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Critical Germ Touchpoints in Education Facilities

When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.

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Easy Maintenance Can Extend Vacuum Life

Extend Vacuum Life with Easy Maintenance

Vacuum cleaners may not be the most expensive piece of equipment in your closet, but for many it is the most used and abused. Operators tend to run over the power cords, forget to change filters and bags and even run them into walls and down stairs. These kinds of neglect can lead to maintenance problems later and can shorten the vacuum’s life.

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Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

The Betco U Certification Program offers three important components to floor care: daily maintenance, interim care, and restorative care. Of the three, daily maintenance is the most important. Not only does daily maintenance help keep the floor looking its very best every day, but properly performed, it can delay interim and restorative floor care, which are typically more costly and more labor intensive.

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Improve Restroom Appearance by Cleaning For Health

In public and commercial settings like office buildings, restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities, restrooms are most frequently cited as the number one source of customer complaints and unsurprisingly one of the toughest areas for cleaning professionals to maintain. Cleaning for health and aesthetics are both important. Consumer perceptions of a facility’s restrooms can impact bottom lines, but restroom cleanliness is also very important to public health in general.

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Foam Soaps Save Water

Do Foam Soaps Save Water?

It often comes as a surprise to building owners that the typical restroom faucet can use as much as 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If used ten times in an hour, that’s 25 gallons of water going down the drain. Over the course of an eight hour day, water consumption can top 200+ gallons per faucet. There are very effective aerators available along with other water-reducing systems that work to reduce consumption, however, the amount of water used for hundreds of hand washings in a typical facility every day can be excessive.

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triclosan

EPA Denies Request for Triclosan Ban

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) announced recently they denied a request to ban all use of the chemical, triclosan, and impose new regulations on releases of the antimicrobial pesticide into bodies of water.

Two environmental groups also petitioned the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to ban triclosan in personal care products such as cosmetics and soap, as the EPA’s authority on antimicrobial products extends only to those not meant to be applied to the body. The FDA has yet to respond to their petition.

The EPA disagreed with the environmental groups asking for a ban on their claims that triclosan poses a danger to human health. Triclosan is claimed to interfere with endocrine systems of humans and animals, and can accumulate within the body at high levels. The agency cited recent risk assessments it conducted through its required re-evaluation of the chemical’s pesticide registration.

“Antimicrobial uses of triclosan meet the applicable statutory standards, and the petition and supporting comments did not provide sufficient evidence to significantly change those conclusions,” the leaders of the EPA’s water, pesticides and science and technology divisions wrote in their May 13 response to the environmental groups.

The EPA did say it would take a biological assessment to see if triclosan affects endangered species. If determined, it would require work with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the NOAA Fisheries Service to base a comprehensive study on triclosan’s ecological impact.

For more information on this announcement, click the link below:

Letter from US Environmental Protection Agency – Petition to Ban Triclosan

http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/id/dscz-9wmmny/$File/EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0548-0787-2.pdf

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Save With Restroom Water Conserving Technologies

Water-reducing technologies are available that conserve water effectively and surprisingly inexpensively.

California is plagued with its fourth consecutive year of unprecedented drought. With increasing levels of severity, the state has become dependent on new mandatory measures that aim to reduce water consumption by 25 percent across the board. However, it is becoming clear that additional, and much more stringent, measures may be needed. In fact, the Sierra snowpack recorded its lowest levels (5%) in April. Continue reading

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How to Handle Chemicals

Accidents happen. This is one reason why the U.S. Department of Labor continues to list cleaning and custodial work as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country, mainly due to the many accidents involving chemicals that occur each year.

A Few Tips to Stay Safe:

  • Keep a list of the cleaning chemicals your facility uses. The list should include details on each chemical, such as how many gallons (and multiple-gallon containers) are stored, where they are stored, and the potential hazards and necessary precautions.
  • Make sure employee’s  know exactly what the following “signal words” mean: Continue reading

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Hospitals – Bathroom VS Elevator

When most people think of hospitals they think sterile, but that’s not the case – hospitals are dirty places and hospital-acquired infections, like C. difficile, are a common occurrence. Everyday objects in hospitals—from white coats to ultrasound equipment—are well-known harbors’ of bacteria. But, what is one of the dirtiest touch points in a hospital … A new study in the journal Open Medicine has revealed a little-known germ hotspot: the hospital elevator button. Continue reading

Cleaning Market

Five Trends Impacting the Cleaning Market

Now more than ever keeping the environments we spend our time in clean has gained importance, and the products used are under greater review. The following trends that are impacting the cleaning market were complied by CleanLink based on Smithers Apex data. This data shows that consumers are now concerned with more than having a clean environment: They want to understand the product choices.

  1. Performance: Products which combine their efficiency with innovative features have an advantage in this marketplace. While it is essential to differentiate the pack on-shelf, the product itself should also have innovative functions to establish the product and brand as cleaning market leaders. Continue reading

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Bio-Based Cleaning Chemicals: Myths and Realities

Like any new product, there are some misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding bio-based cleaning chemicals. Below are some of the most common myths about bio-based products:

Myth: Bio-based cleaners are new.
Reality: While some are new, bio-based cleaning products actually date back to the 1930s. Manufacturers and distributors discovered that some of these products are ideal for use in schools and other settings frequented by individuals with compromised immune systems, those who are chemically sensitive, and those who suffer from multiple or life-threatening allergies.

Myth: Bio-based cleaners don’t work for serious applications. Continue reading

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Does cleanliness affect a hotel’s success?

Yes! Hotel cleanliness has a significant impact on guest satisfaction. Hotel cleaning has to be a priority or customers will not return and ratings will fall.

Many hotels hire commercial cleaning companies to maintain the highest standards of clean. Professional cleaning specialists are trained and equipped to deliver the latest best practices in the cleaning industry, allowing your hotel to exceed guest expectations. Continue reading

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What’s that Smell?

When you walk into a space whether a restroom, hotel, hospital, school or anywhere, a foul odor usually makes you want to turn around, leave and never return. However, when you walk into a room and a refreshing scent is in the air you feel a sense of calm. But, does the scent itself make a difference? The answer is yes. Studies have shown that we tend to “like what we know”. People give higher pleasantness ratings to smells which they are able to identify correctly such as smells from the outdoors.

Extensive testing done over the past 20 months has concluded that the “market” today does not want to smell anything except a freshness that is associated with the outdoors. Simply said “why else do people want to go to the beach, the mountains, open the windows, or just relax in the backyard?”  Continue reading

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A Cluttered Mind

When we think of living “healthy” we are told to stay active, exercise daily, eat right, drink enough water and sleep at least 8 hours each night.

Ask yourself this question, what about while you are at your workplace? Keep in mind, a person spends 8-10 hours a day in their work environment. Can a “clean lifestyle” affect your work performance?

Dr. Jennifer  Baxt, DMFT, an online metal health therapist states there is a direct correlation between mental health and a clean lifestyle. Similar to exercising, a person can feel happier and more relaxed in a fresh, clean environment by removing dirt, dust and clutter.

Keeping a clean and workspace helps decrease a stressful environment and lead to higher productivity.  Here are a few quick daily maintenance techniques to keep your space clutter and germ free and productivity soaring! Continue reading

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Conserving Water: How One Hotel Saved Three Million Gallons of Water

San Francisco’s Intercontinental Hotel is the largest hotel in California to earn Gold Status under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for existing buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. One of the most important ways it was able to earn this coveted status was by conserving water throughout the hotel’s operations.

The hotel had several water conservation options available—from replacing toilets in all the guest rooms and installing systems that consume less water to replacing heating and air-conditioning systems that use water more efficiently. However, these steps would be costly, disruptive, and likely impact hotel guests. So, the Intercontinental Hotel decided to look for steps that would be easy to implement, cost effective, and still produce a considerable reduction in water consumption.

In other words, they were in search of the “low-hanging fruit” when it came to conserving water and what they came up with was nothing less than phenomenal. They decided to install aerators throughout the hotel’s hundreds of sinks and faucets. In 2010, aerators – which are surprisingly cost effective – were installed in all 550 guest rooms of the 32-story property, in the main kitchen, as well as staff hand-washing stations. Continue reading

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When Clean Really Matters – Hospital Standards

With the risk of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s), a clean patient room is more important than ever. A person’s definition of “clean” can be a subjective one; however, in the health care industry, there is a clean standard that must be followed to insure a sense of comfort and quality for the patient. When a patient is admitted into the hospital, it is far from home, but the least a health care facility can do is provide their patients with a clean and welcoming environment. You may be wondering, what all should a health care facility do to meet this cleaning standard? The list below is a guide recommended by an experienced cleaning contractor that may be helpful for a health care facility cleaning staff. Continue reading

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How To Properly Wipe Clean a Surface

If there is a mess, your first thought is to grab a cleaner and a rag to clean it up, but did you know that when you spray chemicals onto a surface and proceed to wipe the area down with a rag, you are emitting harmful chemicals and V.O.C.’s into the air. V.O.C.s are volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are emitted gases into the air from liquid and aerosol products. These harmful gases can cause short-term and long term health effects. However, there is a way to prevent this issue. By changing your cleaning routine, you can clean your surfaces in an efficient and safe way. Damp wiping is a procedure that involves spraying the sponge or cloth with your desired cleaning chemical and wipe in a consistent pattern; up and down or back and forth. A microfiber cloth will give you the best results for this process. This will ensure that you cover the entire area. Damp wiping is the most effective solution for surfaces need a light cleaning such as a desktop or countertop. Damp wiping is also is a great option when chemical residue should be limited such as phone and drinking fountains.

If you have a large area to clean up, spray and wipe will be your best option. To do this, spray the surface you want cleaned with your desired product and continue to wipe with your cloth or rag. If using a disinfectant product, make sure you allow an ample amount of contact time to ensure optimal results. We also recommend that you use a foaming trigger sprayer on vertical surfaces. The foam will cling to surfaces better and penetrate the germ fighting chemicals into cracks and crevices.

See our Video below on how to properly spray and wipe and damp wipe a surface.

 

John-ReedJohn Reed is the Director of Sustainability and Training for Betco Corporation®, Toledo, Ohio. He has over 35 years of experience in the cleaning industry. In the past 10 years John has presented over 300 green cleaning seminars to distribution and end users concerning how to make facilities more sustainable. For any questions please contact welisten@betco.com.

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Don’t be THAT Person During Flu Season

germ-hand-pictureWhen the flu season strikes, nobody wants to be known as the person that has passed along the flu to everyone in the office. It’s a reputation nobody wants to have; however, it is a hard one to avoid. Many times, we don’t even know that we are carrying a flu virus; symptoms may go unnoticed when you are the most contagious. So, how do you prevent passing along the pesky flu that nobody wants? Here are a few tips and tricks that might keep you from being “That” person.

Be Conscientious- If you are ill, let that be known when greeting people as to why you refuse to shake their hand. A simple, “excuse me for not shaking hands, I have a terrible cold” will suffice. The people you encounter will appreciate your consideration of them.

Keep your distance. If you are the sick one keep your distance from people. No hugging or close interaction that might cause germs to spread.

Cough and sneeze into the bend in your arm or into a tissue, not in your hands. This will keep your hands a little more germ free for when an unexpected handshake or interaction occurs.

Sanitize your desk, computer, keys and phone regularly. Your desk and work area is a germ infestation! Keeping the things we touch cleaned throughout the day is a big help. A general disinfectant can usually do the trick. Anytime you might touch something that is contaminated, make sure you wipe it down with a disinfectant and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Throw away used tissues after using them once. Don’t leave them laying around for others to pick up and throw away. Especially, don’t leave them on tables where someone else would have to dispose of them. They don’t want your germs either.

Keep a box of tissues and hand sanitizer on your desk at work. It is always smart to have extra on hand. Others can use them if they feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Make sure you sanitize your hands as soon as you are finished using a tissue.

Have some illness guidelines for employees. Be smart. Encourage employees to stay home if they are acutely ill or have a fever. If someone has a fever, it means they are still contagious. This will reduce the spread of illness throughout an organization.

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Justin is the Digital Marketing Coordinator at Betco.

If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.