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Management And Training

Consultants Bring Truth To Falsehoods

April 14, 2011
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Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who believe there is nothing to cleaning but sweeping and mopping.

In the professional cleaning industry, we know that this notion is as false as can be; cleaning requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and a willing and flexible mind.

Commercial cleaning is a craft that requires a lot of skill, expertise and training.

Where do these attributes come from?

There is a vast bank of knowledge that includes experience, videos, books and training by supervisors, vendors and industry consultants.

Of course, the best instruction is hands-on training from people who know the proper methods and have lived with the results of their work.

These people know that their methods are correct; their training will include all the proper use of cleaning solutions, equipment and custodial hardware.

Also as important is the use of safe, efficient and effective cleaning procedures.

This training should also include time studies and evaluations of various products, procedures, floor surfaces and areas to be cleaned.

Establishing A Starting Point

A building audit by a cleaning consultant of the space involved, floor surfaces and current procedures in use is also very helpful as a starting point.

Let''s take an example of one area of your facility, a first impression area that is a crucial part of your cleaning program: Restrooms.

Restrooms may be small or large and may be located in various types of facilities — schools, office buildings, health care facilities, industrial plants, hotels, motels and many others.

Whatever the case, they are a “first impression area,” and the image presented to users reflects upon your image.

There are some important points when it comes to cleaning restrooms.

Start with a cleaning checklist to be sure the person cleaning the restrooms is equipped with the correct personal protective equipment (PPE) for their safety as well as the proper cleaning materials and procedures to be used.

PPE includes things like gloves, goggles, facemasks and other equipment that creates a barrier between a custodian''s skin and potentially harmful substances.

A product''s material safety data sheet (MSDS) will list these PPE requirements.

Caution signs must be in place to alert people that cleaning is in progress and that the floors may be wet.

Cleaning products include such things as a germicidal detergent, glass cleaner, bowl cleaner, a scrub brush, cloths for cleaning, drying and general use and consumables like paper towels, toilet tissue, hand soap, air fresheners, trashcan liners and more.

The products you use, how often and when you clean the restrooms and whether or not you close the restrooms to traffic will all require a great deal of judgment; this will vary depending upon your circumstances.

Cleaning Procedures

  • Empty the waste containers and clean inside and out as needed

  • Start by spraying toilets, sinks and high-touch areas such as soap and towel dispensers, hand dryers and door handles with your bottle of disinfectant cleaner

  • Allow your disinfectant to dwell on these fixtures for the manufacturer''s recommended amount of time

  • While the disinfectant is wet on these fixtures, clean your mirrors and spray and wipe down the partitions and other vertical and horizontal surfaces

  • Use a bowl cleaner to clean the flushable fixtures, remembering to only use the bowl cleaner in the “cavity” of the fixtures, not the outsides

  • Push or force the water down over the trap in the toilets and use your scrub brush to clean the inside of the cavity before flushing the unit to bring in fresh, clean water

  • Clean the outside of the flushable fixtures, which you have pre-sprayed and on which you have allowed your cleaning solution to dwell

  • Clean the non-flushable fixtures and dispensers, which have also been pre-sprayed.

Now, it''s time to clean the floor.

We don''t believe that just mopping will get your floor clean or keep it clean over a period of time.

The floor should be scrubbed with a combination scrubbing machine or a floor machine and wet vacuum.

If this equipment isn''t available or you think it is too time-consuming, consider this: Mopping the floor will not get your floor clean, and in order to keep your restrooms clean and sanitary, scrubbing and wet vacuuming on a regular basis should be strongly considered.

Here, we are talking about judgments that you must make in order to keep your restrooms clean and sanitary.

Another point: Inspecting the restroom between cleanings is very important and is a judgment call you must make as to how often it should be done.

There are also many more areas to be cleaned in your facility, which require entirely different cleaning procedures, products and equipment than what we have reviewed here for restroom cleaning.

Don''t assume that your cleaning staff is prepared to do all of this in a proper, effective and efficient manner.

Consider doing some evaluation, auditing and training with a certified industry consultant to help you maximize your efforts in the restroom and beyond.

Maurice Dixon is the owner of Dixon & Associates. Dixon & Associates offers training and consulting to the JanSan industry. Training includes live, customized hands-on training for in-house staffs and for building services contractors. Consulting services offer facilities audits to determine the most efficient and effective ways to schedule their staff and the proper selection and use of cleaning equipment and materials. Visit Dixon & Associates at or call 1-877-379-3566 for more details.

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