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Good Cleaning Habits in Facilities

All facility managers understand the importance of maintaining a good standard of cleanliness.  Providing a clean, healthy workplace environment improves employee well-being, productivity, and performance. It’s also important to give the right impression to visitors with a clean and hygienic environment.

However, maintaining good standards of cleanliness means implementing good habits and policies in your facility to make sure that your cleaning routine is effective. Here are some of our top tips for creating good cleaning habits in facilities.

1. Develop an effective cleaning routine 

A cleaning routine ensures that staff work methodically and efficiently, and also means that all areas and surfaces receive regular cleaning. By mapping out all areas of your facility and creating a routine that covers each area thoroughly, you can be confident that your facility will be consistently clean and tidy throughout. Employee effectiveness is improved in almost every industry by having clear and efficient processes in place, and cleaning is no exception.

2. Inspect the risk before starting to clean

For janitorial companies, safety is a top priority. Your work environment should be a place of safety first. Before beginning a task, a janitor will first observe the work area and make sure it is free of any hazards.  For example, if you see a spill, identify what substance has been spilled so that you can clean it safely and effectively. If the area is busy, it may not be safe to clean it at that specific time, so you may opt to put a sign up warning others to be cautious, for example, a “floor slippery when wet” sign.

Spills are not the only risk that needs to be assessed. Some cleaning products contain harsh chemical compounds or have strong odors. The smells or fumes from these products can cause headaches and other problems for people in the area being cleaned. Impacts other than health and safety also need consideration; for example, loud cleaning machinery can be disruptive to workers in the vicinity.

3. Keep sanitizers throughout your facilities 

Sanitizers kill 99.9% of germs and reduce the spread of bacteria. Having sanitizer available at appropriate points in your facility helps prevent your employees from getting sick, and reduces employee absenteeism. Hand sanitizers are a quick and convenient way to keep people’s hands clean when they are at work and reduce the spread of germs.

Place hand sanitizers and wipes in high-traffic areas like kitchens and meeting rooms rather than in the restrooms. Proper handwashing is more effective than sanitizer, so keep the sanitizer for areas where people either can’t or won’t wash their hands.

4. Use a ph neutral floor cleaner (PH of 6 – 8)

Some floor surfaces can be damaged by harsh cleaning products. Using a neutral-ph floor cleaner reduces the risk of stripping any polished coatings or sealer from your flooring and damaging the floor.

To keep your floors sparkling, you also want to avoid floor cleaners that leave a residue. Not only does this reduce streaking and dullness, but it means there is nothing for dirt to stick to, and so your floors will remain cleaner for longer. Neutral cleaners rinse off surfaces thoroughly and leave little residue. Ph-neutral cleaners are all around safer when you stay within the recommended ph scale of 6-8.

5.     Change the mop heads and water consistently

It’s important not to forget to keep your cleaning tools clean; otherwise, you risk simply spreading dirt around instead of removing it properly. For example, using the same water and mop heads to clean a large facility with mean you are cleaning for most of the time with dirty water and dirty mop heads. This not only fails to clean the floor effectively but will also leave bad odors in the workplace.

6.     Finishing floors requires a detailed eye 

Floors should always be streak, dirt, and residue-free. Sweeping and mopping alone are not enough to create the right finish. There’s an art and craft to good cleaning that takes a detailed eye. Take time when finishing the floor you are working and avoid rushing as this will create small, unnecessary mistakes.

7.     Manage the basic things around the office

The saying “the littlest things can make the biggest difference” is not just a life lesson; it also applies to keeping the workplace clean and tidy. Small things like keeping magazines together in neat stacks, keeping an extra set of trash can liners in the trashcan, and not allowing paper clips to be miscellaneously placed around the office make a big difference. Maintaining these basics will help consistency, routine, and organization flow in your workspace.

8.     Give things a designated area

Make supplies accessible for employees and customers by giving them their own area. Make sure that the area you choose is neatly put together and regularly organized. Messy shelves, cupboards, or supply areas make it difficult to find what you need and can make an otherwise tidy workplace look messy and disorganized.

9.     Deodorize

Deodorizers can eliminate unpleasant odors and make your workplace feel more welcoming. However, it’s important to choose deodorizers with a neutral scent. Strongly scented deodorizers can be disturbing to some people who are sensitive to smells, and may even cause headaches or nausea. Aiming for a pleasant, subtle, neutral smell will keep employees and visitors comfortable while still eliminating unpleasant odors.

Implementing these suggestions allows you to maintain a clean, healthy working environment. Of course, to ensure your facility is always presented in the best possible manner, employing a professional cleaning service is preferred.  Team Clean provides office cleaning services across the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Our eleven-point Office Check System ensures a clean and clutter-free office environment, and our Spotless Restrooms program is used to eradicate harmful microorganisms that can contaminate a building

The Importance of Cleaning

As COVID-19 has swept the nation, keeping schools and most businesses closed indefinitely, many Americans have rediscovered (or discovered for the first time) the importance of hygiene and cleanliness. What used to be commonplace – people keeping themselves and their environments tidy and clean – seemed to have fallen by the wayside in recent times as we rush to get things done faster and cut costs wherever possible. But with the rise of our first pandemic in over 100 years, we have once again had to shift our focus to taking care of ourselves, our environments, and giving cleanliness the time and attention it needs to be effective.

As someone who has been in the cleaning business for over three decades, it is heartening to see almost everyone taking cleanliness so seriously and taking many extra precautions to protect themselves and others. But, we have to remember that following these precautions year-round is crucial. Cleanliness is not only a matter of public health, but also one of economics. It will be one of the most important keys to our comfort and success as a nation from here on out.

As we begin to see the curve flatten and people return to work, school, and other normal activities, we have to consider how we are going to continue keeping everything sanitary and free of germs and bacteria. A lot of this work will be done by cleaning companies, and we have to make sure that those cleaners are trained properly and certified to the highest standards. Would you hire someone untrained to work on your home? Fix your car? Provide you with medical advice? Probably not. And we must consider cleaners in this same category, from the largest corporate office cleaner down to the small mom-and-pop shop that cleans houses in the neighborhood.

Proper cleaning is also an economic investment for the future. If businesses do not invest in proper cleaning services in the future, germs and diseases are likely to return more frequently and affect not only the health and safety of customers and employees, but also the bottom line when they have to close for cleaning over and over again. Not to mention the reputation that a business can get as a place that doesn’t take its cleaning and disinfecting seriously.

So, what does it mean to have the proper training and certifications? When companies are looking for cleaners to keep their buildings and offices sanitary, they should look for proper certifications and seek out companies that are trained to deal with bio-hazardous environments.

In addition to other diseases, such as the common cold, influenza, or pneumonia, we now have to take precautions to avoid new and unexpected health threats. We have to expect that even if COVID-19  it goes away, it will return. In order to mitigate the impact of future outbreaks, we absolutely must be vigilant and diligent in our efforts to maintain high standards of personal and professional hygiene and cleanliness. If social distancing is going to become a standard part of our society moving forward, proper cleaning procedures must follow along.

While in these times there is no way to 100% guarantee protection from contracting COVID-19 in shared spaces, there are actions we can take like washing your hands often, staying at home, and property cleaning and disinfecting your surroundings to help lessen the likelihood of transmission.

These are matters of life and death. Maintaining a safe environment through proper cleaning is more important than ever before. Proper procedures will save lives, and we must start today.

Team Clean Celebrates Women’s History Month

First recognized in 1987, Women’s History Month is an annual celebration of the often-overlooked contributions that women have made to society, history, and culture. It began as a week-long celebration in 1978 in the school district of Sonoma, California.

It was such a success that other school districts held their own celebrations, and in 1980, President Jimmy Carter declared a week-long national celebration. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project was successful with its petition to extend it to the entire month of March.

There are thousands of women who have played a pivotal role in shaping history, but here are four notable women who have shaped, or are still shaping, history.  

Angela Davis

Dr. Angela Davis is a distinguished professor emerita in History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is an internationally renowned activist, scholar, and writer. In the 1960s and 1970s, she took part in the Civil Rights Movement and Radical movements.

Unfairly imprisoned for 16 months in the early 1970s because of her political activism, Dr. Davis was eventually acquitted in 1972 after a huge national campaign. Since then, she has been an outspoken critic of racism in the criminal justice system.

Madam C J Walker

Madam C J Walker was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire with her specialized hair care products created for African American hair.

As well as being a successful businesswoman creating products designed to help black women, she was also a philanthropist who created a network of clubs for her employees and encouraged them via bonuses to give back to their local communities. She was also a staunch supporter of female talent. Her company charter even specified that only a female could be president.

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama was the first African-American First Lady of the United States. She is also a lawyer, a writer, a powerful role model for women and an advocate for education for international adolescent girls. In 2015 she launched Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the globe go to school and stay in school.

A staunch supporter of equality of all kinds, Michelle Obama has been vocal about encouraging tech companies to make room for women. She has also called out the lack of diversity in American politics on several occasions.  

Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman was born into slavery, which she escaped in 1849 and became a leading abolitionist. She led hundreds of family members and other enslaved people to freedom along the Underground Railroad. In the process, she heroically risked her own life.

During the American Civil War, Tubman helped the Union Army by working as a spy. After the Civil War ended, Tubman dedicated her life to helping improve the lives of former slaves and the elderly.

These are just four women out of thousands who have made or are still making history. For Team Clean, Women’s History Month is a celebration close to our hearts. As a woman-owned business that believes in uplifting and empowering women, we love celebrating inspirational and influential women past and present.

Taking Charge of Germs

Taking Charge of Germs 

 Consider how many common objects you touch in a given day – door handles, key pads at check-out, faucets, shopping carts, railings – the list goes on. 

 Now imagine the amount of unclean hands touching those same surfaces.  Even if you routinely wash your hands, you can’t avoid the harmful bacteria and viruses accumulating on common objects. These germs continue to grow and start the dominoes falling as one by one they spread to each new hand that touches them. 

 Fighting the Spread of Germs… 

Thoroughly cleaning common surfaces with safe disinfectants helps stop germs from spreading. But can a spray cleaner and rag handle such a big job?  For a complete assault on germs, consider an electrostatic sprayer. This easy-to-use tool covers more surfaces faster than traditional spray bottles. Plus, it uses less chemicals while providing full coverage of objects. 

 …at the office 

The influenza virus can live up to 24 hours, so diligent hand washing is imperative.  If you touch an infected surface and then touch your mouth, eyes or nose, the likelihood of getting sick increases exponentially.  

 Studies have found that the work place can be a breeding ground for germs. Your desk could be ground zero, starting with your keyboard and phone. Contaminated common areas include, but are certainly not limited to, elevator buttons, staircase railings and door handles.  An electrostatic sprayer can quickly and safely disinfect your personal space and high traffic areas to destroy harmful organisms. 

 …at the gym 

Signs posted at the gym remind guests to wipe down equipment after each use.  It’s common courtesy to wipe sweat off of a machine, but is that enough to reduce the spread of infections? 

 Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that often causes skin infections. MRSA can be passed to another person through body contact with an infected wound, by sharing personal items like a towel or using exercise equipment that has touched the infected skin. To reduce the risk of spreading MRSA and other infections, gym equipment, locker rooms and saunas should all be sanitized with an electrostatic sprayer.  

 …in the schools 

A petri dish is defined as a container usedforculturingbacteriaandother microorganisms. That sounds a lot like day care centers and schools. The continuous parade of unwashed hands and shared surfaces provide the ideal environment for spreading germs and infections.  

 Using a handheld electrostatic sprayer can efficiently clean these surfaces thoroughly by targeting entire objects.  And there’s no need to touch surfaces by hand. Plus, sanitizing the contents of a room with an electrostatic sprayer improves air quality and eliminates odors, without the strong smell of bleach that results from many spray bottle cleaning solutions. 

 …in many locations 

The technology behind the electrostatic sprayers allows the system to work with different chemicals like biocides and disinfectants for veterinary clinics, hospitals, food processing plants and much more.  The sprayers can also be used to apply insecticides or fumigants from warehouses to barns. 

 It’s important to adopt a cleaning protocol that helps stop infections from spreading. Traditional spray cleaning bottles do not provide complete surface coverage. Paper towels generate a lot of waste, while repeatedly using the same cloth could become ineffective. To cover more surfaces faster, with less chemicals, clean with confidence and clean with an electrostatic sprayer. 

 

After 25 years, this ‘small-business champion’ isn’t done helping Philly women

Article by Diane Mastrull

Photo by Jonathan Wilson

The seven simple words were the ultimate in praise for a woman hardwired to change lives: “You made a difference in the world.”

They were directed at Lynne Cutler, founder and president of Women’s Opportunities Resource Center, better known as WORC. Speaking was John Fleming, acting district director of the Small Business Administration, who was in Philadelphia earlier this month to declare Cutler the SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Champion.

There were several standing among the 200-plus audience members whose lives were touched by Cutler, including Rosliana and Mitchell Zigmund, Roz Brait, Gerry Fioriglio, and Cassandra Hayes, to name a few.

They are bakers, an operator of a home-care company, and the founder of a business specializing in customized promotional products, just some of the recipients of microloans, entrepreneurial training, and other support that WORC has provided to thousands in Philadelphia, its suburbs and northern Delaware – primarily, but not exclusively, women – since Cutler launched the nonprofit 25 years ago.

Over the years, the organization has issued 783 microloans – averaging about $7,500 and totaling $3.8 million – to help businesses start or expand. About 3,700 people have enrolled in its business-training classes. Under the Family Savings Program, WORC estimates nearly 1,600 families put away $3.4 million, which was matched by an equal amount. Combined with outside resources such as mortgages and education grants, the total economic impact was $52 million, Cutler said.

WORC was one of the first microenterprise programs in the nation that focused on entrepreneurship and asset-building to help lower-income people and families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Cutler suggests creating it was her destiny.

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Differences between types of Cleaning

Does your cleaning contractor know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing? Do you?

These terms are often thrown around and misused, but in reality, they each have specific definitions and reasons they are used. Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing and sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. When you clean, you simply remove foreign material from high-touch objects and surfaces by using water and enzymes and some elbow grease. You need to clean, however, before you disinfect or sanitize, so it is a very important step.

When you disinfect, you kill germs. You don’t necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing the germs, you help to remove the risk of spreading infection. This is especially important in healthcare facilities. Sanitizing uses either heat, radiation or chemicals, and is mostly used in foodservice facilities. Again, the area needs to be completely cleaned in order for sanitizing to be effective, as sanitizing and disinfecting are a step above regular cleaning. Cleaning simply removes dirt, while the other methods remove potentially harmful bacteria that may not be visible. All are important in the areas and the buildings that they are used in, in the right order. Does your cleaning contractor keep your facility cleaned, sanitized and/or disinfected according to your specific needs?

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