Friday, June 25, 2010

Incorporating a Flat Mop System in your Facility

Flat mop systems are becoming more popular.Staff May object saying that they are not practical or slow you down. So here are a few tips to get a good Microfiber flat mop system working in your facility.

First step is to switch from cotton dust mopping to microfiber dust mopping. This will do 2 things, first, it will eliminate the need for mop oil. A product that not only is used wrong 95% of the time but really not necessary to use in the first place. Secondly, it will get staff familiar with microfiber flat mops, making a switch to flat mop cleaning easier.

When it comes to the washing of floors with flat mops you have several options available to you. I will review the more common ones.

First there is the bucket and wringer option. Rubbermaid, Marino and Atlas Graham all have there version but basically you would have a bucket with a flat mop wringer that would squeeze most of your water and detergent out, allowing to mop the floor. With this system you would be able to use one pad in more than one room before changing your pad. The disadvantage to this system is that as in regular mopping staff may use dirty water for too long or not change their pads often enough.

Second there is the pre-prepare system. In this system you would have a flat mop and a bucket with 15-20 pads pre-moistened with detergent. You would enter the room put a pad on your flat mop and clean the room. When finished the room you remove the pad place it in a bag and move on to the next room placing a new pad on the handle. The disadvantage to this system is that your staff will need to where gloves while mopping as the may be exposed to floor pads with chemical on them.

Third we have the all in one. This is where the flat mop handle has a built in reservoir for the detergent. In this system you would place a dry pad on the flat mop and as you clean the floor you would dispense the required amount of detergent directly from the flat mop handle. Upon finishing the room you would dispose of the pad in a bag and place a new dry pad on the flat mop. On disadvantage of this system is the balance of the handle. Some have found that some handles are heavier than others. Testing is required to find the right handle for your staff and facility. 3M have a handle where the detergent is stored inside the shaft of the handle and this seems to be a favorite of many. It is a costly investment but works quite well.

Flat mop cleaning is a great system and can greatly enhance the look of your facility. And since flat mops out last regular mops by hundreds of washes you will also save money. And everybody likes to save money.

Where nothing is too filthy for Phil-T

Friday, June 18, 2010


A term we hear more and more these days is Microfiber. You have everything from Microfiber shirts to couches and cloths, even sheets. So what is microfiber and does it really have any benefits?

The easiest explanation of microfiber is that the fiber in microfiber is split until it is around 1 - 100th the size of a human hair (image below right). This allows microfiber to clean at a microscopic level. Compare it to a human pore, microfiber has little pores that when used in cleaning will capture the dirt and grime and hold it until released (image below left). How is it released? Simply run the microfiber under hot water and use a mild detergent to clean it. Another benefit of using microfiber is that since it cleans at such a good level the use of chemical is not required. While you would still want to use a disinfectant in critical areas such as Washrooms, Kitchens and Hospital rooms. In most cases a little water is all you need for a beautiful finish. And it is a great easy and cost effective step in greening your facility. Think about using less chemical, which means less VOC. And less VOC's is always good for the human health.

Since microfibers are of a higher quality they wash very well in a wash machine and usually can be washed anywhere between 300-500 times before needing replacing. There is some disagreement however in one area and thats weather bleach should be used. From my experience bleach is safe to be used but what you do need to watch for is fabric softner. Fabric softner will get into the microfiber and stay trapped creating a film when you use it to clean in the future. Microfiber also like moisture so using a dryer that dries clothing to temperatures of over 200 degrees will harm the microfiber.

Microfibers are a wonderful product and all sorts are available. Why don't you try some at your facility Today. I know that Phil-T uses them to keep his home from being filthy.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Washroom Cleaning

One critical area in all facilities are the washrooms. Gone should be the days where a custodian takes that bottle of Windex sprays down the toilets and wipes with paper towel. Washroom cleaning should be performed on a regular schedule that involves Daily cleaning, Weekly cleaning, and possibly Monthly cleaning. Let me now discuss the difference.

Daily cleaning of the washroom should include the following: a top to bottom cleaning of all areas using a DIN registered disinfectant. This would include the wiping down of dispensers, toilets, urinals, partition, sinks, and touch points. Washing of floors with a 1:256 DIN register disinfectant. A spot cleaning of mirrors. Removal of any graffiti. Removal of trash. And finally restocking of all supplies.

Weekly cleaning of washroom would incorporate all of the above plus depending on water hardness you may use a mild acid to clean the bowls. Another further step you may want to use is a washroom cleaning cart. If you have 4 or more large washrooms in your facility this is an excellent way to really clean your washroom thoroughly, it will allow you to clean in all the hard to reach spots, and it is a touch free system which is always a good thing. Another item to do weekly is to wipe the top ledge of the partitions this will minimize dust in your facility.

Monthly duties would add a few of the following. If you have as ceramic floor then you would want to deep scrub these with either a none pathogenic bacteria or consider a Neutral heavy duty cleaner. If grout line are really dirty consider following the scrubbing with a acid cleaner to help whiten grout lines. Bi-weekly or Monthly it may also be required to use a stronger acid such as a hydrochloric to clean the bowls. When performing this step always make sure to wear your PPE and have plenty of ventilation.

Washroom cleaning is very important so remember these few steps and always wear the required PPE when cleaning. Remember that cleaning should be performed for health first and appearances second. This is especially important when considering washroom cleaning.

``Where nothing is too filthy for Phil-T``

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Selecting a Janitorial firm.

Having your facility cleaned by a janitorial company can be a complicated process but it shouldn't be. So here are a few items to remember if you need to start or replace a service in your facility.

Know what you want. What is important to you dusting, washrooms, kitchen, floors or maybe all of the above. Create a spec list on paper that you would like to have done. Don't have high expectation. What does this mean? It means that if you want everything done very well all the time you need to be willing to pay for that service. What should you look for in a janitorial firm. Here are a few items
- Up to date paid WSIB certificates
- Up to date insurance 2,000,000$ minimum
- Employees who have police record checks and are bondable
- Inspection team who checks on the work regularly
- A professional image
- Credentials with BBB or some other like organization
- A green cleaning plan
- WHMIS certified staff
- A minimum of 5 years experience. If a new company find out how many years experience the owner has
- References, and not just one

If you look for these items in a firm then you should be well along at having a janitorial company who will put cleaning where it belongs in your schedule, and that is somewhere you won`t have to think about it. Yes cleaning should be your last priority when handled by a professional company.