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Before You Buy Another Auto Scrubber….Read This First!

There is a new dawn upon us! The newest innovation in the cleaning industry, The Kaivac Battery Powered AutoVac, is here! This new machine will revolutionize the way you view efficiency, as this new product is considered to rival auto scrubbers in speed and effectiveness. Unlike auto scrubbers, which use multiple steps to properly clean the floor the new AutoVac can do it all in one easy pass, including going up stairs. Its very simple design doesn’t require special technicians to maintain. It can even be transported in a small car, unlike any autoscrubber, which requires at least a truck and a forklift.

This AutoVac can do all of the following and more, unlike an auto scrubber that can only clean a floor:

  • Strip and finish floors
  • Pick up salt
  • Clean restrooms
  • Remove dirt
  • Extract grease

This machine is very easy to use and simple to master. Requiring only a few minutes to explain the procedure, unlike auto scrubbers which require costly onsite training to just get the basics. The initial cost is much lower for this Autovac and has a much shorter downtime than any auto scrubber, because all the parts are extremely durable and can be shipped by UPS/Fed Ex overnight when needed.

The KaiVac AutoVac is truly an ineradicable tool and can do so much more than other machines of its type.

Microfiber Cloths vs Cotton

By Kassandra Kania

With 80 percent of infections being transmitted through direct contact, it’s no wonder that proper cleaning is as vital as good personal hygiene. In addition to identifying key areas that harbor infectious bacteria, custodial managers are charged with implementing best practices for the removal of these microorganisms. This includes providing custodians with appropriate cleaning tools to mitigate the spread of germs.

Cleaning cloths are an important component of any custodial program, but often facilities settle for cheap rags in place of quality products that facilitate cleaning and disinfection.

“We’ll spend $150,000 on a UV robot housekeeper, but we’ll nickel and dime the cleaning cloths,” says Mark Heller, president of Hygiene Performance Solutions in Toronto. “So we might use a torn-up, discarded towel rather than a finished, engineered product.”

Yet, given the right tools, Heller believes custodians aspire to meet the standards set forth by housekeeping to achieve and maintain a clean, healthy environment.

Increase Your Fiber

When choosing an appropriate cloth engineered to remove soil and bacteria, there’s no substitute for microfiber, say consultants.

“Microfiber cloths are synthetic and have grooves built into the fibers themselves, so they’re very absorbent and trap soils,” explains Steve Tinker, chemist and past president of the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA), Shawnee Mission, Kansas. “As a result, soils can be picked up very quickly and held in the fibers very efficiently.”

Although cotton is also highly absorbent, it is not as effective as microfiber at grabbing and holding onto soil.

“The pros of cotton are that it’s readily available and fairly cheap, but it doesn’t do a very good job of soil collection,” says Darrel Hicks, author of Infection Prevention for Dummies. “When it comes to infection prevention, our number-one job is to remove the soil from the surface so that the disinfectant has a better chance to work.”

Another disadvantage of cotton cloths is the problem of quat binding, which occurs when fabrics have a strong attraction for the active ingredients in quat-based disinfectants, thereby reducing their efficacy. For this reason, Hicks is seeing an increasing number of facilities switching from cotton to microfiber cloths.

University of Minnesota Medical Center — Fairview in Minneapolis, switched from cotton to microfiber cloths several years ago after testing the efficacy of both materials.

“We found microfiber will pick up the spores and microorganisms, even without the use of disinfectant, whereas cotton will just wipe them around,” says Amanda Guspiel, environmental infection preventionist. “We use quat-based disinfectants with the microfiber, and we haven’t had any issues with the quat binding that occurs with cotton.”

Guspiel has seen a reduction in the number of hospital acquired infections since switching to microfiber cloths.

– See more at:–17800?utm_source=CLNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=CleanLink-01/21/2015?

Aligning Cleaning and Disinfecting Procedures in Schools, by Kassandra Kania

Aligning Cleaning And Disinfecting Procedures In Schools

By Kassandra Kania

Schools are notorious breeding grounds for bacteria — and students and staff are suffering the ill effects. Moreover, inadequate cleaning and disinfecting in schools can contribute to an increase in illness or even outbreaks of infectious disease, which in turn leads to higher absenteeism.

Fortunately, custodians can play a vital role in breaking this cycle. Studies have proven that proper disinfection techniques in schools can help reduce the spread of viruses, thereby reducing absenteeism rates. On the flip side, overuse of disinfectants can exacerbate allergies and asthma and also contributes to absenteeism. Cleaning professionals walk a fine line to clean and disinfect properly around these sensitive building occupants.

Cleaning And Disinfecting: A Two-Pronged Attack

Allen Rathey, president of The Healthy Facilities Institute, Boise, Idaho, points out that not all germs are the enemy.

“Microbes are essential to human life,” he says. “However, it’s important to control pathogenic microbes, particularly in a school or daycare environment where you have little people that are more sensitive to infection.”

Discussions about disinfection cannot take place without first talking about cleaning.

Disinfection is a two-step process,” says Rathey. “First you clean and then you disinfect if necessary.”

Removing soils and germs via mechanical cleaning is always preferable to adding toxins to the environment, particularly in a school building.Surfaces should be wiped with a microfiber cloth or agitated with a microfiber pad, says Rathey. Custodians can then remove the bioload with a squeegee. Rathey suggests focusing on above-floor touchpoints, such as faucet handles, light switches, doorknobs and telephones.

“The reason cleaning is important is that germs need food, and that food consists of organic matter, such as skin flakes and oil,” he explains. “If you remove the food source, you remove the potential for germs to live there.”

Likewise moisture is an enemy.

“Keep things dry,” says Rathey. “Even if there’s a food source, if the surface is very dry it’s harder for the microbes to get a foothold.”

Before addressing disinfection techniques, custodial staffs should first review their cleaning procedures to ensure that buildings are being cleaned effectively, says Mark Bishop, vice president of policy and communications for the Healthy Schools Campaign in Chicago.

“We want to make sure we’re reducing cross-contamination every time we’re cleaning,” he says. “One of the most important strategies for preventing cross-contamination is to use appropriate microfiber cloths and to launder and change out those cloths frequently.”

Microfiber cloths should also be folded each time a new surface is cleaned to prevent cross-contamination.

“The old way of wiping desktops or any other surface is not very controlled,” says Rathey. “You’re taking a microfiber cloth and wadding it up and rubbing it on the surface. As you clean using the same cloth, if you don’t continually flip to a clean surface of that cloth you actually get to the point where you can be depositing organic soil instead of removing it. So the idea is to keep flipping your cloth or use clean cloths so that you’re removing stuff rather than just moving it around.”

Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, conducted a series of tests in a high school classroom comparing the effectiveness of number-coded microfiber cloth that encourages a flipping and folding technique with a typical wadding method. Desks were disinfected using a hospital-grade quaternary ammonium disinfectant, and results were measured after each desktop was wiped using an ATP meter.

The ATP meter count was significantly lower on the desks that were cleaned using the number-coded cloths

Hand Dryer Location and Paper Towels Influence Hand Washing, CleanLink

Hand Dryer Location Influences Hand Washing

By SM Editorial Staff 
In this article, industry manufacturers answer common questions asked by members of the industry

Does the placement of hand dryers in a public restroom promote hand washing? Where is the best placement?
Yes, it does promote hand washing. Customers recognize high-speed hand dryers that dry their hands effectively and efficiently. The best placement is on the way out of the washroom in a similar location to where the towel dispensers were mounted. This allows for continuous flow in and out of the washroom. Hand dryers in restrooms do promote “hand washing” if placed in the correct spot in the restroom, the best place is closest to the door near the location of the faucets.

— Kevin Knapp, director of sales and marketing, Palmer Fixture, Green Bay, Wis.

Our hand dryers were designed to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which defines the accessibility requirements for U.S. washroom spaces. In addition to these requirements, the best placement of hand dryers as well as paper towel dispensers in a public restroom is as close to the sinks as possible. This helps to keep the bathroom safe by limiting the amount of water that is tracked on the floor.

— Rob Green, engineer, Dyson, Chicago

Proper placement of the hand dryers will make it easier to flow traffic through the restroom. It is best to avoid narrow walkways and passages in compliance with ADA requirements. Keeping the dryers closer to the sinks is always best.
— Michael E. Robert, vice president sales and technology, American Dryer Inc., Livonia, Mich.

Placement is definitely a consideration. Hand dryers should be placed convenient to the sink to eliminate unnecessary steps and the chance it won’t be used.

— Dan Storto, senior vice president, sales and marketing, World Dryer, Berkeley, Ill.

Hygiene is crucial these days; no one wants to touch extra restroom surfaces if they can help it, you want to remove as many “touch points” as possible. Installing hand dryers in reasonable proximity to the sinks is certainly key in making sure they are easily accessible.

Also make sure to consider the application: are your restroom patrons primarily adults, teenagers or young children? Considering restroom demographics will make a difference not only in installation (i.e., how high the dryers should be mounted on the walls), but also in product selection. If your restroom serves a teenaged population, you may have to consider whether your appliances are vandal-proof. Some trough-style dryers become a target for foreign substances being stuffed or poured into the dryer’s basin and not user friendly for small children or people with a handicap.

— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and key accounts, Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, Mass.

Is there a place for both hand dryers and paper towels in a restroom?
We see more and more facilities offer both towel and dryers. This offers the customer the choice between paper or hand dryers and minimizing their impact on the environment. 

— Kevin Knapp, director of sales and marketing, Palmer Fixture, Green Bay, Wis.

Drying hands is just as important as washing them: damp hands can spread up to 1,000 times more bacteria than dry hands. The best way to ensure hands are dry is for facilities managers to provide a drying method that is fast and hygienic. Our machine is hygienic as paper towels, but without the associated drawbacks of high running costs and paper waste. 

— Rob Green, engineer, Dyson, Chicago

Hand dryers are the preferred method due to their lower cost, environmental impact and better hygiene. However, there will be a need for paper towel in some applications. For example, a shop my want paper towel to wipe off greasy hands.

— Michael E. Robert, vice president sales and technology, American Dryer Inc., Livonia, Mich.

A good hand dryer can eliminate the need for a paper towel dispenser altogether but for some environments, a preferable installation can include hand dryers near the main exit for hand drying and one paper dispenser for drying your face (or near a changing table in family restrooms). This cuts waste as well as the expense of stocking and maintaining the dispenser. The savings made possible by an energy-efficient hand dryer is quantifiable: for example, high-speed hand dyer models deliver a 95 percent cost savings when compared to paper towels. If you calculate what you would have to spend on paper and dispenser maintenance vs. a one-time installation, you’ll always come out ahead with a good hand dryer. It is also a great source reduction alternative.

Quality hand dryers are virtually maintenance-free, except for a recommended annual cleaning.

— William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and key accounts, Excel Dryer, East Longmeadow, Mass.
posted on: 5/11/201

Asthma Friendly School

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under 15 years of age, and the leading cause of absence in school.

One school in Duval County decided to try to do something about it and today they were awarded for it.

John Love Elementary is the first school in Duval County to be honored as an Asthma Friendly school by the Florida Asthma Coalition.

The staff, teachers and students with asthma participated in the Asthma 101 program, to learn how to help students with asthma and to prevent and respond to asthma emergencies.

America’s Lung Association, Ciera Walton said, “What we are trying to prevent is for them not to miss school days, so they can be in school for them and get the education they need.”

Principal Laura Bowes has a son with asthma and was instrumental in starting the program. She realizes it can help keep kids in school, with asthma attacks being the leading cause of school absences.

“It educates parents, students, and teachers about the triggers of asthma so they are fully aware of what to look for and how to prevent flare-ups,” said Bowes

Monica Sorrels, a parent with an asthma child, learned things she didn’t know.

“Air freshener, that can cause it, and I did not even realize that a fragrance could flare up asthma,” said Sorrels.

Third grader Kenneth Geddes said it can be rough at times living with asthma.

Geddes said, “they gave us prizes every time we answered questions and I was good at it.”

Bre-nay Jones, second grader, “I thought it was fun. The best thing is I learned a lot. I learned key words about asthma and I learned how not to have an asthma attack.”

“Awesome, awesome, awesome, it is always good to be number one. We are glad to be the model for the district to follow,” said Bowes

First Coast News





Trifecta of Hard Floor Care


The Trifecta Of Hard Floor Care

It is said that all good things come in threes, the process of caring for hard floors not excluded.

By Ann Nickolas

April 5, 2013

Turn on any do-it-yourself channel and you’ll find a professional teaching you how to do something.

Whether it’s cooking a breakfast frittata or renovating your kitchen, show hosts proudly display the final gorgeous product, assuring that you too can achieve that result if you follow their process.

Failure to follow the suggested steps — for example, adding the egg after baking the frittata or laying new floors atop the old tile — will likely result in a final product less desirable than that which you hoped.

Floor cleaning is no different; if you want to maintain clean and safe floors that look inviting to guests, you need to follow the proper steps in order to achieve the desired results.

The floor care trifecta — the three essential steps to any program regarding ongoing cleaning and maintenance — encompasses:

  1. Deep cleaning
  2. Protecting
  3. Maintaining.

Neglecting to follow these essential steps will leave you with lackluster floors — those that are unfit for showcasing.

Why Doesn’t Cleaning Alone Work?

When a large national quick service restaurant chain headquartered in Southeast Texas began testing a new floor cleaning program, they knew they wanted a system that would provide clean and safe floors throughout their 230 locations.

The goal was to have floors that not only looked clean but stayed clean — and remained safe even after heavy use.

When testing a potential floor care program, they focused trials on 12-year-old flooring — large ceramic tile in dining areas and quarry tile in kitchen areas.

After mopping and cleaning the floors, testers identified the wet static coefficient of friction (WSCOF) on all floors using standards established by the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); this established baseline measurements for the program.

Testers then deep cleaned the floors, measuring the WSCOF at the same location they measured previously and added a traction treatment application to help enhance floor safety.

The WSCOF was measured periodically over the course of the next three weeks to identify the overall condition of the floors.

Floors were only maintained during the course of this testing period; soiling was not prevented and the floors were not protected by a comprehensive matting system.

On the day of the benchmark test, testers found a substantial improvement in the overall traction of floors in the dining room areas — from .46 before deep cleaning to .60 after the deep cleaning.

In kitchen and food preparation areas, floor traction increased from .70 to .80 following deep cleaning.

And, after the application of the traction treatment, WSCOF in the dining and kitchen areas increased to .80 and .81, respectively.

Following the three-week trial, testers measured the WSCOF in the same areas.

The floors had been regularly cleaned throughout the testing period; however, the audit revealed that the overall traction of the floors had actually declined, particularly in the dining areas.

The floors in the dining room showed a WSCOF value of .55, and the floors in the kitchen and flood preparation areas showed .70.

To improve floor traction in the dining room — the area showing the largest decline in overall floor traction — testers suggested integrating a matting program into their floor care process.

Mats would be placed around beverage stations and buffet bars, as well as in transitional areas like those between food preparation stations and the dining room.

In addition, it was recommended that floors be deep cleaned more frequently to keep floor appearance high and to further reduce the opportunity for slip-and-fall accidents.

The Trifecta Revealed

As the study shows, comprehensive hard floor care should involve three primary steps.

Deep cleaning, protecting and maintaining floors — and consistently following the process in that order — helps ensure that the WSCOF levels remain high regardless of the current stage in the program.

        1.  Deep clean

The first step of the hard floor care trifecta is to deep clean.

The initial task when revitalizing a floor surface is a thorough deep cleaning, which should be completed on all hard floor surfaces.

Daily vacuuming and mopping reduces surface-level particulates, but often fails to capture and remove all contaminants.

As a result, floors become worn over time, and white grout lines become black from grease and other organic buildup.

Periodic deep cleanings revive floors to enhance the image of the business and protect staffs and patrons.

In addition to making floors look better, deep cleaning helps improve hard surface traction, effectively making them safer for use.

When combined with a traction treatment, particularly with natural substrates like quarry tiles, deep cleaning increases the traction by removing surface polishing of the tile due to foot traffic and rejuvenating the naturally rough surface.

Selecting a deep cleaning provider that is certified by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) or a service certified by the NFSI can help guarantee superior levels of clean.

        2.  Protect

The second step of the hard floor care trifecta is to protect.

Once floors are restored, the next step is to protect them from indoor and outdoor contaminants that could create conditions conducive to a slip-and-fall accident or that could mar the floor’s finish.

Mats act as the first line of defense in buildings by capturing dirt and water before they enter the facility.

Strategically place mats throughout your facility to capture dirt and water and reduce slips and falls.

At entrances, combine rubber scraper mats outside of the building with carpet mats inside to reduce the amount of water, dirt and contaminants tracked into the building.

Limit the tracking of interior soil by placing matting in critical locations like exposition areas or in transitional walkways such as those leading from the kitchen to dining areas.

This can be the last line of defense to help prevent common materials such as grease, oil or other organic matter from building up throughout guest areas, thereby improving image and limiting hazards.

Transitional mats can also be effective in areas leading into restrooms — a frequent site of water buildup.

The NFSI tests mats in laboratory and real-world settings to ensure they meet the highest safety standards.

Select mats that are certified to provide “High Traction” by the NFSI to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls.

        3.  Maintain

The third step of the hard floor care trifecta is to maintain.

Possibly even more so than other locations, daily floor maintenance is essential to a clean and safe foodservice operation.

Dedicate one mop to each area within a restaurant — kitchen, dining and restroom areas — to further reduce the chance for cross-contamination.

And, while it might seem like common sense, make sure all tools and equipment are sanitized before any cleaning is completed.

A dirty mop fails to remove soils and increases the risk of cross-contamination — essentially nullifying your efforts.

However, damp or wet mopping by itself doesn’t clean a floor: Agitation using deck brushes or other tools that work with a mop, such as an autoscrubber for larger areas, is important to keep surfactants and soils from building up on flooring.

In addition, proper dilution is essential to ensuring floor care chemicals work properly.

Many cleaning professionals use wall-mounted dispensing units that accurately dilute chemicals to ensure there isn’t an excess or lack of chemical concentration.

Provide ongoing training so employees know how to properly clean floors, remembering to reinforce cleaning frequencies with checklists so other team members know exactly when the floors were last cleaned.

The Final Product

Whether you want to develop a hard floor care program for a new substrate, to restore an old one, for protecting building occupants against slip-and-fall incidents or to simply keep your floor care program in line with industry best practices, following the three steps of the floor care trifecta is essential.

Adhering to the three-step hard floor care process of deep cleaning, protecting and maintaining will help ensure that your floors remain in top condition so you can showcase the final results with pride.

Protect Your Floors With Matting

Consider the following four areas for matting placement to help limit indoor contaminants from slips, trips and falls:

  • Entrance zones

These areas include front and back entrances and peripheral doors that lead to the outdoors.

  • High-risk zones

Zones of increased risk include transitional walkways between risk areas.

For example, spaces between the kitchen and front-of-house areas or offices and hallways leading from restrooms to dining areas are particularly susceptible.

  • High-traffic zones

Most hallways and corridors in restaurants are considered to be high-traffic zones and should be protected with a matting program.

Also, consider cashier and check-out stations, as there is often increased foot traffic in these locations.

  • Productivity zones

Areas where staff members or patrons frequently stand, such as work stations, check-out counters or produce kiosks, are considered to be productivity zones that can benefit from the placement of matting.



Ann Nickolas is director of foodservice for Cintas.