Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Well-Maintained World of St. Olaf College

Custodians clean, but often they do more. This might include maintaining buildings, systems, furniture or otherwise.  A good example of this is the St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.  The multiple buildings there each have a team of custodians that not only clean but also maintain the premises.  They even go so far as to help out the students and become friends with them, sometimes for decades.  Here's the whole article and the unique community they've created.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

World Toilet Day Aims to Flush Away A Lack of Toilets in Other Countries

Tomorrow, November 19, is World Toilet Day. Backed by the UN, World Toilet Day aims to help the some 2.4 billion people around the world that don't have access to proper sanitation.  Many of them have to defecate and urinate in the open. This poses a risk of rape and abuse for women and creates unsanitary conditions for all humans in those areas.

This link to the UN website highlights more details on World Toilet Day and also how you can get involved with #wecantwait.  Sit down, take a break and read a little about World Toilet Day.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What A Neat Place "To Go"

Cintas has published the results of their latest Best Restroom Contest.  The winner this year was in the town of Mintum, CO.  The design is a mine passageway.  There were nine runners up in various parts of the U.S. This article describes the winner and has links to pictures of all top ten contestants as well as pictures of restroom winners clear back to 2002.  The contest begins again for 2016.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Sticky Situation

Have you ever been to Seattle's Pike Place Market?  Have you seen the alley there with the gum on the wall?  It's the Gum Wall.  Well, after 20 years of people sticking their used gum on the wall it's finally getting cleaned.  Read the article here.  Tell me.  How would you like the job of cleaning off that sticky mess?

P.S.  Don't worry.  After it's cleaned you can start sticking your gum to the wall once again.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Poop Power

How do you produce more energy for the worlds billions of people?  Poop.  That's right.  Studies underway are working on ways of recycling human waste, both feces and urine, into usable energy. The following article from Time magazine sheds light on this subject and suggest ways the problem of producing more energy can be "wiped" out.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Feminine Waste Receptacle Reminders

The following reminders regarding feminine waste receptacles are from

  1.   Wear protective gloves.
  2. Empty the receptacle contents by removing the liner bag, sealing it, and placing it in a lined cleaning cart trash receptacle or lined trash pickup container.
  3. Use extra caution when handling the liner, which may contain sharps, such as needles.
  4. Visually inspect the inside of the receptacle, cautiously remove debris remaining in the bottom, and discard it in the trash. Contact a supervisor immediately if you find evidence of sharps or a pool of liquid.
  5. Clean to remove any visible soiling of the inside and outside of the receptacle; only use paper towels or other disposable wipes.
  6. To properly disinfect, apply (via disposable wipes/spray bottle) an appropriate disinfectant to the interior and exterior of the receptacle, including to the lid, even when there is no visible soiling.
  7. Consult with your supplier to ensure you use an appropriate disinfectant.Appropriate disinfectants include a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered tuberculocides, sterilants registered by the EPA, products registered against HIV/HBV, or sterilants/high-level disinfectants cleared by the FDA.
  8. In order to be effective, follow the recommended dwell time on the manufacturer's product label.
  9. To dry receptacle surfaces, only use paper towels or other disposable wipes, and discard them when saturated.
  10. To comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard, line the clean receptacle with one bag that will completely cover the inside surface and totally enclose discarded sanitary products. This protects the janitorial staff from coming into direct contact with materials containing blood or body fluids.
  11. Check the dimension of the stall receptacle to choose the correct size bag. The liner should reach all the way around the sides and to the bottom of the receptacle.
  12. Use one liner bag only; do not place multiple paper bags in the receptacle.
  13. Carefully handle the filled trash disposal container; keep in mind that sharps and blood borne pathogens may be present. Do not sort through or compress trash, even with gloved hands.
  14. Inspect your work to ensure you meet visible and hygienic cleaning standards; ATP measurement can help to verify organic soil removal.
Many of the above tips on proper disinfection and handling of feminine waste receptacles were previously published by ISSA and Cleaning and Maintenance Management magazine.

Get a Handle on Cleaning

Right out of the European Cleaning Journal.  Fascinating way to clean the handles on shopping carts, or trolleys as they're called in Europe.

Cleaning gadget tackles germs on shopping trolley handles

30th of October 2015
Cleaning gadget tackles germs on shopping trolley handles
A cleaning device that helps keep the handles of supermarket trolleys free from E.coli and faecal bacteria is being trialled in stores in the Middle East.
Soap maker LifeBuoy has developed the Handle on Hygiene, which it claims will kill 99.9 per cent of bacteria.
The Handle on Hygiene is a circular device that attaches to the handle of a supermarket trolley. As the trolley user swipes it from side-to-side it leaves a layer of soap which cleans and disinfects the trolley handle.
The Handle on Hygiene is currently being trialled in Carrefour supermarkets throughout the Middle East.

Lifebuoy's marketing manager Bora Ursal says the product has numerous uses beyond shopping. "We want to use these in hospitals, on trains and on buses," he said.

Mathematics and Cleaning

Who would ever think that math had much to do with cleaning?  Yet, basic math skills, and occasionally more complex math is sometimes needed when cleaning.  One area is when it comes to mixing chemicals.  Although many chemicals today are ready-to-use and pre-mixed or metered when connected to a water source, there are still other products where knowing how to figure ratios is necessary.

Our last poll asked, "A ratio mix of 1:8 equals how many ounces per gallon"?  The answer is 16. Since a gallon of water is 128 ounces, a ratio of 1:8 means divide 128 by 8 to get the correct amount of product per gallon.  128/8=16. A ratio of 1:4 would mean divide 128 by 4.  The amount per gallon would be 32.

Knowing how to figure ratios is important so as not to dilute too much or too little the product and its effectiveness in cleaning.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Kill Bacteria by Painting

What a breakthrough!  Sherwin-Williams has just begun selling their EPA backed Paint Shield interior paint which can kill 99.9% of bacteria including Staph, E. coli and MRSA.  This paint will be a real boon to such places as hospitals, schools, locker rooms, businesses and even homes.  The paint is a bit more pricey than normal paint, but to help prevent 99.9% of bacteria it's worth it.  Here's some more details about this great new product!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Be Careful What You Throw Away!

As cleaners, custodians, janitors or housekeepers, when you clean, you clean.  If something looks like trash it goes away.  Well, be careful! Cleaners in Italy accidentally threw away an art exhibit which they interpreted as trash.  And no wonder.  It was created out of empty champagne bottles and spent party poppers.  So who wouldn't think it was trash.  The artists' were not amused.  Here's the full story from Reuters.

An art installation of empty champagne bottles and spent party poppers reopened in Italy on Tuesday, three days after cleaning staff mistook it for rubbish and binned it.
"Where shall we go dancing tonight?" was intended to invoke the consumerism, financial speculation, mass media and parties of the 1980s, but fell foul of unwary cleaners at the weekend.
After realizing the mistake, staff at the Museion Bozen-Bolzano in the northern Alto Adige region hastily salvaged the materials from rubbish sacks and recreated the art work.
Museum director Letizia Ragaglia suggested the incident had served to get people talking about modern art.
"It has sparked a great debate ... It all goes to show how contemporary art is capable of arousing great interest, or even annoying people. We believe it is essential to keep this dialogue open," she said in a statement.
The creators of the installation, Sara Goldschmied and Eleonora Chiari were not amused. "What happened was bad. It cannot be possible for an installation to end up in the rubbish bin," the pair were quoted as saying by Alto Adige newspaper.The show will be open to the public until Nov. 22.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Crispian Balmer and Alison Williams)

Monday, October 19, 2015

Restroom Cleanliness and Learning

According to Business Wire dotcom, studies indicate that the cleanliness of school restroom can impact or enhance the learning environment.  A plethora of data gives percentages for various aspects of restroom cleanliness and how students and others perceive them.  This article shares these stats and gives some good insight into why clean restrooms really do count.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Are You Donning and Doffing Correctly?

When you use PPE during your cleaning, are you donning (putting on) and doffing (taking off) the PPE correctly?  Studies, especially with regard to health care workers, but applicable to custodians as well, indicate a high rate of contamination when removing PPE, particularly gloves.  Some interesting studies using fluorescent lotion and black lights have highlighted these concerns.  Here's two articles dealing with this issue.  It might be wise to review your doffing procedures after cleaning to keep yourself and others healthy.