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  • 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.

  • Clean Hands Save Lives: Impact of Hand Hygiene in Nursing Homes

    Mar 02, 2018

    Clean Hands Save Lives-

    As the baby-boomer population ages and requires more care, it’s important that infection control practices in nursing homes keep up with the influx of patients, especially since 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Infections are very common in long-term care facilities and represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality among institutionalized elderly individuals

    Clean Hands Save LivesA recent study published in the American Journal of Infection Control evaluated the impact of a multifaceted hand hygiene program in nursing homes. The intervention group used hand hygiene-related measures, including increased access to hand sanitizer through pocket-sized containers and new dispensers, plus more informational displays. The researchers assessed hand-hygiene practices by measuring hand sanitizer consumption and evaluating the incidence rate of acute respiratory infections and acute gastroenteritis.

    Here are the findings of the study:
    • The intervention group used more hand sanitizer over the one-year study period
    • The intervention group experienced significantly lower mortality rates — 2.10 per 100 residents per month as compared to 2.65 per 100 residents per month in the control group
    • The intervention group also experienced lower antibiotic prescriptions at 5 defined daily doses per 100 resident days versus the control group's 5.8 defined daily doses per 100 resident days
    • Hospitalizations did not differ between the two groups
    What does this mean?

    Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. When a facility implements a successful hand hygiene program, it creates a continuous reinforcement and training platform that guides user to proper hand hygiene, reducing the spread of germs.

    To learn more about proper hand hygiene, click here. To implement an effective hand hygiene program like Compass® by Betco®, the only dispensing system that guides you to proper hand hygiene, click here.

  • 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.

  • Don’t be a Statistic this Flu Season: Widespread Flu Activity Hits U.S.

    Jan 08, 2018

    The cold and flu season is upon us and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases has issued a nationwide warning for an illness that potentially affects us all: influenza.

    Experts forecasted the 2017-18 flu season to resurge with a sickly force all across the U.S. and now their predictions are coming true.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, during week 52 (December 24-30, 2017), influenza activity increased sharply in the United States. The geographic spread of influenza in 46 states was reported as widespread.

    ILI_WeeklyMap300

    Flu season runs from October 2017 to May 2018 with a peak period being December through March. With the flu hitting North America a little earlier this year, officials are saying that this year’s flu season is off to a potentially dangerous start.

    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. Given the forecasts and current FluView report from the CDC, it’s important to get ahead of the flu and prepare using one of the best defenses: hand hygiene.

    With 80% of germs transmitted by hand-to-hand contact, keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The Center 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 this flu season.

    To learn more about hand hygiene or to implement a hand hygiene program like Compass™, the only dispensing system that will guide you to proper hand hygiene at any facility, visit www.betco.com today or call 1-888-GO-BETCO.

  • Triclo---what? What the Triclosan Ban Means for You

    Sep 21, 2017

    Bubbles-RSS

    On September 2, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final ruling that bans 19 active ingredients in hand or body washes. One of the active ingredients affected by this ruling is triclosan, the most widely-used active ingredient in over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic washes.

    So, what does this ruling mean for you? Since this ban affects soaps that you may use at home, in school and other public settings, it’s important to understand what triclosan is and why this ruling took place.

    What is triclosan?

    Triclosan is an ingredient added to many consumer products like antibacterial soaps, body washes, toothpastes and some cosmetics in order to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.

    Is triclosan safe?

    Unfortunately, how triclosan affects human health is not yet known. While there are several ongoing studies that involve the safety of triclosan, there is not enough scientific data to make any claims at this time.

    How do I know if triclosan is in a product?

    If a soap, body wash or any other product contains triclosan, it should be listed as an ingredient on the label. If you have any questions or concerns about a product you use, call the number listed on the product.

    Foam-Soaps-Save-Water-small

    What other chemicals were banned?

    In addition to the triclosan ruling, these other chemicals we also banned:

    • Cloflucarban
    • Fluorosalan
    • Hexachlorophene
    • Hexylresorcinol
    • Iodine complex (ammonium ether sulfate and polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate)
    • Iodine complex (phosphate ester of alkylaryloxy polyethylene glycol)
    • Nonylphenoxypoly (ethyleneoxy) ethanoliodine
    • Poloxamer-iodine complex
    • Povidone-iodine 5 to 10 percent
    • Undecoylium chloride iodine complex
    • Methylbenzethonium chloride
    • Phenol (greater than 1.5 percent)
    • Phenol (less than 1.5 percent) 16
    • Secondary amyltricresols
    • Sodium oxychlorosene
    • Tribromsalan
    • Triclocarban
    • Triple dye

     

    This rule goes into effect on September 6, 2017 giving companies a year to remove these ingredients from their products or discontinue the product line within the market. Some states are adopting this ruling early, such as Minnesota that put the ban into effect on January 1, 2017.

    This ruling does not affect antibacterial soaps used by healthcare professionals, food industry professionals or consumer antiseptic rubs (i.e. hand sanitizers).

    As a part of our innovative hand hygiene platforms, all Betco® skin care solutions comply with this new rule and are triclosan-free.

    If you have any questions or want to learn more, please click here.

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

  • 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.

  • Why is Green Cleaning Important?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Green Cleaning means more than using “green” products. The success of a green cleaning program is dependent on numerous factors. While the selection of sustainable products is important, it will have little effect in the case of an inadequate cleaning regimen that leaves facilities dirty and the health of occupants, visitors and the environment at risk. A comprehensive green cleaning program should include sustainable options for chemicals, procedures, equipment, paper, liners, mops and matting.

    The movement toward green cleaning does not imply that traditional methods are inadequate or have created unsafe conditions. Instead, it can be viewed as simply taking the next step beyond current approaches to further reduce impacts on the environment while continuing to maintain and improve the health, comfort and aesthetics of our surroundings.

    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. In articles and discussions about green cleaning, you will typically read or hear themes about the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.

    People – pertains to fair and beneficial business practices toward labor and the community and region in which a corporation conducts its business.

    Planet – refers to sustainable environmental practices. This practice entails reducing the ecological footprint by carefully managing consumption of energy, non-renewables and reducing waste as well as rendering waste less toxic before disposing of it in a safe and legal manner.

    Profit – is the economic value created by an organization after deducting the cost of all inputs, including the cost of capital.

    The cleaners used by the custodial staff have an impact on the residents and staff at Long Term Care facilities. By switching to safer chemistries, without sacrificing performance, residents and staff can perform in a safer environment and will reduce the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI).

    How do you know if a product is truly green? We know that green cleaning creates healthier environments. However, to make sure that you are green cleaning you need to look for some type of third party certification endorsements from Green Seal, EcoLogo, Design for the Environment or BioPreferred. These third party certifiers review a manufacturer’s product to make sure that it adheres to strict requirements based on the effects to the environment.

    Note: The facility janitorial staffs contribute as much to the well-being of patients as the medical staff. Keeping linens clean and reducing clutter helps improve the indoor environment and is conducive to healthy residents and staff.

    For more information visit www.betco.com/solutions/sustainability.

  • 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.

  • Overcome the Challenges of Salt on Floors

    Sep 21, 2017

    When it snows, it salts. While salt trucks go about their business keeping the roads a little bit safer for all of us, it’s our floors that wind up in danger. As people come and go in a facility they stomp, shake and dump snow, slush and salt on floors everywhere. This can wreak havoc on both carpet and hard surface floors.

    A snowy, slushy mess doesn’t end after it dries as unmelted rock salt and stains can be left behind. The stains appear as white as snow across all types of floor surfaces. There is good news; these stains are actually preventable and your floors are savable. Salt stains are not harmful if attended to quickly.

    For an effective floor care solution to fight salt and other floor stains, use the FiberCAP 20 Carpet Machine with FiberCAP MP. FiberCAP MP is a low-moisture multi-purpose encapsulation cleaner system. Specifically designed to trap debris and lift it from the carpet fiber, the FiberCAP system is ideal for getting rid of stubborn salt stains in carpet.

    Another great solution to this winter weather woe is to use a reliable matting system. A matting system acts as a first line of defense against tracked-in contaminants on your floors. Over 80% of dirt and residues are brought in by people entering the facility; a good entrance matting system can trap 90% of this dirt and debris that is brought in!

    A successful matting system includes:

    • A high thread count mat with a rubber back to avoid slipping
    • Keeping outside entries clear by shoveling snow and ice up to 25 feet away from the building
    • Scraper mats in your entries, which contain rough threads that will trap more dirt and grime from shoes
    • Wider mats allow more time for shoes to dry before entering the facility
    • Regular maintenance cleaning can help regulate the amount of contaminants brought in—vacuuming floor mats daily can eliminate excess ice melt and dirt from entering the building

    It is important to keep in mind that hardwood floors are vulnerable during the winter. There is danger afoot due to a combination of increased moisture and salt that can potentially harm your hardwood floors and finish. A white film forming on the surface of the floor boards will appear from salt residue. The stain not only looks bad but if it remains too long it will begin to diminish the floor finish and shine. It is extremely important to use a matting system on high traffic entrances with wood floors. Keeping these entrances clean and free of debris, melted snow and slush is the most proactive step to protect your hardwood floor investment.

  • 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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • Effective Floor Care Starts with Daily Maintenance

    Sep 21, 2017

    The Betco U Certification Program offers three important components to floor care: daily maintenance, interim care, and restorative care. Of the three, daily maintenance is the most important. Not only does daily maintenance help keep the floor looking its very best every day, but properly performed, it can delay interim and restorative floor care, which are typically more costly and more labor intensive.

    So what does daily floor care entail?

    The tools typically used for daily maintenance include buckets, mops, dust mops, dust pans, and a putty knife to remove such things as gum and grit that may stick to the floor. As to the mopping of the floor, it should be performed using a figure 8 technique. A figure 8 motion overlaps floor areas and helps ensure all floor areas are mopped clean.

    Additionally, cleaning professionals must know the mop and cleaning solution should be changed frequently. As the mop or cleaning solution becomes soiled, the mop and water can spread soils and contaminants over the floor that not only discolor the floor, but over time can increase interim and restorative cleaning needs.

    Additional tips: If you can use a light “back pack” vacuum cleaner to clean the floor instead of a dust mop, the removal of dry soiling is much more thorough. As to the actual cleaning, if you can move from mopping to machine scrubbing, daily cleaning will be far more effective.  Automatic scrubbers now come in all shapes and sizes, allowing them to be used just about anywhere a mop and bucket is used, so there should be a system available to address your scrubbing needs.

    Further, and this is very significant, an automatic scrubber reduces the amount of time to clean a floor to a fraction. According to a report by the University of Minnesota, “an automatic scrubber or riding automatic scrubber can reduce the time it takes one person to clean 5,000 square feet with a mop and bucket from one to two hours down to 15-30 minutes. Furthermore, choosing riders over walk-behinds reduces fatigue.”

    Whether using an automatic scrubber or mopping a floor, a highly effective floorcare cleaning chemical is also required. The chemical helps dissolve and “suspend” soils so that they can be removed with the machine or by the mop. Because this chemical will be used daily, a highly-concentrated heavy duty floor cleaner, diluted correctly, is the economical way to go.

    Eventually, daily cleaning tasks may need to be increased a notch or two. After several cleanings, a Restorer should be applied. Some Restorers can also be applied by an automatic scrubber or mopped on the floor. An effective Restorer provides the following benefits:

    • Cleans and reconditions the floor, improving its appearance
    • Increases the slip resistance of the floor, which regular daily cleaning may reduce
    • Further helps delay interim and restorative cleaning
    • Some Restorers also leave a fresh, appealing fragrance that most building users appreciate

    When selecting a Restorer, be sure and read the manufacturer’s instructions. Some Restorers require that the floor be burnished after application. The burnishing not only helps remove soils from the floor’s surface but puts a high-gloss shine to the floor as well, giving the floor the look and appearance you and your customer can be proud of and appreciate.

    Betco U Certification Program is one of the most comprehensive teaching and learning programs in the professional industry. Information is available on a number of topics from floor care to green and sustainable issues. Sign-up for free access to Betco U and take advantage of this important resource.

  • Improve Restroom Appearance by Cleaning For Health

    Sep 21, 2017

    In public and commercial settings like office buildings, restaurants, schools and healthcare facilities, restrooms are most frequently cited as the number one source of customer complaints and unsurprisingly one of the toughest areas for cleaning professionals to maintain. Cleaning for health and aesthetics are both important. Consumer perceptions of a facility’s restrooms can impact bottom lines, but restroom cleanliness is also very important to public health in general.

    Illness-causing germs and multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs or “superbugs”) are commonly found in public restrooms and are easily transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces. “Microbial Biogeography of Public Restroom Surfaces,” a 2011 study in which researchers took samples from 10 restroom surfaces at the University of Colorado campus in Boulder, found that human-associated microbes like Staphylococcaceae were commonly found on a variety of restroom surfaces.

    This was a significant finding because the high number of skin and gut-associated bacteria found in the restrooms could readily be transmitted between individuals by touching these surfaces.

    In another restroom study on the San Diego State University campus, researchers found that bathrooms were completely recontaminated with microbes and fecal bacteria on a variety of surfaces from toilet seats to soap dispensers, just one hour after cleaning and disinfection.

    The question being asked, “How can cleaning professionals ensure that aesthetically clean-looking facilities are actually hygienically clean?” The solution to the problem is to modify the cleaning strategy to a health-focused approach and take these steps to prevent the spread of germs and improve aesthetics simultaneously.

    1. Pre-clean surfaces. Remove debris and body soils and then use and EPA-registered product with kill claims for hard-to-kill pathogens such as influenza, norovirus and staphylococcus to disinfect surfaces.
    2. Research your products. Pay close attention to the products being used to disinfect toilet surfaces and other surfaces commonly touched by hands. Make sure the proper products are being used and remember to check product labels for manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and contact time.
    3. Eliminate odors, don’t mask them. Restroom odors should be broken down at their source. Not all air freshening products can actually break down and eliminate uric acid crystals; the root cause of urine odor. Using hydrogen peroxide-based solutions fight urine odors and stains and do not require additional training to use.
    4. Clean the floors. Floor care is important too. Remove grime and scuff marks on restroom floors and don’t forget to disinfect them. Restroom floors are a breeding ground for over 230 bacterial species, compared to 150 species in over restroom locations according to “Microbial Biogeography of Public Restroom Surfaces.”
    5. Clean glass and mirrors. Remove water marks, soils and streaks with a glass and surface cleaner. Eliminate built-up soap scum and grime on sinks and countertops by using products specifically formulated to break it down.
    6. Encourage hand hygiene. Handwashing is the most important step in preventing the spread of infections. Cleaning staff should always wash their hands regularly with warm water and soap, especially after touching waste baskets, used tissues and using the restroom. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that you should scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing under clean, running water.

    Public restrooms will always carry the high potential for germ transmission. Implementing thorough cleaning and disinfecting protocols at the sign of contamination will enable cleaning professionals to provide a healthier environment for building occupants and visitors.

  • Green Floor Care Machines

    Sep 21, 2017

    Did you know floor machines have gone green? Betco®, a leading manufacturer in the cleaning industry, has developed green floor care machines specifically designed with sustainability in mind. However, it can be difficult to determine which types of floor machines are green and which are not.

    One way to determine if a machine qualifies as a green floor care machine is to see if it meets the requirements of LEED-EBOM credit 3.7. In general, this credit references floor care equipment that uses less water, chemical, and energy than older or conventional floor machines. Additionally, to promote sustainability, a green floor care machine is made to last longer and be more durable.

    Some of the other criteria for LEED-EBOM certification include the following:

    • Electric and battery-powered machines have a shroud covering the base of the equipment as well as a vacuum system. These are often referred to as “dust control machines;” they help capture fine particulates, preventing them from becoming airborne.
    • Noise levels must be less than 70 decibels; there are burnishers now available that are far quieter than this, generating as little as 59 decibels of sound.
    • Automatic scrubbers use eco-friendly batteries; these batteries typically require very little maintenance.
    • Green floor care machines are ergonomically designed, with reduced torque and vibration to minimize user fatigue.

    Betco also utilizes cylindrical brush floor machines. These can be considered green machines because they use less chemicals and water. Whenever less chemical can be used when cleaning, it is usually better for the user and the environment.

    Some cylindrical machines are also exceptionally quiet. Noise can negatively impact the user and cause worker fatigue. Additionally, because they are so quiet, the machines can be used in day cleaning situations.

    Administrators and cleaning professionals should realize that when following a green cleaning strategy, it means that all components, tools, chemicals, and equipment used in cleaning should also be green. In many ways, green cleaning is only as effective as its weakest link. To ensure all facets of your green cleaning program are strong and effective, make sure to include a green floor care machine.

    Betco is an industry leader in helping building owners, managers, and cleaning professionals keep facilities clean, healthy and environmentally responsible.

    For more information on green cleaning solutions, visit Betco.com or call 1-888-GO-BETCO

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