School Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Children and toxic chemicals don’t mix. With the sheer numbers of children in class rooms, cafeterias, and gyms, many custodial services are overwhelmed with cleaning and maintenance problems. The growing dangers of superbug and flu strains post a challenge to schools and families, as well, and schools are the perfect breeding ground for these germs.

Unfortunately, most custodial companies use “industrial strength” cleaners that throw off toxic fumes into the air.  Children can be affected by these toxic cleaners through inhalation, skin contact, or ingestion. The side effects are many, with some of the most serious being headaches, nausea, and the worsening of asthma conditions.

Here are some signs that your child may be suffering from poor air quality at school:

1. Your child starts the day healthy, but develops a headache or nausea during the school day.

2. Your child comes home from school angry, itchy, tired, or sick.

3. Your child uses more asthma medication during the school day.

4. Your child comes home with odd odors on his or her clothing.

Here are some tips to follow if you are a school administrator or custodian:

Reduce Grime and Dirt

1. Wet mop instead of using a dry broom. This reduces dust.

2. Ban carpets and rugs, use only hard surfaces for flooring and walls.

3. Ban the use of cleaning chemicals brought from home.

4. Keep garbage cans away from fresh air intakes.

5. Place “walk-off” mats at each entrance to decrease dirt from shoes.

Purchase Safer Cleaning Products

1. Make sure your cleaning products have been green by independent third parties. Many companies make invalid claims about the safety of their products.

2. Choose products with the lowest possible hazard rating on their Material Safety Data Sheet.

3. Avoid products with fragrances, odors, and dyes, as they can be irritating.

If you are a school administrator who is looking for ways to make your building safer, there are many resources for you.

Visit:

Green Seal at www.greenseal.org.

Environmental Choice Program at www.environmentalchoice.org for green rated products.

The maintenance professionals at Landrum’s Services provides solutions to schools in Indiana, and we are available to answer any of your questions. Call us at 317.228.0780 or email us at admin@landrumscleaning.com.

Cleaning Tip for May: The Dreaded Office Refrigerator

Ahhh, the dreaded office refrigerator. Some of you may be afraid to put your lunch in it at all, due to the mysterious odors and various leakages inside. You know that a box of baking soda goes a long way to destroy the odors inside the fridge, but did you know that baking soda is also a power house cleaner? Before you simply sit that box of baking soda on the shelf, we at Landrum’s Services recommend that you clean with it. Baking soda works well as a gentle scouring powder. Mix it with a little bit of water, and it will scour off even dried up spaghetti sauce. No more worries about harmful chemicals getting in your food when you harness the cleaning power of baking soda to tackle that refrigerator. And no more nasty food and cleaner odors, either.

4 Reasons to Promote Green Building Practices

Today it is easier than ever to incorporate green practices into your workplace. With a myriad of services and information available to businesses, building owners and managers are uncovering the benefits of following green building practices. Studies are proving that buildings that “go green” are reaping measurable financial benefits and positive public relations.

Some of the benefits of having a green building are:

Healthier Employees

Lower operating costs

Improved access to governmental incentives

Positive environmental impact

Green cleaning is one of the fastest ways to make your facility safer for employees. Sick Building Syndrome was identified in the 1960’s, and since then it has been found that approximately 30% of the workforce is affected by it. A 2002 study by the Indoor Environment Department at the Lawrence Berkley National Design Laboratory in California found that the improved air quality by use of green design and green cleaning can lower sick building symptoms by 20% to 50%, while cold and influenza are reduced by 9% to 20%, and allergies and asthma drop by 8% to 25%. The savings in productivity and time off add up quickly.

The EPA’s EnergyStar program and the LEED program are ways that businesses can be rewarded for implementing green practices.

And of course, besides the financial benefits of supporting a green building, you gain the additional benefit of knowing that your business or building is reducing its environmental footprint.

There are several sustainable ways you can protect our environment and make for a healthier workplace:

Energy and water conservation

Waste management and recycling programs

Indoor air quality improvement

Green building practices, including green cleaning

Landrum’s Services believes in supporting our partners through their transition to green practices, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions you may have about beginning your progress today.

Restroom Cleanliness

You and your staff work hard every day to deliver customer satisfaction. You maintain your buildings and sidewalks for safety, you make sure your sales associates are knowledgeable and friendly, and you deliver on your promises. But are your restrooms clean and disinfected consistently? Restroom cleanliness is directly linked to overall customer satisfaction. Surveys show that your customers see your restroom conditions as a direct reflection of the quality of your products and services. While this is critical for restaurants and hotels in particular, it holds true for every single business. Make sure your maintenance provider understands the importance of restroom conditions to customer satisfaction, and hold them accountable to effective practices. Ask them about their procedures and checks and balances. Your business’ quality is reflected in your restroom maintenance, so make sure that all of your hard work doesn’t go down the drain.

Cleaning Tip for April: Flush Out Problems with Bathroom Cleanliness

Restroom cleanliness should be taken seriously in every business. We all know that restaurants and hotels need to have clean bathrooms if they want to stay in business, but did you know that the state of the restrooms in every type of business has a direct impact on customer and employee satisfaction?

Here is how we at Landrum’s Services clean your restrooms to ensure an excellent experience:

-Right to left, top to bottom method. When your cleaning staff is trained in this method, every inch of your restroom will be cleaned. No worried that a customer will look up and find mysterious “gunk” in the ceiling vents.

-High-quality, safe cleaning products. We know that chemicals and fumes are dangerous, so we use only the safest, most effective cleaning products on the market. Your customers and employees can walk into a clean-smelling bathroom any time of day or night and will not be ill from fumes. The naturally clean-smelling products also give you the confidence that you are in a safe and disinfected environment.

-Check and balance system. Having a system for accountability gives your customer the comfort that they are entering a clean environment.

-Continued training. We have employees who are trained on a regular basis to ensure that correct methods in cleanliness and safety are followed.

It is also important that your cleaning and maintenance company teaches its employees why their job is an integral part of every business. The cleanliness of your building is a direct reflection of how you operate, and we take our commitment to you seriously.

If you have concerns or questions about your restroom cleanliness, please comment below and I will be happy to respond.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpets take a beating every day: kids, pets, everyday foot traffic, not to mention the mud and debris from outdoors. To clean your carpets without chemicals, simply mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on your carpet stains, then let it sit for a few minutes. Scrub it off with dish detergent. This is effective for most stains.

Deep set stains or grease may need a different approach. For deep set stains, make a paste of 1/4 cup borax, 1/4 cup salt, and 1/2 cup vinegar. Apply the paste to the stains and allow it to sit for several hours. Then simply vacuum it away. If grease or tar are a problem, sprinkle the area with cornstarch and then vacuum it away.

Cleaning Tip of the Month

White distilled vinegar is a popular household cleanser, effective for killing most mold, bacteria, and germs, due to its level of acidity. Cleaning with white distilled vinegar is a smart way to avoid using harsh chemicals. You’ll also be glad to know that it is environmentally friendly and very economical.