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Strategic Janitorial Blog

Cobwebs and Spiders

Cobwebs and spiders? Monster dust bunnies? Mad science experiments growing in your breakroom fridge? If your office or business is getting a little scary this Halloween, it may be time to call in the professionals to deep clean and excise your dirt demons! In this blog we breakdown six forgotten spaces that harbor gross germs and grime.

  1. Light switches – Light switches are high contact areas, so that means germs. Lots of germs. Germs that you touch every time you turn the light on or off.
  2.  Keyboards – Keyboards are the collectors of crumbs, dirt, and dust. Inevitably, spills happen and try as you might, they’re hard to clean. Sodas and coffee become sticky, trapping germs and bacteria.
  3. Computer Mouse – Your mouse is a germ magnet. Think about everything you touch on the way to your desk and how many times a day you touch your mouse.
  4. Phones – Yep, your desk phone also collects germs and grime. It collects oil, makeup, and dead skin, and then gets hung up to incubate those germs till its next use. Oh, and mobile phones aren’t off the hook, either. About one third of all cell phones are thought to be contaminated with fecal matter.
  5. Vending Machine Buttons – Food for thought. You're not just selecting the snack from the B3 slot, you’re also touching the button after everyone else who likes B3 touched it, too.
  6. Water fountains – Where are water fountains usually located? Right outside restrooms. Thirty three percent of people are estimated to not wash their hands after using the restroom.

Scary, right? You don’t have to be scared this Halloween season – just call a professional janitorial service to tackle these office terrors and other germs in your workplace!


Banning the Anti-Bac

The FDA ruled that beginning September 2017, soaps and sanitizers will no longer be able to contain the cleansing agent, Triclosan. Triclosan was removed because it has a negative impact on health and the environment, and contributes to antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance has been a concern for decades, but concern increased when an antibiotic-resistant superbug popped up in Pennsylvania early this year.

Many businesses often provide hand sanitizers in high traffic areas for both employees and customers. Hand sanitizers have become popular because they are a quick way to clean up when users do not have access to soap and water, or do not have the time to step away and wash their hands in between customers. Research has found that although these products are intended to kill bad bacteria, they often attract bacteria because their ingredients leave a sticky film on hands that traps germs on the skin. It is recommended that individuals using hand sanitizers wash their hands with soap and water after every four or five times of sanitizer use. Sanitizers kill bad bacteria but also wipe out good bacteria on the skin that are part of the body’s natural defense against germs.

Instead of using hand sanitizers and antibacterial soaps, the CDC recommends using plain soap and water, scrubbing hands for twenty seconds (time yourself by singing two rounds of Happy Birthday to You), and using a clean towel to dry hands. Washing hands significantly reduces the spread of germs in the workplace by bacteria that cause illnesses like colds, flu, and norovirus.

Other ways to reduce the spread of germs through your business and protect your health is to hire a professional janitorial cleaning service to clean your business. Professional cleaning companies will disinfect and sanitize high traffic areas and target places where germs live and thrive.


Fall is Coming

Fall means many things - the change of seasons, pumpkin spice everything, and - achoo!

And allergies. Fall brings more than leaves changing color - it brings pollen and other particles that make allergies flair up. Sneezing, sniffling, and coughing happen as a result of seasonal allergies. Sneezing, coughing, and people blowing their noses mean germs and bacteria flying all over your office.

While allergies aren’t contagious, no one wants to be exposed to other people’s germs. To minimize the spread of germs during allergy season, remind employees to cover their mouths when they cough and sneeze, wash hands frequently, and dispose of used tissues properly. You should also take steps to control germs by sanitizing high contact areas like door handles, countertops, and light switches.

While it is hard to control the pollen count, business owners can take steps to minimize allergy aggravation in the office. Changing HVAC filters and making sure ducts and vents are clean and free of dust helps allergy sufferers considerably. Employees can also make a difference by removing paper clutter. A thorough and routine cleaning and dusting schedule managed by professional cleaning crew makes an even bigger impact in battling office allergens.

There are several areas in the office that collect allergens may be overlooked when employees are tidying up. Electronic equipment like computer and cords attract dust and dirt particles. Baseboards and window blinds are also places that can collect dust and trigger allergies.

Carpets and upholstered furniture also harbor allergens. Pollen tracked in from the outside and ends up clinging to carpet fibers - not only does this pollen make carpets appear dirty and dingy - it also making noses run and eyes water. Professional janitorial services companies can remove this pollen and dirt to help minimize allergies and stop the spread of germs.


Four Things to Do For Fall

In Texas, we enjoy summer a little longer than the rest of the country, but it’s not too early to start thinking about fall. Although, if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been thinking about fall since the first day temperatures hit one hundred degrees! You can prepare your business for the shift in seasons by calling in a professional janitorial service to tackle these four fall tasks you should have on your to-do list.

  1. Windows – Take advantage of the warm weather and clean those windows! If your windows or doors are dirty, they leave your customers with a negative impression. It is also important to clean your windows to let light in – especially during the fall and winter when exposure to sunlight is limited because there are less hours of daylight (and you’re in the office for most of them!).
  2. Floor Care – Your cleaning professionals can prepare and protect your hard surface flooring by ensuring that they’re cleaned, polished, and waxed. Waxing protects your floors from wet and muddy weather. Use entry mats to protect your floors and carpeting. We also suggest placing an umbrella stand in your entry or lobby so clients may easily stow umbrellas (and prevent water from dripping on to your floors)
  3. Duct cleaning – Consider having your janitorial service company clean your ducts this fall (and again in the spring!) to clear out any dust or pollen that could affect allergies or aggravate respiratory conditions.
  4. Gutters – Fall is a great time to have gutters cleaned to make sure they’re free from debris or leaves that could cause a clog when it rains. Ask your janitorial service company if they service gutters, or if they could recommend a gutter cleaning company to you.

Back to School Means Time to Clean

It’s that time of year! Kids are heading back to school, and that means homework, bustling hallways, and germs! We’ve all heard of back to school illnesses, like norovirus, strep throat, or the flu, running rampant through a school, and the resulting high numbers of students (and teachers) absent from class.

Back to school is also the perfect time to hire a professional janitorial services company to manage cleaning at your school, preschool, or daycare. Many schools districts and education centers are hiring professional janitorial services companies to clean their facilities because cleaning companies recognize cleaning schools is a serious responsibility, they clean efficiently and effectively, and they can cut overhead. Professional cleaning also protects kids’ health, minimizes sick days for both students and staff, and ensures that your school is presenting its very best to parents and visitors.

Janitorial service companies clean and disinfect classrooms and restrooms, and pay special attention to areas that may collect germs and bacteria, such as light switches, door knobs, and desks. Special rooms like computer labs, cafeterias and gymnasiums (and gym mats!) are areas of high use and need cleaning and disinfection thoroughly and regularly. Regular cleaning ensures helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that cause illness such as the common cold, flu, or stomach illness. Professional cleaning companies also will make sure your floors are maintained throughout the year and can handle seasonal cleaning projects like window cleaning.

You can also protect students’ health by encouraging them to wash their hands. According to the Centers for Disease control, regular hand washing is one of the best ways to reduce germs and prevent illnesses. Also, teach students to cover their mouths and noses when they sneeze or cough, avoid touching their eyes or mouth, and dispose of used tissue properly.


Get the Right Dallas janitorial service for Your business

Your Dallas janitorial company should match with your needs

In our How to Select A Quality Cleaning Service series, we covered the first two steps to select a quality service provide. The first part of the process, the interview, entails asking potential candidates questions regarding their service and business practices, employees, and billing, as well as asking for their qualifications and references. The second part of the process, the overview, suggests asking potential candidates for an overview of their cleaning strategy, deep cleaning schedule, and ensuring they provide their own professional cleaning equipment.

These steps help you narrow the field of candidates and eliminate companies that may not be able to provide you with the level of service you need, and leave you a qualified pool of candidates to choose from. In order to choose the best suited vendor for you, you should review the information you collected during our first two suggested steps.

The company you select should be compatible with your needs, provide a detailed and strategic plan for cleaning your space, has scalable services to meet future growth, employs well -trained individuals, and uses professional equipment. Ideal candidates also provide deep cleaning services, and can handle seasonal needs or special projects. Companies should be insured and able to provide proof of liability and workers comp coverage as well.

The ideal janitorial service company will also be able to visit your site and provide you with a free, written estimates. A company willing to provide a free estimate indicates a company that is working for more than profit and is looking to establish a partnership with you. Also, ask any potential provider for a copy of their standard contract to review. It is critical to read through the contract to understand its terms, limits, and any recourse you may have should you be unsatisfied with your service.


What Dallas janitorial services do for you

Let the Dallas janitorial company tell you what they do

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Selecting a reputable janitorial service, a great way to approach your search for a Dallas janitorial service or cleaning company is to interview candidates as if you would interview a potential new employee. This includes asking questions, asking for qualifications, and asking for (and checking) references. While this is a great way to start your search, there are additional ways to qualify candidates.

One additional way to do this is to ask potential vendors to give you an overview of their services. This overview should be a strategic detail of their cleaning process. Quality candidates should provide you an explanation of how and when they clean as many providers choose to clean along a planned path for efficiency and to ensure proper coverage. The cleaning services provided should also be scalable for future growth.

Potential vendors should also be able to provide you a schedule for deep cleaning. This deep cleaning encompasses tasks such as polishing and waxing floors and steam cleaning carpeting. Good companies understand that regular and routine maintenance of floors and carpeting both keeps flooring looking good and extends its life.

A professional cleaning company should also be using commercial cleaning equipment. They should provide their own cleaning solutions, linens, and equipment and ensure it is also well maintained. Good companies recognize that using quality cleaning tools is a critical part of providing great service.

Many janitorial services or cleaning companies can provide strategies for your business to save money, such as implementing inventory and stocking systems for paper products and cleaning chemicals.

Companies that you interview that can provide strategic, scalable services coupled with commercial cleaning equipment can provide quality and cost-effective cleaning. This level of cleaning will keep your office or business looking great!


Selecting a reputable janitorial service in Dallas

Hire a Dallas janitorial company the way you would hire an employee

Need a janitorial service for your Dallas office or business? A long list of companies can be had with a quick Google search, but how do you know who is reputable and will do the quality job you need?

Frequently, when businesses search for a janitorial service, they don’t take the time to research and qualify candidates. This is because they are looking for a specific price point, or need someone that can start quickly. Unfortunately, hiring a company just based on these factors can often mean inferior service and frustration.

You can avoid upset if you approach your search for a janitorial service like you would a search for a new employee. Interview cleaning service candidates like you would a potential new hire; ask questions, ask for qualifications, and ask for references.

Questions. Questions to ask potential vendors should cover topics like customer service (response time, communication, and how complaints are handled), employees (how employees are hired and vetted, training, and certifications), and billing (frequency, terms, and types of payments accepted). Another area to cover with a potential vendor is insurance coverage – be sure to ask if the vendor you are interviewing carries liability and workers comp insurance.

Also, you should expect questions. Any vendor you interview should have questions for you regarding your expectations and cleaning needs.

Qualifications. Be sure to ask for any qualifications from potential providers. Such qualifications include how long they have been in business, number of clients, and any special abilities like handling hazardous waste or specific sanitation requirements.

References. Ask for a list of references. Call these references and inquire about their satisfaction and level of service. Another way to follow up is to visit their references to visually inspect them to see if the level of service is on par with your needs.


Strip and Wax Complete in Administration Building

Strategic Janitorial Solutions in Dallas completes floor work at Harmony Schools District Administration office. If all schools had clean floors that shine like these, attendance ratios would consistently be at a higher level. Thanks Harmony Schools .

  1. Floors serviced in this manner and maintained properly with a consistent floor program will not need a full strip and finish for 3 years.
  2. The Floors need to be Buffed Weekly and a Scrub and Re-Coat applied once a year. The wax will harden with the buffing and actually look better as the future scrub and re-coats are applied. But the floors need to be maintained with the Proper Cleaners (Neutral Cleaners), Clean Microfiber Flat Mops (not dirty string mops). This strategy must be executed without exception in order to maintain the integrity of the VCT.
  3. If using a Auto Scrubber Machine, the Scrubber Pads must be Changed out and Always clean. This is to include the equipment being kept clean, or this process will just contaminant the floors surface and ware out the wax sealer.
  4. From our experience if the floors look this good, the cleaning performance will follow the standard.
   
   

1 of 5 Great Cleaning Tips that will keep your office looking clean while reducing costs

Tip Number One: The Microfiber Wonder

One way to save you time and money is by using split microfiber towels or cloths to clean or wipe down surface areas. These microfiber towels are used by many professional cleaning companies and although they may cost more than a box of rags, they are more economical because they last longer and are much easier for you to use.

When utilized properly, the microfiber towels pick up miniscule dirt, oil and other contaminates much like a magnet picks up metal. Just by adding water, these towels are extremely efficient dusters and dirt removers.

To do this, first submerge the towel in water and then wring it out by folding it into smaller squares. If the towel leaves streaks, it is too wet and you must wring it out some more. If it leaves dirt behind, it is too dirty, so dump it in water until the dirt is gone and repeat the process. Unlike rags that push the dirt and grime, the microfiber towel will actually pick up the dirt and oil and hold it until you wash it off.

These microfiber towels are designed to clean on a microscopic scale. According to recent tests, using microfiber towels reduces bacteria by 99%, whereas a conventional cleaning rag reduces this number by 33% equaling less work for you.


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