Monday, January 27, 2014

Advance SC351 Scrubber Marks a Breakthrough in Daily Scrubbing for Small Area Cleaning [Video]

Just another small scrubber? Think again. The Advance SC351™ micro scrubber proves it's in a class of it its own, delivering faster, better and easier scrubbing. Combine these features with the unique, fully adjustable rotating deck and you are on your way to superior scrubbing performance. Featuring full battery-powered operation with a standard onboard battery charger, the 14 inch disc delivers more scrubbing with minimal downtime and less hassle. Plus, at only 64 dB A, the SC351 is the quietest machine in its class, making daytime cleaning and cleaning of noise-sensitive areas an easy option. With its compact, maneuverable design, the SC351 is ideal for scrubbing in tight corners or under tables or chairs.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Stripping Floors Only Once Is A Huge Timesaver

This article was originally published in Contracting Profits. 

One of the most satisfying moments in a janitor’s work experience comes when looking back at a freshly stripped and refinished floor. Done properly, the floor is crystal clear and the gloss appears to be a foot deep.

But time marches on. Brown spots may appear here and there, or the entire coating may become discolored. You have top scrubbed, recoated, used restorers and burnished until the coating is hard as a rock. The time has come for the floor finish to be removed.

Now imagine you learn that your customer’s floor must be stripped by tomorrow night. You are already on a tight schedule and cannot afford to waste time going back over the floor in the event the first stripping procedure fails to remove all of the old coating. You must have the floor stripped clean the first time.

Keep in mind guesswork leads to more work. Just because you always dilute the stripper one to four with water and scrub in five minutes is not a good reason to continue to do so. If that dilution and dwell time works and you are successful in removing the old coating the first time, how do you know if a weaker dilution would not have worked just as well?

The key is to find balance. Our goal is to mix the stripper using a dilution ratio that ensures total penetration of the old coating so that we use up nearly all of the chemical energy in the solution. Excess chemical left on the floor wastes product, wastes money and forces the use of a neutralizer or requires excessive rinsing.

If you want to guarantee only having to perform the stripping procedures once, instead of two or possibly even three times, try this simple test conducted prior to the actual stripping operation. In fact, if you are considering purchasing strippers, this 10-step test will verify that you are getting your money’s worth and that the stripper will perform.

1. Put on proper protective equipment.

2. Pump one pump of stripper into each cup.

3. Pump water into each cup according to the number on the cup (four pumps into cup marked four and three pumps into the cup marked three, etc.).

4. Select area that you suspect will be difficult to strip and that will be large enough to accommodate the tests.

5. As you pour the stripper onto the area to be tested, note time.

6. Pour test strippers far enough apart to prevent them from running together.

7. After 10 minutes, agitate lightly with center of pad.

8. Wipe the areas with a damp cloth and allow to dry.

9. Inspect. Use the weakest solution that stripped the floor all the way to the tile.

10. You now know the strength, and the dwell time.

Since every floor coating is different, this simple test can establish the proper dilution and dwell time. If you can determine the exact stripper concentration and the exact dwell time to strip the floor in the first pass that will save time, energy, water and chemicals, and minimize safety risks.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Training Tips To Using Equipment

This article was originally published in Clean Link.

Investing in quality, dependable, productive equipment can be one of the best investments you can make. Remember that labor and benefits comprise the greatest expense in a custodial contract. Productive equipment can save many annual direct labor hours that can easily pay for purchasing and maintaining what appeared at first to be an expensive piece of equipment. It must be noted that when a productive piece of equipment is brought on line there should be an adjustment in labor hours to recoup the initial investment. For example, a self propelled auto-scrub machine can reduce sweeping, mopping and scrubbing from 20 hours to less than 5 with better results. If you do not adjust out or reassign those hours the cost will not be recovered.

1. Consider involving front line staff in evaluating a piece of equipment so that they can provide input on something they are going to have to use.

2. Take into account the height and size of staff by purchasing equipment and tools that can be adjusted to fit their particular needs. An example is that an adjustable mop handle is much better choice than a one size fits all unit.

3. Inspect, service and even repair wheels and casters so that mop buckets and other tools do not mar the floor when allowed to rust or become locked.

4. Replace and then repair any broken or malfunctioning items promptly since a worker can easily “vacuum” thousands of square feet of carpet without picking anything up due to lack of suction.

5. Promote and recognize a way for workers to safely report broken or unsafe equipment and be able to continue their work. Of course, if a worker continually breaks a piece of equipment they may need closer scrutiny and possible retraining to stop the cycle.

Tools and equipment that operate as intended can safe labor hours, reduce injuries and enhance productivity. Please note the preceding is suggestive only since regulations will vary by government entity. It is highly recommended that reader consult with local SME (subject matter experts) on any safety related topic and use the preceding as a starting point. Go to for more information or use a search engine for local and state regulations.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold Water Extraction: Is It Effective On Carpets? (Part 3)

The EPA advises that carpets be dried within 48 hours to prevent mold and mildew. However, LEED recommends 24 hours. What are your thoughts? How fast should carpet be dried before mold and mildew become a problem?
As you point out, there has been much debate on this topic. In fact, the Low Moisture Carpet Cleaning Association takes this even further, suggesting carpets should dry within two hours to help prevent mold and mildew from developing.

We believe carpets should dry as quickly as possible and suggest they dry in 24 hours or less.

A moisture-controlled carpet extractor can help ensure carpets dry in 24 hours or less, but cleaning professionals should know that many new wands have been developed using new “atomizing” technologies. These technologies apply and remove moisture so effectively that they can prove as effective — if not more effective — as using a low-moisture extractor.

— Jolynn Kennedy, marketing director, Tornado Industries, West Chicago, Ill.

I suspect that the EPA number is based on the science of how long it takes for mold or mildew to grow. Any good carpet extractor should be effective enough to allow a carpet to completely dry within 24 hours. However, in the event that high humidity and/or insufficient air movement in a room is prevent the carpet from drying rapidly, an air mover fan should be employed to reduce dry time.

— Scott Keller, vertical market manager–commercial buildings, Bob Abrams, product manager, Brian Simmons, product manager, Clarke, Plymouth, Minn.