Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Study On Laundered Towels Finds E. Coli, Tetanus

Study On Laundered Towels Finds E. Coli, Tetanus

Dr. Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona microbiologist known as “Dr. Germ,” spends his days digging into the unseen — uncovering the world of germs, pathogens and bacteria everyone knows exists but prefers not to think about. 

Gerba’s recent study of hospital cleaning towels shows why the world of pathogens we live in is something that should be on the minds of jan/san distributors, building service contractors and in-house service providers — especially in hospital settings, where at any given time, approximately one in every 20 patients acquires an infection from these tiny dangers.These infections cost the U.S. healthcare system as much as $147 billion each year, according to the Journal of Medical Economics, and can lead to these patients paying the ultimate price — their lives. 

Recently, Gerba turned his microscope on the microfiber and cotton cloths used to clean hospital rooms. He found that the very tools being used to wipe germs away could be spreading them around. 

The study selected 10 Arizona hospitals at random, and collected three clean cloth or microfiber towels from each location. It also collected samples from the inside surface of the bucket used to soak the towels in disinfectant. He then tested the samples for bacteria. What he found was surprising: 93 percent of the laundered towels used to clean hospital rooms contained bacteria — ranging from E. Coli to total coliforms (bacteria indicative of fecal matter) to Klebsiella, all of which could result in hospital acquired infections (HAIs).“Some cloths actually had E-coli in them after supposedly being cleaned for re-use in hospital rooms,” Gerba says. “E-coli was the main one, but there was a number of other bacteria known to cause HAIs, as well.” 

The study points to insufficient laundering practices as one culprit, but also revealed that 67 percent of buckets with disinfectant used to soak cloths contained viable bacteria, including spore-forming bacteria, which can cause botulism and Tetanus. 

“It is concerning to think that the very processes hospitals use to prevent the spread of bacteria may actually cause it,” Gerba says. 

In a separate companion study, Gerba learned that laundered cotton towels can actually reduce the strength of hospital-grade disinfectants by up to 85.3 percent. The key concern is how to keep microfiber and cotton cloths effective for the longest period of time. 

Steven Attman, co-owner of Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc. of Richmond, Va., explains the study shows that there’s a breakdown occurring caused by the chemicals being used and microorganisms being left behind after laundering. 

All of these study findings point to the need for hospital cleaning staffs and infection control experts to rethink their current cleaning practices and products. One way distributors can help healthcare facilities curb cross-contamination is to introduce alternative products, such as wet wipes, disposable wipers and disposable microfiber. 

- See more at: http://www.cleanlink.com/articleemail/smarticle/Study-On-Laundered-Towels-Finds-E-Coli-Tetanus--16655?displaySplash=no#sthash.LV6fhDJe.DZ6EF4Gg.dpuf

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Floor Pad Uses

Many people ask me what pads should I use for what situation. So I thought I would do a nice simple break down on what color pads should be used for what. The information is based on a 3M reference chart.

  White - Summer cleaning
  Red - Winter cleaning, heavier traffic floors

  White - Low speed under 300
  Tan - 300 RPM and up

Burnishing - In order of aggressiveness
  Pink Eraser - Black mark removal made easy
  Natural Blend - Includes Hog's hair, Buckaroo, Jackeroo, Gorilla and Porko
  Tan Burnish - Good for gloss and long life of finish
  Light Blend - Includes Jackaroo Lite, Gorilla Lite, and Porko Elite
  Blue Ice - My personal favorite, Restores gloss and designed for floors that are burnished daily

  Blue - Dark blue for light coat removal or repair of heavy scratching i.e.Under chairs
  Green - To remove a little more

  High Pro - Aggressive pad, rinse easy great for any heavy build up floor
  Black stripping - Standard black pad
  Brown - Nice aggressive pad to remove fewer coats on the floor. Falls nicely between a black and green pad.

I hope this quick basic breakdown will help you to choose the right pad next time you have to buy pads.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Winter cleaning cautions

Winter cleaning poses many problems, and one of these has to do with using floor scrubbers. All summer long we may clean with our floor scrubber. Typically when the clean water is empty, then the dirty water is full and it's time to drain our vacuum tank. Winter however can be quite different.

In the course of the day hundreds of people enter our facility and all of them bring in snow, especially on a snowy day. As the day goes on, the snow melts and becomes water. In the evening when we pass our scrubber the recovery (vacuum) tank fills faster then our solution tank empties and sometimes we don't notice. This cause our vacuums to work harder and at times suck foam and water through to the vacuum motor.

Vac motor that has had overflow issues
The other problem can arise at this point. We may take the opportunity of emptying our scrubber, as a time to refill the solution tank. If you are not using a proportioning system then you may add too much chemical causing excessive bubbling in the recovery tank and leaving excess residue on the floor causing the wax to breakdown prematurely.

So here's the tip.
- Fill floor scrubbers using proportioning
- Keep an eye on recovery tank over filling
- At the end of shift after cleaning everything out run the vacuum for 30-60 seconds to help dry moisture in vac
- Consider using a defoamer on occasion to help keep excess foam down

The picture inserted is a vacuum motor from a client who has allowed his tank to over flow and suck water, foam and dust through to his vacuum.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Winter Cleaning Tips

Winter is upon us once again and our floors are going to suffer because of it. Here are a few tips to prolong the life of your floors and carpets through the winter.

First line of defense starts outside. Are you still using rock salt? Have you consider switching to Ice Melter? Yes you will pay more for the product but since it melts better before coming into the building you have less salt tracked through the facility. Plus since rock salt remains in large pieces they tend to get further through your building. The cleaning savings alone can justify the extra cost for the switch

Next Step is your first step inside the facility. Install floor matting. Weather you have ceramic, VCT, marble or carpeting in the entrance a good matting program will save you lots of headaches. Matting is important but even more important is the right type of matting. Rental wiper mats are limited, as the are good for a day or two and then become a cause of water pooling, slip and fall, and poor image due to salt residue. Consider getting a good high quality wiper/scrapper mat. Either a Mat-A-Dor finger tip mat or a premium knop mat. And be sure to install at least 15' worth.

Finally regular cleaning. Have the facility cleaned regularly and use a salt neutralizing product. Every manufacturer make one so choose the product that fits your program and help keep your floors clean, safe, and shiny.

Stay tuned for more winter cleaning tips.
"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Monday, November 11, 2013

Comparison: Mini Floor Scrubbers

Recently most cleaning equipment manufacturers have released there mini floor scrubbers. Great little item at a good price fit's anywhere and usable in tight areas. So the question becomes since everyone has one which one should I get? So here's the scoop, I've had a chance to compare three.

SC 351
1) Advance SC351: Now I must say that in recent years I have not seen eye to eye with advance, and then this year something changed. They have come to market with great innovative products that I like and see my self using. And this is one of those great little products. The SC351 is a 14" scrubber with a nice little wrap around squeegee. My initial thoughts were nothing special but then to see it in action, that's a different story. Lift the front on the unit slightly and the squeegee wraps to the front and now you walk backwards out of any tight corner then with a small turn to the left and then forward the squeegee sets itself right back to where it should be. And if this was not enough the price on the unit is bang on in line with other units on the market. A definite winner in my books.

Nacecare TTB516
2) Nacecare TTB516: Those who know me know I like the Nacecare line. Well priced, does the job and good support, what more do you need. And this unit is no different with one exception. The TTB is probably the lightest and easiest to carry around. With a 45 minute run time and an interchangeable battery pack either swap out and keep going or remove the battery pack and load the unit at under 100lbs (without battery) wherever you need it. Also coming out soon the electric version, and though I'm not usually a fan of an electric scrubber when considering where these units are used I know they will perform just right. And as always Nacecare has the price point that you are looking for.

3) The Third manufacturer has requested to remain nameless has done something specific and different as well. They have created a line of mini scrubbers, Having in the line up a extra small, small and medium sized unit. Giving clients a choice of how small they need or want which also gives 3 price points. Each unit fits a specific purpose and is a good choice for anyone looking for a small scrubber.

At the end of the day I believe that this time the best bet is the Advance SC351. It is the right size, price and innovation for any client. So then why buy one of these mini scrubbers. Here are some potential uses. Restaurants with small floor areas or tight kitchens, pharmacy's under 5000 sq/ft with no janitor closet. Buildings with multiple floors and no elevator. I'm sure you will find a use for yours in whatever building you manage.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"