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.

Bleach is not your friend. Period.

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We recently posted an article on the alternatives to using bleach around the home, so we thought it would be useful to post a follow up article on the dangers of bleach and advise of the best non-toxic alternatives to bleach after reading your comments & tweets!

There’s a reason generations have turned to this solution of sodium hypochlorite (i.e bleach!) besides effective marketing: It’s a very effective pathogen-slayer. In fact, it’s so effective that any bleach product that claims sanitizing or disinfecting powers is classified as a pesticide by the EPA. It’s rather nasty, corrosive stuff, and it belongs on the list of Toxic Chemicals We Can Live Without.

Bleach can cause irritation to the skin and mucous membranes (yellow gloves at the ready!) and respiratory problems. And not only does it exacerbate asthma in those who already have it, bleach can actually cause asthmathrough repeated exposures. Sodium hypochlorite also forms noxious gases when combined with other everyday household cleaners, such as ammonia or acids (even vinegar). And it’s the most common cause of accidental poisoning for kids….

Thankfully, there is a better way. Hot-water-and-soap is a great start, and for many jobs around the home cleaning with soap and water is all you need to get the job done. But if you want to go the extra mile, your cleanup should be followed by sanitising. Cleaning helps physically remove gunk and germs, but sanitising kills them.

So what magical non-bleach elixir shall we call upon for this task? Baking soda & vinegar based DIY products are very much up to the task of sanitising . Some experts advise that undiluted vinegar, left to soak on surfaces for at least 10 minutes (and/or heated up first) can be a useful sanitiser. Perhaps an even better option for the truly germophobic is hydrogen peroxide, an effective sanitizer that doesn’t pack yucky fumes and breaks down into oxygen and water.

Try these three weird office cleaning tips – they actually work….

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We’ve come across these these weird office cleaning tips which will save you money ensure great results….as well as making workplace chores a little more fun!

Regardless of whether you have a regular cleaning service or maintain your workplace yourself, every office needs a bit of a spruce up from time-to-time to ensure everything is as pristine as possible. Providing a fresh & clean work place maintains office morale and also helps make the right first impression on clients, customers & guests.

We know that cleaning can be an expensive chore. So, to  make your spruce up a lot more fun and a little easier on the pocket, we’ve sampled three of the most unusual office cleaning tips which use natural, affordable ingredients you may never have considered before…

1. The (almost) self-cleaning microwave!

If your employees make good use of the office microwave at lunchtime, it’s likely that the appliance gets greasy and dirty very quickly. But giving the inside of the microwave a thorough clean and de-greasing can be a lengthy chore. Imagine if it could clean itself…

To make your microwave give itself a clean, mix together lemon juice and vinegar in water in a microwaveable bowl. Put it in the microwave and allow it to heat up for five minutes. Leave the door shut as the water cools, open up, then simply wipe dirt and grease away!

2. Brighten up office plants with mayonnaise

You invested in plants around the office for many reasons but they can soon start looking quite dusty, bedraggled & lacklustre. Before too long it will be time to give them a spruce up! To spruce up your office flora, take a tissue and dab it in a small quantity of mayonnaise. Use this to gently rub dust from waxy plant leaves to leave them looking shiny and healthy.

Sometimes the little touches really make a difference, leaving your office a brighter, nicer place….

3. Clean windows with the daily news

Your window cleaners likely take care of the exterior of your window panes, but the inside of windows can become grubby just as quickly. If you’d like to give your workplace windows a polish with materials you have to hand, use a spritz of simple white vinegar & lemon juice, then buff it in a circular motion with a piece of scrunched up newspaper for a very impressive shine!

The magic of steam cleaning!

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$_32Over the past few years an increasing number of cleaning businesses and households have adopted the use steam cleaners. It’s not hard to see why when you understand the benefits of using steam to clean.

With steam cleaners, the steam is heated to temperatures over 150°C killing bacteria  as well as  removing grease & dirt. Because the temperature is so high, the steam leaves many surfaces dry to the touch. Due to the intense heat, steam cleaners remove the risk of contamination from using a dirty cloth, which could transfer sources of infection from one surface to another.

Heat aside, there are other, less obvious, advantages to using steam cleaners:

No chemicals required

Because of the heat, steam cleaners require no chemicals so they have environmental benefits. Due to the absence of chemicals, steam cleaning can be used on a wide range of surfaces. Steam cleaning also avoid contributing to the evolution of resistant bacteria, as poorly applied chemical cleaners can when they fail to kill bacteria effectively.

Effective reach

Steam cleaners can quickly & efficiently reach areas that can be difficult to tackle with a cleaning cloth, helping to tackle dirt in these areas which saves time. Steam cleaning makes it much easier and more practical to clean those hard to reach areas, which means cleanliness levels are raised as a result.

Food friendly

The catering & restaurant industry has increasingly recognised the benefits of steam cleaning. In food retailing steam cleaners are especially useful in areas where the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness are vital – where fresh food is handled.

Steam cleaning machines can bring very real benefits to a whole range of people, from restaurants to households alike. High street retailers sell a range of steam cleaning equipment for the home (brands such as Karcher & Vax) and more professional equipment is available for a range of businesses & cleaning companies alike.

As more people learn the advantages of steam cleaning its use will become even more widespread and could have a significant impact on the way we approach cleaning.

 

Addicted to cleaning with bleach? Why not try these alternatives..

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If you’re a die-hard member of the bleach brigade, you m might not be aware of the effects using bleach around the home has on you. Chlorine bleach isn’t the best thing for your lungs as it’s a known carcinogen that can cause burns, respiratory problems and gastrointestinal issues. If you happen to mix it with anything that contains ammonia (glass&window cleaner, oven&drain cleaner, toilet cleaner and some multi-purpose cleaners) it produces an extremely toxic gas.

From an environmental perspective, bleach can also cause serious pollution. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, our indoor air is twice as polluted as the outdoor air, mostly because of the cleaners we use. Studies have shown that chlorinated VOC (volatile organic compound) levels in the home skyrocket when you clean with bleach.

So, what are the alternatives to cleaning with bleach? There are plenty of effective options out there that aren’t so dangerous.

  1. A simple way to break your bleach addiction is by switching to oxygen bleach. It disinfects & cleans just as well as chlorine bleach, but because its active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, it’s completely nontoxic and odor-free. (Chlorine bleach’s main ingredient is sodium hypochlorite, which is pretty much the opposite of nontoxic.)
  2. There’s an amazing variety of safe bathroom cleaners out there such as ready made ‘green’ products from Delphis Eco and ECover .
  3. Borax is a time-tested, extremely versatile cleanser that contains no chlorine or phosphates.
  4. A mixture of distilled white vinegar, lemons & baking soda (along with some borax and a little tea tree oil) are all you really need to combat bathroom mold, mildew and grime.

Some useful ways that you can combine these standard, magic household ingredients to produce powerful cleaning action are as follows:

  • A thick paste made of a half-cup of vinegar and a quarter-cup baking soda will spiff up bathroom tiles — as will scrubbing with half a lemon dipped in borax powder.
  • A spray consisting of equal parts vinegar, baking soda and water is an excellent multipurpose cleaner.
  • Sprinkle a cup of borax and a quarter-cup of vinegar into your toilet bowl, let it sit overnight, then scrub and flush in the morning.
  • Unclog a drain by pouring down a handful of baking soda and a half-cup of vinegar, covering for 15 minutes and then flushing with 2 quarts of boiling water.

This is only the tip of the iceberg as far as uses for white vinegar, lemons & baking soda goes as they are amazingly versatile cleaning agents.

So, the next time you’re getting ready to clean your home with bleach, try one of these safer alternatives instead!

Five AWESOME tips for green cleaning in the workplace!

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Slowly but surely, the tide is tuning towards consumers and client preferring to appoint services with sustainable and/or ‘green’ credentials. Making small, incremental & sustainable changes in the workplace can have a positive impact on the planet and a business’ bottom line.

There are many benefits to introducing green cleaning products & services at the office, such as cost savings and improved client satisfaction. With that in mind, we thought it would be useful to provide you with some AWESOME tips for a greener cleaning workplace:

1.      Ditching disposables in favor of reusable options – Replacing disposable cleaning tools with effective reusable options reduces waste and cuts down on costs associated with the extremely short lifespan of disposables. Consider setting up a rental program where professionals will collect and launder mops, shop towels and microfiber wipes…

2.      Installing dilution control systems – Dilution control systems dispense the proper amount of products or chemicals for the required task, eliminating unnecessary waste and delivering better cleaning results, whether it’s soap for washing your hands or diluting chemicals for cleaning.

3.      Switching to smarter paper towel dispensers – Older models of paper towel dispensers in kitchens and bathrooms can generate excess waste. The latest dispensers have auto settings with options for length that eliminate the ability to grab a handful of paper towels when only one is required.

4.      Using matting to reduce the need to clean – Proper & sufficient walk-off matting placed at entrances helps to trap dirt and debris from being tracked inside a facility. This reduces the need to frequently clean, which can save your cleaning contractor time and save you costs!

5.      Look for products & services that support green building certifications – Many facilities managers and building contractors are aiming to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for their new and existing buildings. Some cleaning products and services can actually contribute to securing LEED credits so it’s worth checking with your cleaning service provider to find out what solutions can meet these requirements.