The Newlife Cleaning Systems Cleaning Blog
Ultrasonic sound is sound with a pitch so high that it exceeds the normal threshold of human hearing. Sound waves in excess of 18 kHz are referred to as ultrasonic. The ones used in industrial parts cleaning tend to range from around 20 kHz to 50 kHz. As environmentally friendly cleaning practices become more popular, the attractiveness of using ultrasonic technology for industrial parts cleaning begins to grow.
When this eco-friendliness is combined with highly effective cleaning of industrial parts it is not hard to see why this technology is gaining popularity. Alongside this, ultrasonic cleaning is perfectly suited for batch style cleaning arrangements which increases the cost efficiency of the parts cleaning process. This not only minimises cleaning time but also maximises the effectiveness of aqueous solutions used during the industrial parts cleaning process.
By manipulating sound waves ultrasonic cleaners are able to blast particles from contaminated industrial parts through the processes of compression and rarefaction. These processes offer an unparalleled level of cleanliness which makes them ideal for industrial parts cleaning where even light contamination of components can result in dire consequences.
It is quite early days in terms of the technology behind this aspect of industrial parts cleaning. Regardless of this, when utilized in the correct way, ultrasonic cleaning offers the chance to dramatically increase both the speed and the efficiency of a cleaning process whilst minimising its environmental impact. As the technology develops and people become aware of the numerous benefits of ultrasonic cleaning then it is inevitable that its popularity as an industrial parts cleaning process will grow.
A new electric filter has been designed to reduce the spread of viruses and provide enhanced norovirus and swine flu protection. The filter is specifically designed to be fitted onboard commercial aircraft in an effort to reduce the international spread of these highly contagious viruses.
According to the systems designers it is able to destroy around 99.9 per cent of known infectious diseases onboard an aircraft. The swine flu filtering system has been designed and constructed by the aerospace giant BAE Systems, alongside a smaller firm, Quest International.
The swine flu protection system is know as “AirManager” and relies upon an electrical field to destroy germs and other pollutant particles circulating in the air. This is quite unlike a conventional air filtration system which seeks solely to remove the particles from the air.
Alongside its ability to destroy swine flu and the norovirus the system is also proven to reduce the spread of dreaded “superbugs” like MRSA and C.difficile. Due to this it is also being considered for use by the NHS in an attempt to reduce the spread of these killer “superbugs” and enhance the current standards of hospital cleaning.
The swine flu filter is especially effective onboard aircraft as the air inside the cabin can be recirculated up to 30 times in a single hour. This could lead to passengers being exposed to infected air numerous times on a flight. Introduction of the swine flu filters may also put an end to the practice of pre-take off disinfectant spraying on long haul flights.
The swine flu filtration system was recently tested onboard numerous aircraft including a Boeing 757. After these successful tests one airline has already placed a firm order. One downside to the filters is their price tag. At £10,000 the price tag may not seem that steep when compared to the operating costs of an aircraft, however a large aircraft would require up to eight swine flu air filtration systems to deal with the volume of air inside the cabin. Regardless of this it is clear that these swine flu protection filters are a break through in the battle against infectious diseases.
A landmark payout has been awarded to a pensioner after he suffered severe burns from sitting on his “toxic sofa”. Maurice Heminsley, a 68 year old from the West Midlands was awarded an undisclosed four figure payout after he was left with severe chemical burns from his imported leather sofa. Upholstery cleaning firms should be aware that there are large numbers of these sofas amongst the population as a whole.
Mr Heminsley purchased the sofa from Furniture Warehouse unaware that it was packed with a toxic fungicide now banned in the EU. The dehumidifier dimethyl fumerate (DMF) was contained within the “toxic sofa” and lead to the pensioner developing a rash across his neck, back and legs after just a couple of days. Within three months the rash had developed into a set of agonising open sores requiring hospital treatment.
The pensioner’s settlement has paved the way for thousands of similar claims from others who have also suffered due to imported furniture containing DMF. It is quite likely that there are many more people suffering in silence from injuries like Mr Heminsley’s. Upholstery cleaning companies should be on the look out for these imported sofas and inform owners of the potential danger contained within them. Doing so will hopefully prevent others from suffering in the way Mr Heminsley has.
His sister, Joyce Barham described him as being “in a terrible state” before comparing his wounds to those of a burns victim. Mr Heminsley was taken to hospital to be treated for acute contact dermatitis as a result of his “toxic” Chinese sofa. His entire ordeal could have been avoided if his sofa came to the attention of trained upholstery cleaners.
Alongside the undisclosed payout Furniture Warehouse also provided a full refund for the sofa which housed the toxic dehumidifier. The sofas were sold by numerous retailers throughout 2007 and 2008. These included Land of Leather, Argos and several independent furniture retailers. The DMF sachets were intended to prevent the leather furniture from going mouldy while it was being stored.
Since May 1st 2009 the European Commission has banned all products containing DMF. The biocide should no longer be found on the market within the EU and it is hoped that the larger furniture retailers will find a swift resolution to the claims lodged against them. Despite the illegality of DMF upholstery cleaners should remain vigilant, it is likely many people still own sofas containing the toxic dehumidifier and are completely oblivious of what it can do.
As the winter flu season looms ever closer demand for swine flu hand sanitizers is rocketing but is our faith in these alcohol based solutions misplaced?
It is common knowledge that good hygiene can prevent the transmission of infectious diseases such as swine flu. This is backed up by the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH). Hands play an integral role in transmitting a virus as they regularly come into contact with known portals of entry for pathogens. These include the obvious ones such as the nose and mouth, alongside the less obvious, such as the conjunctiva of the eyes.
It follows on from this that good hand hygiene leads to a reduction in the transmission of viruses. This is where hand sanitizers come in. Even though nothing really beats good old hand washing a hand sanitizer can prove a useful ally in the battle against swine flu. Although no hand sanitizer is proven to prevent swine flu, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) they do undoubtedly help protect you and your family from the H1N1 virus by limiting its potential for transmission.
Research has shown that unlike many methods of combating a virus, alcohol based swine flu hand sanitizers do not lead to viral adaption and the formation of a resistant strain. This is good news for the health conscious among you as it guarantees the effectiveness of swine flu hand sanitizers regardless of the form the virus takes. If the hand gel is used properly and applied to the entire hand for at least 20 seconds it provides a good alternative to hand washing. Swine flu hand sanitizing gel can be especially convenient if you are on the go and hand washing facilities are not readily available.
The high street retailer WH Smith has recently been condemned for their abandonment of professional contract cleaners. The company has disregarded these professional contract cleaners in favour of their own retail staff despite the swine flu pandemic. Smiths have delegated cleaning to every day staff as part of their general duties, a move that has been condemned by the British Cleaning Council (BCC) as well as the Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA).
In an attempt to cut costs the high street chain has slashed the use of professional contract cleaners to once a week in some of its stores. This has left staff in the lurch as they are now required to sweep floors and carry out general cleaning in store.
Regardless of opposition from staff and cleaning firms currently under contract with WH Smith, the retailer’s chief executive Kate Swann pressed ahead with the policy. This decision was criticised by Andrew Large when he spoke on behalf of the BCC and CSSA. He described the measures as potentially unlawful before going on to criticise them as damaging to good hygiene at a time when this was increasingly important. Large also promised to investigate if professional contract cleaners were made redundant when they should have remained under the employment of WH Smith.
Mr Large criticised the high street giant’s actions claiming that “WH Smith is depriving itself of skills and expertise of cleaning professionals.” He went on to say that there is “no guarantee that the shop workers will have the necessary skills or training to be able to maintain the stores to a satisfactory standard.”
It is clear that if an organisation wishes to maintain proper infection control practices then the best option is to employ professional contract cleaners with all of the necessary expertise. It is only by doing this that a company can be sure that all the necessary measures are being taken to combat the transmission of the swine flu virus, ideally through the use of swine flu sanitizer, wipes and hard surface cleaners. With thousands of customers browsing through the retailer’s magazines on a daily basis, it is both irresponsible and potentially dangerous for WH Smith to cut back on professional contract cleaners at this time.
Last year I was sitting in a monthly BDM (Business development meeting) with the rest of our management team discussing replacing one of our Bane-Clene truck mounted carpet cleaning units’ when it struck me that we had been operating the same machine for over twenty years!
Wow! That made me feel my age but it also brought back fond memories of my very first visit to America and Indianapolis, home of the Bane family. Yes these machines and the whole Bane system are the brainchild of a real life family firm who live and breath carpet cleaning and put into practice on a daily basis their principles, which make them the acknowledged leader in the field of carpet and soft furnishing cleaning.
Originally their equipment was distributed in the UK by an American called Bob Kelly who used to flog up and down the country in a big Renault Master van doing demo’s for anyone interested in truck mounts. You have to remember back in the 80’s a truck mount was a really unusual piece of equipment when most operators were still using small portables and Bob found it really hard to make users realise the benefits the Bane system would bring them.
Whenever Bob was passing through the North of England I used to always give him a bed for the night and we would yarn about carpet cleaning and the industry in general over a few beers. In a typical example of ‘what goes around comes around’ when Bob eventually decided he couldn’t afford to continue his one man crusade to turn British carpet cleaners onto the merits of truck mounts, he gave me the opportunity of buying one of his demo models at a discount in return for the support we had given him.
It was all well and good getting the truck mount at a discounted price but at the time we couldn’t afford to buy the van for the gear to go in and there was resistance to investing ten grand in buying one just to have it dedicated solely to carpet cleaning. Just as it does now the market appeared to be dominated by “blow-and-suck” merchants who advertise that they clean a room for a fiver and your whole house for twenty-five quid so the idea of using a twenty thousand pounds set up to clean carpets appeared total madness.
It was then that I visited Bane-Clene’s Indianapolis facility for their annual convention. This was an awe inspiring visit as I saw at first hand the devotion and belief our fellow operators had in Bane-Clene as suppliers and as a force for good in the carpet cleaning industry. Messianic is the only word I could use to describe the atmosphere. Remember this is a bunch of self employed small business owners, the archetypal independent type of person and they were so committed to being the best at what they do that it was, to a Brit, almost embarrassing as was the almost a religious fervour.
Here I heard for the first time that Bane-Clene guaranteed their equipment for 5 years. So what you might think but you have to remember that at that time even when you bought a new car in the U.K. you were lucky to get a one year guarantee never mind 5 years. It was this simple fact – belief in how good their gear was, combined with everything I has seen and heard from the operators at the convention that persuaded me I had to really push the system and prove that it would work in the UK as well as it did in the States.
Returning home, I took the first step towards getting the equipment mobile. Initially using a twin wheeled trailer, aka ‘The Painted Wagon’ as it had a canvas cover, we used to take just the base unit out to do domestics. After months of towing ‘The Painted wagon’ around we realised that there was enough business to warrant a Merc van Our big break through came though when we purchased a small carpet cleaning company called Maple Leaf that had gone into liquidation. They already operated a couple of truck mounts but they were massive, noisy jet engined machines that ran on diesel and operated at far too high a temperature and pressure to clean carpets safely.
We moved them on as fast as we could then installed Bane equipment instead. The effect this had on the Operators who had transferred to us from Maple Leaf was immediate. They realised straight away the benefits of the new equipment far more readily than other Newlife personnel as they had more experience operating truck mounts and couldn’t believe the results being achieved by simply plugging in a three-pin plug. No screaming engines, no smelly dangerous derv, and no high pressure hoses which constantly split spitting out scalding water.
That was twenty years ago and yes we did order a new machine. Infact we went one better and visited Mr and Mrs Bane Snr. both at their Indianapolis offices and at their home. When we told them this story it delighted them so much they offered us distributorship rights for their range in the UK. We haven’t taken them up on their offer yet but who knows what the future holds.
The moral of the tale though is that by setting your stall out as a specialist then setting your standards and aspirations at the highest level possible you can grow a business which is recognised all around the world as the acknowledged leader in it’s field.