Category: 2021

10 Nov 2021
help wanted

Commercial Cleaning Helps Businesses Through Labor Shortage

 

commercial cleaning

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have no doubt seen the effects of the current labor shortage. With businesses across the country navigating the troubled waters of reopening amidst an ongoing pandemic, the lack of qualified workers is a menacing problem. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed consumer expectations and business owners know that they need to provide a visibly clean and sanitary environment if they are to survive. Upgrading cleaning and disinfecting protocols are imperative, but finding the staff to manage these additional duties is proving difficult. In response, many businesses are turning to commercial cleaning services to fill the gap.

With the continuing impact of the COVID pandemic, changing consumer expectations, and a looming labor shortage, hiring a commercial cleaning company makes a lot of sense. It helps ensure a safe environment for customers and staff, reduces absenteeism, and builds consumer confidence. All while eliminating the need for in-house cleaning staff and the added expense of cleaning equipment, chemicals, and supplies.

HOW COMMERCIAL CLEANING SERVICES CAN HELP 

 

Reduces The Need To Hire

When a business outsources it cleaning and disinfecting duties to a commercial cleaning company it no longer has to hire additional in-house staff to manage the increased workload new cleaning protocols require. 

Let’s face it, hiring staff is expensive. There are ads to run, interviews to conduct, background checks, training, and other onboarding expenses of both time and money. Outsourcing your cleaning and disinfecting needs to a facilities management company shifts this burden to the contractor. 

Eliminates The Need Train

While most businesses recognize the increased need for cleaning and disinfecting, few business owners truly understand the underlying processes that accomplish these goals. They not only need to educate themselves about proper cleaning and disinfecting protocols, but they must then pass that knowledge onto their staff. Hiring a commercial cleaning company puts knowledgeable staff at your fingertips right from the start.

Reduces The Cost Of Supplies 

Cleaning equipment, chemicals, and supplies are costly. Especially if you are buying in small quantities from your local; supply store. In addition, the cost of purchasing and maintaining expensive cleaning equipment adds an additional financial burden. We are not talking about mops and buckets. We are talking about commercial-grade vacuums, industrial floor scrubbers, and other cleaning equipment that most businesses do not consider.

A quality commercial cleaning service provider will have quality equipment, will provide all of the necessary chemicals and supplies, and will store and maintain it. In addition, a commercial cleaning service provider may have access to chemicals and equipment that would be difficult for an average business to obtain. Think electrostatic sprayers or cold-fogging machines.

Improves Employee Satisfaction

In the midst of a labor shortage, the last thing you need is to begin losing staff. Ensuring employee satisfaction helps to reduce turnover rates and absenteeism. Studies show that employee satisfaction also impacts productivity and motivation.

Asking your staff to take on additional duties like cleaning the restrooms, or scrubbing the floors is not likely to improve their level of job satisfaction. In many cases, employees site increased workload as a reason for leaving their jobs, and right now, they are quitting in droves.

Hiring a commercial cleaning service means your staff will not be responsible for the cleaning of your facility. It also means that they will be working in a clean and safe environment – another major aspect of employee satisfaction.

WANT TO KNOW HOW COMMERCIAL CLEANING CAN HELP YOUR BUSINESS?

Call or contact Complete Care Maintenance to learn how we can help your business survive in these uncertain times.

30 Jul 2021
carpet cleaning

Carpet Cleaning – 5 Gross Reasons to Hire a Professional

Even if you vacuum your carpets on a regular basis there are still some pretty nasty things hiding in those carpet fibers. According to microbiologist Dr. Philip Tierno of NYU Langone Medical Center, carpet can contain a shocking 200,000 bacteria per square inch. That’s more than your toilet seat! While regular vacuuming can help, nothing works as well as professional carpet cleaning.

So, What’s Hiding In Your Carpets?

GERMS AND BACTERIA

As was noted above, your carpets can contain more bacteria than the average toilet seat. Most of these bacteria arrive via the footwear that you wear every day. The University of Arizona conducted a study that investigated germs collected on footwear. Participants of the study averaged a staggering 421,000 units of bacteria on the outside of the shoe, and 2,887 on the inside. While most of this bacteria stays on your footwear, a great deal of it ends up in your carpet.

Most of these bacteria are harmless but the study found some pretty nasty stuff in this bacterial soup. E. coli, known to cause intestinal and urinary tract infections, meningitis, and diarrhea; Serratia ficari, which can cause infections in both the respiratory tract and wounds; and Klebsiella pneumoniae, known to cause wound and bloodstream infections as well as pneumonia – just to name a few.

DEAD SKIN CELLS

The average human sheds 1.5 million skin cells each day. Multiply that by the number of people in your home or office and you can quickly see how it piles up. While the thought of dead skin cells piling up in your carpet is creepy enough, the real problem is the dust mites that feed on them. Dust mite waste is a leading cause of indoor allergies, a major problem for allergy sufferers, and a prime suspect in the onset of childhood asthma.

ANIMAL FECES

That’s right. We said animal feces. In the study conducted at the University of Arizona, 96% of participants were found to have fecal bacteria on their shoes. It turns out that even if we are careful to avoid stepping in poop, somehow we still do. What is worse is that the transfer rate of bacteria from shoes to your carpets is a staggering ninety to ninety-nine percent.

BUGS (LOTS OF THEM)

A study published in the journal PeerJ found that a large number of tiny animals — arthropods — are taking up residence in modern human dwellings. In 50 houses in and around Raleigh, N. C., the research team found about a hundred different species of arthropods in each home. Carpeted dwellings were found to harbor more bugs than non-carpeted buildings and in addition to the live critters, there were hundreds of dead ones as well.

MOLD

Mold requires four things in order to thrive: moisture, oxygen, a food source, and a surface to grow on. The carpeting in homes and offices can provide a suitable environment for mold to thrive if conditions are right. Basement carpets, carpets in areas of high humidity, and carpets that have been wet are at especially high risk for mold growth.

Mold produces allergens as well as irritants and potentially toxic substances known as mycotoxins. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and asthma attacks in those with asthma.

How Professional Carpet Cleaning Can Help

Routine deep cleanings of your carpets can go a long way toward reducing the number of nasties that thrive in your carpets. Professional carpet cleaning utilizes high-pressure injection and extraction equipment that removes most foreign material from your carpets. If you would like to learn more about how professional carpet cleaning services can refresh your home or office, call on the pros at Complete Care Maintenance.

 

01 Jun 2021
cross-contamination

Avoid Cross-Contamination When Cleaning

Oftentimes the spread of germs is facilitated by cross-contamination. Cross-contamination is defined as the transfer of bacteria or other microorganisms from one substance to another. Surprisingly, cross-contamination often occurs as a result of cleaning. While this may sound counter-intuitive, poor cleaning practices are a major source of cross-contamination. Professional cleaning companies recognize this fact and put in place procedures and protocols that are designed to mitigate the risk of cross-contamination.

How To Avoid Cross-Contamination When Cleaning

Use Smart Cleaning Processes – Putting cleaning processes in place helps ensure that cleaning duties are performed in a consistent manner. Smart cleaning processes take into consideration the risk of cross-contamination and focuses on taking steps to prevent it.

  1. Always start with a clean pair of gloves and fresh cleaning equipment.
  2. Clean one area at a time.
  3. Always clean from top to bottom, wiping down surfaces with an effective cleaning solution.
  4. Spray disinfectant on all high-touch surfaces like desks, phones, doorknobs and push plates, elevator buttons, counters, railings, and all bathroom surfaces, following manufacturer recommendations for saturation and dwell time.
  5. Finally, clean the floor starting from an inside corner and working your way toward the exit.
  6. Place cleaning cloths, mop heads, and other used cleaning tools in a plastic bag and dispose of your gloves when you finish.
  7. Repeat this process for every area that you clean, never using the same cleaning cloths, mop heads, etc.

Color Code Your Cleaning Supplies – Color coding cleaning supplies is an excellent way to reduce cross-contamination. For instance, always having ample supplies of cleaning cloths in pre-defined colors can help cleaning crews avoid using the same cloth in two distinctly different areas. A simple color-coding system might look like this:

  • Red – Red cloths and equipment marked in red are designated for high-risk areas like toilets and urinals.
  • Yellow – Yellow cloths and equipment are designated for medium-risk surfaces like restroom sinks and countertops.
  • Green –  Green is designated for lower-risk areas such as office areas and non-prep food surfaces.
  • Blue – Blue cleaning supplies are reserved for low-risk surfaces like glass and mirrors.

With a color-coded system like this, you can avoid you can mitigate cross-contamination and more easily monitor workers to ensure they are following protocols.

Choose The Right Tools –  Choosing microfiber over traditional cloths and mop heads is a big step forward in reducing cost-contamination. Traditional cleaning cloths and mop heads are made from absorbent cotton fiber. One study conducted by the University of California Davis Medical Center in collaboration with the EPA that traditional wet loop mops reduced bacteria by 30%, while microfiber mop heads showed a 99% reduction in bacteria.

Microfiber traps bacteria in the fibers of the mop while wet loop mops capture bacteria in the water molecules. Every time a wet loop mop gets dunked in a body of water the bacteria are released, only to be redistributed on the surface being cleaned. Microfiber employs positively charged particles to trap dust particles which is where the bacteria hide. It is a much more effective method for removing bacteria from surfaces.

Like microfiber Hepa filters do a better job of trapping dust particles that harbor germs and bacteria. Traditional vacuums typically employ a cotton or polyester fiber filter that fails to hold the dust as well as the fiberglass and charcoal found in a Hepa filter. Selecting a Hepa filter vacuum will help reduce the risk of cross-contamination.

Segregate Cleaning Staff – Assigning designated staff members to areas throughout your facility is a great way to mitigate cross-contamination. Allowing the same individual to clean the restroom and the kitchen can easily create cross-contamination concerns.

People, whether they realize it or not can collect and carry germs and bacteria on their clothing, shoes, hands, and hair. Limiting cleaning crew staff to designated areas helps to reduce the risk of transmission.

Employ A Commercial Cleaning Company – A well-organized and well-managed commercial cleaning company will already have these protocols and procedures in place. They will be fully versed in the use of proper chemicals and equipment, and they understand how to clean and disinfect virtually any surface.

 

 

 

30 Apr 2021
cleaning and disinfecting

Cleaning And Disinfecting: The New Normal

There is no denying it. The new normal demands that everyone steps up their cleaning and disinfecting protocols and procedures.

Let’s put all of our cards on the table and stop him-hawing around. There is no denying that the Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in a new normal for all of us and change is in the air. There is no longer time for a wait-and-see mentality. We have waited. We have seen. The elephant in the room can no longer be ignored.

We can not walk into a grocery store without noticing how Covid-19 has changed the world in which we live. Every interaction we have, every building we enter, every time we venture out in public, it is another environment we have been exposed to, another risk we have taken.  We have risked not just our own safety, but the safety of our family, friends, and neighbors. Everywhere we go, we are wary of the unseen danger.

People need to feel safe in these unprecedented times and as facility managers and business owners, we play a key role in adjusting to the new normal. We must help people to feel safe. It is both social responsibility and business imperative.

Cleaning And Disinfecting Makes People Feel Safe

The first step in making people feel safe in your facility is to create and implement a cleaning and disinfecting program that addresses peoples’ concerns. Your program should the latest safety, infection control, and cleaning protocols recommended in official guidance from the CDC, WHO, and OSHA. Your program should utilize EPA-recommended cleaning agents and disinfectants that are designated for use against Covid-19. You should also provide clear policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting your facility and include training for all employees on the proper handling, dwell times, and use of all cleaning chemicals and disinfectants.

That is a lot of work and it will take time and money to implement properly. There is the cost of chemicals and cleaning equipment, time spent researching and training staff on proper use, and safety protocols. And, of course, the time your staff will spend doing the actual cleaning and disinfecting – time they will not be spending doing the work you pay them to do.

If you do not have robust cleaning and disinfecting protocols already in place, starting from scratch may not be a viable option. You may find it more efficient and less costly to hire a reputable commercial cleaning company that has the equipment and know-how to hit the ground running.

Qualified commercial cleaning companies already have the trained staff, the proper procedures and protocols, and the right tools and chemicals, and the knowledge and experience to clean and disinfect your facility effectively. All this adds up to reduced costs for you, faster time to implementation, improved employee productivity, and favorable public perception for your business.

The new normal demands that business owners and facility managers make cleaning and disinfecting an integral part of the customer service offerings. Customers, business partners, and staff now consider health and safety a top priority and it is your job to make them feel safe. This shift in public perception is not likely to go away anytime soon and the sooner you put a rigorous cleaning and disinfecting program in place, the better.

30 Jan 2021
medical facility cleaning

5 Areas Hospital Cleaning Crews Often Overlook

Medical facility and hospital cleaning is serious business. Proper cleaning and disinfecting is crucial to overall health and safety and is a vital aspect of any infection control program. And while hospitals and medical facilities are very stringent with infection control protocols, recent studies show that there are still areas within these facilities that are routinely overlooked. Here are five areas within your medical facility that cleaning crews might be missing:

1) Privacy Curtains

Privacy curtains are designed to provide privacy for patients and are likely one of the most touched items in a hospital setting. Nurses, doctors, visitors, and patients are coming in contact with these cloth room dividers and every one of them is potentially leaving germs behind. In fact, a recent study in the American Journal of Infection Control tracked the contamination of ten freshly cleaned curtains and within two weeks, nearly 90 percent of the curtains had been colonized by potentially dangerous antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (MRSA).

While there are no CDC guidelines specific to privacy curtains, it is recommended that these be changed out at least weekly with freshly sanitized curtains.

2) Bed Rails

Like privacy curtains, bed rails are touched by a variety of people in a given day. Healthcare professionals, visitors, and patients are touching these rails on a regular basis and the bacteria they leave behind can survive for weeks. Studies have shown that MRSA can survive for nearly a year on these stainless steel structures. Without regular cleaning and disinfecting, bed rails have the potential to spread germs and bacteria throughout your medical facility.

Bed rails should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily, but more frequent cleaning is recommended.

3) Over-The-Bed Carts

That little rolling cart on which your delicious hospital meals are served is a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses, and germs. Bed carts are a high-touch item on which bacteria is being deposited and picked up multiple times per day. Considering that these carts are typically used to serve food cleaning and disinfecting them should be a priority. This is not a place where germs should be present.

These items should be wiped down with disinfectant after every use and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every day.

4) IV Poles

According to a 2012 study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, these mobile hangers for IV fluids harbor various strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. These ‘Superbugs’ are highly infectious and difficult to treat as they are resistant to common antibiotics.

Patients and staff alike should use hand sanitizers before and after touching the IV pole and the poles should be cleaned and disinfected daily.

5) Elevator Buttons

Elevator buttons are one of the most touched items in any building and in a healthcare setting, they can harbor a huge number of nasty germs. Countless individuals utilize the elevator every day and with every press of a button, there is the potential to leave behind (or pick up) germs and bacteria. According to a recent study in the journal of Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, more than one-third of 48 buttons swabbed were contaminated with MRSA.

The reality is that elevator buttons are often overlooked by cleaning crews and they have the potential to become virtual Petri dishes for a plethora of germs and bacteria.

Want Expert Advice On How To Keep Your Medical Facility Clean And Safe?

Complete Care Maintenance can help with all of your medical facility cleaning needs. We provide expert advice and on-site facility evaluations to ensure that your facility’s specific needs are met. Call or contact us today to get started!

 

 

10 Jan 2021
firing your cleaning company

5 Signs That You Need To Fire Your Cleaning Company

Are you feeling a little underserved by your cleaning service? Have they become complacent in their cleaning duties and no longer going the extra mile to make your facility shine? Has the cost of the service steadily increased without any recognizable benefit to you? If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, it might be time to consider a new provider. Here are five signs that you need to fire your cleaning service and look for a new provider:

1) Apathetic Cleaning Crews

 

Apathy is like a virus and it can spread like wildfire within a team. If your cleaning crew seems less than enthusiastic about the duties they perform, if they are wavering in their commitment to a job well done, it may be time to look for another provider.

Apathy leads to laziness and sub-standard performance. In a cleaning crew, it will manifest itself in unfinished tasks, forgotten trash bins, and less than clean restrooms. If you find that your facility is not getting cleaned as well as it used to, apathy may be the cause.

If the apathy that you witness among cleaning crew members is also reflected in communications with company managers and owners, that is a sure sign that it is time to fire your cleaning company.

2) High Employee Turnover

 

If new faces are showing up on the cleaning crew every other week, something is not right. This is indicative of a company with high employee turnover rates and high turnover rates are bad for their business and yours.

If your cleaning company is having a hard time finding, keeping, or managing employees they are costing you money. New hires require training and a company that is scrambling to meet client demand is likely putting staff in the field who are not fully trained. These individuals are learning on the job and you are paying for their education.

Untrained employees are less likely to perform as well as seasoned staff and that means some areas in your facility are not getting the attention they deserve. In addition, poorly trained cleaning crews are less familiar with cleaning and safety protocols which can lead to damaged surfaces or worse, injured staff.

If your cleaning company can not maintain seasoned staff, it may be time to let them go.

3) A Lack Of Communication

 

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to communicate with an unresponsive provider. If you are waiting days to hear back from your cleaning company, if there is no clearly defined protocol for issue resolution or complaints, or if issues are met with empty promises that never come to fruition, it’s time to fire your cleaning company.

Any reputable provider will have clear lines of communication and a hierarchy of command. This means that if a crew member is unresponsive you can approach their team leader. If the team leader can not resolve an issue, you can approach their immediate supervisor. All issues, requests, and complaints should be resolved in an efficient and satisfactory manner and someone should follow up with you to ensure the issue was addressed.

4) Lack Of Accountability

 

If your cleaning company’s management staff fails to conduct routine inspections and quality checks, they are doing you a disservice. Regular inspections and quality checks help enforce accountability for cleaning crews and allow management to address issues and inconsistencies before they become commonplace.

In addition, regular inspections, quality checks, and employee evaluations help management to identify training opportunities which in turn promote better training and more efficient processes. Smart companies provide oversight in an effort to continually improve their services through better training, better management, and employee accountability.

5) Reckless Security Practices

 

Let’s face it, you have to be able to trust your cleaning services provider. In many cases, these individuals have access to your facility outside of normal business hours. They must be trusted to honor your facility’s security protocols. Failure to lock up, set alarms, or respect the privacy of you and your employees is a serious breach of trust that can not be tolerated.

If your cleaning services provider fails to respect your company’s security policies and protocols, fire them.

Looking For A Professional Cleaning Service?

 

If you find yourself shaking your head in agreement with any of the points above, it may be time to fire your current provider. Of course, before you do, you will want to vet prospective companies to replace them. Complete Care Maintenance offers a variety of commercial cleaning services to meet any business need. Call or contact us today to get a free quote.