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  • Do Foam Soaps Save Water?

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • EPA Denies Request for Triclosan Ban

    Sep 21, 2017

    The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) announced recently they denied a request to ban all use of the chemical, triclosan, and impose new regulations on releases of the antimicrobial pesticide into bodies of water.

    Two environmental groups also petitioned the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to ban triclosan in personal care products such as cosmetics and soap, as the EPA's authority on antimicrobial products extends only to those not meant to be applied to the body. The FDA has yet to respond to their petition.

    The EPA disagreed with the environmental groups asking for a ban on their claims that triclosan poses a danger to human health. Triclosan is claimed to interfere with endocrine systems of humans and animals, and can accumulate within the body at high levels. The agency cited recent risk assessments it conducted through its required re-evaluation of the chemical's pesticide registration.

    “Antimicrobial uses of triclosan meet the applicable statutory standards, and the petition and supporting comments did not provide sufficient evidence to significantly change those conclusions,” the leaders of the EPA's water, pesticides and science and technology divisions wrote in their May 13 response to the environmental groups.

    The EPA did say it would take a biological assessment to see if triclosan affects endangered species. If determined, it would require work with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the NOAA Fisheries Service to base a comprehensive study on triclosan's ecological impact.

    For more information on this announcement, click the link below:

    Letter from US Environmental Protection Agency – Petition to Ban Triclosan

    http://op.bna.com/env.nsf/id/dscz-9wmmny/$File/EPA-HQ-OPP-2010-0548-0787-2.pdf

  • Green Cleaning in Schools: Why We Need it Now

    Sep 21, 2017

    Have you ever wondered why so many school districts throughout North America have switched from using traditional cleaning chemicals to green cleaning in their schools?  The reasons for green cleaning in schools are many but it typically comes down to two things: protecting health and improving student performance.

    Several reports have been published over the past decade, all indicating that environmental conditions such as airflow, lighting, ventilation and the overall cleanliness of schools, as well as the types of chemicals used to clean and maintain schools, all influence a student’s health, performance and achievement. These studies focused more specifically on test scores in several categories—math, reading skills, comprehension, and vocabulary. They found that test scores invariably are lower among students in poorly cleaned and maintained buildings and where traditional cleaning chemicals are used, but scores are improved in clean and well maintained schools where more environmentally responsible cleaning chemicals and products are employed.

    For instance, two studies conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that when more thorough cleaning methods were implemented, the following environmental results were obtained:

    • Airborne dust declined 52%.
    • Total volatile organic compounds declined 49%.
    • Total bacteria declined 40%.
    • Total fungi declined 61%.

    And when these cleaning improvements were implemented, the following resulted:

    • Passing math scores on standardized tests increased 51%.
    • Passing reading scores on standardized tests increased 27%.
    • Attendance increased 4.5%.

    These researchers concluded that the improved indoor environment positively affected teacher and student morale, attendance, and retention, which improved teachers’ ability to teach and students’ ability to learn.

    ell, this explains why effective cleaning is so important in schools, but where does green cleaning in schools come in? Similar studies also report that the type of cleaning chemicals used also affect student performance. We now know that many traditional cleaning products can be harmful to people and the environment. Specifically, in the indoor environment of a school, these traditional cleaning products can affect the health and well-being of students and their performance.

    Some cleaners are made using ingredients and solvents that are known to be harmful if inhaled or ingested. These products are often applied by using a trigger spray or aerosol, creating a fine mist or vapors, which can mar indoor air quality in the area where used. Application of these cleaning products may cause respiratory irritation and, with repeated exposure, possible asthma attacks and other breathing disorders that can effect children.

    Intensifying the problem, these vapors can enter HVAC systems, which  will spread the fumes throughout the school, effecting both students and staff. Many researchers have concluded that the use of these traditional cleaning chemicals is one of the reasons childhood asthma has increased 160 percent in the past two decades in some school districts around the country.

    A green cleaner contains fewer ingredients and those ingredients are safer to people and the surrounding environment. Additionally, applying cleaners directly onto wipe cloths or using foam cleaners will reduce or eliminate the possibility of vapors becoming airborne. This is an example of how green cleaning in schools often involve changing a cleaning method as well as the cleaning chemicals used.

    This is why there is more of an emphasis on proper cleaning and green cleaning in schools. Along with more effective cleaning, green cleaning in schools help reduce the negative impacts of cleaning on health and the environment which invariably translates into improved learning and improved student performance.

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

    For more information on this and other facility maintenance issues, visit the Betco video solutions library, Betco U for even more information, or call 1-888-GO-BETCO

  • Day Cleaning Can Reduce Commercial Energy Use

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hospitals - Bathroom VS Elevator

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Hospital-Elevator-Buttons-Chart

  • Five Trends Impacting the Cleaning Market

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • When Clean Really Matters - Hospital Standards

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

  • Don't be THAT Person During Flu Season

    Sep 21, 2017

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

    germ-hand-picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

    Recommended temperatures for Betco Floor Strippers:

    Cool Water:

    #184 Extreme

    #888 Unlock

    #194 Extreme Ultra

    #541 Green Earth Floor Stripper

    Hot Water:

    #154 Ax-It Plus

    #104 Geraldine

    #561 Vanisher

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

  • How to Kill Floor Finishing Profits

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Developing a Floor Cleaning and Maintenance Program

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

    What is the budget?

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

    How important is the floor?

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

    What is the current condition of the floor?

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

    What are the traffic conditions?

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

    When will floor care work be performed?

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

    What types of flooring are installed?

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

    What equipment is needed?

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

    Is there environmental and “sensitivity” issues?

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

     

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

  • Bulk Soap Dispensers

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Why Wash Your Hands with Dirty Soap?

    Sep 21, 2017

    Keep in mind…

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

    Why wash your hands with dirty soap?

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

    Causes are:

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

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

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

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

  • Cold and Flu Season – Health Advisory Alert.

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

    CDC continues to recommend a three-pronged approach:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Summary of influenza antiviral treatment recommendations for clinicians:

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

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

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

       

    For more information, follow the link below:

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

    HAN

         

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

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

  • Ten Ways to Protect Your Hands This Winter Season

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

    Sep 21, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

  • Healthy Living in Healthy Communities

    Sep 21, 2017
    Hazard

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

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

    Sep 21, 2017

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

    cold-and-flu-in-school-blog
    Here are 5 ways to achieve this:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    http://www.today.com/health/how-survive-cold-flu-season-2D12015077

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