Some cleaning professionals and carpet cleaning techs may not be familiar with “dead air”. Dead air can occur while waiting for a floor finish or carpet to dry. Dead air refers to a condition when there is absolutely no air movement in a room after the floor has been finished or the carpet cleaned, thus the name. But the big problem with dead air is that it can increase drying times significantly.
We probably should be clear about what we mean by air movers. These are not household fans. Nor are they the large round fans also used in professional cleaning, typically employed when air movement is needed throughout a large space. We don’t want to use these large fans because they may cause the dust and debris on light fixtures and high ledges to become airborne…and potentially landing and marring a freshly finished floor.
With innovation at the heart of Betco®, we constantly think of ways to not only better our products and programs but to also better our organization. Click here to watch our new organizational changes video.
The hotel and hospitality industry is at the forefront of the going green movement when it comes to green cleaning. In fact, it was one of the first industries to embrace green cleaning and now many other industries look to the hotel hospitality industry to help them in their own transfer to green cleaning systems and strategies.
One of the reasons the “going green” movement started in the hotel and hospitality industry was due to a result of hotel housekeepers complaining about having reactions to some of the traditional chemicals used for cleaning. Remember, many housekeepers use these chemicals for as much as ten hours every day. In one Florida hotel property, housekeepers reported “runny eyes” within an hour or two of working each day when using certain chemicals. This stopped when environmentally preferable cleaning chemicals were substituted. Continue reading →
Day cleaning, or cleaning during first shift, is becoming more and more popular and for good reasons. It is touted as a sensible way to save on energy costs and being sustainable. Industry consultants predict that within 10 years, day cleaning will be more common than traditional nighttime cleaning.
The biggest reason to clean during daylight hours, rather than in the evenings, is the energy savings from no longer needing to illuminate and heat or cool the space being cleaned.
There are also a number of staffing benefits resulting from day cleaning, including: Continue reading →
Floor care is one of the most time consuming and costly of all cleaning tasks. When the floor needs to be stripped and refinished, these costs can mount up fast. It is not the tools and equipment that are the main contributor to this cost, it is the labor. Any system or program that cleaning professionals can implement to delay refinishing cycles while still keeping their customers’ floors looking their best can prove to be a significant cost savings.
A system that works very well for floors in which a low maintenance floor finish has been applied is by using a “low-speed buffer” to spray-buff the floor. A low-speed buffer typically rotates at 175 RPMs. Spray buffing is not as common today as it once was. One reason for this is that the finish applied to many floors today is a high-speed finish. Usually all that is required is for the floor to be dust mopped or vacuumed, scrubbed clean and then burnished with a high-speed machine.
Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert, Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests samples taken from current reported flu cases shows the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for this season’s flu strain circulating the US.
The US health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting these samples showed that just under half of these samples were a good match for the influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggests the virus has drifted. According to the CDC, the flu season has been low but increasing with the Influenza A (H3N2) being the predominant strain with cases detected all over the US. Continue reading →
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, and the impression is, shall we say, far different.
However, many people are often unaware of the most important areas that need proper cleaning; these places are known in the professional cleaning industry as high touch areas. We’ve all seen them but probably have never heard them called this before. Continue reading →
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
During cold and flu season, how do you starve a cold? …. WASH YOUR HANDS!
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
Germs 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!
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 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.
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.
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.
Here are seven other reasons why the cost of water is going up in the United States: Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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 →
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:
Make sure you have proper personnel protective equipment such as gloves and safety goggles and set up wet floor signs.
Properly dilute the stripper according to label directions.
Pour the stripper onto the floor and let it sit or dwell for 10 minutes.
Take a razor blade scraper on an extension pole and scrape the edges of the floor along the baseboards or display shelves.
Use a “Doodle Bug” and a black strip pad to remove any excess finish along the edges.
Take a floor squeegee to pull the stripper solution from along the edges onto the center of the aisle.
Pick up solution with an auto scrubber.
Rinse the floor with clean water if necessary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.