those items — knowing they are bad for you is reason enough to leave them alone.

The biohazard symbol acts as the same kind of warning. 

The biohazard symbol covers a lot of ground to convey a consistent message anyone from any part of the world can understand: danger.

The Biohazard Symbol Was Designed To Be Unforgettable 

Runkle and Baldwin wanted the symbol to be easily recognizable and unique. It was important to Baldwin and Runkle that this symbol be so specific that it could not be confused with another. The symbol was intended to be inclusive of any ethnic background. It also needed to be symmetrical so that any way you saw the symbol, it looked the same. 

Dow knew that creating a simple symbol that was easy to remember could potentially save lives. Dow took the task of creating the memorable symbol very seriously. Dow’s marketing team spent countless hours crafting several different symbols and finally conducted user testing.

In the survey groups, Dow presented several different well-known logos, and the unknown and newly formulated biohazard symbol. The idea was to gauge how familiar these logos and symbols were to the public. For obvious reasons, the survey group found the biohazard symbol as the least recognizable because the image was new to them. 

But that’s when something interesting happened.

The Biohazard Symbol Was Born 

Dow did the test once again a week later and found that after explaining the biohazard symbol just once, everyone in the group remembered its meaning and significance. 

Boom.

They found the winner.

Since the biohazard symbol is three-sided, there is no wrong way to append the symbol. The only rule to using the biohazard symbol is that there has to be enough contrast between the symbol and the background so that the image is impossible to miss. We often see biohazard signs with yellow backgrounds, but that is not mandatory to the design—it just causes more attention.

Examples of Biohazardous Substances the Symbol Signifies

  • Blood

The biohazard symbol is used to alert others of blood and human tissues that contain blood. Blood is dangerous because of the infectious properties pathogens can emit—making blood a biohazard to people and the environment.

  • Animal Waste

Dead animals and any materials that were exposed to animals carrying infectious pathogens. 

  • Microbiological Waste

Microbiological wastes are more prominent in scientific labs. These examples include specimen cultures, culture dishes, thrown-out viruses, and devices utilized for transferring or mixing cultures.

Unfixed human tissues (except for the skin) and other materials used for things like autopsies and human biopsies.

  • Sharps Waste

Needles, glass slides, and cover slides that are used to inspect blood on a microscope, scalpels, and IV tubing with the needle still attached at the end. 

It’s impossible to measure how many lives Baldwin and Runkle saved by creating this symbol. Not, it is a worldwide symbol that keeps people safe every day. 

Today, the symbol is a public domain, meaning that anyone can use the symbol on anything without charge or paying a royalty fee.  

If you’ve encountered any of the examples mentioned above and don’t know what to do, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you figure out the next steps and if it’s safe to clean up on your own. 

Why Animal Feces Removal Is Dangerous

Cleaning up after our pets each day poses very little threat to our health. But when conducting animal feces removal from a hoarder’s home or where animals may have been abandoned, the situation can become dangerous. Read below to learn how animal feces removal and urine removal can impose a risk to your health and the health of others.

Animal Feces Removal

Having canines comes with the job of cleaning up poop from time to time—it’s just a fact of life. Some might even say that it’s a small price to pay in comparison to the joy dogs bring to our lives. But when canine owners leave dog feces sitting for an extended period of time to accumulate, the situation can become a health risk to pets and the people who take care of them.

Diseases People Can Contract From Dog Feces

1. Campylobacteriosis

Ever heard of Campylobacteriosis? Campylobacteriosis is a bacterial disease humans can contract from dog poop, and it’s anything but pretty. This nasty disease includes symptoms like diarrhea, fever, extreme cramps, and pain in the abdominals. 

Campylobacteriosis generally lasts for a week, but for those with weaker immune systems, campylobacteriosis can last for much longer. Immunocompromised individuals can experience life-threatening infections if this bacterial disease makes its way to their bloodstream

2. E. coli

Much like campylobacteriosis, E. coli is a very real and potentially life-threatening bacteria that can cause mayhem in the body. Symptoms are synonymous with what one would experience with campylobacteriosis: nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and fever. However, E. coli poses an even more serious infection for weakened immune systems and can end in death.

3. Salmonellosis

Did you know you can contract Salmonellosis from dog poop? Salmonella is not just a bacterial disease humans can contract from undercooked food. This nasty infection can be transmitted through animal feces as well, specifically dog poop.

4. Yersiniosis

Yersiniosis is another bacterial infection that is usually detected in the water. Never swim in water where animal feces may have contaminated the space. 

Unfortunately, it gets worse.

Tapeworm

Parasites

Among an array of especially disturbing parasites, tapeworms and roundworms are the most common cause for concern when it comes to dog poop. Roundworm makes its way into the human body where larvae can travel to the brain, heart, eyes, lungs, and kidneys. Roundworm larvae can also cause a person to lose their vision. 

While tapeworms won’t bring about blindness or infect your heart, they can still do an insurmountable amount of damage. Tapeworms like to seep into the human body through the skin, infecting their victims through the pores. Tapeworms like to attach to a person’s intestines and suck the nutrients from the tissues.

Cat Urine

If you have a cat, know a cat, or have ever spent time with a cat, you probably know that their urine smells foul. That foul-smelling odor is ammonia, which is a toxic gas that can make someone sick pretty quickly. When cat urine is not cleaned up, it solidifies, making the concentration of ammonia higher. That’s why cleaning up cat urine, especially urine that has sat for a long time is considered dangerous to your health. 

Cats are able to transmit a bacterial disease called Toxoplasma Gondii, which can cause severe to life-threatening health risks—especially for pregnant women. 

People who are not pregnant and do not have compromised immune systems usually experience Toxoplasma Gondii like they would the flu. Sore muscles, a headache, and swollen lymph nodes can last for weeks to months. Those with weaker immune systems, like pregnant women, endure much more serious and life-threatening symptoms. Pregnant women may experience miscarriages. Babies exposed to Toxoplasma can be born stillborn or with abnormally large or small heads.

When To Call Us

It’s important to know when you need the help of a professional and when you can take on the issue by yourself. If you consider cleaning up a hoarder’s home, or a place where animals have been left inside for long periods of time, don’t risk your health doing so. 

Without proper protection, removing animal feces and urine can cause life-threatening illnesses that don’t go away overnight. These bacterial diseases can diminish a person’s quality of life for a long time, or even potentially take a person’s life, depending on the exposure.

If you’re unsure of the right way to handle your animal waste problem, we invite you to give us a call. The BIOClean Team happily serves Southern California and Las Vegas.

 

 

When To Hire a Biohazard Cleanup Company

First Off, What Is a Biohazard Cleanup Company?

A biohazard cleanup company is an organization that removes biohazardous waste from commercial, industrial, and residential spaces. Biohazardous waste includes human body fluids, microbiological waste, sharps, pathological waste, and animal waste.

These types of waste are dangerous to people, animals, and the environment, which is why it’s important to know when you can clean up a situation on your own or when you need to hire a professional cleanup company. 

Biohazard Cleanup companies are trained and licensed professionals who understand different types of waste and what exactly to do with each kind of waste. The cleanup crew will enter the site of the space in protective gear, armed with the tools necessary to disinfect and clean the area affected. These individuals follow state rules and regulations in order to keep people safe and healthy.

Can You Clean up Animal Waste By Yourself?

We’ve all cleaned up after our pets at home, but when does animal waste become dangerous? In most instances, animal waste becomes dangerous in hoarder/animal hoarder situations and with poorly managed livestock.

When urine and feces accumulate in a hoarder’s home, they emit ammonia, bacteria, and viruses that can become airborne—making them unsafe to handle without the help of a biohazard cleanup crew.

In some extreme hoarding situations, dead animals can get lost in the home and those carcasses attract insects and rodents that carry diseases. Cleaning a hoarder’s home poses health risks on its own, and shouldn’t be done without the help of a professional cleanup team. However, if you’re cleaning a hoarder’s home and notice animal waste or animal body parts, you should call a licensed cleanup company immediately to handle the situation instead. 

Cat urine is especially dangerous.

Chances are that you’ve smelt the strong odor of cat pee before. This smell is a chemical called ammonia, and when cat urine sits for a long time, this chemical becomes concentrated. All feces and urine can transmit bacterial infections to humans, but cat urine is the culprit of Toxoplasma Gondii; a nasty disease that can cause pregnant women to experience miscarriages or give birth to stillborn babies. 

In short: if there are animal body parts, carcasses, an excessive accumulation of feces and urine, or contaminated animal bedding, you should call a cleanup company to do the dirty work for you!

Cleaning Up Blood And Bodily Fluids

It’s important to know when it’s safe to clean up blood and bodily fluids and when it’s not. If you’ve scratched your knee or cut your finger, you’re probably just fine to clean up the blood on your own. But things change when there is a traumatic accident to clean up. Traumatic accidents happen anywhere and everywhere humans are, which can make cleanup especially tricky. 

Blood is a biohazard because it may contain pathogens that can spread disease if not disinfected immediately, and correctly. When serious accidents take place, including anything from a crime scene to suicide, the blood left behind becomes a threat to public safety. 

Do not clean up traumatic events that include blood, human tissue, or body fluids by yourself. There is a life-threatening difference between cleaning up a scraped arm and cleaning up human remains and blood. Biohazard cleanup teams are trained and licensed through the state to do this kind of work for you.

This ensures others are safe from pathogen exposure, disease, and airborne illnesses.

When Mold Becomes Dangerous

Depending on where you live, mold can be common. But how do you know when it’s time to bring an expert in? Generally, if the moldy spot is 3 square feet or smaller, you can potentially take care of it yourself. If the mold is growing past those dimensions, though, it’s time to call in a biohazardous clean-up company.

Mold happens for a myriad of reasons, but one of those reasons can be a leak in your waterline somewhere. A water restoration company might be able to remedy the issue for you, but if not taken care of right away, the situation can grow into a very serious threat to your health. 

Symptoms from exposure to mold can take time to develop. Common symptoms range anywhere from asthma attacks to headaches, to difficulty breathing. Some side effects can last for a long time and can greatly affect your quality of life. 

If you see mold in your home, call a professional immediately to figure out what actions need to be taken. An expert will help you to decide what to do next, but in most cases, do not try to clean up mold on your own. It’s simply not worth the risk.

We’re the Biohazard Cleanup Team You Need

We pride ourselves on being the team you can call to handle the worst days of your life — and the most challenging tasks you’ve ever faced.  From traumatic accidents to sewage leaks, we’re the folks you can trust to get the job done. 

Contact us today for questions, concerns, and more information about your waste needs and how we can help. We’re here to help 24/7, 7 days a week.

Here at The BIOClean Team, we operate by one simple rule: service first. 

How To Get Blood Out Of Carpet – Everything To Know and Do

Blood stains aren’t as rare as we might hope. Whether it’s a paper cut at our desk or too deep a slice in the kitchen blood has a way of finding itself on tables, counters, and yes carpet. But don’t fret, you don’t need to call in a heavy-duty cleaning crew for every spot and spill. This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re going to walk you through how to get blood out of carpet.

 

How to Get Blood Out of Carpet When It’s Fresh, Dry, and Everything In Between

 

Your first priority when a cut happens should always be first aid. Once you’ve seen to whatever wound was causing the blood loss, who knows how long has passed. Follow these steps and your carpet will be clean again in no time.

 

Before You Start

Before you get to work, know a few things. The longer the blood has had to sit on the carpet the longer it has had to set. When it comes to cleaning blood out of carpet, use cold water as hot water will speed up the blood stain setting. So keep the heat out of this when you can. 

 

Know the Carpet

Different types of carpet will have different cleaning needs. Make sure you understand what your floors are so you can adjust the process accordingly. Similarly, make sure you’re reading the instructions carefully on whatever cleaning agent you are using, and test it on out of sight spots to be sure you’re getting the right effect.

 

Here is a quick rundown of what you may need to know based on your type of carpet.

 

Polyester

Good news! Polyester is a synthetic material that is stain resistant, making it one of the easiest types of carpets to clean with simple blotting. Nice!

 

Wool

Wool is a sensitive material and it holds onto moisture. That means to clean it you need to go for gentle blotting motions and be careful to use only the amount of water you need to treat the stain. 

 

Acrylic 

Acrylic carpet material shows stains faster than others. The special requirements for these? Get to them fast! 

 

Nylon

Carpet made of nylon is more susceptible to fading and being discolored, both by stains and cleaning solutions. IThis means doing a test patch is absolutely necessary to ensure you’re not going to damage the carpet. You also want to avoid scrubbing the carpet as it can ruin the pile.

 

OK, with those first thoughts out of the way, now let’s gather up the needed cleaning supplies before we get to work.

Cleaning Supplies Needed

  • Disposable gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Carpet cleaner/stain remover (more on this later) 
  • Clean Rag
  • Cold water
  • Bowl or Bucket
  • Brush
  • Vacuum

 

How to Choose the Right Blood Stain Remover for Your Carpet

Blood stains want to stick to carpet fibers tightly. This is thanks to the hemoglobin in the blood, which holds onto those fibers like there’s no tomorrow. This makes it difficult to remove from carpets, but not impossible! You just need to use the right remover for your particular scenario (stain + carpet type). Here are a few options.

 

Dishwashing Liquid

Simple and effective, dishwashing liquid is a popular stain remover for fresh or dry blood. Mix with cold water (2 cups water to 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid) for best results.

 

Ammonia

When soap just won’t do, some folks turn to ammonia. Mixing a half a cup of lukewarm water with a tablespoon of ammonia. Treat the stain, then blog with a cloth and cold water. Don’t use on wool!

 

Hydrogen Peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide is another option. It works by breaking the chemical bonds present in blood, which also undoes the color. When it comes to using hydrogen peroxide though it can take several treatments to work through the stains, so don’t get discouraged.

 

These are just a few of the potential cleaning solutions you can use. Pick your favorite and let’s move on. With the tools gathered and the right cleaning agent prepared now we can get down to brass tacks.

 

How to Get Fresh Blood Stain From Carpet

If the blood stain is fresh, then you’re going to have a better chance of cleaning it fast and efficiently, without leaving any lasting stain.

 

Step 1 – Blot

Glove up and take a paper towel and gently blot at the stain to remove excess blood. Do not rub or scrub. That can spread the blood around and make the stain worse. Avoid that.

 

Step  2 – Prep the Stain Remover

Whatever you decided to go with for the stain remover now is the time to prep your mix. Whether it’s cold water and dish soap, ammonia, or hydrogen peroxide, now is the time to get it ready. Start with a less is more approach, and test the area you’re going to be using.

 

Step 3 – Blot the Stain, Again

With the stain remover of choice prepared, take your clean cloth, dip it in the solution and begin to blot the top of the stain, gently. Remember, no rub, no scrub. If you’re using a clean white rag this can help as the transfer of stain from carpet to rag will be easier to spot, showing you it’s working. Keep wetting the cloth, blotting, and rinsing until all of the blood stain is removed. This may take several passes.

 

Step 4 – Blot with Dry Towels

With dry cloth or paper towels, blot the spot to remove any water lingering in the carpet. If the area is large, grab a fan and set it up to help dry it quickly.

 

But what if the stain is set?

 

How to Remove Set Blood Stains from Carpet

Acting fast is the best way to make sure your carpet doesn’t get stained but that’s not always possible of course. When it comes to removing set stains it will be more difficult, but it’s not impossible – usually.

 

Step 1 – Break Up the Dried Blood

Remember that brush in the tools list? Now is it’s time to shine. Use the brush to break up the dried blood stain without damaging the carpet fibers. Work from the edge of the stain toward the middle. If fibers are stuck together because of the blood you can use a plastic knife to help loosen things up.

 

Step 2 – Vacuum

With the stain thoroughly brushed and loosened you can now bring out the vacuum to pull up solid, dried flecks. This will make the stain removal process so much easier so make sure you follow it, even if it’s just a once over. 

 

Step 3 – Stain Remover Time

Apply the stain remover to the carpet, first in a hidden place so you can see how it will work on the carpet. Give it time, after all, since the blood stain is already set, you’re not in any rush. If after a day the carpet hasn’t discolored then you know you’re good to go! Apply the remover to the stain, just enough to get the stain moist – soaking the spot can damage the carpet and the flooring below it.

 

Let the stain remover work for about five minutes, soaking into the fibers properly, and getting into the stain. The stain has had time to bond to the carpet fibers, let the remover have time to bind to the stain too.

 

Step 4 – Blot, Blot, Blot

After letting the carpet cleaner/stain remover work its magic, it’s time to blot the stain with a wet cloth and cold water. Blot, repeatedly to remove as much of the stain as possible, then let it dry, and repeat the process. Bring in a fan to help the drying process if necessary. If the stain is still visible after completely drying, start again back at Step 1 – some stains will need a few passes to completely remove them, or at least make them small enough not to be noticeable.

Once you’ve completed the cleaning, toss away the gloves, and make sure everything is safely cleaned and sanitized. Hopefully, with this guide you can get your own carpets back to where you need them to be. For some jobs the mess is too great or there’s a real concern about biohazardous waste and bloodborne pathogens. In those instances, you need to call in the professionals, call in The BIOClean Team.

What to Avoid When Trying to Help a Hoarder

Last time on the blog we talked about how to help a loved one who is struggling with a hoarding disorder. Through recognizing the signs, empathizing and encouraging them to seek out help, and celebrating their victories you can help your loved one overcome their struggles. But just as there are things you can do to help, there are definitely things you should avoid! This time on the BIOClean blog, what to avoid when trying to help a hoarder.

 

Don’t Touch Things Without Permission

People who are fighting a hoarding desire have strong emotional attachments and compulsions with their belongings. It might not be clear and obvious to you, but they’re there and there’s not necessarily obvious reasons behind it. You want to be careful not to cause them any excess distress or make the problem worse by touching things without their permission. Their anxiety around belongings often has roots in not having something they fear is needed or having it taken away from them. That’s why throwing things away without the person hoarding it expressing their permission is a recipe for disaster. It will make the person upset, angry at you for doing it and they’re less likely to seek out further help from you or anyone else.

Don’t Judge Them

If we encourage you to empathize with them, the opposite is also true: don’t judge them. The anxiety and associated problems with hoarding disorder predisposes the hoarder to feeling less than, afraid of being judged. So if you truly want to help, do your best to avoid casting any judgments on them or their behavior yes it may be difficult, but they need you to be empathetic and caring, not another voice of judgment that they already know or fear. 

Temper Expectations

If the hoarder in your life agrees to clean up or change, don’t expect it to happen over night. They didn’t accumulate a house full of stuff over night, it will take them longer than that to clear it out. Having that expectation will only cause frustrations in them and you. And hoarding isn’t just about gathering stuff it’s about the emotional baggage that comes along with it. Reckoning with that is more than an overnight job.

And don’t expect perfection in this change either! It’s going to be incredibly difficult for them to make this change, even with support and professional help. Don’t try and make them feel like they have do it immediately, perfectly, first try. That’s not sustainable and just leads to frustration. Gradual changes are more likely and effective. 

Don’t Enable or Encourage Hoarding Behavior

Of course you’d never think to encourage hoarding behavior, but you might not realize that some of the things you’re doing could be enabling it. For instance – what do you do for your loved one’s birthday? Do you give them a gift, a physical object? Do you go shopping with them? Do you hold on to or store anything for them? You see how even the best intentions of some of these could enable or encourage hoarding behavior.

Cleaning up after them is another way of enabling their behavior. Having someone else take care of their messes can remove one more reason for them to see that they need to get help and change things. You can help them go through things and organize them, but you can’t take care of something and expect to get to root problem.

 

And when it comes time to clear out those hoarding spaces when they have grappled with their troubles? Call in a professional hoarding clean-up services like BIOClean Team to help take care of it! 

Compassionate, Trusted, and Professional

How to Help A Hoarder

Here at The BIOClean Team, we talk a lot about hoarding cleanup services. But what if the person in your life who is struggling isn’t ready for a cleanup yet? Or what if they are just starting to struggle with hoarding and you can see it happening early? This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we’re going to talk about how to help a hoarder.

To put it briefly to help a hoarder you need to:

  • Recognize!
  • Empathize!
  • Encourage!
  • Volunteer!
  • Celebrate!

How to Help a Hoarder

Recognize the Signs

Recognizing the signs of hoarding is a huge first step.  Hoarding creates an unlivable, and potentially dangerous living space and the sooner someone gets help the better. The signs of hoarding include:

  • Difficulty, or inability to throw or give away possessions, regardless of value
  • Experiencing negative emotions and distress when trying to throw or give away possessions
  • Living area filled with stuff, areas blocked and unusable.
  • Feelings of safety when surrounded by things

If any of these sound familiar? Yeah you might have a hoarder on your hands. And these behaviors are rarely present in a vacuum. Frequently, people with hoarding disorder have other issues that are associated with hoarding, many of which may also be undiagnosed. An example. Someone who has struggles hoarding may also have other troubles with indecision, an inability to concentrate and avoid distractions, as well as dealing with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders.

Empathize with Them

Chances are this isn’t how the person would like to be living. They’re feeling trapped, anxious, upset, over a wide number of things and issues in life. This behavior can also isolate the person, causing them to drop out of social life and experience. It can cause problems with relationships. The person experiencing the disorder may avoid loved ones and friends for fear of being judged. Show that you empathize with them, that you will listen and help prevent that spiral. 

Understand that hoarding disorder isn’t necessarily about the “stuff.” It’s often about much more, and there are underlying causes. Realize that your focus as you’re working to help your friend shouldn’t necessarily be the objects, but those factors that are contributing to the behaviors.

Encourage Them To Seek Professional Help

Many folks with hoarding troubles know there is an issue, but, as you might expect, their difficulties can make the prospect of getting help overwhelming. Support services and treatment are out there for hoarders and while you can’t make someone get care, by encouraging them and helping them overcome those perceived difficulties it can make the process so much easier for the hoarder to get help. You can even research options for them and present the info to them. If they’re ready, and you’ve proven an empathetic ally, they just might make the leap.

Volunteer to Help

Whether it’s around the house in the cleanup, or with any other hurdle that is causing them troubles, getting outside help from an empathetic and encouraging friend can mean all the difference between getting stuck and failing, and seeing it through to completion. Helping get them to meetings, clear out rooms, or just help them take their mind off the problem, there are plenty of ways for an empathetic friend or family member to be the support they need.

Celebrate Their Victories

Celebrate the victories, no matter how small with your friend. For one, they did something incredibly difficult for them, and are attempting to change their lives for the better, that should be celebrated! It also will help positively reinforce the behavior changes and help offset the anxiety and nerves they’re experiencing as they seek help or clear out spaces. Even the smallest step in the right direction is worth celebrating!

These are just a few of the steps you can take to help and support your friend or family member fighting a hoarding disorder. Recognize their struggles, empathize with them, encourage them to seek help, volunteer that help, and celebrate their victories with them! All of that together can go a long way to help your loved one overcome their troubles.

And when it comes time to clear out those hoarding spaces? Call in a professional hoarding clean-up service like BIOClean Team to help take care of it! 

Compassionate, Trusted, and Professional

March is Mold Month Part 2 – Preventing and Handling Mold

April showers bring May flowers, but do you know what else can come with the increased moisture? Right! Mold. Somebody has been following our blog this month! To get ahead of any potential mold trouble, this time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re talking mold prevention and how to handle it when it does creep up! Without further preamble let’s get into it.

How to Prevent Mold Contamination and Growth?

Mold can grow just about everywhere so long as there is a little bit of moisture present. Even in deserts after a bad storm mold can crop up. With that in mind then the best way to prevent mold is to limit the amount of moisture in the air.

First – Find the source of the moisture in your home or building and get rid of it. If there’s a leak, fix it, if it’s pooling water from rain look at finding some drainage solutions.

Now keep the humidity between 30-50% using the following methods:

  • Vent showers, laundry rooms, and other sources of moisture to the outside.
  • Use air conditioners or dehumidifiers to control humidity
  • Use your exhaust fans when cooking, cleaning, or laundering food to send moisture outdoors
  • Insulate cold surfaces to prevent condensation build up
  • Make sure the HVAC system is well maintained
  • Any floods or spills should be cleaned up immediately to prevent the moisture from spreading
  • Reduce how much water is used when carpet cleaning
  • Avoid installing carpet close to water fixtures or near areas prone to leaks, condensation or flooding

To stay even further on top of it, there are devices you can purchase that measure and monitor the moisture levels of things such as drywall and wood. 

Ok, so you know how to prevent it – now what about cleaning it up?

 

How to Clean Up Mold?

When it comes time to clean up the mold, the first step is to find out why the mold is present/why the moisture was so high. Once you have identified this, FIX IT FIRST. If you let a leak continue any cleanup efforts will be fighting an uphill battle as the moisture will just keep supporting the mold growth. That’s no good!

 

When mold has been spotted, any porous material (drywall, ceiling tiles, books, paper, cardboard, fabrics) needs to be thrown out and replaced. It may even be necessary to toss carpets, cushions, mattresses, furniture, etc. because spores can live inside these materials and come back down the line.

Ok, with that out of the way how to clean up the mold: Hire a Trained, Certified Cleaner! Even small patches of mold require the proper equipment and training to clean and sanitize safely!

Now, when it comes down to how to clean up the mold it really does depend on the extent of the damage.  

Homeowners can clean a small area themselves with soap and water, if it reappears after you’ve cleaned it, then something isn’t quite right and you need a professional.

Here are some general steps to dealing with a single small isolated area (no larger than a couple of square feet).

  • Use a mask/respiratory protection such as an N-95 disposable respirator
  • Use rubber gloves and eye protection
  • Remove any materials that will be difficult to clean and/or seal with plastic sheeting and tape to prevent any spread of mold or dust
  • Clean the surfaces with soap or detergent solution
  • Don’t get your drywall too wet
  • Avoid kicking up dust
  • While cleaning the area, make sure it is only used by those cleaning it with proper protection on 

For anything much larger than that it is crucial that you call an expert who can do the job safely and correctly. The BIOClean Team is here to help!