View Cart (0 items)

The tools of tomorrow: Part II

September 19, 2010
/ Print / Reprints /
| Share More
/ Text Size+

Managing a successful facility maintenance depar-tment or building service contractor (BSC) business re-quires keeping costs down, productivity up, building occupants happy, employees healthy, and equipment up to date.

To help you run the gamut, CM/Cleaning & Maintenance Management® gave you a glimpse into the future of cleaning equipment and software in September’s cover story.

But outfitting your staff means more than finding the proper mechanical marvels.

So this month, our “pros in the know” (see pg 24) shed some light on recent and upcoming technological trends in chemicals, microfiber, and restroom products.

Value & return on investment
Maximizing value requires minimizing waste, and JanSan manufacturers continue to find ways to keep your cash out of the trash.

Recent developments in microfiber products provide one means of keeping supplies in the cleaners’ hands longer, as REDCO reports the durability of mops constructed from the material exceeds cotton and poly-cotton versions tenfold.

Further extending usable life — to four-hundred to six-hundred hot-water washes — FilMop eliminated the disintegration-prone foam backing.

And to help cleaners purchase the proper long-lived tool, Unger Enterprises designed a classification system, while Norton Pro Cleaning began utilizing color coding.

But, while microfiber’s endurance can reduce the cost of clean counters and floors, the minimization of maintenance expenditures can’t always rely on longevity.

To mitigate the cost of restocking restrooms, several towel and tissue suppliers provide the means for curtailing waste.

The Z-shaped aperture of Kimberly-Clark Professional’s towel system limits building occupants to one sheet per pull.

By integrating adjustable length (eight to 47 inches) and time delay (one to five seconds), SCA Tissue increases the precision of its automatic dispenser’s consumption control.

Additionally, SCA’s stub roll compartment and Wausau Paper’s two-part tissue core ensure usable product stays out of garbage bins, while the former also offers towels that are interchangeable between electronic and manual dispensers.

Technology at chemical companies also targets multi-purpose products and reducing storage space.

A gel-formula glass cleaner by CPAC, Inc. minimizes product use by preventing dripping and evaporation, while EnvirOx, LLC maintains custodians can clean 90 percent of a facility with just two dilutions of the company’s hydrogen peroxide-based cleanser.

Concentrated products created by JohnsonDiversey, Inc. cut storage space by a factor of 10 and guarantee cost-effective dispensing with a new dilution system.

Spartan Chemical Company, Inc. takes this concept to end-users in restrooms, with foam soap dispensers that lead to less closet space per wash.

Bearing in mind the value of chemicals sitting in storage, P&G ProLine™ enhanced its three floor finishes to double the shelf life of your investment to two years.

Productivity & efficiency
Products that reduce waste also cut labor time spent stocking restrooms.

Combined with high-capacity rolls that further reduce the frequency of refills and translucent covers that allow maintenance personnel to check levels at a glance, Wausau’s waste-reducing core increases the productivity of janitorial staff.

Likewise, Kimberly-Clark Professional complements consumption control with a larger roll and one-handed loading mechanism.

And beyond the realm of paper products, manufacturers have focused re-search and development (R&D) efforts on other ways to minimize cleaning time of the most notorious trouble areas: Restrooms.

A snap-on head featured by Unger Enterprises’ toilet and urinal brush makes changes quick, while its design allows cleaners to lower the water line using a plunging action to achieve a better chemical soak.

EnvirOx tackles counter tops, mirrors, and other hard surfaces with a hand-held dilution system that enables custodians to switch between two dilutions of the multi-purpose cleanser — one for shiny surfaces, one for sanitizing and heavy cleaning — with the turn of a key.

Finally, Spartan provides an easy solution to slow drains with recently released single-dose, water-soluble packets of clog-digesting microorganisms.

Tackling the maintenance arena underfoot, JohnsonDiversey launched polymer high-solid floor finishes that apply faster and require fewer coats.

As part of the P&G ProLine™ upgraded floor finish line, the company integrated encapsulation technology to increase time between recoats and resistance to rubber heel-marks.

To improve maintenance of tile floors, FilMop utilizes a long-loop microfiber design that reaches into grout lines, holds up to 10 times more dirt, and dusts and mops in one pass.

Dirty mop heads quickly disengage, and cleaners can easily grab one of the 30 replacements prepared simultaneously by the company’s charging bucket.

For cleaning above ground level, Norton contends its cloths — color coded for dry dusting, wet cleaning, and polishing applications — grab dirt and grime better than other materials.

Green cleaning & the indoor environment
With the industry’s attention to ecology rapidly expanding, many manufacturers of JanSan products have honed in on the three R’s of environmentalism: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

No exception, Wausau boasts the first and only complete towel and tissue line certified by Green Seal, Inc.® for papermaking processes and packaging.

The company’s 35 100-percent recycled products meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for post-consumer content.

According to REDCO, microfiber’s niche in green cleaning isn’t as clear.

While cotton composition rates higher on an eco-friendly scale than the synthetic, microfiber ranks high in terms of reusability.

Further, FilMop contends that the cloth can reduce chemical consumption, and hence pollution, by 95 percent.

But the producers of cleansers, as well as the manufacturers of floor finishes and degreasers, also are working diligently to stay abreast of this exploding industry trend.

Unger offers a color-coded system to encourage green cleaning, and integrates low-moisture into restroom maintenance.

Efforts at National Chemical Laboratories, Inc. focus on continuing to increase the performance of biodegradable products made from renewable resources, with few or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Spartan derives its low-VOC industrial degreaser from renewable soybeans, while Enviro-Solutions’ Green Seal-compliant formulation is solvent-, odor- and VOC-free.

Also working to improve indoor air quality (IAQ), CPAC’s glass cleaning gel eliminates atomization during application.

Others, including Pioneer Eclipse — whose products meet criteria established by the EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) program — continue to develop surfactants to further the greening of chemicals.

Scot Laboratories’ carpet care products currently utilize a biodegradable wetting agent, and the company plans to develop wholly non-toxic cleaning agent alternatives.

Similarly, P&G ProLine™ included biodegradable surfactants in its redesign of floor finishes, improving the line’s impact on the environment and user-friendliness. With the integration of a new polymer, Enviro-Solutions’ floor finish surpassed Green Seal® and Environmental Choice™ requirements.

And, rounding out the eco-improvements to floor finish technology, Spartan recently developed a line of waterborne wood floor products that meets all VOC regulations.

Ergonomics & safety
While technology targeting environmental well being benefits all, many companies simultaneously focus on the health of end users and building occupants.

Ergonomic design, which Unger integrated into its toilet and urinal brush, provides one means for keeping workers’ compensation claims at bay.

By capitalizing on the material’s light-weight nature, REDCO’s microfiber mop — which includes an adjustable handle — eliminates the strain of heavier alternatives and the dumping of water buckets.

To continue the trend of safer, faster cleaning, FilMop utilizes an ergonomic design and heads that rotate 90 degrees to clean any flat surface.

Additionally, the company claims decreased drying time resulting from microfiber floor care reduces slips and falls.

And for those not quite ready to abandon trusty wet mops, the new bucket system by Rubbermaid helps decrease splashing by 40 percent — minimizing accidents — and separates clean and dirty water — cutting the strain of dumps and refills in half.

Finally, caring for cleaners in the chemical realm, EnvirOx claims its cleanser contains no toxic ingredients to irritate skin, lungs and eyes.

Sanitation & automation
Rounding out JanSan manufacturers’ quest to help cleaning pros maintain healthy facilities, many in the paper products field focus on touch-less dispensing.

Electronic paper towel dispensers from companies including Wausau and SCA eliminate cross contamination by enabling users to only touch the towel he or she will use.

However, manual models from manufacturers including Kimberly-Clark prove that sanitation must not always rely on automation.

The company’s soap system continues the trend via a disposable, recyclable dispenser to up hygiene while reducing cleaning time.

EnvirOx tackles timely sanitation with its multi-purpose spray — the only EPA-registered hydrogen peroxide-based cleanser that kills 99.99 percent of common bacteria and Hepatitis B.

For keeping floors clean, Rubbermaid’s mop bucket reduces cross contamination by separating clean and dirty water, while FilMop’s microfiber version traps dirt and germs instead of spreading them.

Further, the FilMop eliminated the bacteria- and mold-catching foam backings, and enabled germ-reducing hot washes that other microfiber mops can’t withstand.

Recent Articles by Katy Coleman, news editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.