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  • 5 Important Considerations When Selecting a Disinfectant or Sanitizer

    Sep 15, 2021

    The COVID-19 pandemic pushed disinfection and sanitization to the forefront of public consciousness like never before, revealing also just how misunderstood these crucial infection prevention products are. As spiking COVID-19 cases coincide with the beginning of what is expected to be a rough flu season, public health experts are once again warning of a possible “twindemic.” Cleaning professionals may not be able to halt the threat of either virus altogether, but a renewed commitment to infection control best practices is certainly a vital step in the right direction—starting with careful selection of disinfectants and sanitizers.

    Before jumping in to the 5 most important factors to consider when choosing a disinfectant or sanitizer, a common misconception needs to be dispelled: While disinfecting and sanitizing are both commonly employed strategies to protect public health, they are not the same.

    • Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Surface disinfectant products are subject to more rigorous EPA testing requirements and must clear a higher bar for effectiveness than surface sanitizers.
    • Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements, without necessarily eliminating them completely.

    How does one know, first, which type of product to use and, second, which specific product within that type to choose? Read on!

    1. Target germs

    Sanitizers and disinfectants claim to kill organisms so both are regulated as pesticides by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In order to be classified as a sanitizer or a disinfectant, a product must meet specific testing requirements against certain bacteria, and their efficacy data must be reviewed by the EPA. Any claims made outside of those specific bacterial claims—such as other bactericidal claims, virucidal claims, and fungicidal claims—are considered additional and must also be supported by data and approved by the EPA.

    Though widely held, the belief that sanitizers can only kill bacteria is incorrect; sanitizers and disinfectants can both carry kill claims against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. That said, due largely to differences in active ingredient concentration, disinfectants tend to have a wider range of kill claims than sanitizers so are preferred when the objecting is stopping disease transmission.

    When deciding between individual products, it’s best to consult each label to identify which best addresses your pathogens (and strains) of greatest concern, which is often informed by facility type and/or area. In a childcare setting, for example, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) may be of concern, or VRE in a healthcare environment, and Serratia may be a target in a facility’s restroom, while MRSA is a focus in their gym.

    Because SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are high priorities throughout most facility types and areas, public health antimicrobial products with a wide range of claims against viruses are particularly suitable. Betco® infection prevention products that are EPA recommended for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 can be viewed here and here, and some of their more widely applicable kill claims—including influenza—are listed here. For a comprehensive document of all Betco disinfection claims, please click here to contact us.

    2. Surface type

    Disinfectants and sanitizers are suitable for use on most hard, non-porous surfaces, but extra caution must be taken when it comes to food-contact surfaces, or areas where food may be prepared, served, or stored. While disinfectants can be used on food-contact surfaces, they must be rinsed with potable water after the required dwell time. Sanitizers, on the other hand, are divided into both food-contact and non-food-contact categories, and most food-contact sanitizers have directions for use on food-contact surfaces WITHOUT rinsing (though the specific label should always be consulted), like Sanibet™ RTU and Symplicity™ Sanibet at proper dilution. As such, they are usually favored for food service settings.

    When it comes to soft, porous surfaces, such as carpets, curtains, and upholstery, no product can make legal claims of disinfection. Though these surfaces cannot be disinfected, they can be sanitized, and there are both disinfectants (like Betco Triforce) and non-food-contact sanitizers that have soft surface sanitization claims. Appropriateness for use as a soft-surface sanitizer would of course be indicated on the product label.

    Finally, label directions should always be consulted to determine if a certain disinfectant or sanitizer can be used on sensitive surfaces.

    3. Intended application

    It is crucial to consider whether a disinfectant or sanitizer is compatible with your intended application according to the label directions, and contact time or dwell time in particular cannot be overemphasized. In order for either of these product types to work as intended, the surface or object must remain wet for the entire length time that is listed on the label. If cleaning staff members are working under significant time constraints, a product that eliminates enough of your pathogens of concern in a shorter amount of time may be a better choice than a product that takes longer. Dwell times for Betco disinfectants against common pathogens are outlined here.

    In a similar vein, the time needed to take additional steps before or after application may influence product choice, such as rinsing food-contact surfaces after use of a disinfectant. As another example, almost all sanitizers require pre-cleaning, but many “combination” disinfectant cleaners allow clean teams to cut pre-cleaning out except in cases of gross filth or heavy soil.

    Other facets of application that must be evaluated revolve around product format. Are tools and training in place to ensure proper dilution of chemical concentrates? Is there adequate room in the supply closet to house enough bottles of ready-to-use (RTU) product? Additionally, except in the case of wipes, the compatibility of available equipment with a specific product should also be reviewed on the label.

    4. Safety

    Any sanitizer or disinfectant sold in the U.S. is approved by the EPA, and just as efficacy data is required for approval, so is data regarding safety. Included in this are recommendations for personal protective equipment (PPE), which should be carefully considered during the product selection process. Not only should access to appropriate PPE be evaluated, but so also should ability and willingness of cleaning staff to adhere to more intensive requirements—such as a half respirator mask for electrostatic spraying of certain disinfectants.

    The general safety of all EPA-approved products when used in accordance with directions is not to say though that all sanitizers and disinfectants are created equally in this regard. The EPA actually has a Design for the Environment (DfE) program by which qualifying antimicrobial pesticides (disinfectants, sanitizers) can demonstrate their elevated safety for human and environmental health. Betco’s GE Fight Bac™ RTU is one such disinfectant. The EPA states on their website that each product that bears the DfE logo:

    • is in the least-hazardous classes (i.e., III and IV) of EPA’s acute toxicity category hierarchy;
    • is unlikely to have carcinogenic or endocrine disruptor properties;
    • is unlikely to cause developmental, reproductive, mutagenic, or neurotoxicity issues;
    • does not require the use of Agency-mandated personal protective equipment;
    • has no unresolved or unreasonable adverse effects reported;

    For food-contact sanitizers, NSF food service certification verifies that a product has been proven safe to use in food and beverage processing and food service establishments. NSF, a highly respected, independent third party, requires rigorous testing to ensure sanitizers, disinfectants, and other types of products comply with food safety schemes. Our NSF products are documented here.

    5. Cost

    Finally, as with any selection of any cleaning solution, cost is a factor. Concentrates dispensed via chemical management systems—such as Betco FastDraw®—can certainly help cut down on costs by providing a much lower "in-use cost" as compared to ready-to-use products. Other benefits include decreasing shipping weight, guaranteeing accurate dilution of cleaning chemicals, eliminating spills, and discouraging theft. 

    In addition, purchasing the types of “combination” products mentioned above can lead to savings through reduced inventory and stocking levels:

     

    If you need more help selecting a Betco disinfectant for any given application, head over to our Disinfectant Selector Guide on our Disinfection Solutions page. Answer a few simple questions like preferred format, primary application, and food-contact or soft-surface sanitization needs and the tool will pick the best product for you. For help building the framework and confidence needed to ensure healthy facilities during and beyond this crucial period, turn to our Enhanced Facility Disinfection Program. Combining evidence-based infection control strategies supported by agencies such as the CDC, EPA, and FDA with tactics to put the minds of facility leadership and occupants at ease, this 5-step program is the ultimate weapon against infectious diseases.

     

  • 4 Reasons Facility Managers Should Embrace Restroom Automation

    Aug 27, 2021

    Restrooms are small spaces that have a big impact on facilities. Because they are the number one health hazard in a majority of buildings and are, on average, the number two most visited room, contamination from a restroom’s 77,000 bacteria and viruses tends to spread to other areas. Restrooms also have a disproportionately large affect on the perception of building occupants regarding overall cleanliness and prompt the greatest number (50%) of complaints.

    Clearly, the importance placed on restrooms by savvy facility managers and the cleaning and maintenance programs they implement is not misplaced. Recently, endeavors to improve restrooms have revolved around automation, with major benefits that warrant consideration for any facilities with restrooms that have not yet been upgraded with automatic, touch-free fixtures.

    1. Enhanced Perception of Cleanliness

    According to a survey of 2,050 U.S. adults conducted by The Harris Poll earlier this year, restroom automation has the power to seriously improve individuals’ perception of an entire facility’s cleanliness.

    • 59% stated that the presence of touch-free hand hygiene dispensers would boost their overall impression of cleanliness.
    • 60% indicated that inclusion of touch-free paper towel dispensers would enhance their feeling that a facility is clean.
    • 65% agreed that touch-free toilets and faucets would positively impact their opinion of a building’s sanitary practices.

    Given responses to a different survey by Bradley Corp., the ramifications of those perceptions shouldn’t be underestimated:

    • 64% of people said they make a conscious decision to choose a business based on cleaner, well-maintained restrooms.
    • 52% stated they’re likely spend more money at a business with a well-maintained restroom.
    • 55% shared that they’d be unlikely to return to a business after a bad restroom experience.

    Restrooms with more touchless accessories correlate to a better perception, and a better perception correlates to repeat business and customer loyalty; whether or not a facility manager truly understands this equation can significantly impact the bottom line. This is especially true in a COVID-19 world, where the relationship between cleanliness of environment and personal health and safety continues to be emphasized.

    2. Infection Prevention

    The notion that restroom automation improves cleanliness is actually rooted in science, as nearly 80% of illness-causing germs are spread by hands. Hands coming into contact with and then transferring germs to the nose, mouth, eyes, or environmental surfaces is particularly concerning in restrooms, given that surfaces within them often function as reservoirs of contamination. Fortunately, increasing the number of touchless fixtures decreases the number of touch points, especially high touch points, by which facility occupants encounter and spread germs, directly reducing the transmission of infection.

    Studies also show that individuals wash their hands more often when they feel safe to do so. Because handwashing is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens (see Why Skin Cleansers Are Effective Against Viruses), it is important to foster feelings of safety and encourage compliance through touch-free soap and sanitizer dispensers, faucets, and paper towel dispensers. In fact, 30% more people will wash their hands if touch-free products are provided.

    Soap and sanitizers should also be free from contamination, which is best achieved through a sealed system (for more information on bulk soap dispenser contamination, click here). Otherwise, not only will visitors to the restroom be less likely to wash their hands, but also those who do wash their hands with contaminated soap will experience an increase in bacteria on the skin.

    Increase handwashing compliance with annual savings of up to 60%!

    The Clario® Touch-Free Dispensing System from Betco® stretches hand care budgets without sacrificing the safest, cleanest space possible.

    • The pump is built in to the dispenser and not allocated in the cost of each refill
    • Sanitary, factory-sealed refill bags eliminate cross contamination
    • Precise portion control for cost-effective dispensing (see #3 below)
    • Industry-leading 98% “no-waste” evacuation for more usable product per bag
    • Product formulations with EcoLogo, FDA, and NSF certifications
    • Twice the battery life of the leading brand
    • Durable ABS construction and 2-year warranty for customer peace of mind

    3. Greater Cost Savings

    Automation allows facility managers to decrease waste and associated cost through exact proportioning. Because touch-free fixtures are programmed to dispense a certain amount of product or water at one time, the result is often a reduction in the amount used.

    • Automatic hand hygiene dispensers prevent the reflexive double or even triple pump common among users of manual dispensers by dispensing the exact right amount of soap or sanitizer needed. Use of foaming products instead of lotion soap or gel sanitizer further compounds savings, as foam lasts twice as long.
    • Touchless paper towel dispensers allow users one sheet at a time. This eliminates the option to unnecessarily grab handfuls of paper towels, which are almost as likely to end up on the countertop or floor as in the trash.
    • The average person uses over a quart of water when washing their hands for the recommended 20 seconds with a standard faucet, but touch-free faucets reduce water waste by turning flow off during handwashing steps that don’t require running water, like lathering. Many automatic faucets feature low flow aeration to further lessen the amount of water discharged. Plus, they prevent restroom users from leaving the faucet running.
    • Touch-free toilets and urinals also decrease water usage by thwarting multiple flushes in a short period of time and those who hold manual handles down longer than necessary in a (misguided) attempt to increase flushing power. Some automatic urinal flush valves can also be programmed to flush once in a specific period of time. 

    Retrofit any faucet with a low flow aerator and start saving!

    Typical commercial faucets are supplied with flow rates of 1.5–2.2 gallons per minute (gpm). Our Low Flow Faucet Aerator converts them to 0.5gpm.

    • Reduces both water usage and energy costs required to heat water
    • Installs in minutes
    • Fits most standard faucets

    Save up to 40,000 gallons of water or $200–600 per urinal per year!

    Betco’s SmartValve® Auto turns nearly any urinal into a water-conserving urinal!

    • Set to flush every 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours for a cost-effective alternative to more consistent flushing
    • Earn LEED and BOMA 360 points
    • Easy installation
    • Couple with SmartSCREEN® to combat odor and scale buildup

    4. Increased Efficiency

    Automated fixtures not only make a restroom more efficient for those who are actually using it, they also increase efficiency for cleaning and maintenance teams, many of which are already stretched thin by new cleaning and disinfection protocols spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Exactly how touch-free accessories allow facility managers and their staff to “do more with less” is implicit in #1–3 above.

    • Restrooms that are perceived as clean and well-maintained are more likely to be respected and kept that way by those who use them.
    • Fewer touch points in a restroom also equal fewer touch points for staff to clean and disinfect.
    • Precise proportioning results in less frequent product outages and less time spent replacing refills.
    • Automation prevents vandalism common in some types of facility. For example, a student in a school restroom would have a more difficult time flooding a restroom with touchless faucets and paper towel dispensers. 

     

    Once high-tech, restroom automation is becoming mainstream. With advantages like these, it’s little wonder that the large demand for touch-free hand hygiene dispensers, paper towel dispensers, flush valves, and faucets is expected to grow 37% by 2023. If you’re a facility manager or distributor interested in leveraging Betco’s touchless Clario® dispensers, hand soap, sanitizer, Smart Restroom System, or chemical products to improve restroom experiences, please fill out the online form here

  • 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.  

     

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Extend Vacuum Life with Easy Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    Vacuum cleaners may not be the most expensive piece of equipment in your closet, but for many it is the most used and abused. Operators tend to run over the power cords, forget to change filters and bags and even run them into walls and down stairs. These kinds of neglect can lead to maintenance problems later and can shorten the vacuum’s life.

    powerup-filter-150x150

    Changing the vacuum filter is one of the easiest forms of preventative maintenance on your machine, but is often overlooked. Filters should be changed every ten bags or so for two-motor upright vacuums. When filters continue to collect dirt and debris, the machine loses efficiency and can even hurt the motor.Mechanical parts aren’t the only areas that can suffer from filter neglect. Damage can also occur to the circuit board if accumulating dust covers the electronics.

    powerup-bottom-150x150

    Operators should pay special attention to the moving components, like the spinning brush underneath the vacuum. Simply removing wound-on debris with scissors or your hands can extend the life of your vacuum. Make sure to pay special attention to the belt-to-brush connector. If debris is caught around this component, the belt drive can become strained or damaged. If needed, remove the brush component for easier access to built-up debris.

    When using your vacuum cleaner, note the status of the power cord. Checking the cord for cuts, kinks, knots and frays is important to avoid an electrical shortage as well as prevent serious injury. Another good habit to extend the life of the electrical cord is to always unplug the cord from the wall by hand; never pull the cord out of a socket from a distance as this could cause strain on the cord and outlet. Cord replacement is a costly expense for vacuum cleaners as it could cost up to 50 percent of the original cost of the vacuum to replace.

    Regularly inspecting your vacuum cleaner for these common kinds of wear can help identify any issues before they happen. After each shift, check the brush, cord, bag fill and filter for built-up debris. Also wipe down the machine to prevent dust from covering the interior components. These practices will not only prepare your vacuum to be used the next day, it will improve its life expectancy.

  • Do Foam Soaps Save Water?

    Sep 21, 2017

    It often comes as a surprise to building owners that the typical restroom faucet can use as much as 2.5 gallons of water per minute. If used ten times in an hour, that’s 25 gallons of water going down the drain. Over the course of an eight hour day, water consumption can top 200+ gallons per faucet. There are very effective aerators available along with other water-reducing systems that work to reduce consumption, however, the amount of water used for hundreds of hand washings in a typical facility every day can be excessive.

    In today’s world, and especially in large areas of the United States, this is no longer sustainable. Building owners and facility managers must consider all measures possible to conserve water and use it more responsibly. When it comes to hand washing, one way to reduce water consumption is to simply change the hand soaps available for people to wash their hands.

    According to an independent study in the UK, foam soaps can reduce water consumption by 10 percent to as much as 50 percent per washing. This is because foam soap is lighter than traditional liquid soaps, so it requires less water to rinse off. Foam soaps also tend to lather more quickly than liquid hand soaps, helping to reduce water waste.

    Building owners and facility managers should note that many facilities have found that switching to foam soaps results in cost savings. This is because less time is spent running water while money runs down the drain.

    This is all very good, especially with concerns about water conservation mounting, it sounds like foam soaps are the way to go. However, before making the switch, there is one more question to ask: are foam soaps as effective at cleaning hands as are liquid soaps?

    Foam soaps are manufactured from traditional liquid soaps and because they are lighter, easier to use, and faster to lather, many observers believe they are actually more effective than traditional hand soaps.

    We should also note that similar to traditional liquid hand soaps, Betco manufactures regular foam hand washing/cleansing soaps as well as antibacterial foam hand soaps. These soaps provide a thorough hand washing that helps protect the health of building users along with the budgets of building owners as they promote sustainability.

    Talk to a Betco representative about your hand soap and hygiene needs. Also, Betco U, Betco’s free certification and training program, has a study guide specifically addressing hand hygiene issues. Along with hand hygiene, Betco U includes information and training programs on a variety of health-protecting and facility maintenance related issues. To contact a Betco representative please email welisten@betco.com.

  • Mitigate the Risk of Costly Slip, Trip and Fall Accidents

    Jul 11, 2017

    slipandfall
    Imagine the impact signs have on us today. We use signs to direct us while driving; find groceries at the store; warn us of potential hazards. With so many signs around, is it no surprise that some signs are just blatantly ignored?

    When it comes to reducing the risk of slip and fall injuries, the most used and abused sign is the wet floor sign. Custodians and other facility management personnel who use these signs abuse them by leaving them out when they are no longer needed, which lessens their impact in the facility. By leaving a wet floor sign out for extended periods of time after the floor has dried, how can guests and tenants take them seriously? Even more ironic is that an abandoned wet floor sign itself can become a trip hazard.

    In most cases, the problem with ineffective wet floor signage isn’t the fault of the sign itself. The problem lies with improper use and training of cleaning professionals on how to use the sign in an effective way. Signage should certainly be used to protect everyone from harmful slip, trip and fall accidents. Your wet floor sign should:

    • Cover the actual wet area; isn’t placed before approaching or after entering wet area
    • Stand 28-39 inches tall for increased visibility
    • Be yellow in color with black lettering
    • Be visible from 360-degrees
    • Have a stable base to avoid falling or being easily knocked over
    • Clearly say “Caution: Wet Floor”
    To decrease some risk of accidents, signs should be placed early to give advance notice of the hazard when possible. If a large portion of a floor is expected to remain wet for a long period of time, it may be a good idea to place a barricade around the area.

     

    Assuming proper signage fails or is misused, property owners and managers could be leaving themselves open to costly slip, trip and fall litigation. It doesn’t take much grace to walk without falling, but sometimes we fall and are lucky to get up with just a bruised ego.

    Others are not so lucky.

    For those who are injured, they join the rising multi-billion dollar industry of slip and fall accident litigation. According to OSHA, the average cost of a slip and fall accident is $22,800 per accident but there is no limit to how much companies may pay.

    Rather than follow stricter safety procedures, some companies quickly settle claims for slip and fall accidents because the cost to do so is built into their budgets. This is a major mistake because the cost of these claims will also come in the form of increased insurance premiums, which gets passed along to their tenants, consumers or guests.

    An imperative solution to reduce the number of slip and fall accidents is to use an alternate method to clean floors that is not only more effective than a wet mop and bucket, but one that also simultaneously leaves the floor dry. This means that no signage may be necessary as the risk of slipping during cleaning is successfully mitigated. Our latest cleaning innovation is the MotoMop™ small area cleaning machine. To find out why MotoMop is right for your facility, visit Betco.com and use our automated cost calculatorto calculate your savings or call customer service at (888) GO-BETCO for more information.

  • 7 Smart Habits to Stay on Track

    Jul 11, 2017

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    The way we do things are constantly evolving. This can make keeping up with industry trends extremely time-consuming and challenging. New technologies, processes and programs are emerging all over the place and may have you wondering what you can do to stay on track in your industry. While these trends rapidly disseminate, there are several habits you can start now to stay up-to-date.

    1. Have a plan. Become aware of your strengths and weaknesses and focus on what goals you can build from them. Setting goals will give you something to work towards, furthering your abilities and skills.
    2. Hold yourself accountable. Once you establish your goals, make it your mission to achieve them. Put in the time and effort it takes to reach your objective. The end result will be well worth it!
    3. Read, listen and watch. Attending online webinars and onsite training sessions will expand your knowledge. Look for opportunities to engage in the latest and greatest trends in your industry.
    4. Back-up your knowledge with tools. There are various training programs that are available at no cost to you. Certifications will show your expertise and proficiency.
    5. Keep your skills current. Look out for the most relevant skill-sets in your industry and pursue opportunities to make them one of your strengths.
    6. Seek professional development opportunities. Building a network of like-minded individuals that encourage your professional growth can help you reach or even surpass your goals.
    7. Pay attention to updated materials within your industry. Minimize mistakes by ensuring you are utilizing the most current tools.

    If you have any questions, please visit http://www.betco.com, call (888) GO-BETCO or please contact us at welisten@betco.com.

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