Facility Solutions: Cleaning Outcomes Assessment

What if you made the time this year to have a third party assess your cleaning processes with the goal of reducing operational costs and improving neglected areas of your facility? 
How does this translate into increasing your bottom line?
Anything you can do to increase occupant productivity and decrease absenteeism, energy costs, and risk of injury to your staff, means a healthier budget and a happier team.
A Cleaning Outcomes Assessment focuses on appearance levels and the workplace environment.
  • Image Enhancement
  • Occupant Productivity
  • Absenteeism and Infection Prevention
  • Risk Management
  • Asset Preservation

When is the last time you surveyed your building occupants about what they think of the cleanliness and appearance of your facility?  An anonymous Occupant Survey from a randomly chosen group gives you an inside view.

Then, our team assesses cleanliness throughout the facility and documents each area with an ATP meter.  An ATP meter is a tool used to swab and measure the amount of organic material left on a surface. HTO’s (Highly Touched Objects) are measured after the cleaning process to validate the effectiveness of your current procedures.  In addition to those ratings, we log hundreds of photographs and audio recordings. These are condensed into an Inspection Report.

The Operational Efficiency report takes a look at what tasks are taking most of your staff’s time. For instance, in one assessment, we found that simply changing a few cleaning processes freed up 4391 labor hours annually. Not only did we find those hours but pointed out that shifting those man hours to HTO cleaning will reduce absenteeism and bring the facility’s cleanliness up to a new standard.

2 minutes on the Value of Clean - BRUCO, INC
2 minutes on the Value of Clean – BRUCO, INC
We’re also concerned with asset preservation and looking at what surfaces are being prematurely worn out or replaced and how to lengthen that life cycle.

Another important focus of the Cleaning Outcomes Assessment is Occupant Safety Risks.  We’ll look at things like reducing use of chemicals, improving indoor air quality, how to reduce slips and fall risks, and where you can reduce heavy lifting and repetitive motion injuries. It’s not just about looking at how clean the building is, but how to clean the building more safely and reduce risks.

Our mission is to improve your business through the practical application of knowledge based solutions and best practices.

To start the initial conversation about your Cleaning Outcomes Assessment, contact Brian Waddell on his cell at 406.839.4724 or click on the link below to respond now by email.

Meet our team of experts! 

Our Facility Solutions Consulting team has a combined 23 years of experience in the industry. Educating your team is our highest priority.  When “We Teach Clean” the suits come off and we work side by side with your crew.

Brian Waddell 058sm
Brian Waddell Director of Education and Consulting
Adam Uselman  Chief Operating Officer
Adam Uselman
Chief Operating Officer
Eastern Montana Sales Manager
Eastern Montana Sales Manager

 

How Dirty is Your Child’s School?

How Dirty Is Your Child's School? (ISSA)

If it looks clean, does it mean it’s actually clean? A water fountain spigot typically has 843 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.
BRUCO’s Cleaning Outcome Assessment uses data to identify how well the Highly Touched Objects in your child’s school are being cleaned.  Improvements are made using quantitative standards and training to keep student and teacher absences down and to raise the building’s overall health.

To find out more about an assessment for your facility, contact us by email or call our office at 800.652.1020!

Four Steps to Maintaining Your Carpet

In Issue One of the BRUCO University newsletter, my friend PeDIR showed us the four steps of hard floor care. In this issue we’ll apply the same four rules to carpet care.  PeDIR’s credo has four parts: 

 

  • P  for Preventative
  •   for Daily
  • I    for Interim
  • R  for Restorative

All four processes come into play to have beautiful carpets that last longer and have that new look without the permanent damage of traffic patterns.

Let’s spend a little time on each process for carpet care and I’ll introduce you to the latest technology in each step.

Preventative Carpet Care:

This step is just the same as in hard floor care, so I’m going to repeat a lot of this.  What I didn’t mention in the last issue is to sweep your parking lot and from time to time pressure wash the lot to remove oily soil that gets tracked in.

Take a walk around your facility to see where your matting is in relation to high traffic areas and what kind of shape your mats are in.  First of all, do they need to be replaced?  What type of mats are you using?  Are they doing the job of keeping the dirt in the mat and off the floor?

Ideally, you should be using three types of mats:

1. The outdoor scraper mat which traps heavy soil and allows water to drain away freely.

2. The indoor scraper/wiper mat.  We like the construction of the AndersenWaterhog.  The Waterhog mats have a hi lo pattern in the resilient rubber backing which creates a water dam keeping moisture in the mat and off your floors.

Waterhog Masterpiece Select
Waterhog Masterpiece Select

3. The indoor wiper mat is a finishing mat which traps finer dirt before stepping out onto your floors.

How much matting do you need?  You should have a 10-15 foot run of a combination of the mats listed above to be able to remove 80-90% of the contaminants from entering the building.  Not only does proper matting keep the dirt off of the floor but also keeps the dust out of the air and improves your indoor air quality decreasing the load on your HVAC system.

Daily Carpet Care:  

You may not vacuum the whole facility daily, but you should always vacuum the mats and the high traffic areas to avoid irreversible traffic patterns.  If you don’t remove soil daily from those high use areas, the soil goes deeper and deeper into the carpet pile and scratches the fibers.  Carpet fiber is designed to reflect light which gives it that luster and allows the color to pop.  When soil gets into the carpet and scratches the fiber, it’s just like scratching a pair of eyeglasses.  What do you see when you put them on?  Not much.  Everything becomes dull.  This is exactly what happens in a traffic pattern.  It dulls the fibers permanently.  So think of preserving the luster of your carpet by first of all keeping the majority of the dirt off of them in the first place with long runs of matting and then vacuuming those traffic lanes daily.

 What type of vacuum should be used?  It depends on the job, the person using it, and the square feet of the area to be cleaned.

 A tip on cleaning the mats is to use an upright to vacuum the top, then flip it over and vacuum the rubber backing so the beater brush loosens the ground in dirt onto the floor.  Flip it back over and vacuum up the loose dirt from the floor and go over the top again.

 If you have a large area to be cleaned, backpack vacuums are a great option. When choosing a backpack vac, the most important specifications to compare are:

 1)  Motor input power in watts

2)  Static lift (how high the suction can lift a 1″ column of water)

3)  Airflow in CFM’s (cubic feet per minute).

 As far as the occupants in your facility go, you may need to also check out the decibel level. For instance, a ProTeam Super Coach Pro 6 backpack vacuum runs at 66dBa; 1108 watts; 159 CFM and 96 inches of static lift.

The GoFree Pro Battery Backpack specs are 60 dBA; 507 watts; 65 CFM and 70 inches of static lift.

 So the quieter the vacuum the less power, air flow and static lift you’ll have. However, if you operate a healthcare facility and need to vacuum high traffic areas daily or more than once a day, and want to avoid the trip hazard of an electric cord, you can afford to give up the power.  They do a fantastic job if the carpet is cleaned consistently.  The priority is the satisfaction of your patients not having to be woken up with a loud vacuum or visitors having to dodge the noise and cords of a standard backpack vacuum.

The other consideration is square feet.  Using an upright to vacuum large areas and areas with a lot of furniture like cubicles or classroom desks is way too time consuming.  Uprights are great for cleaning high traffic areas and smaller open spaces.

 In a 10,000 square foot area, it will cost you 3 man hours using a dual motor upright compared to 1 man hour using a ProTeam Backpack Vacuum.  Let’s say those man hours have a loaded cost of $14 per hour.  You would save $9240 over the course of a year based on 264 working days.  Another way to look at it is you could enjoy $9240 worth of improvements in the cleanliness of your facility.  The backpack vac pays for itself in months.

OK, enough of my love for backpack vacuums.

 Spots.  Those nasty spots.  Ideally, they get reported right away and you can get on it pronto, but no one really wants to confess that they just spilled coffee all over the hallway carpet.

It just has to be done as you’re vacuuming because that’s when you’re going to notice them.   It’s very inconvenient to stop vacuuming and get out of your flow to stop and clean up a spot.  If there’s no foot traffic where you are at the time, I recommend keeping those little bright colored stickers in your pocket and just sticking one to the spot and then coming back through to do your ‘spot’  cleaning or have another team member come behind you with a heavy duty spot remover.

Interim Carpet Care: If you take the time to clean high traffic areas between extractions, your carpets will look new much longer.

First of all, maintain your mats.  Pressure wash your matting as needed:

Prespray with a light detergent.  Pressure wash swiping back and forth across the mat until all dirt and grit is removed.  Hang to dry overnight.

Using Encapsulation to Clean High Traffic Areas:

Encapsulation is really the best technology out there for interim carpet cleaning.  Encapsulation is a very low moisture cleaning technique mainly used in commercial settings for traffic lane cleaning.

The chemistry is unique since it consists of a detergent and crystal polymers. The detergent breaks the binding of the soils to the carpet fibers and then the polymers act as sponges to form a crystalline residue that can be immediately vacuumed.

Most equipment manufacturers are designing extractors that can also be used for interim cleaning just by using an encapsulation chemical.  Let’s take a look at the Taski Pro 45.

The cool thing about this machine is that it’s so easy to use.  The handle flips to the front or the rear.  You can use it in a push or pull motion and it’s self propelled.  Let’s check out Adam’s demonstration in the video below…

Taski Pro45 Carpet Extractor
Taski Pro45 Carpet Extractor

 Enough said – who wouldn’t want to use that baby in a big facility?  Talk about not feeling like you’re 80 after extracting carpets all day.

Restorative Carpet Care:

 The most important part of extraction is the prep work that needs to be done before you even turn your extractor on.

Vacuuming:  Be sure that you remove the dry soil in your carpets very well so that you’re not asking the extractor to do a job it isn’t designed to do, which is to extract mud.

If you have a tough situation with a carpet that’s been neglected and there’s a lot of impacted dirt that even a vacuum won’t remove you may need to use a high flow extractor like a Steamin’ Demon.  We have a customer that cleans the dorm rooms once a year with it and you can only imagine the build up that happens after a school year of abuse and neglect.

Once you’ve removed the soil by vacuuming, you’ll need to pre-spray the carpet with the chemical most appropriate for the soil you are removing.  This allows you to implement the principle of TACT.  Picture what you need to do when you’ve got to clean a casserole dish with all that hard dried up food around the edges.  You soak it in hot water with a little soap and let it sit for awhile before you attempt to scrub it.  When it comes to carpets the same rule applies to pull the old oily dirt and grease that’s been tracked in all year.

TIME:  Let the pre-spray sit for about 10 minutes to allow the chemicals to work on suspending the soils and breaking the bond to the carpet fibers.

AGITATION:  Rake or use a pile lifter on the carpet while the chemicals are working away to aid the soil suspension process

CHEMICAL:  Diversey makes a good pH Neutral Heavy Duty PreSpray which also contains a soil repellent to prevent re-soiling.

TEMPERATURE:  Although you may not use hot water in your extractor depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can use hot water in this pre-spray step which will be more effective in breaking down the grease and oil.

If you don’t pre-spray and just use detergent in your extractor, then the detergent only has a fraction of a second to accomplish all of the above.  It just doesn’t make sense to put all that time into such a huge job to get sub standard results.

When it comes to the extraction step, having a dual purpose extractor like the Taski Pro 45 or the Tennant 1610 is ideal.  Whatever extractor that you’re using, you should only use water since you’ve already applied the chemical in the pre-spray step.

A good extractor will leave the carpet with as little moisture in it as possible. Choose a time of year when the humidity is low and you have the ability to open windows.  Using air movers to speed up the drying process is advised.

Applying all of these steps in the care of your carpets will extend the life of your investment.  Taking shortcuts just doesn’t pay off, so follow our friend PeDIR’s advice and make a great first impression on your guests with beautifully maintained carpets!

If you’d like to view or share with your staff a full length  48 minute BRUCO University training video by Tony Sandau on Carpet Care Basics just click on the video below!

Carpet Care Basics - BRUCO, INC.
Carpet Care Basics – BRUCO, INC.

What is Rapidly Renewable Fiber?

What kind of paper have you chosen for your facility? Are you simply choosing the best product for the lowest price?  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that – but what constitutes ‘best’?  Best feel, best image, best fit for your current dispensers?  Have you thought about how the paper was manufactured and the impact it has on the world around us?  Due to the global economy, the world is getting smaller and the environmental impacts are felt much more quickly than even just fifty years ago.  This is why we all must take another look at best practices when making long term purchasing decisions.
As a supplier, we also decided to look at the bigger picture when choosing options to offer our customers.  Here are some of the reasons that we chose Solaris Paper.
  • The use of RRF or rapidly renewable fiber.  The wood used is from fast growing eucalyptus or acacia trees which have a six to eight year growth to harvest cycle.  Growing and harvesting their own trees instead of continuing to contribute to deforestation is a business practice we respect.
  • The processing of virgin wood leaves less of a carbon footprint than recycled paper.  One third of the raw materials used in recycled paper are sent to China to be de-inked and then produced into the final product which is then shipped back doubling carbon emissions.
  • Virgin fiber is brighter, whiter, and softer.  Recycled paper requires heavy use of strengthening  and processing chemicals which try to compensate for the natural strength and softness that virgin fiber provides.  Everyone knows the rough feel of a recycled paper towel.  Also, on the subject of processing chemicals, virgin fiber doesn’t need the addition of optical brightening agents that recycled paper does.
  • Solaris paper towels don’t ‘bloom’ like a recycled paper towel.  When it’s crumpled and thrown into the wastebasket, it holds its shape as it dries.  Recycled paper blooms resulting in more liners being used and more man hours spent replacing them.

So what’s really ‘best’?  The best part of this is that when you have us do an in depth comparison of your current paper products and the Solaris line, you’ll most likely come out ahead in price as well.

 Contact us by email or call our office at 800.652.1020 to have a price comparison drawn up for your facility.

Get Floored! Four Strategies of Hard Floor Care

My friend PeDIR knows what he’s doing when it comes to hard floor care. He’s got all kinds of tips, tricks and new technology to save time and backaches.

PDIR’s credo has four parts:

  • P  for Preventative
  • D  for Daily
  • I    for Interim
  • R  for Restorative

All four processes come into play to have beautiful floors that will stand the test of time and traffic, especially in the challenges of our harsh Montana and Wyoming winters. I have to give a shout out to the team at Lander High School  in beautiful Lander, Wyoming.  They have floors you could practically eat off of no matter what time of day it is in that school.  It’s truly a showcase for what high traffic floors CAN look like.  They were awarded the Bronze Medal by the U.S. News Best High Schools for 2014!

Now, let’s spend a little time on each process.

Preventative Floor Care:

This always starts on the other side of the entryway, out in the elements. Take a walk around your facility to see where your matting is in relation to high traffic areas and what kind of shape your mats are in.  First of all, do they need to be replaced?  What type of mats are you using?  Are they doing the job of keeping the dirt in the mat and off the floor?

Ideally, you should be using three types of mats:

1. The outdoor scraper mat which traps heavy soil and allows water to drain away freely.

2. The indoor scraper/wiper mat.  We like the construction of the AndersenWaterhog.  The Waterhog mats have a hi lo pattern in the resilient rubber backing which creates a water dam keeping moisture in the mat and off your floors.

 3. The indoor wiper mat is a finishing mat which traps finer dirt before stepping out onto your floors.

How much matting do you need?  You should have a 10-15 foot run of a combination of the mats listed above to be able to remove 80-90% of the contaminants from entering the building.  Not only does proper matting keep the dirt off of the floor but also keeps the dust out of the air and improves your indoor air quality decreasing the load on your HVAC system.

Daily Floor Care:  

 Dust mop daily using clean microfiber dust mop heads or vacuum your hard floors with a backpack vac like ProTeam.  If you operate a facility where you need to avoid trip hazards and would like to vacuum quietly during the day,  check out this GoFree Pro battery backpack vacuum.

 Vacuum and clean mats daily to maximize their effectiveness.  A good tip is to vacuum the mat as usual, then flip it over and vacuum the rubber backing with an upright so the beater brush loosens the ground in dirt onto the floor.  Flip it back over and then vacuum up the loose dirt and the top again.

 Remove heel scuff marks with a Merlin Eraser  Sponge and clean up spills.

Interim Floor Care:

 Pressure wash your matting as needed:

Prespray with a light detergent.  Pressure wash swiping back and forth across the mat until all dirt and grit is removed.  Hang to dry overnight.

Mopping or Auto Scrubbing:

In some facilities, this is also a daily process.  Many facilities have chosen to use equipment with electrically charged water, like the Tennant T5 ECH2Omodel. This eliminates the need for chemicals and leaves no residue on the floor.  It also adds years to your equipment since there is no chemical build up to maintain.  Take a look here at the money you can save over time by using a machine with ECH2O.

Tennant T5 Walk Behind Scrubber

 In restrooms with tile and grout to take care of, a couple of great time savers are the Kaivac 1750 which works like a pressure washer and a vacuum. Tennant has just released the Q12 which is also great for getting into small spaces, in corners and up the walls. It really blasts the dirt and stains out of your grout lines with pressure that will go as high as 1200 psi for your really tough jobs.  Click here to watch the demo.

Buffing or Burnishing:  Propane, Electric or Battery??

When someone walks through the front door of your building, they will have developed a positive or negative first impression within the first five seconds based on how it looks, how it smells and how it sounds.

To really pop a shine on your floors, you’ll need to buff or burnish depending on the intensity of the shine required for your facility.

Use a low speed buffer (150-175 rpm) or a high speed buffer (200-400 rpm’s) to polish your floors.  If you are going to spray buff with about 1 part finish and 2 parts water, then you’ll need to use the high speed buffer.  Be sure to throw buffing pads away when they get to about half their original thickness or if when you hold them up horizontally, they aren’t stiff anymore but droop down.

Retail stores, medical facilities and schools really want that mirror like reflection on their floors which requires burnishing.  When you’re burnishing, you’re actually planing the floor taking off embedded dirt and scratches.  A burnisher runs at 1000-2500 rpm’s.

You can go with electric, propane, or battery burnishers, listed in order of cost.  When shopping for a burnisher, always check what the working rpm’s are.  When under load, you’ll lose speed, so check your spec sheet to see what you can truly get out of it.

What are the advantages of using battery over propane or electric?

  • The team at Lander High School uses the Tennant B10 which is a rider.  They were thrilled that they could operate it during the day and cut down on night hours because of the quietness and the HEPA rated dust control option.  Less night hours means less electricity costs.
  • No cords to haul around saving time and man hours.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning from the use of propane burnishers. Carbon monoxide fumes are odorless, colorless, tasteless and non-irritating. Symptoms range from a slight headache at 200 ppm to confusion, headache and nausea at 1000-2000 ppm to fatal at 4000 ppm.  If you operate a propane burnisher, be sure that it’s equipped with a catalytic converter and a CO and emissions monitoring alarm tied to an automatic shut off.  Also, while operating any propane burnisher, set your building’s HVAC system to 100% outdoor air and exhaust the return air.
  • A battery burnisher has a higher price point but a longer life.  A propane burnisher typically lasts about five years.  The battery burnisher will go strong for over ten years.

Check out this cost comparison analysis between a 24″ Tennant B7 and a 24″ propane burnisher.

Tennant B5 Battery Burnisher comes standard with active HEPA dust control air filtration and as low as 63 dBA
Restorative Floor Care:

Thirty or forty years ago, carnauba wax was most commonly used.  Now we use synthetic finishes.  They are made from polymer emulsions.  A typical floor finish has 18-22% solids – when the volatile ingredients evaporate, that’s the amount of polymer we have left on the floor.

There are harder finishes and softer finishes.  To choose which finish to apply, look past the finish and focus on how you will care for the floor and what equipment you’ll be using to maintain it.  How often do you clean it?  Less?  You’ll need a harder finish.  More often?  You can use a softer finish with lower solids.  High traffic? Then use a high solids finish.

Wet Stripping: Why spend all the time, backache and risk of falling when you can dry strip?  Let’s look at that process instead.

Man with back pain massages his back trying to relieve his backache.

 Dry Stripping:  Eliminate the time consuming steps, and excessive elbow grease that it takes to wet strip and invest in a T3 or a Square Scrub.  If you’re in the market for a square orbital dry strip machine, we prefer the T3 for a few reasons.  It’s been through several redesigns and has big bushings that can handle the vibration.  It also serves as a general purpose autoscrubber – so what a bonus!  You can use it wet or dry and if you get the ECH20 option, you’ll be saving on chemicals and wear and tear on your crew.

Here’s the process with Tennant’s T3 Orbital Scrubber.

  Tennant Orbital Scrubbers

  • First, dust mop your floor.  Then dry strip the area with the T3  using a 3M prep pad.  This will take off 2 coats of finish.
  • The T3 doubles as a scrubber, so go over the area again rinsing with plain water.  Your floors will be dry and ready to go.
  • Then apply two coats of finish.  When spreading finish, spread with just a flat microfiber or nylon mop head.  Nylon will release the finish much better than cotton. Don’t pour too far ahead of your mop or it will start to set.

A conventional class room would take two to three hours from start to finish using this process.

When we demonstrated this at our last seminar one of the custodians burst out “I just want to cry sitting here watching this.  It looks so easy!”Smiley

 

 

PeDIR  takes great pride in his floors and it shows!  Floors that pop a shine make all the difference when that front door opens and your valued customers or patrons walk in!

 

 

Water Fountains More Contaminated Than Office Toilet Seats

‘Tis the season that we all get closed up in buildings together and increase our risk of bringing home something more than the bacon.
In a study of 400 managers and employees conducted by HLW International LLP (Buildings, 1999), employees’ productivity levels were determined to be heavily influenced by the cleanliness of the office in which they worked.
The study found that cleaning has a very real and measurable value, specifically reporting a 5 percent productivity gain ($125,000) in a 100 associate office with an average salary of $25,000.
While you might think that a toilet seat is one of the most highly infectious parts of your building, think again.  Be aware of these key areas that are highly responsible for transmitting bacteria and viruses.
45 germs per sq inch –Office Toilet Seats
3200 germs per sq inch — School Toilet Seats
1676 germs per sq. inch — Computer Mouse
3300 germs per sq. inch — Keyboard
12,000 germs per sq. inch — Office Desktop
25,000 germs per sq. inch — Office Telephones
2,700,000 bacteria per sq inch — Water Fountain Spigot
Some other culprits are:
  • School desktops which have 400 times more germs per sq. inch than a toilet seat
  • Touch screen terminals which are becoming more prevalent in small retail stores
  • Restroom and any other door knobs
  • Bathroom hand rails
  • Toilet flush handles
  • Sinks
  • Elevator buttons
  • Chair arm rests including the underpart of the arm rest
And don’t forget the break room.  Kitchens typically have a much higher level of bacteria than the restrooms and if you use a sponge, throw it away.  It carries the highest rate of bacteria than any other surface.  In the workplace, the safest thing to go with is disinfectant disposable wipes.
It’s important to review with your staff the importance of disinfecting these highly touched objects daily or several times a day depending on the traffic the area gets.  A disinfectant will kill 99.9% of pathogenic agents.