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How Clean is Your Clean?
  • How to Slow the Spread of Infection: An Infographic

    Dec 02, 2019
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Manually Mixing Chemicals

    Oct 29, 2019

    IMG_4996

    Introduction
    Manually mixing concentrated chemicals with water—also known as the “glug glug” method—is a practice that still permeates the commercial cleaning and maintenance industry today. Every facility has unique needs, but improper dilution of chemicals in any environment not only results in ineffective and inconsistent outcomes, but furthermore is costly and even dangerous.

    Improper dilution of chemicals can lead to unsightly streaks on glass, sticky residue on carpet (which causes rapid resoiling), or permanent damage of sensitive surfaces like aluminum and marble. It could also expose patrons of a restaurant to foodborne illness, increase slip and fall accidents in the aisles of a grocery store, or leave patients in a hospital vulnerable to infection.

    Clearly, it is of critical importance to properly mix concentrated cleaning solutions, and the first step in doing so is to consult the product label for the dilution ratio. If a product is multi-purpose, the label will often indicate different dilution ratios for different applications, so it is important to select the appropriate ratio for the task at hand.

    Dilution Ratios and Ounces per Gallon
    Dilution ratios are written as 2 numbers separated by a colon. The number to the left of the colon represents the amount of concentrated chemical, while the number to the right of the colon represents the amount of water. For example:
    ratio diagram
    In this example, the dilution ratio can be verbally expressed as 1 part chemical to 32 parts water.

    In place of or in addition to the dilution ratio, the label may supply the number of ounces of concentrated chemical per gallon of water.

    If given the dilution ratio only, ounces per gallon may be calculated by dividing 128 (the number of ounces in a gallon) by the amount of water (the number to the right of the colon). In continuing with our previous example of a 1:32 dilution ratio:

    128 (ounces in a gallon) ÷ 32 = 4 ounces per gallon of water

    If given ounces per gallon only, the dilution ratio may be calculated by dividing 128 by the recommended number of ounces per gallon. The quotient is the number of parts water to 1 part chemical, and as such goes to the right of the colon. For example, if a label indicates 4 ounces per gallon:

    128 (ounces in a gallon) ÷ 4 = 32, or a dilution ratio of 1:32

    Other Units of Volume
    If you would like to calculate ounces of concentrated chemical per a different amount of water, simply swap 128 for the appropriate number of ounces:
    • 10 gallons = 1280 ounces
    • 5 gallons = 640 ounces
    • 1 gallon = 128 ounces
    • 1 quart = 32 ounces
    • 1 pint = 16 ounces
    • 1 cup = 8 ounces

    For example, if you want to know how much concentrated chemical to use with a quart of water, and the dilution ratio is 1:32:

    32 (ounces in a quart) ÷ 32 = 1 ounce per quart of water

    To download a chart with ounces per gallon for common dilution ratios, click here.

    The Metric System
    If calculating milliliters per liter from dilution ratio or dilution ratio from milliliters per liter, the same logic holds. Using a dilution ratio of 1:32:

    1000 (milliliters in 1 liter) ÷ 32 = 31.25 milliliters per liter

    1000 (milliliters in 1 liter) ÷ 31.25 = 32, or a dilution ratio of 1:32

    If conversion between metric and imperial is necessary, here are some common metric volume equivalents:
    • 1 ounce = 29.6 milliliters
    • 1 cup = 236.6 milliliters
    • 1 pint = 473.2 milliliters
    • 1 quart = 946.4 milliliters (or 0.9464 liters)
    • 1 gallon = 3.8 liters (or 3785.4 milliliters)
    • 5 gallons = 18.9 liters (or 18927.1 milliliters)
    • 10 gallons = 37.9 liters (or 37854.1 milliliters)
    • 33.8 ounces = 1 liter (or 1000 milliliters)

    Real-World Applications
    Most of the time, the ready-to-use solution will go into a receptacle with an actual volume that is slightly greater than the advertised volume. For example, a 5-gallon pail really holds approximately 5.75 gallons. For this reason, it is often easiest and most expedient to use 5 gallons of water plus the appropriate amount of concentrated chemical, even though this results in more than 5 gallons. Using our familiar 1:32 dilution ratio example:

    4 (ounces of concentrated chemical per gallon of water) x 5 (gallons of water) = 20 ounces of concentrated chemical

    20 (ounces of concentrated chemical) + 5 (gallons of water) = 5 gallons, 20 ounces of ready-to-use solution

    The total volume of 5 gallons, 20 ounces will usually not be a problem.

    If, however, an exact amount of ready-to-use solution is required, then click here to download and use a chart that takes this into account.

    Cost per Diluted Gallon
    Finally, it may be useful to calculate cost per diluted gallon.

    For this calculation, the parts concentrated chemical and water expressed in the dilution ratio must be added together. For our 1:32 dilution ratio:

    1 + 32 = 33 parts

    Then divide the concentrated chemical’s cost per gallon by the total parts. For example, if the cost is $10.00 for 1 gallon of concentrated chemical:

    $10.00 ÷ 33 (total parts) = $0.30 per diluted gallon

    Safety
    When manually mixing chemical, it is important to always add water before you add the concentrated chemical in order to minimize chemical splash and foam. As with any chemical, always read the Safety Data Sheet before use and be sure to wear the proper PPE, such as gloves and eye protection.

    If you would like to avoid the hassle and safety risks associated with manually mixing chemicals, Betco® offers several closed dilution control systems that consistently provide the correct dilution for cleaning staff. Learn more here.  

     

  • Measles: What You Need to Know

    May 08, 2019

    Measles

    Incidents of measles have greatly increased in 2019. In fact, according to the CDC, 22 states have reported measles cases. 5 states have measles outbreaks (defined as 3 or more cases). An extensive handwashing program and good disinfection program is the best way to stop the spread of any disease, including measles.  

    Also, educating your staff about the disease is very important. Knowledge is power! Below is a list of frequently asked questions so you can better understand measles and take measures to keep everyone healthy.

    What are measles? Measles is caused by a single-stranded enveloped virus. Humans are the only natural hosts of the measles virus.

    What illness does the measles virus cause? Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness. It causes a high fever (up to 105° F), cough, nasal congestion, and conjunctivitis (inflammation of transparent covering of the eye), followed by a rash that appears as a flat, red area with small bumps. The rash usually appears 14 days after a person is exposed and can spread all over the body. Patients are considered to be contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. Some high-risk patients do not develop the rash.

    How does measles spread? Measles is one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases. Up to 9 out of 10 susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles. The virus is spread by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. Measles virus can remain infectious in the air for up to two hours after the infected person leaves the area.

    Who is at high risk for contracting measles? Anyone born after 1957 who has not been vaccinated is at a high risk for contracting measles. Infants and children younger than 5 years old, adults over the age of 20, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems are at a high risk for having complications from measles.

    What are common complications from measles? Pneumonia, bronchitis, and diarrhea are common complications.

    • One out of every 1,000 measles cases will develop acute encephalitis, often resulting in permanent brain damage.
    • One or two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory or neurological complications.

    How can I prevent getting the measles? There is only one sure way to prevent contracting measles, and that is through vaccination. The vaccine is usually given as a combination MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). The MMRV vaccine can be used for children aged 12 months through 12 years for protection against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chicken pox). One dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% effective at preventing measles. Two doses are approximately 97% effective.

    What can I do if there has been a confirmed or suspected case of measles in my facility? Whoever has a confirmed or suspected case of measles should stay home for four days after developing the rash. Ask your doctor when it is safe to be around other people again.

    Good practices to stop the spread of any disease:

    • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and put used tissues in the trashcan. If you do not have a tissue, cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
    • Avoid sharing drinks or food utensils.
    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as toys, doorknobs, tables, and counters. Standard disinfectants will readily kill the measles virus.

    Why have we seen such an increase in measles? I thought the disease was eradicated in the US? Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. Travelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the US. Measles spread when these travelers visit US communities with pockets of unvaccinated people. As of April 26th, 22 states have reported measles cases.

    Betco has a complete line of skin care products and programs to encourage frequent handwashing and also has numerous disinfectants that help reduce disease transmission.

  • Hand Hygiene Products and Preservatives

    May 02, 2019

    soapy hands

    Many cosmetic products, a category that includes hand hygiene products, are close to a neutral pH and contain a considerable amount of water. Under these conditions, any environmental contamination could cause rapid bacterial growth and spoil the product.

    Proliferation of bacteria is particularly problematic with regard to regular and antibacterial hand soaps and cleansers, as bacteria can overwhelm any active ingredients and render the product ineffective, ultimately leading to increased spread of potentially harmful germs.

    In order to inhibit undesirable bacterial growth, preservatives are commonly used in hand hygiene and other cosmetic products. To properly defend products against contamination, it is important that manufacturers use a preservative package that is effective against a variety of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. One of the most common preservative packages is MCI/MI: a combination of methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. The MCI component provides quick initial protection from contamination, while the MI component holds off bacteria in the long term. 

    Although preservatives like MCI/MI often get a bad reputation, these and all other ingredients in cosmetic products such as soaps and cleansers are regulated by the FDA to ensure the safety of consumers. It is true that MCI/MI has been associated with skin irritation, but those associations were largely formed in previous decades with relation to leave-on products and when MCI/MI was used at higher concentrations. Now primarily used in rinse-off products and at much lower concentrations, rates of contact allergy or irritation from MCI/MI in rinse-off products are extremely low. Indeed, MCI/MI has been repeatedly proven safe for use in rinse-off cosmetic products at concentrations up to 15 ppm.

    Beyond the FDA, MCI/MI has been ruled safe for use in rinse-off products at appropriate concentrations by other organizations, such as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review and the European Commission Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. Neither MCI nor MI have been listed by The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a known, probable, or possible human carcinogen.

    MCI/MI is an effective preservative package that plays a crucial role in maintaining the efficacy of cosmetic products, including hand hygiene products. When products that contain preservatives are manufactured as stipulated by regulatory agencies and used as directed by consumers, the preservatives therein are not only safe, but are furthermore necessary to safeguard the health of consumers. Betco is committed to using preservatives to maintain hand hygiene products that are both safe and effective for the end user. 

  • Teach Germs a Lesson: Hand Washing to Fight Back-to-School Germs and Viruses

    Aug 15, 2018

    Hand-Washing-Blog

    It’s that time of year when school bells ring, classrooms are filled and children are back to school. But, students and staff aren’t the only things that fill the halls …

    One of the most common interruptions during back-to-school season are germs and viruses. In fact, 80% of all infections spread from hand-to-hand contact. It’s no wonder why over 22 million school days are lost each year due to the common cold.

    This back-to-school season, protecting students and staff from sickly germs and viruses can be done with one simple solution – hand washing. 

    Many diseases and conditions are spread by improper hand washing. Germs and viruses from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects like door handles, table tops or toys and then transferred to another person’s hands. One of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs and viruses to others is by keeping hands clean.

    Implementing a hand hygiene program at schools is a must and it’s a fact that good habits start when we are young. Learning the proper technique for hand washing proves to be valuable for a lifetime of healthy hand hygiene practices. When implementing a hand hygiene program, a school is committed to a healthy atmosphere for children, staff and families. Not to mention, hand washing with soap could protect approximately 1 in 3 children who get sick, improving attendance and increasing dollars for the school.

    Hand-Washing-Blog-2

    Here are some quick tips to teach germs and viruses a lesson:

    • Wash hands frequently – make sure hands are washed before eating, after using the restroom, after coughing or sneezing and after recess.
    • Follow the CDC model for hand washing – wash hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and clean water.
    • Place hand sanitizer outside the restroom door for use after leaving the restroom.
    • Don’t spread germs to others – stay at home when you are sick.

    No touch is germ-free, but when it comes to keeping students and staff healthy throughout the school year, prevention by hand washing protects them from the spread of germs and viruses.

    Want to reduce absenteeism at your school? Implement the Compass® Program from Betco®. Compass is the only Active Learning™ Hand Washing System that follows the CDC guidelines. Click here to learn more.

  • Poor Handwashing Leads to Cross-Contamination

    Jul 06, 2018

    Handwashing-Wrong

    People are spreading dangerous bacteria around and don’t even realize it. The cause – improper handwashing.

    A recent study from the US Department of Agriculture shows that 97% of people who wash their hands are doing it wrong. This may seem strange as popular belief tells us that as long as you wash your hands, you’re germ-free. 

    Handwashing may seem like a simple task – however, most people don’t wash their hands according to the recommended Centers for Disease Control model (the one that’s actually proven to prevent germ spread and cross-contamination).

    A separate study done in 2013 by Michigan State University found that only 5% of people washed their hands according to the CDC model. This lack of proper handwashing contributes to the CDC’s staggering numbers like:

    • 48 million Americans are sickened by foodborne illnesses each year
    • 90,000 people die from Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) each year
    • Over 22 million school days are lost due to the common cold each year

    Handwashing

    How do we break our poor handwashing habits and change our handwashing behavior? By following the CDC model – it only takes 20 seconds.

    Here’s a simple break-down you can follow to make sure you are doing a good job when washing your hands:

    Step 1: Wet your hands with clean, running water.

    Step 2: Turn off the water and apply enough soap to cover your hands.

    Step 3: Scrub, scrub, scrub! Make sure you get the backs of your hands, under your nails and in-between your fingers.

    Step 4: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

    Step 5: Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

    Step 6: Dry your hands with a clean, single-use towel or air dry them.

    Pro-tip: Want to take extra precautions? Place hand sanitizer outside the restroom door and use it after you leave the restroom.

    Think about it – no touch is germ-free. When we wash our hands correctly, we prevent the spread of germs and viruses to others.

    Want to teach people in your facility how to wash their hands the right way? Implement the Compass® Hand Hygiene Program from Betco® today! Click here to learn more.

  • Top Tools to Manage Your Facility Maintenance Plan

    Jun 19, 2018

    iBet_Facility Maintenance

    There’s a lot that goes into managing a facility. That’s why we’ve developed iBet®. From training and maintenance to evaluation, the iBet Facility Resources Suite makes managing your facility maintenance plan easier.

    Consisting of six cloud-based applications, iBet is designed specifically to help cleaning and sales professionals assess, plan, implement, reinforce and manage the cleaning programs for their facility maintenance plan. Quite frankly, these tools are impressive!

    iBet Facility Maintenance

    Here’s a breakdown of the great tools in iBet and how they can help you manage your facility better:

    Betco® U
    Enjoy on-site and online training for your new and experienced cleaning and sales professionals. Keep employees engaged via learning everything there is to know — from those who know the most.

    Charter_Facility-Maintenance

    Charter

    Easily make custom wall charts to define the chemicals in use in your facility and how to use them properly. Nothing beats a quick cheat sheet right where you need it.

    Task

    Create customized visual aids with step-by-step instructions that make it easy for professionals to understand cleaning procedures, even guiding them to specific chemical products and equipment. Looking good!

    Inspector_Facility-MaintenanceInspector

    Increase efficiency and reduce costs by creating market segment-specific surveys to find out what changes need to be made in a cleaning and maintenance program. Together, we’ll get some answers!

    Estimator

    Assess your facility’s needs by estimating labor, general cleaning and floor care costs plus equipment ROI. Then see how converting to Betco’s superior innovative chemical and equipment solutions can improve every operation — in every way.

    iBet-Proposer_300x200Proposer

    Build modern, professional proposals that sales representatives can use in showcasing the advantages of using a custom cleaning and maintenance program (like a Betco® program). Presenting the total package has never been so simple!



    Betco is all about comprehensive programs for high quality cleaning and facility maintenance solutions. Making your life easier is what gives us — and you — the competitive advantage.

    To learn more about Betco’s proprietary iBet Facility Resources Suite, click here.

  • 2017-18 Flu Season Recap: Wash Your Hands

    May 23, 2018

    Handwashing

    The Centers for Disease Control reports that the 2017–18 flu season had the highest rate of flu-related hospitalizations on record since this type of surveillance began. The FluView report includes preliminary cumulative rates as of May 12, 2018. According to the Health and Human Services department, annual hospitalizations from influenza have ranged from 140,000 to 710,000 since 2010 and there is an average of 24,000 deaths per year.

    As the peak of flu season ends, it’s important to remember one of the best defenses for stopping the spread of germs: hand hygiene.

    Handwashing

    With 80% of germs transmitted by hand-to-hand contact, keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. This flu season the highest rate of infection was among older adults aged 65 years and older, followed by adults between the ages of 50-65. As the baby-boomer population ages and requires more care, the impact of hand hygiene in nursing homes is extremely important for infection control, and it starts with following the model for proper hand hygiene.

    The Science behind Handwashing

    The Centers for Disease Control recommends a six step process for washing hands. It only takes 20 seconds and is one of the best proactive methods to disinfecting your hands to stop the spread of germs.

    • Wet your hands with clean, running water, turn off the tap, and apply soap.
    • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to clean all surfaces on your hands (backs of your hands, between your fingers, under your nails, etc).
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
    • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

    This model for proper hand washing has been proven to remove the tiny microbes, germs and bacteria that may inhabit your hands throughout the day. By staying compliant with this model for hand hygiene, you can protect yourself and others from the spread of germs.

    Want to increase hand hygiene compliance in your workplace? Implement the Compass Program from Betco®. Compass is the only program that guides users to proper hand hygiene as recommended by the CDC. Click here to learn more.

  • Nature's Little Cleaners

    Apr 20, 2018

    Bio-Bugs

    What if nature could be used to clean? It can, and it does!

    The idea is simple really, which is why it’s effective. It starts with non-pathogenic microbes, or non-harmful bacteria, which are living organisms that don’t cause disease. These microbes create enzymes that digest elements like fats, oils and grease. They eat the very things we want to clean up! It’s a perfect symbiotic relationship that can save time and money.  

    Similar to the human digestive system, the process is three-fold:

    BioActive Solutions Process

    The main advantage microbes offer is in achieving a continuous clean: they work long after their application, and they won’t stop working until the substance — their food — is gone. Using it at the close of the business day or when foot traffic is the lightest lets them go to work. Plus, because they’re stable and biodegradable, they’re sustainable. Using them is quite simply the most environmentally friendly way to clean.

    If the initial thought of using bacteria to clean doesn’t sit well, think of all the everyday ways we already use enzymes. For example, we eat them in yogurt and we use them to make cheese.

    At Betco®, our BioActive Solutions™ product line is formulated for specific applications to provide the right bacteria for the job. In addition to fats, oils and greases, they can clean sugar starches, urine, organic waste, hydrocarbons, industrial waste and malodors (very bad smells).

    To learn more about how BioActive Solutions works, click here.

  • The #1 Way to Stop Spreading Germs

    Mar 29, 2018

    Handwashing

    Are you one of those people that doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom?

    Or you think a quick rinse with water is enough.

    Or a spritz of hand sanitizer will do the trick.

    We have some news that you may find surprising… 

    Want to know that #1 way to stop spreading germs? It’s quite simple: wash your hands!

    Think about it – no touch is germ-free. That means every time you touch your eyes, mouth, face and even your food, you’re putting germs into your body.

    Healthcare-HandsThis can be a big problem, especially since Norovirus is responsible for roughly 1 in 5 cases worldwide of acute gastroenteritis and the flu was 3x as widespread this year than last year. It’s even more of a problem in health care facilities. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that medical staff only wash their hands about half the time. The CDC states: "This contributes to the spread of healthcare-associated infections that affect 1 in 25 hospital patients on any given day."

    One survey found that only 5% of its subjects washed their hands for 15 seconds or more – the CDC says to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

    Handwashing-FingersProper hand hygiene is important to stop the spread of germs. Here are some tips you can follow to make sure you are doing a good job when washing your hands:

    • Use soap and water – apply enough soap to cover your hands.
    • Scrub, scrub, scrub! Make sure you get the backs of your hands, under your nails and in-between your fingers.
    • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rinse your hands off and dry them thoroughly with a single use towel.
    • Pro tip: Want to take extra precautions? Place hand sanitizer outside the restroom door and use it after you leave the restroom.

    Want to increase compliance in your facility and help people become handwashing gurus? Implement the Compass® Hand Hygiene Program from Betco® today! Click here to learn more.

  • MYTH: Polished Concrete is a NO Maintenance Floor

    Mar 16, 2018

    Polished Concrete

    Corporations, retailers, school districts, healthcare facilities, architects and facility managers are all looking at ways to lower costs to their operation. Many facilities have transitioned away from legacy flooring types and have chosen polished concrete. The perception is that although polished concrete restoration may be costly up front, the long-term maintenance costs will be reduced in comparison to other flooring options. This may be true, but often the performance benefits are oversold and facility managers fail to recognize the unique challenges with maintaining these surfaces. 

    Life Cycle Cost for Floor Finishes
    *Michael Doyle Partners, Flooring Comparison Report 2017 pp 12
    Flooring-Comparison-2017

    Etched-ConcreteFact:  All flooring options require some element of maintenance.

    • Abrasion – the finish on a grand piano may be flawless for years, but you don’t walk on pianos. Gloss reduction occurs over time as floors experience wear. This abrasion occurs from dirt and foot traffic, creating microscopic scratches.
    • Dirt Embedment – Our shoes track dirt into facilities from the outside world. Porous materials are receptors for this dirt which becomes ground into the floor over time.
    • Staining – Accidents happen. Custodians desire an easy, low-cost method to repair these stains.

     


    Worn-ConcreteWhat Are Some Polished Concrete Maintenance Challenges
    ?

    • Porosity – As concrete cures the evaporating water creates pores. Some of these openings are sealed by polishing but it’s nearly impossible to create a non-permeable surface. Have you noticed how wet concrete becomes darker? This is from water absorbing into the concrete pores. This porosity creates a challenge for dirt and stains.
    • Stains – Also referred to as etching. You may be familiar with the splatter stain in your neighborhood grocery store pickle aisle. This is because concrete is etched when an acidic liquid is left to penetrate into the concrete pores.
    • Reparability – Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) is very easy to maintain. Depending on the blemish, the spot can be scrubbed or stripped and recoated and burnished back to an even appearance.
    • Upkeep – Many concrete polishing systems finish with a coating called a “guard”. These guards are usually topical coatings that help resist staining and emit gloss. Often guards are used to reduce labor from truly polishing the concrete to a high gloss appearance. The challenge with guards is that they are sacrificial coatings that need to be maintained through recoating and burnishing. Guards also exhibit characteristics similar to coatings used for VCT. Therefore, facilities find themselves facing the same challenges that they faced with VCT, but now with a flooring type that they are less experienced at maintaining.

     

    To learn more about polished concrete, click here. The Crete Rx System from Betco® uniquely addresses all of the challenges mentioned in this article.

  • 3 Simple Ways to Create a Cleaner Restroom

    Jan 09, 2018

    Bathroom

    Let’s face it: restroom cleanliness is important no matter what facility you visit. They say that we spend an average of 1.5 years of our lives in a restroom and whether we know it or not, we all subliminally judge a facility’s cleanliness by the upkeep of the restroom. Does it smell clean? Are there papers on floor? Does the chrome shine? Does the counter top area look clean? Is the porcelain white? Are the garbage receptacles empty? So, why not make the restroom a focal point of your cleaning standards. In fact, restroom cleanliness was so important to Ed Rensi (former CEO of McDonalds) that he devoted an entire afternoon to the importance of notion.

    How do I keep the restroom looking and smelling clean?

    Develop a Checklist: Ensure that restrooms exceed user expectations and establish and document cleaning procedures. A good cleaning strategy will include a recurring combination of spot cleaning, daily cleaning and deep cleaning methods. By establishing a regular cleaning checklist and properly training employees on procedures, even the busiest restrooms can maintain high levels of cleanliness.

    Select Products That Perform: In addition to supplies such as soap and toilet paper, select products to protect, maintain and deep clean restroom surfaces, such as registered disinfectants. This includes products that will keep the restroom looking and smelling clean during use, such as air fresheners (automatic or handheld), touchless fixtures (faucets, soap dispensers and flush mechanisms) and fragranced urinal screens. Restroom products that help maintain cleanliness include cleaning solutions and tools such as floor cleaning equipment, chemical dispensing systems and cleaning charts.

    Measuring Cleanliness: To validate the effectiveness of cleaning methods and products, qualify cleaning efforts with tools such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meters or black lights. An ATP meter quickly detects the presence of microbial contamination on restroom surfaces to determine if the correct solutions and procedures are being used. Black lights make organic matter glow which helps detect surface contamination throughout the restroom.

    Remember the facility janitorial staff contributes to the well-being of patients just as much as the medical staff. Keeping restrooms visually clean and smelling clean improves customer service and builds loyalty.

    For more solutions or guidance to preventing the spreading of germs, visit betco.com to learn about our cleaning solutions.

  • Get with the Program: Go Green

    Sep 21, 2017

    Plant-Blog-RSS

    The move toward green cleaning is the next step towards further reducing the impact left on the environment. We can always continue to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings. We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments, but what does it truly mean to go green?

    Sustainable solutions minimize the impact of cleaning on people and the environment. More importantly, it is a process to protect natural resources for the future – not a single product alone. This means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

    Going Green is a journey that anyone can participate in. By being environmentally responsible, we can become more knowledgeable about the ingredients we are putting into products, leading to a healthier home and a healthier you. Wondering how you can help? Try these tips to get started:

    Save energy: Finished using something? Make sure you shut it off. You can easily conserve energy by turning off the lights or unplugging smaller appliances as soon as you’re done with them.

    Save water: No one likes a dripping faucet…especially the environment. From brushing your teeth to watering your garden, it’s important to be conscious of how much water you are using and how you can better conserve it.

    Reduce, reuse, recycle: These three R’s are the perfect triple threat. By helping to reduce waste, we can conserve natural resources and energy. When we reuse and recycle, we can avoid creating waste, reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills and keeping the environment healthier.

    It’s important to remember that every little bit helps when it comes to conserving natural resources within our environment. You can start out small and still make a positive impact. By focusing on maintaining the balance between people, profit and planet, we can protect our environment now and in the future.

    At Betco®, being environmentally responsible is a company standard. We are committed to developing products, programs and procedures that meet or exceed health and environmental standards while providing cost effective benefits to accomplish your maintenance goals. To learn more about our sustainability efforts and complete green program, please visit www.betco.com/solutions/sustainability for more information.

  • Creating a Facility Maintenance Program

    Sep 21, 2017

    Man Writing

    Developing a comprehensive approach to facility maintenance is not always an easy task to accomplish. While there are many best practices for creating a facility maintenance program, the path to finding and implementing a plan that meets the specific needs of your facility can be challenging. With efficiency as a common end goal, facilities are searching for ways to optimize opportunities without increasing costs. Here are some dos and don’ts to help you develop a maintenance plan that fits your facility.

    Dos:

    • Expect to Inspect. There is always room for improvement. Pay attention to the areas in which your facility maintenance program could become better. By determining what changes need to be made, you could increase efficiency and reduce expenses.
    • Calculate Costs. Assess the specific needs in your facility and develop a plan to convert to more innovative, cost effective solutions. When evaluating your current expenses and researching other options, you’ll feel more empowered to make a decision in your maintenance program and potentially get more bang for your buck.
    • Outline Opportunities. Building an effective facility maintenance program requires weighing the pros and cons. Presenting various options and showcasing the advantages of a proposed program will help you establish a customized plan for your facility.

    Don’ts

    • Rely on the Bare Minimum. You shouldn’t have to settle when it comes to the cleanliness of your facility. While your current maintenance program may be sufficient, there is always an opportunity to enhance it. When you analyze your program, you may discover new ways to achieve a higher level of clean.
    • Guesstimate. There’s no need to play the guessing game with your facility maintenance program. Many modern tools are available to you for free online to assist you in planning and executing the very best solution strategies.
    • Short-Change on Change. Every facility is unique and requires solutions customized to their specific needs. While modeling your maintenance plan off of another facility’s may be easy and effective, make sure you take the time to evaluate what’s best for your facility. Building an exclusive plan may present you with various new opportunities.

    For more solutions or guidance on creating a facility maintenance program, visit betco.com to learn about our innovative resources and training sessions.

  • Tips for Cleaning and Disinfection in Hotels

    Sep 21, 2017

    During winter the general public spends more time indoors due to colder temperatures and inclement weather. Places like airports, hotels and public transportation can become a breeding ground for illness-causing germs due to the increased number of people spending more time there. Hotel staff should take note of this increase in the spread of germs during cold and flu season and have a strong cleaning and disinfectant program to prevent guests and staff from becoming ill.

    Germs can be lurking anywhere—even in 4 or 5-star hotels. A recent study by Travel Math found that the most significant spots for germs were high touchpoint areas like bathroom counters (1,011,670 colony-forming units in 5 star hotels) and TV remote controllers (2,002,300 colony-forming units in 5-star hotels).

    Many hotels have their own differing cleaning programs, but it is crucial to include touchpoint disinfection as a routine part of this program. Common touchpoint areas include phones, TV remotes, bathroom fixtures and soft surfaces like furniture and bedding. Paying close attention to these areas will help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs.

    Disinfect High-Touch Areas

    Surfaces that are touched frequently by guests such as light switches, doorknobs, phones, remotes and bathroom fixtures should be disinfected at least one time every day. Influenza and staphylococcus germs can survive on surfaces for hours, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for guests and staff to contract an illness from these surfaces. It is important to use products that are EPA-registered to kill germs.

    Eliminate Odors at the Source

    When guests walk into a hotel room that carries strong or even faint odors, they appear to be unclean. Some odors are hard to get rid of like urine or smoke. Hotel cleaning managers can empower their staff to remove these odors by choosing an aerosol product with active ingredients to remove the odors directly from the air by eliminating the odor-causing molecule. In bathrooms, odors can be especially persistent on porous and damp surfaces like tile grout which can trap bacteria that feeds on urine. In humid or wet conditions, the odor can also be reactivated. Using a ready-to-use hydrogen-based cleaner is the best choice for removing stains and breaking down the odor-causing uric acid. Ready-to-use formulas don’t require dilution, making them quick and easy to use.

    Soft Surface Odors

    Hotels change and launder sheets and linens after each guest, but other soft surfaces like curtains, carpet and upholstered furniture can hold odors. In-between launderings, refresh and sanitize these surfaces by using a one-step, multi-use product.

  • 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.
  • How To Properly Wipe Clean a Surface

    Sep 21, 2017

    If there is a mess, your first thought is to grab a cleaner and a rag to clean it up, but did you know that when you spray chemicals onto a surface and proceed to wipe the area down with a rag, you are emitting harmful chemicals and V.O.C.’s into the air. V.O.C.s are volatile organic compounds. VOC’s are emitted gases into the air from liquid and aerosol products. These harmful gases can cause short-term and long term health effects. However, there is a way to prevent this issue. By changing your cleaning routine, you can clean your surfaces in an efficient and safe way. Damp wiping is a procedure that involves spraying the sponge or cloth with your desired cleaning chemical and wipe in a consistent pattern; up and down or back and forth. A microfiber cloth will give you the best results for this process. This will ensure that you cover the entire area. Damp wiping is the most effective solution for surfaces need a light cleaning such as a desktop or countertop. Damp wiping is also is a great option when chemical residue should be limited such as phone and drinking fountains.

    If you have a large area to clean up, spray and wipe will be your best option. To do this, spray the surface you want cleaned with your desired product and continue to wipe with your cloth or rag. If using a disinfectant product, make sure you allow an ample amount of contact time to ensure optimal results. We also recommend that you use a foaming trigger sprayer on vertical surfaces. The foam will cling to surfaces better and penetrate the germ fighting chemicals into cracks and crevices.

    See our Video below on how to properly spray and wipe and damp wipe a surface.

    https://vimeo.com/80404579
  • 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!

  • Critical Germ Touchpoints in Education Facilities

    Jul 11, 2017

    classroom-700x459

    When it comes to effective cleaning in school facilities, what most people think about first is the restrooms. In fact, studies have found that parents, when visiting a college or university their son or daughter is considering, invariably visit the restrooms to examine their cleanliness. The reasoning is: clean restrooms mean a well-run school; poorly maintained restrooms, can mean something far different.

    However, many people are often unaware of the most important areas that need proper cleaning; these places are known in the professional cleaning industry as high touch areas. We’ve all seen them but probably have never heard them called this before.

    High touch areas include the following:

    • Light switches
    • Door knobs
    • Railings
    • Tops and sides of chairs and tables
    • Elevator buttons
    The list could go on and on. High touch areas can spread germs to many people. Once a surface is contaminated everyone who touches the surface can spread the germs to other surfaces. This problem is paramount in educational locations because many students fail to wash their hands after using the restrooms.

     

    This means that custodial workers must pay extra special attention to high touch areas. An EPA registered disinfectant should be used to clean these areas. If the surface is visibly soiled, first the high touch area must be cleaned prior to disinfection. This two-step process can be avoided if using a Betco product clearly labeled that it can be used for cleaning and disinfecting. Using such a product can be a major time saver.

    High touch areas should be cleaned frequently, as often as once per day. Cleaning professionals should use microfiber cleaning cloths because they tend to be more effective at removing germs and bacteria than traditional cleaning cloths. Also, the cloths should be changed frequently and used for the same purpose: never use a microfiber cleaning cloth used to clean restroom fixtures on light switches, as an example.

    While students and teachers may not be aware of how important it is to keep high touch areas properly cleaned, as cleaning professionals, we must be acutely aware of how important keeping these areas clean and sanitary is to protecting the health of all building users, teachers, and staff.

    Contact a Betco representative for all your school cleaning needs and supplies. The health of your educational facility is one of our top priorities. Call (888) GO-BETCO

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