corporate bathroom

Water Conservation Starts in the Restroom

The state of California is rationing water. Some experts believe California will be just the first of several states that restrict the amount of water that both consumers and businesses may use. The bottom line is this: Demand for water in much of the southwestern portion of the United States has outstripped supply. A large portion of this water—as much as 70 percent and more in some areas—is slated for farmers. Government administrators are in the uncomfortable position of needing to determine who gets what water: farmers, consumers, businesses, etc.

What is true for everyone, however, is that we are all going to have to start conserving—and start fast. And the first place businesses, schools, and all commercial facilities should look when it comes to conserving water is in the restrooms. This was confirmed in a study by WaterSense®, a partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which found that in U.S. buildings, water is consumed in the following key areas:

  • Kitchen areas: 13 percent
  • Miscellaneous: 10 percent
  • Irrigation and landscaping: 22 percent
  • Cooling and heating: 28 percent
  • Restrooms (toilets, urinals, and sinks): 37 percent1

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Cold and Flu Season 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year 164 million school days are lost due to illness. (Source: CDC 2014)

Resources and Facts on Cold and Flu Season:

What are the differences between cold symptoms and flu symptoms?

Cold and flu symptoms can overlap each other. If you’re trying to determine if  you have a cold or flu, see the following:

What are the symptoms of a cold?

Cold symptoms can last from 2 days to 2 weeks, most people recover in 1 week to 10 days. Symptoms of the common cold usually begin 2 to 3 days after infection and include:

  • Sore throat
  • Mucus build up in your nose
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Swelling of your sinuses
  • Sneezing
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
 What are the symptoms of the flu?

The flu comes on suddenly, though people can host the flu virus for 1-4 days before symptoms begin to emerge. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills*
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children)

* It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

What resources can be used to track cold and flu season?

You can track the flu virus on the website for The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC collects, compiles and analyses information on influenza activity year round in the United States and produces a weekly report from October through mid-May.

You can track the influenza virus and the current flu season by clicking here.

Peak Season for Cold and Flu Activity:

Flu timing is unpredictable and varies from season to season. Flu activity begins as early as October and continues through late May.  Flu activity peaks in the United States in January or February.

The 2014-2015 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following three viruses:

  • an A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus;
  • an A(H3N2) virus antigenically like the cell-propagated prototype virus A/Victoria/361/2011;
  • a B/Massachusetts/2/2012-like virus.

How Should You Wash Your Hands?

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Check out the CDC website for the following links:

How to Wash Your Hands

When to Use Hand Sanitizer

Focus on cleaning key touchpoints in your schools and stay a step ahead of the k-12 clean standard with Betco’s CleanDegrees Program.

Betco CleanDegrees Education Program helps K-12 facilities understand and incorporate the “Science Behind Cleanand identify the key “touch points” within their facilities, while staying compliant with the newly established K-12 Clean Standard.

Schools that adopt the cleaning and education program will achieve a reduction in germs and bacteria on key touch point areas such as desktops, water fountains, lockers and restroom sinks by utilizing Betco’s ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) meter system, reducing absenteeism and ensuring a clean and healthy environment for students and faculty.

 Link for the K-12 Clean Standard:

Link for the Betco Clean Degrees Program:

 

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Krysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

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Starve a Cold

During cold and flu season, how do you starve a cold? …. WASH YOUR HANDS!

Fact is…

  • Antibiotics cannot treat a cold or flu virus
  • Washing your hands is the best way to prevent the transmission of a cold, flu and other germs/pathogens
  • The common cold causes more absenteeism and time off work and school than any other illness
  • iStock_000012840411SmallGerms can survive up to 3 hours in your nasal passages
  • The first few days of having a cold are the most contagious
  • There is no cure for the common cold – Why? There are more than 200+ different viruses that can produce a cold
  • Most adults suffer from 2 to 3 colds per year, children 4 to 8, children in school attendance up to 12
  • Children and the elderly catch colds more often because they lack a resistance to infections
  • It is impossible to sneeze with your eyes open!

So what can you do to prevent this?

WASH YOUR HANDS!

Here’s how:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them. Do not use your pant leg or clothing, harbors germs/bacteria!
  • Use hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available

 

Betco® offers a complete line of skin care products to protect you and your hands from cold and flu season. Our products are formulated to maintain good skin health without dryness or irritation.

 

Krysten Comperchio_jpg

 

Krysten Comperchio is a Product Manager for Skin Care and Education at Betco Corporation. During her spare time, Krysten enjoys yoga, running and keeping up on current events. Click here to contact Krysten directly.

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The Cost of Water: Why It Keeps Going Up

The cost of water keeps going up as most facility managers know.  In fact, in many cases, the cost of water is going up significantly, with even higher costs anticipated in the future. For instance, in Chicago, the cost of water went up an average of 25 percent in 2012, and plans are now being discussed to double rates in 2015.

So why is the cost of water escalating so fast? After all, historically it has been one of our least expensive natural resources in the United States. However, water has typically been underpriced for decades. Utility companies are now trying to adjust charges so that they better reflect the actual costs to collect, store, and deliver water to consumers.

But there are other reasons as well. According to engineers Willa Kuh and Fred Betz with Affiliated Engineers, the following are seven other reasons why the cost of water is going up in the United States: Continue reading

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Serious Water Concerns Require Smart Solutions

Water concerns throughout the United States are mounting!

According to an August 2014 article published in National Geographic Magazine, groundwater, also known as aquifers, provide us with freshwater that makes up for surface water now being lost from drought-depleted lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. “[But] we are drawing down these hidden, mostly nonrenewable groundwater supplies at unsustainable rates in the western United States and in several dry regions globally, threatening our future,” warns Dennis Dimick National Geographic’s Executive Editor for the Environment.

What’s happening is that we are turning to groundwater to make up for the water normally collected due to rainfall events, which is used for drinking water, irrigation for landscaping and farming, and most all of the other ways we use water every day. However, Dimick goes on to say that while we are doing this, groundwater supplies nationwide have been depleted “dramatically since 2000.”  Continue reading

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Water Use: Where’s the Water Going?

The city of San Jose’s Environmental Services Department has studied a variety of facilities, from office buildings to manufacturing locations, in an effort to determine where water is most used.  While each type of facility may have had special water needs, some common denominators were noted in the study.

For instance, in San Jose, which has a moderate to warm year-round temperature, water use for cooling systems was often at the top or near the top of the list.  Additionally, if the property had a significant landscaped area, a considerable amount of water was invariably used for irrigation and vegetation as well. Continue reading

Ebola MYTH BUSTED

Dispelling the Myths: Ebola

With Ebola gaining more and more coverage in the media, and the 2nd healthcare worker diagnosed, we felt the need to provide greater insight into this emerging virus that has surged into the zeitgeist.

First, we want to dispel a myth that is causing concern: No, Ebola can’t be spread through the air like the common cold: Ebola can only be spread by direct contact with body fluids from an infected individual, living or dead. The CDC defines direct contact as “body fluids (blood, saliva, mucus, vomit, urine, or feces) from an infected person (alive or dead) [that] have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion” (Centers for Disease control and Prevention, 2014). It may take up to three weeks after exposure, for an infected individual to start experience symptoms of Ebola. Individuals cannot spread the virus until they have fever 100.4 degrees or greater along with other symptoms usually related to the flu.[1] This means the 2nd infected nurse from Texas who recently traveled to Northeastern Ohio, did not meet the criteria for transmission while traveling. CDC Director -Tom Frieden stated, “Although she did not report any symptoms and she did not meet the threshold of 100.4, she did report at that time that she took her temperature and found it to be 99.5…she did not vomit, she was not bleeding, so the level of risk [to] people around her would be extremely low.” Continue reading

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Water Conservation Awareness: Reducing Water Use in Commercial Facilities

A very large portion of water distributed by municipal water utilities in the United States goes to commercial and institutional facilities. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “the commercial and institutional sector is the second largest consumer of publicly supplied water in the United States, accounting for 17 percent of the withdrawals from public water supplies”.

“Commercial and institutional” facilities include hotels, schools, office buildings, and government facilities, as well as very large buildings such as sports arenas, airports, convention centers and the like. Because these facilities use such a significant portion of U.S. water, water conservation awareness is very important. And with so much of the United States experiencing various types of droughts—from abnormally dry to severe—this awareness is critical at this time. Continue reading

floorcare

Floorcare Myths: A higher solids finish is more durable

Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

These solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. These ingredients help the finish resist scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion and slip resistance, and last but not least, determine overall durability.  Continue reading

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Water Overdrawn: When Cities Get a “Water Overdrawn” Notice

In the early 1950s, several underground water wells providing water for Albuquerque, New Mexico, were pumped dry. This came as a total surprise to city officials and prompted Charles V. Theis, a leading scientist in the field of hydrogeology, to comment, “What happened was that the city got a notice from its bank that its [water] account was overdrawn and when it complained that no one could have foreseen this, only said in effect that it had no bookkeeping system.”

The underground water wells Theis is referring to are known as aquifers. Continuing with our analogy, the U.S. Geological Society says, “an aquifer can be compared to a bank account, and ground water occurring in an aquifer is analogous to the money in the account. It can be recharged (deposited) by infiltration from precipitation, surface water, or applied irrigation water; it can be kept in storage (saved); and it can be discharged naturally to streams, springs, or seeps, or transpired by plants.

Just like a bank account, aquifers naturally fluctuate over time. However, what is happening in many parts of the United States today is that aquifers are being pumped dry; not enough water deposits are being made into the account to cover withdrawals. And because of this, we can expect to find more water bank accounts in many more parts of the United States overdrawn in the next 20 to 30 years. Continue reading

Sanitary ware in men's restroom

Flushing Away the Old World of Flushing

When it comes to flushing restroom fixtures, many people may be surprised to learn that the old ways of flushing toilets and urinals are literally being flushed away.  In an effort to conserve water, new technologies have been introduced that reduce the amount of water necessary to flush a toilet or urinal while still keeping restrooms sanitary and odor free.

One of the most popular systems is the dual-flush toilet.  Very common in Europe and parts of Asia, dual-flush systems are now finding their way into restrooms throughout North America.  As you might suspect, these toilets release larger amounts of water to flush solid waste and smaller amounts to flush away liquid waste.  The result is that they can reduce overall water consumption of a traditional toilet from 1.6 gallons of water per flush to about 1.2 gallons. While this reduction might appear small, when you consider there are between 300 and 350 million toilets in the U.S., that 0.4 of a gallon adds up pretty fast. Continue reading

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The Honest Truth … Ebola and Enterovirus D68

The Honest Truth…

With increasing news coverage of Ebola and Enterovirus D68, many questions have been posed looking for clear answers. It is our goal to give you the information you need, without the need for extensive research while remaining clear and concise about the issues at hand.

Do you have any disinfectants that will kill Ebola and Enterovirus D68?

No one does. Currently there are no EPA registered products with kill claims for Ebola or Enterovirus D68. Why… well it all has to do with the testing process that any disinfectant must go through with the EPA to gain certification.

The requirements were established by the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). FIFRA requires extensive test data to be submitted to prove that the solution is stable, non-harmful to humans or the environment, and has proven efficacy against any pathogens that are on the label. The antimicrobial testing is done by outside testing labs that use clinical isolates or approved alternates that are treated with the disinfectant at the recommended contact time (how long the surface must be in contact with the disinfectant). If the resulting culture shows a reduction that meets the requirement, the formula passes and if it meets all other criteria, the claim can appear on the disinfectant label. Continue reading

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The Floor Finish is the Foundation

The Floor Finish is the Foundation

It was not that many years ago that property managers, wanting their hard surface floors to have a higher-gloss shine, would ask their jansan distributors and contract cleaners if they could suggest a good “wax” to use on the floor. For more than a century, that was the term used to describe floor finishes, and there was a good reason for it. Many of the early floor polishes were pastes made from leaves of the carnuba plant mixed with other ingredients. These waxes were combined with water to make a liquid paste, which could be buffed using a low-speed machine to clean the floor and produce a reasonably good shine.

Floor Care Maintenance - Sustainable Cleaning Equipment

Polymer emulsion finishes, introduced about 40 years ago, were the first really big advance in floor finishes. These were more durable than waxes, easier to apply to the floor, and usually required little maintenance other than dust and damp mopping. However, over time, the appearance of the floor—specifically the shine—would deteriorate, usually requiring that the floor be stripped and refinished.

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Proper Floor Finish Application

Successfully refinishing a hard surface floor depends a great deal on how the finish is actually applied.

According to Rob Dodson, product manager for Betco® floor care division, “There is a step-by-step process that must be followed when applying floor finish. This helps ensure the finish is properly applied and all areas of the floor are coated.”

Dodson says the process of applying finish starts at the room’s entrance. Here, the technician begins by walking around all four walls of the room, applying finish along the baseboards. “This is often called ‘cutting’ the floor,” says Dodson.

Once this step is complete, the technician makes a 180-degree turn, moves over to the edge of the third wall (furthest from the entrance) and starts applying finish in a back-and-forth “figure-eight” pattern, walking backward.

With this area completed, the technician then turns around and continues applying finish in a back-and-forth pattern, again walking backward, until the next section of the floor is finished. Eventually, the process ends where it started-at the first wall and entrance to the room.

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Floor Refinishing: Ten Tips on Getting the Job Done Right

Floor Refinishing is invariably an involved process that is time consuming, often stressful, and—because it is so labor intensive—costly. The last thing a floorcare technician wants is for her or his job to be ruined by not applying the new floor finish correctly.

The following 10 tips are applicable to most floors and will help to ensure that floor finish is applied properly after every floor stripping:

1. After the floor has been stripped, be sure it is thoroughly clean, rinsed, and dry before applying the first coat of finish.

2. With today’s floor finishes, a sealer is often not needed; however, for some floors and in heavily trafficked areas, a sealer may be recommended to help protect the floor.

3. If using a conventional mop, select a rayon mop. Other materials tend to collect lint, which could then become part of the floor’s finish.

4. A microfiber mop head is often preferable to a conventional mop because it allows for application of thinner coats; there is also usually less waste and easier cleanup. In addition, microfiber mop heads are more effective when working edges and corners.

5. As mentioned, apply thin coats of finish; usually two coats are needed as a foundation for the floor with subsequent coats needed to help build up the shine. Continue reading

Floor Refinishing: A “Cure” For Long Floor Refinishing Times

 

The summer break is the perfect time of the year for custodians in educational facilities to strip, clean, and refinish floors.

When you think about it, floors in educational facilities, especially in common areas such as hallways and cafeterias, take an amazing amount of abuse. Students’ rubber-bottomed sneakers, movement of desks and chairs from one area to another, and tracked-in weather – rain, snow, and ice – can all punish floors and their finish as well. An educational facility’s floor finish must hold up to all these types of use and abuse, remain durable, protect the floor beneath, and even manage to retain its shine under tough conditions. It is important to have an effective floor refinishing program in place. Continue reading

Germs: The Top Six Germ-Infested Locations, Part One

Have you ever put your hand on something and then thought, “I wonder how dirty that is”? Reality is, germs are just about everywhere and ready to attack. Without the proper measures of disinfecting, you are susceptible to getting sick.

Where will you find the most germs? Of all the places you visit, six stand out as the places where you are most likely to come in contact with disease-causing germs and bacteria. Here are the first three, along with the germiest “touch points” at each location . . . and some of these might surprise you! Continue reading

What Is The Best Orbital Floor Machine For You?

Orbital floor machines are quickly becoming one of the most popular new machines for janitorial and custodial professionals.  With so many of these new products on the market, how can you decide which one is best for you?  This guide will help you make the most informed purchasing decision possible.

Weight Equals Performance

Weight makes all the difference when it comes to orbital floor machines.  Machines with the greatest head pressure prove to be the most efficient and effective for any surface prep or cleaning task.  Your floors will strip faster, screen better, and scrub more effectively with a heavier machine.  A 150 pound machine will perform better than a 100 pound machine and a 200 pound machine will perform better than a 150 pound machine.  When choosing an orbital machine always look for a model that weighs more than 200 pounds.  Of course, be sure that the machine has removable weights so that the machine can be made lighter if needed for transport purposes.

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Tips For Removing Gum and Adhesives from Carpets

Even when it appears that gum or adhesives have been removed, they sometimes reappear a few days later. This is because some of the sticky residue remains in the carpet.

The following are suggestions for removing gum and adhesives from carpets:

• Scrape. Scrape off as much of the gum/adhesive as possible. Freezing the gum and “chipping” it off is also an option. Continue reading

Don’t Get Backed Into A Corner: Tips For Refinishing Floors

One of the more challenging and time-consuming steps in stripping and refinishing floors is ensuring that the edges and corners are free of finish and dirt buildup.

Look like a professional by taking the extra time to remove all the finish from the edges and corners.

The following process is recommended to make your next strip and recoat look its best:

  1. Make sure you have proper personnel protective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles and set up wet floor signs.
  2. Properly dilute the stripper according to label directions.refinishing floors, floor finish. floor, tile, vct tile, school
  3. Pour the stripper onto the floor and let it sit or dwell for 10 minutes.
  4. Take a razor blade scraper on an extension pole and scrape the edges of the floor along the baseboards or display shelves.
  5. Use a “Doodle Bug” and a black strip pad to remove any excess finish along the edges.
  6. Take a floor squeegee to pull the stripper solution from along the edges onto the center of the aisle.
  7. Pick up solution with an auto scrubber.
  8. Rinse the floor with clean water if necessary.
  9. Apply new floor finish along the edges with the first and final coat. All other coats in between should not go any closer than a few inches of the edge. This will help speed up the removal process next time around.

 

Rob

Rob Dodson
Product Manager, Floor Care, Betco Corporation
rdodson@betco.com

Rob is an avid Cleveland sports fan and hopes to one day experience a championship. He also enjoys hanging out with his wife and 3 kids.

 

 

Summer School – The Time To Clean

The summer months can be some of the busiest and most important months when it comes to school cleaning. To ensure your custodial team is productive summer school and to help simplify the process, share these top ten recommendations.

apple, betco, summer cleaning, cleaning, schools, summer school, go green, education, floor care 1. Prepare a written plan as to who will tackle which projects and when.

2. Divide and conquer. Big summer cleanup projects usually involve floor care; before doing any floor-care work, divide the facility into different categories. Such as those that will be stripped/refinished, those that will only be scrubbed, and those that need only detail cleaning.

3. Clean up those closets. Go through janitorial closets and properly discard any chemicals or other products that have expired. Typically, chemicals should never be stored for more than one year.

4. Go green. Start making the shift to go Green. Special green cleaning training may be required  during this transition, and summer break can provide that extra time.

5. Get Equipped. Evaluate all of your cleaning equipment; determine which machines are running properly, which need servicing, and which should be replaced.

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Water Challenges Also Present Opportunities

Water Challenges: Sixty percent of the companies surveyed believe looming problems associated with water are poised to negatively affect their businesses. 

Many people are surprised to learn that the Chinese word for crisis actually has two meanings. The same Chinese characters that represents “danger” also means “opportunity.” Similarly, the future water challenges expected in the United States and other parts of the world may actually be opportunities in disguise.

 

degreaser, small valve,  hand soap, healthcare, cleaner, wood floor care, floor care, hardwood care, floor finish, floor care machines, restroom cleaning training, floor care training, restroom cleaners, fast draw, skin care, betco, disinfectant, automatic scrubbers, water, conservation, In May 2014, the Pacific Institute (which researches and promotes sustainability-related issues),along with VOX Global (a public affairs and communications firm), contacted senior executives from more than 50 major companies in the United States—including such large and extremely well-known corporations as AT&T, The Hershey Company, MillerCoors, and the Union Pacific Railroad—to survey them regarding water issues.

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You asked for a new and improved solution to manually wash pot and pans … We answered with the Symplicity™ pot and pan products:

pots-and-pan-detergent

In-Sync, premium pot and pan detergent has the same great performance you have come to know and love while getting a new clean fresh fragrance and gorgeous blue color.

Citrusuds™, Citrus pot and pan detergent has an improved performance, fragrance and vibrant yellow color.

Tilly®, Pink lotion pot and pan detergent has been reformulated to a higher sudsing formula at a greater value.

Floor Finish Myth: A higher solids finish is more durable

Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and for building owners and managers, costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

Continue reading