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Get with the Program: Go Green

Green Water dropThe move toward green cleaning is the next step towards further reducing the impact left on the environment. We can always continue to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings. We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments, but what does it truly mean to go green?

Sustainable solutions minimize the impact of cleaning on people and the environment. More importantly, it is a process to protect natural resources for the future – not a single product alone. This means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Going Green is a journey that anyone can participate in. By being environmentally responsible, we can become more knowledgeable about the ingredients we are putting into products, leading to a healthier home and a healthier you. Wondering how you can help? Try these tips to get started:

Save energy: Finished using something? Make sure you shut it off. You can easily conserve energy by turning off the lights or unplugging smaller appliances as soon as you’re done with them.

Save water: No one likes a dripping faucet…especially the environment. From brushing your teeth to watering your garden, it’s important to be conscious of how much water you are using and how you can better conserve it.

Reduce, reuse, recycle: These three R’s are the perfect triple threat. By helping to reduce waste, we can conserve natural resources and energy. When we reuse and recycle, we can avoid creating waste, reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills and keeping the environment healthier.

It’s important to remember that every little bit helps when it comes to conserving natural resources within our environment. You can start out small and still make a positive impact. By focusing on maintaining the balance between people, profit and planet, we can protect our environment now and in the future.

At Betco®, being environmentally responsible is a company standard. We are committed to developing products, programs and procedures that meet or exceed health and environmental standards while providing cost effective benefits to accomplish your maintenance goals. To learn more about our sustainability efforts and complete green program, please visit www.betco.com/solutions/sustainability for more information.

Want to implement a Green Program at your facility? Click here to get started!

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist 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

Foam Soaps Save Water

Clean Hands Affect Your Brand

glass cleaning 1Creating a home away from home is something that every healthcare facility strives to accomplish. Patients want to stay in a quiet, pleasant and safe environment. Most importantly, cleanliness and environmental hygiene in these facilities are critical to patient safety.

While thorough cleanliness is crucial to preventing the spread of infection, data shows that patients perceive a high-level of cleanliness as a prerequisite for safe, high-quality care. From restrooms to the entrance and lobby, a patient’s perception is impacted and a healthcare facility’s brand and reputation is affected.

In a healthcare environment, cross contamination is the number one concern for the healthcare facility, caregivers, patients and their families. With multiple touch points such as door handles, keyboards and sink faucets, it’s no wonder why hand hygiene compliance is a serious issue. Approximately 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands.

How can you implement an effective hand hygiene program at your facility? The World Health Organization recommends 5 essential elements for a successful hand hygiene program.

Step 1 – Gaining Commitment from all operating areas of your facility is critical. All facility and staff are key advocates to reinforce this commitment.

Step 2 – Educating those chosen to be hand hygiene advocates on the impact of this implementation is the next step.

Step 3 – Create a Roadmap by surveying your facility for proper placement of both sanitizing and handwashing stations.

Step 4 – Implementation of the dispenser installation needs careful planning. Optimizing the educational function, or site zone, of the dispenser along with message reinforcement will greatly assist your facility campaign.

Step 5 – Developing a communication strategy to drive hand hygiene compliance is critical.

Healthcare facilities must focus on preventing cross contamination for the well-being of patients and healthcare workers. By regularly researching and determining the most effective cleaning practices, healthcare facilities will be able to achieve a higher level of clean, positively impacting the patients’ health and overall experience.

For more solutions or guidance to proper hand hygiene, visit betco.com to learn about our Compass Program.

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist 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

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7 Smart Habits to Stay on Track

Startup Stock PhotosThe way we do things are constantly evolving. This can make keeping up with industry trends extremely time-consuming and challenging. New technologies, processes and programs are emerging all over the place and may have you wondering what you can do to stay on track in your industry. While these trends rapidly disseminate, there are several habits you can start now to stay up-to-date.

  1. Have a plan. Become aware of your strengths and weaknesses and focus on what goals you can build from them. Setting goals will give you something to work towards, furthering your abilities and skills.
  2. Hold yourself accountable. Once you establish your goals, make it your mission to achieve them. Put in the time and effort it takes to reach your objective. The end result will be well worth it!
  3. Read, listen and watch. Attending online webinars and onsite training sessions will expand your knowledge. Look for opportunities to engage in the latest and greatest trends in your industry.
  4. Back-up your knowledge with tools. There are various training programs that are available at no cost to you. Certifications will show your expertise and proficiency.
  5. Keep your skills current. Look out for the most relevant skill-sets in your industry and pursue opportunities to make them one of your strengths.
  6. Seek professional development opportunities. Building a network of like-minded individuals that encourage your professional growth can help you reach or even surpass your goals.
  7. Pay attention to updated materials within your industry. Minimize mistakes by ensuring you are utilizing the most current tools.

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Hunter is the Content Marketing Specialist 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.

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Why is Green Cleaning Important?

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.
Continue reading

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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

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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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Degreaser Power: Making Commercial Kitchen Floorcare Safer and More Effective

Most cleaning professionals know that all areas of a facility do not necessarily have to be cleaned every visit. In fact, it is very common to split facilities into quadrants, giving each quadrant special attention on one night with the others waiting their turn during the week.

However, this rarely applies to restaurants. While they may have some days that are busier than others, invariably restaurants need a thorough cleaning each and every night. One of the areas that are most important is the floor. A big problem in cleaning commercial kitchen floors is the fact that even if grease and oil are not spilled directly on the floor, the mist from cooking oil can blanket the floor with a slick film. Continue reading