cleaning chemical labels

Do You Read Chemical Labels?

Have you ever actually read the cleaning chemical labels? I always find it interesting to ask people about their cleaning procedures. In health care, offices, schools and even in their homes, most people rely on what the front of the bottle says and not what is in the smaller print on the back.

In several meetings with clients, I had asked about their procedures for cleaning and disinfecting. Not one of them knew or was following the directions on the product label. To be honest, this didn’t surprise me at all.

After reading the label and learning about the procedures set by the E.P.A. and the manufacturer, most of them decided that their way was acceptable. Either they didn’t have time to allow a disinfectant the prescribed dwell time or it seemed to work better at a different dilution. Regardless of the reasoning, the choice to not follow the label instructions can have very dangerous results.

Find Out For Yourself

Here are a couple of examples of cleaning chemical labels, from common household chemicals. I would bet very few know about these.

Spray Disinfecting Cleaner Chemical Labels

Did you know that disinfectant and cleaner are actually two completely different uses for the same product? According to the label, you can CLEAN with this product, you can SANITIZE with this product or you can DISINFECT with this product.

You CANNOT do all with one big swipe of the cloth though. You must do one or the other. In the case of disinfecting, you must clean prior to applying the product as a disinfectant. Then you have to let it sit on the surface for 10 minutes before wiping it off.

I can’t say this for every brand of this type of product, but the 3 I looked at all said the same thing.

Bleach Chemical Labels

First and for most, read all the warnings that any bleach product has on its label. It’s a wonder that they can squeeze that many words on the bottle. There are at least 3 different dilutions you must have ready to go prior to cleaning and sanitizing just your kitchen.

1 table-spoon of bleach to a gallon of water for washing the baby’s bottles and your dishes. Then ¾ of a cup of bleach in a gallon for the trash can, sink and counter top. You will also need 3 table spoons mixed with a gallon of water to clean your wooden cutting boards, but only need the 1 table-spoon mixture for your plastic cutting boards.

Who does this? Mom always grabbed the spray bottle that had Bleach written in pen on the side. What was the mixture in that? Oh and you will need to clean all of these surfaces with water, prior to applying the bleach which will need to stand for 5 minutes prior to wiping off.

Window Cleaner Blue Chemical Labels

If you are familiar with the pH scale, you will know that 7 is neutral, 7.1 to 14 is alkaline and 6.9 to 0 is acidic. Good ole’ Blue Window Cleaner is 10.5 to 11. That is one notch lower than a good floor stripper, which is usually 12+.

These are just a few examples of what you can learn by turning the bottle around and learning how to properly use the products you pay good money for. Regardless of whether it is a green cleaning product or not.  If you are going to spend the money to by a disinfectant, then it should be used properly to disinfect. A cleaner should be used to clean the correct surfaces at the correct dilution. If you are not following the label, then you may as well use water.

vacuum carpet tips

Carpet and Dirt, You Probably Have Both…

Everyone has at least some carpeting. From your home, work, cars and even the establishments you frequent, carpeting is everywhere. Since the first carpets were made in the late 1700’s, someone has had to keep them clean. (Can you imagine the smell tracked in from streets with horse-drawn wagons?) The problem with cleaning carpet is that it is not a smooth surface. By nature, it holds soils. Whether it is a deep, plush style carpet or a low profile, indoor/outdoor pile, dirt gets trapped. Just to vacuum carpet does not get all of the dirt. Unlike solid surface floor coverings, where what you see is what you get, carpet presents a list of obstacles that hide soils. How do we get to the bottom (Pun intended) of carpet cleaning and improving your vacuuming? Read more

gym floor cleaning

Gym Floor Cleaning Made Easy

I get of questions about gym floor cleaning. The main question is “why are the gym floors are slippery?” These floors serve many roles in schools and recreation centers. Between P.E. Classes, open gym, assemblies, sports practice and games, there always seems to be some sort of activity going on in the gymnasium. Since a lot of these floors are wood, there is a tendency to avoid cleaning them, because water damages wood right? Read more

entrance matting

Entrance Matting – Stop Dirt At The Door

Entrance matting is an important part of any cleaning program. What if you could have an employee stand by the door and clean off people’s shoes as they walk in to the building? What kind of impact would this have on your floor finish and carpet? Studies have shown that as much as 85% of dirt in a building comes in right through the door. This is where entrance matting makes a big impact on your cleaning.

I always ask people “How does dirt get to the 20th floor of a high-rise building?” Read more