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  • 5 Cost-Saving Attributes to Consider When Specifying a Floor Finish

    May 8, 2024

    In competitive industries like grocery, retail, and others, cost-saving solutions like advanced floor finishes are key. These not just enhance aesthetics but also offer significant savings. Read on to discover how the right floor finish technology can become an investment in your bottom line.

    1. Macro Polymers

    The strategic use of larger polymers in floor finishes, especially when combined with high solids content and low viscosity, creates a floor finish that forms a more cohesive, more substantial layer atop the floor surface. Molecular largeness ensures that finish remains on the surface, rather than seeping into the micro-pores of the flooring material. The result is superior coverage, protection, and longevity with fewer applied coats. By reducing the number of coats needed for effective floor coverage, there's a direct decrease in the amount of time required for application and the quantity of finish used over time, leading to labor and material savings.

    In addition to enhancing the protective qualities of the finish, macro polymers also significantly ease the removal process when the time for stripping and reapplication comes, as the finish is less entrenched within the substrate. Streamlining the removal process similarly translates into labor efficiencies.

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    2. Enhanced Crosslinking

    Enhanced crosslinking in floor finishes can be compared to transforming loosely woven fabric into a tightly interlocked tapestry. This chemical process forges bonds between polymer chains, akin to interweaving threads more closely and securely together. The resulting network is a resilient matrix, like a densely woven tapestry that resists pulls and tears. A tightly bound structure grants the floor finish an exceptional ability to withstand the wear from heavy foot and other traffic (such as shopping carts and forklifts), safeguarding the floor's appearance and integrity over time.

    By adjusting the crosslinking density, certain finishes can be optimized for more demanding environments. In addition to the immediate improvement in durability and appearance, reducing the need for frequent refinishing delivers long-term savings.

    As a bonus, the less porous nature of a crosslinked finish means spills and stains remain on the surface, making cleanup easier and further protecting the floor beneath.

    3. Optical Brighteners

    Optical brighteners are compounds that capture UV light, which is invisible to the naked eye, and convert it into visible light, effectively emitting a glow that makes the floor surface appear brighter and more vibrant. This process, known as fluorescence, enhances the overall luminosity of the floor, providing a long-lasting sheen that is aesthetically pleasing and contributes to a more pleasant environment, potentially enhancing the experience of customers or other building occupants.

    The enhanced brightness and perceived cleanliness of the floor reduces the frequency with which buffing is required to maintain an attractive appearance. This decreased dependency on buffing extends the lifespan of equipment and contributes to lower energy consumption, as less power is expended. The reduced need for buffing delivers substantial savings in manpower hours, allowing maintenance staff to focus on other tasks and improving overall operational efficiency.

    4. Advanced, Quick-Dry Polymers

    Some polymers have been engineered to expedite drying and curing processes, with specific molecular weights and structures that enhance the rate at which the carrier medium—often water or solvents—evaporates, and simultaneously accelerate the bonding process between polymer chains.

    This swift formation of a protective layer dramatically reduces the time between coats and finish, as well as the overall time required before a floor area is ready for use again. In environments such as retail spaces, where every minute of accessibility counts, the ability to quickly return a floor to service can have profound implications for productivity.

    The shortened cure times associated with these advanced polymers offer an additional advantage in reducing the vulnerability of the floor finish to damage from premature foot traffic or environmental contaminants, which could otherwise compromise the finish's integrity.

    5. Specialized Wax Blends

    Each wax has unique properties, and strategic blending and incorporation of select waxes with specialized acrylic polymers can result in a finish with particularly excellent black heel mark resistance.

    • Waxes with high melting points and durability form a more robust layer to minimize the adhesion and penetration of rubber particles from shoe soles.
    • Waxes with a smooth, non-porous finish can reduce the surface area available for frictional contact, diminishing the likelihood of black marks.
    • Certain waxes are more seamlessly mixed with other components for even distribution of the protective layer, enhancing the floor's overall resistance to scuffing and marking.
    • Effectiveness of waxes in preventing black heel marks also lies in their chemical stability, i.e., whether they break down or become tacky, which can facilitate the transfer of rubber particles to the floor.

    Successfully identifying and blending waxes for scuff resistance allows floors retain their clean, polished look for longer periods, reducing the frequency of labor-intensive cleaning processes and the need for specialized cleaning to remove these unsightly marks.


    The intersection of chemistry and floor care technology presents opportunities for operational efficiencies and cost savings. By understanding these features, facilities management, procurement, and operations departments can leverage their knowledge during product selection, ensuring every square foot of their store contributes positively to the bottom line.

    For those interested in elevating their floor care regimen with innovative solutions that deliver significant savings in labor, time, and materials, we invite you to fill out the form below. An expert from our team will reach out to initiate a conversation, guiding you towards a floor care program that not only meets but exceeds your expectations.

  • Beyond Forever Chemicals: Navigating PFAS in the Cleaning Industry

    Apr 22, 2024

    In the evolving landscape of environmental safety and product development across industries, attention on a group of chemicals known as PFAS—Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances—has increased over recent years. These chemicals, often termed "forever chemicals," are central to ongoing regulatory and scientific debates regarding their persistence in the environment and potential health risks.

    As a leading manufacturer in the commercial cleaning industry, Betco® is committed to transparency and proactive communication on how we are handling PFAS amidst changing regulations.

    Decoding PFAS: The Basics

    PFAS encompass a vast, complex group of synthetic chemicals used globally since the 1950s. PFAS molecules have a chain of linked carbon and fluorine atoms that provide stain, water, and grease-resistant properties, making them a staple in various consumer products—from non-stick cookware and rain jackets to dental floss and shampoo. These strong carbon-fluorine bonds, however, also contribute to environmental persistence.

    In the cleaning industry, PFAS have historically been used in formulations for their ability to enhance dirt repellence, wetting and spreading, aerosolization, film forming, and more. 

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    PFAS Significance

    While beneficial for product performance, the resilience of PFAS means they do not break down in the environment, leading to widespread accumulation and potential exposure risks to humans and wildlife. Studies have linked significant health issues to high levels of PFAS exposure, and this growing body of evidence has led to increased public and regulatory scrutiny.

    As a result, the cleaning products industry faces the dual challenge of meeting performance expectations while minimizing ecological and health footprints.

    Regulatory Environment

    Regulation concerning PFAS is complex, with significant federal interest and varying regulations across states in place or proposed to restrict PFAS for categories such as drinking water, carpets, firefighting foams, and food packaging materials.

    • For instance, Minnesota has set legislation to restrict PFAS in cleaning products starting January 2025.
    • Other states like Maine and New York have implemented reporting requirements for products containing intentionally added PFAS.
    • Federally, the EPA is actively evaluating PFAS, aiming to set exposure limits and define risk categories.
    • A recent executive order has mandated the General Services Administration (GSA) to identify and substitute PFAS within five years.

    For up-to-date information on state legislation, Bloomberg Industry Group offers a searchable activity tracker.

    Our Commitment: Beyond Compliance

    We pride ourselves on a proactive approach to PFAS.

    • No Intentional PFAS: Our entire product line has always been free from intentionally added PFAS.
    • Minimal Unintentional PFAS: 95% of our products have never contained ingredients with significant PFAS levels.
    • Proactive Reformulation: Of the small number of products with ingredients now known to contain notable amounts of PFAS, approximately half have been successfully reformulated to remove those ingredients. We are committed to reformulating the remaining products well ahead of regulatory deadlines.
    • Innovation: In specialized applications, finding suitable substitutes for PFAS remains a significant hurdle for the entire industry. We are at the forefront of this challenge, actively engaging with global chemical leaders to develop viable PFAS-free alternatives.
    • Third-Party Certifications: Many Betco products adhere to rigorous third-party standards like Safer Choice and Green Seal, and we are committed to building out this portfolio of products.

    Engaging with Our Customers

    We encourage our customers to engage with us for any PFAS-related inquiries by contacting their local Betco representative or filling out the form below. Our team is ready to provide detailed information and support, ensuring peace of mind regarding product safety and regulatory compliance.

    As regulations evolve and more is understood about the impacts of PFAS, we will continue to lead by example, keeping our customers and the environment at the forefront of everything we do. By prioritizing safety, compliance, and transparency, we aim not just to meet but exceed industry standards and customer expectations.

  • Stop the Sick: 3 Ways Facility Managers Can Encourage Handwashing

    Dec 4, 2023

    Hand hygiene has been at the forefront of recent health and cleanliness discussions. A survey conducted in 2022 by the American Cleaning Institute found that 93% of Americans believe that handwashing is important when preventing illness. However, even with recent motivators like COVID-19, people are consistently not washing their hands. What can facility managers do to encourage folks to wash their hands according to CDC guidelines? Read on to find out. 

    The Facts

    Washing your hands reduces the potential for getting sick and spreading illness to others. Knowing this, how much of a difference does proper hand hygiene really make? The CDC handwashing guidelines recommend washing your hands before or after key situations, such as after using the restroom and prior to preparing or eating food. When followed, these regulations offer the following benefits: 

    • 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses are prevented
    • Gastrointestinal illness in children is reduced by 29%-57%, increasing school attendance
    • Decrease workplace illness rates, reducing absenteeism by 41%

    1. Education

    Educating building occupants about the importance of handwashing inspires them to wash their hands according to CDC guidelines. Signage can be placed in prime locations, such as restrooms, food prep areas, and anywhere else with a clean, accessible sink and soap dispenser. Signage should be easy to understand, ideally with pictures illustrating the process. 

    Handwashing signage should highlight one of three main factors:

    1. Why clean hands are important for personal health – 80% of contagious diseases can be transferred by touch
    2. Proper handwashing steps – It is recommended that signage containing handwashing steps is placed by sinks and handwashing stations for maximum exposure
    3. Critical handwashing situations – The CDC suggests washing your hands after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

    For a downloadable, printable flyer explaining handwashing procedures, please click here.

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    2. Convenience and Appearance

    Research shows that individuals are more inclined to wash their hands when restroom facilities are clean, fully functional, and organized. Ensuring soap dispensers are available at every sink and restroom is extremely important. If you would like to see if your facility qualifies for free Clario TF dispensers, please fill out this form

    Keeping soap dispensers full of hand hygiene products increases the likelihood of individuals washing their hands, and facility maintenance staff should check soap levels daily. Betco’s Clario closed loop dispensing system guarantees clean and easy product placement. Unlike bulk dispensers, Clario’s refills are not susceptible to cross contamination because they are factory sealed. When bulk dispensers are not properly cleaned before refilling, the soap can become contaminated and cloudy with bacteria, which deters use or increases bacteria on hands rather than reducing it. For more information about bulk soap dispenser contamination, please click here.

    3. Alternative Visual Cues

    In addition to educational posters and signage around handwashing stations, certain visual cues can encourage people to wash their hands. For example, decals featuring germs can be placed on door handles and other high-touch locations in environments like K-12 schools, simulating bacterial populations. Providing people with a visual representation of germs living on certain harmless objects can inspire them to keep their own hands clean and avoid touching these objects, if possible.

    Similarly, placing footprint decals on the floor leading directly to handwashing stations is equally as effective. Research reveals a 50% increase in handwashing after a clear, direct path was created leading from restrooms to handwashing stations. 

    Percentage of Children Washing Both Hands After Leaving Restroom

    Percentage of children washing both hands with soap and water before and after exiting the restroom, before and after the addition of signage and paths leading directly from restrooms to handwashing stations (click or tap to expand).

    Hand Sanitizer

    As an effective alternative when soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer stations are a convenient option to encourage hand hygiene across facilities. Traditional handwashing methods remove dirt, chemicals, and lingering microbes on skin, but hand sanitizer is still extremely effective in killing bacteria and viruses on hands. It is recommended to place hand sanitizing stations near high-traffic areas like entrances, exits, check-out counters, restrooms, cafeterias and break rooms, or any high-touch locations. 

    Betco's Comprehensive Solutions

    For maximum results, the American Cleaning Institute recommends automatic dispensers like the Clario TF, paired with foaming hand soap. The combination of touch free dispensers and foam soap offers a hygienic dispensing option with the best soap coverage. Foam soap clings to hands nearly 2x as long as gel soap and rinses easily, making it a prime option for efficient-yet-effective hand hygiene solutions. 

    The Clario TF (also available as a manual dispenser) can be paired with products like Advanced Alcohol Foaming Sanitizer as well as hand soap like E2 Antibacterial Foaming Skin Cleanser

    To learn more about the Clario program, click here. To connect with a Betco hand hygiene expert, please click here.

  • How MyBetco Solves Facilities Teams' Top 5 Problems

    Oct 30, 2023

    In-house cleaning teams offer imperative services for facility maintenance and cleanliness. Inconsistent work locations and differing shifts makes team management and training a difficult task. MyBetco® was created with cleaning staff members and leaders in mind, catering to evolving demands.

    1. Maintaining Compliance and Safety

    Creating and maintaining a clean facility requires strict regulatory procedures that guarantee the safety of cleaning teams. E-learning courses offered through MyBetco prioritize legally mandated OSHA training for cleaning staff, including:

    • OSHA Hazard Communication Standard (29 CFR 1910.1200) – Mandatory at the start of employment and recommended to take annually as a refresher, this is the second-most violated standard. We cover all training requirements to keep our end-use customers in compliance: 
      1. Content of the standard
      2. GHS (Globally Harmonized System)
      3. Safety Data Sheets
      4. Proper chemical labeling
    • Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) – Mandatory every year and covers all necessary training components:
      1. Content of the standard
      2. Reducing exposure to bloodborne pathogens
      3. Universal precautions
      4. Employer responsibilities

    MyBetco also includes courses prioritizing worker safety on the job site. Courses outlining Slip and Fall Prevention and general Worker Safety are offered to educate teams on the importance of occupational and overlooked hazards. 

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    2. Team Management

    Supervising multiple teams at once means that training and professional development can be difficult to track. MyBetco permits Team Leads to create and manage teams of employees within the user portal, simplifying task delegation and progress records. Team leads are capable of:

    • Tracking employee progress and success 
    • Organizing and assigning Learning Paths
    • Standardizing training for specific teams and situations

    Communication between users and Team Leads is streamlined with automatic email notifications following every new assignment, registration, and completed course, providing users with immediate feedback and eliminating the need for Team Leads to individually address each action. Certificates are generated after a user finishes a course, commending them for their achievements and serving as credible proof of course completion. Please see video below for an overview of MyBetco’s team management capabilities. 

    3. Employee Turnover

    Nearly 40% of cleaning staff have worked at their current employer for less than 1 year, and almost 70% for less than 2. In an industry with high employee turnover, investing in costly training for employees might not always be cost effective in the long run, and developing a comprehensive plan that accommodates entire teams can be troublesome.

    Graph sourced from Zippia

    MyBetco presents a free, high-quality solution geared towards improving employee skills without excessive allocation of funds and effort. Standardizing and streamlining training not only produces better cleaning outcomes, but creates knowledgeable, satisfied employees:

    • Employee efficiency soars by 218% as a result of training
    • Access to training influences 70% of employees in their decision to stay or leave a job
    • 27% more employees hit their first performance milestones with proper training during onboarding
    • Employees who are engaged through training outperform non-trained, non-engaged peers by up to 20%

    4. Relevant Coursework

    Keeping up with industry trends while accommodating for varying employee learning styles and diverse language requirements can be an arduous task. Courses and educational resources on MyBetco are presented in multiple formats and consistently updated, ensuring that teams have constant access to relevant content. Multiple learning methods help facilities teams navigate and absorb topics, tools, and techniques, while frequent knowledge checks and quizzes establish proven results.

    MyBetco also meets increasing demand for multilingual content with courses available in Spanish, French, and English. It is a mandatory OSHA requirement that training must be provided in a language that is easily understood by employees. With 79.3% of janitors speaking Spanish, MyBetco empowers Spanish-speaking teams to easily pursue professional training.

    Graph sourced from Zippia

    5. Resource Availability

    Often, essential resources are not organized in a central location. SDSs may be stored on one site with manuals on another which prevents easy access in critical moments. MyBetco houses necessary resources all in one convenient location, including webinars, training, manuals, SDSs, helpful blogs, and more. These resources are available across devices, bringing necessary training collateral to your staff members’ fingertips in any location.  

    As captains of a dynamic industry, in-house facilities teams must be organized and efficient with their time and resources. MyBetco simplifies resource accessibility, transforming training techniques and team management. Embracing the versatility of MyBetco’s online training and tools means leaders spend less time building competent, well-trained teams and more time on other important duties. Sign up and register for MyBetco today!

  • Deciphering Degreasers

    Jul 31, 2023

    Efficient cleaning and degreasing of equipment and surfaces is crucial for maintaining safe operations in industrial settings. Industrial degreasers play a vital role in removing grease, oil, dirt, and other contaminants from surfaces, ensuring a safe working environment. It is important to understand the different types of degreasers and their specific applications. Read on to explore industrial degreaser categories as well as relevant product offerings.Note: All products mentioned below are concentrates unless listed as ready-to-use. For more information on properly diluting concentrated chemicals, please click here.

    Butyl-Based Degreasers

    One of the most common and cost-effective cleaning agents, butyl’s chemical composition allows it to penetrate and disperse within oil for easy and efficient extraction. Butyl degreasers are versatile and safe for use on a wide range of surfaces, including metal, concrete, plastic, and painted surfaces. While suitable for countless applications, butyl degreasers are ideal for removing tar, asphalt, oils, and greases, as well as removing oily build-up from automotive service bays. Unlike other heavy-duty cleaners, butyl degreasers rinse easily without leaving behind any residue – perfect for the fast-paced industrial manufacturing environment.  

    Super Kemite® 103 Versatile low-foaming formula suitable for use anywhere within industrial facilities; excellent when paired with automatic scrubbers
    Ultra 2000 Aggressive formula removes tough soils

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    Citrus Solvents

    D-limonene, also known as citrus terpenes, is a naturally occurring substance derived from the oil within the peels of citrus fruit. D’limonene – being a solvent – does not have a pH. Citrus solvents provide a natural, traditional alternative to butyl-based degreasers. Due to its high dielectric strength, many d’limonene degreasers are safe to use around circuit boxes and electric motors. D’limonene degreasers are powerful enough to clean brake parts, oily motors, adhesives, tire marks, tar/asphalt, part washers, and more. The best part? Degreasers infused with citrus terpenes contain a natural citrus fragrance that deodorizes as it easily lifts tough soils from surfaces. 

    Citrus Solvents
    Citrusolv HF High flashpoint solvent degreaser, ideal for parts washers or soak tanks
    Citrusolv WR Water rinsable formula removes heavy buildup of grease, oil, and adhesives
    Citrusolv Concentrate  Instantly dissolves grease and oil in hard-to-reach places like drains and grease traps; removes adhesives and decals
    Citrusolv 40 Dilutes with water as needed; easily removes vehicle undercoatings, grease, oil, ink, and adhesives

    Non-Butyl Degreasers

    Many industries, such as food service or food processing environments, impose restrictions on certain chemicals, including butyl. Butyl-free degreasers are an alternative solution that offer effective degreasing properties without the hazards and negative perception of butyl degreasers. Depending on the formulation, butyl-free degreasers target starches, sugars, fats, and liquid oils, but remain suitable for use in industrial manufacturing settings as well due to their versatile qualities. Most butyl-free degreasers are safe for cleaning concrete, walls, floors, machinery, engines, and other water-washable surfaces. 

    Non-Butyl Degreasers
    Liquid Chisel® Max Ultra-strength; perfect for lifting heavy grease and oil from water washable surfaces
    Citrus Chisel Penetrates fats, oils, and grease-based solids; from kitchen to factory
    Citruspray Ready-to-use combination all-purpose cleaner and degreaser removes the toughest soils
    Green Earth® Velocity Lifts and removes inks, oils, and greases from a variety of surfaces; safely removes black heel marks from synthetic floors
    Factory Formula HP Water based product cleans like a solvent; removes tough stains and rubber tire marks from concrete floors
    Speedex Ready-to-use heavy duty degreaser with a pleasant mint fragrance
    Green Earth Natural Degreaser Natural solution rivals traditional degreasers with surfactant power

    Probiotic Degreasers

    The ultimate in sustainable degreasing, probiotic cleaners contain enzyme-producing bacteria that consume industrial soils. Probiotic degreasers have a residual effect, meaning the enzymes continue to work after application: perfect for busy industrial environments. These powerful products can eradicate oil, sugars, fats, starches, coolants, and grease throughout industrial facilities and hard-to-clean spaces like drains and grates. By harnessing the power of bacteria and enzymes, probiotic degreasers provide effective grease digestion and odor control while promoting a cleaner and more sustainable environment. To learn more about the processes involved with probiotic industrial soil consumption, please click here.

    Probiotic Degreasers
    Grease Solv Targeted probiotic blend attacks petroleum soils and industrial inorganics

    Keeping the industrial workplace free of excess grease and oil is imperative for maintaining safety regulations and quality compliance. When left unaddressed, grease and oil can corrode and damage surfaces and equipment, as well as create dangerous, slippery conditions that endanger employees. To learn more about Betco’s industrial manufacturing solutions, click here. To connect with a Betco product expert, click here

    degreaser map final


  • Top 4 Reasons Why Floor Finish Will Not Level Properly

    Jun 13, 2023

    You feel as though your surface has been adequately prepped and you’ve successfully applied your finish. As you wait for the finish to dry, you notice some irregularity in the leveling properties. Besides creating an unprofessional appearance within a building, an unevenly finished floor surface results in the formation of both smooth patches and rough areas that provide varying levels of traction. Consequently, this disrupts the seamless stride required for walking, effectively turning the floor surface into a potential trip hazard. Read on to learn more about common problems that can cause floor finish to level irregularly and tips to avoid improper leveling.

    Poorly Prepped Surface

    When coating resilient tile, there is a select process to be followed that ensures your surface is ready for finish application. If you’re performing a top scrub and recoat, it is important that you remove all embedded soil and an even layer of finish. To learn more about proper interim maintenance practices, please click here. If stripping and refinishing, all sealer and finish layers must be completely removed from the floor. To learn more about this process, please click here.

    In either case:

    • If using an automatic scrubber for finish removal, Betco recommends a double scrub to more effectively remove contaminants that could interfere with proper leveling.
    • You should always perform a detail rinse with warm water after finish removal
      • Top scrub chemicals and strippers both leave an alkaline residue, over which no floor finish will properly bond or spread.
      • Check the floor with the palm of your hand before coating to ensure there isn’t any residue before applying. If powder comes off on your hand, detail rinse again.
    • The floor must be completely dry before applying finish.

     It is worth noting that if you are finishing new VCT, the tiles likely have been pre-treated with a factory finish, and it should be stripped then thoroughly rinsed before applying your desired finish for best results.

    The floor must be free from residues, soils, and any other lingering substance that could prevent finish from leveling. A quality finish job starts with dedicated preparation.

    Dirty and Incorrect Application Tools

    If you used a classic cleaning mop to prepare your surface prior to finishing it, you might think “a mop is a mop,” and continue using the same tool to apply your finish. When the finish begins to level poorly with raised bumps, lines, and pits from the dirt clinging to your cleaning mop – you’ll have learned a lesson the hard way. Avoid this mistake entirely by utilizing the proper, isolated tools for each step of the process. If you use a fresh applicator mop and bucket during the application process, insert a trash can liner into the bucket to prevent any dust-to-mop cross contamination.

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    Applying floor finish can be a lengthy process. If you must take a break from applicating and return to the project later, wrap up the mop with plastic or a can liner to prevent the finish from drying and hardening on the mop in your absence, which can severely compromise the rest of your application process. Ensure that the mop being utilized does not have cotton fibers, which may leave streaks or cotton fibers on the surface, resulting in uneven leveling. Simplify your application technique with Betco’s QuickCoat Applicator System, featuring replacement 24” and 18” applicator pads.

    Improperly Placed Air Movers

    Air movers and blowers are a popular method for expediting the drying process when finishing floors. When used with care, air movers are an excellent and efficient way to make the most of your time and project. However, air movers have the potential to ruin your new surface if used incorrectly. When drying floor finish, an air mover should be raised up slightly and pointed above the surface to circulate the air closest to the finish, rather than blowing air directly on the finish.

    The blower’s fans should be set on the lowest power to avoid an intense air current, which remains important even though the fan is not blowing on the finish itself. If your fan is running at high speed and blowing directly on top of your fresh finish, you are guaranteed to ruin the leveling properties of the finish, resulting in thick coverage in some places and no coverage in others.

    Extreme Temperatures

    The temperature of your floor surface and the finish plays a huge role in how the finish adheres to the surface and how it dries. The lower the temperature of the finish, the slower it flows, making it more difficult for the finish to settle evenly on the surface. Additionally, the temperature of the flooring surface itself must be within proper parameters, or the finish will have difficulty leveling properly.

    When the temperature of the finish and the floor are high, the product will dry prematurely, and the integrity of the surface will be compromised in the long run. Comfortable temperature guidelines for applying floor finish run between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, and the finish and surface should reflect these parameters for best results.

    To learn more about Betco’s floor care programs, click here. To take advantage of Betco's comprehensive training course about the life cycle of floor care, please click here. To connect with a floor care expert, please click here.


  • Use of Probiotic Cleaners in Healthcare and Dental Settings (Review of Two Scientific Studies)

    Apr 21, 2023

    Information provided for conversational purposes only and not representative of our products. In the US, only EPA registered products can be used to mitigate, reduce, or eliminate pathogens. To connect with a Betco probiotics expert, please click here.

    Probiotic cleaners are a safer and more sustainable alternative to traditional cleaners. They provide extended cleaning benefits, continuing to work long after application. In a decade rife with global pandemic, it’s important to know how probiotic cleaners support a healthy environment. Several studies have been conducted to investigate the theory of competitive exclusion, where good bacteria outcompete the bad bacteria for the same resources, eventually causing the elimination of the bad bacteria. Two studies performed in Europe delve into the effect probiotic cleaners have on biofilms within a hospital and dental office, comparing the level of harmful bacteria before and after probiotic application. A biofilm is a microscopic biological community fostered on any surface, from doorknobs to a kitchen counter. This film provides useful insight into the health of its environment, as biofilms host the growth of bacteria and pathogens, both helpful and harmful. Read on to learn what researchers discovered.

    Methods Used

    Probiotic cleaning solutions most commonly utilize Bacillus spores. Bacillus is a “positive” bacteria, meaning it will not cause human disease nor negatively impact plant and animal life. Both studies swabbed various locations around their respective environments, gathering data on currently existing biofilms prior to treating with probiotic cleaners.

    The dentist’s office gathered samples from 11 sites around their facility, including sinks, patient head rests, dentist chairs, a keyboard inside the clinic, and more. The hospital team focused on testing surfaces rather than locations and surveyed linoleum, ceramic, and stainless steel.  Each test site’s pathogenic bacteria levels were recorded prior to being treated with a Bacillus-infused probiotic cleaner. 

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    The hospital study created an 8-month cleaning regimen, treating their surfaces with tap water, soap, a disinfectant, and a probiotic cleaner, measuring the effects of each on resident biofilms. The dentist office treated locations with a probiotic cleaner only and let the samples mature over the course of several weeks. Post-application cycles, both studies then measured the bacteria and pathogen levels of the treated areas. A pathogen is defined as “an organism with the ability to cause disease in a host.” Pathogens exist in the form of bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and worms, meaning they exist in various forms and are able to survive different environments without dedicated intervention.

    Discovery: Probiotic Power

    "Both studies presented the same conclusion: probiotic cleaners lessen the presence of harmful pathogens within resident biofilms."

    Both studies presented the same conclusion: probiotic cleaners lessen the presence of harmful pathogens within resident biofilms. Teams at each location tested and recorded their biofilm contents following treatment with probiotic cleaners. The dentist office tested various high-bacteria locations within their office, reporting that the probiotic cleaner was able to penetrate biofilms and eliminate harmful bacteria from hard-to-reach places – including bacteria that causes staph (staphylococci) and strep (streptococci) infections. What’s more, not only did the probiotic cleaner remove potential health hazards, the harmful bacteria were replaced with the non-pathogenic “good” bacteria from the probiotic cleaner, promoting a healthy environment and supporting the competitive exclusion theory. 

    The hospital reported similar results, with the bacteria within the probiotic cleaner outcompeting the pathogens. In other words, the pathogens could not survive since their resources were consumed by the “good” non-pathogenic bacteria. In comparison to the surfaces treated with tap water, soap, and a chemical disinfectant, the probiotic cleaner encouraged beneficial biofilm production while discouraging the continued growth of harmful pathogens. In summary, probiotic cleaners establish inhabitable environments for pathogens, building a safer environment for human health.

    To learn more about the studies summarized above, please click here for the hospital research and here for the dentist office report.  


  • Norovirus Outbreaks and Betco Solutions

    Apr 14, 2023

    The U.S. has been battling an intense wave of norovirus with more current positive cases in 2023 than previous years’ peaks. Currently, outbreaks in America continue to spread. The virus has achieved its massive rate of infection due to its contagious nature. According to the CDC, norovirus is spread through direct contact with an infected individual, consuming contaminated food or water, or touching contaminated surfaces and then touching one’s nose or mouth. It is extremely easy for norovirus to spread, especially within confined spaces. It is not uncommon for schools and nursing facilities to shut down entirely during an outbreak due to increased rate of infection amongst a vulnerable population.

    What Is Norovirus?

    Norovirus’ unpleasant symptoms created the moniker “winter vomiting disease.” Staying true to its nickname, cases are usually highest in the United States from November to April, and this year is no different. First discovered in Norwalk, Ohio in the late 1960s, norovirus has swept the nation every year since. Symptoms include nausea, sudden vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, muscle pain, and low fevers. The virus targets the intestinal lining and wreaks havoc on the digestive tract for the next 48 hours. Its high level of transmission and severe symptoms make norovirus a threat to facilities with people in close proximity, from nursing homes to elementary schools. 

    Norovirus image for blog

    While most cases are not serious, the severity of the sickness varies. In children under five and adults 85 and older, norovirus can lead to hospitalization and even death in extreme cases. If the afflicted individual is immunocompromised, symptoms have the potential to last for weeks or years in serious cases. Contracting norovirus is certainly inconvenient and uncomfortable, but the real danger lies in dehydration. Liquids must be adequately replenished, or several days of fluid loss can completely dehydrate the sick individual, creating more problems. However, most symptoms generally resolve themselves after several days.

    Preventing Norovirus

    Norovirus is easily passed from person to person but extremely hard to kill on surfaces, adding to its level of contagion. The genetic composition of the virus differentiates it from other seasonal sicknesses like influenza and the common cold. Cold and flu viruses enter the body enveloped in a protective protein sleeve. This sleeve is easily penetrated with alcohol-based hand sanitizers and cleaners, effectively killing lingering cold and flu germs on surfaces and human hands.

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    Norovirus is much hardier due to its unique composition. As a single-stranded RNA virus with no penetrable outer coating, alcohol and most common disinfectants are ineffective on hard surfaces. What’s more, norovirus survives for two weeks on surfaces and continues surviving in water for two months or more. This means that even though an individual has fully recovered and is no longer contagious, hard surfaces they have touched with unclean hands will continue spreading infection for two weeks.

    To prevent rapid spread, the following EPA registered disinfectants have proven efficacy against norovirus: 

    hand wiping table w ge fight bac

     There are no vaccines or medicines targeting norovirus specifically, but the CDC recommends adopting the following procedures to prevent norovirus infection:

    • Wash your hands thoroughly
    • Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating
    • Disinfect surfaces frequently
    • Avoid touching your nose and mouth

    Washing your hands is the first line of defense against norovirus. To solve hand hygiene demands in a variety of environments, Betco’s Clario® line is designed for functionality and maximum cleanliness. Every Clario bag is sealed to prevent contamination, providing peace of mind and a quality clean.

    To learn more about norovirus and local infection trends, click here. To learn more about Betco’s disinfection solutions, click here


  • It Takes Two: Floor Finish and Equipment Compatibility

    Mar 15, 2023

    Floor finish and equipment are the dynamic duo when it comes to floor maintenance. Depending on the type of floor finish that is applied, you’ll want to make sure you have the right kind of equipment to ensure the floor looks the best it can. Continue reading to learn more about which finishes complement different types of equipment.

    High Maintenance Finish

    High maintenance finishes, also known as ultra high speed (UHS) finishes, are formulated with softer, repairable polymers and waxes that wear more but have a better depth of gloss. Because of this, UHS finishes require more burnishing to keep them looking their best and as shiny as possible. It’s recommended to use a high-speed burnisher—electrical, propane, or battery-powered—with this type of finish. Once the floor is burnished, the jump in gloss is higher.

    A floor burnisher is a piece of power equipment that polishes or burnishes a floor to bring out its original shine. A high-speed burnisher, depending on the type, spins at 1,000 to 3,000 RPMs at a fast rotation, which increases the number of times a floor is agitated. The friction of the burnishing pad on the floor produces the desirable “wet look” shine in fewer passes by repairing abrasion marks and slight scratches. There are different sizes ranging from smaller, more maneuverable to those that tend to cover more square footage in less time to increase efficiency and productivity. Betco® offers the following high-speed burnishing machines:

    • The Crewman 1600 and 2000 High Speed Burnishers are electrical and cover up to 16,000 square feet per hour. The precise balance and flexible pad driver offer an even burnishing path of 20” wide.
    • Optima XR Series High Speed Burnishers are propane-powered and are offered in 21”, 27”, and 27” with dust control and burnish up to 34,000 square feet per hour. Thanks to an exclusive high-efficiency fuel delivery system, the Optima XR saves up to 27% on propane versus leading competitors.

    High-traffic facilities that care for their floor often, like retail and grocery stores, often use UHS finishes. Floors are a major factor in store cleanliness to customers, and the robust shine produced from burnishing signifies that. Additionally, UHS finishes should be used for high traffic, or else the finish will be walked off the floor. They are also recommended for floors that are worn quickly and need to be burnished more than 3 times a week. Betco suggests the following UHS finishes:

    • Photon Max with SRT Floor Finish is designed for ultra high speed routine maintenance programs in high-profile, high-traffic areas by providing a dramatic gloss response when burnished.
    • Hi-Tech® Floor Finish produces an excellent wet look shine after burnishing, and prevents powdering, scuffing, and black marks.
    • Hybrid® Floor Finish uses a new polymer system formulated with XBF technology to provide the longest-lasting finish ever by retaining film integrity and outstanding gloss even after repeated burnishing.

    Low Maintenance Finish

    Conversely, low maintenance finishes are formulated with harder polymers and waxes that are designed to stand up to high-traffic patterns and wear without losing much gloss. A floor scrubber or floor machine should be used on low maintenance finishes because, as the category name suggests, they don’t need as much maintenance to keep the glossy look.

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    A mop and bucket do not burnish a floor but is the traditional way to clean it in order restore gloss. Instead, a floor machine can be used to burnish for ease, convenience, and better gloss results. Floor machines generally run at 175 RPM, but dual speed floor machines have an additional speed of 300 RPM. These RPMs are significantly lower than high speed burnishers to protect the low maintenance floor finish.

    If using a high speed burnisher on low maintenance finish, the increase of gloss will not be as high as a UHS finish. Additionally, if the low maintenance finish does not respond well to the high speed burnisher, powdering, swirling, or hazing of the floor can occur. Refer to the floor finish label before use.

    Betco has equipment that can scrub low maintenance finishes:

    • Crewman™ 17HD and 20HD has precise balance to reduce operator fatigue and comes in a 17” pad size and 20” pad size.
    • Foreman® 20DS has dual speeds at 175 RPM or 330 RPM and an hour meter to manage maintenance and usage, available in 20” pad size.

    Click here to learn more about our Floor Machines and Floor Scrubbers.

    Low maintenance finishes are used in facilities that cannot prioritize floor care. For example, schools typically use low maintenance finishes because burnishing every day is nearly impossible due to classroom furniture. For facilities concerned about cost, some have made the switch from high maintenance finishes to low maintenance finishes, pulling back on burnishing cycles. With high maintenance finishes, cost is associated with mostly labor, and more burnishing means more labor is required. For those looking to make the switch or looking to use a low maintenance finish, Betco recommends the following:

    • Hard as Nails® utilizes a highly durable internally cross-linked polymers blended to achieve a harder floor finish film, resulting in a high gloss, long wearing finish.
    • Untouchable® Floor Finish with SRT is a low odor, black heel mark resistant floor finish that is an exceptional choice for those who want the highest gloss and wear with the least amount of labor.
    • Glare® is a high gloss floor finish that provides the optimum in durability and wear.

    Floor Cleaning

    No matter the finish a facility has, the floor needs to be cleaned as part of daily maintenance. An auto scrubber can be used to clean all types of finishes. If only a mop and a bucket is available for cleaning, it should be used on a low maintenance finish. A mop and bucket can be used to clean UHS finishes, but they are not as durable. Dirt and wear will affect them to a greater extent, so poor cleaning practices will degrade the finish.

    Betco recommends the following products for floor cleaning:

    • pH7 Floor Cleaner emulsifies and suspends dirt and grime, leaving floors film-free and full of shine.
    • Daily Scrub SC Floor Cleaner is designed for frequently burnished floors and quickly removes deeply embedded soils.
    • Betco One Step Floor Restorer is a cleaner and restorer for high-speed floor maintenance programs and effectively cleans the floor while restoring the top layer of the finish after burnishing. This can be applied with a mop and bucket or an auto scrubber prior to burnishing to help improve repair and burnish results.

    In terms of auto scrubbers, the GeneSys Auto Scrubber series cleans floors faster with less effort with the best performance specifications in its class. Click here to learn more about what makes GeneSys Auto Scrubbers stand out from the rest.

    Floor Finish Selector Guide

    Every floor is different, and our tool helps take out the guessing when it comes to floor maintenance. The Floor Finish Selector Guide asks a series of questions about equipment for floor maintenance, sheen desire, sustainability, floor type, time constraints, and budget. Based on the answers, the Floor Finish Selector Guide spits out the best Betco floor finish. Click here to use it.

    To view all our floor finishes, floor cleaning products, and more, click here. To learn more about our equipment offerings, click here. For any questions and to speak with a Betco representative, click here to fill out an online form.

  • 3 Ways Auto Scrubbers, Including GeneSys™, Combat Labor Shortages

    Feb 15, 2023

    Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the labor shortage in the janitorial and sanitation industry and across all industries has made a lasting impact on how facilities operate and work is performed. Facilities management teams have made many adjustments to simplify processes to make jobs easier and more efficient with fewer employees. Continue reading to learn how using an auto scrubber, including a GeneSys Auto Scrubber, helps combat labor shortages.

    1. Shorter Cleaning Times

    Every second counts while on the job. An auto scrubber with the proper performance specs for a facility adds automated mechanization to the floor scrubbing and drying processes compared to the manual mop and bucket process.

    Squeegees located on the machine direct the dirty water into the vacuum chamber on the auto scrubber. Squeegees must be durable and effective, or they will leave puddles or streaks of water, essentially reversing the work being done. Also, leaving any sort of liquid on the floor is a safety risk. A recovery tank stores the dirty water and must be large enough to avoid frequent trips to empty the tank.

    2. Better Specs, Better Cleaning

    Cleaning is linked to 4 components: chemical, heat, agitation, and time. With auto scrubbers, there is typically no heat included, but there is chemical and agitation over a short period of time. Because of the short period of time, the chemical action and agitation must work quickly to get the job done in one pass.

    Agitation is created from a combination of down pressure and RPM. The higher the RPMs, the more times the floor is agitated, which effectively cleans it in less time. Down pressure is how hard the brush or pad pushes against the floor. With more down pressure, an auto scrubber with more horsepower is needed to turn the pad or brush under the force. The employee can operate the machine at a higher speed and still get excellent cleaning results. They do not need to make multiple passes to completely clean the floor, ultimately saving time and labor.

    An orbital auto scrubber uses the same specifications but can strip a floor with an abrasive pad attached. Compared to the traditional way of using a mop and bucket, an auto scrubber can quickly remove old floor finish without manual labor. This is a huge advantage because it shortens the stripping time and can cover more floor area.

    Battery-powered auto scrubbers are mobile and can operate upward to 7 hours before needing to recharge the battery. Batteries also allow the freedom of taking the auto scrubber anywhere in the facility without needing to be connected to a power source, making project work more convenient and easier.

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    3. Helpful Technologies

    Auto scrubbers may come equipped with technologies meant to make the job quicker and easier; however, it is important to research these features to make sure they are able to deliver the results they promise and are not “gimmicks.” Look for simple, proven technologies that actually save time and increase ease of use by:

    • Virtually eliminating time-wasting steps
    • Adapting quickly to new needs or different soil types in facilities
    • Eliminating the guesswork
    • Simplifying machine usage training

    Also, technologies should focus on reducing costly and unplanned machine breakdowns. Having a broken machine will disrupt the maintenance process and require expensive repairs and possibly parts. Major components should be protected from early life failures. Plus, when a machine is temporarily out of commission and there is no backup, it halts increased productivity and efficiency by having to revert to traditional, more time-consuming methods. When spending good money on an auto scrubber, it should be expected to last.

    GeneSys Walk-Behind Auto Scrubbers

    The GeneSys Walk-Behind Auto Scrubbers were designed and developed to meet a primary need in the janitorial and sanitation industry to clean faster with less effort. The larger GeneSys Mid-Size Auto Scrubbers, available in 28 orbital, 26D, 28D, and 32D sizes, have 33% more horsepower, 36% more RPMs, and 50% more down pressure versus the leading disk scrubber competitor. The newer, smaller GeneSys 20 Auto Scrubbers have 25% more horsepower and 50% more down pressure than the leading disk and orbital scrubber competitors.

    Each GeneSys is battery-powered and equipped with problem-solving, smart technologies for a more efficient operation.

    • SoliChem Technology eliminates manual chemical mixing with the first-ever onboard chemical dispensing system that utilizes chemical solids. A sensor notifies the operator when the solid is dissolved and a new one needs to be installed by easily dropping a new one into the slot. pH7 Ultra Neutral Floor Cleaner and Grease Solv Solid Degreaser tackles a wide variety of soils and delivers up to 80% lower daily cleaning costs compared to traditional liquid cleaners. One solid makes 350 gallons of cleaning solution.
    • Fortify® Asset Protection/Management focuses on keeping the machine running and doing the job with a suite of features and technologies that reduces the cost of ownership while extending machine life.
      • Wet Battery Protection eliminates battery failure and replacements from poor watering maintenance.
      • Tank Defoaming System proactively attacks one of the main causes of early vacuum failure and replacements.
      • Programmable timer restricts usage to only certain times of the day, so the proper operators are using the machine.
    • Airoflex®* Advanced Squeegee has a specialized blade for 40% higher vacuum performance that results in a drier and safer floor.

    The GeneSys 28 and 20 Orbital reduces labor by up to 80% versus traditional stripping methods. Larger facilities can save weeks of labor per year. Click here to see just how much is saved while using a GeneSys Orbital.

    Betco also offers a plethora of literature and videos to keep on hand to help with the operation and care of a GeneSys Auto Scrubber. Additionally, we offer a free e-learning course dedicated to the GeneSys Auto Scrubbers, a Distributor Training at Betco HQ on-site class that covers all our powered equipment offerings, and the opportunity to have a Betco representative come to a facility for Hands-On Training at Your Location.

    All GeneSys Auto Scrubbers are ready to ship! For more information about the GeneSys Auto Scrubbers, their technologies, and to access literature and videos, click here. To learn more about our training programs, click here. To speak with a Betco representative, click here.

    *Airoflex is a registered trademark of the Midwest Rubber Company


  • The Betco® Training Difference

    Jan 12, 2023
    1 male teaching another 1 male how to operate equipment

    Training is important in every industry, every facility, everywhere. When a new employee begins their new job, training is needed and expected to ensure that they understand and are able to perform their duties. Additionally, ongoing training is beneficial and gives a business the advantage in a competitive environment. Continue reading to learn about the different types of training common in the janitorial/sanitation industry and how it makes a difference.

    Compliance and Safety

    Training on how to comply with safety measures is a major benefit to having a safe workplace. Professional cleaning staff have the ninth highest rate of injury requiring days away from work. Prevention starts with education on how to stay safe while performing job duties and responsibilities.

    In the United States, each employer with hazardous chemicals present in the workplace must comply with the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard. Completion is required for every employee by law, and it is recommended to take annually as a refresher. Additionally, every job site with the potential exposure to infectious material is required to train their employees annually on the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. It covers safety and preparation, universal precautions, protective practices, exposure, OSHA requirements, and more. Failure to complete these legally required modules can lead to legal problems and serious fines up to $136,523.

    Betco® offers both OSHA Hazard Communication Standard and OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen Standard e-learning courses for free in an interactive format, complete with knowledge checks, videos, and bonus resources in English and Spanish. These entirely fulfill the mandated training requirement. Once complete, a certificate of achievement is available for download for proof of passing. For further safety training, take Betco’s Slip and Fall Prevention, the #1 preventable loss type, and Worker Safety, which outlines strategies to stay safe during various tasks.  

    For even more compliance and safety training, Betco representatives can come and teach it at a facility through Hands-On Training at Your Location. This is a good opportunity to have a formal training session, receive in-depth information, and ask questions to our experts.


    Onboarding training is an orientation program geared towards new employees to allow them to adapt to the workplace culture, their roles, and meet the team. It teaches employees what is expected of them in their role and the functions of the organization. 77% of employees hit their first performance milestone with training. For new hires who don’t get formal training, that drops below 50%. Exposure to the same training through onboarding leads to the use of the same procedures, creating process and outcome uniformity. The organization and its team members will function more efficiently when everyone is on the same page.

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    Betco offers numerous trainings for new employees to help them get started in their career. From dilution control and disinfection to basic chemistry and restroom sanitation, these free modules are a great foundation and introduction to these topics. As a bonus, facility leaders have the ability to organize courses into custom learning paths, assign e-learning courses, and assign already created e-learning paths to individuals and/or teams for onboarding. In a new account experience coming soon, team management will be even more streamlined and easier to navigate with brand-new features and functionalities.

    For larger groups of new employees, Betco will send representatives to a facility to review these topics in person. Click here to learn how a group of custodial directors were taught Betco’s Enhanced Facility Disinfection Program for basic disinfection procedures.


    Training has the power to increase and improve skills in the workplace, giving an organization the competitive advantage, boosting individual and organizational performance, and creating a productive and positive working environment. Efficiency is boosted by 218% with knowledge and skills to excel in quality and productivity. Employees acquire new skills through training, which makes them feel more prepared to accomplish a task. Training drives motivation and willingness because employees feel valued through career enhancement and development.

    Training at an airport

    For those who want to further their skill set to benefit their professional career, Betco has specialty training beyond compliance, safety, and onboarding. Through Hands-On Training at Your Location, Betco representatives will develop a personalized curriculum based on challenges or subjects of greatest interest and teach it at any facility. Our 100+ representatives across North America can come wherever needed at any time of day or night. Click here to learn how a group of airport employees worked with Betco professionals to specifically learn how to a floor maintenance program for terrazzo, saving over $120,000 in floor resurfacing costs. Click here to learn how Betco spent 2 and a half days training maintenance staff members at a higher education facility.

    Our E-Learning Course program also has several specialty trainings available, including wood floor care maintenance, concrete and terrazzo maintenance, warewashing for food service, on-premise laundry, and others. As previously mentioned, these courses are available for free and can be taken at any time.


    Sales training should focus on sales techniques, selling strategies, and communication skills development. Job-related training and development influence 70% of employees when deciding whether to stay or go. Employees that become better informed and more motivated to progress in their career tend to stay at the job, increasing retention rates. For a salesperson to be successful when it comes to commercial cleaning and equipment, Betco has the solution.

    Through Distributor Training at Betco HQ, learn how to sell Betco. New Distributor Sales Rep (DSR) training familiarizes sales reps with our total solutions bundle to reduce labor costs, increase efficiency, and optimize processes as well as selling and demo strategies. DSRs can also choose training classes for specific topics of interest, like floor care, disinfection, general cleaning, probiotics, equipment, and more. Over the course of a couple of days, DSRs are fully immersed in the class topic with the opportunity to use Betco products and equipment, ask questions to our experts, and network with other professionals in attendance. DSRs leave the class with an abundance of new knowledge, resources, and connections.

    On the digital side, our e-learning courses dive into specific products and programs offered by Betco for a complete overview, including a specific selling skills course about EnviroZyme Probiotic Solutions.

    Betco Total Training Solutions

    As leaders in cleaning professional training, Betco U is designed and developed by real-world experts for comprehensive and effective skill building through Distributor Training at Betco HQ, E-Learning Courses, and Hands-On Training at Your Location.

    Additionally, Betco offers digital tools to assist with training. Facility Resource Management is a cloud-based software used to educate, organize, and evaluate a team’s performance. With 2 tiers of janitorial software, improve results, increase efficiency, and validate services. Our video library contains over 200 videos that highlight product and equipment details, safety, and training procedures. The iBet Mobile App is another resource for training with access to Betco U, the video library, and more.

    To learn more about Betco’s training offerings, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here


  • What You Need to Know About RSV

    Dec 1, 2022

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an extremely common respiratory virus that typically causes mild cold-like symptoms in affected individuals, including runny nose, reduced appetite, cough, irritability, reduced activity, and apnea. RSV is the most common cause of respiratory illness among both infants and young children. Nearly all children are affected before their second birthday. However, adults, older children, and the elderly are also susceptible to RSV. The severity increases depending on underlying and autoimmune diseases.  

    Up to 80,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized each year in the United States due to RSV. It is the most common cause of infant hospitalizations. Although RSV cases typically peak between December and February, hospitalizations reached similarly high levels earlier than normal this year. Many pediatric intensive care units are at or exceeding capacity due to the increasing number of children who are being admitted due to severe RSV cases.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RSV can spread in multiple ways:

    • Virus droplets from an infected person’s cough or sneeze entering eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Direct contact with the virus, like kissing the face of a child with RSV
    • Touching a surface with the virus on it, then touching your face

    People infected with RSV are usually contagious for 3 to 8 days and may become contagious a day or two before showing signs of illness. RSV can also survive many hours on hard surfaces, such as tables and crib rails. It lives on soft surfaces for a shorter amount of time, such as hands and tissues.

    To help prevent the spread of RSV, the following disinfectants have an RSV claim when used on hard non-porous surfaces:

    First discovered in 1956, RSV has been treated by healthcare professionals for decades; however, there are no vaccines to prevent it available yet. There are many steps that can be taken to prevent the spread of RSV, including:

    • Covering coughs and sneezes without using hands
    • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoiding close contact with others
    • Cleaning frequently touched surfaces

    To learn more about RSV, click here. To learn more about our disinfection solutions, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.


  • Next Generation Probiotic Degreasers v. Conventional Alternatives

    Dec 1, 2022

    In the commercial cleaning industry, there is demand for cleaning products that can eliminate stubborn grease soils completely. Degreasers might come to mind first, but probiotic cleaners are becoming more and more popular. But what are the differences? Continue reading to learn more.


    To begin, it is important to understand what enzymes are and how they work. Enzymes are specialized proteins created by bacteria that catalyze or speed up specific biochemical reactions. The substance the enzyme acts upon is called a substrate. Most enzymes are unique 3-dimensional configurations based on their amino acid sequence, which is attributed to the shapes of the enzyme’s active site and the shape of the substrate.

    There can be various types of enzymes, such as proteases, amylases, and lipases, which break down specific soils.

    • Proteases break down protein-based soils including blood, food, feces, wine, and other beverages
    • Lipases break down fat molecules into fatty acids and glycerol which can be easily washed away
    • Amylases break down starch molecules like eggs, sugars, sauces, ice cream, and gravy
    • Cellulases target paper soils
    • Uricases target uric acid

    Enzyme proteins are highly specific to the type of material they work on and are only active when the specific substrate is present, and conditions are correct. Enzymes work to break down the complex substrates into smaller molecules via a chemical reaction. Each type of enzyme is different and will catalyze only one type of reaction. Enzymes are not living organisms, but they are produced by cells in living organisms to help digest soils quickly. Once the enzymes are depleted, no more will be generated and there is no residual cleaning benefit.

    Probiotic Cleaners

    Bacteria are living cells that produce their own enzymes and must eat to survive. Probiotics are a type of bacteria that do not cause illness and provide benefits, like aiding with digestion and immunity. They are found in soil, water, and even stomachs.

    Different probiotic strains produce different enzymes, and the effectiveness of those enzymes varies against different soils based on their unique 3-dimensional shape, as previously explained. If bacteria did not create enzymes, complex food would take too long to disintegrate into consumable components, and the bacteria would not be able to eat enough in a short enough period of time to survive and reproduce.

    As a cleaning technology, probiotics remove all types of organic soils by consuming them. Studies show that bacteria can digest petroleum-based soils as well as fats, oils, greases, and other food-based soils. In addition, certain probiotics break down and digest volatile fatty acids, the cause of malodors, and eliminate malodors by attacking them at the source. When bacteria consume soils, the only byproducts are more bacteria, carbon dioxide, and water.

    "Probiotics produce the correct enzymes needed to digest the right food source when it is needed and continually, which makes them more effective and longer lasting. "

    No waste is left behind because bacteria continually feed on and digest the food source until there is nothing left. This stands in contrast to “free enzymes” in enzymatic cleaners, which are used up in the cleaning application and do not provide continuous cleaning. Instead, probiotics produce the correct enzymes needed to digest the right food source when it is needed and continually, which makes them more effective and longer lasting

    Traditional Degreasers

    Degreasers remove grease from a surface. There are different types of degreasers, both waterbased and solvent-based that use different mechanisms in order to work. Most traditional degreasing products use a combination of ingredients to lift grease, tough debris, and stains easily without much wiping or scrubbing, obtaining the desired cleaning and degreasing effect.

    Traditional degreasers use nonrenewable petroleum-based ingredients, have a high pH, are corrosive to the skin and eyes, and do not provide any residual cleaning benefits. Due to the high PH, the used cleaning solution must be treated before it enters the municipal waste stream.

    Some probiotic cleaners have degreasing properties and eliminate grease and odors. Lipase and protease enzymes have been found to be effective at breaking down petroleum soils and have been used effectively in major oil spills. As the probiotic degreaser works to clean up grease, it will continue to keep pipes and plumbing grease- and clog-free by continually working after initial application.

    EnviroZyme® Probiotic Solutions

    Enzymes, probiotics, and surfactant chemistry are combined in our newest product line, EnviroZyme® Probiotic Solutions. We ferment our own beneficial bacteria to produce targeted probiotic cleaning solutions that are proven to continue working for 21 days post application. Strains are selected based on their efficacy against specific soils, including fat, oil, grease, and other organic soils. Proprietary nutrient packages boost probiotic growth for better, faster results in multiple applications, including:

    • Drains
    • Floors
    • Loading Docks/Dumpsters
    • Tile and Grout
    • Grease Traps
    • Beverage Tower Trays
    • Garbage Disposals
    • Urinals

    For more information about EnviroZyme Probiotic Solutions, products, and how it can help tackle grease and other organic soils, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.


  • EPA Adds Ebola to Emerging Viral Pathogen Policy

    Nov 16, 2022

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reported an outbreak of Ebola in Uganda that has taken the lives of 74 people and infected over 156 people since September 2022, becoming the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in the country’s history.

    First discovered in 1976, Ebola was widely known during the 2014 – 2016 outbreak in West Africa, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Today, it is spreading quickly across Uganda through the rare Sudan strain, which has prompted the WHO to update the country’s risk level from high to very high as there is no vaccine for this strain of the virus.

    Ebola is transmitted through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with:

    • Blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with or has died from Ebola
    • Objects that have been contaminated with body fluids from a person sick with Ebola or the body of a person who died from Ebola

    Last month, the United States restricted arrivals of travelers from Uganda to 5 airports to undergo screening for Ebola. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert to American health workers to be weary of patients who have traveled to Uganda in the last 3 weeks and show possible symptoms of Ebola, which include:

    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Rash
    • Symptoms of impaired kidney and liver function
    • Internal and external bleeding
    • Low white blood cell and platelet counts
    • Elevated liver enzymes

    Due to how contagious and dangerous Ebola is, the EPA has added Ebola to its emerging viral pathogen policy. A virus is added to this policy when there is no EPA-approved protocol in place. Under this policy, there are 10 Betco disinfectant products recommended by the EPA’s List Q Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens for use against Ebola.

    These disinfectants have demonstrated efficacy against viruses similar to Ebola on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, they can be used against the Ebola virus when used per the directions on the product label.

    In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, the CDC recommends the following prevention methods:
    • Avoiding contact with blood and bodily fluids of people who are sick
    • Avoid contact with items that may have encountered an infected person’s blood or body fluids
    • After returning from an area experiencing an Ebola outbreak, people should monitor their health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if they develop symptoms

    For more information about Ebola, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.

    *Disinfectant dilution only (3.5 oz/5-gal water)

  • 3 Challenges Floors Face in the Cold Winter Months

    Oct 19, 2022

    For those in the northern hemisphere, cold weather and cold weather elements are on their way, or they are already here for some. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures have a large impact on floors, cleaning procedures, and product selection. As we hunker down inside and protect ourselves from the brutal winter elements, it’s time to think about how our floors are affected this time of year. Continue reading to learn more.

    1. Safety

    Snow and ice compromise the safety of building occupants. When someone walks across a floor ridden with melted snow and ice, there’s a very good chance that their shoes will lose traction and cause a slip and fall. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20,520 workplace injuries are due to falls from ice, sleet, and snow and result in a day or more away from work. 28% of those resulted in more than a month off from work. All injuries from slips and falls from snow and ice are classified under traumatic injuries, which range from minor bruises and cuts to serious fractures, spinal cord damage, and concussions.

    2. Appearance

    Any combination of external soils can potentially ruin a floor’s appearance when tracked inside. During the winter months, mud, snow, slush, and salt are usually the main culprits and are unavoidable. Facilities must take steps to protect people on their property inside and out. Laying salt is one way to melt the snow and ice, but salt or ice melt can scratch and abrade floor finish, thanks to the rough texture of Calcium Chloride. Calcium Chloride melts up to 8 times as much ice within the first 30 minutes at 20 degrees Fahrenheit than regular salt. It is not uncommon for it to be used in parking lots and sidewalks, meaning salt or ice melt is more likely to be tracked in.

    Salt and ice melt can also leave behind a white residue if not cleaned up right away, which is damaging to the finish and looks hazy on the surface. They will splinter wood floors and cause dry rot in carpets if left too long. The presence of these winter soils calls for additional cleaning practices and procedures to maintain a clean look.

    3. Moisture

    If melted snow and ice are not properly cleaned up, the increased moisture on the floor can be damaging. There are several things that can happen and indicate too much moisture has penetrated the floor:

    • Adhesive deterioration and failure
    • Losing floor tiles
    • Peaking and curling where the edges of the floor have raised
    • Open seams
    • A musty odor that occurs when there is mold growth and when moisture becomes trapped
    • Pest infestations, like termites and ants, from the dark and damp environment

    Moisture can cause issues on every floor type, but it is the worst offender for carpet. As water from snow and ice seep into the carpet, it can destroy the fibers and padding. Salt attracts moisture and stays wet. The damp residue is alkaline and potentially harmful to dyes used in acid-dyed nylon and wool. The salt crystals contribute to abrasive damage to carpet fibers. Additionally, carpet can give off foul odors as old moisture becomes trapped if not treated in time.


    Proper cleaning and maintenance on floors during the winter months is the solution to reduce slip and fall accidents, maintain a high-quality appearance, and eliminate excess moisture. Before winter beings, strip and recoat the floors to increase protection. If it’s too late to do so, performing a scrub and recoat is the second best line of defense. It will provide a layer of finish on the floor and will help avoid deep stains. Click here to take our Floor Finish Selector Guide quiz to determine which Betco floor finish is best for your floor.

    Place weatherproof mats at every entrance and ensure they are regularly cleaned. Mats will serve as a place for building occupants to wipe their shoes, eliminating snow, ice, and salt from being tracked onto the floor and creating a safety hazard. Scraper mats stop grit and snow, while a cloth mat dries moisture on shoes. Another mat piece may be placed as somewhere to leave weathered shoes or boots. It is recommended to have at least 20 feet of matting at every entrance.

    The Workman® 20 Wet Dry Vacuum tackles all types of wet or drying cleaning on hard floors and carpets. Use it at every entrance multiple times per day as the mats become soiled. Use it to also suck up excess moisture lingering on the floor or soils that have been tracked beyond the carpets and mats. The GeneSys Auto Scrubber tackles larger spaces or spaces with excessive soils and water by offering a complete clean that mopping alone cannot. When auto scrubbing during the winter, it is best to use a double scrub method.

    Most floor cleaning chemicals and neutral cleaners are formulated to remove everyday dirt and oily grime, but winter weather elements pose more challenges. Use pHerfect on most hard floor surfaces to remove tough soils and neutralize common ice melt and salt ingredients and byproducts, such as sodium, Calcium Hydroxide, and Hydrochloric Acid, in one step. Salts slowly dissolve in water and need to be kept wet by rinsing, which is time consuming. Using an acidic solution, like pHerfect, speeds up the dissolving process by neutralizing the salt.

    Betco also has products formulated for specific flooring types, including:

    Consistently cleaning and vacuuming will also increase safety by reducing slip and fall accidents. In addition, Betco has a Slip and Fall Prevention Program that contains resources about common causes, risk management, and emergency response efforts. A free Slip and Fall Prevention e-learning course is available, and Betco experts will assist with recommending best practices and products to reduce slip and fall accidents.

    For more information about Betco’s floor care program, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.


  • Top 3 Challenges Grocery Stores Face

    Sep 19, 2022

    The grocery business is extremely competitive with small margins. To thrive, grocers must effectively address the different challenges involving customers, employees, and profitability. Continue reading to learn more about the top challenges grocery stores face every day and how Betco® can solve them.

    1. Driving Customer and Employee Retention

    Customer loyalty is the core of the grocery business, and it is important to implement strategies that keep customers coming back. Providing a safe, clean, and pleasant experience every time for all customers creates a better perception of the grocery store overall, leading to increased satisfaction levels, brand loyalty, and market share. The overall appearance, smell, and cleanliness of a store can define a customer’s experience as soon as they walk through the doors.

    On the other hand, grocery store employees keep the business running and drive a positive customer experience. A high employee turnover rate is not uncommon in the grocery industry. In 2020, retailers saw an overall turnover rate of 58%, up from 40% in 2019, according to The Food Retailing Industry Speaks report. Professional training in a grocery store makes it easier to recruit, onboard, and retain high-quality and engaged talent.

    A standardized scope of work and field support ensures that all staff members are using the same procedures, which results in a uniform process and outcome. A lack of cleaning consistency and performance can be noticed by customers and skew the store’s clean reputation. Betco offers customized scope of work creation and documentation, as well as training and support that make it easier to retain high-quality talent. Free training covers proper cleaning procedures, restroom sanitation, dilution control, and more. Click here to view Betco’s Total Training Solutions.

    2. Maximizing Safety

    When safety is compromised, it can lead to a potential lawsuit against the store. Common causes of lawsuits include slips and falls and foodborne illnesses. Slip and fall accidents in grocery stores are the #1 cause of injury for both employees and customers. The $494 billion grocery store industry spends $450 million annually to defend slip and fall claims. Proper floor maintenance and risk management practices are the only prevention.  

    Especially in departments like meat, seafood, deli, and bakery where food is prepared, the risk of cross-contamination and health code violations can be high. The Center for Disease Control reports that 1 in 6 Americans get sick each year from food-borne illnesses. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die. Proper hand hygiene, disinfection practices, and sanitation of food handling areas boost adherence to health code requirements.

    Betco helps grocers ensure that proper practices are in place by providing custom wall charts to reinforce proper chemical application methods and directions, as well as task cards to guide staff with visual aids that highlight procedures, products, and tools needed to perform jobs consistently. The free training mentioned above also includes topics to increase safety—such as OSHA Hazard Communication Standard, disinfection basics, and hand hygiene.

    Our Slip and Fall Prevention Program has resources that teach about the common causes, risk management to avoid accidents, and emergency response efforts, including a Slip and Fall Prevention e-learning course. Our experts will recommend best practices and products to reduce slips and fall accidents, including floor cleaners and equipment. Additionally, all Betco floor finishes meet or exceed ASTM D 2047, which contributes to a safer walking surface. It is the most recognized test method of slip resistance in the United States court of law. Our expert witnesses for slip and fall cases are members of the ASTM D-21 Committee on Polishes as well as the D-21.06 Slip Resistance subcommittee that can testify in a court of law on your behalf for slip and fall accidents.

    3. Optimizing Profitability

    Supply chain disarray, wage growth, elevated freight, and other inflationary pressures have and continue to impact the grocers and their profits immensely. Optimizing expenses like cleaning supplies by carefully evaluating what you buy and how you buy it can provide cost savings across an entire business.

    Based on an analysis of a grocery store’s current delivery supply chain, Betco is able to understand all aspects of product procurement and use. The intention is to also help maintain or reduce budget through increased efficiencies and reduced transaction. Our fast delivery turn-around times and reduced minimum order sizes are combined with product consolidation and reduced consumption for greater bottom-line savings.

    Our innovative solutions will increase productivity, so more can get done in less time with fewer staff members needed.

    • Floor Care and Equipment: Drives down labor costs by extending maintenance cycles, improves gloss, and reduces slips and falls
    • Hand Hygiene: Stretches hand care budgets without sacrificing cleanliness with Clario®
    • Dilution Control: FastDraw® Chemical Management System saves up to 30% with accurate dilution of chemical concentrates
    • Warewash: Delivers one-wash clean performance

    SmartSteps® Program

    Betco is a partner for grocery stores with a unique approach to align building service contractors or in-house cleaning staff and stakeholders. Our SmartSteps® Program offers solutions to grocery’s top 3 problems by creating and executing a customized and holistic program for cleaning excellence in just 5 steps:

    1. Identification: Outline strengths, challenges, and opportunities for improvement through a store audit
    2. Diagnosis: Review cleaning procedures and techniques to create a baseline scope of work and define goals
    3. Prescription: Prescribe appropriate solutions for effective and sustainable outcomes
    4. Implementation: Spearhead delivery, installation, and inventory of assets and provide safety and certified training on relevant topics
    5. Evaluation: Proactively follow up, monitor, and inspect performance outcomes and adjust the program as necessary

    Betco has simplified solutions with guaranteed outcomes for grocery stores. For more information about the SmartSteps Program, click here. To speak with a Betco representative, click here.

  • FDA Warns Against Using UV Wands for Disinfection and Here’s Why

    Aug 17, 2022

    The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned consumers of the dangers of using certain ultraviolet (UV) wands. UV wands are handheld devices used to disinfect surfaces by projecting UV rays onto a surface. Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of UV wands and the best solution recommended by the FDA.

    UV Radiation

    Radiation is the emission of energy from any source that travels through space at the speed of light. The waves contain electric and magnetic energy that are associated with the frequency of the radiation. The electromagnetic spectrum measures the frequency and wavelength used to describe electromagnetic radiation and describes the activity level of photons and the size of the wavelength in each category.

    UV radiation is a type of non-ionizing radiation with the highest energy. UV radiation can come from the sun or artificial sources and is measured on the electromagnetic spectrum. UV radiation falls between x-ray and visible light on the electromagnetic spectrum. It is used for many different things, including transmitting sound, microwaves, and x-rays. The most common types of UV radiation include UVA, UVB, and UVC. UV wands give off UVC radiation to disinfect surfaces.

    UVC Rays

    UVC is the highest energy portion of the UV radiation spectrum. UVC radiation from the sun is blocked by the ozone layer in the atmosphere, but humans can be exposed to UVC rays through artificial sources, like UV wands. It has one of the shortest wavelengths, which makes it one of the most dangerous and damaging types of UV radiation.

    UVC uses a specific wavelength of UV light, between 100 and 280 nanometers, to neutralize microorganisms. When applied to a surface, UVC penetrates the bacteria and changes the structure of DNA and RNA inside the cell nucleus. It inactivates them by stopping the cell division function and prevents proliferation.

    UV Wand Effectiveness

    UV wands are only effective if the virus is directly exposed to the radiation. Therefore, soils like dust and bodily fluids can prevent the UV wand from inactivating the virus. Additionally, prolonged exposure to UV on a surface may be needed depending on the UV dosage. These limitations can lead to an increase in time spent disinfecting and an increase in health and safety risks by not killing the viruses completely on surfaces (without taking additional cleaning steps) and exposing the user to high levels of radiation.

    UV Wand Dangers

    Recently, FDA conducted a study by collecting and testing samples of UV wands from multiple manufacturers. The purpose of these tests was to identify safety risks of using UV wands for disinfection, including:

    • UVC exposure
    • Safety information
    • Disinfection claims
    • Protection

    "Some UV wands marketed to 'disinfect in seconds' were releasing as much as 3,000 times more UVC radiation"

    Some UV wands marketed to “disinfect in seconds” were releasing as much as 3,000 times more UVC radiation than the exposure limit recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. As a result, the user or people nearby can experience 2 types of injuries after only a few seconds of exposure. A red rash, burn-like skin reaction called erythema can form and have a severity range of mild to life-threatening. The eyes can experience photokeratitis, a painful and temporary eye condition caused by exposure to UV rays that is like sunburn. It can feel like having sand in the eyes and last up to 2 days.

    It was also discovered that not all UV wands are packaged with proper safety precautions and instructions that include eye and skin protection recommendations. Some do not have adequate safety features that reduce injury to the person using the UV wand or people nearby during application.

    Alternate Disinfection Method

    The FDA recommends not using UV wands and utilizing alternative disinfection methods, such as chemical cleaners to kill germs. Most chemical cleaners are able to disinfect just as well or better than UV wands without the risk of radiation exposure.

    Betco® has disinfection solutions for any situation with concentrates, ready-to-use products, and wipes readily available:

    • The FastDraw dilution control systems in conjunction with concentrates drive down disinfection costs and increase safety.
    • The powerful, ready-to-use products save time and effort when it comes to disinfection.
    • All the benefits of a ready-to-use product are wrapped up in a fast, convenient, and sustainable wipe.

    With close to 20 disinfectants available in a variety of formats, it can be overwhelming to understand which disinfectant will be the most effective. To help, the Disinfectant Selector Guide will assist with determining which disinfectant will work best for a facility or space. Click here to take the test.

    For more information about Betco disinfectants, click here. To speak with a Betco representative, click here.


  • WHO Declares Monkeypox a Global Health Emergency, Betco® Has the Solution

    Aug 3, 2022
    Monkeypox virus

    The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Monkeypox virus a global health emergency on July 23. This rare designation means the WHO now views the outbreak as a significant threat to global health and that a coordinated international response is needed.

    More than 16,000 cases of Monkeypox have been reported across 70 countries in 2022. The number of confirmed infections rose 77% from late June through early July, according to WHO data. In the United States, more than 2,890 Monkeypox cases have been detected with cases in all but 6 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    On July 25, it was reported that the first Monkeypox cases were diagnosed in children. On July 26, Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, said that Monkeypox emergency declaration in the United States is under “active consideration.”

    As reported in our June post, the EPA has added the Monkeypox virus to their emerging viral pathogen policy. A virus is added to this policy when there is no EPA-approved protocol set in place. Under this policy, there are 10 Betco disinfectant products recommended by the EPA’s List Q Disinfectants for Emerging Viral Pathogens for use against Monkeypox:

    These disinfectants have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Monkeypox on hard, non-porous surfaces. Therefore, they can be used against the Monkeypox virus when used per the directions on the product label.

    In addition to cleaning and disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces to reduce the spread of Monkeypox, the EPA also recommends the following prevention methods:

    • Practice proper hand hygiene.
    • Launder infected clothing, bedding, and towels in warm water. Bleach may be added but is not necessary.
    • Infected dishes or eating utensils should be isolated and washed separately in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap.

    The Monkeypox virus dates back to 1958 when the pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research. Transmission of the virus happens when a person comes into contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials that are contaminated with Monkeypox. Human transmission occurs primarily through large respiratory droplets or indirect contact through clothing or linens.

    For more information about Monkeypox, click here. To get in touch with a Betco representative, click here.

    *Disinfectant dilution only (3.5 oz/5-gal water)

  • The Dangers of Oil-Based Finish

    Jun 15, 2022
    Dark brown, light brown sport floor with blue lines and yellow wildcat logo in the middle

    Safety is always a huge priority during and after any cleaning and maintenance task, including gym floor projects. Oil-based finishes are the most traditional finishes for wood sports floors and known to be extremely flammable, smelly, and dangerous if not properly stored or used. Continue reading to learn about the risks of using oil-based finishes and how waterbased finishes are a safer alternative.


    Many oil-based finishes consist of petroleum distillates, varnish, and linseed oil. Each contribute to the danger of oil-based finish. Petroleum distillates are colorless, flammable liquids that cause mild gasoline or kerosene-like odor when the oil-based finish is applied. When petroleum distillates are inhaled, ingestion, or come in contact with the skin or eyes, it can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat and cause dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea, and dry, cracked skin.

    Varnish is the combination of resins, oils, and solvents that creates the transparent, hard, protective film on a wood floor after application. Many varnish products contain benzene, a highly flammable carcinogen. It also emits a strong odor with intense fumes that cause drowsiness, headaches, skin irritation, and dizziness. High exposure can even cause unconsciousness and respiratory distress.

    Linseed oil is derived from dried seeds of flax plants and is a carrier in many oil-based products. When linseed oil is exposed to air, it combines with oxygen molecules that cause a chemical reaction, creating heat. The heat can cause a fire on a flammable object, like a rag, at as low as 120 degrees Fahrenheit without a spark.

    Clean Up

    When applying oil-based finishes, applicators like towels and rags are used and need to be disposed of properly after use. What can you do with the oil-soaked rags? Most would just assume they should be thrown out or stored away for the next job. This is when a finish project becomes more dangerous. If not properly disposed of or stored, as the rags begin to dry, the combination of heat, oxygen, and cloth can lead to spontaneous combustion and start a fire. As mentioned above, linseed oil can spark a fire just by being exposed to the air.

    According to the National Fire Protection Association, an estimated 14,000 fires occur annually from spontaneous combustion. The garage/storage room was the most common area of origin (20% of fires) and oily rags were the most common items first ignited (35%). To prevent spontaneous combustion, oil-based finish rags must be stored and disposed of in a specific way.

    • Rags should not be in a pile
    • Keep them outside and away from building structures
    • Put dried rags in a metal container that is airlocked and sealed
    • Keep the containers in a cool place out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources

    Removing oil-based finish or cleaning up spills requires a solvent, like mineral spirits that dissolve oil, and quick thinking to eliminate a potential fire hazard. There are many different methods and options, but they require additional supplies and steps to be successful.


    Volatile organic compounds (VOC) are emitted into the air as soon as a container of oil-based finish is opened. They’re also emitted when the finish is applied and then again as it dries. As an oil-based finish dries, the solvents evaporate and release VOCs into the air, contributing to air pollution and a strong solvent smell.

    VOCs are carbon-containing substances that become vapors or gases and assist with the application and drying of finish. When combined with other pollutants, smog can form and create even more environmental and health problems. VOCs contain the solvent odor that comes from oil-based finish. It is an unpleasant scent that could last for months or even years after finish application. It can be irritating for the people who smell the odor and inhaling fumes are harmful to human health. Prolonged exposure can a burning sensation, blurred vision, and a potential collapse.

    Adequate ventilation in the work area is important to reduce oil-based finish odors and help with the indoor air quality. A good ventilation system is necessary to help with eliminating odors and improving air flow and air quality. The EPA reports that the indoor concentration of VOCs can be up to 1,000 times higher than what it would be outdoors, and low air quality can cause health problems.

    Betco® Sports Zone® Emulsion® PRO+

    The best defense against oil-based finishes and their hazards is to avoid them completely. Waterbased finishes are a safer alternative to oil-based finishes because water is used as the solvent as opposed to oil. Acrylic resin forms the bond between the wood and solids of the waterbased finish as it is applied. Then, the water evaporates from air exposure, leaving behind the resin and colorants on the wood surface. It also allows the finish to dry quickly and be ready to walk on in as little as 30 minutes. The ingredients are the clear difference between an oil-based finish and waterbased finish. Removing the petroleum distillates, varnish, and linseed oil of oil-based finish from the equation significantly creates a safer finish and reduces dangerous risks.

    Emulsion PRO+ product

    Emulsion® PRO+ is a one component, ambering commercial grade, self-leveling finish and sealer. It’s an excellent choice for professionals that are looking to make the transition from OMUs to waterbased because it’s an ambering finish that delivers a rich look of traditional oil but with all the advantages of a waterbased finish. Benefits of a waterbased finish include:

    • Non-flammability, which makes the clean-up process easier. Because water is the solvent, used rags can be piled together, stored together, and disposed of in a regular garbage can without the risk of sparking a fire. Used rags will not spontaneously combust.
    • If there is a spill, only soap and water are needed to clean up. Accidental drips of water from sweat or bottles will also not affect the project.
    • Low odor, which avoids issues associated with offensive, extreme fumes.
    • Low VOCs increase sustainability and improve air quality.

    For those looking for a safer finish option, Emulsion PRO+ is the best choice for sport floors. For more information, click here. To speak with a Betco® representative, click here


  • 4 Floor Finish Factors to Consider

    May 27, 2022

    Floors are the foundation of every structure and contribute to the overall look and impression of a facility as they are one of the first features noticed by building occupants and visitors. Floor finish helps improve the quality of floors by forming a top layer that is expected to protect and extend the life of a floor. The kind of floor finish that should be used on a floor is dependent on many factors, including performance, maintenance, ingredients/solids, and sustainability. Continue reading to learn more about these influential factors.

    1. Performance

    Each kind of finish has different attributes that will define the look and performance based on what the customer wants. A customer must determine their floor finish needs based on their floor type, appearance expectation, level of traffic, and safety concerns.

    If the floor is linoleum, sheet vinyl, VCT, LVT, or similar floor types, it is a resilient surface floor. Floors like wood, stone, tile, grout, laminate, concrete, and terrazzo are hard surface floors. Choosing a floor finish that is formulated to the floor type is important for maximum performance, particularly regarding adhesion, and looks.

    The floor finish appearance varies on the amount of luster or sheen produced when the light reflects the floor surface. The scale goes from high gloss to matte with some sheens in between:

    • High gloss: Most shiny and most reflective
    • Semi-gloss: Moderate amount of shine that is reflective just enough to be noticeable
    • Satin: Medium to low sheen and serves as the median point of sheen levels
    • Matte: Very low sheen level that has virtually no light reflection

    Every floor finish is prone to scruffs, black heel marks, and other smudges that appear from everyday wear and tear. However, some floor finish is formulated to reduce markings, which boosts productivity and saves time. Specific Betco® floor finishes are equipped with Scuff Resistant Technology (SRT), an innovative technology specific to Betco. SRT uses a proprietary technology polymer, wax, plasticizer, and additive package that drastically reduces black heel marks. A floor finish’s hardness also contributes to resisting scruffs, scratches, and dirt embedment. The higher the hardness percentage, the more durable and long wearing the finish will be, which is especially important on floors with high traffic.

    High traffic can also increase the risk of slips and falls. Slip resistance is the static coefficient of friction between a shoe and a coated floor tile. All Betco floor finishes meet or exceed ASTM D 2047, which contributes to a safer walking surface. It is the most recognized test method for slip resistance in the United States court of law. To learn more about preventing slips and falls, click here to take our Slip and Fall Prevention module. 

    2. Maintenance

        using burnishing in a grocery store

    After the floor finish has been chosen and applied, it is important to maintain it. Burnishing helps the high gloss and semi-gloss floor finish sheens achieve their highest possible shine without needing to perform a full strip and refinish or scrub and recoat. It also helps floors hold up longer against everyday wear and tear by removing dullness and repairing scratches for an overall cleaner appearance.

    The frequency of burnishing is dependent on the type of floor finish. Ultra high-speed floor finishes offer the highest possible gloss on floors but require burnishing 1-7 times per week and usually need to be done with a propane or high-speed burnisher. This is because these kinds of floor finishes tend to dull quickly and need extra attention to keep them looking their best. Consistent and proper burnishing will reduce additional maintenance and increase the time between top-scrubbing and stripping. It also reduces the need for a frequent floor restorer, which rejuvenates the floor finish and extends the Life Cycle of Floor Care.

    On the other hand, no to low maintenance floor finishes require no burnishing or very little burnishing, potentially once a week or once a month. These floor finishes do not drop in gloss as quickly as they experience wear and tear and therefore do not need as much maintenance, ideal for facilities with time constraints. 

    3. Ingredients and Solids

    Floor finish is typically made up of the following ingredients.

    • Polymers: Commonly called plastics that dictate the main characteristics of the floor finish, like durability and gloss levels
    • Resin: A substitute for polymer solids that are usually less expensive, have lower durability, and a poor color
    • Plasticizer: Adds to the coatings’ flexibility, gloss, and film formation
    • Wax: Provides lubricity to the finish film and allows floor finish to be repaired more easily
    • Cosolvent: Helps hold polymers in suspension and aids in film formation
    • Additives: Assist in easy application, product storage, and long-term performance of floor finish
    • Water: Acts as a medium to evenly distribute all components

    After the floor finish is applied, the volatile ingredients—cosolvents and water—will evaporate.  The non-volatile ingredients—polymers, waxes, and plasticizers—remain on the floor after the volatiles evaporate. Usually expressed as a percentage of the total formula, these are referred to as solids, and they provide the protective coating. Floor finishes with over 25% of solids are considered a high solid finish.

    High solid floor finishes have more active ingredients, which reduce the number of coats needed during floor finish application and lengthen the time between reapplying floor finish. What may be lesser known is that solids refer to anything that does not evaporate during the curing process of floor finish. There could be unwanted, harmful ingredients included in the formula that causes a floor finish to not perform as expected. Always consult the label for ingredients before application.

    In addition, solid finishes tend to be more expensive due to more additives, like slip resistance, surface textures, and bonding. However, low solid finishes manufactured in recent years are able to perform just as well or even better than high solid finishes at lesser of a cost. Therefore, comparing solid percentages between finishes should not be the sole factor in deciding a floor finish type. 

    4. Sustainability

    Floor finish that is considered green does not contain zinc, excessive levels of which can pose a threat to environmental and human health. Elevated levels of zinc can cause be harmful to natural ecosystems by inhibiting the uptake of other essential nutrients by plants. When a floor finish with zinc is stripped, the zinc travels down the drain and eventually ends up in a wastewater treatment plant. It is a difficult material to remove during wastewater treatment and is also now regulated in wastewater discharge limits.

    Metal-interlock finishes use metal ions like zinc to bind together and form a crosslinked network with polymer chains. This technique can help the dried film to be more durable and detergent resistant, which is why most floor finishes commonly contain zinc.

    For more sustainable floor finish options, Betco offers Green Earth® Floor Finish and Green Earth Prelude Floor Finish and Sealer, both of which do not contain zinc or any heavy metals but are still formulated to shine as brilliantly and last as long as conventional finishes. The use of these finishes allows facilities to satisfy green mandates and even attain LEED certification.

    Floor Finish Selector Guide results with Hi-Tech featured

    Betco Floor Finish Selector Guide

    Betco has a variety of high-quality floor finishes for many floor types that fulfill different performance, maintenance, and sustainability needs. To understand which floor finish will work on your floor, our Floor Finish Selector Guide is a great tool. Answer a series of questions regarding maintenance, floor type, and budget, and it will recommend the best Betco finish for your floor.

    To use the Floor Finish Selector Guide, click here. If you have any questions about Betco floor finish or any of our floor care programs, please fill out our online contact us form, or call 1-888-GO-BETCO to speak with a representative today.