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Beyond Handwashing

Sanitizing simply reduces the presence and growth of disease-causing microbes, rather than killing them. It is better than cleaning alone, especially in food preparation and consumption areas, but only reduces bacteria and does nothing to destroy viruses and fungi.

To kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi, disinfection must be done on a regular basis. With proper disinfection, resulting in the killing of pathogens, the spread of office illness can be reduced or stopped altogether.

Handwashing is a great start in the effort to control the transmission of microbes in the workplace environment. Workers should be encouraged to thoroughly wash their hands with warm water and soap for at least 15 seconds following every restroom visit, prior to preparing food, and after contact with the public. Hands should be completely dried. This will help to reduce the spread of disease from person to person and from high-touch surfaces, but you need disinfection to take it to the next level.

When bacteria strikes

Microbes land on high-touch surfaces where they can linger for days or months, waiting to infect the next person to touch that area. Bacteria and viruses are opportunistic, seeking a way into their host. Once they have that way in, colonization begins, and the host becomes ill. In the workplace, this reduces productivity and employee morale. Especially during cold and flu season, illness can spread like wildfire in the work environment.

In those who have compromised immune systems, those same pathogens can quickly become dangerous or deadly. Perhaps the microbe has become resistant, a risk even to those with healthy immune systems. This is one of the many reasons that desks, countertops, and other work surfaces should be thoroughly disinfected on a regular basis. More than just keeping surfaces clean and free of infectious microbes, disinfection can literally save lives.

For this reason, it is increasingly important that work stations be wiped down regularly with a proper solution to eliminate contagions. Prepackaged wipes may be used if the label states that they kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Apply the solution liberally to all countertops, tables, and surfaces, paying special attention to the most-used surfaces. Keyboards can be cleaned with a prepackaged wipe or with a cotton swab dipped in a bleach solution to ensure all crevices are disinfected. Telephone handsets, earphones, and earbuds should also get special attention, as they touch the skin of the user and can cause infections.

Technology hurts

Another source of infectious microbes that deserves special attention includes the devices that have become so popular in the modern technological era. In fact, they are said to harbor as many as 25,000 germs per square inch. Our cell phones go everywhere with us and pick up contaminants along the way. Tablets and smartphones now populate conference room tables in meetings and networking events. One sneeze can turn your technology into a carrier for disease. By their very nature these devices require users to touch them, thereby transmitting microbes to the user.

To disinfect technology, such as smart devices, screen-cleaning wipes with isopropyl alcohol should be used to clean screens and other surfaces thoroughly and regularly. This is especially important when they have been exposed to people who exhibit signs of illness, such as coughing, sneezing, or congestion. People touch their faces as much as 600 times daily, on average. Imagine the microbes they could be picked up from a smartphone that hasn’t been disinfected.

Break room woes

The dreaded breakroom can be another source of contagion, especially foodborne pathogens. With so many people using the same food preparation and storage equipment, and the overall lack of routine cleaning of the space, the breakroom is rife with microbes. Takeout leftovers left in the refrigerator to become office experiments, improperly cooked foods, and uncleaned spills, all contribute to the need for breakrooms to be disinfected on a regular schedule.

Workers should be encouraged to eat in the breakroom, because people who eat at their desks are exposed to three times the bacteria of those who do not. The breakroom space should be disinfected frequently to ensure that it remains a safe place for workers to congregate and enjoy downtime.

The communal refrigerator should be emptied and thoroughly wiped down with a disinfecting solution each week. Any items past their expiration date and takeout meals should be disposed of and the trash removed. The microwave should also be wiped down to remove any spills and splatters, and the carousel plate should be washed in hot soapy water. Any other appliances, such as coffeemakers and toasters, should also be wiped down.

Because workers congregate around the breakroom table, it is very important that its surface be disinfected several times a week as well. Identify any surfaces where people are likely to be touching with exposed skin. For instance, if the chairs have arms, those should be disinfected as well.

Time well spent

In the beginning, it may seem like a lot of extra work as neglected spaces are disinfected properly. Over time, as things settle into a routine process of disinfection, they will take less time and become part of the workplace processes. In fact, other workers will be more likely to pitch in as they enjoy the new clean and safe work environment.

The numbers

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reports that up to 17 million workdays are lost due to flu, leading to about US$7 billion per year in sick days and lost workplace productivity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 23,000 people are killed each year due to just the flu alone. Not only does proper workplace disinfection save productivity and money, it saves the lives of workers by providing them a safe and healthy environment in which to work and thrive.

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

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Winter Carpet Care Calls for a Plan

Most facilities have one of two types of carpet cleaning plans in place. Some facilities have their carpets cleaned every few months on a set schedule―whether they need it or not―but most facilities seem to clean their carpets only when they look soiled.

Surprisingly, neither of these programs is efficient, as not all carpets experience the same amount of soiling. Carpets on upper floors of a building, for instance, tend to be far less soiled over the same amount of time as carpets on the first floor near building exits, loading docks, industrial areas, etc.

Most carpet care experts agree that the approach of cleaning carpets only when they appear soiled is too late. Carpets hide soiling, and hidden soils can act as abrasives, resulting in premature wear, loss of fiber material, and sometimes even loss of color.

These problems can all come to a head and have a negative impact on carpets during the colder winter months when outdoor soiling tends to increase along with moisture and ice. The use of chemicals such as ice melts, which help prevent slip-and-fall accidents, can also play havoc on carpets. Further, during the wet winter months, there is a greater possibility that mold, mildew, and bacterial growth can develop in carpets.

In order to protect carpets during the winter, facility managers and cleaning professionals need an effective winter carpet care maintenance plan in place to keep carpet clean and protect the entire indoor environment. The following are some of the key steps involved in an effective winter carpet care program.

  • Decide on a plan. While many facilities have a hard-surface floor care plan in place, they often neglect to design a similar strategy for carpets. The key benefit of having a cleaning and maintenance plan in place for both carpets and hard-surface floors is that it helps to ensure the work actually gets done. Some collaboration among facility managers, cleaning professionals, and building users is recommended to create the plan―and it should be formalized in writing.
  • Reevaluate the benefits of matting. Many facilities still view matting as merely a way to prevent slip-and-fall accidents. While that is one of their key benefits, effective matting systems also keep as much as 80 percent of moisture and soil from entering a facility. At least 15 feet of matting—including scraper mats, combination wiper/scrapers, and wiper mats—should be installed at all building entrances.
  • Increase outdoor cleaning frequencies. Many facilities pressure wash outdoor areas—plazas, sidewalks, etc.—on a regular basis. Weather permitting, these areas should be cleaned more frequently during the winter months.
  • Increase vacuuming frequencies. Vacuuming is probably the single most important component of a winter carpet care maintenance program. Cleaning personnel should vacuum all high-traffic areas, entrance mats, and entrance areas―as well as all main walkways―on a daily basis. Busy locations may actually need to be vacuumed several times a day. Also, more attention is needed on the lower floors of a facility during the winter months to help prevent first-floor soiling from making its way upstairs.
  • Pay attention to special vacuuming needs. Certain carpeted areas tend to become more soiled during the winter months, and these will need more cleaning attention. These include inside elevators, carpeted areas directly outside of elevators and around escalators, and transition areas where hard surface floors meet carpeting and between different sections of a facility (especially if one section tends to become more soiled, such as a warehouse or industrial area).
  • Lift the carpet. Raking or grooming carpets has become almost a lost art. Yet this simple step both breaks up soils and contaminants so they can be removed more easily via vacuuming and scrapes off soils that have become attached to carpet fibers. Raking frequencies will vary depending on foot traffic, but cleaning personnel should rake carpets much more frequently during the winter months. Once again, first-floor areas and carpeted areas near building entries generally need more frequent attention during the winter.
  • Apply simple spotting techniques. The best time to clean a spot is immediately after it happens. This is why having a spotting kit readily available is imperative. Cleaning personnel should spot carpets daily and effectively so that spots and stains do not reappear, cause odors, or tarnish the appearance of the carpet. To ensure spotting effectiveness in the winter months, it can be a good idea to follow up spotting by cleaning the area using a hot-water extractor. This removes any remaining spotting chemicals, rinses the area, and helps remove any remnants of the spot from the carpet.
  • Consider using hot-water extraction. Some facility managers put off cleaning carpets during the winter months under the assumption that it is better to wait until winter weather is gone. Nothing could be further from the truth or worse for the health of a facility’s carpeting. Especially in high-traffic, entry, transition, and first-floor areas, carpets should actually be extracted more often during the winter months to help remove deeply embedded soils and ensure that the carpet continues to work effectively, absorbing soils.

    The extraction process works by injecting pressurized, heated, water-based cleaning solution into a carpet. This injected solution pushes soils to the surface of the carpet. The mixture of soils and solution is then removed by a wet vac. Experts strongly recommend using a heated extractor, especially during the winter months. Most floor covering manufacturers recommend (or even require for warranty purposes) the use of hot water extractors. Typically, using heat provides a deeper clean and less chemical residue is left in the carpet after cleaning, which helps prevent rapid resoiling.

All facilities should have a carpet care cleaning and maintenance plan in place both during the winter months and throughout the rest of year. Taking a proactive approach keeps carpets clean and healthy and extends the life of carpets. This can also mean that funds that might be used to replace carpets can be used for other purposes—a good idea during tough financial times.

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

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The Role of pH in Cleaning

The Role of pH in Cleaning

pH can be your friend or foe, depending on how you use your cleaning agents


When chemicals are dissolved in water, the mixture can become either acidic or basic (alkaline).Vinegar and lemon juice are acidic substances, while laundry detergent and ammonia are basic.With a pH of 7.0, pure water is neutral. Acid and basic are two extremes that describe the property of a chemical, such as how hot and cold are used to describe the two extremes of temperature.

Figure A

Figure A

pH (potential of hydrogen) is the measurement of acidity or alkalinity of a substance when dissolved in water. Just as degree is used to measure precise temperature, pH gives us the precise measurement of acidity or alkalinity.
Extremely acidic or basic materials are called “reactive”, and can cause severe burns. They are very aggressive and corrosive. Examples include automobile battery acid which is very acidic, and drain cleaner, which is very alkaline.

pH can be very good at cleaning certain types of soils but that same chemical can damage other materials. The following is a table showing what types of soil that can be cleaned at a certain pH as well as the damage it can do to certain materials.


Table A

Table A

“The pH value can have a direct effect on cleaning effectiveness.”

   An acid solution for example is needed to remove metal oxide, such as rust, and an alkaline solution may be needed to clean a heavily soiled, solution-dyed olefin carpet in a rental unit. A close to neutral pH is needed to clean wool, silk or stain resistant fibers.

Removing Stains

The pH scale is very helpful in removing stains. Using a cleaner with an opposite pH (relative to the stain) can be used to neutralize and remove the stain. A certain number of set stains cannot be completely removed with a universal spotter. The use of specialized spotters is dependent entirely on the composition of the soil. In other words, we need to know what the spot is before we can effectively remove it with a specialized spotter. The following table shows a few examples of stains that can be neutralized with a specialized spotter.

Table B

Table B

In general Acids can be used to clean mineral deposits, such as: iron stains, lime build-up, uric acid stains, rust, scale, water spots, and soap deposits. Alkalies can be use for most common forms of soil: including food stains, oils, and baked-on grease.

Here at PROimage Facility Services, Inc. we would like for everyone to be familiar with the standard chemicals and ph scales. In our facilities we use all of these steps and procedures to guarantee a detailed as well as clean environment.


Source: CM Cleanfax Magazine, Nov. 2010


Janitorial Services Save Companies in Employee Costs

Professional Commercial Cleaning and Janitorial Services Save Companies in Employee Costs

The correlation between a commercial cleaning company and the attendance of a business that employs this company can be empirically quantified in that sick leave and illnesses can be significantly curtailed. A good janitorial service company that takes the extra precautions to not allow the spread of bacteria and germs within a work environment can make a huge difference to a company’s employee costs.

Sick leave within a corporation or office building environment can be a significant expense that a company and business must absorb. Although these are days that are included in the employee benefits, they are still days that detract from a company’s productivity and can even create an exponential effect amongst many.

A commercial cleaning company that does the extras in order to segregate its waste and germ contamination factors, is one that protects its clients and in the long run, adds to their bottom line. So many cleaning companies overlook the simple issues such as moving from bathroom to bathroom with the same buckets and mops doing harmful damage to the workplace by the “non-elimination” of harmful bacteria that only festers and spreads throughout a workplace.

The answer and solution to such a quandary is simple yet arduous to execute. The bottom line is that it is easier to not be as sanitary and meticulous because it is in fact more work and more time. State of the art chemicals and cleaning materials are always evolving which good cleaning companies should stay abreast of. Armed with the latest materials however only makes the janitorial services even more valuable to their clients.

Some machines can actually suck out the dirt and bacteria and hold them until released into a receptacle or area where they are removed from a safe distance that can no longer harm the employees. Additionally, cleaners that enforce training for their employees to learn and study the whys and wherefores in the proper cleaning techniques, makes the supervision of a cleaning company that much easier as well.

This training approach also instills a confidence in its employees who are entrusted to handle the business’ clients effectively. One or two mishaps become quite noticeable and can sever the janitorial service’s customers.

source: www.sbwire.com

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

Commercial Cleaning Detroit Michigan

Commercial Cleaning Detroit MichiganIf you would like professional commercial cleaning in Detroit, Michigan and surrounding areas, please call PROimage Facility Services at (248) 387-1977 today!

Benefits of hiring a commercial cleaning service in Detroit, Michigan:

Have you thought about the benefits of your business hiring a cleaning service? It could help your company save time. In addition, you would have a clean office on a regular basis each week. Here are four benefits of your business hiring a cleaning service.

You don’t have to worry about your office being clean.

This is the major advantage of hiring a cleaning service weekly so you don’t have to worry. You know that each week your office will be clean. If you don’t like to clean or don’t want to clean your office yourself or hire an employee then you have a perfect good reason to hire a cleaning business. You will be able to relax each week while the cleaning company cleans your office. You won’t have to be concerned about personally cleaning your office each week. You don’t have to hassle with cleaning your office each week since the cleaning company will do it all.

It saves your company time and saves additional money.

You don’t have to hire an employee, but yet you just hire an cleaning company weekly. It saves your company time each week. In addition, you won’t have to dish out extra money each week for an employee to clean the office. Cleaning your office won’t have to be on your mind each week. You could save even additional money by signing a contract with the cleaning company. Most companies usually give a discount with a year long contract.

Your office building will be even more healthy for you and your staff.

You and your staff will be healthy each week. You will notice the difference in having a clean office each week compared to having a messy office each week. Overall, it is healthy for everyone who works or visits to have a clean office. You will have less problems such as allergies due to most of the dust being gone out of your office.

It will impress your clients.

A clean office will always leave a good impression with your clients. If your office is clean each week then it shows that you care about your office looks to other people. The clients think that your company office is clean and that your company cares about being healthy. Your clients will brag to their friends and family including everyone else they know about how clean your office building is all the time. Most people do notice how clean an office building is on a regular basis.

If you would like more information about commercial cleaning in Detroit, Michigan and nearby areas, please contact PROimage Facility Services at (248) 387-1977 for more information.