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    Identify The Type Of Carpet Before Cleaning

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Originally Posted by CleanLink

    By: Mickey Crowe

    Identifying carpet can be perplexing since many of the fibers look alike. Using the wrong system to clean delicate fibers can cause severe damage resulting in poor appearance or even the necessity of replacement. Thankfully, there is a simple process using the appearance and odor of the fibers to help you determine what type carpet you are dealing with.

    WARNING!: Extreme caution should be taken to reduce the possibility of starting a fire or burning yourself. Use a pair of tweezers to hold the fibers and an ashtray to collect the residue. Using the tweezers, hold a few strands of the carpet fiber to be identified over an ashtray. Ignite the fibers with a lighter or match. Observe the residue and smell the particular odor. Remember that although most office carpet is nylon today there is a growing trend towards polyester.

    Nylon burns slowly but will often self-extinguish leaving a hard light-colored bead that is very hot. Smells like celery.

    Click here to read more

    Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or

    Preventing HAI's

    Last updated 5 years ago

    With reputations and reimbursement rates at stake, healthcare facilities are taking a closer look at how to best reduce hospital-acquired infections

    Originally Posted by CleanLink

    By Kassandra Kania

    As the economic burden of hospital-acquired infections (HAI) continues to grow, more healthcare facilities are ramping up efforts to lower their HAI rates — with the ultimate goal of eradicating nosocomial infections completely. Medicare and Medicaid will not cover hospital-acquired infections, but these government restrictions are not the only catalyst for change: Consumers can now access state HAI records online and use that information to make hospital choices.

    Today, the most common hospital-acquired infections are Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), and Clostridium difficile (C. diff) — bacteria that live in the body and are resistant to certain antibiotics. This resistance makes infection challenging to treat and poses special risks for people who are ill. According to environmental services managers, hospital-acquired infections are associated with the over-prescription of antibiotics.

    “We’re in a society where we just want to give a prescription and medicate,” says Laurie Tostenson, training and quality assurance manager for the housekeeping department of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H. “When used appropriately, antibiotics are a good thing. But when your normal intestinal flora is disturbed by antibiotics, it can have a negative impact on some patients.”

    Click Here to Read More

    Kassandra Kania is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C.

    Making Foodservice Floors Safer

    Last updated 5 years ago

    This article was originally published by CMM Online

    By Rex Morrison

    When it comes to soils, commercial kitchens and foodservice areas are some of the most challenging environments with which to deal.

    True, restrooms have their share of issues; but, for the most part, the contaminants found there are — at least to some degree — water-soluble.

    In kitchens, floors play host to a variety of soils mixed with grease, oil and whatever may have been tracked in from outside.

    “We first started getting involved with restaurants about 10 years ago when we started going to the National Restaurant Association show with our large cleaning systems,” says Tom Morrison, vice president of marketing at Kaivac Inc. “We would have a lot of interest, anyone from chain store operators to chefs, people involved in the running of the restaurant. Of course, the restroom applications of our systems were apparent, but what they were really interested in was using it in the kitchen.”

    The operational nature of the commercial foodservice environment is such that even floors cleaned multiple times throughout the day are again quickly covered in oily soils that also penetrate grout lines.

    Out of necessity, floor maintenance becomes part of the regular routine.

    The problem is that the standard go-to equipment is the outdated mop and bucket.

    Mops were originally invented to apply a solution and spread it around, which they do very well; but, they do a poor job of effectively removing many soils from surfaces.

    A mop will do very little to cut through grease and next to nothing in removing soils in grout lines.

    Using a mop, you’re never really removing some soils; you’re simply moving them around and, at times, actually creating layer upon layer of oily buildup.

    Add detergents and surfactants and it gets very interesting because the semi-porous quarry tile and grout found in many commercial kitchens retains this mix over time, resulting in a slippery, polymeric and sometimes dangerous surface.

    Click here to read more

    Rex Morrison is president of the nonprofit Process Cleaning for Healthy Facilities (PC4HF). Morrison is formerly the housekeeping training coordinator for the Washoe County School District (WCSD) in Reno, Nevada, one of the few districts in the nation to achieve ISO 9001 certification due to its focus on quality and standardized process. He pioneered Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools (PCHS) in 100 schools in Washoe County, and more recently developed PC4HF. Morrison is also a Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) ISSA Certification Expert (ICE) ready to provide training and consulting services to cleaning organizations interested in complying with and preparing to be certified to CIMS.

    Cleaning Around Sensitive Populations

    Last updated 5 years ago

    This article was originally published by CleanLink

    Schools, healthcare facilities and even office buildings house vulnerable occupants that can be adversely affected by harsh chemicals.

    By Kassandra Kania

    From aggravating allergies to triggering asthma attacks, cleaning products can negatively impact building occupants. Schools, hospitals and assisted living facilities house some of the most vulnerable people when it comes to cleaning chemicals that cause adverse reactions. But even office buildings aren't immune to the ill effects of potent cleaners on pregnant employees, workers undergoing chemotherapy, or people suffering from allergies.

    When choosing cleaning products that address the needs of sensitive occupants, first understand who occupies the building, says Vince Fagan, president and owner of Fagan Solutions, a Frankfurt, Ill.-based LEED-certified consulting company.

    "Figure out what percentage of those people is vulnerable," he says. "Then focus on those folks, and use the right products to minimize exposure to them."

    Green And Beyond

    The growing acceptance of green chemicals is a breath of fresh air — literally — for many occupants prone to the health hazards associated with inhaling volatile organic compounds (VOCs). More distributors recommend that businesses switch to green chemicals that are certified by a third party, such as Green Seal or EcoLogo, or a partner of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) program.

    Schoolchildren in particular are benefiting from green cleaning programs. Teresa Farmer, sustainability consultant for Kelsan Inc., Knoxville, Tenn., works with several school systems to help customers set up a green cleaning program that focuses on children's health.

    "The number of students with asthma is on the rise," she says. "If custodians are using products that have heavy odors, they can trigger asthma attacks in children."

    Click here to read more

    Kassandra Kania is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C.


    Preventative Carpet Maintenance Will Prevent Spots and Stains

    Last updated 5 years ago

    This article was originally published by CleanLink

    By BJ Mandelstam

    Effective carpet spotting begins with the preventative step of removing dry soil through vacuuming. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of dust, dirt and grime are tracked into a building from the outside. Implementing the recommended 10 to 15 feet of matting will greatly reduce the amount of dirt tracked into the building.

    Besides walk-off matting, vacuuming is the single most effective and economical means of keeping carpet in commercial facilities clean. The majority of carpet soil, in fact, as high as 95 percent, is dry soil. Dry soil can be removed from carpet by following scheduled, routine vacuuming procedures.

    If BSCs increase daily vacuuming frequency by as little as 5 to 10 percent, carpet would be cleaner than by performing additional carpet extractions. BSCs should concentrate their vacuuming efforts in entryways and high-traffic areas.

    Click here to read more

    BJ Mandelstam is the founder and president of Cleaning Matters, a Denver-based custodial consulting practice. Previously, she was the owner of an award-winning contract cleaning company.

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