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"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Kärcher-Tennant final judgement - Tennant withdraws appeal

Another repost of an article Dated Sept 23rd

Kärcher-Tennant final judgement - Tennant withdraws appeal

23rd of September 2013
Kärcher-Tennant final judgement - Tennant withdraws appeal
So-called 'activated water' is no more effective than tap water. Tennant's advertising claims regarding the cleaning power of an all-purpose cleaner that is water 'activated' using its ec-H2O technology, are deemed to be anti-competitive.
This decision by the Stuttgart Regional Court in Germany is now legally binding and Tennant has withdrawn its appeal - two years after legal action was commenced by rival cleaning machine manufacturer Kärcher.
"The evidence was overwhelming. We were always confident that the facts would prevail in the end. With the withdrawal of the appeal the court's decision is now legally effective: ec-H2O cleans no better than tap water," says Markus Asch, deputy chairman of the management board of Kärcher. "The court decision is a success that benefits all customers. Competitive cases such as this one create confidence and trust."
Tennant is now required to bear all the costs of the proceedings. Heidi Wilson, Tennant Company general counsel and secretary said: "Tennant Company has not altered its position that the decision of the German court is, respectfully, based on incomplete and inaccurate information.
“The withdrawal is for purely commercial reasons as the case was primarily about advertising claims that are no longer being used by Tennant,” Wilson continued.
“Tennant maintains that the two laboratory bench tests performed by the court-appointed advisor were seriously flawed. The first test had no applicability to Tennant’s ec-H2O chemical-free technology as the test is typically used to measure properties in traditional chemical cleaners. The second bench test, which involved a soil of concentrated fats, has little correlation to cleaning with any scrubber dryer, regardless of the cleaning solution being used,” explained Wilson.
“There is no standard for performance testing in our industry. Real-world operation remains the test that truly matters and our customers are the true judges of performance,” Wilson continued.
“Tennant customers who have chosen to effectively clean their facilities with reduced chemical usage are satisfied with the performance of ec-H2O. And for those who wish to see results for themselves, we invite them to a free demonstration of ec-H2O performance on their facility’s specific soils,” said Chris Killingstad, president and ceo of Tennant Company at the US headquarters.
Tennant Company introduced its proprietary ec-H2O technology in 2008, which is based on the process of electrolysis. As of the end of 2012 the company says it had more than 4,000 ec-H2O customers across the globe, 40,000 ec-H2O scrubbers in the marketplace and 329 million euros cumulative ec-H2O sales.

As I've always believed and said if you want to clean with water any scrubber will do that, why pay more for something if you don't need to. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Demand for Janitorial Equipment & Supplies to Reach $7.2 Billion

Demand for Janitorial Equipment & Supplies to Reach $7.2 Billion

(This is an interesting article that was sent to me. A link to the original is in the title above)

US demand for janitorial equipment and supplies (excluding chemical products) is forecast to advance 1.7 percent per year through 2017 to $7.2 billion. Although not rapid growth, this rate will be an improvement from the more sluggish gains of the 2007-2012 period. Sales of many of these products declined from 2007 to 2009 due to the recession and its subsequent effect on business activity levels, when a large number of businesses delayed replacing or upgrading higher cost janitorial products and decreased the frequency of nonessential cleaning services. However, many businesses began purchasing new equipment between 2010 and 2012 as the economy improved, helping sales of most products return to pre-recession sales levels. 

These and other trends are presented in Janitorial Equipment & Supplies, a study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry market research firm.

 Among markets, institutional buildings will post the fastest gains through 2017. This market will see the most rapid growth in floor space due to an increase in the number of health care and related establishments. In addition, these locations have a particular interest in higher value products that can reduce the risk of cross-contamination and maintain indoor air quality, such as disposable microfiber flat mops, no-touch cleaning equipment, and automated cleaning products with advanced particle filtration features. The residential market will also see above average gains as homeowners return to more frequent use of contract cleaners who employ these commercial grade products.

 Manual cleaning products are forecast to experience some of the fastest growth through 2017, attributable to a more delayed recovery from the effects of the recession, as well as ongoing product development. For instance, sales of products such as wipes, cloths, and flat and wet mops will benefit from the continuing adoption of higher value microfiber, which requires minimal use of chemicals and lasts longer than standard products.

 Sales of multipurpose automated floor cleaning machines will benefit from renewed demand for automated floor cleaning machines, as businesses that delayed replacing or upgrading machinery during the recession will be attracted to the possibility of replacing two or more machines with a single multipurpose product.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

National Custodial Appreciation Day

A little known fact, Oct 2 is National Custodial Appreciation Day. A day to remember the hard working individuals that you may never see. You leave at the end of each day after having worked, eaten and drank coffee at your desk, thrown that banana peel in the garbage and in the morning everything is clean once again. Why is this day important or these people important to your workplace? Have you ever considered what would happen if no one were to clean your facility for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month? Garbage would pile, floors would be black, sticky, and maybe even slippery. The worker who came in with the cold, well now the whole office or facility has had a cold not just a small percentage, because no one disinfected after them. The smell of the garbage would a little much to bear, no one wants to use the washrooms and the dust would be everywhere causing allergies to be worse then ever. Yes our Custodians work hard and do something that we don't see. So today on this day buy them a coffee, tell them Thank you for the hard work and show your custodian you appreciate them and their hard work. Thank you all custodian for the hard work and dedication. Phil-T "Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pad comparison SPP to High Pro

I recently decided to compare the SPP (surface prep pads)  to the high pro pad to see which is a better pad. For the test I again used the Advance REV and performed several tests.

Stripping. We applied a stripper to a vct tile which only had about 5 coats of wax. Stripper was diluted at 4:1 and after 5 minutes dwell time we scrubbed half with the SPP pad and half with a high pro pad. On the side of the aisle where we used the high pro pad,  we removed all the wax and penetrated the sealer giving us a deep full strip. In the side that we used the SPP pad,  we removed most of the finish off the floor but did not remove the sealer.
Aisle stripped Right High Pro Left SPP

Scrub. This time using two aisles with again about 5 coats of wax on each,  we laid down a HD Degreaser diluted at 32:1. We applied this product using the floor scrubber and performed a double scrub. In the aisle where we used the high pro pad, the floor became blotchy, sticky and not really wax ready upon completion. Where as in the aisle where we used the SPP pad, we had a uniform removal of finish,  the floor was smooth and ready for 2 coats of new finish.
Scrubbed with SPP
Scrubbed with High Pro

The conclusion is that the high pro pad is great for stripping floors and is your best bet especially when you have heavy build up. Whereas if want a deep scrub that leaves your floor with a nice even finish try the SPP pad as an effective alternative to a black or green pad. You may well be impressed with the results.


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Advance REV orbital scrubber

Floor requiring refinishing
Last year advance released the REV orbital scrubber. I recently had the opportunity to put the unit to the test. Here are my findings.

The floor that required refinishing had at least 10 coats of finish. The finish had browned and was scrubbed 2 weeks earlier. The program currently in place for these stores is a scrub and wax every 2 months with 1 wash and polish in-between. The shine was decent but the build up is tough.

First test. Using an Adfinity REV at about 100 lbs pressure and a 3M SPP pad I did a double scrub.  We laid down using the scrubber a heavy duty degreaser and gave 10 minutes dwell before picking up. The result was that it prepped the floor to a point where if not for the browning we would have been able to wax.
First scrub
Second test. In the next aisle we laid down stripper with a mop at a 15:1 ratio. After 10 minutes dwell we scrubber again with the Adfinity REV and a SPP pad. I was quite impressed by the results. We were able to remove 90% of what was on the aisle. The only build up left was a tiles worth on each side of the aisle.

Third test. This time we laid down the third aisle with stripper at a 15:1 ratio using a Tennant 5680 and a emerald stripping pad we double scrubbed the aisle after a 10 minute dwell time. The result, we removed about 60% of what was on the floor requiring a second full strip of this aisle.

Scrubbed but still brown

All said and done my thoughts are as follows. The Advance Rev is a scrubber which will save you in several circumstances. Consider when stripping, the extra orbital action will help remove more wax from the floor then a regular strip would. In the case where you have a floor that is in great shape you may be able to scrub your floor without chemicals or lower the the ratio of scrub product you use. In either of these situations it is a winner as no chemical or less chemical makes you green, lowers your cost procurement and makes your work place safer. All this will also make your company more sustainable. And when you factor in that the REV technology on an Advance scrubber is only 300$ more, it's a technology that pays for itself. The only thing left to be seen is what it will cost to repair should it breakdown.

Unfortunately I only have pictures up to the scrub. Hope to get more next time.

Definitely a win in my books.
"Nothings too filthy for Phil-T"

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Marmoleum Repair

Here's an amazing restoration story. Client had a marmoleum floor that is 11 years old. Floor has been stripped and waxed too many times. It takes a beating from wheelchairs, walkers, janitor carts and more. Client researched replacing the floor and cost was going to be $5500 per dining room. At 5 rooms its quite the expense. Repair was going to $2000 per room. I went with our Integra Square and went to work. We chose a small area that was among the worst and went to work. Have a look at the work and see what were able to accomplish.

After scrubbing with integra square
Damaged floor

After 1coat of linobase
Finished section with cross of larger damaged floor

Basically process was scrub area for about 1-2 min with dry strip pad. Sweep clean, and then mop floor. Once dried applied 2 coats of Linobase. Let dry and top of with floor finish of choice. In this instance wanted a little lower shine so we went with 2 coats of Dustbane Orbit green certified and great resistance.  

Monday, May 27, 2013

Waterbase Gym Floor

It's that time of year again. Schools ending and the Gyms need to be refinished to protect for another year. Here are the latest pick of another Gym floor we did this year.

My Co-op student hard at work

Floor is preped

Floor Prepped

Applying the finish 

 First Coat down

First Coat different angle

 Second coat applied

 Another job well done. Floor was started at 8Am and ready for use at 4PM

Monday, February 18, 2013

How to Clean Carpets ( Hot Water Extraction )

Items Required 
- Vacuum
- Hydro Sprayer or Pump-up Sprayer
- Hot Water Extractor
- Extraction Cleaner or Pre Spray
- Spotter
- Carpet Rake
- Blower

- Thoroughly vacuum area to be cleaned.
- Fill hydro sprayer or pump up sprayed with diluted extraction cleaner.
- Fill extractor with hot water.
- Thoroughly and evenly pre spray carpet with extraction cleaner. Do not pre spray more then 250 sq/ft.
- Using carpet rake agitate or brush carpet allowing chemical to work.
- Using extractor, rinse carpet with hot water following an even pattern starting at the furthest point and working back.
- If stains appear or do not come out apply a small amount of spotter and re-extract after 5 mins.
- Rake carpet to give an even and finished look to the carpet.
- Place blower on a 45 degree angle to help circulate air movement and dry carpets.

- Never put chemical in the water tank of the extractor. This is a common mistake and many people over saturate carpets with chemical causing carpets to resoil rapidly.
- Pre vacuuming the carpet will remove 85% of soil particulates making the extraction process easier and leaving a cleaner finished product.
- Many refer to this process as steam cleaning. It is important to note however that the water usually doesn't get hot enough to truly steam. Hence why we say Hot Water Extraction.

Have a look at the following article How to Choose a Carpet Rake. 

"Nothings to filthy for Phil-T"