Friday, December 19, 2014

Pop, Snap, Crackle

This article from cmmonline describes an incident in the Netherlands of a man being injured by a popup toilet. The article speaks for itself.

A man in Amsterdam, Netherlands, was hospitalized this week with abdomen injuries after a popup public toilet arose from the ground without warning.
The unidentified man was injured in the early evening after the retractable toilet sent a nearby moped airborne and struck him. The man was standing near a Urilift retractable urinal when the incident occurred, reports the European Cleaning Journal.
City authorities are investigating the incident, which occurred on Weteringschans, a thoroughfare in Amsterdam’s city center.  
The toilets appear to be manhole covers in the ground during the day, but are raised by remote control at night as crowds flock to the area for its nightlife. This is the first injury attributed to the units, which are self-cleaning and can serve up to 125 people per hour.   

Monday, December 15, 2014


We use a Zamboni to clean our floors in the Commons (lunchroom), hallways, gyms and other large areas. It is a time-saver and does a great job.  Ours runs on batteries. There's a great advantage in that.

Some Zamboni's run on propane.  As with any fuel, there is always the potential for fumes, carbon dioxide and other petroleum product problems.  The linked article is one of those.  Read on.

Restroom Cleanliness in the News - Again!

Clorox and ISSA worked together to investigate the cleanliness of public restrooms. Several interesting comments by cleaning professionals were made. Improvements were needed in many areas after talking with cleaning technicians and looking at the restrooms themselves.

This link will take you to the article in

This link will take you to the Clorox chart.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Date is Still June 1, 2015

Last year on November 14, 2013, I posted an article about the changes coming to labeling and chemicals as mandated by OSHA. The deadline for labeling is June 1, 2015.

Recently, several companies asked OSHA for an extension of two years to this date to better prepare and research the changes needed on labeling. Today, an article in stated that this request was denied. Labeling changes still must take place by June 1, 2015. Here's the full article about this.

June 1, 2015 Changes

Friday, December 5, 2014

What Happens During Those Ten Days?

Beginning December 22, 2014 and ending January 2, 2015 is winter break. No school, very few teachers, if any and minimal athletic events. So, the question is, if custodians work year round, what do they do while the building sits quiet, empty, resting?

A lot!

During breaks and summer, we will do a lot of things that we can't normally do. These include, but are not limited to, painting, scrubbing or burnishing floors, cleaning carpets, repairing furniture (lunchroom tables, chairs and such), dusting high fixtures like lights, changing bulbs in the gyms, repairing the building as needed, changing filters, cleaning out trash cans, emptying garbage and recycle cans, washing walls and on and on. We stay very busy, thus the need to be here year round. But do we get any time off?

This year we will have the 24th and 25th off for Christmas as well as the 31st and 1st for New Year's plus whatever vacation is squeezed in between by individual employees. But the rest of the time we are here working, getting things ready for the return of life on January 5, 2015. Then we begin the slide into spring and summer where even more cleaning takes place!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Wow! Now What?

Check out this Facebook photo from Cleanfax. What would you do if you were called to clean up this mess?

Click Here

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Custodial Poll Review

Our recent poll closed. The question dealt with different facets of being a custodian. Of the five possible answers, the three chosen were "I am one", custodians are "looked down upon", and custodians "do a lot and are rarely acknowledged for it". The last one had the most votes.

Granted, cleaning up after other people is not glamorous. But it needs to be done. There's a certain satisfaction in making something "messy" look clean and neat again. Sometimes the messy is really messy and sometimes it's just unkempt and needs spruced up. Be that as it may, custodial work is probably not the number one job people are jumping at when looking for work. But it pays the bills, it's a necessary service and every once in a while someone says "thank you" for the work done. That always makes it worthwhile.

Seasonal Stains

During this time of the year many people increase their intake of sweets, food and other holiday goodies.  And, as would be expected, the number of spills from such pleasures increases as well. What can be done to limit carpet or flooring damage? What kinds of spills are most common? If all else fails, then what?

The article below comes from dated 12-2-14. Some interesting research and comments were provided. Here's the article.

Study Reveals Top Stains of the Holiday Season

December 02, 2014

Vancouver, WA— Before you roll out the red carpet to family and friends this holiday season, you may want to put a professional cleaner on speed dial. While the holidays typically invite merriment and goodwill, they can also invite a host of spills and stains in at least two-thirds of American residences, according to the results of a new study from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The study, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of IICRC from November 13-17, 2014 among 2,014 adults ages 18 and older, looked at the top stains of the season. The most commonly found type of holiday stain? It’s a tie between chocolate and fruit punch. 
“Holiday planning generally focuses on the food and decorations that make our homes and businesses feel more festive,” said Tony Wheelwright, chairman of the IICRC. “Our research shows that these substances have ended up on our floors or upholstery. If they aren’t properly treated, these stains can leave you with a lasting memory long after the holiday season has passed.”
According to the survey, the top five holiday stains Americans have encountered on their carpets, rugs, hard floors, or upholstery during the holiday season include:
  • Chocolate: 26 percent
  • Fruit punch or dye-based drink (e.g. Kool-Aid): 26 percent
  • Grease:  23 percent
  • Red or white wine: 21 percent
  • Candle wax: 19 percent.
Other frequent holiday stains include vomit (18 percent), beer (16 percent), gravy (15 percent) and butter (10 percent).
Additional key insights from the study include:
  • People in the Midwest are more likely to have encountered vomit stains (23 percent) than those in the Northeast (15 percent) and West (14 percent)
  • Stains from cranberry sauce are more likely to have been found by people in the Northeast (11 percent) than in Midwest (6 percent)
  • Younger people (ages 18-34) are more likely than those age 45-54 and those age 65+ to have encountered stains during the holiday season (74 percent vs. 63 percent and 59 percent, respectively).
To treat and remove most stains, the IICRC recommends using a three-step process of “blot, dilute and blot.” First, blot the stain with an absorbent towel to remove excess liquid or material. Next, dilute the stain with water, which is safe to use on most fabrics. Finally, blot the spot again to remove any excess water. Once you’ve treated the spot, cover it with a folded towel and place a heavy object over it to help absorb any additional liquid.
“This approach will treat a majority of stains, but when all else fails, you should call in a professional to limit further damage,” adds Pete Duncanson, chairman of the IICRC instructors and schools committee. “Certified carpet, hard floor and upholstery cleaning professionals will have the right tools, equipment and knowledge to remove your stains and restore your floors and upholstery to their pre-holiday beauty.”

For more information about the IICRC or to locate a professional IICRC-certified carpet or upholstery cleaner in your area, please visit

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Carpet Knowledge

Here's some great links to sites that give insight and knowledge into better cleaning, identification and problems encountered with carpeting. What will you learn? What do you already know?

Carpet Spotting

Carpet Burn Test

Carpet Yellowing

Oriental Rugs

Carpet Construction

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

World Toilet Day November 19, 2014

Most people in developed countries such as the United States don't think twice about toilets.  To them, they can be found in every home, every business, every school and every public place. But that is not the case for some 2.5 billion other people on earth!

Sadly, 1 billion people are forced to defecate in the open which is not only embarrassing and unhealthy, but quite unsafe, especially for millions of women. These women risk attack, physical abuse and shame because they have to walk long distances to find toilets or because there are none and they have to relieve themselves in the open. They are also plagued by diseases due to avoiding the use of toilets until late at night and because they avoid drinking water to limit toilet use.

November 19 was designated by the UN in 2013 as the official World Toilet Day around the world. Although every day improvements in toilet availability and sanitation are sought by the UN and other organizations, on November 19 the world focuses on bringing this dire situation to the forefront of people's minds. Comedians, celebrities, Sesame Street characters, cartoons, documentaries and more are highlighted to get people thinking about what many don't have easy access to, or maybe no access at all.

The website link highlighted above gives a plethora of information on this important day and provides access and links to several eye-opening and informative sites and material for all.  Why not check it out and think about how easy we have it here in this country!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

It's Winter. It's Cold. Be Safe!

With the onset of winter, the potential for accidents increases. Snow, rain, hail, wind, sleet and whatever else is thrown our way always seems to land on the sidewalks and stairs and our feet don't always like it!

Proper care and forethought can help minimize the dangers inherent with winter conditions. This article entitled Keeping Walkways Free of Snow and Ice has some great suggestions. Check it out and apply the ideas to your facility or home to make it a safer place to enter.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

School Is Closed - Custodians Work

Even though school is closed today due to the windstorm and power outages, we are still working. Anytime school closes we can all come in early and do some extra "stuff" that we usually don't get to do. Today we have done extra cleaning, vacuumed IDF rooms and the boiler rooms, checked heating units, washed walls, taken deliveries, written work orders, ordered supplies, lubed gate locks and more. With no students or teachers here, the work environment is quiet and relaxed. I wonder how many more times this year school will be closed?