How to implement Green Cleaning at commercial facilities – Part 2

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Last week we posted Part 1 of this two part series on Green Cleaning at commercial facilities, covering offices and schools. This part will set out some of the challenges faced with introducing a Green Cleaning program at two other common types of sites:

Green Cleaning in Retail

Introducing a Green Cleaning program in a retail space comes with a different set of challenges as, other than the shop staff, facilities or building managers and the landlord,  you are not dealing with the same group of individuals day in day out due to the high footfall of people on the premises. However, this does not detract from the need to effectively communicate the Green Cleaning program at the facility with those occupants who are at the premises every day so that they fully understand the benefits and advantages, as well as the different types of cleaning equipment and procedures that can be used in a retail space to ensure the least disturbance.

Green Cleaning in Healthcare Facilities

Cleaning for healthcare facilities requires a greater amount of attention to detail than any other form of commercial cleaning. Unfortunately, poor cleaning standards at healthcare facilities have led to a rise in MRSA and other harmful, and sometimes deadly, ‘superbugs’. A good cleaning program, however, can dramatically reduce the risk of these bugs spreading.

As hospitals are active throughout the day and night, the Green Cleaning program must be flexible and adaptable to the facility. Cleaning work will normally need to be scheduled to take place during quiet periods but there are often emergency situations which require a greater amount of flexibility. Working with medical staff to draw-up a list of priorities of the most crucial areas that need cleaning at a facility should be a priority for the cleaning company implementing the Green Cleaning program. Prioritising areas according to potential risks allows a cleaning program to target the most important locations. It also increases and improves the amount of cleaning in high-risk areas that require the most attention. This factor in itself is one of the key elemental differences between a Green Cleaning program and using standard cleaning methods, as it enables the efficient allocation of cleaning resources.

The fact that Green Cleaning products are used in healthcare facilities speaks volumes for the effectiveness when compared with standard cleaning products. Not only do they perform as well as standard cleaning products, but Green Cleaning products also have the overriding benefit of not being harmful to the health of patients at healthcare facilities.

There are clear advantages to implementing a Green Cleaning at commercial facilities as it benefits both the occupants, the business and the environment. If you have any questions about introducing a Green Cleaning program at your facility, contact  The Organised Cleaning Company on 020 74584433 and talk to one of our team who will be happy to help!

 

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How to implement Green Cleaning at commercial facilities – Part 1

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Welcome to Part 1 of this two part series on how to implement Green Cleaning at commercial facilities. One of the keys to successfully introducing  Green Cleaning program on site is to ensure that you have an effective & efficient team implementing the program. Your team should include not just the cleaning operatives but also include members from key stakeholder groups on site (i.e. a representation on behalf of the landlord, the facilities manager and the building occupants) as well as someone from your janitorial supply company.

Although the principles to implement Green Cleaning at commercial facilities are similar when applied to different sites, each type of facility that requires cleaning presents its own unique set of challenges:

Green Cleaning in Offices

The size of the facility determines the application of the cleaning operations. Cleaning a smaller office enables a cleaning company to get to know clients & building occupants quicker. This makes it easier to explain the advantages of Green Cleaning and how it benefits those affected by the cleaning regime.

With larger facilities, the personal touch is lost as often the cleaning company liaises with the facilities manager. A short presentations by the cleaning company to the building occupants (and in most cases the facilities manager, landlord and parties associated with the offices) of large office buildings, explaining the implementation of the Green Cleaning program and its advantages enables greater acceptance and understanding of what the Green Cleaning program is trying to achieve.

Every office will contain people with different sensitivities, allergies and illnesses and a Green Cleaning regime will cater for all individuals as there is no recourse to cleaning chemicals.  Throughout the life of a cleaning contract it is crucial that everybody is kept in the loop and is completely aware of the environmental, financial and health benefits of implementing a Green Cleaning program to ensure effective delivery.

Green Cleaning in Schools

At schools, it is important to engage with all stakeholders – that is everybody at the school from the governs and teachers to the parents and children. All of those affected by a Green Cleaning program (either directly or indirectly) need to have a clear understanding of the new cleaning strategy being implemented at the school and the reasoning behind it.

Parents have their child’s best interests at heart so by understanding the school’s decisions to change to a Green Cleaning program and how this will benefit their child’s health (both in the short and long-term) makes parents feel that the school is mindful of their child’s health and  welfare.

One initiative which has been successfully introduced at schools in South London is Delphis Eco’s The Eco Turtle Project. The project aims to aid education surrounding sustainability in schools and also includes fundraising revenue for the school, enables pupils to learn business skills and gives the school a chance to uphold their environmental aims.

Part 2 of this series will be posted next Friday and will cover implementing Green Cleaning at Retail and Healthcare Facilities. Make sure you subscribe to our blog so that you don’t miss it!

If you have any questions about introducing a Green Cleaning program at your facility, contact  The Organised Cleaning Company on 020 74584433 and talk to one of our team who will be happy to help!

Want to stay up to date with the latest news from The Organised Cleaning Company?  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter.

The effect of cleaning products and how to reduce indoor air pollution

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Many commonplace cleaning products that are used at home or in the work place are thought to contribute to poor indoor air quality and health problems, with a high cost to people who already suffer from illness, to our health services and to businesses.

Indoor air pollution has been linked to cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and to changes related to dementia. A recent Royal College of Physicians report, Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution,examined the impact of exposure to air pollution across the course of a lifetime and highlighted an often-neglected source of air pollution –  our indoor spaces. The report specifically mentioned the following air pollutants:

  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly found in cleaning products as solids or liquids, but readily evaporate and could contaminate an indoor atmosphere. VOCs can include, terpenes associated with fragrances; hydrocarbons, glycols, and glycol ethers associated with solvents; and chlorinated hydrocarbons associated with spot cleaners, degreasers and disinfectants. Breathing low levels of VOCs for long periods of time may increase some people’s risk of health problems.
  • Formaldehyde vapour is a colourless gas with a pungent, irritating odour used in the production of resins acting as glues for wood products, pulp and paper. It is also found in some plastics, coatings, paints and varnishes, and in textile finishings and can cause irritation of the lungs when breathed in a confined indoor space.

So how can these potentially harmful indoor air pollutants be avoided? One way is to carefully select the products we use, including our cleaning products, and a simple way to do this is to choose EU Ecolabel products, denoted by the recognisable flower logo.

A cleaning product awarded the EU Ecolabel logo has passed 11 stringent environmental, fitness-for-use, waste and health criteria, that incorporate the entire life cycle of the product. Importantly, VOCs are strictly limited to a maximum of 6% (by weight of the final product) and formaldehyde is excluded completely.

The EU Ecolabel criteria for cleaning products also restrict any ingredient that is REACH classified as having the potential to cause an allergy or allergic skin reactions, asthma or breathing difficulties if inhaled, and cancer. The competent body for the EU Ecolabel in the UK is Defra and the scheme is delivered by UK EU Ecolabel Delivery (UKED).

There’s a Wrong Way to Dust? And 5 Other Cleaning Mistakes…

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The quickest, most efficient strategies to get streak-free windows, remove stains from a white sofa and more. Your welcome 😉

Mistake No. 1: Cleaning a Cold Oven

We’re not saying you should start scrubbing when it’s hot, but a warm oven is easier to clean than a cold one. Turn it on low (e.g., 250°) for 10 to 15 minutes. Then turn it off, spray a nonabrasive cleaner (or spread a homemade baking-soda-and-water paste) all over the inside, and let it sit for 20 minutes. Scrub with a nylon brush or pad and use a sponge to rinse it off.

Mistake No. 2: Washing Windows on a Sunny Day

A gorgeous spring morning may seem like the perfect time to wash your windows. But doing the job when it’s sunny out is a bad idea, since the windows will dry too quickly and probably streak. An overcast day is better. Make a solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and  cups of white vinegar, 20 ounces of water and a few drops of dishwashing soap. Using a microfiber cloth (instead of a sponge) will ensure that you don’t use too much cleaning solution—it should coat the windows but not splash down them. A squeegee will make the job a lot easier too, run it over the windows after you wash with a cloth.

Mistake No. 3: Scrubbing Like Crazy

The first thing people do when they spill, say, red wine on their white sofa is douse a towel in water or soda water and furiously try to rub the stain out. While soda water can help, the last thing you want to do is scrub—that just does more damage. Keep a cleaner handy (see this guide for useful tips) then, dab it onto the stain with a cloth. Don’t scrub, since that will just ingrain the stain further. Keep using new sections of the cloth, and eventually you will get all or most of the wine (or other offender) out.

Mistake No. 4: Spraying Furniture Polish All Over a Table

Statistics are hard to come by, but we’re pretty sure 99 percent of people who set out to dust their wood furniture do the spray-and-wipe. However, if you spray your cloth instead, you’ll have to buff less, you’ll waste less product and you’ll avoid the sticky buildup that can come from using too much polish. (Hint: Ones with citrus oil will bring out the wood’s natural shine, and the oil tends to repel dust and dirt for a while.) And if your aim is simply to remove dust, you don’t have to use any cleaner at all— microfiber dusters pick up dust on their own and don’t need spray.

Mistake No. 5: Using an Abrasive Cleaner on Your Bathtub

The reason many tubs lose their luster is they’ve been scrubbed with cleansers that have granulated powders, like Comet and Ajax. They scuff the porcelain and take the glaze off. Instead, use a mild shower spray like Mr Muscles. If you’d rather not spray every day, just runs a bath towel—a dry rag would work too—over the tub after he showers and the water has drained as simply drying the tub is enough to prevent scum.

Mistake No. 6: Vacuuming Up Cat Hair

If you have a pet that sheds, you’re probably accustomed to rolling a lint brush over your clothes and furniture daily. But if you’ve been taking a hoover to your hardwood floors in an attempt to rid them of hair, chances are you’re just blowing the mess around instead of picking it up. Your hoover’s exhaust tends to push as much hair away as it cleans up. On wood and other hard floors use a steam mop or a flat mop pad, which won’t create a lot of wind, so you can push the hair into a big pile. Then, pull out the vacuum—but use the wand attachment—to suck it up. You can also use the vacuum to clean the mop itself, or just toss it into the washing machine.

 

5 awesome bathroom cleaning hacks!

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Is bathroom cleaning seriously doubt the highlight of anyone’s day? Regardless of what you think, the bathroom needs to be cleaned. If you want to spend less time in the bathroom cleaning, here are five bathroom cleaning hacks that should definitely try!

1. How to Clean a Showerhead

To clean a showerhead, pour distilled white vinegar into a plastic bag big enough to fit over your showerhead. Put the plastic bag (with vinegar in it) over your showerhead and secure it with a rubber band. Allow it to soak for 1 hour. Remove the bag of vinegar and wipe the shower head with a paper towel or cloth. Voila!

2. How to Clean Shower Doors

The easiest way to clean shower doors is to use a squeegee after each shower. However, if you forget to use these, the shower door becomes covered in limescale, which then makes it a pain to clean. To remove the limescale from your shower door mix baking soda and water to create a paste. Rub the paste on to the shower door with a non-abrasive sponge. Rinse with vinegar and see through your shower door once more.

3. How to Clean Grout

When the grout in your bathroom starts looking a little grimey it’s time for some deep cleaning. To clean grout, make a paste out of baking soda and water, then line the grout lines with the paste. Spray a little vinegar over the paste and allow to sit for a minute. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub, scrub, scrub! Before you know it, your grout will be looking like new again!

4. How to Clean a Bathtub

Hmmm, orange or grapefruit and salt anyone? To clean a bathtub, cut an orange or grapefruit in half, sprinkle with coarse salt, and scrub away. Not only will your bathtub look sparkling clean, but it will smell lovely as well.

5. How to Clean a Toilet

Toilets can be nasty places and always need cleaning. Luckily, there’s an easy way to keep them sparkling. Pour ¼ cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar in the toilet. Let sit at least 15 minutes, then scrub and flush. You’re left with a nice, clean toilet.

Now go and enjoy doing something fun!

15 Office Cleaning Ideas Every Clean Freak Needs To Know!

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Yeah you read right, for all you clean freaks out there intent on keeping your home office or work office nice and clean, follow these handy tips:

  1. First, do a little bit of paper organizing so the surfaces you need to clean aren’t covered in actual work.  Get the paper into  neat piles that you can easily move on and off your desk as needed.
  2. Use a solution of 70% alcohol and water to clean your phone and tablet.
  3. Take a magic eraser to your keyboard’s keys. Just make sure to squeeze any water out completely, so it doesn’t drip between your keys.

  4. Then run the sticky edge of a sticky note between the keys to pick up any crumbs.

  5. Wipe the grime off your earbuds, then disinfect them with rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball. Earbuds are gross. Read more about cleaning them here.

  6. Wipe all of the parts of your computer that aren’t screens (including your trackpad or mouse) with a lightly moistened microfiber cloth. Just make sure they’re not wet, because you don’t want to damage your electronics.

  7. AGAIN, be careful with water around your electronics, especially their screens. Here’s a thorough guide that will help you clean your screen properly (guess what? It calls for microfiber cloths).

  8. Literally vacuum the tops of your books. Chances are, they’re pretty dusty, but it takes forever to thoroughly dust each one individually.

  9. Use a dusting spray to wipe down all of your wood furniture, like your bookshelves and your desk. You can just use a store-bought one, like Pledge, or you make make your own with this handy guide.

  10. Wipe down your air vent with the help of a butter knife or a ruler. Don’t forget to wipe down the walls around it too, if they’re dusty. (Obviously this is just for your home office. You probably don’t want to try this at work.)

  11. Clean your windows and the glass in any picture frames you have hanging on the walls. Here’s a DIY glass cleaner recipe — use it alongside a clean microfiber cloth.

  12. Scrub out stains in your office chair using dish soap and hydrogen peroxide. Just dab the formula gently until the stains are gone — here’s the cleaning recipe and tutorial.

  13. If you have a chair mat, make sure to at least sweep it, if not wipe it down with a damp cloth.

  14. Make the whole room smell good while you vacuum by sprinkling DIY carpet refresher. Here are a bunch of ideas.

  15. If you have indoor plants in your office, gently wipe off their leaves with a damp cloth. Dusty plants = sad plants.

Now enjoy your super clean work space and get stuff done!

Which cloth should I choose to clean…?

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Microfibre has become the cleaning cloth of choice in both the cleaning industry and in our homes. It is effective and can be used to clean in almost every scenario imaginable.

However, there are still plenty of other traditional cloth options, which are still very popular. In this post we’ve considered a few of those other options, which we’re sure you still use!

  1. Dish Cloths – The general purpose cloth of choice as it’s suitable for a wide range of tasks.  They’re often made from cotton and are flat knitted and hemmed to keep their shape.
  2. Floor Cloths – Made from cotton and extremely hard wearing makes them ideal for takes which cannot be carried out by a dish cloth! Particularly effective for heavy soiled areas and cleaning floors when you cannot use a mop & bucket!
  3. Lightweight Cleaning Cloth – These are semi-disposable, non-woven cleaning cloths which are extremely effective in reducing the spread of bacteria. They are ideal for use in  the kitchen & food preparation areas.
  4. All-purpose Cleaning Cloth – Good for use for general cleaning tasks and are a suitable alternative to the more traditional cleaning cloth. Being sponge like they are ideal for collecting food and dirt as well as removing stubborn stains.
  5. Yellow Cloth Duster –  Dusters are made from cotton & hemmed to prevent from fraying. Mostly used for dry polishing hard surfaces and most effective when used with furniture polish or water applied in a mist, either directly onto the surface or onto the cloth itself. These cloths should only be used for general dusting and polishing, and need to be cleaned regularly.
  6. Flicker Duster – Made from pure lambswool, these are handy dusting tools for hard to reach areas. As they’re made from wool, these duster can hold a static charge and they are also fully washable.
  7. Chamois – These cloths can absorb up t six times their own weight in water and are extremely effective at soaking up large quantities of water. They can also leave clean and smear free finished on hard surfaces, particularly glass and high polished surfaces.

There are plenty of options to using microfibre cloths either around the home or in commercial properties – which do you choose..?