How Cleaning Impacts our lives on a daily basis.

school health

Who Is In Charge Of School Health?

School health, when I was a kid, was either a little room with a very cold vinyl bed or it was a class you had to take with classmates of the same gender that taught students the basic functions of the human body. The only person that was in charge of school health was the nurse, who was only part time. Well that has all changed now.

With the media’s attention focused on flu out breaks, and school administrators having to submit real-time reports that dissect health trends in a district, state and region, school health is at the forefront of many people’s minds.  There is also the fact that many school district budgets are tied to attendance in one way or another. Money strapped schools are paying attention to every dollar, incoming and outgoing.

So this raises the question, who is really in charge of the school health?

School Health Isn’t What You Think

Most don’t realize it but the school custodian is. In a lot of cases, the custodial staff doesn’t even know how important their role is.

From the beginning of modern civilization, cleanliness (or the lack there of) has been directly tied to the spread of illness. From the Bubonic Plagues of the late 1300’s and early 1400’s up to today, the fact is that keeping a society healthy begins with cleanliness. Then, why is the school custodian often not viewed (or educated) to be focus of healthy schools?

The Impact Of School Health

Having worked with many schools at all levels over the years, I have seen the impact cleanliness has on health in schools. Trying to convince a school superintendent, principal or even a school board that their cleaning staff, whom in many cases, has no formal sanitation training and at the very bottom of the pay scale, is one of their most important employees, is a tough sell. After all, none of the other school employees are relevant if the students aren’t there due to illness.

Every parent should be asking, “Who is in charge of school health?”

green cleaning programs

5 Results Of Green Cleaning Programs

Implementing green cleaning programs has become the focus for many. Some of the questions that come up are “What does it cost?” “How long does it take?” “Do I need to be certified?” These are important questions, but there is one questions that needs to be asked first.

What are the reasons  for implementing green cleaning programs? Although there are thousands of green products on the market and most have been given the image that to use them, you  must sacrifice cleaning quality for green clean compliance. This seems to have had a measurable impact on green cleaning momentum.

To implement green cleaning programs, the focus must first be moved from green cleaning products, to green cleaning practice. Most importantly, results. There is a need to change the way cleaning is done, before green can be achieved. These changes are not because of a desire to be green, they are because of the need to clean with health in mind. There are definite changes that are made when a green cleaning program is implemented with a focus on health. Many of which are not even factor in the world of traditional cleaning.

5 Results Green Cleaning Programs.

1. Health

By implementing cleaning programs, you will experience improved indoor air quality, slow the spread of illness and reduce the chances for exposure to toxic chemicals. By employing safer green procedures, less chemical residue is left on surfaces to promote the spread of germs and there are fewer air borne particles released that contaminate the air.

2. Appearance

Green cleaning programs actually remove more dirt if implemented and performed properly. Taking a step back and re-learning what clean really is, it will become apparent that the level of clean we have grown to accept is no longer acceptable. Green cleaning allows surfaces to be cleaned much more effectively. This improves the cleaning results as well as the appearance.

3. Reduced Surface Damage

Many traditional methods of cleaning, over time, actually damage the surfaces they are meant to maintain. Toxins and abrasives may remove soils but also cause long term and even permanent damage that can be costly to repair or replace. By reducing or eliminating harmful practices, and focusing on maintenance, the surfaces will last much longer.

4. Cost To Clean

Green practices are much more efficient. Accomplishing more, with less is at the heart of green cleaning programs. By directing effort toward better results, you are able to achieve a cleaner, healthier facilities, in less time. This is done by employing techniques that eliminate the use of wasteful and counter-productive cleaning products that in many cases can cause surfaces to be more difficult to clean.

5. Employee Morale

By being able to perform tasks more effectively, with less risk to yourself and the facility and actually see the positive results from your efforts, the morale of the staff will be improved. No one likes to do a bad job and given the know how to do a good job only makes performing the task more rewarding.

Implementing green cleanings program is very effective way to maintain facilities. By evaluating cleaning results and setting up procedures that use resources more efficiently, you will discover the positive effects of from green cleaning!

restaurant cleaning

Restaurant Cleaning and Eating Out Is Hard

Restaurant cleaning has always perplexed me. Why do they make it seem so difficult?

I recently went out to eat with my family and some friends to an upscale chain restaurant. This particular chain goes overboard on decorating. Large concrete statues and fountains great you as you approach the rotating door. Natural stone walls, expensive lighting and very plush seating were carefully selected and placed to give the feel of luxury. After being seated, the menu prices matched the decor. This is not my normal environment. I am more comfortable in a “mom and pop” style place where a cheese burger and fries tops the selection.

I can tell you though, I will probably never return to this restaurant. All of the money spent on appearance was wasted as soon as we walked through the circular door. It was covered with hand prints, splatter, and general dirt. Inside was the same. The plush bench we sat on in the waiting area was sticky and the floor was un-swept. The table where we were sat was more of the same.

We gave my 2-year-old son some crayons and paper to occupy him. As 2 year olds do, he dropped one of his crayons on the floor. When I picked it up, it was covered in some sort of sticky goo that really made me question whether or not the floor  had ever been cleaned. Since it was the green crayon and there was no way I was going to give it back to him, we ended up with a pink tractor and grass in the drawing.

When he needed to use the restroom, I cringed, and carefully lead him to the men’s room. As expected, it was more of the same. The sticky, dirty, expensive tile floors and walls made me constantly guard against him reaching out and touching. (Anyone who has ever taken a 2-year-old to the restroom knows the challenges involved with this.) If this is what the lobby, restrooms and eating area looked like, I would hate to see the kitchen.

Restaurant Cleaning Has a Cost

Why do we tolerate poor restaurant cleaning? Businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to develop and promote their products. They invest in lavish decorating. Spend countless hours refining their offering, to have it all go to waste by not putting the same amount of care and thought into cleaning. What would the cost have been to solve all of these issues? I am going to say less than the cost of a statue.

The cost of not fixing these is un-measurable because people typically will not say anything to the business, but will tell everyone they know.

Wasted Effort

The really disturbing issue that comes to mind is that they probably do clean. I am sure someone cleans the restroom every day. Someone does sweep the floor and wipe off the entrance glass. They are spending the time and money to go through the motions. But again, this time and money are wasted. The procedures are incorrect or the products they use are ineffective or not used in the proper manner. This is something I see all the time.

Facilities allocate the time to clean. They invest in the products to clean and then have staff put forth the effort to clean, but the results don’t match the effort. If it isn’t working, find a different way. Does it take any more effort to mop a floor with a dirty mop than a clean one? I am still sliding the mop along the floor.  Would it cost more money to use a clean mop and change the water in the bucket?

Reflection On Over All Quality

The cleanliness of any facility speaks volumes to the type of service that will be given. Retail stores, restaurants, office buildings and schools can all have their image affected by cleanliness. What is your level of cleanliness saying about you? Despite best efforts are you still getting the same results?

With a few small adjustments, time spent cleaning can produce better results which will pay for themselves very quickly. Most of the time it is just a change in the way cleaning is done.

In the case of this or any eating establishment, the return business would far outweigh any increase in restaurant cleaning cost.

proactive cleaning

Proactive Cleaning Prevents Headaches Later

What types of prevention do you practice on a daily basis? You brush your teeth twice a day. You put on shoes and socks to prevent damage to your feet. You turn on your directional signal to keep other drivers from running into your car. Read more

cleaning sends message

Cleaning Sends Your Message

The Value of Cleaning

Business’ and organizations are constantly being forced to find ways to attract and retain customers. They bend over backwards to give deeper discounts, provide better products and spend thousands of dollars on advertising to lure new business. Schools are no different. They push for better educational supplies and more funding to provide a safer, healthier learning environment for students, yet cleaning gets over looked when it comes to restrooms and classrooms? With the scare of disease and illness threatening us every day, somehow, we still have a long way to go when it comes to providing clean restrooms. Read more

cleaning budget

Saving Your Cleaning Budget

Do you know how much it cost to clean? You will probably point to a stack of papers or a spreadsheet that is the “ Cleaning Budget.” A budget is defined as “An estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future and a plan of operations based on such an estimate” How has your plan changed lately? Where did this estimate come from? Is it realistic? Read more