4 Myths and Misunderstandings about Mops

Believe it or not, mops can be just as responsible for spreading bacteria as they are for removing it.

That is, only if you continue to act in ways that fit with these mopping myths:

1. Myth #1: Mops Don’t Spread Soil

Mops can spread soil. Several studies have found this true over the past several decades.

To prevent this from happening, you must make sure your mop head remains wet (not just damp). You also need to inspect it for the amount of soil it currently holds.

If your mop head remains too loaded with soil, simply change out to a new one.

2. Myth #2: Soaking Your Mop Overnight Kills Most of the Germs and Bacteria Holds

This one depends on how you do the decontamination. To do it properly, you should first shake out or vacuum the dust off your mop head. Then wash it in the washer, and be sure to use a netted bag if your mop requires one.

You don’t need to use bleach when washing your mop head. Simply use a gentle detergent and hot water. Then hang the mop up to dry overnight.

3. Using More Disinfectant in Your Cleaning Solution Improves Your Mop’s Germ-Killing Power

Using more disinfectant than recommended actually reduces the disinfecting potency of your mop.

This happens as a result of “quat binding.” That term’s short for “quaternary ammonium chloride,” the active ingredient in many cleaning disinfectants. “Quat” has positively charged ions that naturally attract to the negatively charged ions in the fabric of your mop.

So, whenever you mix a cleaning solution, mix to the ratios recommended by the manufacturer.

4. Mopping Floors Improves Your Shoulder Muscles

The truth is you only experience more pain and discomfort as a result of the repetitive motion. This happens throughout your shoulders and back.

If you want to spare yourself from that pain, use autoscrubbers or go to the gym and exercise those muscle areas regularly.

Advocate for your employer to provide a monthly reimbursement for a gym membership if you need to!

Did any of these mopping myths surprise you?

Now you know the truth behind them so you truly do the best work every time you mop your customers’ floors.

Top 3 Trends Expected to Affect the Cleaning Industry in 2018

What’s moving the cleaning industry forward in 2018?

Don’t waste any time and find out:

1. Technology Will Be Used to Streamline and Optimize Processes

To stay competitive in 2018, you’ll have to adapt to the abundance of apps and software available.

Every cleaning company or team will look slightly different.

However, you may use apps to make online payment possible. Or, you may add your customers to an app that allows them to communicate with your team and get job updates. You might also use software to keep your own cleaning team apprised of the job’s status. Customers would also like estimates available online.

Look for ways you can offer more convenient service for your customers and streamline your own operations.

2. Increased Expectations for Employees

Historically, you may have thought of the cleaning industry as one with high turnover. You may believe not many people join the profession with the idea of creating a career.

You can certainly treat your cleaning team in whatever way you see most fitting. However, because of the increasing complexity of the profession and how much you need to learn to succeed, you can easily turn the job into a career.

Employees are beginning to expect that now. But, you’ll have to offer increased wages and benefits to reflect that.

3. The Pressure to Keep Service Levels High And Costs Low Remains

This trend certainly won’t go away this year. And it might be the reason why so many cleaning teams continue to integrate technology where possible to improve operational efficiency.

It continues to happen even though cleaning is shifting from a nice-to-have to a need-to-have.

If you think about it, it fits nicely with the previous trend of turning cleaning into a career.

You’ll only be able to create high levels of service and keep prices low with skilled and experienced staff.

Is your company or cleaning team positioned to include these trends in your operations?

If so, you can expect to have a successful year!

How Do You Remain a Top-Notch Cleaning Pro?

There’s no doubt that being a cleaning professional in modern society takes far more knowledge, skill, and desire than before. Back in the day, if you could make a room look clean, you did your job. Now you have intense downward pressure from management to get the same amount cleaned in less time. And you have upward pressure from customers, who want nothing less than a perfectly sanitized space.

Although many get started in cleaning just to make ends meet for now, they end up sticking with the profession for years because they realize the intense professionalism it takes to succeed.

So, with that in mind, how do you keep your skills sharp so you don’t fall behind the curve?

Here’s what:

1. Find What Truly Motivates You about Cleaning

It’s difficult to keep your motivation in cleaning, or in any profession, if it just amounts to a paycheck and something to do. True motivation comes from focusing on deeper, underlying desires.

For example, you may enjoy seeing how elated customers get when they see the job you’ve done. You enjoy being of service to others and helping them get what they want.

Or, you may love the sophisticated science and challenge of sanitizing large facilities. Or, you might like showing your management the business results you deliver, like reduced employee sicknesses and absences due to your team’s work.

You’ll have to discover what truly drives you. And it may change over time as you get deeper into the profession.

2. Improve At Least One Little Step Each Day

Nothing gets more boring in life than doing the same old thing each day, getting basically the same ol’ results.

Regardless of your position on the cleaning team, focus on what you can do better daily.

How can you do your job faster, without sacrificing work quality? What new product could you try that sanitizes, and reduces the chances of sickness? What simple extra can you toss in to make your customer happier?

Many cleaning pros get stuck in the same old routine. If you focus on small innovations daily, you’ll easily find yourself near the top of the pack.

That makes your job, or business, more secure.

Staying at your best isn’t easy. It takes hard work and constantly pushing yourself outside your comfort zone. But, you’ll love your work and getting up ready to start each new day if you maintain that focus.

Understanding Active And Passive Odor Control

Restroom odors can be a huge business killer if customers come into your store. If you run an office with employees only, then you get complaints and reduced work performance.

With the traffic your restroom gets, it can be difficult to control the unpleasant odors that come out as a result.

So, let’s talk about some of the common issues with passive and active odor control. But first, let’s define each:

  1. Active odor control involves using battery-operated dispensers with fans or propellants that push the odor-eater into the air
  2. Passive systems simply rely on natural air movement to do the hard work

1. Active Aerosol-Based Dispensers

Because these dispensers rely on a propellant to deliver their scent, they should be placed in a central area, about 10 feet from the floor. They need to be placed high on the wall because their scent will hang in the air for about 12 minutes or so, and the higher placement allows the scented particles the most time to do their work. Otherwise, they fall to the floor, and part of their life goes to waste.

You also don’t want them to spray someone in the face. And they should be situated so they don’t spray all over the floor, discoloring it or causing it to be a slipping hazard.

2. Passive Dispensers

The molecules diffused into the air from a passive dispenser are actually lighter than air and hang around in the air much longer. But, the trade-off is they don’t provide as large of an area of coverage or as potent of a scent as aerosol.

Because they rely on air movement to disburse their scent, passive dispensers should be situated near opening and closing doors. That draft will distribute their scent. Typically, this suits them best for smaller restrooms.

You May Need to Combine Active and Passive Odor Control

Some restrooms may be too large for even an active dispenser to accommodate. That’s where passive dispensers can silently come to the rescue.

You simply have to plan out odor control based jointly on science and your own preference.

4 Top Factors to Consider When Bidding a New Account

There’s absolutely no one single rule of thumb to follow when submitting a quote to your prospective customer. Needs vary way too widely. The environments you’ll have responsibility for cleaning and sanitizing have their own intricacies.

So, no matter how hard you try, you won’t find a single rule that fits for bidding every new contract. But, that also doesn’t mean you have to guesstimate.

Instead, consider these top factors so you submit an accurate quote that also makes sense to your customer:

  • Meet with Your Potential Client On-Site

The real value when meeting with your potential customer isn’t that you’ll understand their needs. While important, this really gives you the opportunity to show them you care. Customers want that the most because they’ve all been through situations with companies who don’t care.

It’s also your opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and competence. That builds customers’ trust. And you also get to learn the ins and outs of their building so you know exactly what you’re getting into. You’ll also get a basic understanding of who your customer is, and how to have a successful relationship with them.

Many of your competitors won’t take the time to do this. It gives you a huge advantage.

  • Use the Workloading Method of Calculation

You’ll often see the advice to charge so many cents per square foot, based on what you learn about your customer. But that approach is overly simplistic and doesn’t accurately account for the various types of surfaces you have to clean, the precise tasks you use to clean each area, or the production rate per employee.

Yes, technically you do include all that in a per-square-foot bid. However, you’re estimating.

With workloading, you know each of those factors exactly. While you may not be perfectly accurate in your quote, you’ll be much more accurate than simply offering a per-square foot cost.

  • The Difficulty of the Customer

Let’s be real: some customers are easy to please, while you can’t seem to do anything right for others. You’ll notice the things easier and more difficult customers will say when you visit their property for the quote.

Adjust your price upward for more challenging customers, and keep it down slightly for easier ones. Higher prices attract better customers, and chase away ones destined to cause you trouble.

  • How Much You Need the Business

You have to include this too. While you’d love to price high and justify to your customers, sometimes your business needs the additional work.

In sum, view all these factors as working on a dial. For each factor that looks good, turn your mental pricing dial down, or don’t change it. For each factor that sends a red flag, turn your pricing dial up. When all is said and done, you’ll end up with a workable rate that makes sense for you and your customers.

HAI Risk Falls 22% in US Hospitals

The risk for acute-care hospital patients to get an HAI has decreased 22% from 2011 to 2015.

However, this comes as a bit of a mixed blessing, as most of the reduction in HAIs was due to reductions in surgical site infections.

Risks of other conditions such as pneumonia remain almost unchanged.

In other words, healthcare institutions still have work to do in making their facilities cleaner and more sanitary. Currently, the CDC says 1.7 million Americans get an HAI each year, with 99,000 resulting in patient deaths. It also leads to $20 billion in additional healthcare costs.

How can your professional healthcare organization prevent HAIs?

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make It an Organization-Wide Strategic Initiative

Other patients, medical professionals, and your building itself can all transmit HAIs to your patients.

Typically, there’s not a single cause of HAIs at any one healthcare organization. Hand hygiene frequently plays a role, so it should be near the top of your list of things to address.

But, other factors like how you contact patients, the frequency of doing so, and your decontamination processes play a role too.

You have to analyze all these factors and processes, and design and implement ones that mitigate the risks yours have traditionally caused.

  • Measure And Understand Your Current Baseline

This one won’t be easy. But, you must have a method for knowing your current patient HAI rate to the best of your ability.

You can only improve if you know what’s happening right now.

Then, determine when you’ll follow up in the future with measuring. This most likely would be on an annual basis, or perhaps less frequently.

  • Simple Things You Can Check and Implement

That National Institutes of Mental Health offers a handbook that offers basics on preventing HAIs.

This includes the proper use of personal protective equipment. This also includes proper removal when leaving areas where patients are cared for. They note that during the 2003 outbreak of SARS in Canada, 44% affected employees. Just 9 had formal infection control training. 13 didn’t know how to wear or remove their PPE. 6 reused medical equipment. 8 had awareness of a breach of infection control precautions.

Finally, despite all the education health care workers have, they frequently don’t adhere to infection control precautions.

Knowledge Really Is Power…and So Is Training

For the most part, it boils down to really simple stuff with HAIs. Yes, it’s hard to implement and enforce procedures across many employees.

But it saves lives, makes patients happier, saves you money, and improves your reputation.

So take these tips to heart, and talk with your health care workers and cleaning team to create a plan that nearly eliminates the risk of HAIs for your patients.

How Cleaning Boosts Productivity

It’s easy to think sanitizing and cleaning your facility is done only to make it look and smell good. You might do this to improve your employees’ safety a little too.

But if that’s where you stop valuing cleaning of your facility, you’re missing out on one of the most important benefits of keeping it clean: increased employee productivity. There’s no doubt a relationship exists, but it often gets overlooked.

Psychologist Fredrick Herzberg studied workplace motivators throughout the 1950s and 1960s to understand what leads to employee satisfaction. To figure it out, he simply asked employees what made them feel good and bad about their jobs.

Their responses led to the creation of his Motivation-Hygiene Theory. This is also called the “Two Factor Theory.” Herzberg also published a famous article – that still gets incredible respect today: “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?”

How Your Workplace’s Physical Condition Affects Productivity

Herzberg developed a list of factors that affect satisfaction:

  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • The work itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement
  • Growth

And he found factors that affect dissatisfaction:

  • Supervision
  • Employee relationships with coworkers and their supervisor
  • Work conditions
  • Salary
  • Status
  • Security

As you can see, the physical work environment would likely fall under the “work conditions” criterion.

You Have A Mission-Critical Service to Perform for Your Company

Don’t feel motivated to keep your building clean and do your best work? Whether your company recognizes it or not, you perform a service vital to your company’s success when you clean your building to pristine condition.

You make employees feel cared for. They appreciate the place they come to and spend 40, 50, or 60 hours per week, or even more.

What if you don’t get the respect you feel you deserve? It’s time to start educating your coworkers and leadership about the difference you make to your company.

When your building is clean, customers become happier too. They buy more. They feel like you care about them. They’re more likely to tell their friends and family about your business, and they’ll likely come back to you again in the future.

Do you sanitize your building also? That is, do you do more than just make your building smell fresh and look clean? Do you do everything possible to remove more germs, bacteria, and viruses, and keep your coworkers from getting sick?

Does your leadership have awareness of what you do?

You do provide a mission-critical service, and it’s one that no one else in your company can do also. If they don’t think so, it’s time to start explaining to your coworkers and leadership the difference you make, how it affects them, and how you improve your company’s bottom line.

You do make a huge difference, and it’s one that nobody in your company can afford to overlook.

How to Have Successful Relationships with Your Customers

Every profession, including cleaning, requires strong customer service skills. When you don’t manage customer relationships well, your reputation takes a blow.

How do you work with many customer questions and concerns? Here are some things to say and not say, and better ways to communicate with customers that keep the relationship healthy and thriving:

  • “We Don’t Provide That Service”

Should you say this, or shouldn’t you? After all, it’s honest. You don’t want to lead the customer you provide services into feeling good about you just for this moment. They’ll feel hurt after they find out you really don’t provide the service discussed.

If you don’t offer the service, simply redirect the conversation to a service you do offer that achieves the result they want. If you don’t have that, notify your boss. You may have a new line of revenue you can access by offering a new service.

  • “Let me look into that for you.”

Customers hear this all the time, and they assume it means you’re not going to look into it at all and ignore what they asked.

If your customer stumps you with a question you can’t answer, tell them you will look into it. But, also give them a deadline when you’ll have the answer. Give yourself plenty of time so you beat your deadline and exceed their expectations.

They’ll be delighted with you.

  • “I’m sorry.”

Customers measure the truth about how sorry you are by whether you follow up your apology with action to make it right. Apologizing verbally is a good start.

But, you have to explain how you’ll fix your mistake. Be 100% honest, and follow through exactly with what you plan.

Customers can live with mistakes. However, they’ll love you when you tell them how you’ll fix it – and follow through on your proposed action.

  • “Sorry, I’ve got another call coming in.”

In most situations, this sounds like an excuse you make to a customer so you can get rid of them.

If you have a legitimately important phone call come in, tell your customer you have an emergency phone call. Follow that up with when you will get back to them, and then follow through with action.

This keeps your relationship intact in the moment so your customer doesn’t feel unimportant. Assuming you follow through as promised later on, it also keeps the customer happy with you on an ongoing basis.

Did you see the pattern throughout? Basically, mean what you say. Never tell customers what you think they want to hear. Always follow through.

Follow that recipe with internal and external customer service, and you’ll find yourself as the employee customers love to tell others about.

Why We Created the Ferveo Line of Hand-Care Products

Do you use the hand washing agents available at your business exactly as directed?

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. And even when you do use the product as the manufacturer instructs, sometimes you still don’t have all the bacteria and germs on your hands killed like you should.

Handwashing doesn’t seem like a huge deal. Yeah, so it prevents some people from getting colds and flus each year. But that’s not worth shifting to a new product for cleaning your hands and instructing your employees on properly handwashing technique, is it?

Believe it or not, it is. According to an article by the New York Times, about 100,000 patients die each year because of poor hand hygiene in the medical industry. This also leads to an additional $30 billion in medical care costs.

Those numbers may be a bit extreme and not as applicable to other industries. But it does demonstrate that hand hygiene is a sound business/organizational decision that’s worth paying attention to.

And That’s Where the Ferveo Line Comes In

Ferveo isn’t just for the medical industry. It’s for every industry. Poor hand hygiene may not lead to thousands of deaths in your industry. But, it leads to additional (and unnecessary) illnesses. These illnesses in turn:

  • Reduce productivity when workers are present
  • Increase workplace absences
  • Deplete worker morale
  • Cause other hassles, like missed project deadlines

Have you ever taken time to calculate your number of illness-related work absences? Once you have a baseline, use Ferveo, and set a clear policy around hand hygiene. Then analyze how many illness-related work absences you have.

Why Use Ferveo and Not Some Other Hand Hygiene Products?

It’s the only product that kills 99.99% of bacteria in 5 seconds or less (which is about half the time of most other hand hygiene products) without a pungent smell or taste. In fact, Ferveo users report it goes on just like a lotion.

So if you’re in the food or medical industries, for example, you and your patients (or customers) won’t have to deal with the scent or taste. It also comes with a thick and rich lather so your hands aren’t left dry or chapped.

Only you can decide whether Ferveo makes sense for your organization. For now, you have the awareness and understand the value.

Industries, Organizations, and Venues that Can Benefit Most from Ferveo

Does your organization really need better hand hygiene? How important to your functioning is it really?

You don’t have a mass epidemic going on every year. So, everything must be okay with your organization, right?

Well, not so fast. Remember, the New York Times reported 100,000 patient deaths are caused each year in the medical industry by poor hand hygiene. That results in $30 billion in unnecessary expenses too.

This in an industry where hand hygiene is of the utmost importance. You’d think this industry would have extremely high awareness of the issue, and clear policies to make sure hand hygiene gets followed to the fullest extent possible.

Will poor hand hygiene, and the resulting spread of illness, lead to the same consequences at your organization?

Probably not. But it could cost you a lot of money and productivity, which you could otherwise use to beat your competition.

Take a look at some industries, organizations, and venues that can benefit most from good hand hygiene practices and products like Ferveo:

  • Healthcare
    Clearly, any organization in the medical industry can benefit from better hand hygiene practices and products. Ferveo, for example, kills 99.99% of bacteria in less than 5 seconds – without a strong scent or taste.
    Sanitizers do the same in 15 seconds. Antimicrobial soaps do it in 30. And general purpose soap takes 60 seconds.
    Often, they have bothersome pungent odors and tastes.
    In an industry where you’re constantly on the go and saving lives, a product that works in 5 seconds or less simply makes sense.
  • Food
    Your employees constantly touch food. They wash their hands many times per day. Do they really wait 15, 30, or even 60 seconds between the time they wash their hands and touch more food to make sure it does its job killing bacteria?
    Or, do they get right back to work as soon as they’re done washing?
    With Ferveo, they only have 5 seconds of downtime. That’s a boost for productivity. And it leads to far fewer illnesses that could be caused by your food.
  • Schools and Universities
    Schools with young children always have high rates of illness. It’s just the nature of the work.
    While you won’t be able to stop every last illness from happening, you can dramatically reduce them with better handwashing policy and a fast-acting product.
    Lesser illness means better education for your students. It leads to fewer teacher absences. Parents are less stressed.

Everyone becomes a winner.

Yes, Ferveo Drives True Business Value

Regardless of the type of organization you run, improved hand hygiene helps your bottom line. You just have to take the time to make the calculation and figure out the real impact. But as you can see, hand hygiene products like Ferveo can absolutely make a noticeable difference for your employees and your bottom line.