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Sanitizing Versus Disinfecting – What You Don’t Know Could Kill You

Understanding the level of cleaning required in your building could mean life or death. OK, that might be somewhat dramatic, but it could certainly be the difference between healthy or sick.

Now, more than ever, the cleaning industry is focused on cleaning for health as well as appearance. And that’s a good thing. Cleaning for health means professional practices and products are used to ensure the utmost health of a building’s people and assets.  As reported by Cleanlink Magazine, “Cleaning with an eye on health helps reduce sick building syndrome, infections and respiratory problems — and it benefits not only the building’s occupants, but also the cleaning employees, since cleaner and healthier workplaces tend to experience less absenteeism among workers.”

Whether you are in the food service industry, in an educational or office facility, it’s essential to understand when and how to treat surfaces to eliminate illness causing germs.

Let’s look at the various levels of cleaning (as outlined by Clorox Professional):

Basic Cleaning – Manual or mechanical removal of soil and debris from surfaces and equipment. Products used: Cleaner, detergent.

Sanitization – Reduction of bacterial contaminants to safe levels as per health requirements. Products used: Food-contact and non-food contact sanitizers, products labeled “kills 99.9% of germs”.

Disinfection – Destruction of pathogenic and other types of microorganisms, typically using chemical agents. Products used: Cleaner disinfectants, products labeled “kills 99.999& of germs”.

Technology has served up a variety of new systems for disinfecting and sanitizing. The system we use in our clients’ buildings is Electrostatic Disinfecting.  

Remember rubbing a balloon on your hair as a kid? The balloon and hair would have opposite charges that attract one another. Electrostatic disinfecting and sanitizing is a similar concept. It uses (+) charged particles, sprayed onto (-) charged surfaces, attracting the solution to every nook and cranny thus providing 100% coverage. A very cost-effective and time-efficient way to kill germs in any facility including health care, althetic, education, office buildings, etc.

Protecting your staff and patrons from illness is easier said than done. Knowing what level you should be cleaning at, and what products and methods to use, can be daunting and confusing. Take the time to ensure your cleaning staff or contract cleaner is properly trained to deliver the cleaning you need to make your facility a healthy one.

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A Clean Business is Smart Business. 

EFS Clean provides smart cleaning to Calgary’s commercial sector. Services include Contract Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning as well as specialty services; Ceiling Cleaning, Floor and Carpet Cleaning, Low-Rise Window Cleaning, Electrostatic Disinfecting and Quality Assurance Inspections. If you have a cleaning challenge, we have a solution. Contact us today at 403-949-3344 or request a cleaning quote/demo.

Why Customers Lose When Choosing the Lowest Price

It’s a common trick in the commercial cleaning industry, as well as many other service industries. Use a low priced bid to win the business, then under deliver your service (hoping the customer won’t notice) or ask for more money at a later date.

We’ve seen it time and time again. We’ve lost business because of it.  For us, one instance stands out as a shining example of this flawed strategy.

For six years, we provided the daily cleaning for a very challenging building and in general, had a very satisfied client for those six years. When the building came to tender, it became abundently clear the personel in charge of creating the scope for the RFP were uneducated, inexperienced and focused on trying to get more for less. What was created was a scope of work that would at least double their current budget. Yet, what was awareded was a contract to a company that bid amost half of the current budget. Sorry, the math just didn’t work and why the building’s managers couldn’t see that is baffling.

Follow these tips so you don’t fall victim to the low price trap on your next request for proposal.

  • Ensure the scope of work and the budget you have allocated are in sync. If you are not sure how to do this, ask a trusted advisor that has this experience.
  • Another option to ensure your work and budget are realistic, is to do a pre-proposal walk-through with the bidding contractors. Outline what your high/low priority areas are and then ask them to provide a recommended scope and price based on that. This strategy can be tricky to compare apples to apples but it allows the contractors offer up their expertise and provide a balance between performance and efficiencies.
  • Ask around, find out what companies your peers are using. What companies have proven to be trustworthy, which haven’t. Then compile a list of contractors you would be open to working with and invite them to bid on your work.
  • If you are already in a position where you are working with a contractor that played the low price trick on you and you’re seeing that negative results, start looking for alternative services.

Our company philosophy, as is for some other building service contractors, is to provide “real” pricing and work scopes that represent value and honesty. We may not always win business with this strategy, but when we are able work to with customers that understand it and hire us for it, we are able to forge an honest and respectful relationship from the start.

The low price option always ends the same way. The customer loses with poor cleaning performance and a dirtier building and added work load to manage a cleaning program that isn’t working and then having to repeat the RFP process all over again.

By the way, the building that we lost to the low baller is now looking like it. Don’t ever doubt the old adage, “you get what you pay for”. Especially when it comes to the cleanliness and health of your building.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown commercial cleaning company and authorized dealer for Ceiling Pro International. Our services include Contract Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning as well as specialty services; Ceiling Cleaning, Floor and Carpet Cleaning, Electrostatic Disinfecting and Quality Assurance Inspections. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or by requesting a cleaning quote/demo.

 

 

 

 

Why “Cleaning for Health” is a Better Way to Clean

There’s a bit of a revolution happening in the cleaning industry. In the past, there was a demand for janitorial services that provided a clean looking building at a low price. With better education and a more sophisticated perspective, building managers are now looking for a cleaning program that focuses on cleaning for health.

A Contracting Profits survey of facility executives shows a majority — 64 percent — value a healthy and sanitary environment for building occupants more than a clean appearance (28 percent), an environmentally-friendly green cleaning program (6 percent), or a low price for cleaning (2 percent).

Cleaning for health provides the dual functions of; 1 . surface cleanliness, and  2. prevention and control of infections. So not only is the look of a building important but the health and productivity of it’s occupants is also addressed.

This approach to cleaning is important to any and every business sector, but is particularly vital to industries such as healthcare, schools, fitness facilities and restaurants where germs and infection are dangerous, sometimes deadly.

On 9th February 2011, the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC) resolved to make Cleaning for Health a key priority in the coming years. Cleaning is our first defence against the ongoing threat of ‘super bugs’, influenza viruses, and more recently E.coli. In healthcare settings the importance of cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing is widely accepted and its implementation is usually strictly enforced. However, outside the healthcare environment and within community settings such as schools, offices, retail, hotels, public transport etc; the value of cleanliness is less understood. (WFBSC Cleaning for Health Report – Cleaning for Health Report 2012/2013).

As an example of this misunderstood concept; commercial kitchens sometimes leave the job of cleaning to their staff to save money. The problem with that strategy is that these workers do not have the expertise, or when it is the end of their shift, do not have the energy to clean their facilities properly. This often comes to light when the health inspectors arrive. As in the case study of a restaurant in Las Vegas, there were numerous sanitation issues that were found including:

  • Stoves, ovens, and deep fryers were not properly cleaned.
  • Floor drains all contained grease and food particles.
  • Damp mops and rags were stored in the kitchen (and likely reused when needed throughout the day, causing them to become increasingly soiled).
  • Floors were not thoroughly cleaned. In some areas there was a film over the floor, indicating a grease residue.

Some recommendations to remedy these issues include:

  • New mops, and having a supply of new mop heads on hand. This will keep contaminants from being spread and will help rid grease build-up.
  • Consider using a wall-mounted system that mixes water and chemicals automatically to ensure proper dilution rates.
  • Use a food service steam cleaner that can release steam hot enough to melt down grease and oils and destroy many types of germs and bacteria.

No matter what type of business you are in, cleaning for health is essential for happy staff and customers. If you haven’t already, consider using a cleaning services company to do your cleaning for you. They will recommend the best processes and equipment to ensure an attractive space and more importantly, a healthy environment. Yes, this will require an investment in your cleaning, but like any good business formula, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

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EFS Clean Building Services is Calgary’s locally-owned-and-grown commercial cleaning company and authorized dealer for Ceiling Pro International. Our services include Ceiling Cleaning, Commercial Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Hard Surface/Tile Restoration and Quality Assurance Inspections. Let us help you get a better clean by calling 403-949-3344 or by requesting a cleaning quote/demo.

 

 

Educating Customers for Success

We recently started a new contract in an office building with a wide variety of tenants. Already having experience in these type of buildings, we know what’s coming . . . a whole bunch of people with different opinions and thoughts on how their offices should be cleaned.

Plantar Warts and Other Risks of Unclean Public Pools

Public swimming pools provide hours of fun for kids, a great workout for swimmers and a nice escape from ugly outdoor conditions. Unfortunately, they can also provide an array of illnesses and unsafe conditions when the swimming pool decks and change rooms are not properly cleaned.

Ceiling Cleaning Service Growing Internationally

Ceiling Cleaning and Restoration is a valuable service that is taking over the world! OK, maybe not “taking over”, but certainly “making over”.  We spend most of our lives under ceilings and this area of a building often gets neglected. Ceilings trap odors, dust, grease, and other pollutants, looking worse over time and becoming a health issue.

The cleaning process disinfects and deodorizes ceilings, extending the life of the ceiling system and brightening the space. And at 80% less cost than replacement, ceiling cleaning should always be a part of a comprehensive green cleaning program.

Are Your Restrooms Scaring Customers Away?

Are your building’s restrooms clean enough? Here is a good article from Dave Mesko, Senior Director of Marketing for Cintas, about cleanliness issues that can affect your business, and how to address them in your cleaning program.

Dirty restrooms generate building complaints and unsatisfied patrons, and are often a common cause of lost business. In fact, a recent Harris Interactive survey revealed that 94 percent of U.S. adults would avoid a business in the future if they encountered dirty restrooms. Similarly, it’s estimated that over 50 percent of complaints about buildings concern the upkeep of restrooms. With a high level of issues surrounding restroom cleanliness that can easily lead to lost business, facility managers must establish a comprehensive restroom cleaning program to generate a pleasant environment and keep businesses thriving.

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