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Mechanizing Restroom Cleaning

Spray-and-vac restroom cleaning equipment improves cleanliness and efficiencies

By Jennifer Bradley
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Pick up that mop. According to some, the days of yellow buckets, recycled mops and paper towels for restroom cleaning are on their way out the door, and taking the germs with them.

Welcome to a new era of technology, cleanliness, sanitation and green cleaning. Custodial departments now have options to choose from when it comes to cleaning the restroom. Each system has unique operational qualities, but ultimately the same benefits: improved restroom sanitation and a no-touch cleaning experience.

Germ Removers

"We're not exterminators, we're removers," says Rex Morrison, CEO and president of Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools, and former facilities management specialist at Washoe County School District in Reno, Nev.

Morrison believes the spray-and-vacuum cleaning system is the future of restroom cleaning and the ideal device for permanently removing germs. With traditional cleaning methods, he says, germs are killed, smeared around and left to dry and die.

"This becomes a feeding ground for more germs," says Morrison. "Eventually you're going to have to remove the source. If you take the food away, nothing can live."
A spray-and-vacuum system is a germ removal device that is simple to use, he says. A self-contained cart, it features a spray gun and vacuum hose, as well as fresh and recovery water tanks. A user sprays the entire restroom with a controlled amount of surfactant, never touching anything, and then rinses it to the floor with clean water.

The vacuum feature allows the user to then suction up the dirty water, removing any unwanted microorganisms from the area. The water is disposed of down a drain and the bacteria and germs are gone for good.

This equipment exhibits efficient and effective cleaning, a goal Morrison is all too familiar with from his days with the school district. In fact, Washoe County boasts 450 custodians that service 100 schools in the city Reno and surrounding areas.

"A machine will save 50 percent of cleaning time," he explains, cutting the standard 2 minutes per porcelain fixture down to 1 minute. "It will also clean a restroom better."

How does he know? Morrison tests the surfaces with an ATP monitoring system. High levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) are a red flag that germs and bacteria are present. By testing surfaces before and after cleaning, Morrison can guarantee workers are meeting the ATP goals.

Before cleaning, says Morrison, a restroom may start with an ATP reading of 1,700. But after being cleaned with a machine, the same surface will register as low as 4 or 5.

"You just can't get those results when cleaning by hand," he says. "You're just not removing enough."

Implementing a machine for cleaning restrooms will save custodial staffs both time and money, not to mention, improve cleanliness. But, restrooms are just one area that can benefit from the use of these machines. The spray-and-vacuum equipment also can be used to hose off stairways, wash waste receptacles, rinse floors after scrubbing or waxing, and more.

This equipment is easy to use and effective at removing germs, without employee exposure. Managers should take the time to examine what processes can be improved using this equipment and say "bye, bye" to buckets.  

Jennifer Bradley is a freelance writer based in East Troy, Wis

Housekeeping Solutions : Apr 13, 2011-


 November 2010 |  

Vacuum: Analyzing The Upright

Identifying the correct upright vacuum can make or break a carpet care program

By Ronnie Garrett
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Sally Jobes, EVS supervisor at Little River Casino and Resort in Manistee, Mich., says she cannot fully stress the importance of a quality, well-maintained upright vacuum in the cleaning operation.

"I once had to try and clean a carpet with just a broom and dust pan, which made me realize how much wear and tear this puts on your wrist and back and what having a vacuum saves you," she says. "The upright vacuum is one of — if not the most — important tools for cleaning."

But in a sea of options ranging from bagless to bagged, dual and single motors, HEPA and non-HEPA filtration, selecting the right vacuum for the job can seem daunting. Cleaning operations must fully consider their goals, budget and vacuuming tasks when making a selection, says Glenn Rothstein, president of BioShine Inc. in Spotswood, N.J.

Rothstein advises cleaning operations consider the following:

  • Is the primary goal to green the operation? Perhaps a dual-motor vacuum with HEPA filtration operating at a low noise level is the best option.
  • Are there large open spaces to vacuum? This scenario likely warrants a wide area vacuum up to 30 inches wide to efficiently perform the job.
  • Are there many small spaces in need of vacuuming? A smaller-width upright with crevice and dusting tools allows housekeepers to vacuum in tight spaces.
  • What is the budget? If a cleaning operation employs 10 housekeepers and needs 10 vacuums, but its budget is only $2,000, then the best option may be smaller-sized, single-motor vacuums.
  • Is the cleaning staff primarily female or individuals of smaller stature? In this instance, vacuum weight may be a primary consideration.

Rest of the article

Mar 22, 2011-Housekeeping Tips :

How to Clean Vinyl Floors

Some of the chemicals that we recommend can found here Floor Cleaners


Feb 2, 2011-How to Clean Grout on Tile Floors










Things You'll Need:

  • Toothbrush
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Mop
  • 1
    Fill a spray bottle with a solution of half hot water and half vinegar.
    Pour baking soda on top of the grout and then spray with the solution.
    Use the toothbrush to scrub the grout. You will have to scrub very hard!
    Repeat steps two and three until you have cleaned all of the grout.
    Now that all of the grout has been scrubbed with the toothbrush you will need to mop your floor as you usually do.
    Allow your floor to dry completely and then inspect it. If any of the grout shows signs of dirt you may need to repeat steps two and three in those areas.
Jan 21,2011 How to remove wax from carpet
Reprinted From Clean Fax Volume 23, Issue 10 - October 2008
Multiple wax types and coloring can make this a challenge.
by: Jeff Cross, senior editor
 Candle wax is the most common type of wax spilled on carpet, and one of the most difficult waxes to remove due to the high heat and coloring of the wax during the spill.

Other types of waxes that can find their way into textiles include those used in polishes, cosmetics, hobbies, cooking, and more — but these are usually easy to remove with extraction and dry solvents.

Your customers may think that the removal of candle wax should be easy — and at times removing the visible wax is easy — but often there are residues and colors left behind that make the job much more difficult than originally anticipated.

Understand wax before cleaning
Wax can come from many sources, such as from beehives, petroleum products, plants, animals, etc.

Most waxes used in candles come from petroleum by-products, commonly referred to as paraffin wax. It typically melts slow and allows the user to enjoy a burning candle for hours, if not days.

In order to appreciate how wax can bind with fibers, think of the characteristics of fibers.

Olefin and polyester are oil-loving fibers, and thus will tend to bond faster and stronger with anything petroleum-based — like candle wax.

Although it may not be noticeable during cleaning, to some degree, you will find olefin and polyester somewhat more difficult to remove the “greasy” aspect of the candle wax, but at the same time, repelling the colors that can be in the wax.

Nylon may be more forgiving to the waxy part of the spill, but not as forgiving to the colors in the wax.

Wool is mostly a nightmare when it comes to removing wax, but it can be done.

Removing the wax
Most carpet cleaners use hot water extraction, and by using high heat, can often extract the wax from the carpet using “chop strokes,” which are short, forward and backward movements of the cleaning wand.


Jan 6, 2011-Evaluate Your Cleaning Routine for Efficiency

While there's no "one right way" to clean, a comprehensive, consistent cleaning routine can greatly improve your cleaning efficiency. Cleanlink.com provides these suggestions for assessing the overall productivity of your current cleaning routine.

An accurate assessment of operations will help identify areas for improvement. Simply divide your evaluation into three categories:

Scope of work: How long does it take your staff to clean a facility? Knowing your staff's cleaning times will keep cleaning costs down, help you charge the right price for the work being done and keep your operation running at maximum efficiency.

Materials: Look for areas where workers can easily increase the production rate (square feet cleaned per hour) by evaluating tools, procedures, succinct processes and equipment.

Labor: Labor is more than 70 percent of the cost for many job sites and project work. Are the workers organized? How much area does each worker have to clean and how often? Make sure workers and supervisors know that increasing productivity is not about doing more work in less time; it is about performing the same work in less time.

Source: cleanlink.com