Can Air Fresheners be Damaging to our Health?

Our places of work can often get a musty odour from time to time, particularly over weekends or holidays when there’s nobody there to throw open a window or two! It’s no wonder there can be a build-up of smells with the amount of ‘people traffic’ moving through the premises on a daily basis.  So it’s all too easy to find the solution in a tin of air freshener, and spray around the offending areas.

Air freshener exposure, even at low levels can have some adverse health effects. After all, over 100 different chemicals are emitted into the atmosphere each time we spray. It’s worth remembering that the lungs of young children, the elderly and people with some medical conditions may not be able to filter out these chemicals quite as effectively as a healthy adult, sometimes resulting in breathing difficulties, headaches, migraine and asthma attacks.

Perhaps tackling the root of the problem is key. A stricter cleaning regime will help, as well as thoroughly airing rooms to combat stubborn odours rather than masking them with fresh smelling sprays.

Here are some simple ideas to incorporate at your workplace:

  • Ventilation – wherever possible open windows for at least a few minutes a day to let in some fresh air, and to let nasty odours escape.
  • Plant life – some plants can absorb waste chemicals and odours from the atmosphere. Peace lilies in particular are perfect for this with their rich dark green foliage clumps.
  • Odour absorbing paint – there are certain types of paint on the market that will help purify the air. Decorate the place right now!
  • If you must use an air freshener, try to use one that isn’t labelled as fragranced. Try to research a more natural alternative.
  • Clean up regularly – don’t leave washing up or waste food laying by the sink. Deal with it to avoid nasty smells.
  • Bicarbonate of Soda – a natural alternative for fridges and microwaves. A small dish placed in both will absorb any unwanted odours.

These tips are all manageable on a day to day basis, but it might be sensible to hire a commercial cleaning contractor to really get down to the nitty gritty.  Effective and thorough daily cleaning will stop the build-up of dirt, grime and smells at the source.

Get in touch with us to discuss our range of services and for a no obligation quote.

Caring for our Community

It’s fair to say that Brightr is a family run business that really cares about community.  We have been told in the past that what sets us apart is our understanding of the way our customers want to work, and how we fit in with that. Commercial cleaning is a people business and it is only by very carefully recruiting and training the right local people, with the right supervision, that the job will get done.

That’s why we decided it was time that we gave something back to the wider community; a community that supports our business by hiring us, a community that provides us with the high calibre of staff that Brightr strive to employ, a community that is rich with young talent in all walks of life including industry, education and sport.

Many organisations in and around Milton Keynes are crying out for a helping hand, mainly in the form of sponsorships, and one such was Milton Keynes Wanderers Football Club.  We approached their Chairman, Tim Reid, who explained the benefits of becoming a team sponsor.  Not only would we be supporting sport and healthy living within the community, but we’d be helping two of the junior teams by supplying their kits for the forthcoming season, ensuring football stays affordable for the families of the Wanderers players. It seemed like an opportunity too good to miss – of course the added bonus is that it helps to gain exposure and raise the profile of the Brightr brand!

What better place to start than at grass roots level? Literally!

Brightr are happy sponsors of MK Wanderers U8 Hawks and U8 Kestrels.


If you would like any information on the services that Brightr undertake, please get in touch or click here.

Clean Away Your Stress and Anxiety

It’s really easy to get bogged down in the daily grind that is life, and to sometimes feel we aren’t coping as we think we should.  Day to day stresses and strains can be exhausting!  But with mental health being such a hot topic, people are talking about it in a much more open way than ever before.

So what do we do when we’re feeling stressed, anxious or depressed? Medication isn’t always the go-to cure that it once was, as more and more sufferers are finding alternative ways to deal with their conditions. Meditation and yoga have proven to be a god send for those not wanting to take the anti-depressant route, and mindfulness apps are more popular than ever before.  A day at the spa may be just the thing you need to get a day of complete relaxation if you’re stressed, but it may surprise you to learn that more people are reaching for cleaning products in order to work out some of that pent up angst, which has proven to be every bit as effective for our mental health as some of the more relaxing or sedate alternatives.

Why exactly does polishing, dusting and vacuuming have such a positive effect on well-being? Maybe it’s because it gives a sense of control over our environment? When all is said and done, the act of cleaning will calm the mind and lift our mood due to the sense of satisfaction we achieve.  We also know that exercise releases endorphins, and an hour of minimum effort housework can burn over 100 calories, so in fact cleaning is a form of exercise!

The aromas and scents of some of the cleaning products we use can also have a positive impact on our mood, and when our sense of smell is aroused by these fragrances, motivation and energy levels increase whilst feelings of stress and anxiety decrease.

There is also one sure fire way to help declutter your mind – declutter your surroundings!  There’s nothing worse than a feeling of “unfinished business” and our senses can be overstimulated by too much ‘stuff’.  Tidy up, put things away, clear the decks!

If you ever wondered why we’re such a happy team at Brightr, now you know!

Is Your Work Environment as Clean as You Think?

We all like to think of home as a place that’s clean and sanitary; a place where our families thrive, our children play and on the whole where we live contented and healthy lives.  But do these standards extend to our work places?  We’d hope that our place of business is clean, and that the right image is projected in order to impress prospective clients, customers and visitors alike, as well as reaching the standards where duty of care to employees isn’t compromised.

So if we take a closer look, and burrow down under the surface, is everything as it seems?  Are hygiene practices being followed?  To the naked eye, everywhere could look sparkling, but what bugs and bacteria are present that we can’t see?  Here are our top 5 danger hot spots where infection could be lurking, ready and eager to spread among your unsuspecting workforce!

The Office Microwave

This could be the hottest hotspot! Accidentally spilt meat and vegetables, and other food particles will combine with heat and moisture which allow bacteria to multiply at alarming rates, causing potential health risks.  Consider how many people are using the appliances at your place of work. Far more than at home, which means they’ll harbour far more germs and bacteria.

The Office Fridge

The fridge may be at the other end of the heat spectrum to the microwave, but it is still refuge to germs and bacteria that can thrive beautifully!  Unless cleaned regularly, dropped or even forgotten food can gather bacteria and mould spores which will still multiply at a swift rate.  Here’s some ‘food for thought’ – the average fridge can contain over 7,000 bacterial colony forming units per square centimetre.

Your Desk

How many of us eat our lunch in the toilets? None, would be our guess. Yet shockingly, the surfaces of our desks can contain more bacteria than a toilet seat.  In some cases up to 400 times as many! The same goes for our phones, keyboards and other computer equipment.  Maybe a lunch break in the toilets isn’t as silly as it sounds…?


Keeping your pens and pencils under lock and key could seem like a radical idea, but they can soon become communal items if you don’t. Think about all the unwashed hands that may have handled your paper clips!  How many mouths might your favourite ball point pen have entered before it makes its way back to your possession?  You yourself may be a pencil chewer – what kind of bacteria could be making its way into your mouth?  This all brings new meaning to the phrase ‘caring is sharing’!

The Water Cooler

It’s good practice to stretch your legs every couple of hours and head to the water cooler to get a drink of water.  This can also be the best place to catch the office gossip – but be careful that’s all you catch!  The dispensing button on water coolers can contain over 2 and a half million germs per square inch. Best remember to wash your hands straight afterwards!


There are several ways in which we can all help each other to combat the spread of bugs and germs at work, but none are more effective than regular investment in professional cleaning services like Brightr. Call us anytime for advice or a free quote on 01604 55 66 77.

What do you think lurks in your office sink?

Business cleaning can be a problem for business owners who either rent or own, and are responsible for their commercial property.  Being a commercial cleaning company, we take our responsibilities to those businesses seriously, as commercial spaces need to be clean on every level possible.


Your business is not likely to do well if your clients feel as though your premises (or even the people within it) are unhygienic.  But aside from that, you have to be overly cautious with regard to health and safety, so cleaning needs to be a major factor.  Slippery floors and tripping hazards just won’t cut it, and are just a couple of examples of how improper cleaning in a business environment could lead to big problems.


Employers have a duty of care to their employees, and one of those duties is to provide a hygienic and safe environment in which to work.  Studies have shown that there are much higher levels of staff sickness where hygiene is not satisfactory; germs thrive and multiply in dirty places which ultimately leads to the spread of infection and illness.


The Hygiene Council in the UK found that the hygiene of commercial office kitchens is somewhat lacking; swabs taken from office kitchens and canteens revealed that much less care is taken in these areas than at home.  Bacteria thrive best in damp and warm areas like sinks, and multiply much faster (levels double every 15 minutes) if left unchecked.  Dish cloths and sponges can be a hot bed for contamination, spreading bacteria and viruses over worktops and surfaces as well as all other things they come into contact with.  Washing up tends not to be as thorough too, with staff members rinsing rather than cleaning their plates, cups and mugs.  And if you can imagine that more than 50% of office taps contained dangerously high levels of bacteria compared to only 15% of flush handles in public toilets, you might rethink the cleaning routine!


The easiest way to defend yourself against these vastly multiplying bacteria, is to make sure that you, and all your staff practice thorough hand washing.  Regular disinfecting of frequently touched items, such as phones, keyboards, light switches, door handles, and even water cooler buttons will also help.


Many businesses just don’t have the time to take care of their own cleaning needs, so more and more are looking to hire a reputable cleaning company to take the stress and hassle out of cleaning duties.  By doing this, cleaning standards will be met, bacteria levels kept at bay and the business should run more smoothly, with fewer man hours being lost to sickness.


Sometimes it’s just better to stick to what you’re good at; at Brightr we have the whole commercial cleaning spectrum covered!