Cleaning Might Never Be the Same After the Coronavirus Era

Earth Friendly Products President and CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks at her company headquarters in CA. The earth-friendly cleaning products company has seen a huge surge in demand recently. Credit: Earth Friendly Products handout

As the worldwide healthcare situation changes by the hour, Greek Reporter caught up with ECOS earth-friendly cleaning products President and CEO Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks to get an update on how this pandemic has changed a businesswoman’s everyday routine, as well as get some very useful tips on cleaning and disinfecting in the coronavirus era.

Asked to reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted her own life at home,  the CEO says that she is spending more time there now with her family, creating a new “at-home structure” which includes dedicating new spaces specifically for working from home — and the exercise which is so essential for our mental and physical well-being right now.

“We are so fortunate that we live in a time of virtual connection,” she says, where we can successfully make our daily routines as safe as possible while staying in our homes, which are truly serving as our sanctuaries and safe havens, which is what the idea of home ideally has always been.

Vlahakis-Hanks is following CDC guidelines to first clean, then disinfect her home for maximum effectiveness in removing pathogens. She is using her ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner spray to clean the surfaces in her home, as well as using ECOS Hypoallergenic Hand Soap for her family’s frequent hand washing.

She points out the importance of using a pH-balanced soap to help protect the skin’s natural barrier to pathogens and help prevent dryness.

ECOS also launched a botanical multipurpose disinfectant and sanitizer, which debuted last October at the International Sanitary Supply Show, for this important job. The product was set to launch later this year, but the company is trying to increase the speed to market during this global health crisis. She hopes to have it available for purchase in the coming weeks.

Workers carrying out their duties at a feverish pace at ECOS plant this week. Photo credit: Earth Friendly Products, handout

The Production Line in the Coronavirus Era

Vlahakis-Hanks tells Greek Reporter that there is an “unbelievable demand” for cleaning products like ECOS during this global health crisis. The large array of ECOS cleaning products, including laundry detergents, hand soaps and surface cleaners, is a “comprehensive portfolio” for complete cleaning of the home environment.

She also says that the company has two new products that have just launched: ECOSNext liquidness laundry detergent squares and “Mother and Child” refill kits for ECOS All-Purpose Cleaner and ECOS Dishmate Dish Soap. The refill kits are the perfect solution for people who want to buy larger quantities to keep their home stocked with safer cleaning products during this challenging time.

Vlahakis-Hanks goes on to describe the nonstop activity going on now behind the scenes at the ECOS plants where all her environmentally-friendly products are made.

She states that ECOS is “protecting our production facilities and hard-working team members by increasing sanitization measures for both office and production areas.” Employees in other areas such as customer support are now working from home, which is typically not commonplace for the business.

“I am unbelievably proud of the work our amazing team is doing in this crisis,” she notes.

ECOS Laundry Detergent and all other products in the Earth Friendly line are being shipped as quickly as possible from plants in response to increased demand. Photo credit: Earth Friendly Products

Technology and Leadership During Difficult Times

Doing her part as a corporate leader Vlahakis-Hanks has also been using social media to touch base with ECOS’ many followers and customers, giving frequent recommendations on how best to clean our domestic environment and, as she says, “create a safer home.”

By launching a new social media campaign, called #CleanwithECOS, Vlahakis-Hanks caters to customers who now find themselves at home more or less 24/7 these days. By sharing daily cleaning tips, her community is helping each other take charge of their lives and not only feel less isolated but more empowered as well.

She states that, in relation to her role as a mother and CEO, she believes that women “all have critical roles to play. All of us must do what we can to protect the lives of those we love. Be courageous – make the decision to stay at home – we can flatten this curve!”

Practical Advice for the Period Ahead

The ECOS President and CEO wants everybody to make sure we create a healthy home. “Use products that are certified as “Safer Choice” by the United States EPA “for our family, pets and our shared planet,” Vlahakis-Hanks points out.

“Many traditional cleaning products contain ingredients that are detrimental to lung health, so following all label instructions and ensuring proper ventilation is essential.”

The ECOS president also says that it is vital to abide by the guidelines set out by the CDC concerning how best to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in our homes. The first step in this process is to clean; the second is to disinfect.

As the CDC states, cleaning is “The removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces.” While cleaning itself “does not kill germs, by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.”

What Vlahakis-Hanks would like us to remember is that we should use ecologically-sound products for this initial process “before disinfecting frequently-used surfaces.”

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Other Cleaning Recommendations

It is important not to panic and use the wrong disinfecting agents or use them in an unsafe manner during this time, she warns. Slow down, read labels and take all necessary precautions by using gloves and making sure there is adequate ventilation in our homes.

“So many of the disinfectants we use are harmful to our lung function, and the coronavirus is especially dangerous to those suffering from respiratory issues.”

Additionally, when a product says “Let stand for 5-10 minutes” in order to achieve complete disinfection, we must do just that. Vlahakis-Hanks states proudly that the new ECOS Disinfectant & Sanitizer has a “dwell time,” or a disinfection time, which is half that of other products in the marketplace.

In our haste to sanitize our environment today, we often forget that simply by cleaning on a daily basis we can remove more germs to make disinfecting more effective and create a healthier home.

Nick Kampouris contributed to this report.