CMM Weekly News Recap-February 14, 2020

February 14, 2020

Readers turn to CMM for advice on cleaning best practices and this week’s top news stories did not disappoint.

Researchers in Germany pinpointed an effective cleaning solution for COVID-19. After comparing 22 studies that dealt with disinfection techniques for human coronavirus, the scientists recommended using a solution that is 62% to 72% ethanol, .5% hydrogen peroxide, or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite. This solution is most effective if used within one minute of contamination time and is reliant on cleaning professionals following proper disinfection procedures and being consistent in their cleaning schedules.

Another study found an efficient and well-trained environmental services (EVS) team is more crucial to keeping hospital patient rooms clean than the latest technology.

Researchers took samples of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and aerobic bacterial colonies (ABC) from high-touch surfaces in patients’ rooms before EVS staff manually cleaned the rooms, after they cleaned the rooms, and after ultraviolet (UV) technology disinfection. Although the scientists found UV disinfection significantly lowers bacteria counts, it was most useful in supplementing the least efficient cleaning professionals. Researchers concluded an efficient EVS staff thoroughly trained in proper cleaning protocols is the best defense against hospital pathogens.  

Cleaning professionals in the Minneapolis/St. Paul and St. Louis area made the news this week regarding organized labor issues. Custodians working in these metro areas have been negotiating their contracts under the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

The nearly 8,000 custodians servicing retail stores and office buildings in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area voted to begin a seven-day strike if a contract agreement is not reached by February 19. The workers are seeking sick time leave as well as increased wages.

More than 2,000 custodians in the St. Louis area avoided a strike by voting to approve a three-year contract. The new contract gives union members an average 14% hourly pay increase. It also gives the custodians paid sick days, additional paid vacation days, and ensures they will not see an increase in health care insurance costs.

Thank you for reading the weekly news update. CMM will be taking a holiday for Presidents Day on Monday but will be back with the news on Tuesday.


Add Sink Drains to Frequent Cleaning List

Study finds effective disinfection process for hospital patient room sinks

February 14, 2020

Hospital environmental services (EVS) staff focus on cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces to help eliminate health care-acquired infections (HAIs). A new study found one area they should add to their regular cleaning and disinfecting routine—sink drains in patient restrooms, Infection Control Today reports.

In the study, published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, researchers disinfected patient sinks in the medical intensive care unit of a teaching hospital in Milwaukee, testing two different cleaning formulas—one consisting of hydrogen peroxide, octanoic acid, and peroxyacetic acid and the second consisting of a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant. They swabbed the sink drains both before and after the disinfection process to determine the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, a pathogen commonly found in patient room sink drains.

Before disinfection, all the sinks had similar baseline counts of CFU. However, after the first disinfection, the sinks cleaned with the mixture of three chemicals had a significantly lower reduction of CFUs compared to the sinks disinfected with the hydrogen peroxide-based product.

Researchers repeated the process every other day, measuring the CFU counts before disinfection to determine how many days the chemicals were effective between cleanings. They found CFU counts returned to baseline levels on day five.

Based on their results, the investigators recommended that EVS teams clean patient sink drains every three to five days with the mixture of hydrogen peroxide, octanoic acid, and peroxyacetic acid foam to prevent drains from becoming a breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant pathogens.


Centrum Force Partners with Ergin Makina

February 14, 2020

Centrum Force, a full-system rug-washing supplier in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has reached an agreement with Ergin Makina, a rug-cleaning equipment manufacturer in Izmir, Turkey, to exclusively sell, distribute and service the company’s full-line of products in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Ergin Makina has a customer-base that spans 50 countries around the world. The company’s products that will be added to the Centrum Force product line include several models of rug-wringing centrifuges, an automatic dusting machine, rug wash/wringer and a finishing machine. All machines will be built to Centrum Force’s specifications, including electronics and other critical features required to smoothly install in rug cleaning plants of all sizes.

Centrum Force’s website will be updated to reflect this arrangement soon. Specifications and costs will be listed and updated in both English and Spanish. For more information, contact Tom Monahan, Centrum Force’s co-founder and sole owner at or 734-260-5038.

To learn more about rug-cleaning equipment, visit the expo hall at the Clean Buildings Expo.

Join the First-Ever ISSA Clean Advocacy Summit

February 14, 2020

Alexandra Dapolito Dunn, assistant administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, will serve as the keynote speaker at ISSA’s inaugural Clean Advocacy Summit, March 25-26.  Dunn will address summit attendees on March 25 at the Renaissance Arlington Capitol View Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. The summit will take place in conjunction with National Cleaning Week.

Dunn has served as the assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention since January 2019. Prior to that she served as the regional administrator for EPA Region 1. Her responsibilities there included overseeing the states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and ten tribal nations.

“Given her involvement with and leadership related to the Toxic Substances Control and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Acts, we appreciate and are excited to hear from Alex Dunn regarding the implementation of these laws as they impact the full spectrum of the cleaning industry,” said John Barrett, ISSA Executive Director.

On March 26, summit attendees will “hike the Hill” beginning with a briefing at the U.S. Capitol featuring Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL). ISSA’s worldwide headquarters in Northbrook, Illinois, is part of Illinois’ 10th District served by Representative Schneider.

“As a prominent member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and House Committee on Small Business, we’re honored to have Representative Schneider speak to summit attendees on issues like economic growth, taxes, and capital access that are important to ISSA members, particularly to building service contractors and residential cleaners,” said John Nothdurft, ISSA Director of Government Affairs.

The Clean Advocacy Summit is an ISSA member-only event. Register today!


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