water use

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

blue water

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:

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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

Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

HazardThere are many infection control guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities, especially with the emphasis on bodily fluids.  Removing bodily fluids on carpet can be tricky.  Timeliness, a good process and the right chemicals are all important factors to get the job done. Some spots are much easier to treat than others, but what do you do when you have bodily fluids to remove?

To get started, you will need the following supplies:

  • Wet floor signs
  • Protective goggles
  • Gloves
  • Clean white towels
  • Clean water
  • Spotting Kit
  • Carpet extractor
  • Vacuum

The process:

  1. The first step when removing bodily fluid stains in public areas is to place caution or wet floor signs near the stain. Use appropriate personnel protective gear such as goggles and gloves so that you do not get in contact with the fluids as well.
  2. Blot the stain to remove excess liquid using a white absorbent towel. A white towel prevents dye transfer to the carpet.  Be sure to blot and not rub the spot to avoid further penetration into the carpet fibers.
  3. A good spotting kit will have an assortment of chemicals, safety gear and a chart to determine which spotter to use. After you identify the stain, use the chart to know which product to use.
  4. Apply the spotter in a circular motion to the outside perimeter of the stain. Always work toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading the stain. Allow appropriate dwell time then use a tapping brush and a clean white towel to absorb the soil.
  5. Follow the spotter with an enzymatic treatment which will digest the stain and control the odor.
  6. A carpet extractor is an excellent tool to use when done to rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue of the spotter. This step helps prevent any chemical or soil residue from attracting new soil which could reappear later as a new stain. If you do not have an extractor available, simply vacuum the area when dry to remove any residual residue.

RobRob 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.

This World Is Ours

earth day pictureEarth Day is a holiday to promote conservation and concern for our fragile environment. We are reminded on this day how much damage the human race has caused, and that we should do our best to correct what we can and prevent more damage as we go. Everyday, we live our life going through the motions and not realizing the impact that we have on our planet. A carbon footprint is term used for the amount of carbon being emitted by an activity or organization. We all have a carbon footprint, but the question is, how big is it? Here are some simple tips and recommendations on how you alone can make a difference in preserving our natural resources.

Use cleaner transportation

  • Walk,bike, or take public transit whenever possible.
  • Avoid allowing your car to idle. If you’ll be waiting for more than 30 seconds,      turn off the engine (except in traffic). And don’t take the drive-through-park the car and walk inside instead.
  • Have your vehicle serviced regularly to keep the emission control systems operating      at peak efficiency. Check your car’s air filter monthly, and keep the tires adequately inflated to maximize gas mileage.
  • Avoid short airplane trips-take a bus or train instead.

Add energy-saving features to your home

  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs in all your home light fixtures-but remember, compact fluorescents contain mercury, so look for low-mercury models and be sure to dispose of old bulbs safely through your local hazardous waste program.
  • Weatherproof your home. Make sure your walls and ceilings are insulated, and consider      double-pane windows. Eliminate drafts with caulking, weather strips, and      storm windows and doors.
  • Insulate your water heater. Even better, switch to a non-tank water heater, so your water will be heated only as you use it.
  • Choose energy  efficient appliances.

Adopt energy-saving habits

  • Keep thermostat relatively low in winter and ease up on the air conditioning in summer. Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended to  keep the A/C operating at peak efficiency.
  • Unplug your electronics when not in use. To make it easier, use a power strip. Even when turned off, items like your television, computer, and cellphone  charger still sip power.
  • Dry your clothes outside whenever possible.
  • Make minimal use of power equipment when landscaping.
  • Defrost  your refrigerator and freezer regularly.
  • Choose green electricity. Many utilities give you the option to purchase electricity generated by wind and solar power for a small rate surcharge.
  • Purchase carbon offsets to make up for the energy use you can’t eliminate.

Betco cares about our planet, and we hope you do, too! Take a minute to subscribe to our blog!

Blue Virus

Top Five Disease Outbreaks in History

Disease outbreaks have occurred throughout history. Some have lasted for years, and are still present today while others evolved and fortunately passed.

Top Five Disease Outbreaks in History

Disease and illness outbreaks have occurred throughout history. Fortunately, the number of outbreaks has significantly decreased due to the vast amount of innovation in medicine and disinfectants. However, we are still vulnerable to many illnesses.

To prevent new pandemics from occurring, it helps to know how previous crises were handled. The following are some of the largest outbreaks in world history.

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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.

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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!

  • In between hand washing (which is the key at reducing the spread and transmission of germs, keep hand sanitizing wipes within reach around your work station. Sanitizing your hands several times a day, such as, after, answering the phone, working at your computer) helps decrease the spread of germs and you getting sick, resulting in absences at work.
  • Carry hand sanitizing gels with you at all times. By keeping hand sanitizer gel with you, you can put your mind at rest knowing that your hands will always have the opportunity to be clean in any situation.
  • Clean touch points daily with general disinfectants/wipes. Some common touch points such as telephones, keyboards, desktops and your mouse harbor germs.
  • Avoid a clutter pile up! Keep papers and office supplies organized. This will leave your desk in order and your mind at ease knowing needed documents are easily accessible.

Krysten Comperchio_jpgKrysten 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.