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.

5 ways to protect your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

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A recent survey by npower has revealed that only one in 20 parents know the symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and the more than a third of UK homes aren’t fitted with a CO alarm. In order to raise awareness following Carbon Monoxide week (21-25 November), we’ve put together five ways in which you can protect you and your family from the dangers of CO poisoning:

1. Know the most common symptoms

Only 6% of people in the UK can spot the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which means that possible cases can be missed. Dizziness, headaches, nausea and vomiting, tiredness and confusion, stomach pain, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are all symptoms of CO poisoning. If you notice any of these, make sure to seek medical help.

2. Fit CO alarms in your home

The only way to detect a CO leak is with a CO alarm, it’s a simple and relatively cheap way to make sure you’re protecting your family from potential CO leaks.

3. Get your appliances serviced regularly by registered engineers

Whether you’re getting new appliances fitted or you’ve had them for a while, regular services by registered engineers are necessary to ensure that everything is working correctly and any malfunctions that could cause CO leaks are picked up.

4. Make sure your kitchen is fitted with an extractor fan and do not block air vents

It’s really important to make sure all your rooms are properly ventilated, if you have air vents in any of your rooms make sure that items of furniture are not covering them.

5. Ensure your chimneys and flues are swept regularly by qualified sweeps

Blocked flues and chimneys mean that carbon monoxide can’t escape, it’s a good idea to schedule in inspections once a year to make sure they are working correctly.

Time to fight the flu!

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Seasonal influenza (the flu) is a serious and contagious respiratory infection, generally transmitted through human to human contact. People who have the flu often present with fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue. The impact on public health and businesses due to seasonal flu can be significant. Fortunately, there are a number of important measures that can help reduce the risk of spreading the seasonal flu.

Wash your hands frequently

Proper hand hygiene / hand-washing is essential to preventing an influenza contamination. Proper hand-washing helps remove most bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, so they can’t be spread to others. The European Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) recommends the following:

  • Hands should be washed thoroughly with soap and water
  • After washing with soap and water, dry hands thoroughly with single-use paper towels. Hand-washing with drying of hands should last for at least 40-60 seconds each time
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitisers reduce the amount of influenza virus on contaminated hands. When hand-washing is not possible, alcohol-based hand sanitisers are an option

Avoid others that are sick & stay home yourself when sick

For the flu to be transmitted the virus must go from an individual who has contracted the flu virus to another person, who can then become infected. Individuals who have contracted the flu virus are contagious at least one day prior to displaying symptoms, and up to seven days after they first appear. You can reduce the risk of this sort of transmission through social distancing by avoiding others who are sick and staying home yourself if sick.

Clean & disinfectant surfaces

The flu virus can survive up to 48 hours on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, and up to 12 hours on cloth, paper and tissues. Proper cleaning and disinfecting can minimise the chances of individuals contracting the virus from a contaminated surface. To properly clean, disinfect and protect your environment:

  • Clean any visible soil from surfaces before disinfecting. When cleaning and disinfecting, work from top to bottom and from cleaner to more heavily soiled surfaces.
  • Thoroughly wet the surface with a BPD-registered disinfectant with claims for Influenza A and follow label instructions.
  • Disinfect frequently touched hard surfaces often, including tables, chairs, light switches, door handles and restroom facilities.
  • Give special attention to frequently touched surfaces in food preparation areas, as well as the restroom, including light switches, taps, toilet flush levers, door knobs and handrails.

Get the flu vaccination

Getting a flu vaccine and taking antiviral medications as prescribed if you do contract the flu are two ways the ECDC advocates stopping the spread of flu germs. The flu vaccine is one of the most effective forms of protection against seasonal flu.

Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing 

Coughing and sneezing into your elbow or a tissue helps protect others. If you do have seasonal flu and do not cover your nose or mouth a person or persons within two metres can be infected.

Wash your tableware thoroughly

Eating utensils, dishes and glasses should all be thoroughly washed either in a dishwasher or by hand with water and dishwashing detergent.

Do you use you’re phone on the loo? (You’re not the only one…)

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We’ve come across research which claims that a third of UK workers admit to being on their smartphone while using the toilet, and almost one in 12 even consume food and drink there!

The study questioned 1,000 office workers in the UK to understand the state of handwashing habits in office environments, and revealed some major concerns about the spread of germs in the workplace.

A third (32%) of UK workers questioned said that they use their smartphones while in the office washroom, with Facebook (60%), WhatsApp (36%), playing games and emailing (both 18%) the most popular activities. Also, 13% even admitted to making phone calls from the cubicle. Most worryingly of all, around one in 12 (8%) said they had eaten food in the office washroom.

It’s no wonder that British workers are concerned about their co-workers washroom habits. Almost half (49%) would be ‘disgusted’, and a quarter would be ‘concerned’, if they knew a colleague didn’t wash their hands after visiting the washroom. Almost four in 10 (38%) will avoid shaking hands with people they know have just left the washroom, while a quarter would be uncomfortable with a client or important business stakeholder using the same office toilets as the general workforce.

According to the World Health Organisation, hand hygiene is “the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful germs.” Thankfully, more than eight out of 10 (83%) of UK office workers claim to always wash their hands after visiting the washroom and 31% claim to wash their hands for more than 20 seconds every time. However, this good work could be undone by office workers’ unhygienic habits.

The survey also questioned office workers in Australia, France, Germany and Malaysia (1,000 in each country). The Germans lead the way in hand hygiene, with 87% of workers reporting to always wash their hands after using the washroom, compared with 83% in the UK, France, Australia and Malaysia. Brits are less likely to use their phone in the washroom than Australians and Malaysians (40%), but did not perform as well as the Germans (21%) and French (31%). Australians are the most likely to consume food and drinks in the washroom, with 11% of respondents admitting to that practice.

The research across the five nations also found 45% of workers who did not always wash their hands blamed external factors such as being in a hurry. The washroom environment was cited as the biggest contributory factor, with 50% of respondents blaming an aspect of the bathroom for driving them away. In fact, 16% said they avoid washing their hands when the smell is bad, 20% when there is no soap or towels, and 15% when the handwashing facility is not clean.

What’s your excuse…?

Try these 7 home made cleaning products TODAY!

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We all have our favourite cleaning products that we like to use (Viakal springs to mind!). However, you can’t get away from the benefits of homemade cleaning products, so we’ve listed below 7 of the easiest and most commonly found ingredients in your home:

1.Wood polish – lemon juice & olive oil

Wood can easily lose its life and shine, and become stained by everyday items like coffee cups. To restore some beauty to your wooden furniture, use a bowl to mix 2 cups of olive oil with cup of lemon juice. Dip a clean cloth into the mix and apply to wood in circular motions. This has a moisturising effect and can also prevent splits and splinters.

2.Surface cleaner/degreaser – lemon juice

Lemons are naturally antibacterial so combine 1 cup of water with the juice of 2 lemons, and add ½ a cup of white vinegar into a trigger spray bottle. You can also add essential oils  – lavender and orange both work well.

3.Glass cleaner – cider vinegar

Combine 2 cups of water with ½ a cup apple cider vinegar into a trigger spray bottle (you can add a splash of citrus juice for a nice scent!). Once sprayed, use a microfibre glass cloth to clean mirrors, windows and shower doors.

 4.Stainless steel cleaner – olive oil

Use a soft cloth to apply olive oil in a circular motion, and use white vinegar to wipe the surface when you are finished. This works well on the front and hood of stainless steel cookers, kettles and appliances, and kitchen workstation handles.

5.Pan cleaner/degreaser – salt

It’s surprisingly simple to remove burnt on stains from the bottoms of pans and baking tins – just use salt! Pour salt over the area and leave for a few minutes. Scrub the bottom of the pan with a damp sponge and your metal will be clean and grease-free!

6.Bathroom cleaner – grapefruit

Use half a grapefruit and some salt to scrub bathtubs and wall tiles. The abrasive side will remove most tough stains, and will smell lovely afterwards. You’ll also benefit from the natural antibacterial properties. Make sure to rinse afterwards using the showerhead.

7.Fabric softener – white vinegar

White vinegar is excellent at softening fabric and preventing creases. Add about half a cap into your wash – don’t worry, you won’t smell like a chippy!

Happy homemade cleaning!

Dangers of a dirty oven!

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We all know that ovens become dirty places because of their constant use. Grime builds up, spillages accumulate, and dirt insinuates itself in hard-to-reach places. But how does this affect food and more importantly, safety?

Safety concerns associated with dirty ovens:

The major concern is the risk of fire. Food and grease that have been burnt onto the inside of the oven and its window will continue to burn whenever it is used. A key indicator of this grime can be seen in the amount of smoke that leaves the oven when you open the door. If it’s not overcooked food, it may be the burning of old food and spillages that is causing the smoke. Not only is this a fire hazard, smoke particles can be detrimental to your health when taken into the lungs. This is a sign that the oven needs a good clean; simple soaps may not do the job here. It may also prompt you to check the oven extractor is clean, so that it is more efficient.

The effect on food and flavour:

A dirty oven will also have an effect on food, particularly baking. The continuous burning of grime creates carbon-based fumes, which will alter the taste of bread, cakes, or anything in the oven for that matter. The grease will also reduce the efficiency of an oven, meaning it will take longer to cook food whilst also wasting energy. This could be dangerous when roasting a chicken to time guidelines, as it’s important that the meat is completely cooked.

The kitchen impact:

Smell is another area for concern. The heating of grime and burnt foods will leave an unpleasant smell in the kitchen and (eventually) the rest of the house. Cleaning it properly will reduce these problems. Keeping your oven clean doesn’t just have safety benefits, but is also important visually. Oils and tomato-based sauces look unsightly, splash easily, and can become quite tough to remove if not cleaned immediately. Repetitive heating will burn them into the top. A filthy stove can undermine all the effort you may have put into making your kitchen look pleasant.

How to clean an oven with burnt-on food:

No part of your appliance is exempt – it’s important to know how to clean an oven stovetop as well as the oven, since the same hazards persist here. Enough time should be set aside to thoroughly clean all the parts. This will vary according to the size of your oven –  put aside about half a day for a full clean of the bigger models. That will give all the cleaning products time to work their magic.

We’ll soon put up another post about the best way to clean your oven smoke sure you subscribe for updated!