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Commercial Cleaning Services in Detroit

The Difference Between Sanitizing and Disinfecting

In the cleaning industry, there are many misunderstandings about disinfectants and sanitizers. The terms are frequently interchanged in discussions, as many people believe they have the same meaning. Though they are similar, there are differences between sanitizing and disinfecting.

A disinfectant is a chemical that completely destroys all organisms listed on its label. The organisms it kills are disease-causing bacteria and pathogens, and it may or may not kill viruses and fungi. From a legal standpoint (U.S Environmental Protection Agency guidelines), disinfectants must reduce the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999 percent during a time frame greater than 5 minutes but less than 10 minutes.

A sanitizer is a chemical that reduces the number of microorganisms to a safe level. It doesn’t need to eliminate 100 percent of all organisms to be effective. Sanitizers do not kill viruses and fungi, and in a food-service situation, the sanitizer must reduce the bacteria count by 99.999 percent. Sanitizers are required to kill 99.999 percent of the infectious organisms present within 30 seconds.

If you are involved with cleaning food-service areas, then you’ll be interested in sanitizers. If you are involved with cleaning medical facilities, you’ll be more interested in disinfectants. If you provide green cleaning services, you may want to consider which one will have the least harmful enviromnental impact. If you just need to remove soil, you should consider using an all-purpose cleaner rather than a disinfectant or sanitizer.

source: www.issa.com
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Commercial Cleaning Services in Detroit

Ten Tips for Tip-Top Carpet Care

Due to the global economic decline over the past few years, many cleaning contractors have been expanding their service offerings. Contract cleaning is no longer viewed as recession-proof; even so, it can be recession-resistant, and one of the ways to make this possible is to offer more services, including carpet cleaning. But before contacting your jansan distributor and ordering a new portable extractor, there are a few things contractors should recognize about carpet cleaning.

Let’s examine 10 important items contract cleaning professionals should know about carpet cleaning. There are certainly are more that can be added, but being aware of these 10 subjects can give you better insight into carpet cleaning.

No. 1: Training. Might as well as start with this one first. Carpet cleaning is both a science and a skill, and as such it requires contractors to have some quality education under their belts. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is probably the leader in these training programs; however some national janitorial supply houses offer excellent training programs. It is important to know that just like refinishing floors, no contractor should learn how to clean carpets on their customers’ carpets. Learn first―then clean.

No. 2: Low moisture. A term you should understand is low-moisture carpet cleaning. The Low Moisture Carpet Cleaners Association defines it as any procedure that allows carpet to dry in approximately two hours taking into account climatic and other conditions. A low-moisture portable extractor is designed to use less water than a conventional extractor and typically has an advanced vacuum system to more effectively extract moisture from the carpet. Together, these features help carpet dry faster with less chance of mold or mildew developing.

No. 3: Hot or cold. Some portables are cold-water machines; others have a heating element that heats the solution to approximately 212 F. Both types of machines can prove very effective; however some technicians find that heat can make the molecules in a cleaning solution work more effectively.

No. 4: Stains and spots—there is a difference. If a carpet has spots in it, you’re in luck. Spots are soils or residue that generally can be removed with extraction or by using the proper spot remover. A stain, on the other hand, actually changes the color of the carpet. While correction is still possible, it can be difficult.

No. 5: The spot test. This term can be misleading. The spot test refers to testing a cleaning solution in a small inconspicuous area to be sure it does not cause damage, discoloration, or bleeding of dyes. This term also is common in upholstery cleaning and rug cleaning as well as other types of cleaning.1

No. 6: Pre-spray. Rarely do carpet cleaning technicians mix cleaning solution and water in the tank of the extractor. Instead they pre-spray it onto the carpet―one section at a time so it does not dry out―and apply more pre-spray to spots. Remember, the pre-spray also needs a few minutes to dwell to work effectively.

No. 7: Avoiding the call-back. It is very important in commercial carpet cleaning to clarify with the client if stains, spots, or soiling in the carpet may remain after cleaning. This helps eliminate what the industry refers to as call-backs―when the customer asks you to come back and clean the carpet again. Time is money in the carpet cleaning business, and avoiding call-backs helps ensure this add-on service is lucrative for your business.

No. 8: Equipment selection. Today there are many portable carpet extractors available. The best advice I can offer is to look for a manufacturer that has been in the business for several years, and possibly even better, has built the same or similar machine for several years. View portable extractors like computer software. Version 1.0 may have problems that are corrected in version 2.0. You want version 2.0 or higher. Also, a system with variable pound per square inch—or psi—allows you to clean more delicate fabrics such as upholstery and partitions.

No. 9: Interim or restoration. Very likely, you already perform interim carpet cleaning. This is the use of a low-speed floor machine to shampoo or bonnet clean carpets. Interim means it is an effective cleaning procedure between carpet extractions. Carpet extraction is restoration cleaning; the goal is to help restore the carpet to its original condition.

No. 10: Pre-vacuuming. This has become a forgotten step in carpet cleaning, and that is a mistake. Carpets should be vacuumed before cleaning. Vacuuming removes dry soils in the carpet. If dry soils are left in the carpet, the moisture from the extractor essentially turns them into mud, making them more difficult to remove. Pre-vacuuming allows the extractor to work more effectively and can improve worker productivity as well.

One additional point to consider is certification. It is a wise idea to not only learn about carpet cleaning but become certified by an organization such as the IICRC. Certification can open many doors for you. In the eyes of your customer, certification tells them you are a trained carpet cleaning technician.

1 Source: Scott Warrington, Director of Technical Support, Bridgepoint Systems
source: www.issa.com
Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

 

Commercial Cleaning Services in Troy, MI

Restrooms: Where Are the Germs Really?

 

According to a study by NSF International, a not-for-profit standards-development, testing, and certification organization, more than 90 percent of restroom users perform some type of “restroom gymnastics” when using a public restroom: using paper towels to touch handles and faucets; shoe bottoms to flush toilets; and elbows to open and close doors, turn on electric hand dryers, or operate manual dispensers.

The study also found that some users crouch precariously above the toilet seat without ever touching it. And in ladies’ restrooms, feminine-hygiene products are often flushed down toilets because women do not care to touch the lids of typical feminine-hygiene dispensers. This can cause serious plumbing problems for a facility, as pipes can be clogged by sanitary napkins.

The study concluded that most restroom users have developed a “Howard Hughes–type” paranoia and will do just about anything to avoid touching restroom surfaces. Unfortunately, some of this paranoia is based on fact. Using a variety of measurement techniques, such as ATP rapid-monitoring systems, we know that many health-threatening germs are present in public restrooms to varying degrees, including Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, E. coli, Shigella bacteria, the Hepatitis A virus, and the common-cold virus.

Here, There, But Not Everywhere

According to a study by Elliott Affiliates, a Baltimore, MD-based consulting firm that works with the facility-management industry, there is not a high degree of connection between how clean a restroom looked and the level of contamination found.

So where are the germs?  We might, according to several studies, be surprised where germs are—and are not. For instance:

 

  • Toilet seats: Although most public-restroom users consider the toilet seat germ center No. 1, it is, in fact, not a common vehicle for transmitting disease. And even if a toilet seat does become contaminated, a user would have to have a cut or open sore on the buttocks for cross-contamination to occur. Even outdoor portable restrooms, according to a study by University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba, were found to be cleaner than picnic tables, playground equipment, shopping-cart handles, and escalator handles.
  • Sinks and faucets: Germs do colonize on faucet handles, and a restroom sink may actually be the most germ-ridden surface in a public restroom. One reason for this is that the dampness of the surface helps keep microorganisms alive. Sensor-controlled faucets or the use of paper towels to touch the faucet help alleviate this problem. Rarely, it seems, do users actually touch a restroom sink.
  • Toilet mists: Although the toilet seat may be relatively safe, this is not true of toilet mists. Each time a toilet is flushed, microscopic mists are released from the bowl. These mists contain a host of germs and bacteria and—depending on the type of toilet, water pressure, and age of the fixture—can cover as much as five feet around the toilet.
  • Feminine-hygiene disposal units: Apparently, there are real reasons many women prefer not to touch these dispensers. A study by the American Society of Microbiology stated that “the outside of a sanitary napkin receptacle is one of the most contaminated ‘hot spots’ in the ladies room.” Typical feminine-hygiene dispensers become contaminated as they are used and are often contaminated once again as a result of the toilet mists mentioned above.

 

Now that we know where the germ-related problems are in public restrooms, we can emphasize more cleaning in those areas where it’s most needed—and determine the best method for cleaning these areas.

 

source: www.issa.com

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

Janitorial Services in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Cleaning for Health

If there is one expression that has become the motto, if not the marching orders, of today’s professional cleaning industry, it is “cleaning for health.” This all-important phrase was likely first coined by Dr. Michael Berry in his precedent-setting book, Protecting the Built Environment: Cleaning for Health. Since then, this concept has become powerful and significant—and rightly so.

Clean Evolution

At one time, our main purpose was to clean for appearance. But after Berry’s book was published, our industry was forced to reevaluate its primary function. We have now realized that our work and what we do for our end-customers is far more meaningful than just keeping floors shiny, counters wiped off, and carpets vacuumed. What we do helps keep people healthy.

While these changes were taking place, cleaning was also moving toward center stage in our industry. Cleaning to protect human health means reducing the negative impact cleaning can have on the health of cleaning workers and building occupants as well as protecting the environment. After all, what’s the point of having clean, sterile surfaces if people get sick because of the cleaning products used?

Around this same time, frightening public health scares, such as SARS, norovirus, MRSA, and other diseases, became prominent in headlines and news coverage throughout the world. Doctors and public health professionals were unable to stop the spread of these diseases and infections with vaccines or medications. Instead, cleaning professionals were called upon to provide health-based solutions aimed toward minimizing outbreaks and cross-contamination. In fact, one presenter at a Cleaning Industry Research Institute—CIRI—event even suggested that due to the connections between cleaning and health, the professional cleaning industry should be placed under the umbrella of the health care industry.

The link between cleaning and protecting human health is now a well-established part of the cleaning industry, lifting both our industry’s image and confidence and giving cleaning professionals a definite role and purpose beyond just tidying up facilities. However, this new role has also caused us to face a serious dilemma. How can we tell if we are cleaning to protect human health? As we all know, appearances can be deceiving when it comes to cleanliness. Fortunately, evolving methodologies can prove that visually clean surfaces are safe, healthy, and hygienically clean.

 

source: www.issa.com

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

Commercial Cleaning in Troy, MI

A Word on Mats

 

To help keep floors cleaner for longer one of the first things that need to be checked are the mats to make sure they they are a help and not a hindrance.

Matting is one of the major things to keep floors cleaner for longer. Matting is key but throwing a three by five mat at an entrance way is not going to get enough dirt off people’s shoes. It is important to focus on both indoor and outdoor matting and ensure that they have the right type of mats, as well as the right size mats to effectively prevent soil from entering the building.

It all begins at the entrance of the facility. With a vast majority of debris in a building coming in through the entrances, proper matting is the first line of defense to keeping much of the dirt from being tracked further into the building. Proper matting can eliminate up to 90% of dirt and debris from entering the building.

Using effective bi-level scrapping mats in conjunction with wiper mats at minimum distances of 15 to 20 feet greatly reduces that dirt and debris, allowing for less wear and tear of the floor surface.

Mats, like floors need to be maintained well. They need to be kept clean and vacuumed. A lot of times you’ll see mats that are worn out and or neglected. This will cause an increase in the dirt inside the building.

 

Source: Contracting Profits Magazine Apr 2013
Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

The Dirt on Dirt

The Dirt on Dirt

In the professional cleaning industry, we are always talking about dirt. Sure, it goes by a variety of pseudonyms such as soils, contaminants, impurities, unwanted matter, particulates, and the like. But ultimately, what we are talking about is plain old dirt—what we in the professional cleaning industry are tasked to remove from facilities every day.

But have you ever wondered what’s in dirt? Street dirt, the kind that most often finds its way into the facilities we clean, is comprised of many of the following (starting with the largest amounts first):

    • Humus: Organic material such as compost
    • Cement powder or dust: Composed of limestone and carbonate rock
    • Silica: Sand or quartz
    • Clay: Fine-grained materials, with variable amounts of moisture trapped in the mineral structure of the particulate

 

  • Sodium chloride: Salt
  • Gelatin: Solid substances from animal skin and bones
  • Oleic acid: Derived from the fat from animals and plants
  • Carbon black: material produced by the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products.

Much of what is in dirt is so small it becomes airborne. And studies indicate that as much as 80 percent—possibly more—is tracked in by people using a facility. And now you know the dirt on dirt.

source: www.issa.com

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

Turn up the Heat: Carpet Cleaning

Turn up the Heat: Carpet Cleaning

 Carpet cleaning is a science, and without proper training and education, one can easily make serious mistakes that can result in potentially irreparable damage to carpet. With so much at stake, it is important to understand the role of heat in the carpet cleaning process.

 Heat is one of the four fundamental components of cleaning along with agitation, time, and chemical action. Heat speeds up the molecular activity of chemicals so that they work harder to help remove soils. In fact, studies show that for every 18 degrees of temperature rise above 188°F, chemical action is increased by a factor of two.

Along with helping to break down and remove soils, heat has additional benefits:

    • Longer carpet life span. Embedded soils can eat away at carpet fibers along with the backing of the carpet, but more effective cleaning―the result of heat―can help remove these soils and enhance the life span of the carpet.

    • Easier grease and oil removal. Heated cleaning solution helps loosen and break down grease and oils so that they can be more easily removed from carpet fibers.

    • Improved appearance. Often the texture of the carpet is fluffed by the heated cleaning process, making the carpet look fuller and more luxurious.

    • Shorter drying times. Heat can speed up the drying process for carpets.

 Although heat can benefit the carpet cleaning process significantly, it can lose value at a certain point. Typically, heated solution of approximately 212°F at the wand tip is considered preferable. Too low a temperature can mean you are not maximizing the benefits of heat. Conversely, too high a temperature can result in vaporization, which can be detrimental to the cleaning process. The cleaning solution should always remain in a liquid form.

When Heat May Be a Detriment

While heat is an important player in effective cleaning, there are a few situations when heat should be avoided. Typically this depends on the type of fiber or fabric being cleaned or the type of soiling.

 For instance, if crayon or candle wax is in the carpet, high heat may cause the colors and dyes to run. Additionally, protein soiling, including soil from blood, eggs, and other foods, is typically best cleaned using cold water. With these soils, heated water can actually bake the proteins into the carpet, making them harder to remove. Such problems can be avoided by simply inspecting the carpet before cleaning.

 Fabrics such as wool and silk can present further complications. While rarely installed, especially in commercial facilities, wool carpet is usually best cleaned with warm―not hot―water. Many experts suggest 150°F is the maximum temperature to be safe, as excessive heat can damage the appearance of the wool. For its part, silk may shrink if it is cleaned with too high a temperature, and permanent texture damage also can result.

 Finally, certain dyes, no matter what the fiber or fabric, can lack colorfastness and may bleed if cleaned with high heat. If you are unsure as to whether the carpet to be cleaned is colorfast, test a small area before cleaning the entire carpet.

source: www.issa.com

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

A Word on Mats

A Word on Mats

To help keep floors cleaner for longer one of the first things that need to be checked are the mats to make sure they they are a help and not a hindrance.

Proper matting is one of the major things to keep floors cleaner for longer. Matting is key but throwing a three by five mat at an entrance way is not going to get enough dirt off people’s shoes. It is important to focus on both indoor and outdoor matting and ensure that they have the right type of mats, as well as the right size mats to effectively prevent soil from entering the building.

 It all begins at the entrance of the facility. With a vast majority of debris in a building coming in through the entrances, proper matting is the first line of defense to keeping much of the dirt from being tracked further into the building. Proper matting can eliminate up to 90% of dirt and debris from entering the building.

 Using effective bi-level scrapping mats in conjunction with wiper mats at minimum distances of 15 to 20 feet greatly reduces that dirt and debris, allowing for less wear and tear of the floor surface.

 Mats, like floors need to be maintained well. They need to be kept clean and vacuumed. A lot of times you’ll see mats that are worn out and or neglected. This will cause an increase in the dirt inside the building.

Source: Contracting Profits Magazine Apr 2013

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

Janitorial Services in Commerce, MI

Carpets, Health, and Air Quality

There have been a number of surprising studies throughout the years regarding the amount of germs and bacteria that can be found on office desks, cell phones, and the sponges we use to wipe down counters and wash dishes. However, one study that has gotten relatively little notice relates to carpets and concerns about indoor air quality (IAQ).

  In that study, which was conducted by the University of Arizona several years ago, researchers asked a group of people to wear brand-new shoes for two weeks. They were to wear the shoes everywhere—to school, to work, shopping, etc. After two weeks, the shoes were returned to be tested for contaminants that might have collected on the shoe bottoms. What researchers discovered surpassed their expectations:

  • The shoes collected more than 420,000 units of bacteria, and all the shoes had varying amounts of bacteria on them.

  • Potentially hazardous levels of E. coli were present on about one-third of the shoes.

  • Greywater, food, drinks, grease, tar, and dust were found on all of the shoes to varying degrees.


  These kinds of contaminants and bacteria all have the potential to negatively impact indoor air quality when they are walked into a facility on users’ shoes. However, in most cases, carpets act as an environmental filter, trapping soils, bacteria, and contaminants and stopping them from becoming airborne, which means healthier IAQ for everyone.

  But the effectiveness of carpeting as an environmental filter is dependent on maintenance. Carpets must be properly cleaned and maintained at regular intervals in order to protect IAQ. And this typically begins with the creation of an effective and sustainable carpet maintenance program.

Carpet Maintenance Program

  One of the first steps that must be taken before creating an effective carpet maintenance program is to study the amount of foot traffic and the number of people who generally use each carpeted area. This information will help determine the “soil rating” of the facility, which is the measure of the intensity of the soil load that can accumulate in the carpets. These ratings are designated as light, normal, moderate, heavy, or extreme. Soil ratings help determine the frequency of tasks such as vacuuming, interim carpet cleaning, and hot-water carpet extraction.

  For instance, a facility with a moderate soil rating should be vacuumed two to four times per week to remove dust, contaminants, and particulates from carpets. Additionally:

    • Spotting should be performed daily or as soon as spots are noticed.

    • Heavy traffic areas should be cleaned using either interim or restorative carpet cleaning methods every six months.

    • All carpets should be cleaned using hot-water carpet extraction at least once per year.


  Unfortunately, determining the soil rating of a facility and how frequently carpet cleaning tasks should be performed to help protect IAQ can be determined only on a case-by-case basis. “Facilities vary in traffic, soiling rates, and usage,” explains Heiferman. “Additionally, climate and the desired appearance level of the carpet are considerations that must be evaluated in order to build an effective maintenance program.”

The Importance of Carpet Extraction in Protecting Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

 Earlier we referenced the role of “interim” cleaning methods as part of an overall carpet maintenance program. Typically this refers to carpet cleaning methods that remove soils found on the top surfaces of the carpet. These include vacuuming as well as shampooing and bonnet cleaning methods. According to Mark Baxter, an engineer with U.S. Products, while these methods can be effective, the key thing to remember is that they are, as the name implies, only interim or short-term measures.

 “Interim methods can only do so much. In order for carpets to serve as a filter and protect IAQ, they must be thoroughly cleaned using restorative methods.”

 Baxter takes this a step further, advising that carpets should be cleaned using hot-water carpet extractors that heat the water or cleaning solution to more than 200°F. “[Heat] improves the effectiveness of cleaning chemicals so that less chemical may be necessary. This makes the entire carpet cleaning [process] greener and more sustainable and helps protect IAQ,” says Baxter.


Complete Carpet maintenance

  “A [successful] program [will be one] that addresses all of these cleaning and maintenance issues, beginning with the proper training of cleaning technicians, promotes sustainability and protects IAQ and the health of all building users,” says Baxter. “It also ensures that soils and contaminants are removed from carpets, which not only enhances their appearance but increases their longevity as well.”

Source: http://www.issa.com


Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.

Janitorial Services in Detroit, MI

Linoleum Floor Care Tips

Cleaning professionals may be a bit surprised to hear that linoleum floors—first introduced more than 120 years ago—are making a comeback. But while this flooring material used to be found mainly in homes and residential facilities, it is now becoming popular in commercial locations. The key reason for this trend is that many types of linoleum floors are considered a green or more sustainable floor covering option, especially when compared to the more traditional and very popular vinyl composite tile (VCT).

Vinyl is a synthetic product made of petrochemicals and other components, most of which are not sustainable. Linoleum, on the other hand, is typically made of a variety of ingredients including linseed oil, cork dust, tree resins, and wood flour (finely pulverized wood that is finer than sawdust), all of which are renewable resources. Linoleum has two other features that commercial property developers and owners appreciate: it is fire retardant and water resistant.*

Chemical Issues

Linoleum floors can be very sensitive to chemicals, especially the kinds of traditional cleaning chemicals used on VCT floors. In general, it’s best to use pH-neutral cleaning solutions following manufacturers’ recommended dilution ratios.

High-pH or high-alkalinity  cleaners can damage linoleum floors. In fact, frequent use can not only impact the look of the floor, but can also cause cracking, shrinking, and even discoloration. Additionally, using too much water to clean these floors can cause problems. Linoleum is installed in sheets, and there may be small openings between each sheet. Water can seep into and under these openings, which can result in mold and mildew and even cause the floor to rot.

source: www.issa.com

Contact PROimage Facility Services at (313) 387-1977 today! Your Facility’s Professional Image Is Our Business.