Thursday, October 27, 2016

Great Help When Diagnosing Building HVAC Issues

Do you deal with HVAC issues in your school or building?  Heating/cooling issues?  Stuck dampers? Difficult to find sensor problems?  Bad construction?

Here's a link to a tool by which provides a list of potential building problems and then a list of possible solutions.  For the person dealing with building issues and tenants, this tool is invaluable.

Check it out here.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Good Training Results in Great Results!

Here's a link to a great article on training of custodial teams to make your building even better.  Five points of discussion in the article are 1) Safety, 2) Appearance, 3) Health, 4) Efficiency and 5) Organizational Success.  The article comes from Cleaning and Maintenance Management. You'll find the information beneficial and useful in working with your team.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

10 Minutes

Our recent poll asked what people thought the average time it took to vacuum a classroom might be. The answers were all correct in stating 10 minutes.  That's about average.  Sometimes it can take less if the weather and classroom attendees cooperate.  Other times it takes longer, especially in inclement weather.

Great Job Custodians in Clear Spring, Maryland!

Here's a story about some well-deserving custodians who received awards and recognition for their work at an elementary school in Maryland.  The link is here to read the full story about their hard work at keeping the school clean despite limited resources.

Friday, September 30, 2016

October 2 - National Custodial Worker Day

It's coming up Sunday!  A time to recognize your friendly, hard-working custodians across the country.  Below is one of many websites commenting on this day.  This one is taken from

Custodial Worker Day
October 2, 2016 in the USA

National Custodial Worker Day is observed on October 02, 2016. It sometimes referred to this unofficial profession holiday as National Custodial Worker's Recognition Day or National Custodian Appreciation Day – but the do all aim for the same thing: thank the custodial workers for what they do every day. 

Those people deserve a special day because normally they work without being noticed all that much, but the results of their work, namely a clean and cosy surrounding is important and indeed recognizable. The most people know or get in touch occasionally with custodial workers: Use National Custodial Worker Day to let them know their efforts are appreciated. 

They often get up early and finish their work before the others can start theirs in a comfortable surroundings. Sometimes meetings and small parties are organized for custodial workers on National Custodial Workers Day, but a neat little card or a small gift will be a very nice idea, too.

Where is National Custodial Worker Day?

When is National Custodial Worker Day?
Sunday, the 2nd of October 2016 

The text "National Custodial Worker Day" has been taken from

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Scotland Recalls Cleaning Wipes

A batch of cleaning wipes was recalled in Scotland due to contamination recently.  It began in one health-care facility but was quickly recalled from all facilities in the country.  The Herald Scotland reported on this incident.  Here's the link.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

FDA Says There's No Proof Antibacterial Soaps Work

In several previous posts (April 9, 2014; April 28, 2015; September 29, 2015) I shared articles on the concerns that antibacterial soaps were under consideration as to whether or not they were effective. Now the FDA has decided they are not.  Here's a copy of the article found in Yahoo! news in the health section last week.

The federal government has banned more than a dozen chemicals long used in antibacterial soaps, saying manufacturers failed to show they are safe and kill germs. Friday's decision primarily targets two once-ubiquitous ingredients — triclosan and triclocarban — that some limited animal research suggests can interfere with hormone levels and lead to drug-resistant bacteria. The chemicals have long been under scrutiny, and a cleaning industry spokesman said most companies have already removed the now banned 19 chemicals from their soaps and washes. The agency told manufacturers nearly three years ago that they must show their products are safe and effective. Regulators said Friday the data submitted for the chemicals did not meet federal standards for proving safety and effectiveness.
We have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research
The FDA ban comes more than 40 years after Congress asked the agency to evaluate triclosan and dozens of other antiseptic ingredients. Ultimately, the government agreed to publish its findings only after a three-year legal battle with an environmental group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, which accused the FDA of delaying a decision on the safety of triclosan. The FDA is now undertaking a sweeping reevaluation of soaps and washes used by consumers and health professionals. The FDA decision does not apply to hand sanitizers, most of which use alcohol rather than antibacterial chemicals.
Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long term.
Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Friday, September 2, 2016

Once Again - Don't Mix Bleach and Ammonia

Here's another news item about what happens when the wrong chemicals are mixed.  Always be safe and know what you're doing!

Wisconsin Custodian Accidentally Mixes Toxic Gas While Cleaning

A custodian at the Department of Corrections in Madison, WI, accidentally combined cleaning chemicals to produce a dangerous gas while cleaning Tuesday.

The custodian was cleaning restrooms when she mixed lemon bleach and toilet bowl cleaner, creating a toxic gas that can be deadly. The custodian then poured the mixture down a slop sink drain and vacated the building, according to a story on

Facility management called the Madison Fire Department and paramedics to the building to assess the situation after a building occupant reported having difficulty breathing. The fire department determined that while there was a slight chlorine odor in the building, the hazard was already under control.

The custodian declined to be taken to the hospital, but officials advised her to seek medical treatment.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

7+ Acres

Our recent poll asked if you thought the new Tahoma High School would be the biggest in the state. The answer is yes.  It will be around 325,000 square feet or just over seven acres.  Now that's big!  As we transition into the new building next year, the sheer size and immensity of this building will sink in.  We will be starting from the ground up building schedules for cleaning, maintenance and everything else that goes on in a building of that size.  It should be quite a building.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Be Sure to Always Report On-the-Job-Injuries

Here's some interesting thoughts on reporting injuries.  It comes from the cmmonline site.

Why Custodial Injuries are Rarely Reported
When it comes to on-the-job injuries and illnesses, janitors and other cleaning professionals are at a greater risk than the average worker, as they often suffer minor cuts, bruises, and burns from machines, tools, and chemicals, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, those injuries may often go largely unreported, says industry Ron Segura. In a recent press release, Segura offered insight into this phenomenon:
  • Fear. Some workers may fear that reporting an injury could result in lost time and wages—or losing their job completely.
  • Kept quiet. Rather than pay the resulting workers’ compensation fees, some contractors prefer to deal with injuries in-house, rather than report them.
  • Perception. If an injury stems from mishandling a chemical, piece of equipment, or tool, workers would rather keep quiet than express they are at fault.
  • Company culture. There are companies that focus more on service and performance than the reporting of injuries.
"The big problem about not reporting injuries or trying to deemphasize them is that it makes it more likely that they will happen again," says Segura.

"Instead of pushing injuries under the table, contractors need to put more emphasis on training and education. Ultimately, that is the best way to keep injuries from happening."

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Museum That Sucks!

Meet Tom Gasko.  He's the curator of a museum he created that chronicles the history of the vacuum cleaner.  His vacuums date back almost 150 years.  Here's a link to some audio of vacuum sounds and a short article about this museum that sucks!