Schools out. The kids are in camp and hopefully having fun. And teachers and staff are taking a well-deserved break.
Yes, most schools and universities throughout North America close for the summer months, but for building service contractors (BSCs) as well as custodial workers involved with school cleaning, the summer months can be the most cleaning-intensive time of the year.
But this summer, instead of just repeating the typical summer cleaning programs – refinishing floors, cleaning carpet, washing windows, deep cleaning restrooms, etc. – let’s start the summer months off Green. Here are some ways BSCs and other cleaning professionals can make the schools they maintain Greener, healthier, safer, and more sustainable, starting this summer and throughout the school year.
- Begin with a cleaning product audit. Very often the custodial closet is filled with cleaning solutions that have never been used or it is filled with multiple products designed to be used for the same or similar purpose. Determine which products are the most effective, cost effective, and Green. Then select only those to use beginning this summer. This will free up some closet space, will require less custodial training, and prove to be a cost savings as well.
- Related to this, if there are any cleaning solutions in the closet that have not been Green certified, stop using them, or finish them up, but do not re-order them. Remember, Green Cleaning is like links in a chain… it is only as strong as the weakest link.
- Make sure you have SDS (Safety Data Sheets) for all cleaning solutions printed out and stored in the closet. Should an accident occur, we will not have time to go online and look for an SDS. It’s far better, safer, and faster to have them all collected and placed in a notebook for safe keeping and easy reference.
- Is there an auto-dilution system installed? Auto-dilution systems ensure just enough chemical is mixed with water to complete the task at hand. This helps prevent mixing too much of a cleaning solution, which can be wasteful and detrimental to the environment, or using too little, which can negatively impact cleaning effectiveness.
- Check that all cleaning equipment is operating properly. Pay special attention to damaged switches and cords. Green Cleaning requires the use of safe cleaning equipment. With vacuum cleaners, check to see if the bag frayed? Is air escaping through seals in the machine? If this is a high-filtration vacuum cleaner, selected because it is designed to help protect indoor air quality, all those benefits are negated if exhaust air is escaping from the machine.
- The summer months are a great time to inspect all entry mats because they are typically placed in storage this time of year. Check the mats to see if they are frayed, torn, curl at the corners, or need cleaning. Most mats can be cleaned using the carpet extraction method. Once cleaned, lay them out flat – do not roll them up – and allow them to air dry. And once dry, store them flat. Rolling up floor mats can harm the backing of the mat.
Finally, BSCs and in-house cleaning professionals are encouraged to have their janitorial distributor help them with all the items just mentioned. Distributors are aware of the latest trends and technologies in the professional cleaning industry. There impute can prove invaluable in making this summer’s cleaning season as well as cleaning throughout the year Greener and healthier.