A hotel chain was looking for ways to reduce cleaning-chemical supply use, minimize supply costs, operate more sustainably, and decrease its overall environmental footprint in its several four-star and five-star hotels. Looking at a variety of options and alternatives to traditional and green cleaning solutions, the hotel chain decided its most viable option was the use of what are called aqueous ozone cleaning systems.
The chain has been using the cleaning systems for all types of cleaning duties, from cleaning guest rooms and bathrooms, public washrooms, and glass to wood and ceramic floors and carpet. While aqueous ozone is not viewed as a disinfectant, at least not in the United States, the hotel chain representatives say they do use aqueous ozone to sanitize surfaces in order to help reduce the number of potentially harmful pathogens on a variety of “high-touch” surfaces. * [Read More…]
A cleaning professional working in a laboratory was tasked with disinfecting work surfaces in the lab. The disinfectant he was using had already been pre-mixed and poured into a bucket. His job was to take a microfiber cleaning cloth and wipe down the surfaces with the water/disinfectant solution.
Following up on his work, his supervisor then tested the surfaces using what is called an ATP monitoring system. Already in use in many laboratories for a variety of functions, when it comes to cleaning these tools are used to determine how much adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is found on a surface before or after cleaning. [Read More…]
On January 30, 2014, the U.S. Federal News Service and the University of California at Riverside issued the following alert:
“Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke because second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke are just as deadly as first-hand smoke. While first-hand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker and second-hand smoke to the exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from a burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others, third-hand smoke is the second-hand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time, and becomes progressively more toxic.” [Read More…]
In the U.S. today, there are 4,575 prisons housing approximately 2,220,000 adults. That means about one in 100 U.S. adults are in prison and if they were all located in the same city, it would be the fourth largest city in the country.
These numbers are important for correctional administrators to know because it is their job to keep these people as healthy as possible while they are under state and government supervision. While this can involve a variety of strategies, at the top of the list is proper cleaning. Yes, for these 2.22 million people to be healthy, the prisons they live in must be clean and healthy; and one way we do this is by understanding what we can call cleaning “jargon.” [Read More…]
A manufacturer made small, aluminum tubular parts, about one inch in diameter, for one of their customers. The parts were used in highly sophisticated equipment and one of the problems they were encountering was removing chemical residue left on the parts during the manufacturing process. Not only did the residue have to be removed before the parts could be shipped, there were concerns that acids might be entrapped in the parts, which also had to be removed.
They turned to a leading product finishing expert for advice. The expert suggested, “I would first recommend rinsing [the aluminum tubular parts] thoroughly in a cold water rinse. Then go back and forth between a hot rinse and a cold rinse. This will cause expansion and contraction of the “pores,” or surfaces, and will most likely rinse out all of the residue.” 1 [Read More…]
It’s often easier to pinpoint when a new technology first started to take hold in the marketplace than it is to predict its future. This is not necessarily true when we discuss the use of “engineered water,” as it is frequently called in the professional cleaning industry.
It appears that engineered water systems such as aqueous ozone, which turns ozone into a safe and effective cleaning agent, and related technologies that effectively clean carpets, floors, and surfaces without the use of chemicals have a growing future in the industry. [Read More…]
Recently, health professionals have become concerned about something referred to as third hand smoke, especially its potential impact on children. Here’s what we know. According to a report from the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, part of Dartmouth-Hitchcock hospital in Lebanon, New Hampshire, if someone smokes just one cigarette in a room the size of a bedroom or hotel guestroom with the doors closed, it takes about two hours for smoke particulates such as nicotine in the air to return to levels that are no longer harmful.
But what happens to that nicotine? Does it just break down or dissolve during that two-hour period? No. What happens is it begins to collect on chairs, furniture, clothing, and because it is the biggest sponge in the room, in the carpet. Many times the nicotine combines with other chemicals, making it an even greater health risk. These residues of nicotine collect over time and that’s one reason why a hotel guest room in which smoking is allowed can develop a cigarette odor. These reservoirs of nicotine on furniture and carpet are examples of third hand smoke. [Read More…]
More than two decades ago, a company that manufactures circuit boards* for use in a variety of electrical products was facing a quandary. To clean their circuit boards, the company was using a solvent that contained ingredients determined to be harmful to the environment. As a result, they were given two years to phase out the use of these solvents. Company management decided they had four possible options to address this situation:
1. They could simply not clean the circuit boards, a solution referred to as the “no-clean” process.
2. They could turn to cleaning processes that use nonsolvent cleaning chemicals.
3. They could use solvents that were not harmful or less harmful for the environment.
4. They could look into alternative cleaning processes using no chemicals whatsoever.
The manufacturer quickly decided using the so-called no-clean process was not an option. Manufacturing circuit boards sometimes leads to the creation of what are called “solder balls,” which must be removed to prevent short circuits in the product. To remove these necessitates cleaning, meaning the no-clean process was obviously not a viable option. [Read More…]
In the coming years, cleaning professionals and building managers in all types of settings may have to contend with a new—at least new to them—threat to the health of building users: biofilm.
Microbial communities, known as biofilm, were first reported on in 1684 by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a Dutch scientist. He found a huge accumulation of microorganisms in dental plaque, and in a report to the Royal Society of London, he said, “The number of these animalcules in . . . a man’s teeth are so many that I believe they exceed the number of men in the kingdom.”
This observation tells us a few things. First, the place where we hear the most about biofilm is, to be frank, in our mouths. The plaque on teeth is usually biofilm. However, since this report, dating back more than 500 years, we now know that biofilm can be found on a variety of surfaces—from floors to counters to sinks and even in dog food and water bowls.
And we have learned something else. The amount of germs and bacteria housed in biofilm can be huge. And if it is found, for instance, on a restroom counter, this huge microbial community does have the potential of causing serious illness. [Read More…]