The Importance of Carpet Fiber Identification

In the cleaning industry, a multitude of chemicals are used on a daily basis for various surfaces. Knowing what chemicals to use on which surfaces can often affect the outcome of any given cleaning job or project, not just visually, but from a health and safety perspective as well. The difference between washing, disinfecting, and sanitizing, for example, must be properly differentiated in many environments such as a healthcare facility, and knowing which chemical products perform which of these tasks is crucial. The very same goes for carpet cleaning. Carpets in a commercial building versus a residence can vary greatly, as they are often made from different fibers.

When deep cleaning carpets using the hot water extraction method, there are many variables that come into play in order to perform the job correctly, most important of which is fiber identification. Every other variable for cleaning a carpet stems from identifying what the carpet is made of. The most effective way to identify the fiber type of a carpet is burn testing. By removing a single carpet fiber and holding it close to a flame, you can determine fiber type based on the way the fiber burns, and how the fiber smells when burning. For example, if a carpet is synthetic (made from nylon or olefin for example), it will form a hard, plastic bead once the flame is extinguished and smell like plastic. A protein or animal produced fiber (wool), will not stay lit once the flame is removed and often produces a burnt hair – like smell.

Depending on the fiber type, there is an expanse of chemicals that can span across everything from a typical olefin or nylon commercial carpet, to an animal product fiber or fine oriental rug. Not only does the industry have fiber specific chemicals, but also goal specific chemicals depending on fiber. For example, some pre-sprays and shampoos can be used on high traffic areas to reduce discoloration and yellowing, or heavier degreasers to remove soils tracked into a building from a production floor or the outdoors. So, next time you are considering a deep carpet cleaning, call our expert team at C.M. Cleaning. You can trust that our technicians will be knowledgeable and informed, using the right products to yield a result that is often visually impactful, and always guaranteed to be truly clean.

Importance of Disinfecting “High-Touch” Areas During Cold & Flu Season

It’s that time of year again; Cold and Flu season. It seems like no matter where you turn, there is someone sneezing, coughing, and sniffling. It may seem inevitable that illness will seek you out in densely populated indoor areas like work or school, but hold on hope! If your janitorial program is prepared, they can help to reduce the risk of spreading illness throughout your facility. Image result for cleaning door handles

Every building has those “high-touch” areas that a janitorial professional should take extra care to clean and disinfect daily, year-round. These areas can include but are not limited to: water fountains, door handles, faucet knobs, and even shared office equipment, furniture, and supplies. According to Bill Balek of ISSA, high-touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected at least two times per day during peak Cold and Flu season. As the weather gets colder, our highly trained staff at C.M. Cleaning know to target these areas specifically. In doing so, we can help to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that contribute to Cold and Flu. Additionally, C.M. Cleaning utilizes a program to minimize cross contamination. For example, by utilizing color coded micro fiber cloths for different surfaces throughout your facility, and different wet mops for different areas of flooring, we ensure that the same germs found on a bathroom floor are not being spread to your building’s cafeteria by the same wet mop. By tailoring a program like this to your facility, we can ensure that high-touch areas are properly cleaned multiple times during your work day.

 

Risks of Dust in the Office

Dust is everywhere making it easy to ignore until it starts to build up and become visible. Believe it or not, much of the makeup of dust is dead skin cells but some of it can also be toxic chemicals. Lead and pesticides have been found in dust, and when disturbed, these pollutants are put into the air allowing them to be breathed in. The three risks from breathing in dust is asthma, allergies, and dermatitis.

Asthma: Bacteria from by-products found in dust can trigger an asthma attack.

Allergies: Many people are allergic to dust and too much in the air can trigger these allergies to start. Symptoms such as itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and a runny or stuffy nose can occur.

Dermatitis: Inhaling dust can cause skin rashes such as eczema. In homes, young children can also get atopic dermatitis if they have been crawling on rugs with dust inside the fibers.

It is impossible to have a completely dust free home or office, but to reduce the amount of dust you can limit the amount of carpet in an area or perform thorough cleaning. Carpets are a breeding ground for dust and Image result for yellow dust clothsrequire more cleaning to prevent the amount of dust. Air purifiers reduce the number of airborne particles which will also reduce the amount of dust. When dusting remember to use products that will pick up and trap dust instead of just moving it around.

Having a dust free office or home will help reduce the chance of the people in the facility getting sick. At C.M. Cleaning we use ProTeam backpack vacuums with HePa Filters to trap dust. These vacuums conveniently trap the dust while cleaning inside the filters instead of releasing it from the carpet and allowing it to go airborne. This allows the air to stay cleaner, and for nobody to be breathing in unhealthy air.

We also use yellow dust cloths that we wrap the feather dusters in so when we dust the particles do not go airborne. These yellow dust cloths grab and pick up more particles to reduce the amount of dust left behind.

The Importance of Upholstery Cleaning

Regular vacuuming and wiping down of upholstery furniture is beneficial to keeping the office looking and smelling good. Over time dirt, grime and spills can take their toll on upholstered surfaces, making them look tired and worn out. Deep cleaning will keep upholstery looking like new, and extend the life of the piece.

Office furniture gets more wear and tear than furniture in your home. You spend more time on average at the workplace and track in dirt and allergies all day long. A cleaner, better-looking office provides a better business atmosphere for your employees. Commercial upholstery should also receive a professional deep steam cleaning one to two times a year. This is especially true if pens are dropped frequently on the upholstery leaving ink stains.

When stains get grounded into the upholstery it decreases the life span of the furniture making it look old and unattractive. When furniture does not undergo deep steam cleaning, stains and marks can eventually become permanent. When you hire a professional cleaner, they have special tools to easily remove these stains, making the furniture last longer.

Upholstery naturally collects many different pollutants, especially dust mites. Chairs and sofas that hardly get cleaned have tons of dust on them. The dust is not only on the surface but in the padding deep inside and comes out into the air every time the furniture is used.

Along with dust, upholstery can contain many different types of allergens and harmful organisms such as mold, bacteria, pollen and viruses. These organisms can be released into the environment each time someone sits down on a sofa or chair. Deep cleaning removes many more organisms than a surface cleaning keeping the workplace cleaner for everyone.

At C.M. Cleaning our staff is trained to pay particular attention to details when performing your custom cleaning program. Basic cleaning and vacuuming of your furniture and upholstery is done routinely and we are always ready to perform steam-cleaning as needed or requested.

 

Benefits of Paying Staff Higher Than Minimum Wage

Most minimum wage jobs are entry level positions teaching basic skills to people who are unskilled or inexperienced in that field. Learning these skills at a minimum wage job can then help them improve their skills leading to make more money.

As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Massachusetts is $11 per hour. At C.M. Cleaning we pay our cleaners more than the minimum wage requirement because of the benefits we feel can come from paying staff higher amounts for entry level positions that don’t require a college or sometimes even a high school degree.

Earning higher wages boosts employee satisfaction with a company and creates a higher morale. In most cases this translates into kind and pleasant behavior that customers will respond positively to, making everyone satisfied. Being paid higher than minimum wage boosts productivity and motivation. In the case of the cleaners at C.M. Cleaning the product of their cleaning will be better than companies that pay minimum wage since they are earning more they want to strive to provide better work for the customers.

When employees are earning more it makes them want to stay loyal to the company that they are at because they know that the company knows they can provide better outcomes than other companies and their workers. It makes a mentality of treating employees like family and that they want to stay because they feel welcomed and their work is valued.

5 Restroom Areas That Are Overlooked

When restrooms get cleaned that are used heavily throughout the day, usually there are some areas that are overlooked. Sinks and toilets usually receive a quick scrub and baby changing stations get a quick wipe down at best. The way the restroom looks will reflect the way your customers and employees look at a business. A 2011 study found that, “99% of United States adults would avoid a business in the future if they encountered dirty restrooms”

  1. Baby Changing Stations- changing stations meet a lot more than just a baby, including food, diapers, and other germs. This makes it important for the entire station to be cleaned not just certain areas. The proper way to do this is to first clean it with a neutral cleaner and then spray it with a disinfectant, making sure to get inside all grooves and crevices where bacteria can hide.
  2. Floor Drains- It is very important to make sure the drains are open especially since they are susceptible to obstruction from floor wax. The drains ensure that if there is ever an issue where water gets on the floor, it would go down the drain and not out into the hallway or onto carpet. Removing the floor drain to clean it with a wire brush can help prevent other damages. It is also important to keep the drain “traps” filled with water or enzyme neutralizer to prevent foul odors.
  3. Feminine Hygiene Receptacles- OSHA requires these receptacles to have proper lining in them to prevent employees from having to tough the trash contents which is not considered regulated waste. Single-use disposal bags and right-sized liners are a helpful disposal method to conceal odors and waste. The inside and outside of the waste receptacles should be precleaned and then disinfected. In some cases, deodorant pellets can be specially purchased for the receptacles and changed out monthly
  4. Graffiti- It is not uncommon for custodial staff to walk into a stall and quickly clean then walk out. If you are pushing your staff to clean the right way they should look at a stall from a customer perspective which would lead them to notice graffiti on the walls. Graffiti on walls promotes more graffiti and if it isn’t removed daily then it could get out of hand. Not to mention most graffiti can be offensive and persuade the employee or customers impression of the business.
  5. Stall Latches- Like door knobs and handles, stall latches are a high-touch area prone to germs especially because it is used to exit a stall. Latches tend to be stainless steel so a disinfectant suitable for nonporous surfaces could help prevent the number of germs. To really shine these up after cleaning, stainless steel polish applied with a microfiber cloth will do the trick.

At C.M. Cleaning we strive to train all of our new staff the “C.M. way” which includes looking for improvements to be made each cleaning we provide. You can be assured that with us, you’ll have peace of mind that these 5 overlooked areas will be handled appropriately.

The Importance of Vacuuming

Regular vacuuming is the easiest way to keep your carpets looking clean. It is recommended to vacuum a minimum of one to two times a week and daily in high traffic areas.

Carpet is known to trap dust in debris deep into its fibers that could also be bio-contaminants or allergens. Dirty floors are known to affect your family’s health, make your carpets look unappealing and can result in damages. The dust and pollen that build up can highly effect people with asthma and allergies. Additionally, when foot traffic occurs on dusty carpets it causes the dust to go airborne and land on things like shelves, cubicle tops and more.

The ProTeam backpack vacuums with HePa filters are used by C.M. Cleaning employees because of their ability to trap dust in their high filtration systems. Vacuums with high filtration collections systems retrieve soil and safely contain harmful particles, preventing them from being reintroduced into the environment. These backpacks remove more than 98% of the soil which is a 10% increase compared to sweeping.

Vacuuming hard wood floors is also faster, healthier and more efficient than sweeping if the cleaner has the right attachment tool. The ProTeam vacuums clean 52% faster than dust mops in congested areas, such as classrooms, and leave much less small debris behind.

Schools tend to be at a higher risk of poor indoor air quality because they can have four times the occupants as an office building. Children are also more susceptible to air pollution but using a ProTeam vacuum can reduce the pollutants in the air since the filter can trap the dirt and dust instead of releasing it back into the air. When choosing to vacuum dust bunnies tend to not reappear until 72 hours later compared to 24 hours later with a dust mop.

All of C.M. Cleaning’s programs are custom-tailored to your specific facility’s needs, and all programs include the correct vacuuming frequencies. This gives our customer’s peace of mind when it comes to air quality, carpet longevity and an impression of cleanliness.

Ten Ways C.M. Cleaning Company Aids your Property Investment

At C.M. Cleaning Company, we strive to provide the best service possible to all of our clients no matter your size or frequency of your scheduled cleaning program. The benefits are enormous not only to the health and working environment for your employees, but for your facility itself and the property investment poured into it. Here are ten ways C.M. Cleaning can help to protect your property investment.

  • First impressions are key no matter what type of industry you are in. Ensuring your facility always makes a favorable impression from a cleanliness and aesthetic standpoint are of the utmost importance for instilling a quality first impression.
  • A clean workplace is a safe workplace. Ensuring cleanliness can have a significant impact on your own staff by improvement of morale, and reducing personnel loss due to illness, for example.
  • An effective cleaning and maintenance regiment can prolong the life and value of your facility by reducing premature breakdown that may otherwise occur due to poor facility care.
  • Many janitorial programs occur afterhours, when there are little to no in-house employees present in your facility. Having our personnel in your building can serve to be your late night eyes and ears, able to report any facility related issues or problems that may otherwise not have been realized.
  • You don’t want to hand over your keys to just anyone. With C.M. Cleaning, you can rest assured that our staff are properly trained, trustworthy professionals.
  • We follow strict in place protocol regarding personal property of employees and your company as a whole just as much as we would respect our own.
  • Not only can you trust and rely on C.M. Cleaning’s employees, but you can also rely on us when disaster strikes. We are ready to respond to any kind of flood or fire restoration emergency 24/7. When the phone rings, we will jump to action any time of the day or night to get your facility back into working order.
  • C.M. Cleaning prides itself on its top tier customer service. If you have a question or concern, we will answer and assist to your full understanding, avoiding roundabout excuses or incoherent industry jargon.
  • We strive to exceed your expectations. We will aim to provide consistent service to your program’s specifications.
  • Our aim is to provide you, our valued customer, with the very best value for every dollar you spend with us.

Bedbugs

In the past 15 years, after the discontinuation of harmful pesticides such as DDT, bedbugs are back on the rise in the common household. According to Cleanfax, a recent survey conducted in New York discovered that approximately six percent of homes reported a bedbug infestation, with many other cases probably going unreported. Some experts even believe that fifty percent of all homes are at risk to be infested in the next ten years.

The recent spike in bedbug population is believed be in correlation with recent increase in international travel. Bedbugs are outstanding hitchhikers, traveling between countries with ease. So, how does all of this relate to the cleanliness of your workplace? The spread of viruses and bacteria are a common concern in the work environment. In similar fashion, it is also possible that those same people you blame for spreading the flu and stomach bug are also spreading bedbugs! If these critters can travel internationally, then it can be easily concluded that they are able to withstand your commute to work by clinging to clothes, the bottoms of your shoes, and work bags. The good news is that with an implemented cleaning regiment at your place of business, the risk of you taking a coworker’s problem back to your home is diminished.

With regular steam cleaning and vacuuming of carpets and rugs, disinfecting of common surfaces, and washing of hard floors, bedbugs, their eggs, and larvae stand a lesser chance of surviving and making it into your bedroom.

How a Clean Workplace Boosts Employee Productivity

When a manager faces the task of increasing employee engagement or productivity in their office, cleaning is probably not one of the first things to come to mind. While a clean office is obviously not an end all be all solution to boosting employee performance, the level of cleanliness in the workplace does in fact have significant bearing on overall productivity.  This is also true when it comes to academic performance and learning of students in school settings.  Multiple scientific studies conducted in recent history have demonstrated the correlation between cleanliness and performance. Approximately 88% of students feel they were distracted by unkempt learning environments enough that it affected their ability to learn and focus on tasks.

A less than spotless office becomes a distraction in that eyesores such as clutter, dust, stains, and discoloring, are essentially like visual noise which pulls attention away from the task at hand. It is easy to understand how unpleasant odors caused by damp and/or dirty carpeting or neglected trash receptacles would cause distraction adversely affecting both engagement and morale.  Keeping a clean office makes a good impression and conveys an organizational attitude of order, efficiency, attention to detail, and accountability. On the other hand, uncleanliness is a major cause of workplace stress and in some cases employees take the issue into their own hands taking time and energy away from the work they were hired to do, to fix a cleaning problem.

A work environment that is not clean can also be a costly health hazard. In the United States workforce illness costs about $576 billion a year, when accounting for both workers’ compensation and sick days.  While cleanliness would not in most cases help to prevent injury resulting in workers’ compensation claims, it may be surprising to find that 39% of the $576 billion in losses is derived from lost productivity of present employees experiencing symptoms while at work.

It is important to have a proper cleaning program to prevent such instances as well as to prevent the generally healthy from coming down with illnesses which either hinder their performance or result in absenteeism such as the flu (especially in winter), or severe allergies which can be a year round issue. All of C.M. Cleaning’s cleaning programs are designed to do just that, so that you can be sure that the value of your office cleaning exceeds what the naked eye can see.