The Newlife Cleaning Systems Cleaning Blog
Our managing director recently returned from Amsterdam, having attended the ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2012 exhibition. Upon his return, he was equipped with a number of leaflets and company literature, showcasing some of the best and most innovative products in our industry.
One of the leaflets contained the above product, a Koala Back Pack Vac, created by Australian organisation Polivac. We couldn’t help but think, that this product resembled a certain Proton Pack, worn in the Ghostbusters films!
This resemblance aside,we thought that this vacuum cleaner was a fantastic idea, and certainly worthwhile mentioning on our blog. The Kola Back Pack Vac has a number of key features, which make it an option worth considering, as an alternative to traditional vacuums.
You may think that the design, being strapped around the operatives’ back, could be uncomfortable for them whilst they work. However, this product is particularly lightweight, and has considered all elements, to place technicians’ comfort as the top priority. It has a fully adjustable waistband, to suit users of all sizes and genders, and the straps around the body are contoured, to fit easily to the body. The vacuum’s harness is made entirely out of foam, offering more bounce, and less resistance to movement, than other materials.
The product, as it will be constantly moved and manoeuvred whilst on operatives’ backs, has to be lightweight in order to be comfy. However, that does not mean that the vacuum is not tough against the wear and tear the comes alongside this. The product’s tough, rotationally moulded body has been designed for industrial uses; commercial cleaning contractors can use this vacuum cleaner without it damaging, or cracking in any way.
Although it is small, light and tough, the Koala Back Pack Vac can still hold plenty of dust and dirt. The dustbag can contain up to six litres of waste and grime, which means that your team are able to work for longer, before they have to empty it. This means that more time can be spent on your clean up, and more work can be done with your day. This is enhanced by the 1100 and 850 watt Domel motor in the machines, which promises to provide extra cleaning power, meaning that an area will require less work to make it spotless.
So, if you’re a contract cleaning organisation, and you do a lot of daily cleaning or other services where you have to vacuum large areas very quickly, the Koala Back Pack Vac could be for you.
Another of the interesting products our managing director discovered at the ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2012 exhibition in Amsterdam, was a little robot, which we thought could be very useful for the cleaning of air ducts.
At Newlife Cleaning Systems, one of the key services we provide to our clients with, is kitchen deep cleans. This involves the thorough and complete clean of all ventilation and extraction systems in the kitchen. Without this type of procedure, the food preparation areas aren’t safe, as fatty deposits trapped in ducts can pose a severe fire risk, and put those that use the building in danger.
The little robot which we think could make this process much easier, is called the Danduct Clean Multi Purpose Robot (or MRP). This is a remote-controlled gadget, resembling a car, which can access air vents and ducts with ease.
Designed for use on rectangular ducts specifically, which is illustrated by the image, the brushes on the MRP rotate. This makes it capable of applying an effective clean to the ducts of all sizes, from the smaller 150 x 300 mm ducts, to those as large as large as 1200mm in height. In order to do this, you don’t need more than one version, but can do everything with an all-inclusive package.
This is because the product has an it has an extendible arm, with an automatic lift function, which helps to accommodate the changes in size of the duct; the same ventilation system can get wider and smaller regularly. All you need to do is use your remote control!
It is fitted with a camera system, which allows you to see exactly what is happening in the vent, at all times. This will help you to ensure that everything inside the vent is being cleaned to your satisfaction, and you can guarantee your clients a spotless clean, within their legal requirements. The camera system also allows you to see both in front, and behind the device, to allow you to thoroughly check the work after it is done.
Similar to a toy car, the MRP has a four-wheel drive system, and your remote control allows you ability to power the engines separately, if you require. With this, you can direct the robot around corners, without any trouble, andpush it through any difficult-to-reach vents with ease.
Additionally, the MRP will enable you to do more than just scrub the vents; it has the capability to pull a compressed air hose, or a cable for coating, through the vent with it, as far as you need it to.
If you would like to know more about this product, you can visit www.danduct.com to find out more information.
An article in April 2012’s Cleaning Hygiene Today highlighted the all-important, currently very relevant issue of natural cleaning; what this term actually means, and the benefits of making the change to this from your regular cleaning products and practices.
At Newlife Cleaning Systems, we are committed to making greener, more environmentally-friendly options in everything that we do. In emphasis of this, we have attained an ISO 1400:2001, which shows that we are attempting to conduct all our work in a way that consistently shows thought and consideration to the environment. This is something that our team have have noticed is increasingly becoming a requirement for our clients.
As a result of this, we thought we would discuss some of the reasons why the decision to go green could be advantageous to other contract cleaning organisations, as well as their valued customers.
The article highlighted that a green has come at a very poignant time, as the tax in landfill has increased, making it particularly difficult for businesses to get rid of their waste in a cost-effective way. Minimising your waste, and reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint, could be the best decision you make.
To combat the raise in land fill tax, and to avoid unnecessary uses of resources, you can dispose of your waste by recycling. Simply putting recycling bins into offices and other workplaces, as a means to dispose of waste paper, can make a big difference over an organisation.
As a contract cleaning company, when we execute deep-cleans of properties or industrial sites, we often have to remove various types of waste from the venue. If, instead of throwing all waste out together, we divide it up and retain the items that can be recycled, we can make a big difference of every job we undertake.
Another essential part of cleaning in an environmentally-friendly way, is the use of all-natural cleaning products. This could be as simple as using lemon juice and vinegar to apply a shine to items, rather than synthetic cleaning products filled with chemicals. This is much easier done in the home, and can undoubtedly pose more challenges if a contract cleaning company attempted to do it.
There are still many products on the market which contain natural, non-harmful components that cleaning companies can use. In addition to the liquid products, the article drew attention to even newer technological advances, which can be utilised more readily by cleaning organisations. There are now cloths containing microfibres and also steamers, which only require water in order to conduct the clean. This, whilst helping to make operatives’ tasks easier, also removes the necessity for the use of harsh chemicals being released into the environment, which could cause damage.
The article also discusses the life cycle of the products you use, and how evaluating them could be a big part in your environmental management system. LCA- Life Cycle Analysis-includes how the product is manufactured, transported, sorted and disposed of, whist you are working. By selecting products which have a more green LCA, you are supporting this, and helping these to take precident.
One of the focuses on the article, is that from the beginning to the end of the cleaning process, you remain environmentally friendly the whole way through. This is something we strongly agree with here at Newlife, and is in-keeping with the ISO 1400:2001.
Changing the products, as previously discussed, is something which you can begin with. Smaller changes can also be made, such as how you transport them. If you buy your products in large bottles and quantities, and refill smaller bottles each time your team begin work, this can be done very easily. You do not create as much waste and lower the carbon emissions which are produced when your vehicles transport them to site.
Transport can also be modified in reference to your staff too, as transporting them to and from site could increase the overall fuel consumption of your company, and increase CO2 emissions overall. The article suggests that encouraging car shares, or the use of public transport, in reference to your team could also help.
Another of the points that was discussed, was the amount of energy that is used whilst operatives are conducting their work, including heating on a cold night and lighting in a building. This is something that might not occur to you because it’s part of your work, but can make a big difference. If, in larger buildings, staff only clean one room at a time, this could prevent the lights from the building being on, and wasting unnecessary energy. This provides an added benefit to your client, as not only does it lower their energy usage, but it lessens their bills too.
If you can make these, and any other similar changes, you will be able to guarantee to your clients, and yourselves, are doing their best for the environment.
To discuss how Newlife Cleaning Systems show consideration to your environment, you are welcome to contact us and speak to one of our team.
Last week’s blog discussed the ways in which business owners could make small changes to their workplace in order to counteract the spread of germs and bacteria, to prevent members of staff from getting unwell. As a result, it also alarmingly drew attention to the fact that one third of adults do not wash their hands after going to the toilet- and this is men and women equally, no gender is innocent!
The importance of washing hands during the day, including after using the toilet, cannot be understated. However, with the advancements in hand washing products and soaps, it’s sometimes hard to know which product to choose for your organisation or home. Additionally, hand sanitising solutions have become increasingly popular in recent years. This has developed to such as an extent, that now when you’re visiting someone in hospital, they expect you to sanitise your hands before you enter your ward. So, hand washing with soap and water, or regular use of hand sanitising solutions- which is the best way?
In this month’s Cleaning and Maintenance magazine, an interview with Richard Millard, senior segment marketing manager at Kimberly- Clark Professional, discussed this issue. As Kimberly-Clark are one of the most high-profile suppliers of cleaning products in the industry, it’s safe to say that the recommendations of Richard Millard are worthy of note. The below comments are based on his comments in this interview.
It is safe to say that hand washing and hand sanitisers both have their place in the daily hand cleaning routine. Soap and water is probably the most common, and readily-available method of hand washing in the workplace and in the home; it’s the method that we’re all familiar with. If the hands are washed thoroughly using this method, with an antibacterial soap, then any germs and bacteria can be removed from the hands completely.
There are also occasions when the opposite is true, and that there are no hand washing facilities, soap or water available to you. Regular festival-goers will know the water facilities, and general cleanliness at these places is at an all-time low- even if it is just for a weekend. There, a quick and generous dab of hand-sanitiser is the best wash you’d get for the duration of the festival, and the only hygienic option available to you.
It could also be argued that in areas where there are extremely high volumes of people in small spaces- typically public transport, smaller work spaces,nightclubs, bars and gyms, hand sanitiser is the most appropriate choice. It is because in these places, there is a likelihood that people’s hands will come into close contact, so sanitisers may be a sensible thing to consider here. This isn’t to suggest that everyone should become overly-concerned with selecting an appropriate hand-washing routine, but this is just something to consider at this time of year, flu and colds are particularly common, and easily passed around in these places.
The article suggested that on occasions such as these, hand sanitising solutions may be the most appropriate way forward. It does assert, however, that these products should ideally be used as an accompaniment to other methods, rather than a replacement; hand sanitisers will never be the preferred alternative to correct hand-washing. This is because sanitisers only clean the bacteria on the surface, and are not effective at destroying high levels of contamination.
It would be advised, and is practised in a number of industries and organisations, that if your workplace requires extremely high levels of hand hygiene, that a combination of both methods would be extremely effective. Washing the hands with antibacterial soap and very hot water, drying them with a disposable hand towel, and then sanitising the hands afterwards, will ensure that the bacteria is removed from the hands, and that any remaining will be killed. This is especially essential in areas such as hospitals or care homes, where a strictly-implemented hand washing routing can drastically effect patients’ welfare.
In the interview, Richard Millard does stress that in the workplace, the way to determine the correct hygiene policy, is by making an assessment of your site, and determining what may be the best option. What chemicals or products are being dealt with on a daily basis? Is there anyone who may be at risk if hand hygiene levels are not correct, and are there chances of contamination if this were to happen?
At Newlife Cleaning Systems, we ensure that our cleaning operatives and other members of staff, are fully up-to-date on the correct hygiene practices depending on the environment in which they work. We are responsible for the execution of a range of specialist cleaning services, which require that our levels of hygiene are nothing other than impeccable, and that is something we consistently strive to improve and maintain. For services such as hospital cleaning, or when we implement a kitchen deep clean, the entire process would be ruined, and could pose a great cost to our client, if correct hand hygiene procedures are not followed. For more information about how we make hygiene our number one priority, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
We’ve all done it- you’re cooking dinner, whilst doing 1000 other things, and your mind wanders. The next thing you know, your frying pan is burnt and the remnants of your spag bol remain glued to it’s surface. Fortunately, this doesn’t need to mean the end of your pan, a duration of endless scrubbing, or that you’re required to purchase expensive cleaning products. There are a number of substances that you have hidden away at home which, when combined with a few handy little techniques, can save you some post-dinner hassle.
So how do you clean a burnt pan?
If you’ve got a non-stick pan, one quick and inexpensive method involves some fast action and a little seasoning. After serving your dinner, fill your pan with boiling water and add an extremely generous sprinkle of salt. Ensuring that the water is piping-hot, leave the pan to stand for an hour. You should then be able to easily scour the burnt food away from the bottom of the pan.
As an alternative method, if you have a stainless steel pan, salt’s perfect accompaniment vinegar can be used to remove ingrained burnt food with ease. Adding half a cup of vinegar to the pan, alongside some piping-hot water, can provide you with an excellent solution. Simply simmer the boiling mixture for 10-15 minutes and your stainless steel pan will shine as new.
If the dirt is more heavily encrusted, you can try adding bicarbonate of soda to the pan. The best method to do this is to put the pan onto the hob and add boiling water. Stir in soda crystals, and set the pan to boil again, before removing from the heat. Once the water in the pan has been cooled, you simply need to pour the solution away and you should be able to scrub the dirt from the pan. If you have no bicarbonate of soda to hand, washing powder will be equally as effective, when left to soak into the burnt residue.
To find more ways to clean your kitchen appliances, or to organise a kitchen deep clean for commercial kitchens, please visit the Newlife Cleaning Systems website.
Information for this blog is taken from Woman and Home website.
Helping you to get ready for work by smartening up your clothing, irons are the final hurdle in your washing and drying routine. It’s very easy, therefore, to take advantage of this household friend- forgetting in the process that it needs to be cleaned regularly itself. The combination of high heat in the iron, the electricity used to power it, and the added factor of water are essential reasons to keep the iron clean, so that it subsequently runs safely and efficiently.
To begin, it is essential to remember that when you begin to clean an iron, in most cases the appliance must be switched off, and allowed to cool.
The methods which enable you to clean the metal plate on the iron vary depending on which substance is stuck to it.
To clean the inside of the iron’s vents and pipes, a more gentle touch is required. Dip a pipe cleaner or cotton bud into the vent, and slowly lift out the residue from within the iron. Ensure that you use something equally as soft, that isn’t too sharp, to avoid risking damage to the inside of your iron.
For all surfaces on the iron, including the handle, you can use a simple solution found in your kitchen cupboard. On a clean, damp cloth add vinegar before wiping the surfaces; removing any visible dirt and grime. If it’s been a while since you last cleaned your iron, you can mix a little baking soda with the vinegar before adding it to the cloth. It’ll help you to remove tougher stains.
Vinegar can also be used to clean the reservoir of the iron. Just pour an equal amount of vinegar and warm water into the iron and switch it on. For about five minutes, leave the iron to steam, allowing the vinegar to reach the ducts through the steam. After this time, remove the water and vinegar solution from the iron, and rinse with clean water. Be sure to make sure all vinegar is removed before you start ironing!
The information can be found in full at the Creative Homewares website.
Keeping carpets clean in your premises can often be a difficult task- especially if they are areas of heavy traffic where spillages become almost a guarantee. With thanks to the Daily Telegraph, and Reader’s Digest’s 1000 Ways to Save Money and Time, we have found a way for you to maintain the appearance of your carpets and upholstery, without having to invest in expensive cleaning products. A range of different stains can be eradicated, simply by the use of cornflower from your kitchen cupboard.
Removing ink from carpets
Firstly, you need to mix the cornflower with a small amount of milk, the quantities of the mixture should be so, that it forms a paste. Then apply the paste directly to the stain, and allow to dry- this could take anything up to a few hours- before you can revisit the stain. Once the paste is dry, you simply need to brush it away from the carpet fibres, which should lift the ink stain away too. Then just vacuum the remnants, to be left with a clean, ink stain-free carpet.
Removing blood from carpets and upholstery
Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and when they do you can prevent any damage to your upholstery with fast action and cornflower.
As soon as you notice the blood stain on the fabric, create a paste out of cornflower and water. Apply the paste directly to the stain, and work the mixture into the fabric’s fibres. Once this is done, leave the fabric somewhere warm and dry, where the paste will quickly be absorbed. Brush away the dry mixture, to lift some of the blood. If a stain still remains, repeat the process again.
The cornflower may not 100% remove the blood stain from the fabric, depending on how ingrained the stain is and whether the blood has dried or not. It will, however, be the fastest solution you have to the task at hand.
In addition to the removal of stains, cornflower is also excellent at removing any unpleasant scents from carpets. All you need to do is evenly sprinkle cornflower onto your carpet before you vacuum; it will remove unpleasant odours from the carpet with ease.
If these simple methods cannot clean your carpet, we have carpet cleaning services available, which will get your carpets looking as good as new. Please visit the Newlife Cleaning Systems website for more details.
At Newlife Cleaning Systems, we understand that cleaning everyday household items can often be quite expensive. Branded cleaning products, with the guarantee to polish metals, glass and other surfaces can be costly at a time of year, when every penny counts.
So, with the help of Daily Telegraph and Reader’s Digest booklets, named ‘1000 Ways to Save Money and Time’, we have compiled a series of blogs which will help you to use the products you already have in your home, to keep your appliances clean.
Cleaning a coffee maker
Many people don’t know this, but your kitchen coffee maker can be cleaned by a product that can be found in your medicine cabinet. Alka Seltzer, used to settle your stomach after a heavy meal (or a heavy evening out) can help you to remove any coffee residue from your machine, and leave it sparking clean; resulting in a better tasting cup of coffee for you.
So how do you do it?
Firstly, fill the water chamber in your coffee machine with water, as you would do before using the machine to brew a pot.
Next, for a standard-sized coffee machine, add four Alka Seltzers to the water, and wait until they are fully dissolved.
After this, switch on the machine and put it through its regular brew cycle. This will allow the Alka Seltzer solution to reach all of the pipes in the machine, and clean any coffee residue.
Once the cycle is complete, rinse the water chamber to remove any remaining Alka Seltzer from the chamber. Then run another brew cycle using just water, to ensure all the Alka Seltzer has left the pipes.
Once this is done, you can use your coffee maker as normal, and it will be perfectly clean.
As Alka Seltzer is usually used to combat stomach acids, it can tackle the acids from coffee that cause stains and marks on the machinery. The fact that the Alka Seltzer is designed for human consumption makes it perfect for cleaning the coffee maker, as there will be nothing within the tablet that can harm people if they ingest it.
Other uses for Alka Seltzer:
Cleaning hard-to-reach parts of vases, flasks, jewellery and sinks. The Alka Seltzer bubbles reach places you can’t reach.
When you walk into any high-end hotel, restaurant, clothes shop or even supermarket, you enter with certain expectations. You hope to receive an excellent level of service from smartly dressed staff and you expect the environment to be spotless. These factors make places like this a pleasure for consumers to visit and makes them return time after time.
In the economy we are in, most business owners in industries such as these cannot afford to make drastic, all-encompassing changes to improve their standing; costs to refurbish are too high, and often staff turnover is so great that extensive staff development isn’t an option. One small, affordable change can be made, which will make a real difference to the overall appearance of their business; their floor polishing routine. This claim may sound dramatic, but when you’re next in a Marks & Spencer’s Food Store, or if you visit a five star hotel like the Hilton you will notice; the floors have a reflective shine that enhances the overall presentation of the room.
This shine can be achieved in several ways, although most business owners turn to contract cleaning companies, who take away the hassle in exchange for hefty invoices. An alternative, more environmentally friendly and cost-effective way to achieve this type of shine, is through the use of diamond polishing pads. Diamond polishing pads are specialist floor cleaning pads which contain minute diamonds. The hard diamonds in the pads effectively remove dirt and give a standard of polish that other polishing pads cannot; they can improve soiled and scratched floors beyond recognition.
Diamond polishing pads are a very economical way for businesses to make quick and drastic improvements to their flooring, because they do not require any change to the cleaning routines already in place. Existing equipment can be used as normal, as the pads can attach to most wet and dry scrubber driers, burnishers and high speed floor polishers. No new machinery is required to make the pads work, and the cleaning staff do not need any specialist training to use them; removing two substantial financial burdens from the business owner.
With diamond polishing pads, the business owner is only steps away from achieving an enviable floor shine equivalent to their top-end competitors. The pads come in a variety of textures, which when utilized correctly, give a deep-clean to scratched, dull and damaged surfaces, giving them a glossy shine. Once their floor has undergone one deep-clean, regular cleaning with the pads is enough to maintain the shine; the daily work time does not need to increase, so the inconvenience to the business owner, staff and public is also minimised.
The diamond polishing pads would be an investment into a business’s future, rather than a one-off purchase, because they are very adaptable. They can be used on several types of flooring; to maintain the surface of terrazzo, reverse scratches on stone and granite, and even polish concrete. This means they could be used one more than one surface and in different areas, maximising their output for the business. They are also constructed to be extremely durable, in order to withstand the friction caused by dry burnishers, so can be used several times; making even more out of the investment.
The business could also improve their green credentials by using diamond polishing pads, as they do not require the use of harsh, or dangerous chemicals; detergent and water can achieve an immaculate finish. This creates a safe, more pleasant place for staff and public to operate in, and is advantageous to the environment and the atmosphere.
A business’s decision to change the cleaning pads on their polishers and scrubbers to diamond polishing pads is small, but can have a big impact. Whilst their cleaning routine, staff, and time remains the same, the quality of shine is unquestionable; improving the overall appearance of the building and creating an environment that appeals to consumers.
For more information, visit: http://www.diamondpolishingpads.co.uk/
The term feminine hygiene was probably thought up by a man as a seemingly polite conversational phrase or euphemism to cover all personal care products used by menstruating women.
In the context we are discussing today we are solely covering the disposal of used feminine hygiene protective products by users of commercial premises. This could be your office staff or indeed members of the public.
These days the sanitary bin is a ubiquitous product standing guard in the corner of the toilet cubicle but this was not always the case. Indeed it is still common in smaller, old fashioned premises to see brown disposal bags hung up on a hook and a simple flip-top bin for disposal.
This leads to the dangers of drain blockages if the user tries to flush away the used product through embarrassment or leaves the daily cleaner the unpleasant task of emptying the bin and disposing of the contents amongst the general office waste. This is not a service acceptable to many cleaning operatives these days and would not normally be included within an office cleaning contract.
Bridging the gap between this in house, DIY method of disposal and the full range of professional feminine hygiene disposal services, are systems utilising stand alone bins which contain a disposable cartridge. To alleviate any smells they contain deodorising crystals and just like a standard professional disposal bin the flip top operates in such a way that the contents of the internal disposable cartridge are not visible to users.
Once again disposal is carried out by in house staff but at least the internal cartridges can be sealed albeit disposal is still with the general office waste.
Great claims are often made about the biodegradability of these types of sanitary bins and liners. But is this true? When you balance the initial purchase cost of the bins themselves, a constant supply of cartridges and the unpleasantness of exchanging the cartridges then disposing it alongside general waste .The cost versus benefit is not so apparent especially if you are the one who has to change the cartridge as most probably your cleaning staff will refuse point blank.
This leaves the full professional service as the most likely solution to a trouble free, out-of-mind service. Or so you think?
Just like buying any goods or services it is vital that you compare ‘apples with apples not oranges’ otherwise you will end up make a mistake which you are locked into and which in many cases you will be paying for the pleasure of, in advance, for many years to come!
While this might sound elementary you should check whether you need the service at all. If female staff are not employed and your premises are not used by the general public, why bother? If the female staff are of a certain age there might not be a requirement. To avoid any embarrassment or doubt simply ask the staff if they would like the service.
Once past these basic fundamentals use the following checklist to ensure you are getting proper value for money by asking your potential sanitary waste disposal supplier:
How often will you exchange the sanitary bins as I want a monthly service for hygiene reasons?
Do you expect me to sign a contract which locks me in for 36 or 60 months?
If you do, what notice do I have to give you and is it on any particular date?
Will you charge me separately each year for a Duty of Care certificate?
Do you charge 13 weeks in advance?
Do your staff just remove the contents of the bin so my staff have to clean it or do they take the whole unit away and hygienically clean it?
Can I have a look at an example of your contract agreement so I can see what small print there is?
If you’re not happy with what you hear call 0800 018 9099 or look at our range and service agreement on sanitary-bins.newlifecleaning.com
Columbus Dixon September 2010.