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Sustainability

Tests of the Kaivac System at the University of Washington Revealed

January 18, 2012
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A recent comparison of the Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning® technology conducted at the University of Washington in Seattle suggests that this method of cleaning can be exceptionally effective in helping to protect human health.

No-Touch Cleaning is an integrated system that combines automatic chemical metering and injection of chemicals on fixtures and surfaces to be cleaned. The system includes an indoor pressure washer used to rinse these same areas clean, essentially blasting soils and contaminants loose. Finally, a powerful wet vacuum built into the machine is used to vacuum-up and thoroughly remove all soil and moisture from the area.

Kaivac

Developed more than a decade ago, the system was originally designed to improve the morale of cleaning workers when cleaning restrooms, so that they would not have to stoop over to clean soiled toilets and urinals by hand. It was also a healthier way of cleaning because cleaning professionals did not have to actually touch soiled surfaces. Today it is used for a variety of cleaning tasks, not just restroom cleaning, including cleaning floors, tile and grout, walls, stairs, and other areas such as chairs and tables, many of which were discovered and developed by end-users themselves.

For the test, University of Washington researchers had one cleaning worker clean and wipe restroom surfaces in two different restrooms using traditional tools: microfiber towels and a microfiber wet mop along with a properly diluted EPA-registered disinfectant.

Another worker was asked to clean identical restrooms using a 12-gallon Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning machine filled with just water—no chemicals were used in the cleaning process—to pressure clean/rinse all surfaces and fixtures, then use a squeegee on countertops to remove moisture. The final step, as referenced earlier, is vacuuming the floor and other surfaces with the machine’s built-in wet/vac to completely remove soils from the area.

To evaluate the results, an ATP Rapid Monitoring system was used. ATP is the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacterial, yeast, and mold cells. Today, the biological importance of ATP is considered second only to DNA, which is used to identify an individual''s entire genetic makeup. When found on surfaces, ATP is often considered a red flag that contaminants may be present or that more thorough cleaning is necessary.

And the results of the test?

  • Using the No-Touch Cleaning machine produced on average an 89 percent reduction in ATP in the two restrooms tested.
  • Using the traditional cleaning method employing an EPA-registered disinfectant produced only a 56 percent reduction.
This is more than a 30 percent improvement in removing contaminants from surfaces. It also means the Kaivac system was significantly effective just using water with no chemicals added—the ultimate in Green cleaning.

Note: The University of Washington tests a variety of products as part of its commitment to Integrated Cleaning and Measurement™ (ICM) and does not endorse particular products.

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