As we all stock up on disinfectant products during the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot forget one of the most important steps of the disinfection process: cleaning. Cleaning performs the integral step of removing germs from surfaces by washing away dirt. Selecting the right cleaner for this important task can be difficult.
To help you out, our experts at Spruce Industries have outlined some of the best products for surface cleaning for your organization. Below, we cover some budget-friendly surface cleaner options, the best products for commercial cleaning, sustainable cleaning products, and some best practices for cleaning during the coronavirus pandemic.
Facility managers want to keep their buildings safe and clean—while also staying within budget. Generally speaking, always try to purchase products in bulk for the entire business quarter or school year. Doing so will often allow you to get a better price per unit. To help you with selecting which products to buy, we have listed some economical options below.
When it comes to cleaning bathroom surfaces, we recommend a few products that will give you the most bang for your buck.
First off, AJAX Oxygen Bleach Cleanser presents the perfect solution for facility managers looking for a budget-friendly cleaner. Because it has a calcite base, this cleaning product does not leave an irritating chlorinated scent as regular bleach does.
We also recommend Spartan NABC as another affordable bathroom cleaner and one of the best products for surface cleaning. Because of its neutral pH, this cleaner will not harm porcelain or any other restroom surfaces.
When it comes to choosing a multisurface cleaner, we have a few favorite recommendations.
The first is Misco A2Z Disinfecting Glass/Multisurface Cleaner. This all-purpose cleaner meets the standards for a hospital-grade disinfectant and also works as a great cleaner for school and office settings.
Another great all-purpose cleaner is Spartan SD-20. This product is both economical and versatile, and it also can reduce labor—a win-win-win. At various levels of dilution, you can use this all-purpose cleaner for mopping floors, washing walls, and cleaning windows and so many other surfaces.
After cleaning and disinfecting surfaces in your facility, make sure you also remember to dust periodically. Dust often contains dead skin cells, attracts insects, and harbors germs. So make sure you periodically clean off the dust that settles on ceiling lights, walls, and fans.
To dust economically, we recommend purchasing treated dust cloths in bulk. These cloths receive a mineral oil treatment that allows them to pick up dust more effectively.
Another economical option is reusable microfiber cloths. The microfiber material helps capture a lot of dust. And by laundering the cloths in between cleaning, professional cleaners can cut down on costs.
Lastly, you can use a vacuum with an extension attachment to help remove any dusty cobwebs in hard-to-reach areas. Make sure your vacuum has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and use a face mask to prevent breathing in any dust while you are vacuuming.
In a commercial setting, you need to understand the appropriate steps for cleaning your floors and other large surfaces. By using the right tools and an appropriate surface cleaner, you can get the surfaces in your facility to glisten and look as good as new.
You should stick to a consistent series of steps when cleaning large surfaces, such as commercial flooring. First remove all furniture and put up caution signs. Vacuum the area to get rid of as much debris as possible.
Then use a treated dust mop to remove any remaining dry soil. Start in the farthest corner of the room and work your way to the exit. (You do not want to work yourself into a corner!) Finally, use a broom and dustpan to dispose of loose dirt. Perform this task daily.
On a routine basis, you should also clean your floors by wet mopping. Prep the floors by removing dry debris using the previous steps. Then use your mop to apply your preferred cleaning solution. You can also use your cleaner with an automatic scrubber if you have one at your disposal.
Finally, you can also buff floors regularly with a low-speed polisher. This will help keep your floors looking attractive. For bathroom floors with tile, you should occasionally refinish with grout sealer.
We always want to make sure custodians and cleaning staff take all necessary precautions when surface cleaning. This includes reading labels and wearing appropriate protective equipment. However, we also recommend a few products that can make commercial cleaning a little safer.
With the help of a pressure washer, water becomes a powerful force against dirt and grime. You can use a pressure washer to clean outdoor surfaces such as patios, decks, driveways, and sidewalks as well as industrial equipment.
Because a pressure washer can work effectively with just water, this tool does not require the use of potentially dangerous chemicals. However, you still need to take proper precautions when using it. Make sure you wear protective equipment such as goggles, and never point the pressure washer nozzle at a person.
You can also use an automatic scrubber to help clean surfaces in your facility. Generally speaking, this tool allows you to clean floors faster than you could with traditional mopping methods.
When it comes to pressure washers, we are big fans of the NSS Aquaforce Pressure Washer. This particular pressure washer has a cart design. This allows you to easily transport it to wherever you need to clean.
As we mentioned above, a pressure washer only needs water to clean effectively. However, some pressure washers come with a chemical injection feature. If your pressure washer has this feature, you can speed up your cleaning process with an appropriate detergent. The Spartan SC-200 cleaner and degreaser, for example, pairs nicely with an automatic scrubber or pressure washer for cleaning grease and dirt that is typically tough to remove.
By choosing sustainable products, you can help lower the environmental impact of your cleaning. It is always important to keep in mind, however, that not all cleaning products are appropriate for commercial cleaning.
If you want to use more environmentally friendly products in your home, you may already have the ingredients that you need to make some natural cleaning products. You likely already have the ingredients on hand, for example, to create a basic vinegar and baking soda combination.
With a pH value around 2.5, vinegar has acidic properties that make it an effective fighter against soap scum and household dirt. In general, you should use a colorless vinegar, such as a distilled white vinegar, for cleaning. Other types of vinegar can stain if you do not handle them properly.
When you combine it with baking soda, distilled white vinegar can unclog drains, clean ovens, and remove carpet stains. Be sure to note, though, that premixed white vinegar and baking soda solutions lose effectiveness pretty rapidly. Since the cleaning power of these chemicals comes from their reaction, combining baking soda and vinegar beforehand makes them an ineffective cleaner.
Hydrogen peroxide can also disinfect and attack mold. But it will not necessarily eliminate stains. If you use hydrogen peroxide for cleaning, do not mix it with vinegar. Doing so can create peracetic acid, which can erode household objects and cause chemical burns.
Some of the most natural cleaning products like vinegar and baking soda aren’t likely to meet your cleaning needs for industrial and commercial settings. But you can still take action to choose ecofriendly products.
When you shop for sustainable cleaning products, avoid any tricky marketing lingo. Unfortunately, some brands have abused the terms “green” and “ecofriendly” over time to help sell more products.
Instead, look for labels from an established organization. The EPA, for example, has released a Design for the Environment (DfE) label for sustainable products. We also recommend selecting products that have an ECOLOGO label or the Green Seal. When you select a cleaning product with any of these labels, you can be confident that you have chosen a sustainable product.
To check how environmentally friendly a cleaning product is, you can review the product’s safety data sheet (SDS). While not a mandatory section, section twelve of the SDS covers the ecological impact of harsh chemicals. This section should let you know whether the ingredients in the cleaning product biodegrade or have the potential to move into groundwater and impact aquatic or terrestrial organisms.
You can also consult the environmental impact cleaning guide that the EPA has created for federal purchasers of cleaning products. Commercial cleaners can use the same principles as federal purchasers when selecting products.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought cleaning awareness to new heights. Now more than ever, we know to wash our hands with soap and water.
However, to effectively neutralize the spread of the coronavirus, we must also clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly. And it is best to do so with an EPA-approved disinfectant product.
During the pandemic, you may have found that certain products like hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes are in high demand—and therefore difficult to buy. Thankfully, there are plenty of other cleaning and disinfecting products that you can use instead.
Although highly corrosive, bleach provides an affordable solution for fighting the coronavirus. Bleach can break apart the fatty lipid casing surrounding the viral pathogen and neutralize it.
When disinfecting with bleach, be careful to not mix the bleach with vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, or any other chemicals. Mixing chemicals can create toxic gas.
When cleaning nonporous flooring such as tile, vinyl, and hardwood, follow the steps we mentioned earlier in the article. First, use a floor cleaner to remove any dirt, grease, and grime. Then follow with an EPA-approved disinfecting product.
Also, make sure you disinfect your tools after use. Launder your mop heads and change out cleaning supplies such as gloves in between cleanings. Doing so will help reduce the risk of janitorial cross-contamination in your facility.
When disinfecting hard surfaces, focus on high-touch surfaces such as light switches, doorknobs, keyboards, shared refrigerators, and desks. Because so many individuals touch these objects, these surfaces become prime real estate for germs.
The coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets. You produced these droplets when you exhale, sneeze, or cough. When a carrier of the virus interacts with a high-touch surface, the virus can quickly spread.
To disinfect a high-touch object, first clean the surface of the object to remove any dirt and grease. Then use a solution or disinfecting wipe to coat the surface completely with a disinfectant. If necessary, you can then dry the surface with a soft cloth.
When it comes to cleaning, we want to leave you with a final reminder of the power of soap and water. For personal hygiene, make sure you consistently wash your hands. And in a pinch, you can always use soap and water to help wash away dirt on surfaces.
However, more industrial and commercial cleaning requires a different set of tools and products. Not sure if you need a pressure washer? Wondering what kind of chemical cleaner to use for your floors? We’ve got you covered.
If you have any questions about cleaning products for your building or organization, please reach out to us. The Spruce Industries team is always ready to provide you the clarity you need so you can clean with confidence.