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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 “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.

 

 

Do-It-Yourself Cleaning in Restaurants Pose Health & Safety Risks

We were recently having a staff meeting at a well established restaurant in Calgary when we saw something we never like to see. With our table in direct view of the kitchen, we saw a staff member precariously perched on a ladder, rag in one hand and spray bottle in the other, trying to clean the kitchen ceilings (to no avail). Lucky for that restaurant manager, I do no work for Occupational Health and Safety as the placement of that ladder and the positioning of that staff member on it would have violated many safety codes! No only was there a risk of falling but who knows what the solution was being used to attempt the cleaning of that ceiling.

Ceiling Cleaning – Easy Building Maintenance that Saves Time, Money and Labour

Common Problem

It’s a problem that all building facilities struggle with. The ceilings get dirty and dark making the overall space look the same. Not only does this look terrible, it is unhealthy as pollutants and contaminants are lying within ceiling tiles and above in the HVAC systems.

Quite often, dirty ceilings go untreated because managers are busy and the typical maintenance options of replacing ceiling tiles or painting them are simply too costly and time-consuming.

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