Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Plethora of Useful Information

The January, 2015 issue of Cleaning and Maintenance Management has several articles that are a must read regarding the flu, cross contamination, hand-washing and more. Check it out.

Hand Sanitizer Myths Debunked

Hand sanitizers are used all the time. Are there things to be concerned about? What positive facts or comments can be made regarding their use?

Check out this link to learn more from the company Waxie.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Big Heart from Texas

Here's a short article on another amazing custodian from Texas. The article appeared online at

Charles Clark, a custodian at Trinity High School in Euless, TX, is more than just the school janitor; to many students and faculty, he is the most influential person in the building.
“The affable custodian has mentored hundreds of teens in need of a father figure; taken students into his home when family disputes left them with no place to stay; and purchased shoes, food, and even prom outfits for kids in need,” People magazine reports. Even school counselors and administrators have asked for his assistance when it comes to mentoring the students.
Clark has worked for Trinity High School since 1989, and has tried to go above and beyond since the beginning to help out students in need. He calls working at the school “a gift,” and says he is living the American Dream.

Friday, February 13, 2015

In Loo of A Dirty Public Restroom

Here's an interesting contest in its 28th year in Britain. The best public restroom contest. Sounds like a great idea given some of the restrooms we see or are forced to use that are considered public! Check out the short blurb and then the link to the UK site.

British Toilet Association Launches Best Public Restroom Contest

February 13, 2015

The British Toilet Association has kicked off its annual Loo of the Year contest.
Now in its 28th year, the contest recognizes the best public restrooms in the United Kingdom and, for the first time this year, the Republic of Ireland.
Trophies for the winning entries in the contest’s 60 different categories will be presented at an awards ceremony hosted December 6 at the St. John’s Hotel in Solihull, England.
For more information on the Loo of the Year contest and details on how to enter, click here.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Are You An Excellent Stripper?

How much do you know about floor stripping? Check out this test presented by a professional company and see how you do.

Floor-care equipment manufacturer Powr-Flite has released a short quiz regarding common floor stripping and refinishing issues in this month’s Powr-Flite.comTroubleshooter.

Answer the questions to the best of your ability, realizing that in some cases there may be more than one correct answer. (Answers are found at this link at the bottom of the page.)

1. What is the main reason for putting a finish on a floor?
*     To put a shine on the floor
*     To help prevent slips and falls
*     To protect the floor

2. When stripping a floor, the goal is to:
*     Remove the old finish
*     Remove the old finish and soil buildup on the floor
*     Remove heel marks and soils on the surface of the floor

3. After applying a stripper to the floor, how long should you wait before machine scrubbing/stripping?
*     A minimum of five minutes
*     Seven to 10 minutes
*     As long as possible before it dries
*     Follow the instructions on the product's label

4. Which of the following reasons most often cause a "haze" to be noticed on a floor after finishing?
*     The rinse water or mop heads were too soiled
*     The cleaning solution was too strong
*     Both

5. True or false, for tough jobs, increase the amount of stripping solution when diluting with water.
*     True
*     False

6. In most cases, on which of the following floors should a sealer be applied?
*     A very porous floor
*     A marble floor
*     A cement floor
*     All of the above

7. The main reason not to walk on a just stripped floor is:
*     If wet, the floor is very slippery
*     If wet, the floor is easily soiled
*     If wet, it leaves foot marks on the floor
*     All of the above

8. After the floor is finished, why drag a tissue under your shoe over the floor?
*     To remove "birthmarks" or slight imperfections in the finish
*     To manually buff edges and corners
*     To determine if the floor is thoroughly dry
*     All of the above

9. Which of the following coefficient of friction (COF) ratings are safest?
*     5.0
*     0.5

10. True or false, if a UHS finish "powders" after burnishing, it means the finish needs to be reapplied.
*     True
*     False

11.  True or false, orbital floor machines will remove the top layers of finish from floors (without using chemicals), which is often all that is necessary.
*     True
*     False

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Custodial Duties - Poll Results

Our last poll asked what kind of things custodians were responsible to take care of in a large or small way. Of the list given, these items are taken care of by custodians to a limited degree or large degree:


If you're a custodian, how much of the building do you take care of? Are you certified in any specific area? Have you taken any extra schooling to help you do your job better? Custodians do more than just clean. They take care of the whole building.

Poop-Powered Bus to Run on Route Number Two

Buses can run on gas, diesel, electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel.  But how about running on human and food waste?

That's what one company in England has started doing; turning human and food sludge into bio-fuel to run buses.  In fact, according to the news story, The Smell of Success: Meet the Poop-Powered Bus, one person produces enough food and sewage waste a year to drive the bus 55 km.

Using food and human waste is a great way to recycle these products into something useful. What do you think?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tackle the Germs Before They Score on Your Superbowl Party Weekend

For those of us living here in the Seattle area, hundreds of Superbowl parties will be "in play" this weekend. However, according to the magazine Cleaning and Maintenance Management, there is a high possibility of more sickness occurring after this exciting event. The succinct article below "passes on" information as to why. So, "kickoff" this weekend with fun, and "tackle" the germs before they "score" on you or your family.

Cities with Super Bowl Teams See Higher Flu Death Rates

January 30, 2015

Venues in Boston and Seattle may want to ensure their infection prevention tactics are in place for Super Bowl weekend.
Cities that have teams participating in the Super Bowl tend to see a spike in flu deaths, according to a Tulane University study. This is due to the number of people who come together to celebrate playoff or championship games, which in turn, increases the spread of germs.
The impact of the flu on cities with Super Bowl teams is actually worse in years like this one, where Influenza A is the more prominent strain and when the big game takes place in the height of flu season. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Cleanliness Affects Productivity

Here's an interesting study out of the UK on cleanliness. It is self-explanatory. How do you measure up in the areas that you clean?


Urine Trouble!

Is it okay for men to urinate standing up? That question went to court in Germany where standing to urinate is a real debated issue. Without further ado, read the short article from NBC News below.

German Court Upholds Tenant's Right to Pee Standing Up

BERLIN - A German court ruled in favor of mens' right to pee standing up on Thursday, after a landlord tried to retain part of a tenant's 3,000 euro deposit for allegedly damaging the marble floor of a toilet by sprinkling it with urine.
The debate about whether men should stand or sit is no laughing matter in Germany, where some toilets have red traffic-style signs forbidding the standing position. There is also a derogatory term for men who sit down to pee - "Sitzpinkler" - which implies that it is not masculine behavior.
Judge Stefan Hank in the city of Duesseldorf said men who insist on standing "must expect occasional rows with housemates, especially women" but cannot be held to account for collateral damage. "Despite growing domestication of men in this matter, urinating while standing up is still widespread," he said. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Perfluorinated Chemicals - Leaving by the End of 2015

Almost 10 years ago the EPA ruled that perfluorinated chemicals needed to be phased out by the end of 2015. That deadline is approaching. These chemicals are a toxic chemical that is found in some cleaning chemicals. This news brief explains more.

Interestingly, in 2008 in the Custodial/Maintenance newsletter, an article appeared dealing with Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals of which perfluorinated chemicals are such. You can find the link to archived issues here.  Sort by volume and look for Volume 6, Issue 7.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Surfactants, Encapsulants, Absorbent Powders and Wicking

Have you ever cleaned a carpet only to have some areas or spots "wick" or reappear? This is usually due to a deeply embedded spot in the carpet backing that works its way to the surface of the face yarn as it dries; much the way a candle wick pulls fuel from the container it sits in.

Often the only way to remove spots that have wicked back up is to re-clean them and even then that doesn't always do the trick. This article by Jim Smith gives some technical background into wicking and ways to stop the spot from reappearing. Have you tried this method? Did it work well?

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sanitizing Wipes - There's A Standard for That

Thousands of products have UL standards attached to them to help control and monitor environmental and health concerns of humans and the planet. One that was just released on January 5, 2015 has to do with wipers used in cleaning. This new standard covers commercial, industrial, institutional and household applications (excluding personal care) wipers. Here's a short blurb from Cleaning and Maintenance Management Online that touches on and provides a link to the UL website.

UL Environment has introduced a new environmental standard for wipers under its ECOLOGO certification program.
UL Sustainability Standard for Wipers (UL 2883) is the first standard to specifically address the fast-growing wipers sector. The standard establishes human health and environmental criteria to certify disposable wipers designed for commercial, industrial, institutional, and household applications (excluding personal-care wipers).
UL 2883 addresses all woven and nonwoven disposable wipers derived from either natural or synthetic fibers that are designed and used primarily for cleaning, dusting, and sanitizing surfaces or tools. It also includes those wipers intended for absorbency tasks, according to a press release.
 The standard is available for download at