Wednesday, December 19, 2012

How to Bonnet Clean Carpets

Items required:
- Swing Buffer
- Bonnet Pads
- Vacuum
- Bonnet Cleaner or Encapsulating Formula
- Peroxide Spotter
- Bucket
- Brush / Tamper
- Terry Cloths

- Thoroughly vacuum all carpets. Vacuuming will remove 85% of particulates from carpet. 
- Walk area with Spotter, brush and terry cloths to remove any spots in carpet.
- Fill bucket with warm water and bonnet cleaning formula following the dilution directions.
- Soak pad in bucket with cleaner and remove when thoroughly wet.
- Place pad under swing buffer.
- Scrub and area of about 100 sq/ft then turn pad around.
- After scrubbing another 100 sq/ft either resoak pad in cleaner or change for a fresh pad.
- Allow to dry several hours
- Revacuum carpets.

- Though this procedure is used frequently it is important to note that most carpet manufacturers will not warranty carpets that have been bonnet cleaned.
- This procedure is not one that I personally recommend either. That being said for those who want to perform it then it should be performed correctly.
- Changing pads frequently will do a better job.
- Always, always vacuum first. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

How to Vacuum a Carpet

Seems primitive enough but needs to be discussed. Unfortunately many feel that this needs only be done once a week.

Items Required:
- Vacuum
- Carpet spotter chemical

- Check vacuum for full bag and that suction as well as brushes are working. Check cord for cuts, tears, or exposed wire.
- Daily either vacuum or traffic lane vacuum entire area. If using an upright vac, work with the brushes ( or really against the brush) so that dirt is lifted up and can be sucked.
- If using a canister place vacuum in center of room as best as possible and vacuum into the area where the vacuum is located. This will avoid constantly lifting and moving the vacuum, do this as you work out of the room.
- Spray any spots with a spot cleaner preferably a spray and walk away. This will help keep carpets in top shape until you clean them.
- Upon completion check bags, cords and brushes. Clean down vacuum and roll up wires and put away neatly.

Vacuuming is a crucial part of your facilities maintenance. You would not skip sweeping or cleaning the bathrooms for 1 day and your carpets require the same care. Some say - carpets are unhealthy but the truth is not that carpets are unhealthy the way many maintain carpets are what's unhealthy. Vacuum daily and your occupants will be happier. Your carpets will last longer. And your budget will be happier too.

Friday, November 9, 2012

How To Maintain Carpets

Like hard floors carpets require regular maintenance. The following is how this can be done.

Daily Maintenance:
Carpets need to be vacuumed daily. How often do you sweep a floor? How often do you wash your floor? Carpets require the same regular cleaning. Just because you can't see the dirt doesn't mean it's not there.

You have 2 choices for a vacuum.
1) Canister (includes backpack vacs). A canister vac uses suction to remove dirt from the carpet. Usually the vacuum in a canister will be much stronger than the vacuum on an upright. The lift on a good canister vac will be strong enough to remove the required particulates from the carpet. A canister is also versatile as it may be used on hard surfaces such as wood and tile. Maintenance is very minimal and power heads are available for those who feel it is required.

2) Uprights. These have been around for a long time and the basic principal is that you beat the carpet to lift the dust and then suck it. Vacuum motors on uprights are usually weak. Upright also require much more maintenance.

Weekly Maintenance:
Spot Cleaning. Using either a hydrogen peroxide spotter or other specialty spotter look for spots on carpeted areas. Spray the spotter on a clean white terry towel and dab spots out of carpet. Alternatively you may be able to use a spray and walk away product. Spray the spots and let them dry clean.

Semi Yearly Maintenance:
Low Moisture Cleaning. It is a good idea to at least once a year maintain your carpets with a low moisture cleaning. As you may deep scrub your floors several times a year, this process is the deep scrub for carpets. One common procedure is Encapsulation. Encapsulation uses a process where after vacuuming the carpet a product is applied with the help of a brush on either an extractor or buffer that will dry to a crystal around the remain dirt in the carpet. Once dry, vacuum the carpet and your carpets are cleaned.

Deep Extraction. This method is required yearly in most cases. Just like you strip and wax floors once a year your carpets required the same attention. Using hot water and pre-spray this gives your carpets the lift they need.

- Canister vacs or backpack vacs are the tool of choice for carpet care.
- As with hard floor consider having 15' of matting at all entrances.
- In some cases you may substitute a full vacuum with a spot vacuum 2 days a week.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Maintain Floor Cleaning Equipment

AutoScrubber Maintenance
- Drain dirty water
- Lift vac tank lid
- Rinse tank
- Run vacuum for 30-60 seconds
- Clean off squeegee
- Check water levels in batteries (not required for Gel or AGM Batteries)
- Check hoses
- Check pad
 - Wipe down Scrubber

- Clean all filters
- Empty clean water tank and rinse
- Clean battery terminals

Floor Buffer Maintenance
- Check power cord
- Remove pad driver or block
- Remove pad and rinse of
- Clean machine

Friday, October 19, 2012

How to Dry Strip a Floor

Items Required:
- Square scrub or Orbital scrubber
- Back pack or hip vac
- Maroon dry strip pads
- Broom
- Bucket and wringer
- Autoscrubber (if available)
- Floor finish

- Fill bucket and/or autoscrubber with cold water and neutral soap
- Clear floor area to be stripped
- Sweep floor
- Check square scrubber or orbital scrubber cord for exposed or lose wires
- Place red buffer pad and dry strip pad under square scrubber
- Check back pack vac cord for exposed or loose wires
- Check vac bag
- Put on back pack vac and connect vac hose to port on square scrubber if one is available
- Turn on vac
- Starting in corner begin stripping in a horizontal line
- Depending on build up make a second pass
- When area is completed using back pack vac, Vacuum residue from floor
- Autoscrub or mop the floor
- Apply 3-5 coats of finish depending on expected traffic
- Remove pads from square scrub and rinse off if still good. Hang to dry for next time
- Remove bag and filter from back pack vac and clean out
- Clean both machines of any residue left

- Make sure skirt is properly in place
- Back pack vac will save clean up as it will remove dust as you are going but canister vac will work as well
- This process will not work on heavy build up ( conventional stripping will be required)
- Consider using this process on Marmoleum and cork floors as there will be no stripper damage
- As you will not remove 100% of the finish off floor 3 coats of finish will usually be sufficient

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Refinish a Gym Floor (Waterbase)

Items required:
- 2 Buckets and wringers
- Broom
- Gym floor prep or heavy duty general purpose cleaner
- Black floor pad
- Swing buffer or auto scrubber
- Weighted T-bar
- Scraper
- Doddle bug or edging pads
- Water base gym finish
- Rags

- Prepare one bucket with cold water and floor prep and one bucket with cold water for rinse
- Thoroughly sweep gym floor
- Flood an area of about 5' by the length of he gym
- Scrub area with scrubber and black pad
- Scrub edges with doodle bug
- Pick up scrubbed area with wet vac or auto scrubber
- Rinse edges
- Repeat steps 3-8 on next section until gym is complete
- When complete pack up and allow to dry 1 hr
- Fill watering jug or Rubbermaid bucket with floor drain with gym finish
- Following the wood grain lay a bead of finish from one end of the gym to the other
- In a snow plow fashion drag your finish back and forth on the floor with your weighted T-bar
- Add finish as required
- As you arrive near the end wall hold back on amount of finish poured on floor
- Have rags at door to pick up excess finish
- Allow to dry for 1-2 hrs and apply second coat
- Reopen gym next day

- use a lot of finish at the start and slowly reduce amount of finish so that you don't have too much overflow at the end
- Consider this a 2 man job if possible
- Use a 24" weighted T-bar with a synthetic refill
- If applying a 3rd coat wait over night before applying 3rd coat

Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Buff a Floor

We will cover 3 different ways to buff a floor. Before attempting this process be sure you are trained on the required equipment.
Materials Required:
- Broom
- Mop and Bucket
- Blue Ice or White Floor Pad
- Swing Buffer or High Speed Buffer
- Neutral Floor Soap

-Sweep floor area to be buffed thoroughly
- Mop or autoscrub floor with neutral floor soap or floor restorer making sure edges are cleaned
- Allow to dry

Propane Burnish Procedure:
- Place buffing pad on propane buffer ( white, blue ice or natural hair) 
- Check oil on buffer
- Install tank
- Start buffer
- Walk at a moderate pace ensuring to not stand on one spot for any length of time
- When finished, remove propane tank and store outside
- Remove floor pad and rinse off, then hang to dry
- Clean off buffer
- Sweep floor thoroughly

Electric High Speed Buffer
- Install floor pad on buffer
- Check electric cord for any cuts or exposed wires
- Plug in buffer
- Lower handle to your mid section
- At a moderate pace, walk forward and backwards up and down the aisles or area you wish to cover
- When finished, unplug buffer and wrap cord up
- Rinse pad and hang to dry
- Sweep floor

Low Speed Spray Buff
- Pour spray buff into spray bottle
- Install drive pad on swing buff
- Place white or blue ice pad under buffer
- Check cord for cuts or exposed wire and plug in
- Lower handle to your mid section
- Engage lever and buff in a slow side to side manner, covering about 1.5 tiles worth per pass
- Spray small amounts of spray buff on black marks or areas that are quite dull
- If drag occurs, pad is too wet and you are using too much spray buff
- When finished, lift handle, and wrap cord up
- Store machine with pad driver removed
- Rinse pad and hang dry
- Sweep floor

- Propane buffers will give best results but are not always allowed. Check with the manager of the facility to see if permitted
- Pad selection should be based on the finish on the floor. If the finish is hard and you are using a propane buffer consider natural hair pads. In most other cases use the blue ice pads.
- Buffer should always be stored off of their drive block. Leaving a drive block on will cause warping and may cause your buffer to jump
- Sweeping floors is the most crucial part of floor care always pre sweep and post sweep your floor

Friday, October 5, 2012

How to Restore a Marmoleum/Forbo Floor

Items Required:
- 3 Buckets and wringers
- Broom
- Johnson Linosafe
- Johnson Linobase
- Black pads
- Screen 120 grit
- Steel wool fine grade
- Autoscrubber
- Swing buffer
- Doddle bug or floor edging pad
- Sand paper 100 grit
- Scrapper
- Wet Vac

Day One
- Fill bucket with Johnson Linosafe at 10:1 with cold water
- Remove items from area to be stripped
- Sweep floor
- Flood an area of 10' X 10' with the Linosafe and let dwell for 5 minutes
- Scrape up any stickers
- Double scrub floor with swing buffer and black pad
- Scrub edges with edging pad
- Pick up solution with wet vac
- Rinse floor thoroughly with autoscrubber if possible
- Pack up items and allow to dry overnight
Day Two
- Check floor for finish residue and damage
- On heavily damaged floors use swing buffer and screen to level floor and remove damaged areas
- On less damaged floors use swing buffer and steel wool to level floor and remove damaged areas
- Have a small piece of sand paper to remove any heavy damage to floor
- When floor is even and consistent sweep floor
- Remove all dust residue by autoscrubbing clean
- When dry apply 2 to 3 coats of Linobase

- This procedure is only for floors that have been damaged by stripping with caustic strippers
- As an alternative to the Linosafe a heavy duty general purpose cleaner may be used
- Always spot test any procedure in an inconspicuous area
- For floors with heavy buildup you may need to double strip with Linobase
- If unsure do not perform this procedure but contact a professional to help you

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to Maintain a Marmoleum Floors

The maintenance of a Marmoleum floor is much the same as VCT with a few exceptions.

- Most marmoleum floors have a factory finish so IF possible try not to wax in the first year.
- This option will change if installed in a high traffic area

Items Required:
- Broom and dustpane
- Bucket and wringer
- Autoscrubber for (larger facilities)
- Neutral floor soap
- Swing buffer
- Spray buff

- Marmoleum floor should be swept daily
- Spot mop floor daily with neutral soap and cold water. In higher traffic areas, mop daily with neutral soap and cold water
- In larger facilities with high traffic patterns autoscrub the floor daily with nuetral soap and cold water followed by mopping edges with mop
- Spray buff the floor monthly for the first year with a white or a blue ice pad
- Scrub and wax as required after the first year, or after first application of non factory finish has been applied to the floor

- Try not to wax floor until required - Marmoleum floor is fairly resilient and will take a lot of traffic. Usually 1 to 2 years
- When it's time to wax - Follow the Scrub and wax procedure
- Never use stripper on Marmoleum or Forbo flooring as this could remove the natural oils in the product and will remove the colour from the floor.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Saturday, September 29, 2012

How to Remove Finish from Marmoleum

Do Not Strip Marmoleum Floors - This process is to strip without stripping

Required Materials:
- General Purpose cleaner/degreaser (not caustic)
- Black pads
- Swing buffer
- Wet vac
- Mops and Buckets
- Edging pad
- Autoscrubber if available


- Fill one bucket with cold water and GP Cleaner usually at 1:5
- Fill other bucket with cold water for rinse- Bring items to area- Sweep floor
- Spot test an area for color fastness- Flood an area of about 10' X 10' with solution and allow to sit for 5 mins- During dwell time look for sticker or other items to be removed. - Using either the Black pad and swing buffer or autoscrubber scrub floor until entire area has been scrubbed twice
- Scrub edges with edging pad or doddlebug
- Pick up solution in scrubbed area with either a wet vac or autoscrubber ( if using autoscrubber leave water off)

- Rinse floor with autoscrubber and begin next area
- When dry apply 2 or 3 coats of finish


- When used with the right chemical this procedure will remove all the old finish and you will have effectively stripped the floor without using any stripper
- Never use any product with a PH of higher than 9 on this kind of flooring
- Spot test floor for bleeding and color removal
- If floor begins to bubble stop the process immediately
- Do not allow chemical to dwell longer than 5 minutes

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Clean Tile and Grout

Tile and Grout cleaning is labour intensive and important to know. Tiles can be found in all areas of a facility and in most homes. Here is the step by step to deep clean your grout and tiles for a like new look.

Materials Required:
- Heavy duty degreaser
- Grout cleaner or Acid bowl cleaner
- Wet vac
- 2 Buckets
- Mops
- Grout brush
- Doddle bug and Pads
- Swing buffer with brush or Blue pad ( depending on size of area)
- Scraper

- Fill one bucket with cold water and degreaser at 5:1 and one bucket with water
- Bring items to area to be cleaned
- Sweep floor
- Flood floor with water and degreaser and allow to dwell for 10 minutes
- Scrub floor with swing buffer or doddle bug pad and grout brush
- Pick up solution with wet vac
- Rinse floor with clean water
- Fill a small bucket or spray bottle with cold water and grout cleaner/acid at 10:1 and a second bucket with clean water
- Apply water and cleaner to floor especially grout lines and allow to dwell for 5 mins
- Scrub area with swing buffer and grout brush
- Pick up solution with wet vac
- Rinse floor with clean water
- Allow to dry and return to service

- Acid should be strong enough at 10:1 if after spot testing desired results are not there dilute acid 5:1
- If tile has been waxed then it will need to be stripped first see How to strip and wax a floor
- In my opinion this is the best possible grout brush to use never go without it when cleaning grout.

Phil-T Klean
"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Maintain a Natural Stone Floor

Stone floor are very resilient and require little to make them beautiful. Natural stone floors can include concrete, marble, terrazzo, quartz and slate (always pretest small area with slate as this is a very soft stone). This guide is for maintaining and not restoration.

Items Required:
- Diamond Floor Pads 
- Swing Buffer/ Autoscrubber if available
- Neutral soap and water
- Stone and Tile Impregnator

- Strip off old floor finish if any - See article How to Strip and Wax
- Place Sienna grit pad on Autoscrubber and scrub floors at normal pressure with water and Neutral Floor cleaner but no vacuum. After scrubbing floor twice with water on, turn off water and continue to scrub floor for four more pass, adding water as required. On the final pass drop squeegee and pick up water. Allow floor to dry. If autoscrubber is not available flood floor with Neutral Floor Soap and use balance scrubber and Sienna grit pad going over the entire area 6-8 times, then pick up water with wet vac or mop.
- Repeat step 2 with Purple Diamond pad.
Allow floor to dry 6hrs. Pour Impregnator in bucket or backpack waxer and apply to floor using either a clean mop or microfiber flat mop. All areas within 15 feet of doorways or cafeterias should be impregnated. Allow to dry for 2hrs and apply a second coat. Allow to dry overnight. (Optional but recommend for 15’ from doorways)
- If using auto scrubber place Purple maintenance pad on floor scrubber and wash floor as required. Pads may be rotated monthly from Purple to regular red pad to save money.
- If using balance scrubber buff floors weekly or bi-weekly with Purple Maintenance pad.

- Be patient
- Floors will begin to shine slowly and after 2-3 months of maintenance will give desired results and look better than waxed finish
- Though Impregnator is optional it is highly recommended in areas that are near doors or food consumption areas.
- Stain removal - For acid based stains (i.e. Jus, coffee or pop) use an alkaline floor stripper at 5:1

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, September 14, 2012

How to Maintain a Floor

Floors Maintenance 101

Maintaining your floor is the most important step to have beautiful long lasting floors and to save you money. There are several very simple steps. By following these you can decrease your strip and wax schedule and put money in your pocket.

Materials Required
- Broom or Vacuum
- Mop and Bucket
- Autoscrubber (for larger areas or if budget allows)
- Polisher
- White or Blue-Ice pad
- Neutral soap

- First and most important procedure sweep or vacuum the floor. By doing this first you will remove any debris and avoid grinding it into the floor.
- Using Cold water fill bucket and add detergent. Detergent should be PH7 or Neutral and diluted according to manufacturers directions.
- If using autoscrubber wash mains area with machine. Then wash edges with mop and bucket
- If not using autoscrubber wash or spot mop soiled floors
- Weekly wash floors with a floor restorer.
- Depending on traffic, buff floors with polisher and white or blue-ice pad. Floors should be buffed at least once a week.
- Floors should be scrubbed and waxed quarterly or bi-yearly
- Floors should be stripped as required

- An effective entrance mat system will cut down on dirt and debris. Try and have 15' of matting at all entrances
- Dilute chemical as recommended as this will avoid leaving residue on the floor
- When choosing a polisher, the higher the RPM the more effective the buff
- If no other option available use a low speed buffer to polish floors. Something is better than nothing.
- This procedure can be used on most waxed floors, stone floors, and marmoleum (except the final step of stripping the floor)

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"


Friday, September 7, 2012

How to Strip and Wax VCT Floors

Materials Required:
- Black pads
- Swing buffer low speed
- Floor stripper
- 3 Buckets
- Wet vac
- Edging pads (doodlebug)
- Sealer
- Floor finish
- Scraper
- 3 Mops
- Squeegee
- Autoscrubber (if your supervisor is Okay with it)

- Gather materials above
- Fill 1 pail with cold water and stripper - Usual dilution between 1:4 - 1:10 depending on build up
- Fill 2 buckets with cold water for rinse
- Bring items to area to be stripped
- Sweep floor
- Flood an area of 10 X 10 with stripper and allow to dwell for 10 mins
- After 5 mins rewet area to allow stripper to fully penetrate the old wax
- Periodically check floor. If still slippery, stripper has not finished working. When floors is no longer slippery (usually the 10 min mark) begin to scrub from the outside corner. This will allow you to always be working on a less slippery surface.
- Double scrub entire area with swing buffer and black pad.
- Using doddle bug or edger scrub the edges of floor.
- Scrap any areas that require with floor scraper
- Pick up stripper using wet vac or autoscrubber
- Check floor for yellow or brown areas or what may appear to be patches of old wax on floor. If there is still old wax on the floor repeat the above steps.
- When floor is clear of old wax, lay down next area to be stripped - Again an area of 10' X 10'
- Using the rinse water flood the floor that has been stripped.
- Pick up rinse water using wet vac or autoscrubber
- Using final rinse bucket give the area a good rinse
- Clean up
- When dry apply 2 coats of sealer and 3 coats of floor finish
- If not using sealer apply 5 or 6 coats of floor finish

- Usually stripper will remove 4-6 coats of wax. If your floor has more than that expect to double or triple strip each area.
- Dilution is very important. Don't make the mistake of Glug Glug. You will work twice as hard and it will take much longer than expected.
- Dwell time is just as important as dilution. Give the chemical the time it needs to breakdown the old wax.
- Autoscrubber use - If using ensure to clean up everything. Remove pads, squeegees and clean inside the vacuum tank thoroughly. Remember that most stripper today are not as corrosive as they were 10 years ago so as much as they may not breakdown your equipment, dried up stripped wax is not easy to remove from equipment and makes your equipment look older than it is.
- If working in one area and crossing floor or carpet that needs to be kept clean use a box at the edge of the floor to avoid dripping stripper on unwanted areas.
- Productivity is usually around 500/sqft an hour but will decrease in heavy build up
- This process may be used on VCT floors or Sealed stone floors. When dealing with Marmoleum please do not ever use any conventional strippers. And when possible avoid stripping altogether. Stay tuned for Marmoleum floor process.

As any process in the cleaning industry stripping and waxing should be preformed by a trained professional. This guide may help in the process but when not sure you are better to get trained before attempting any process never preformed.

For training or help feel free to contact us

"Nothing is too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Scrub and Wax a floor

Materials Needed:

General Purpose Cleaner
2 or 3 Buckets
Swing Buffer
Wet Vac
3 Mops
3M Trouble Shooter or Equivalent
Black or Blue Pads (depending on how much wax we want to remove)
Autoscrubber (if available)

To begin gather materials listed above.
10' X 10' Area Flooded
- Fill one bucket with cold water and GP Cleaner usually at 1:40
- Fill other bucket with cold water for rinse
- Bring items to area
- Sweep floor
- Flood an area of about 10' X 10' with solution and allow to sit for 5 mins

- During dwell time look for sticker or other items to be removed. If burn marks from propane burnisher are present spray these lightly with 3M troubleshooter these marks will come off when you scrub
-Using either the Black or Blue pad and swing buffer or autoscrubber scrub floor until entire area has been scrubbed twice
- Now flood next section of floor, 10' X 10' is a good guide
- Pick up solution in scrubbed area with either a wet vac or autoscrubber ( if using autoscrubber leave water off)
After final pick up
- Rinse floor with mop or autoscrubber and begin on next area
- When dry proceed to apply 2 or 3 coats of wax with either a clean mop or microfiber pad

The process above if used with the right chemical can be performed on the following surfaces: VCT, Wax Stone Floors, Marmoleum, and rolled Vinyl.
Where floors are cracked or broken take care to not over wet when flooding floor, and reduce dwell time to 2.5 minutes.
This process with an auto scrubber should yield results of about 1-2000 sq/ft an hour depending on autoscrubber use.
The scrub and wax process is a great but does not completely replace the strip and wax. Strip and wax should be done on the floor surface at least once every 3 or 4 years depending on traffic.

As much as this may be a guide to perform the work. This process should always be done by trained professionals. To request a custodial flash card with the following process contact us.

Feel free to contact Phil-T for a trained professional in your area or to be trained by a professional.
"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to Clean a Washroom

Washroom cleaning can be one of the most critical areas to be cleaned in a facility. The cleanliness of your facility will be judged on the looks and unfortunately smell of your washroom. The following is 14 steps to ensure that you have the cleanest possible washrooms.

- Prepare your cart. Get cleaners, cloths, bags, towels, tissue and an other items used in the facility washroom
- Close the washroom with a sign, BUT leave the door open. You don't want anyone to enter while working but at the same time should something happen to you, you want to ensure people can see and find you.
- Flush all toilets and then spray the bowls. The pre-flush is to ensure that no one put anything in the bowl that may react with your chemical.
- Fill all the dispensers, Soap, Towel and tissue. Followed by wiping down the dispensers. On towels dispensers pay special attention to the under side where the arm meets the dispenser
- Dust from high to low. This would include vacuuming the vents and wiping down the tops and sides of partitions
- Empty trash receptacles and wipe them down
- Wipe walls, switches and door handles with disinfectant cleaner. Touch points are crucial.
- Clean sinks with disinfectant cleaner Not Windex
- Clean mirrors this time you can use Windex
- Clean toilets and urinals with disinfectant cleaner paying special attention to the areas around the bottom of the bowl and urinal. This is also a good time to clean the area behind the bowl that is frequently missed.
- Sweep floor
- Mop floor
- Return washroom to service
- Clean up the cart

The goal in washroom cleaning should always be to have odor free healthy washrooms. There is no need for there to be a cherry or apple smell as many times this is only a masking agent to a deeper problem. Where as if the washrooms are odor free after cleaning then you have achieved a health washroom.

- For mirror cleaning consider a glass microfiber and a little water
- If you want to use one product for everything consider testing Hydrogen Peroxide cleaners as many can now be use to clean and disinfect while not being to harsh on all surfaces including mirrors
- Also consider trying Non-Pathogenic Bacteria cleaners in washrooms, these will digest any odor causing bacteria all the while helping keep pipes clean and clear.

"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Monday, August 6, 2012

How to Clean Windows

There are several way of cleaning windows depending on how thorough we want to be. Here is the process for spot cleaning and full window cleaning.

Materials Required: Squeegee, Golden Glove (T-Bar Window washer), Bucket, 1 tbl spoon sunlight dish detergent, microfiber cloth, glass cleaner, scrapper, extension poles, ladder.

Spot Cleaning: 
1- Spray glass with glass cleaner on areas that may have tape.
2- Scrap tape with knife
3- Lightly respray areas that have been scraped and areas with finger marks
4- Wipe with microfiber cloth
5- Check work

Full Clean:
1- Prepare solution of warm water 15L, 1 tbl spoon dish detergent, half a cup glass cleaner. In winter dilute water 50/50 with alcohol (and not the drinking type)
2- Place terry towel or microfiber at base of window. This is especially important if in someone's home
3- Using your golden glove wet window thoroughly
4- Scrap off tape or items that will not squeegee with scraper
5- Re-wet window. 
6- Squeegee window clean without removing blade from window in an S pattern. 
7- Using clean microfiber cloth wipe edges of window
8- Check your work

Tips for making easier.
- If doing high windows and working off a ladder consider buying and Bucket on a Belt. This will hold your squeegee, golden glove and scraper. It will also hold a little water to refresh your golden glove
- Wet one side of the golden glove per 2 surfaces
- Product cost is low so change your water frequently
- Protect ledges sufficiently and don't be afraid of wetting the window.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rubber Floor maintenance and restoration

When will people learn. I always ask myself when I see some of these floor and whats been done to them. Another floor with 15 years of wax and never been stripped. Although in the case of rubber floors I believe some of the blame needs to go on the manufacturers. I mean to create a product and tell people they don't need to do anything to it and it will last 20 years, Have you seen a Canadian winter. Either way client called me in as they now had the pleasure to remove this build up from the floor.

By the time I came in the floor had been triple stripped with Johnson Linosafe. Great product designed not to hurt natural rubber floors. Problem is that the finish on the floor could not come off with Johnson Linosafe even at 1:4. So here's the tip if you run into this situation it's called Emerald from Dustbane. We did a small test patch about 3'X3' at a dilution of 1:1. It removed the old wax without harming the floor.
As you may see in the picture we have dark areas which are the old finish after being stripped several times and the fresh blue area that was stripped with the Dustbane Emerald. After mixing Emerald at 1:1 we applied it to the floor and gave a good full 10 minutes dwell time before hitting it with a green floor pad on a low speed swing buffer. A key factor in this dilution is Rinse the floor and then Rinse the floor.
Client had spent 3 weeks in these 2 gyms up until that point and had a 2 day deadline. I'm glad to say that after this process the deadline was met and the clients client was happy.

So what's the next step. For this client they want to leave the floor bear. I believe unfortunately that once waxed a floor almost always needs to be waxed, except in the case on concrete or natural stones. And I think that come October 1 after 1000 kids a day use this floor the client will have to put a sealer down on the floor. Fortunately the floor is prepped so all they will need to do is scrub the floor with Emerald at 1:40 and then apply 2 or 3 coats of either LinoBase for Johnson or Foundation from Dustbane. The deciding factor of course will be dollars. Linobase has optical brighteners that will help restore the original look of the floor where as Foundation is a great green certified sealer that will give the floor a uniform finish. By the way I think I forgot to mention that Emerald is also a green certified cleaner which Linosafe is not. 

At the end of the day, please, leave the heavy lifting to the professionals. Your floors will last longer and your clients will be happier. Also remember that just because it says green it doesn't mean it doesn't work. In fact most green cleaners today are more effective than their non green competition.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Get What You Pay For

We have all lost contracts because someone came in at a lower price, and so today's post is dedicated to those clients who feel that a savings of a few dollars a month is well worth it.

One of my clients called me this week to look at a floor he had to strip. My client had lost the contract when his client built a new facility. And to save a few hundred dollars he chose another company to clean the facility. After 2 years the client realized he had made a mistake and called my client back in. The floors were among the worst floors I have ever seen.
  Remember these floors are 2 years old. Looked like there was 15-20 coats of wax and the strip job started here. We applied the first stripper at 6:1 with cold water and let it sit on the floor for 10 mins. The work was done in 8' X 8' sections using a fresh Emerald (hi-pro) pad. 
 This is after the first strip
After picking up solution we reapplied a second stripper which was just a little bit stronger. Dilution on this product was also 6:1 giving a 10 min dwell time and using a new emerald pad for every 8'X8' section.

 After the double strip.
Finally after spending 3 hours per room we were ready to wax the floors. Unfortunately still a little sealer but the wax job turned out beautiful.
This is the floor after 2 coats of Johnson High Millage.

The standard for stripping and waxing a floor that most companies go by is 500 sq/ft an hour, this floor we were doing about 200 sq/ft an hour. If you think that saving a few dollars a year is worth while think of the consequences. What should have taken 1 week and 3 pails of stripper is turning into a 3 week project and 6-8 pails of stripper. When adding the product and labour cost the 2 years of savings is now costing you. Not to add that for 2 years your floors did not look the way they should and your staff probably complained on a weekly basis.

And on a final note if you are the contractor that did this you have 2 choices. Get into another line of work we don't need you in the cleaning business. You give those hard working contractors a bad reputation that this industry is working hard at changing. Option 2 contact someone like me and get some training maybe then next time you bid you won't destroy the contract you had.

I love this business but do not put up with contractors who have no intention of learning how the clean properly. Cleaning and maintenance is not something you wake up one morning and decide to do. It takes years of hands on training and hard work to know what you are doing and be good at it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

ISSA - Carpet Care

ISSA - Carpet Care

A good read from ISSA.

10 Tips to Vacuum More Efficiently
By Robert Kravitz — posted 02/07/2012

Some cleaning professionals have been vacuuming carpets for so long they think they were born knowing how to do it. Not so— vacuuming is a learned task and vital to proper cleaning. And there are always techniques to make vacuuming faster, safer, and more effective.

To that point, here are 10 tips for efficient vacuuming when using an upright vacuum cleaner.

  1. Always inspect the area to be vacuumed first. For instance, if carpet is wet, the moisture can be vacuumed into the machine and potentially damage internal components. A quick inspection can prevent such damage from occurring.
  2. Pick up coins, paper clips, and large debris before vacuuming. Do not assume the machine can safely “digest” these larger items.
  3. Check the filter bag before each use, especially if the vacuum is used by other users. Change the bag when it is two-thirds full.
  4. Check the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. Ensure that connections and connectors are tight and remove any debris.
  5. Check the brush. If twine or debris is caught in the brush, use a comb or similar object to remove it.
  6. Put greater time and effort vacuuming heavily trafficked areas and less time in periphery areas. This strategy can reduce vacuuming time overall.
  7. Vacuum in a forward moving, overlapping direction.
  8. Do not vacuum stairs or steps by picking up the machine. Instead, use a wand and proper wand attachment.
  9. Change vacuuming directions from time to time, as this helps remove soils from fibers.
  10. When done vacuuming, do not pull on the cord to unplug the machine. Reach for the plug to disconnect its base from the outlet.

“A final consideration is to simply notice how you feel after vacuuming,” says Tornado Industries Marketing Manager Jolynn Kennedy. “If your hand, arm, or shoulder hurts, that could be a sign that a more ergonomically designed machine is needed.”

A former building service contractor, Robert Kravitz is president of AlturaSolutions Communications, a Chicago, IL-based firm that provides corporate communication services to organizations in the jansan and building maintenance industries. He can be reached at