Posts

hand soap dispenser systems

Hand Soap Systems – Evaluating The Real Cost

Having the proper hand soap dispenser system for your facility can help reduce the spread of germs and illness. It is also important to understand what you are paying for. With all of the different brands, models and dispensers available, trying to figure out the best value can be confusing. Read more

sell green cleaning products

Don’t Sell Green Cleaning Products

There is a lot of hesitation and anxiety when it comes to selling green cleaning products in the Jan/San Market. The push back from customers at times due to negative perception and is often answered by resorting to a version of the old standards. In an article about green products from Sanitary Maintenance, Ronnie Garrett points out that “Distributors can work around these perceptions by selling a green philosophy.” The green philosophy is fine to have but might be the wrong topic to lead with. A more correct way to convince customers that green cleaning products are the better choice is to use a clean philosophy. But there is one sure way to convert them, Stop Selling Green!

It’s The Results That They Buy

I truly believe that green cleaning products have risen in quality, effectiveness and offer a much greater value than ever before. They are safer, easier to use and save thousands of hours of ridiculously hard work. If this is the case, then why do so many resist using them? Perception.
They have not been shown as a better cleaner, which as a custodian is really all I care about. I want my job to be easier and make my boss, customers, students, teachers and myself feel like I have done a good job. Period.  If you tell a custodian that they need to switch the products I am using to make the world better, there is no payoff for them. No one at the E.P.A. is going to pick up the phone and demand the custodians get a raise because they did “the right thing.”

And oh, by the way, you are going to have to probably change your procedures, routine and learn how to use different tools as well. That sounds like a bunch of wasted time to me.

Breaking The Green Cleaning Product Barrier

First you yourself have to learn the products but more importantly, you have to believe in them. Go on. Get out there and experiment. I am sure your vendors will be happy to provide you with all of the sample product and demo equipment you will need.

Learn what happens when a microfiber mop needs to be changed and see how much cleaner the floor is compared to a rotten cotton mop.

Discover that the window is streaking because of the chemical residue and after cleaning it a couple of times with a green cleaner and microfiber cloth, the film is gone.

Spend an hour in a restroom cleaning grout that although mopped every day with traditional methods, releases a seemingly never ending flow of dirt and bacteria and stench until it is actually clean. Feel the difference in the surface once it is really clean.

Selling Green Cleaning Products 

Now that you have taken the time to see for yourself the results of green cleaning products, roll them out to your customers, but instead of telling them they are green, tell them that you have the answer to their problems. You are about to make their lives a whole lot easier.

Show them the process and result of using a microfiber mop correctly.  Point out that it is a lot less weight to sling around and that their back isn’t taking the same abuse as it always does.

Have them clean the glass twice and then have them slide their fingers against the glass and feel the difference between their results and residue free cleaning. Show them that their floors are affected by this as well.

Volunteer to bring a no-touch cleaning machine into their restrooms and demonstrate the effectiveness for actually removing years of build up from the grout lines. After you’re done, make evident that the floor is no longer slippery. Traction!

It’s not their fault the facility is this way, it’s the fact that they haven’t been exposed to the correct information and supplies. After all, you can’t achieve great results without the proper knowledge and tools

The Green Cleaning Hook

Once they can see for themselves that better results are possible and that it actually makes the tasks at hand easier, they will want to change. It only makes sense right? “You mean I don’t have to deal with sticky restrooms floors anymore? And all it takes is a couple of changes to procedures and routine? Sign me up!” The green cleaning products are wanted, not because they are green, but because they work.

Epilogue  – Going Green

When they call you a few months later in a panic because their boss just requested that they make the switch to green cleaning products, tell them, they are already there.

remove permanent marker from dry erase boards

Remove Permanent Marker From Whiteboards Easily.

I would bet the day the dry erase whiteboard was invented, while the creator was out to lunch, someone came in and wrote on it with a permanent marker. Thus leaving us all to battle with how to remove permanent marker from whiteboards. Read more

cleaning myths

5 Dangerous Cleaning Myths

Cleaning Myths – Unproductive and Dangerous

Cleaning Myths are everywhere. This works better than that. “I sprayed this on and it was clean!” The impact of cleaning affects everyone. From the kitchen and tables in a restaurant, to the restroom in your home, the cleanliness or lack thereof, can influence odors, appearance and most of all health.

Since cleaning is actually a rather complicated science, most of us rely on what we have heard or on the broad explanations supplied by-product manufactures  in commercials or on bottle labels. The reality is that what you currently do  to clean may be the cause of your cleaning problems.

5 Cleaning Myths that explain the results you are getting and how to improve.

#1 – Clean Is A Matter of Opinion Cleaning Myths

“What I call clean and what you call clean are two different things.” This is a statement that moms make every day to their teenage kids when inspecting their rooms and although this may be a good  way to get a kid to improve the tidiness of her room, it is not the case when it comes to cleaning for health.

To clean something means to remove all soils that can attract bacteria and promote its growth.

With methods such as A.T.P. testing and even simple black light inspections, it becomes apparent that a surface that looks clean, is in fact not. Clean is not a guess or  opinion but a fact.

#2 – More Chemicals Equals Less Dirt Cleaning Myths

It is an old statement that many still believe, “A little works good. A lot works better” This couldn’t be farther from the truth for cleaning. The overuse of chemical concentrates can cause  your cleaning efforts to back fire.

When too much chemical is used it will leave a residue on surfaces that attract more dirt. Although these residues can be rinsed with clean water to remove, it adds another step to the cleaning process. Essentially you have to re-clean the surface to clean away the  cleaner. This makes no sense in the case of most cleaners.

To add to the confusion, an old trick that many chemical manufactures still employee is to direct users to use more than really needed. This leads to more product sold and also attracts more dirt so you have to clean it again sooner.

Note: Any product with an E.P.A. registration must be used at the required dilution to effectively provide the kill claims.

#3 – If It Smells Good, It’s Clean Cleaning Myths

Smell is a very powerful sense. It can influence perception in dramatic ways. When it comes to cleaning, we associate clean with an odor, in many cases it is bleach or pine or lemon. This is because these odors have been connected with many popular cleaning chemicals throughout the years. The problem is that most of these chemicals cover up to real issue and rely on a “clean scent.”

The smell of clean is no odor at all. The compounds used for fragrances are in many cases exaggerated to the point of leaving a bio film behind that can attract dirt and bacteria.

For the record, if a restroom smells like stale cherry, it’s dirty. End of story.

#4 – Disinfectant Cleaner Cleaning Myths

“Wow! It says right here on the label ‘Disinfectant  Cleaner!’ That means I only need one product to clean and disinfect!” Yes, but make sure your read the directions on the label. It won’t say it on the front of the bottle or even in the catalog descriptions, but there are always at least 2 steps to the process and the product must be used as if it were at least 2 different chemicals.

The E.P.A. disinfection guidelines all include the statement “On Pre Cleaned, Non Porous surfaces.” This means that you must clean the surface first before moving on to the next step. Very few do this. In fact, I would guess that less that 10% of housekeepers even know about this. The disinfecting step is to apply the product and allow it to remain moist for a prescribed amount of time. Then, in most cases you still have a third step to wipe the surface again to remove residue. This also removes bacteria killed in the disinfection process.

Dead bacteria become a great food source for live bacteria if not removed. If used to clean a floor, the residue can be so bad that your feet will stick to the floor.

#5 – Bleach Is The Answer Cleaning Myths

“Mom always used bleach to clean everything.” She may have but there was very little cleaning going on. Cleaning chemical properties help to loosen and suspend soil in the solution so that they can be removed. Bleach has no such properties. It is a killer of bacteria. That’s all.

If the surface is contaminated with any number of micro-organisms, bleach will kill them if used properly. The problem is that with even a moderate soil load, it is not capable of removing the excess soil and deceased bacteria. Once it has lost is killing ability in a very short time, other bacteria show up is droves to feed on this buffet and the effort put in to cleaning the surface is wasted. Bleach is also dangerous for humans since we are just a larger organism.

The fumes that give us that desired “Bleach Clean” smell are toxic and can contribute to body burden.

Knowing the facts about cleaning can help to improve your overall results and also improve your health. Taking time to find out what is actually happening when you clean can save time, money and give you the peace of mind that if you say it is clean, it is clean!

bathroom cleaner chemicals
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Bathroom Cleaner Chemicals

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Bathrooms have so many different types of surfaces to be cleaned.…
sticky floor
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Why You Have Sticky Floor and How To Fix It

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A sticky floor can be a very troublesome issue. It can seem like…
How To Clean Stainless Steel
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How To Clean Stainless Steel The Right Way

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The popularity of stainless steel appliances in homes has made…
Neutralizer and neutral cleaner for floors
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Cleaning Chemicals - Neutralizer or Neutral Cleaner?

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It seems neutralizer and neutral cleaners get confused a lot.…
Fitness Equipment Cleaning

Fitness Equipment Cleaning

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Fitness equipment cleaning may be causing you more trouble than…
Cleaning Rubber Gym Floors
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Cleaning Rubber Gym Floors

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Rubber gym floors can be a great alternative to hardwood athletic…
25 Percent Solids Floor Finish
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25 Percent Solids Floor Finish. A Closer Look

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Is using a 25 percent solids floor finish a good option for you? A…
Floor Finish Yellows
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Why Floor Finish Yellows and How To Fix It

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When it comes to floor finish, by far the most wide-spread issue…
hand soap dispenser systems

Hand Soap Systems – Evaluating The Real Cost

Having the proper hand soap dispenser system for your facility can help reduce the spread of germs and illness. It is also important to understand what you are paying for. With all of the different brands, models and dispensers available, trying to figure out the best value can be confusing. Read more

sell green cleaning products

Don’t Sell Green Cleaning Products

There is a lot of hesitation and anxiety when it comes to selling green cleaning products in the Jan/San Market. The push back from customers at times due to negative perception and is often answered by resorting to a version of the old standards. In an article about green products from Sanitary Maintenance, Ronnie Garrett points out that “Distributors can work around these perceptions by selling a green philosophy.” The green philosophy is fine to have but might be the wrong topic to lead with. A more correct way to convince customers that green cleaning products are the better choice is to use a clean philosophy. But there is one sure way to convert them, Stop Selling Green!

It’s The Results That They Buy

I truly believe that green cleaning products have risen in quality, effectiveness and offer a much greater value than ever before. They are safer, easier to use and save thousands of hours of ridiculously hard work. If this is the case, then why do so many resist using them? Perception.
They have not been shown as a better cleaner, which as a custodian is really all I care about. I want my job to be easier and make my boss, customers, students, teachers and myself feel like I have done a good job. Period.  If you tell a custodian that they need to switch the products I am using to make the world better, there is no payoff for them. No one at the E.P.A. is going to pick up the phone and demand the custodians get a raise because they did “the right thing.”

And oh, by the way, you are going to have to probably change your procedures, routine and learn how to use different tools as well. That sounds like a bunch of wasted time to me.

Breaking The Green Cleaning Product Barrier

First you yourself have to learn the products but more importantly, you have to believe in them. Go on. Get out there and experiment. I am sure your vendors will be happy to provide you with all of the sample product and demo equipment you will need.

Learn what happens when a microfiber mop needs to be changed and see how much cleaner the floor is compared to a rotten cotton mop.

Discover that the window is streaking because of the chemical residue and after cleaning it a couple of times with a green cleaner and microfiber cloth, the film is gone.

Spend an hour in a restroom cleaning grout that although mopped every day with traditional methods, releases a seemingly never ending flow of dirt and bacteria and stench until it is actually clean. Feel the difference in the surface once it is really clean.

Selling Green Cleaning Products 

Now that you have taken the time to see for yourself the results of green cleaning products, roll them out to your customers, but instead of telling them they are green, tell them that you have the answer to their problems. You are about to make their lives a whole lot easier.

Show them the process and result of using a microfiber mop correctly.  Point out that it is a lot less weight to sling around and that their back isn’t taking the same abuse as it always does.

Have them clean the glass twice and then have them slide their fingers against the glass and feel the difference between their results and residue free cleaning. Show them that their floors are affected by this as well.

Volunteer to bring a no-touch cleaning machine into their restrooms and demonstrate the effectiveness for actually removing years of build up from the grout lines. After you’re done, make evident that the floor is no longer slippery. Traction!

It’s not their fault the facility is this way, it’s the fact that they haven’t been exposed to the correct information and supplies. After all, you can’t achieve great results without the proper knowledge and tools

The Green Cleaning Hook

Once they can see for themselves that better results are possible and that it actually makes the tasks at hand easier, they will want to change. It only makes sense right? “You mean I don’t have to deal with sticky restrooms floors anymore? And all it takes is a couple of changes to procedures and routine? Sign me up!” The green cleaning products are wanted, not because they are green, but because they work.

Epilogue  – Going Green

When they call you a few months later in a panic because their boss just requested that they make the switch to green cleaning products, tell them, they are already there.

remove permanent marker from dry erase boards

Remove Permanent Marker From Whiteboards Easily.

I would bet the day the dry erase whiteboard was invented, while the creator was out to lunch, someone came in and wrote on it with a permanent marker. Thus leaving us all to battle with how to remove permanent marker from whiteboards. Read more

cleaning myths

5 Dangerous Cleaning Myths

Cleaning Myths – Unproductive and Dangerous

Cleaning Myths are everywhere. This works better than that. “I sprayed this on and it was clean!” The impact of cleaning affects everyone. From the kitchen and tables in a restaurant, to the restroom in your home, the cleanliness or lack thereof, can influence odors, appearance and most of all health.

Since cleaning is actually a rather complicated science, most of us rely on what we have heard or on the broad explanations supplied by-product manufactures  in commercials or on bottle labels. The reality is that what you currently do  to clean may be the cause of your cleaning problems.

5 Cleaning Myths that explain the results you are getting and how to improve.

#1 – Clean Is A Matter of Opinion Cleaning Myths

“What I call clean and what you call clean are two different things.” This is a statement that moms make every day to their teenage kids when inspecting their rooms and although this may be a good  way to get a kid to improve the tidiness of her room, it is not the case when it comes to cleaning for health.

To clean something means to remove all soils that can attract bacteria and promote its growth.

With methods such as A.T.P. testing and even simple black light inspections, it becomes apparent that a surface that looks clean, is in fact not. Clean is not a guess or  opinion but a fact.

#2 – More Chemicals Equals Less Dirt Cleaning Myths

It is an old statement that many still believe, “A little works good. A lot works better” This couldn’t be farther from the truth for cleaning. The overuse of chemical concentrates can cause  your cleaning efforts to back fire.

When too much chemical is used it will leave a residue on surfaces that attract more dirt. Although these residues can be rinsed with clean water to remove, it adds another step to the cleaning process. Essentially you have to re-clean the surface to clean away the  cleaner. This makes no sense in the case of most cleaners.

To add to the confusion, an old trick that many chemical manufactures still employee is to direct users to use more than really needed. This leads to more product sold and also attracts more dirt so you have to clean it again sooner.

Note: Any product with an E.P.A. registration must be used at the required dilution to effectively provide the kill claims.

#3 – If It Smells Good, It’s Clean Cleaning Myths

Smell is a very powerful sense. It can influence perception in dramatic ways. When it comes to cleaning, we associate clean with an odor, in many cases it is bleach or pine or lemon. This is because these odors have been connected with many popular cleaning chemicals throughout the years. The problem is that most of these chemicals cover up to real issue and rely on a “clean scent.”

The smell of clean is no odor at all. The compounds used for fragrances are in many cases exaggerated to the point of leaving a bio film behind that can attract dirt and bacteria.

For the record, if a restroom smells like stale cherry, it’s dirty. End of story.

#4 – Disinfectant Cleaner Cleaning Myths

“Wow! It says right here on the label ‘Disinfectant  Cleaner!’ That means I only need one product to clean and disinfect!” Yes, but make sure your read the directions on the label. It won’t say it on the front of the bottle or even in the catalog descriptions, but there are always at least 2 steps to the process and the product must be used as if it were at least 2 different chemicals.

The E.P.A. disinfection guidelines all include the statement “On Pre Cleaned, Non Porous surfaces.” This means that you must clean the surface first before moving on to the next step. Very few do this. In fact, I would guess that less that 10% of housekeepers even know about this. The disinfecting step is to apply the product and allow it to remain moist for a prescribed amount of time. Then, in most cases you still have a third step to wipe the surface again to remove residue. This also removes bacteria killed in the disinfection process.

Dead bacteria become a great food source for live bacteria if not removed. If used to clean a floor, the residue can be so bad that your feet will stick to the floor.

#5 – Bleach Is The Answer Cleaning Myths

“Mom always used bleach to clean everything.” She may have but there was very little cleaning going on. Cleaning chemical properties help to loosen and suspend soil in the solution so that they can be removed. Bleach has no such properties. It is a killer of bacteria. That’s all.

If the surface is contaminated with any number of micro-organisms, bleach will kill them if used properly. The problem is that with even a moderate soil load, it is not capable of removing the excess soil and deceased bacteria. Once it has lost is killing ability in a very short time, other bacteria show up is droves to feed on this buffet and the effort put in to cleaning the surface is wasted. Bleach is also dangerous for humans since we are just a larger organism.

The fumes that give us that desired “Bleach Clean” smell are toxic and can contribute to body burden.

Knowing the facts about cleaning can help to improve your overall results and also improve your health. Taking time to find out what is actually happening when you clean can save time, money and give you the peace of mind that if you say it is clean, it is clean!

Best Vacuum Cleaner
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Choosing The Best Vacuum Cleaner

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One question I get often is "What is the best vacuum cleaner?"…
Remove Salt Residue From Floors
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Remove Salt Residue From Floors Fast And Easy

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Winter Floor Care Winter weather brings with it additional areas…
Carpet Cleaning Methods
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Carpet Cleaning - Is Wetter Really Better?

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There are some carpet cleaning methods that have become widely…
getting stains out of carpet
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Carpet Cleaning - Why You Have Carpet Spots

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It seems getting stains out of carpet is a popular mystery. I…
How To Clean Without Streaks
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Cleaning Chemical Streaks Mean It's Not Clean

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Cleaning without leaving streaks on windows and other surfaces…
buy green cleaning products

Don’t Just Buy Green Cleaning Products

Do a search for green cleaning and your results will look like a shopping list. You will find of every type of mop and chemical that has found a way to spin themselves as eco-friendly. If you really want to clean green, find out how to do it without a purchase. The act of cleaning green has a much bigger impact than buying it. Use less. Make smart, educated choices and grow into a green mindset. You can’t just buy green cleaning products and call it a green cleaning program.

To Buy Green Cleaning Products Is A Small Part

I am not saying that you should never buy green products. There are some truly great innovations out there that make cleaning easier, safer and reduce the amount of products needed to improve our environments. Cleaning chemicals work better and cause fewer health issues. They also reduce damage to facilities. Acid bowl cleaners are not used as much and trust me your chrome thanks you for that.

The Most Powerful Green Cleaning Product

With new ways of cleaning, you no longer have to throw powerful products at stubborn soils. When you use a green cleaning mindset, you see that proactive cleaning is one of the most powerful cleaning tools out there. Most difficult cleaning tasks, the ones that require the ‘good stuff’, are often the result of neglect. Restroom odors are caused by not being able to clean at source of the odor. Hard water deposits are the result of not cleaning toilet bowls often enough.

Using a long term green cleaning mindset will result in a proactive approach that will all but eliminate the need for deep cleaning. Educate yourself and the cleaning staff that a little work today will go a long way!

Challenge yourself to resist the urge to buy green cleaning products because of green claims and buy only when improved results, reduced consumption and improved efficiency merge to change the mindset of how your cleaning is done.

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.