Monday, August 29, 2011

Outscrubs. Outperforms. It’s REVolutionary

The Advance Adfinity™ X20R REV™ automatic floor scrubber is unlike any other scrubber on the market. Equipped with patent-pending Random Orbital Scrubbing technology, the REV scrubs deeper and more uniformly, leaving your floors with a completely cleaned, swirl-free surface in less time and with less chemicals and water.

The Adfinity REV is the first and only floor scrubber that scrubs with distinct orbital and rotational motions: high speed ¼ inch micro scrubbing and 20 inch rotational low speed macro scrubbing. Watch the REV in action to see it for yourself!

The REV is nominated in the ISSA Innovation Awards program, which recognizes the top equipment and advancements in our industry today. Head on over and vote today!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Facility Type Vs. Level of Clean

For the past few weeks, we have been talking about what “clean” really means, how it is defined and what components make up a cleaning program. Regardless of these factors, the type of facility ultimately defines the standard of “clean,” and can vary between using water-only cleaning or different detergent solution strengths.

Most facilities’ standards of “clean” for porous floor materials would require that the cleaning solution be able to penetrate the small spaces where soil accumulates. Water alone, because of its surface tension, actually sits on top of porous flooring. Porous flooring types—which include grouted tile, terrazzo, vinyl composition tile (VCT), concrete and rubberized track surface—require a cleaning agent called a surfactant that breaks the surface tension of the water, allowing it to get into cracks and crevices.

Let’s visualize this. Healthcare facilities or food processing and preparation areas require bacteria to be reduced to a safe level. This sanitizing level of cleaning requires a chemical disinfectant such as a phenolic or carbolic that gets into cracks and crevices where viruses reside.

On the other hand, facilities with an emphasis on cleaning for appearance, such as retail stores and grocery stores, might choose water-only cleaning methods for frequent cleaning procedures. However, it should also be noted that if the local water supply delivers mineral-laden water, these minerals can leave deposits that make floors look dull over time—perhaps even worse than they looked before cleaning.

The bottom line? Assess your facility’s cleaning needs before you define your level of “clean.”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Components of a Floor Cleaning Process

The floor cleaning process is made up of four main components: time, temperature, agitation and cleaning substances. When one of these components is reduced, one or more of the remaining components must be increased in order to achieve the same level of cleaning.

Time: A floor scrubber can be slowed down in order to spend more time on a soiled area. Another approach is to “double-scrub” problem areas, but this is not a labor-efficient practice and can be unsafe, due to excess and unattended water on the floor. This may put the operator and facility occupants at risk for slips and falls.

Temperature: As the temperature of a cleaning solution is increased, the time required for chemicals to react with dirt is cut in half; conversely, as temperature decreases, reaction time increases.

Agitation: More downward pressure (scrub pressure) on the brush means more agitation of cleaning solution on dirty floors.

Cleaning substances: These include water and the various chemicals in detergents, sanitizers and disinfectants. In some green cleaning systems, the only cleaning substance used is water. Obviously, water-only cleaning eliminates the negative environmental and health impacts of chemical production, usage and disposal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Different Levels of Clean

As we discussed last week, the definition of “clean” carries a lot of ambiguity in the industrial and commercial cleaning communities. For example, a retail store may define its facility’s level of clean by physical appearance, while a healthcare facility is required to define “clean” by certain standards and regulations. For our purpose of providing you with a general overview of “clean” standards, we can differentiate among three levels: cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.

  • Cleaning: removing dirt, grease, debris and many germs by scrubbing with detergent and water. In buildings, floors are cleaned to improve their appearance and make them safer by reducing the likelihood of slip-and-fall accidents.
  • Sanitizing: reducing the number of disease-causing germs to what is considered a “safe level.” One definition of hard-surface sanitizers states that these chemical agents must be capable of killing 99.9% of the infectious organisms present in a bacterial population within 30 seconds.
  • Disinfecting: destroying disease-causing bacteria or pathogens (but not spores or all viruses, which would require sterilizing, a process not applied to floors). A disinfectant is a chemical agent capable of reducing the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999% in a time frame of between 5 and 10 minutes. Recent outbreaks of the MRSA and H1N1 viruses have increased the frequency of disinfecting surfaces, usually with a quaternary disinfectant.

The majority of facilities are likely to describe their floor maintenance programs as “cleaning,” but even within this category there is a wide range of desired outcomes—from the retailer that demands a high-shine finish to greet shoppers every day to the school that needs its hallways free of dust, dirt and grime.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What is “Clean”?

We’ve talked a lot about green cleaning, emphasizing initiatives to reduce chemical, water and energy use. But what about the “clean” factor of green cleaning; what does that really mean? While there are a variety of standards and certifications that clearly define green cleaning, it is less clear what constitutes effective cleaning. There are no laws or regulations that establish required cleaning outcomes to guide those who own and maintain buildings. Sure, we can assess a “clean” area by its physical appeal, but does that really count? According to certain organizations, the answer is no.

Industry organizations, such as the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) and the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), are beginning to address the need to define “clean.” These two organizations have partnered together on a research project to produce a “scientific-based, pragmatic standard” for measuring surface cleanliness in K-12 educational facilities. While this is just one example of a “clean” standard, this is only the beginning for future standard development.