Sign In

    Sustainability Beyond Green Cleaning: A comprehensive program should address the three pillars of sustainability

    Last updated 5 years ago

    A comprehensive program should address the three pillars of sustainability.

    Green cleaning, especially over the past decade, has evolved to include more sophisticated products, tools and processes.

    It has captured the attention of building owners, visitors and occupants, all of whom see the benefits of cleaning programs that minimize the impact on human health and the environment.

    To be effective, green cleaning programs require planning and attention.

    This is why ISSA has included a Green Buildings component in its Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) called CIMS-GB.

    CIMS-GB not only addresses the critical elements of a green cleaning program, including products, processes and performance; the Standard also is designed to fit neatly into an organization’s overall sustainability program.

    This is because green cleaning is an integral element of sustainability.

    Regardless of the type or size of the organization, having a comprehensive cleaning program that stems from its overall sustainability goals is essential to helping the organization meet them.

    Defining Sustainability

    The most widely cited and accepted definition for sustainability comes from the Brundtland Report in 1987: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

    Sustainability has been further defined to include the “triple bottom line” or three pillars of sustainability: People, planet and profit.

    Given the definition of sustainability, it is reasonable to expect that a comprehensive green cleaning program should encompass not only environmental considerations, but also social and economic considerations as well.

    It is common for people to think that a green cleaning program primarily involves the use of environmentally preferable products, equipment and materials.

    However, while the use of green products is imperative — and also required under CIMS-GB — a comprehensive program involves much more than products.


    Click here to read more


    Dave Frank is a 30-year industry veteran and the president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS). AICS is the registrar for ISSA’s Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) certification program.

    Cleaning Tip of the Month: PDIR Series—Preventative

    Last updated 5 years ago

    When creating a green cleaning program for your facility it is important to focus on the right processes, equipment, and chemicals. Windsor’s PDIR program is based on industry proven methods that achieve the best possible results at the lowest possible cost. Our program is green because it reduces chemical and equipment usage, it also saves money and will prolong the life of your floor. Constructing a program that focuses on preventative, daily, and interim maintenance allows you to reduce your dependence on costly time-intensive restorative cleaning. PDIR stands for Preventative, Daily, Interim, and Restorative cleaning processes. This issue focuses on the "P" for preventative cleaning, the rest will follow in future issues.

    Why preventative cleaning?

    The goal is to stop the soil before it enters your facility. By keeping soils outdoors, you will reduce the amount of cleaning needed indoors. Sweeping in front of your building can reduce the amount of soil tracked into the building up to 66%. Once dirt has entered the door, more expensive, time-consuming, and labor-intensive methods need to be followed to remove the dirt.

    What is preventative cleaning?

    If we could keep all soil outdoors, we would need little cleaning indoors. Try to implement a program of sweeping outside and entrance cleaning. Also spot cleaning in the entrance area or in highly frequented public areas will stop dirt from getting dragged farther into the building, thus keeping the clean appearance of your floors.

    What equipment is required for
    preventative cleaning?

    For preventative cleaning, use sweepers and/or pressure washers for the outside as well as proper exterior and interior matting. Choosing the right matting system will immensely support your efforts to keep dirt from spreading. For interior entrance and spot cleaning, use electric brooms, battery sweepers, or a small spray-mop system for wet or sticky dirt. These machines are both small and low noise, so spot-cleaning during business hours does not bother people in your facility. From case to case, the use of detergents may be required with a high pressure washer; but in general preventative maintenance is very green, using little or no detergents.

    The Evolution Of Hard Floor Care

    Last updated 5 years ago

    To truly appreciate the amount of progress, we need to take a closer look at what the idea of cleaning and maintaining hard surface floors was in its infancy.

    If you look at where we are today compared to where we began, you’ll likely agree that we are light years away from the first attempts to maintain flooring in commercial buildings.

    Initially, variety was limited; flooring choices for common areas were basically stone, wood or linoleum.

    All were natural materials, and each had characteristics that could cause maintenance headaches.

    If left unprotected from the scarring effects of foot traffic, the floors would show signs of premature wear and would often need replacement far sooner than anticipated.

    Even with the advent of vinyl flooring options, the need for sacrificial protective coatings to delay or eliminate the damage from dirt, grit and other soils was apparent.

    Early protective coatings consisted of natural waxes and polishes, which were difficult to maintain and proved problematic when a complete strip was necessary.

    Some of these early products could actually penetrate the pores of the floors and needed to be manually sanded and scrapped off.

    Can you imagine the time-consuming difficulty and the associated costs of such a labor-intensive process?

    Almost all hard surface flooring — including ceramic tiles, terrazzo, quarry tile and, in some cases, natural stone — was treated just like vinyl composition tile (VCT) and finish was applied.

    Back in the Stone Age — no pun intended — most hard floor care operations consisted of routine services like sweeping, mopping and buffing.

    When those operations were no longer effective, the floor was stripped of its finish — what once was, and is still commonly, called wax — and recoated, which was considered a restorative process.

    A majority of maintenance programs were basically cleaning processes designed to prolong the time between stripping and refinishing cycles.

    There was some consideration as to the useful life of the flooring, but early maintenance programs were designed to control the costs of refinishing, which were quite expensive.

    Sacrificing Appearance To Cut Costs

    Further intensifying the maintenance headache, early floor finishes had to be matched to the type of equipment available to a contractor or in-house professional.

    Low-speed finishes — which, by the nature of their formulation, were extremely durable and difficult to abrade — were just not as glossy as the high-speed, thermally-activated finishes that could be burnished to build or repair gloss.

    With constraints such as floor machines operating at a mere 175 revolutions per minute (RPM), janitors, custodians, maintenance technicians and other cleaning personnel were not able to cross high-gloss finishes with low-speed equipment.

    Smaller buildings and facilities with tight corridors or congested areas could not have floors with the “wet look” that gained popularity in the 1980s because the equipment needed to properly burnish the finish was simply too large to maneuver.

    Also, smaller locations like branch offices or independent medical facilities would often fail to maintain their floors in a timely manner, stretching necessary servicing as far as possible to save money.

    High-gloss, thermally-activated finishes were often more malleable than their low-speed counterparts, allowing them to be stimulated by the friction of a burnisher to soften the top layer, which helps repair minor blemishes and restores gloss.

    I won’t even get started on ceramic tiles being coated with finishes: Complete removal was always difficult from the grout channel, if the contractor or in-house custodian could get the finish to bond to the ceramic in the first place.

    It was much easier to maintain terrazzo but, due to inexperience, many terrazzo floors were “sealed” with a concrete sealer, creating a surface film that made it difficult for a finish to bond.

    It was wholly misunderstood just how these pore-clogging sealers accomplished their protection, and many were washed off by using cleaning agents that were too strong for routine cleaning purposes, especially in foodservice areas.

    Restaurant kitchen floors covered with quarry tile caused many levels of concern because of the inherent porosity of the tile coupled with a lighter color grout and the necessity of a non-slip surface.

    Click here to read more

    Spring Cleaning Tricks of the Trade Video Features a Windsor Sensor!

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Watch this NBC video on Spring Cleaning Tricks of the Trade Featuring a Windsor Sensor! Liz Crenshaw visits the Ritz Carlton for some spring cleaning tips and tricks. The Windsor Sensor shows up at 1:21 into the video.

    Behind the Scenes—Windsor & Waxie Machine Demo at Universal Studios

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Waxie posted about a fun sale they made at Universal Studios with a Windsor Chariot iExtract! Click here to check it out!

Do you like Windsor?


  • Recent Posts
    • Loading posts... Spinner
  • View All
  • Recent Comments
    • Loading comments... Spinner
  • Popular Tags
    • Loading tags... Spinner