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Blog
  • Day Cleaning Can Reduce Commercial Energy Use

    Sep 21, 2017

    Building owners and managers are always looking for ways to increase their attractiveness to potential new tenants. While building from scratch or major renovations can be costly and time consuming, there are many small steps that can be taken to make a building more attractive.

    An easy way to improve the first impression of your building is by utilizing a day cleaning schedule. First shift cleaning shifts are becoming more popular and for good reason. One of the numerous benefits of day cleaning can be the major savings on energy costs. Industry consultants predict that within 10 years, day cleaning will be more common than traditional nighttime cleaning because of its effective reduction of cleaning costs as well as increasing sustainability.

    Reduced costs by changing a building cleaning schedule to the day shift can come from eliminating the need to illuminate buildings overnight. Day cleaning also enables building owners and managers to reduce their heating or cooling costs overnight. Doing so will effectively reduce the environmental footprint and can help attract new tenants in a market with growing interest in sustainability.

    The United States Energy Information Administration, or EIA, has determined that commercial buildings now account for roughly 20 percent of energy consumption. Switching to a day cleaning schedule will help reduce overall consumption and energy footprint.

    Day cleaning can also be beneficial to building and property staff. Some of the numerous benefits include:

    • Higher employee retention and levels of job satisfaction
    • Increased visibility of cleaning staff, which leads to increased respect amongst building and office occupants who work during the day
    • Improved communication between tenants and cleaning staff
    • Maintained confidence amongst tenants that their premises are routinely well-cleaned

    Casinos and hotels have been taking advantage of day cleaning for decades. With good communication and willingness to make a change, day cleaning can be implemented in virtually any facility. The recent push for day cleaning has been largely associated with commercial offices and property management. It adds to a return on investment by lowering overall operating costs, contributing to tenant retention, and attracting new customers or tenants seeking a green property.

  • Hospitals - Bathroom VS Elevator

    Sep 21, 2017

    When most people think of hospitals they think sterile, but that’s not the case - hospitals are dirty places and hospital-acquired infections, like C. difficile, are a common occurrence. Everyday objects in hospitals—from white coats to ultrasound equipment—are well-known harbors’ of bacteria. But, what is one of the dirtiest touch points in a hospital ... A new study in the journal Open Medicine has revealed a little-known germ hotspot: the hospital elevator button.

    To find out just how the dirty hospital surfaces were, researchers tested numerous touch points by swabbing elevator buttons, handles of bathrooms stalls and toilet flushers. The results, elevator buttons have more bacteria than toilet surfaces!  "The prevalence of colonization (with bacteria) of elevator buttons was 61 percent," the study reads. On the toilets, it was 43 percent.

    Now, the study has a few limitations. The samples were taken during flu season, which may have prompted people to use more hand sanitizer. It was also cold outside, when many folks wear gloves. This means the hospital surfaces may be even dirtier than the researchers found. On the other hand, since influenza was in full swing, there may have been more hospital traffic than usual, which would also bias the research.

    But there's some good news: the kinds of bacteria the researchers found had "low pathogenicity," meaning they are unlikely to make people sick.

    That doesn't mean they're not possible vectors of disease, however. "Patients remain at potential risk of cross-contamination because of the frequent use of these buttons by diverse individuals," the study authors wrote. "In addition, a visitor is more likely to come into contact with an elevator button or a toilet than with inanimate hospital equipment and may transmit organisms if interacting with inpatients."

    Interestingly, while they found elevator buttons were dirtier than toilets, they were actually cleaner than hospital computer-keyboards and ultrasound transducers. Maybe this means everything in a hospital should be touchless, or at least as clean as the bathrooms.

    Hospital-Elevator-Buttons-Chart

  • Five Trends Impacting the Cleaning Market

    Sep 21, 2017

    Now more than ever keeping the environments we spend our time in clean has gained importance, and the products used are under greater review. The following trends that are impacting the cleaning market were complied by CleanLink based on Smithers Apex data. This data shows that consumers are now concerned with more than having a clean environment: They want to understand the product choices.

    1. Performance: Products which combine their efficiency with innovative features have an advantage in this marketplace. While it is essential to differentiate the pack on-shelf, the product itself should also have innovative functions to establish the product and brand as cleaning market leaders.
    2. Cost-effectiveness: While a number of customers in more developed regions are willing to pay more for a product if it performs better, others may prefer cheaper products, and will accept a certain reduced level of performance. Manufacturers of cleaning products must balance these two aspects in order to succeed in the cleaning market.
    3. Ease of use: Consumers have increasingly busy lifestyles, so products which make the process of gaining a spotless home more quickly and at minimum effort are becoming increasingly popular. Identifying ways to make products as intuitive and easy to use as possible will be key to succeeding.
    4. Environmental awareness: Consumers have become more aware of how their everyday activities are affecting the world. It will be most important for manufacturers to balance the preference for eco-friendly products with an ability to meet the genuine and perceived needs of consumers.
    5. Fragrance, aesthetics and packaging: As the market becomes more saturated, differentiators such as an attractive packs or pleasant fragrances have increased shelf appeal and can influence buyer's quick purchasing decisions. Many cleaning product packaging solutions are clear in order to allow the consumer to see the consistency and color of the products, which can be key indicators of perceived performance.
  • A Cluttered Mind

    Sep 21, 2017

    When we think of living “healthy” we are told to stay active, exercise daily, eat right, drink enough water and sleep at least 8 hours each night.

    Ask yourself this question, what about while you are at your workplace? Keep in mind, a person spends 8-10 hours a day in their work environment. Can a “clean lifestyle” affect your work performance?

    Dr. Jennifer  Baxt, DMFT, an online metal health therapist states there is a direct correlation between mental health and a clean lifestyle. Similar to exercising, a person can feel happier and more relaxed in a fresh, clean environment by removing dirt, dust and clutter.

    Keeping a clean and workspace helps decrease a stressful environment and lead to higher productivity.  Here are a few quick daily maintenance techniques to keep your space clutter and germ free and productivity soaring!

    • In between hand washing (which is the key at reducing the spread and transmission of germs, keep hand sanitizing wipes within reach around your work station. Sanitizing your hands several times a day, such as, after, answering the phone, working at your computer) helps decrease the spread of germs and you getting sick, resulting in absences at work.
    • Carry hand sanitizing gels with you at all times. By keeping hand sanitizer gel with you, you can put your mind at rest knowing that your hands will always have the opportunity to be clean in any situation.
    • Clean touch points daily with general disinfectants/wipes. Some common touch points such as telephones, keyboards, desktops and your mouse harbor germs.
    • Avoid a clutter pile up! Keep papers and office supplies organized. This will leave your desk in order and your mind at ease knowing needed documents are easily accessible.
  • Conserving Water: How One Hotel Saved Three Million Gallons of Water

    Sep 21, 2017

    San Francisco’s Intercontinental Hotel is the largest hotel in California to earn Gold Status under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program for existing buildings from the U.S. Green Building Council. One of the most important ways it was able to earn this coveted status was by conserving water throughout the hotel’s operations.

    The hotel had several water conservation options available—from replacing toilets in all the guest rooms and installing systems that consume less water to replacing heating and air-conditioning systems that use water more efficiently. However, these steps would be costly, disruptive, and likely impact hotel guests. So, the Intercontinental Hotel decided to look for steps that would be easy to implement, cost effective, and still produce a considerable reduction in water consumption.

    In other words, they were in search of the “low-hanging fruit” when it came to conserving water and what they came up with was nothing less than phenomenal. They decided to install aerators throughout the hotel’s hundreds of sinks and faucets. In 2010, aerators - which are surprisingly cost effective - were installed in all 550 guest rooms of the 32-story property, in the main kitchen, as well as staff hand-washing stations.

    The aerators reduced water use to 0.5 gallon per minute, similar to the aerators that are part of Betco’s Smart Restroom System. This is considerably less than the 2.2 gallons per minute that the sinks and faucets used previously. Plus, installing the aerators took a minimal amount of time—about five minutes each—was not disruptive to guests or hotel operations, and was surprisingly cost-effective.

    The result: along with other measures, the hotel has managed to save three million gallons of water per year on guest room operations.  Fully two-thirds of that amount was due to the aerators alone.

    But, what about guest satisfaction?  Was water pressure adequate?  According to Harry Hobbs, the hotel’s director of engineering, “it’s been a good decision. We have had some folks think the pressure was too little, but maybe only one in 100,000 guests will bring this to our attention … a very low percentage.”

    For more information on ways to conserve water and reduce water consumption for your hotel property or any commercial building, please contact a Betco representative by emailing @welistenatbetco.com or learn more about Betco’s water conserving Smart Restroom System.

  • When Clean Really Matters - Hospital Standards

    Sep 21, 2017

    With the risk of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI’s), a clean patient room is more important than ever. A person’s definition of “clean” can be a subjective one; however, in the health care industry, there is a clean standard that must be followed to insure a sense of comfort and quality for the patient. When a patient is admitted into the hospital, it is far from home, but the least a health care facility can do is provide their patients with a clean and welcoming environment. You may be wondering, what all should a health care facility do to meet this cleaning standard? The list below is a guide recommended by an experienced cleaning contractor that may be helpful for a health care facility cleaning staff.

    • Knock on the door of the patient’s room and announce “Housekeeping.”
    • Introduce yourself by name to the patient.
    • Clean the room from ceiling to floor
    • Look  for furniture that is out of place and rearrange to the standard layout.
    • Organize the patient’s personal items as requested.
    • Pick up all debris on the floor.
    • Empty the trash by removing the entire liner and replacing it with a new liner.      If the trash basket is soiled, wipe it clean with a disinfectant.
    • Work in an organized fashion around the room.
    • Spot clean horizontal surfaces.
    • Disinfect correctly all the high touch points and clean all surfaces.

    Even further, patient room floor cleaning also calls for a uniform sequence of steps, including the following:

    • Assemble your mop and adjust the height.
    • Begin cleaning the floor, starting from the back of the room and working toward the door.
    • Collect dirt and debris at the door with a cleaning brush and dustpan.
    • Look around the room to make sure furniture is not out of place, supplies are not left behind and that waste receptacles are clean. Also, look for soiled areas missed earlier.

    Health facility staff members interact with numerous patients on a daily basis, meaning that daily cleaning is crucial for the health and satisfaction of their patients. For more information on improving the quality of a patient’s room at a health facility, visit Health Facilities Management Magazine!

  • Don't be THAT Person During Flu Season

    Sep 21, 2017

    When the flu season strikes, nobody wants to be known as the person that has passed along the flu to everyone in the office. It’s a reputation nobody wants to have; however, it is a hard one to avoid. Many times, we don’t even know that we are carrying a flu virus; symptoms may go unnoticed when you are the most contagious. So, how do you prevent passing along the pesky flu that nobody wants? Here are a few tips and tricks that might keep you from being “That” person.

    germ-hand-picture

    Be Conscientious- If you are ill, let that be known when greeting people as to why you refuse to shake their hand. A simple, “excuse me for not shaking hands, I have a terrible cold” will suffice. The people you encounter will appreciate your consideration of them.

    Keep your distance. If you are the sick one keep your distance from people. No hugging or close interaction that might cause germs to spread.

    Cough and sneeze into the bend in your arm or into a tissue, not in your hands. This will keep your hands a little more germ free for when an unexpected handshake or interaction occurs.

    Sanitize your desk, computer, keys and phone regularly. Your desk and work area is a germ infestation! Keeping the things we touch cleaned throughout the day is a big help. A general disinfectant can usually do the trick. Anytime you might touch something that is contaminated, make sure you wipe it down with a disinfectant and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

    Throw away used tissues after using them once. Don’t leave them laying around for others to pick up and throw away. Especially, don’t leave them on tables where someone else would have to dispose of them. They don’t want your germs either.

    b>Keep a box of tissues and hand sanitizer on your desk at work. It is always smart to have extra on hand. Others can use them if they feel a sneeze or cough coming on. Make sure you sanitize your hands as soon as you are finished using a tissue.

    Have some illness guidelines for employees. Be smart. Encourage employees to stay home if they are acutely ill or have a fever. If someone has a fever, it means they are still contagious. This will reduce the spread of illness throughout an organization.

  • Is Your Floor Stripper In Hot Water? Should It Be?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Recently our Technical Services Manager, Barry Rosenthal had a question regarding floor strippers: Why is it that some of Betco's floor strippers are recommended to dilute with cool water and others with hot water? 

    Clearly, one of the factors of cleaning is temperature (others are time, agitation and chemical) so most assume that increasing the temperature must improve the performance of the floor stripper. Not always, certain strippers have chemicals which have a lower flash point. Using hot water causes these ingredients to flash off prematurely, actually diminishing the performance of the floor stripper. However, performance is not the only reason for cool water, Betco's Green Floor Strippers must be diluted with cool water to reduce the energy consumption of using hot water.

    Recommended temperatures for Betco Floor Strippers:

    Cool Water:

    #184 Extreme

    #888 Unlock

    #194 Extreme Ultra

    #541 Green Earth Floor Stripper

    Hot Water:

    #154 Ax-It Plus

    #104 Geraldine

    #561 Vanisher

    Just remember, hot water is not always better.  Always check the label and use the proper temperature of water to get the maximum performance from your floor stripper.

  • How to Kill Floor Finishing Profits

    Sep 21, 2017

    Stanley Quentin Hulin, a frequent writer for the professional cleaning industry since 1975 recounts a true story of floor finishing misery. As Hulin describes, a job was recently completed in twelve hours … but it had been budgeted for eight. When the supervisor asks the lead technician to explain the extra time, he hears “that everything was going fine up until it was time to apply the floor finish. “Man, it took forever [for the floor finish] to dry, there was nothing else we could do.” The result - a disappointing loss of profit.

    According to Hulin, the hard-floor maintenance industry is extremely competitive with requests for proposals fairly common. Many cleaning contractors “jockey for position” he says to get these lucrative contracts. He goes on to say that many contractors have a problem even if they win their bids because they are based “on optimum conditions and the most aggressive productivity rates.” They neglect to consider vital but unpredictable time factors, particularly the length of time it takes for a floor finish to dry (drying time).

    Another cleaning contractor working in the San Francisco Bay area has a similar tale of woe.  The contractor and a helper set to work stripping and refinishing a long hallway in an office building. The hallway was nearly a city block long, but it was a “thin” hallway, so the contractor expected that if he and his helper begin the job at 6:00 p.m., they should finish by midnight or so.

    Once again, unpredictable drying time caused financial pain. The office was located directly over water, the humidity was relatively high but, the real culprit was the finish itself. The six or seven hour job became nine because the finish simply took so long to dry, keeping the contractor and his helper at work until about 3:00 am.

    There are so many factors that can impact floor finish drying times. However, the key reasons a floor finish may take as much as 60 minutes or more to dry and harden are the following:

    • Temperature, humidity, and air movement; always install air movers to speed drying time
    • The porosity of the floor (number of pores in the floor)
    • Coats are applied are too heavily; always remember to apply thin coats of finish
    • Textured floor surfaces can require more time to dry than smooth surfaces

    Before the job, review floor refinishing guidelines with a distributor or online, at Betco U, a free training and certification program for cleaning professionals. Invariably, even the most experienced floor care technician will learn something new.

    Select fast-drying floor finishes; new technologies have been developed that can reduce finish drying times to as little as 15 minutes, which almost guarantees you’ll finish the job quickly with money in the bank.

    Betco® is known for Floor Care and for delivering total floor care solutions for proven performance and durability. Visit the floor care section of Betco’s website or call 1-800-GO-BETCO. 

  • Developing a Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Program

    Sep 21, 2017

    Most cleaning experts suggest that facility managers have a floor cleaning and maintenance program to help make sure floors stay clean and safe throughout the year. The plan might list, among other things, when and how often floors are to be cleaned, scrubbed, and refinished.

    However, there are many variables that must be considered before developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. The following are some key questions facility managers need to address before instituting a floor maintenance program.

    What is the budget?

    A floor cleaning and maintenance program can be costly. The first step in determining costs is to know how many square feet of flooring will need to be cleaned and how often. Many times, an astute janitorial contractor can help a facility manger develop a budget for floor maintenance.

    How important is the floor?

    Some floors, like a lobby floor, are more important than others because they contribute to a customer or user’s first impression of the facility. Other floors may require less attention because they are not in customer areas. Determine which floors are the most important and budget resources accordingly.

    What is the current condition of the floor?

    A floor cleaning and maintenance program requires that a floor audit be conducted to determine the condition of all floors. Is there damage? Is it salvageable? Are there safety concerns? When was the last time the floor was stripped and refinished? Is there yellowing or are there heavily soiled areas? Jot down the condition of all floors throughout the facility.

    What are the traffic conditions?

    It’s critical to have a good idea of what the traffic conditions are throughout the property and which floor areas are most likely to need more cleaning time and attention.

    When will floor care work be performed?

    In commercial office buildings, most floor cleaning and maintenance programs are performed after business hours or on weekends. If the floors must be scrubbed, recoated, or refinished, it gives the floor time to dry and helps protect tenants from potential slip-and-fall accidents.

    What types of flooring are installed?

    Certain types of flooring may have very specific cleaning and maintenance requirements. Stone floors will have different needs – and require different cleaning products and tools, than a more conventional VCT floor. Document the maintenance needs of all floors in the property and be sure these requirements are fully understood.

    What equipment is needed?

    Floor care and the equipment used to maintain floors have changed a lot in the past few years. For instance, mops and buckets are being phased out and being replaced with automatic scrubbers. Automatic scrubbers are highly regarded because they can vacuum, clean, rinse, and dry floors all in one pass. They also can reduce costs significantly. In one study, an automatic scrubber was found to reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes.

    Is there environmental and “sensitivity” issues?

    A decision has to be made when preparing a floor cleaning and maintenance program whether or not a green floor care program will be adopted to clean and maintain a facility’s floors. There are now a number of effective and cost effective green floor care chemicals, polishes, finishes, and equipment available from leading manufacturers such as Betco.

     

    These are just some of the questions that facility managers must consider when developing a floor cleaning and maintenance program. Betco is well-known as a leader in floor care issues. Contact a Betco representative for more information and help with your floor care needs.  1-888-GO-BETCO. For any other questions, please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

  • Bulk Soap Dispensers

    Sep 21, 2017

    Millions of people use refillable (bulk) soap dispensers to wash their hands, but what they don’t know is they may be putting their health at risk. Studies have shown that bacteria levels found in bulk soap dispensers were in concentrations levels higher than what industry standards deem as “safe”. Why?

    • Inadequate cleaning – Germs grow inside the dispenser because they do not get properly cleaned or sanitized every time they are refilled
    • Airborne and environmental contaminants can land in the open container
    • Cleaning personnel not properly dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment, such as gloves)
    • “Topping off” or improper refilling – new soap is tainted when coming in contact with contaminated soap
    • Diluted hand soap – some companies try to save money and dilute down concentrated soap formulas

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), recommends the following:

    • Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers, or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling
    • Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser because this practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and negate the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection

    Hand hygiene is the single MOST IMPORTANT way to reduce the transmission of germs from person to person that can cause infections. The following infections are associated with opportunistic bacteria that are found in contaminated bulk soap dispensers:

    • Respiratory Infections
    • Eye Infections
    • Skin Infections
    • Blood Infections
    • Urinary Tract Infections

    It is safe to say that by upgrading and standardizing your current bulk dispensers to closed sanitary sealed dispensing systems, you can prevent cross contamination and reduce the transmission of infections from person to person?

  • Why Wash Your Hands with Dirty Soap?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Keep in mind…

    Millions of people during their daily routines use refillable (bulk) soap dispensers to wash their hands, so think about this … every time someone washes their hands with soap from a refillable dispenser, are they putting their health at risk?

    Why wash your hands with dirty soap?

    Studies have shown that bacteria levels found in bulk soap dispensers were in concentrations levels higher than what industry standards deem as “safe”:

    Causes are:

    • Inadequate cleaning – Germs grow inside the dispenser because they do not get properly cleaned or sanitized every time they are refilled
    • Airborne and environmental contaminants can land in the open container
    • Opening dispensers to refill soap in unsanitary reservoir, such as a restroom, where fecal bacteria is exposed
    • Cleaning personnel not properly dressed in PPE (personal protective equipment, such as gloves), have cleaned toilets, and then moved on to refill the dispensers
    • “Topping off” or improper refilling – new soap is tainted when coming in contact with contaminated soap
    • Diluted hand soap – companies try to save money and dilute down concentrated soap formulas

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control), recommends the storing of products as follows:

    • Liquid products should be stored in closed containers and dispensed from either disposable containers, or containers that are washed and dried thoroughly before refilling
    • Soap should not be added to a partially empty dispenser because this practice of “topping off” might lead to bacterial contamination of soap and negate the beneficial effect of hand cleaning and disinfection

    Hand hygiene is the single MOST IMPORTANT way to reduce the transmission of germs from person to person that can cause infections.

  • Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert.

    Sep 21, 2017

    Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert, Stay Safe! Wash Your Hands!

    The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) suggests samples taken from current reported flu cases shows the current flu vaccine may not be a good match for this season’s flu strain circulating the US.

    The US health agency issued an advisory to doctors noting these samples showed that just under half of these samples were a good match for the influenza A (H3N2) component contained in flu shots for the 2014-2015 season, suggests the virus has drifted.  According to the CDC, the flu season has been low but increasing with the Influenza A (H3N2) being the predominant strain with cases detected all over the US.

    The CDC is stressing doctors should be prepared to use antiviral medications when needed and start treatment protocols early. This will help:

    • Shorten the duration of the fever and illness symptoms
    • Reduce the risk of complications from influenza (otitis media in young children and pneumonia requiring antibiotics in adults)
    • Reduces the risk of death among hospitalized patients

    CDC continues to recommend a three-pronged approach:

    1. Get vaccinated
    2. Use antiviral medications when indicated for treatment or prevention
    3. Use of other preventative health practices that will help decrease the spread of influenza – hand washing, respiratory hygiene, cough etiquette, social distancing (staying home from work and school when ill, staying away from people who are sick

    *Incorporate skin care products, hand washing steps and the following links

    • Influenza Vaccines available in the US, 2014 – 2015 Influenza Season

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccines.htm

    • Information for healthcare professionals on the use of influenza antiviral medications:

    http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/

    • Summary of influenza antiviral treatment recommendations for clinicians:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/antivirals/summary-clinician/htm#summary

    • Interim guidance for influenza outbreak management in long term care facilities:

    http://www/cdc/gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/ltc-facility-guidance/htm

       

    For more information, follow the link below:

    http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00374.asp

    HAN

         

    CDC's Health Alert Network (HAN) is CDC's primary method of sharing cleared information about urgent public health incidents with public information officers; federal, state, territorial, and local public health practitioners; clinicians; and public health laboratories.

    CDC’s HAN collaborates with federal, state, territorial, and city/county partners to develop protocols and stakeholder relationships that will ensure a robust interoperable platform for the rapid distribution of public health information.

  • Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season

    Sep 21, 2017

    With winter right around the corner, Betco®, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning, disinfecting, floor care, and skin care products, reminds those in the professional cleaning and building management industries that now is the time to start thinking about hand care.

    “The dry, cold weather can really damage the skin on your hands,” says Lindsay Tippin, Betco marketing coordinator. “It’s important to start moisturizing before this happens to prevent discomfort that can take weeks to heal.” Tippin also notes that dry chapped hands can evolve into hand dermatitis, a disease that can be very serious, even result in a visit to the emergency room if the condition worsens.

    To help us protect our hands, Tippin offers the following Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season:

    1. Wear gloves every time you go outside; frosty cold air can dry out hands very quickly
    2. If you wear rubber gloves for work, wear a light pair of cotton gloves underneath; this helps protect the skin from the drying effects of moisture and perspiration trapped by the rubber gloves
    3. Facility managers should place bottles or dispensers of hand moisturizer near all sinks so they are readily available for use
    4. Keep a bottle of hand moisturizer nearby and use it frequently
    5. Apply lotion or hand cream over all areas of the hands, including cuticles and nails
    6. While regular hand washing is imperative, in the winter months, use lukewarm water and wash hands longer; hot water strips the skin of natural oils
    7. Studies have found that foam soaps are not only more cost effective than liquid hand soaps but they also require less water; the water is what wipes away protective lubricants
    8. Use hand sanitizers more frequently; although they could make hands dry, they may be a bit gentler to the skin than soap and water
    9. Use foaming hand sanitizers manufactured with non-alcohol formulations
    10. Take the guesswork out of hand care. Work with a manufacturer/distributor familiar with skin and hand care to select the best products to meet your specific needs
    By listening to today’s needs, Betco sets new standards in Cleaning Innovations That Matter. Betco engineers innovative cleaning programs, products and equipment sold through distribution partners internationally.
  • Floorcare Myths: A higher solids finish is more durable

    Sep 21, 2017

    Floorcare is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks cleaning contractors and facility managers must grapple with. It is time consuming, often stressful, and costly. Complicating matters, several myths have evolved that can make the entire process all the more challenging. One of the biggest myths involves floor finish “solids.”

    Usually expressed as a percentage of weight, floor finish solids are whatever is left on the floor after the coating dries and cures. A coating with 50 percent solids, for instance, will be half evaporated after it dries. This means that the higher the solids in the floor finish, the more coating you will have left on the floor after it dries.

    These solids are often a blend of several ingredients, each having a specific purpose. These ingredients help the finish resist scuffs, reduce bubbling, improve adhesion and slip resistance, and last but not least, determine overall durability.

    However, the term “solids” can apply to anything that does not evaporate during the curing process. This may include ingredients that do not contribute to a safe, high-luster, and protective coating, which ultimately is our goal. To cut down on these unwanted, potentially harmful ingredients, when selecting a floor finish, read the label and find out what ingredients are used to make up the solids in the floor finish you are considering and what each of them is designed to do. Merely comparing finishes by the percentage of solids—which is very common—is not an adequate test of their capabilities and performance.

    Cleaning professionals, building owners, and managers should also know that the ingredients used to improve slip resistance or to control bubbles may add to the solids, but they often do little to enhance the durability of the finish. However, floor finish technology has improved and some manufacturers now use superior polymers, plasticizers, and waxes that combine to form exceptionally durable floor finishes. And the more durable the finish, the fewer refinishing cycles, making one of the most challenging cleaning tasks a whole lot easier.

  • Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

    Sep 21, 2017
    Hazard

    There are many infection control guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities, especially with the emphasis on bodily fluids.  Removing bodily fluids on carpet can be tricky.  Timeliness, a good process and the right chemicals are all important factors to get the job done. Some spots are much easier to treat than others, but what do you do when you have bodily fluids to remove?

    To get started, you will need the following supplies:
    • Wet floor signs
    • Protective goggles
    • Gloves
    • Clean white towels
    • Clean water
    • Spotting Kit
    • Carpet extractor
    • Vacuum
    The process:
    1. The first step when removing bodily fluid stains in public areas is to place caution or wet floor signs near the stain. Use appropriate personnel protective gear such as goggles and gloves so that you do not get in contact with the fluids as well.
    2. Blot the stain to remove excess liquid using a white absorbent towel. A white towel prevents dye transfer to the carpet.  Be sure to blot and not rub the spot to avoid further penetration into the carpet fibers.
    3. A good spotting kit will have an assortment of chemicals, safety gear and a chart to determine which spotter to use. After you identify the stain, use the chart to know which product to use.
    4. Apply the spotter in a circular motion to the outside perimeter of the stain. Always work toward the center of the stain to avoid spreading the stain. Allow appropriate dwell time then use a tapping brush and a clean white towel to absorb the soil.
    5. Follow the spotter with an enzymatic treatment which will digest the stain and control the odor.
    6. A carpet extractor is an excellent tool to use when done to rinse the area with clean water to remove any residue of the spotter. This step helps prevent any chemical or soil residue from attracting new soil which could reappear later as a new stain. If you do not have an extractor available, simply vacuum the area when dry to remove any residual residue.
  • Germs, Germs, Everywhere!

    Sep 21, 2017

    Get this…the average student gets between 6 to 10 colds per year. The fact is colds and flu cause more doctor visits and missed school days than any other illness. So how can parents and school administration work together to prevent this?

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    Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

    1.) Get Immunized – Prevention is the best medicine. Keep up to date on scheduled immunizations for school-aged children. Remember, vaccines only work against specific types of influenza virus for which it was designed for. There is no universal vaccine that will protect you against common cold viruses.

    2.) WASH YOUR HANDS! One of the most common ways of catching a cold or flu is not washing your hands often enough or well enough at school. Studies have shown middle and high school students about half washed their hands after using the bathroom and only 33% of girls and 8% of boys used soap!

    3.) Provide Hand Sanitizer – When soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. To make it effective, you should rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands and fingers until dry which is about 30 seconds. Note: Children under the age of six should not use without supervision.

    4.) Proper Germ Etiquette – Cover coughs and sneezes to prevent spreading germs if you think you may have the cold or flu. Sneeze into a tissue and discard then continue to wash your hands!

    5.) Beware of Germ Spots (Touch points) – Studies have shown that bacteria levels are 80% higher on drinking fountains and locker doors than on a toilet seat. Likely because toilet seats get cleaned regularly.

    "Stopping germs where they breed is the best preventative action."

    Here is a great resource on how to survive cold and flu season!

    http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077
  • The Stealth Microrider™ - Your Answer to Daytime Cleaning

    Sep 21, 2017

    Have you noticed the dramatic shift from night time janitorial services to daytime services these days? Why you might ask? Daytime cleaning has several benefits for the facility and the environment.  Daytime cleaning can save your company money along with reducing your business’s carbon footprint. The extra energy usage for a nightly janitorial service can rack up your electric bills. By having a daytime cleaning crew, your company will be seen in the public eye as more efficient with their time and environmentally friendly. Daytime cleaning will also reduce your facility’s employment turnover rate. By having a position(s) available during the normal business hours, you are more likely to keep someone in that position longer than someone who has to work throughout the night. By hiring a daytime janitorial service you are improving the quality of life of your employees.

    While there are several benefits to hiring on an internal daytime cleaning staff, there are also negative aspects. Daytime cleaning can provide a potential safety hazard for your employees. If employees are active during the day, there is an increased chance for a slip and fall accident. Another aggravating disadvantage to daytime cleaning would have to be the noise aspect. Employees may be concerned that their work will be disrupted by the hustle and bustle of cleaning equipment. So, what is the solution to these obvious shortcomings? The answer is simple; Betco Corporation’s StealthMicrorider will eliminate these burdens and leave your facility clean and back to operation in no time. The Stealth Microrider was developed to provide optimal results by saving your facility up to 36% in savings. This auto scrubber is also the quietest machine on the market by operating at only 54 dBA. The Stealth Microrider makes daytime cleaning a reality!

  • Care and Maintenance of Luxury Vinyl Tile

    Sep 21, 2017

    One of the fastest growing floor surfaces being installed in North America is Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT). We have all seen it, synthetic vinyl surfaces manufactured to look like natural stone, marble, wood, or other exotic ceramic tiles. The possibilities are endless when it comes to LVT.  As these floor surfaces continue to gain popularity in the institutional market, facility managers struggle to develop the proper care and maintenance procedures to ensure their LVT floors look as good in year five as they did on day one.

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    Basic Floor Care

    The first step to maintaining any floor surface is to prevent dirt and debris from entering the facility in the first place, and LVT is no exception. Every entrance to the building should have some type of matting system to capture soil before it tracks onto the floor. As floor matting goes, more is always better. This is a cheap and easy way to extend the life of any floor surface.

    Daily Routine Maintenance for LVT Flooring

    Regular maintenance is very similar for LVT when compared to traditional flooring. Dry sweep or dust mop the floors on a daily basis and then damp mop the floor with a mild neutral cleaner, such as daily cleaners with a pH of 7, or better yet, a neutral peroxide cleaner. Most peroxide cleaners are not only safe for the environment, but can be used on a variety of hard surfaces and carpet. There are even peroxide cleaners that disinfect while they clean. The last rule of thumb for regular maintenance is to clean spills as quickly as possible, not only to protect the flooring, but also to reduce the potential for slip and fall accidents.

    Aggressive Cleaning For Smooth LVT

    More aggressive routine cleaning will be required if you want to keep your LVT floor looking as good as possible. For smooth LVT surfaces, use a rotary disk automatic scrubber equipped with a light scrub pad and neutral or peroxide cleaner. The combination of mechanical agitation and vacuum extraction with the automatic scrubber will remove the dirt left behind from your daily mopping process.

    Routine Cleaning For Textured LVT

    Routine cleaning for textured LVT is slightly different. In this case, your automatic scrubber should be equipped with a light duty all-purpose scrub brush.

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    Again, use a neutral cleaner or preferably a peroxide-based cleaner in the machine. The brush will do a much better job of scrubbing in the textured recesses of the floor and the vacuum motor on the scrubber will lift the solution and suspended soils from these areas. Textured LVT has a very refined look, however, if not cleaned properly it can quickly lose its luster and appeal from the dirt and debris that collects in the valleys of these textured areas.

    Coating LVT Flooring

    Some manufacturers recommend that LVT products be coated with a protective layer of floor finish. This process provides protection for the surface and increases gloss level. However, there are a few concerns with coating LVT, which includes effective floor finish adhesion and eventually stripping the finish without damaging the tile.

    Not all floor finishes will adhere to LVT tile and not all LVT tiles allow finishes to adhere to them. The best practice is to test finishes for adhesion in an inconspicuous area first.

    Inevitably, a coated LVT floor will need to have the finish stripped off at some point during its lifecycle. You should be aware that chemical stripping solutions may cause discoloration or other damage to some LVT products. The best advice is to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for coatings and stripping. If you are not sure which products are compatible, test them in a discreet location before coating the entire surface.  This will help prevent a major crisis years down the road.

    Keep in mind that there are many different types and styles of LVT flooring being developed, so these recommendations should be used a general guideline. Your actual procedures may vary depending on the specific type of floor that is installed in your facility.

  • The Life Cycle of Floor Care, Phase 2: Interim Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    Phase two of the Life Cycle of Floor Care is interim maintenance, or commonly referred to as top scrub and re-coat. The top scrub and re-coat procedure is employed when routine maintenance no longer produces the desired appearance levels you demand, and if further deterioration occurred, the floor would require more expensive stripping. During the top scrub and re-coat process, the top, dirty layers of the floor finish are removed. Two or more coats of finish are then applied to restore the original shine of the floor. This allows the floor care program to start over with phase one of the life cycle, Routine maintenance. Read part one in this series on routine maintenance here.

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    Supplies Needed for Interim Maintenance

    To begin this process, you will need to gather supplies. This includes a good top scrub cleaner, a quality floor finish, an automatic scrubber and a premium value green pad or a blue scrub pad. You will also need a long handled floor scraper or putty knife, a baseboard scrub kit, a clean untreated dust mop, doodlebug, floor squeegee, clean mop buckets and wringers, mop handles, two all-purpose wet mops, a finish mop and trash can liners.

    A Step-by-Step Process for Interim Maintenance

    1. Clear the area you will be top scrubbing and use a putty knife to remove any gum, tape or stickers from the floor.
    2. Next, prepare your equipment and cleaning solution by filling the automatic scrubber with the cleaner. Make sure you use proper dilution rates to ensure optimum performance.
    3. Attach the green or blue pad to the automatic scrubber.
    4. Prior to using the automatic scrubber, use the doodlebug to go along the edges with top scrub solution.
    5. Then squeegee the solution to the path of the scrubber for pickup. I recommend using a double scrub method by making one pass with the solution on and the vacuum and squeegee off, then make a second pass with the vacuum and squeegee on to pick up the solution.
    6. When you are done, check for a consistent look. If there is still embedded dirt and discoloration, the floor will need to be stripped. If the floor is clean with an even appearance, you are ready to apply two coats of Betco® finish of your choice.

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