Thursday, January 12, 2017

China's Toilet Chiefs

According to the Shanghai Daily website, China is in the middle of a toilet revolution.  While increasing the number of toilets in the country, they are also going to be inspecting toilets for cleanliness and to attract more tourists.  This short article gives the interesting details of this endeavor.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hand Towels, Cell Phones and Kitchen Sponges - Oh My!

So what do you consider to be dirty?  Toilet seats? Counter tops?  The floor?

You might be surprised at what items around you are really found to be the dirtiest of all.  Cell phones contaminated with fecal matter, toothbrush holders housing the bacteria Coliform and more top the list.

Time magazine published an article dealing with the top five dirtiest items we touch everyday.  Here's the article for your perusal.  Makes you think twice!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

One Pound!

Our poll question asked "how much dirt can be hidden in one square foot of carpeting."  The answer, surprisingly, is one pound!  That's right.  One full pound.

Carpets are designed to hide soil.  Thus, the admonition from carpet manufacturers to vacuum your carpet regularly is no joke.  Carpets should be vacuumed daily, if not more to keep the soil from building up and damaging the fibers and backing.

Although most of us don't vacuum that regularly, it is impressive that carpets are designed to hide that amount of soil and keep our homes and businesses still looking relatively clean.

Note:  Here's a link to a You Tube video showing that a pound of soil can indeed be hidden in a square foot of carpet and the reasons for regular vacuuming.

Hidden Soil

Regular Vacuuming

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Anti-bacterial Soap Ban Comes Early for Minnesota Residents

In past posts, I shared information dealing with the concerns over anti-bacterial soaps and the upcoming ban by the FDA on the ingredient triclosan.  This article highlights how Minnesota has put a ban on these anti-bacterial soaps nine months before the FDA requires it.  You'll find it interesting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Awesome Help Every Day!

Every day when lunches end, we get an influx of amazing people that help us clean up the lunchroom.  They empty recycling, compost and garbage.  They stack and move chairs.  They travel around the school emptying other recycle and garbage containers and break down boxes behind the kitchen.  They sometimes help with event setups and other functions that may occur. These people are our special needs students from the Life Skills class.  

The thing about these students is that they just don't help us with our work, they love to help us with our work!  Sometimes they practically run into the lunchroom to get their jobs done while they jabber about something they enjoy or want to share.  They are respectful, helpful and polite and want to do their best.  The abilities we tap from these students is wonderful and their help can't be praised enough.

We thank the teachers and paraeducators who work tirelessly with these students and who help supervise them when they work with us, although sometimes they are so independent that they don't need the supervision.  We thank the students and their parents as well.  It's a great opportunity for them to learn job-related skills for the real world and at the same time to feel important and able to be valued by others.  We look forward to working with them every year!  Thanks to all of you whoever you are!

Note:  Here's a great article that appeared in the Costco Connection dealing with jobs for special needs people and how businesses are recognizing their potential and value.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Snake in the Drain

Here's a story that will make you squirm.  A cobra in the toilet and pipe system of an apartment in South Africa.  You might want to look twice before you sit down the next time you have to go!

Click to Squirm

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thirty Inches

Our last poll asked how far away from circuit breaker panels items needed to be kept.  The answer is 30".  All voters got the answer correct.  Per the Fire Marshal and fire codes, this is the minimum distance anything must be kept away from these panels so there is clear access to them in case of a fire or an emergency.  Likewise, nothing can be stored within 18" of the ceiling.  That means items on bookshelves or other high areas must be 18" or lower than the ceiling so the sprinkler system will work correctly if there were ever a fire. We can be fined for both of these offenses if the Fire Marshal so deems.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Oleo-Furan-Surfactants May Be a Boon to the Cleaning Industry

In past posts I've shared information about the concerns over some soaps such as antimicrobial soap that use Triclosan and other chemicals in them to clean.  Some of these chemicals have been banned.

Now, the University of Minnesota has invented a new soap molecule that works great in cold water, is biodegradable, can be made from soybeans, corn or coconut and is "green"!  The molecule is known as an oleo-furan-surfactant or OFS.  The technology has been patented by the University.  Here's the full article from the European Cleaning Journal.  

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have invented a new soap molecule made from renewable sources.
They claim it could be used to produce soaps manufactured from natural products such as soybeans, coconut and corn. And besides reducing the problem of harmful chemicals and particles entering the water system, the new soaps would actually work better than traditional products according to the researchers.
Recent concerns about substances such as Triclosan and microbeads in soaps have led to increased research into sustainable solutions.
The new soaps invented at the University of Minnesota combine biodegradable ingredients to form a molecule known as oleo-furan-surfactant (OFS). Researchers found that OFS worked well in cold water where conventional petroleum-based soaps become cloudy and gooey, which basically makes them unusable.
OFS soaps were also shown to form soap particles at low concentrations which means they could reduce the environmental impact on water systems. And the study - published in American Chemical Society's ACS Central Science - also showed the new soap molecule to work better with hard water than conventional products.
"OFS is made from straight carbon chains derived from soybeans or coconut which can readily biodegrade," said chemical engineering and materials science graduate student Kristeen Joseph. "These are really the perfect soap molecules."
And co-author of the study associate professor Paul Dauenhauer, adds: "This research could have a major impact on the multibillion-dollar cleaning products industry."
The technology has been patented by the University of Minnesota and licensed to local start-up company Sironix Renewables.

Monday, November 28, 2016

And in the News Again! - Restrooms!

It seems like the one area of a building that gets more reviews, complaints, suggestions and information regarding it are the restrooms.  Here's another article discussing restroom care.  You'll find the information interesting and beneficial in keeping your building restrooms in top-notch condition.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate

Anytime you are using chemicals or cleaning agents in an enclosed area that could potentially be irritating, always make sure you ventilate the area to avoid potential health risks with students and staff.  Open doors, turn on the HVAC system, use high-speed air movers and so on.  What's the big deal?  Read this story from New Hampshire and see what happened at one high school in Manchester.