Green Cleaning means more than using “green” products. The success of a green cleaning program is dependent on numerous factors. While the selection of sustainable products is important, it will have little effect in the case of an inadequate cleaning regimen that leaves facilities dirty and the health of occupants, visitors and the environment at risk. A comprehensive green cleaning program should include sustainable options for chemicals, procedures, equipment, paper, liners, mops and matting.
Imagine the impact signs have on us today. We use signs to direct us while driving; find groceries at the store; warn us of potential hazards. With so many signs around, is it no surprise that some signs are just blatantly ignored?
During winter the general public spends more time indoors due to colder temperatures and inclement weather. Places like airports, hotels and public transportation can become a breeding ground for illness-causing germs due to the increased number of people spending more time there. Hotel staff should take note of this increase in the spread of germs during cold and flu season and have a strong cleaning and disinfectant program to prevent guests and staff from becoming ill.
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.
When it snows, it salts. While salt trucks go about their business keeping the roads a little bit safer for all of us, it’s our floors that wind up in danger. As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This can wreak havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.
Betco’s latest innovation is sure to replace the mop and bucket system. So you might be asking, “What do I do with my old mop and bucket?” We may have a few suggestions…
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.
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.
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.
Did you know floor machines have gone green? Betco®, a leading manufacturer in the cleaning industry, has developed green floor care machines specifically designed with sustainability in mind. However, it can be difficult to determine which types of floor machines are green and which are not.
When the weather turns hot, a host of refinishing problems can pop up. Here are some common problems and tips for prevention.
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.
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
Have you ever wondered why so many school districts throughout North America have switched from using traditional cleaning chemicals to green cleaning in their schools? The reasons for green cleaning in schools are many but it typically comes down to two things: protecting health and improving student performance.
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
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
Building owners and managers are always looking for ways to increase their attractiveness to potential new tenants. While building from scratch or major renovations can be costly and time consuming, there are many small steps that can be taken to make a building more attractive. Continue reading
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
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.
- 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
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
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
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
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
FDA Issues Proposed Rule to Address Data Gaps for Certain Active Ingredients in Health Care Antiseptics…
Today, the FDA released a proposed amendment to address the safety and effectiveness of health care antiseptics used in hospitals, physician’s offices and long term care facilities. Continue reading
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