Monday, June 6, 2016

Sad News About This Year's JOTY

The following article was found on

Jerome Lewis, a janitor from Crestline Elementary School in Mountain Brook, AL, and the 2016 winner of Cintas Corp.’s Janitor of the Year contest, has died.

Lewis, who had been battling appendiceal cancer since 2013 and recently entered hospice care, passed away on Thursday, according to a story on

A post on the Mountain Brook City Schools Foundation Facebook page announced Lewis’ passing, saying, "We received word early this morning that Mr. Jerome passed away last night. He was such a bright, inspiring part of our Mountain Brook Schools community, and especially Crestline Elementary. Please keep him, his family and friends, in your thoughts and prayers. Rest peacefully, Mr. Jerome. You will be greatly missed."

Lewis worked at Crestline for the past 10 years.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Red It Is!

Our latest poll asked what color the sun faded on a carpet that was brown and turned green.  The answer is red.

Since carpets are made up of the three primary colors yellow, blue and red, and since brown is a mix of all three primaries in uneven amounts (black is all three primary colors in even amounts), the missing color would be red. Since the remaining color was green and green is a combination of yellow and blue, the only color missing is red.  When a situation like this requires color dyeing, one would need to add red dye back into the green area to return it to brown. Interestingly, red dye is the weakest dye and the first color that the sun will fade.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Rare Superbug Resistant to Antibiotics Reported in U.S.

Mcr1-positive, a rare form of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has been reported in the United States.  A 49-year-old female in Pennsylvania had the presence of this bacteria in her urinary tract from an infection.  CMM Online reports the following regarding this discovery.  It's definitely something to keep an eye on as it could be deadly.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have confirmed the country’s first case of mcr-1 positive, a rare and potentially deadly form of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).
First identified in China in 2015, the mcr-1 positive strain of CRE is resistant to most forms of antibiotics, including colistin. Health officials view colistin as the last line of defense against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as it normally is effective against bacteria that has acquired resistance to other antibiotics.
Doctors in Pennsylvania discovered the presence of mcr-1 positive bacteria when testing the urinary tract infection sample of a 49-year-old female. The patient has been successfully treated and released, and no other cases of the bacteria have been reported. The CDC is working with local health officials to determine the source of the bacteria, Fox News reports.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Janitor of the Year Winner for 2016

Jerome Lewis is this year's winner for Cintas Janitor of the Year contest.  Sadly, Jerome has terminal cancer and received his award at home.  Here's two links with stories about this custodian.

1. Cintas
2. Cmmonline

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Avoid Embarrassing Accidents - Monitor Your Urination and Defecation Rhythms

A small company in Japan has developed a device that monitors your bodies activities and notifies you via a PC or smartphone when you'll need to use the bathroom.  This alert happens about 15 to 20 minutes before you have to "go". The device uses ultrasonic waves and monitors the rumblings and fullness of bowels and bladder in order to warn the wearer before an accident occurs.  The device may find great use in nursing homes.  For more details on this invention and the future of this small unit, read the full article here in the Japan Times.

Friday, May 13, 2016

That's Just Ducky

Cleaning toilets.  Washing windows. Running the HVAC systems.  Moving furniture.  Saving ducks. It's all in a days work for those in the custodial world. Check out this human interest story about Steve Fatamico and Jim Gale and how they saved their middle school's ducks in Illinois.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Wow!  I've just reached my 500th post.  It's hard to believe I've been blogging about custodial issues for over seven years.  I've had many comments about various posts in that time as well as input and thoughts on the items shared.  It's amazing how much information is out there in the news and otherwise that deals with cleaning and maintenance of buildings.  I've tried to funnel the pertinent information that relates to a school environment into my posts plus add a few interesting and unusual stories that are loosely or completely related to custodial issues.  Thanks for following this blog and sharing your occasional comments or input about the information provided.  I hope you've learned something new now and then.

How About a Six Hour Workday?

Most of us work an eight hour day, five days a week.  But if given the opportunity, would you work a six hour day for the same pay and prove yourself more productive?  It seems that in one of several experiments in Europe this has been the case.  Although the acceptance of this hasn't caught on completely, the idea is intriguing and is being observed with interest.  Here's the full article you might find interesting.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016


Kinetex.  "A soft-surface floor covering with long-wearing performance of hard-surface flooring," so says  This unique new flooring product competes with hard floor care, but is cleaned like carpets and dries 75% faster. It's also made out of polyester.  Intrigued?  Read the full article here.  

Aqueous Ozone

Aqueous ozone.  What is it?  According to, "aqueous ozone is created mechanically. The interaction of electricity and oxygen creates ozone, which is infused into water. The combination can then be poured into a container, such as a sprayer, for use in cleaning or to prespray carpet. In fact, some systems are designed to be connected directly to a sink in a janitorial closet. Referred to as “fill stations,” these systems dispense aqueous ozone."

Why use it?  It is a great green cleaning product.  It's safe.  It limits the need for chemicals when cleaning.  The Cleanfax article linked here goes into greater detail on using aqueous ozone.  It might be something worth trying.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Dust Mop Frame

Our recent poll asked what a dust mop frame was for.  The answer?  It is the metal frame that connects to the end of the handle upon which the dust mop head is placed.  The frame keeps the dust mop rigid so that it can be used to sweep the floor.  Another name for the dust mop frame is a dust mop bale.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vaccinated but Infected

Usually vaccines help people avoid a particular disease.  However, they are not always 100% effective.  Here's an article discussing an outbreak of mumps at Harvard University where all the infected students were immunized against mumps.  But it is not just Harvard. Other schools have been infected too.  Read on.