Professional Janitorial Services


Source:  Maintenance-One 

Contact us today and learn why we are the best choice for professional janitorial services.

Alternative Best Cleaning
Phone (678) 852-8331 


June 22nd, 2009
When it comes to choosing a cleaning service for all of your commercial cleaning, janitorial, and maintenance needs, there are a few important things to consider and keep in mind.
Whether you have a small office building, a warehouse, or a corporation, the right company will be able to tailor their services serve you. Some companies do specialize in certain areas however, so it only makes sense to identify your service needs.
Does the cleaning service that you are considering offer workstation cleaning, restroom sanitation, trash removal and recycling services, and real time inspections? Do they offer other services that you need? If not, are they willing to create a customized service package for you?  Do they have general packages for clients to choose from, or do they create a service plan based on a one on one consultation?

Aside from testimonials on their website, you should ask any prospective companies for references from past and current clients. This is the best way to find out more about the quality of their services before you sign on the dotted line, which brings us to our next tip...

Going along with the above two tips, make sure that you know exactly what is included and what isn't in terms of services and prices, as well as the length of the contract.

It may take some time to find the cleaning service that is the perfect fit for your business, but don't be discouraged, and don't settle for any service that doesn't provide you with a free estimate, personalized attention, up-to-date progress reports, and anything else that you feel is important.



July 12th, 2009

It really is true that a clean office is a more productive office. Think about all of those times that you have wasted valuable time searching for an important paper, only to discover that it was buried underneath stacks of papers on your desk.  Many creative people insist that a little clutter helps them function better, and while this may or may not be the case, the fact is that if you have stacks and stacks of clutter everywhere, it will slow down your productivity sooner or later.

Office cleaning and clutter reduction may take time, but in the long run it will be worth it. Start small, maybe with the stack of papers nearest your elbow, and go through each one, filing, shredding, and throwing away when appropriate.  If you don't have a file cabinet at your desk, use file folders and label them, storing them in a hanging folder or in another neat, out of the way place.

Once your desk is clear, take the time to use a spray cleaner and sanitize it.  Office desks are among the germiest surfaces in the workplace, and this isn't surprising when you think about how many objects your hands come into contact with in the course of a day. Your office building probably has janitors and other maintenance professionals who are responsible for keeping the office clean, but to reduce germs and help prevent the spread of illness, you should sanitize your desk and the items on it whenever possible, using an all-purpose cleaner.

Even if it takes you a few days to completely wade through the clutter and thoroughly clean your desk, you will find that in the long run the results will be well worth it. Just remember, a little maintenance goes a long way.

July 15th, 2009

Office recycling is an essential part of the office cleaning process. Most office have recycling bins and programs in place, but even so, there are still many things that you can do on your own to conserve resources and create a greener office.

All offices require a lot of paper, for printing, faxing, copying, etc. You can help to conserve paper by using both sides of the paper when printing, especially for draft copies.  You should also avoid color printing, except for times when it is absolutely necessary. Placing a paper recycling bin next to the printer is another way to remind yourself to reuse and recycle whenever possible, and a nice subtle reminder to your employees and co-workers as well.   Many companies sell recycled and chlorine free printer paper, so try to purchase this whenever possible.

If you are in charge of purchasing furniture for your office, consider purchasing used furniture and office equipment. Not only will this save you money, but it will also help to reduce the landfill waste and airborne pollutants created as a result of the manufacture of office equipment and office furniture.

You can greatly reduce energy consumption in the workplace simply by switching to EnergyStar approved light bulbs and making sure that you and your fellow workers turn off lights, appliances, and computers when they are not in use.

Lastly, find out whether your janitorial and maintenance company provides recycling services. Most companies do, and if yours doesn't make sure to ask why. Office recycling conserves resources and energy, and can save your workplace money in the long run as well.

July 29th, 2009

The workplace fridge... lunch storage, gathering place... mold hotspot? The unpleasant but real truth is that many fridges are at risk for mold, both from spoiled food and water leakage.  Here are five tips to keep your workplace fridge clean and odor free.

1. Remind employees to clean out their leftovers in a weekly basis and to label them whenever possible.

2. Place a small container of baking soda in the back of the fridge to absorb odors

3. Clean up spills inside of the fridge and freezer as soon as they occur

4. Have your fridge inspected for leaks and repaired promptly. Water leakage in a refrigerator can lead to mold growth, especially if water collects at the bottom of the refrigerator trays.

5. Keep your fridge at the lowest setting possible-this will conserve energy and will also help to prevent electrical shorts, which can cause food spoilage.

Follow these quick fridge workplace cleaning tips, and you'll be amazed at the difference that they can make.

August 1st, 2009

Most people will list cleaning the bathroom as their least favorite household chore for various reasons. Partly because of this, and partly because we all lead busy lives, many home and office building bathrooms are regularly neglected in terms of cleaning. Of course, most offices contract with a licensed and bonded commercial cleaning company for this purpose, and these experts know to avoid these three common bathroom cleaning mistakes.

There is a reason why commercial cleaners clean the bathroom everyday, even if it doesn't look like it needs to be cleaned. Simply put, bathrooms are breeding grounds for germs, and are also high traffic areas, so frequent cleaning is key.

Many people are in a hurry to get the cleaning process over with as quickly as possible. But if you simply spray cleaner on the surfaces and immediately wipe it down, you are not doing yourself, or the other people who use the bathroom any favors.  If you've ever observed a janitorial and maintenance professional at work, you'll notice that the first thing that they do is spray cleaner on every surface, and then move on to another task, like cleaning the mirrors. They do this because they know that those extra few minutes allow the cleaner to do its job, i.e. kill germs and disinfect.  Wiping off cleaning products as soon as you put them down will not kill germs or disinfect.

Professional cleaners never forget to clean around the base of the toilet tank, underneath the faucets, or to dust regularly.  Make sure that you don't either-a few minutes really can make a difference when it comes to cleaning more effectively.

August 19th, 2009

Commercial cleaning is nowadays one of the services no company can do without. Professional office cleaning has become a matter of providing a service which is indispensable to carry on day to day activities. There is funny thing about cleanliness. When it is properly performed, no one seems to notice it, but when some aspects of cleaning are neglected, and filth becomes obvious, cleanliness, or rather the lack of it, gets under the spotlight.

There are certain aspects about professional office cleaning that cannot be neglected, in order to provide healthy visibility to the matter. Cleaning is also a sensual matter, in the sense that it must appeal to all senses. We can all think about places we have been that, although impeccably clean, they did not strike as a clean place, either because they did not look or smell like a clean, healthy place.

Tidying up is a fundamental aspect of cleanliness. Even though cleaning staff is not expected to file clerical papers, they can also help de-clutter offices just by a more efficient arrangement of objects. If books are lying around, they must be put in shelves, the same as newspapers and magazines in reception areas. Chairs must also be correctly placed in meeting rooms, similarly with ashtrays, glasses, or office items -staplers, pencils- which are left lying around. Waste management is also important. Waste must be disposed of properly and in timely fashion. All elements that can be recycled can be donated to organizations that will greatly appreciate them.

A special note must be made about cleaning items. The wardrobe or small office where cleaning supplies are stored must also remain spotless. If a substitute janitor shows up the next day, he must be able to find all supplies with no difficulty.

In the case of offices that are cleaned during the day, while the staff is at work, the cleaning staff must be trained to clean causing the least noise pollution as possible. In fact, it would be ideal for them to go unnoticed. Thus, if areas to be polished are not too big, polishing can be done by hand instead of using a noisy machine that will disturb everyone.

Fragrances and deodorants are a double-edged weapon when cleaning offices. They must never be used to mask filth or stale odor. If there is a distinct foul smell when entering an office, the source of such a smell must be sought until discovered. Some clues: wastebaskets not properly sanitized, rotten food in the employees' fridge, bathrooms.

Scents are a sensitive topic. The room must be left with a soft gentle smell, not too disturbing -remember that fragrances are a very personal matter. While somebody might adore a particular smell, somebody else might loathe it. Nevertheless, scent is an important factor that conveys the idea of a clean place. Thus, a soft deodorant and air perfume must be used.

August 19th, 2009

Cleaning a workplace efficiently is one of the most important aspects to a productive business. A clean and tidy workplace is one of the keys to keeping staff motivated and high-spirited. A clean and sanitized office influences workers to do things in a tidy fashion, keep their paperwork properly filed, and everything running in an organized way.

Another fact that must be considered is the overall image of the company. It is important to show a clean office and reception area when customers' visits are frequent. It all adds up to the general way customers and providers regard the company, and we know for sure this is a factor that helps close many deals.

Office cleaning must be kept on a daily basis. Whether it is more convenient to do a daytime cleaning or at night is something that must be pondered taking into consideration what type of activity the company runs. Some voices are raised to support daytime cleaning, because it is more environmentally friendly, due to the fact that once the lights are out, and the personnel has gone, there is no need to turn the lights on again to clean the place. However, cleaning when regular staff has gone does not interrupt the normal workflow, and does not distract workers. Probably, the company can save electricity in other ways, such as instructing personnel to turn off their computers before going home, or rationalizing air conditioning.

Efficient office cleaning must not be considered a waste, but an investment. It helps reduce employees' sick days due to colds and other infectious diseases, allergies, and the effects of pollution. That is why it is important not to conduct a cosmetic cleaning, but rather a thorough deep cleaning. We will highlight some points that must not be overlooked.

* Carpets are usually the favorite place for microorganisms to proliferate. They need to be vacuumed on a daily basis and deeply cleaned once a month, with the use of ecological products and avoiding chemicals that may be harmful. In this regard, there are certain steam carpet cleaners that do a wonderful job just by applying water steam. High levels of sanitation are achieved this way because hot steam kills most microorganisms.

* Telephone mouths and headphones, as well as every mouse and keyboard must be cleaned with a cloth embedded in a soft disinfectant.

* Books and folders must be removed from shelves and cleaned one by one. Frames (photos, diplomas, etc) must be also wiped with a damp cloth. This is the only way to catch all dust. Just vacuuming them usually takes the filth back to the air, hence to the floor and other objects.

* Desks must be cleaned also, not just polished, but disinfected as well, especially where clerks usually lay their hands and elbows.

* An important action that is sometimes forgotten is the disinfection of wastebaskets, as this is bacteria's favorite place to grow, and also a source of odor.

* Bathrooms must also be deeply cleaned every day, as they are one of the sources of infections most commonly present in workplaces. Also, cleaning personnel must make sure that all consumable materials are replaced (liquid soap, toilet paper, etc.)

It is unlikely that employees will exclaim every morning, "Boy, is this office clean!", but rather will complain when they find something filthy, and the same goes for customers. As professional business people, we must make sure that this never happens.

August 19th, 2009

When you own a large business it is very important to choose the right janitorial services that will best fit the needs of your organization and the needs of your customers.  Janitorial services are not just a way of keeping your business and offices clean, it goes into the whole philosophy of the business.  If your business is clean and meticulously organized, then clients will see your business as a legitimate and successful organization, and will want to do business with you.  However, janitorial services are not always cheap and if your business wants to be competitive you need to be mindful of the costs.

Many small businesses may not have enough work to justify employing a janitor, or an entire team of janitors.  The cost of the business, labor, and production might be already too much to afford keeping a permanent janitor or janitors on staff.  This is why hiring a janitorial cleaning service can be very cost effective.  Janitorial services are excellent for small businesses because you get to hire them on a contract basis.  This way you don't have to worry about paying benefits, and you don't have to worry about insurance or retirement options, like you would have with a full time janitor on payroll.

We all know that there are thousands of cleaning services out there, but how do you go about choosing the right one?  Well first off, you need to choose the service that best fits your company's needs.  How often is your business going to require these services?  Once a day, once a week, multiple times throughout the day?  How much are you willing to spend for this service to be done?  Many janitorial services differ in price and performance, so these are options that you will definitely want to weigh ahead of time.  If your company needs specialized services, like carpet shampooing, or doing maintenance work, this will be an integral component in finding the services that best fit your needs.

There are thousands of janitorial services out there so you need to make sure you choose one that can maintain the philosophy and professional image of your business.  Your company should also employ background checks on all individuals that are going to be working at your business.  Even though you are hiring an outside service, the individuals that work for the service work for you, and while they're in your property, they should be expected to follow the same procedures as everyone else in your organization.  A quality cleaning service should provide floor cleaning, resurfacing, bathroom sanitizing, quality class cleaning, carpet care, garbage removal and other valuable services.   When finding a janitorial company for your business, make sure to be thorough in your search and always check for references.

August 19th, 2009

There are plenty of benefits to having a clean and organized office space, such as better professionalism and increased productivity.  But there might be benefits that you have not considered.  An office that is spic and span might be more important than you realize.  Consider this.  Some say that 70 % of business is based mainly of first impressions.  A clean and tidy office builds the impression that you are in a trustworthy and professional environment, and that you want to do business there.  First impressions can mean everything if you have important clients coming in that will not be impressed by a sloppy office environment.  You could be saving your company thousands of dollars, by just having a commercial cleaning company come in regularly, and professionally clean your business 2 or 3 days a week.  In this economic climate, any business can't afford to throw any business down the drain, especially for having a messy workplace.

Depending on the nature of your business, there might be thousands of important files and documents that cannot be neatly stored on a computer.  Anybody that has ever worked in an office before knows, that keeping these files organized and together, can be a real chore, and almost a second job in itself.  However, if you add up all the time employees spend looking for missing documents, because of a cluttered work environment, you could be talking about thousands of hours of productivity a year, which you're throwing down the drain.  This amount of time could have been better spent doing the work your paying them to do, instead of sifting through document after document, with no prevail. You can even a hire professional organizing staff to keep everything organized correctly, saving your company thousands of dollars in lost time and energy.

Having a clean working environment is not only important to clients and customers, but it is important to your employees as well.  Having a clean and organized environment shows them that you have a professional establishment, and your workers will be appreciate that, and become more professional themselves.  It is no secret that people work better and more efficiently in a cleaner, more organized office. If you feel professional you will act professional, and having a well organized working environment is a great way to start.

One thing that you may not be considering, when evaluating if your company needs to hire an outside cleaning service, is hygiene.  Messy and dirty offices are definitely not hygienic offices, and you could be creating more potential hazards than you realize.  The accumulation of dust and other bacteria, common in a messy work environment, can lead to serious concerns for a company, especially if it needs its workers there everyday.  One flu outbreak can put your business behind several weeks, and all because your office is a sloppy mess.  Professional companies can't afford to let things like this happen; it's not good for business, and it's just not smart.  There is no secret that the top businesses all over the world have some of the cleanest and best organized offices all over the world.  A clean office leads to a happier more productive office, and if you present your business as classy, then your business will be classy.  And you will make more money in the process.

August 19th, 2009

Janitorial and office cleaning services can not only save your company time and money, but will give you a more professional environment in which to do business.  Your employees will appreciate it, and more importantly, your customers will appreciate it.  It is a well known fact that having a clean, professionally organized work environment can boost productivity sometimes as high as 20 %.  Hiring a janitorial services company can save your business time and money, by eliminating the need of your staff to clean bathrooms, take out the trash, and perform those other tedious janitorial services that can take away from employees' time and energy.

If you are searching for a janitorial service for your company, it might be important to know some of the benefits that an office cleaning service can bring to your organization.  One of the most important services that an office cleaning company can provide is proper restroom sanitation.  We have all been in businesses before, where the bathrooms were less than desirable, and it made the business look unprofessional and sloppy.  Just think if you're in the restaurant business and your bathrooms are untidy and dirty, what is that going to say about your food? What is that going to say about your business?   Having a clean and orderly bathroom show customers that you're legitimate, and you care about your professionalism, while your employees appreciate it as well.

Another essential to janitorial cleaning is cleaning the carpets.  Having proper carpet care can be a very important aspect to office cleaning, because cleaning carpets isn't cheap, and carpets can get dirty fast.  Hiring a professional carpet cleaning service all the time just isn't practical, let alone affordable.  But almost any office cleaning company can offer you this service, shampooing and vacuuming your carpets regularly, and they can do it cheaper much cheaper, and more often, than any professional carpet cleaning service.

Another essential to office cleaning is professional floor cleaning.  This can often be enormously overlooked, as many businesses don't understand how much work it takes to keep their floors clean and finely polished.  All the big companies in the world have their floors washed and waxed every night, even on Sunday.  Because there is more floor space, than any space in your business, not treating it properly can make your business look less than top-notch.

But probably one of the most important services that an office cleaning company can provide you is proper waste removal.  Doing this in an orderly and economical fashion can be a challenge, but having the right services in place can make this a successful and painless process.  And also, having a professional janitorial service in place will improve your ability to recycle, as many professional cleaning services offer first grade recycling services as well.  Hiring professional janitorial services might not only be good for the environment, but will save your business time and money in the long run.  And it makes your business look professional, which is always good for the bottom line.

August 20th, 2009

For most office employees, the office is the place they spend most of their day.  It is important then, to be in an environment that is clean and healthy and one that is achieved that way through environmentally friendly methods.  This means using the best cleaning products and procedures available, such as those provided by a commercial cleaning company.

As individuals, working in an office that is cleaned with environmentally friendly products is one more way to reduce our carbon footprint.

Some of the chemicals that should not be used in a green office are chlorine bleach, phosphates and heavy metals of any kind.  By avoiding these chemicals in the cleaning process, no toxins are left behind resulting in a healthier and therefore more productive workplace.  Most of the time green office cleaning companies use concentrated cleaners much like the concentrated laundry and dish detergents available for home use.  This means the cleaners are mixed in appropriate amounts for the specific job cutting down on waste and over use of cleaners.  It also means that there is less packaging involved that needs to be disposed of.

Green cleaning products are biodegradable meaning that they break down in a natural process leaving no residues or vapours that linger on surfaces or in the air.  In other words, they have no negative impact on the water and soil systems.  Use of green cleaners also contributes to a healthy air inside the office thus reducing effects of the cleaners on those employees who may suffer from asthma or other respiratory weaknesses.

There is a third party organization called Green Seal that monitors the quality of products that are manufactured and sold as green.  Products that receive the Green Seal of approval have been thoroughly tested from the very beginning of manufacture right through to their use on site.  This means you can use a product with green seal approval with confidence and pride.

For quick green cleanups when you need to do it yourself at the office, you can use a microfiber cloth that will pick up dust from your desk with ease and is reusable.  There are also environmentally friendly one time wipes that will keep your desk, computer screen and office utensils clean and germ free to your own personal level.

Choosing a green office cleaning company means that owners, employees and customers can all feel like they are doing just one thing more to make the world we live and work in a better place.

August 20th, 2009

No matter how much trust you have in your office cleaning service, there are still some security procedures all staff should follow on a daily basis.  Theft and loss can happen from persons other than employees or members of the cleaning staff.  A clever thief can organize entrance to the office during cleaning hours when they feel their entry might go unnoticed.  An office can be made more secure for everyone just by taking the time to do these few simple things. Not only will these tasks help to keep work and personal items and information safe and secure, they will also make the job of the janitorial services easier.

One of the essential rules of office security that should be implemented is a clean desk policy.  Employees should leave their desktop organized and clear of files, folders and papers that contain private information, either work related or personal.

Any items of value that are not taken home at night should be locked in desk drawers or cabinets.  If cleaning takes place during the daytime hours, purses and wallets should also be kept under lock and key.

Accidents can happen and things can get broken.  Encourage staff to leave decorative items of sentimental or monetary value at home.

Be sure to also put away items that don't seem obviously private such as postage stamps, cheque books, rolodex files and even company letterhead.  These can all be used in a fraudulent manner if someone were to set their mind to it.

Lock any petty cash that may be kept in the office in a secure drawer or cabinet.  The location should also be changed from time to time as well.

If laptops are used in the office instead of desk top computers, they should be placed in cabinets that can lock.

Make certain that all computers are password protected and programs closed down before employees leave the premises.

Keep keys to other areas such as storage rooms, file rooms, and even the first aid station in a secure location and set up a sign in and sign out system for their use.

Make certain that all employees are informed of the name of the cleaning service company and the usual time of arrival and departure of cleaning staff, as well as their general procedures.  This way, staff that is working late or coming in to the office during evening hours will know what and who to expect.

For the most part, maintaining office security really just means using common sense.  If in doubt, lock it away.  This way, both employees and cleaning staff will be better able to do their jobs.

August 20th, 2009

When you pay for an office cleaning service, you want to get what you pay for.  Commercial cleaning providers will often supply a checklist of services so you can choose how much or how little they do.  If you don't have a checklist provided by the company, it is a good idea to create one yourself.  Here is a list of the most important things to be sure you have done to maintain a sparkling clean workplace.  It also helps to keep on top of the efficiency of your cleaning company, as you can check for yourself what has been done.

Your reception area represents your customer's first impression. You want it to always be bright, clean and inviting.  Top cleaning tasks for the reception area;

* Door glass crystal clear and wood dust free
* Carpet clean and vacuumed
* Reception counter dust and fingerprint free
* Artwork dusted and glass cleaned
* Phones and computers wiped down
* Tabletops dusted and polished
* Magazines organized
* Garbage bins emptied

Every individual needs a clean work environment. A well organized and clean workplace helps to make everyone more productive.

* Desks dusted
* Carpets Cleaned and vacuumed
* Filing cabinets wiped down
* Window sills wiped down
* Phones and Computers wiped down
* Door glass cleaned
* Bookcases/book spines dusted
* Light fixtures dusted or wiped down
* Rubbish emptied

A clean and sanitized washroom is a must in any working environment.  Make sure yours is in top shape with all of these things done!

* Sink, fixtures and toilets cleaned and sanitized
* Mirrors polished
* Counter tops cleaned and sanitized
* Soap and towel dispensers wiped down
* Floors mopped
* Trash emptied

If your office has a kitchen or break room where employees eat, it is imperative that this space be clean and sanitary even if no food preparation is done there.

* Sink, fixtures and countertops wiped down and sanitized
* Stove top and refrigerator wiped down
* Microwave wiped down
* Cabinets dusted or wiped
* Wall outlets wiped and sanitized
* Tables, benches and chairs wiped down
* Trash can emptied and disinfected
* All garbage removed

These are just the very basic cleaning procedures that should be completed daily.  If you don't use a cleaning service, it is a good idea to post a checklist within the office for employees in each area so everyone can do their part in keeping up with daily cleaning chores.  Keep a tote or container in a cupboard that is easily accessible to everyone and be sure that someone is assigned the task of keeping it organized and well stocked with the necessary cleaning items.

September 26th, 2009

The appearance of your company's office space is one of the very first impressions you make on your clients.  A clean and well put together office will show that the company means business, and that you are well organized down to the tiniest detail.  On the other hand, a cluttered and messy office space shows that your company is sloppy and has no class, and probably isn't being run efficiently.  This is not what you want your best client thinking when he's debating on whether to do business with you or your competitor, whose office is not even nearly as sloppy as yours.  If this sounds like your business, you might want to consider hiring a commercial cleaning service for your own company.  But what do they charge?

Well, prices in commercial cleaning service vary just like in any other business.  You have companies priced well out of reach, while you have others that are more economical, but which shouldn't be trusted.  The key is to find a balance between what excellent service is, and how much you're willing to pay for it.  Just like in any business, you have the most expensive services, which have the best equipment, best selection, or may not do the best job, but they have the highest price.  But you don't want to always hire the cheapest company either, who may end up doing a poor job, and wasting your money.  You'll want to find a balance between what is reasonable, and a job well done.

You will also have to work out the payment plan with each service you decide to hire, and the amount of days their going to work.  You may only need the service two days a week, or you may need the service two times a day.  Some cleaning companies only work during the day, while others may only work at night.  You will need to have a clear agreement on when the cleaning crew is going to work, exactly what they're going to be cleaning, and how much you'll be paying them.

Make sure to get everything worked out, and agreed upon, then make sure you get it in writing.  Once you have a contract, they are legally bound to their word and if they break it, you can find someone else.  This is also important if there is a stipulation in the payment; you can just turn back to your contract, and it will solve any dispute.  When finding a commercial cleaning crew for your business, make sure that you do not take this decision lightly, and find the best cleaning service to fit your business needs.

September 26th, 2009

Dirty and untidy businesses are noticeable to customers, as well as important clients   How your business presents itself can speak volumes about who the company is, and a lot about the people in charge.  Although it might be time consuming, taking the time to find the right commercial cleaning company for your business will not only save you time and money, but will lead to far fewer headaches down the line.

If you are looking into hiring a commercial cleaning service for your company there might be some factors you want to consider.  Whether you are looking on a bulletin board, the phonebook, the internet, or the newspaper, finding a qualified, professional cleaning service may prove difficult.  But if you know what to look for, and put the time into the search, as you would any important decision, you will end up with the right qualified cleaning company that will help take your business to new levels of professionalism.

There are two types of companies offering janitorial services: large chains, and smaller, privately-owned companies.  Each type of company has its pros and cons.   Large cleaning companies may offer better equipment and usually more efficient services, but sometimes they can be quite expensive.  Smaller commercial cleaning companies, on the other hand, can often be less expensive, may or may not do the same quality work, and sometimes offer more custom services.  To make the best decision for your company, you first need to understand your cleaning needs before contacting any company to find out the best fit.

Another important step in finding a commercial cleaning service is checking references.  This can be a sure-fire way to hear first hand what kind of company this is, and what kind of services they offer.  Make sure when in the evaluation process that you ask for references, and check them out thoroughly.  Another step you can take to protect yourself would be to ask the cleaning company if they offer insurance.  Many commercial cleaning companies offer certified bond insurance, which is insurance money set aside to be used in case of broken, damaged, or lost property of their clients.  Make sure when you're in the evaluation process that they verify proof of their certified bond insurance.

The final step of the evaluation is finalizing a contract together.  Make sure that everything that you had discussed and agreed upon is in the contract, including how often, and to what extent, they will be rendering their services.  Most importantly, make sure that you make provisions in the contract, to be able to drop the service, if you do not find they have lived up to their end of the bargain.  All in all, this may seem like a complicated process, but after you have found the right company, you'll have the peace of mind knowing that you did everything necessary to hire the right professional cleaning service for your business.

September 26th, 2009

It's common to be worried about the outside environment, but have you ever considered how your indoor environment could affect you and the outside world too? In your office, one factor that can have a major impact on both is the cleaning methods that are used. If you want to ensure your cleaning is green, follow these four essential tips:

The biggest potential health hazard from cleaning practices lies in the type of cleaning products that are used. Check which ones your office cleaning service uses. They should be products with no VOC's (volatile organic compounds), no chlorine, a pH level close to 7.0 and preferably an EcoLogo certification. This means they will be products that aren't toxic to humans if touched or inhaled or harmful to the environment when washed down the drain.

Office buildings are notorious for consuming high amounts of energy. If your cleaning service works overnight, you might need to think about reducing the energy waste during this time. Ask your service to only light one area of your office building at a time while cleaning or to use partial switching that allows less lights to be turned on.  Also, consider asking your cleaning service to clean light fixtures where possible - dust and dirt that accumulates on them can reduce light output by 30%. Not only will these actions conserve energy and benefit the environment but they will help decrease utility bills too!

Include recycling as part of your office-clean up routine. Place recycling bins near printing and copying machines so that paper can be recycled and have containers to collect glass bottles and aluminum cans in break or kitchen areas. If you are looking for a commercial cleaning service, ask if they provide recycling services which will help your recycling scheme run more efficiently.

Stock cloths that can be washed and reused in your office kitchen or cleaning cupboard instead of wipes or tissues that are used once and then thrown away. If paper towels have to be used, consider purchasing ones that are already made from recycled materials.

Ensuring you use green cleaning practices in your office can have a major impact on employee's morale, knowing they are contributing to a better world environment. It is sure to benefit their health too, leading to better productivity.  If you've made a commitment to keep your cleaning green, find a commercial cleaning company that is able to offer quality cleaning while providing environmentally-friendly standards such as recycling services and the use of green cleaning products.

September 26th, 2009

When we think about an office, we think about desks, computers and lots of papers.  Depending on the type of business, we can think about other types of equipment also, but, no matter what your business is about, the truth is that there are many documents that cannot be kept just electronically; we need a printed copy for our files.  The paper-less culture is still at large, and we still need to handle lots of papers around the office.

It is very common to see office desks swamped with to do lists, papers to file and much other stuff.  Of course, some employees are better than others at handling their workload; however, when there is too much to do, even the tidy ones can find it difficult to deal with everything in a neat way.

The benefits of a clean working space are endless.  There is no question about it, when clients, visitors and even employees, come into a dirty office, it immediately gives a sense of unprofessionalism.  On the contrary, a clean office will clearly say expertise, and will even improve productivity.

We all have had the experience of having to spend time looking for a missing file or vital piece of information that we remember writing down somewhere.  That was valuable time that could have been used for something more productive.  Tidy employees work more efficiently as they do not have to get organized every day prior to starting their work.  They also are much happier while working, since they know exactly where everything is and what they have to do.

Messy offices are less hygienic than clean ones.  It is easier to spot a possible hazard when the office is uncluttered than when it is completely disorganized.  A clean office will diminish greatly the risk of allergies, flu and other diseases, because the space is free from dust and contamination.  This is why professional office cleaning is so important to make your working place enjoyable and efficient.

It has been confirmed that an untidy desk creates a lot of unnecessary stress that adds up to the pressure of the normal heavy workloads, creating the possibility of a potential breakdown.

It takes a lot of work to train employees to be tidy, but with the help of a professional cleaning service, they will soon understand all the benefits that come along with being clean and organized.

Time and resources are maximized when people work under organized, clean and less stressful conditions, so, devote the necessary time to ensure your office is a clean environment, and get ready to work in the right way!

September 26th, 2009

A recent study found the average office desk contains 20,961 germs per square inch! The worst hot spots for germs? Phones, computer keyboards, and computer mice. If not cleaned regularly, they are a great breeding place for viruses that cause colds and flu. If you want to discover where other germ 'hot spots' are, and how to avoid them in your office, read on...

Some people do not wash their hands after using the bathroom or dispose of tissues properly. Avoid these germs by having communal bathrooms cleaned hourly - the best way to prevent germs that like to build up (especially on hard-surface areas like sinks).

A large number of people have direct hand contact with door handles. This gives them a huge contamination potential. Make sure these aren't left out during your office cleaning-process.

Carpets are bombarded with dirt carried in from the outside on our shoes. They should be steam cleaned regularly with an industrial vacuum.

This is another hidden way that germs are spread. The unwashed hands of a person carrying a virus can leave bacteria on the coffeepot. The next person who uses it is then likely to contract these germs. Post signs in your kitchen asking colleagues to wash hands regularly and have anti-bacterial soap available.

The buttons on the office microwave are sure to have a lot of people pressing them. If you're about to eat your food after heating up your lunch, wash your hands immediately after using this machine.

The spout and internal mechanisms of these coolers are breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. The mouths of plastic bottles being filled are sure to come in contact with the spout too. Have these items cleaned daily.

It makes sense that these are hot spots for germs since they are constantly being touched. It never hurts to disinfect your keyboard or phone before using them - perhaps with an anti-bacterial wipe.

A lot of people find it hard not to put pens and pencils in their mouth or chew them. If you're concerned about this, simply carry your own pens and pencils and don't leave them lying around to be shared.

The best way to prevent the spread of office germs and viruses is to hire a respectable cleaning firm that has experience with janitorial services. A professional firm provides thorough cubical and workstation cleaning, carpet care, restroom sanitation and janitorial services - allowing your employees to enjoy a clean and healthy work environment and leading to less absenteeism through illness too.

September 26th, 2009

A build-up of dust at your office desk isn't good for your health as it can irritate your respiratory system and also trigger allergies. Worktop electronics such as a PCs or laptops, keyboards, phones and desktop fans are especially notorious for accumulating dust. Here are some easy steps you can take to keep your desk space clean and dust-free.

First get your office desk organized. Having uncluttered and clear spaces on your work desk makes cleaning easier and helps reduce dust build-up. Use a dry duster to wipe your work surface, or if necessary spray a cleaning solution onto a cloth and wipe down. Do this once a week or more if necessary.

With electronics, you'll have to be careful when dusting as using water or cleaning solutions can cause damage to them. Here are the best ways to clean the following items

Switch your monitor off. Use a dusting brush or dry cloth to gently wipe your monitor's surface and screen. If this fails to shift the dirt and dust, use a cleaning fluid specially formulated for use on your type of monitor. You can purchase anti-static solutions and cloths for the purpose of cleaning your screen too.

Turn your computer off and disconnect the keyboard. Gently shake the keyboard while upside down to allow dust and debris to fall between the keys. Use a can of compressed air to blow air between the keys and dislodge further dirt. Then give it another gentle shake. Clean the keys and keyboard with a very small amount of cleaning fluid on a cloth or an alcohol-based wipe - make sure the cloth isn't wet enough to drip liquid between the keys. Allow the keyboard to dry before connecting it back again.

It is very important that you unplug your fan or remove batteries before cleaning. Remove the front grille from the back grille (a screwdriver might be needed), and remove the fan blade too if possible. Wash the parts with soap and warm water, or if simpler, wipe clean with a wet cloth and solution. Once completely dry, reassemble.

First disconnect the phone. Then use an alcohol-based wipe or dry cloth with a little cleaning solution to remove dust. Once again, it is important to make sure you don't drip any liquid into the phone's body. You may need a dusting brush to free dirt from the spaces between keys, too.

To keep dust and dirt at bay and increase cleanliness and hygiene in the workplace, hire a good commercial cleaning business to regularly clean your office. By eliminating dust in surrounding areas, your desk will accumulate less dust too. Some good firms even offer services that take particular care of facilities that use computers - cleaning exterior components while protecting equipment at the same time.

September 26th, 2009

Given the amount of activity that happens daily in an office, it is necessary to clean it regularly to ensure your clients, regular visitors and of course, your employees, enjoy the space and perceive you as a winner.

A dirty and messy office not only scares clients away, but will directly and drastically affect productivity, while it can even cause disease to proliferate.  On the other hand, a clean office welcomes people and makes them feel good, while your people will be able to work more efficiently and happily.

As you can see, cleaning an office is a serious activity and one that demands a professional, to ensure it is done correctly and fast, without disturbing your business activities.  Hiring an office cleaning service is a necessity, and you must take the time to make sure you are hiring the best one for the job.

Office cleaning services should be provided by professionals who really understand how buildings operate and who know the guidelines in regards to chemicals and cleaners in order to avoid allergies.  These services should free business owners from the hassle of inspecting and investing time in controlling the office's cleaning, they must be very strict in regards to chemicals, and they have to respect the office's established schedule to perform their job.

A good office cleaning service will not touch the employees' things; it will only clean the spaces without invading the area.  Most companies offer these services: restroom cleaning, disinfecting, trash collection and removal, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming, dusting, vent cleaning, window washing and cleaning of light fixtures, among others.

A serious office cleaning company will have impeccable references to back up its performance.  It must offer these references to the clients so that they can confirm how satisfied other users are.

Big companies require regular cleaning services, while smaller ones may need it sporadically.  In any case, you can easily identify its necessity based on the amount of activity at the office.

Make sure you trust the service, check that certain things are not disappearing from your office after the cleaners have been there and have clarity on what supplies they will be bringing with them and what you need to provide.

September 26th, 2009

Maintaining a clean office can be a tough job if not performed by expert personnel.  Until recently, cleaning companies would use common house cleaning products to wipe tables, chairs, equipment, desks, windows, and for mopping the floors.

Almost every office is in need of daily cleaning due to the level of activity that happens there, and this is a good and healthy practice, however, there is a drawback.  The most common cleaning products are made from non-recyclable resources, which although very effective, are highly toxic and capable of not only removing difficult dirt but also of affecting and altering our air and environment in a very negative way.

It is easy for offices to neglect cleaning in some level, and since most spaces are fully air-conditioned and closed, when toxic substances are applied, these remain there for hours and even days.  And guess where these substances end up... in our bodies.

Luckily, the importance of caring for our environment is being recognized worldwide today, and every day, more people are aware of the products they use and consume, including the ones used for cleaning.  This is especially important when talking about offices, because these utilize much bigger amounts of cleaning products and on a more regular basis, increasing their participation, be it negative or positive, in our environment's current condition.

There are two serious consequences when using non-green products:

1. Petroleum based products help consume this natural resource

2. The toxic substances that are released into the air cause health problems, and the toxic cans are very hard to dispose of.  Most people just throw away these cans, which are not biodegradable, along with common trash; thus, toxic substances go into drains and landfills

Due to the above, more and more environmentally-minded people are turning to green cleaning options.  Going green stands for making choices to help protect our environment, and one of these choices is to use cleaning products made of renewable substances to enhance air quality and to clean in a natural way.

In support, the major cleaning brands have created non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-petroleum green products that work great for household and office cleaning.

A professional commercial cleaning service is aware of this situation and works to be prepared to support this common wellness initiative.  They learn about green products and the environment's needs, in addition to making it a rule to use only eco-friendly products to provide their services.

Going green brings many long term and necessary benefits.  We present ourselves as conscious individuals that respect and love our planet, and we ensure our bodies are not poisoned with toxic substances that may cause serious health problems, and even death.

October 20th, 2009

Creating a healthy workplace environment is no easy task and the regular use of a commercial cleaning service helps to ensure that the job gets done right.  With the threat of disease in everyone's mind these days, keeping our offices, desks and work stations free of germs is paramount to providing a healthy productive workplace.  There are more than just computer viruses at work in our offices every day and both types must be eradicated.

A commercial cleaning service will generally do a great job at keeping common areas sanitized but it is more up to the individual to keep their own desks, phones, cabinets and equipment as clean as possible.  Studies have shown that a typical desk can sometimes contain more bacteria than a toilet seat.  Viruses can survive for quite a length of time even on a hard surface so communal equipment is another area to watch out for.  Things like fax machines, copiers, water coolers, etc. where everyone spends some time should always be wiped down.

Remember, some people come to work when they're not really well and that's when the germs are most dangerous. Your cleaning service will most likely clean these items as part of their regular tasks, but a little extra care can go a long way in between those cleanings. Fortunately, it's an easy dilemma to solve. A quick wipe down with anti bacterial cloths will go a long way and when done on a daily basis, it is all they really need.

These days many people are working longer hours which can extend work hours into eating times, contributing even more to the chances of food particle bacteria being present.

One of the biggest reasons for the increase in some types of bacteria on a desk or in a work area is the accumulation of crumbs and food particles in and around the keyboard that sits on everyone's desk just acting as a perfect little catch-all. Mould and bacteria can grow quickly in those little cracks not to mention inside the drawers where you stash your snacks.  Even a simple coffee spill left unattended can develop into a little ecosystem of bacteria all on its own.

It's quite easy to control this type of bacteria from getting a grip inside your workspace.  Use a napkin to catch crumbs from snacks, don't keep opened packages of food in your desk, and wipe down your area when you're finished eating with an anti bacterial cloth.  The cleaner you keep your own personal space, the cleaner the whole office will be in the end.

October 20th, 2009

Spring cleaning isn't just something that homeowners need to do.  Oftentimes businesses have cleaning jobs that need only be done once or twice a year as well.  If you have a commercial cleaning company taking care of your place of business, consider asking them if they will also do this type of maintenance.  Deep cleaning jobs might include such things as steam cleaning of carpets, washing down of walls, thorough dusting of ceilings and rafters as well as complete window cleanings. Here are a few things to consider depending on the type of business you have.

A retail business should consider a deep cleaning of the premises prior to their main busy season.  This could mean at the beginning of summer, or perhaps just prior to Christmas.  You want your customers to really be able to focus on your merchandise, not cobwebs in the rafters or smears on the windows.

Similarly, a business that is fairly quiet during the winter months will want to get things spruced up before the busy summer season.  Anything that attracts tourists or the public in general should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before your customers or clients begin to arrive.  Some examples might be farmer's markets, boarding kennels, tourist's attractions and outdoor party facilities.  A thorough cleaning of some of these places might be too large for an individual and by outsourcing the job to a commercial cleaning company, you will be better able to focus on plans for the busy season ahead.

Even some offices such as medical buildings have different volumes of traffic through the doors at different times of the year and a deep cleaning of the carpets, furniture, doors and windows should be considered accordingly.  Although your staff and cleaning company can often handle a day to day cleaning of kitchen and bathrooms, they still require a more thorough job at least once a year.  This should include taking all appliances apart and cleaning shelves, drawers, stove elements and components, as well as a thoroughly cleaning of cupboards and pantries where any food is stored.

A larger job that should also be considered for a healthy work environment is a thorough cleaning of heating and air conditioning ducts.  There are specific companies that provide this service and if your cleaning company doesn't, they should be able to direct you to a reputable company.  Breathing healthy air is important to everyone and the reduction of work related health issues is of the utmost importance to business owners, staff, clients and customers alike.

If you own a business of any kind be sure to consider a commercial cleaning company for some of these large jobs that should not be neglected.

October 20th, 2009

Many small, and not so small, businesses find themselves in the need to move one or several times due to growth, cost savings, and other important reasons.  Once your business moves, you are looking at completely new needs and requirements for cleaning; however, before you start thinking about that, you must ensure your old premises look exactly as they did when you moved in, if not better.

Cleaning the office once the lease is over is as important as any other consideration of moving, but only a few companies care for it.  It is a vital aspect of the move, no matter how big or small your office is.

But, why exactly is that so?

First of all, because it is required.  Some businesses decide to do it themselves, but moving day is already hectic without having to take care of the cleaning part.  You must focus on packing and making sure valuable equipment and important papers are secured, so, hiring a cleaning company may be the smart way to go.  In this way, you will leave a freshly clean open space that is ready for someone else. In addition, if the office is cleaned thoroughly, you can make sure nothing is left behind, and that everything will be taken care of, as it should.

One vital aspect of success in business is leaving a good impression, and if you leave a dirty and messy office behind, everyone will eventually know about it.  Make sure your company does not have a tail to be stepped on, ensure you make the right decision in regards to every detail, including cleaning.  Protect your company's reputation and leave the doors open for the future.

Moving is a challenge in regards to organization, and when you're responsible for it, you must think about cleaning once everything and everyone is out.  If you want it done right, just put it in the hands of a professional office cleaning service; they will know how to comply with your lease's demands and will ensure that your image remains impeccable, just like the space.

It is all about karma, when something is done right and in virtue of integrity and professionalism, it will come back to you many times multiplied, bringing amazing success to your door and glorious pride to your life.

October 24th, 2009

Do you have experience in the commercial cleaning field, and may be tired of your low paying job?  Or are you a person with little, or no commercial cleaning experience, but is looking for a low-cost way to start a business?  If this is you, or even if you are somewhere in between, you may want to start considering opening a commercial cleaning service of your own.  An office cleaning business is a low-risk, and high reward business model, with low costs starting out.  If opening your own commercial cleaning service has been something you may have been considering, here are a few simple tips that can help you get started.

The first thing you will want to do is to ensure you have the proper funding to take on this business project.  You may have money already saved up, or you may need to borrow start-up capital from friends and relatives.  If this is not an option for you, you may want to consider going to a bank for a low-interest business loan.  To successfully receive a small business loan for yourself, you will need to be able to meet certain criteria.  You must have proof of prior work experience, and also have an above average credit standing.  They will want to have a more thorough look at your finances, and also will want to see a list of references that they can check, in regards of your character.  You will also need to show them a sophisticated business plan to ensure that your business has a plan for success.

The next thing you will need to do is to secure a business license.  To apply for a business license you will need to contact your county's local recorder's office, to get more information on what is needed for the application.  You could go on their website beforehand, to get more information on exactly what they're looking for, or just go in and make an appointment.  After following the correct procedural process, it will only be a matter of days until you have your brand new business license.

The next step for your business will be to purchase some bonded insurance.  Bonding insurance is a specific type of insurance, purchased by your business to protect themselves from clients and customers.  This will come in handy if an employee of yours happens to break or ruin something at your client's office.  With bonded insurance, the insurance company will pay for any damages incurred against your client, which can happen frequently.  Only make sure, when purchasing bonded insurance, that you do your research first.  Make sure you check out several companies very thoroughly, before finding the deal that best suits your business.

The final step you need to make is to purchase all the necessary supplies.  You can shop at wholesale commercial cleaning warehouses and large discount stores to find the best prices for your equipment.  Getting affordable, yet good and durable equipment is very important to the long term and short term expenses of your business.  Complete these steps in the proper order and your commercial cleaning service will be on its way to success and prosperity in no time.

October 24th, 2009

Going Green has quickly become one of the latest trends in a society who is becoming more and more aware of the toll they are taking on the environment.  However, many businesses are picking up on this opportunity, and are seeing what they can do to become more environmentally sensitive.  As a result, many businesses are going green, and this can't be any truer for the Commercial Cleaning industry.

The Commercial Cleaning industry has started to take great strides to ensure that their cleaning products are not only safe for the people at the offices they clean, but safe for the environment as well.  But is it really that important to have an environmentally friendly cleaning service at your place of business?    The answer is a very emphatic yes.  Having your office cleaned with environmentally safe products helps to eliminate the excess amount of chemicals used in the office cleaning process, and can actually work to improve air toxicity.

Your workers will benefit from the environmentally safer products, by improving their health and taking fewer sick days, while the environment is benefited as well.  Using environmentally friendly products also benefits the office cleaning staff as well.  Using environmentally safer products reduces the risk of illness or injury from overly toxic products that may cause injury over time.  Natural products can reduce the risk from injury and illness which translates to days off work or at work risk liability.  By using natural products, office cleaning companies can cut down the amount of liability they need to own, passing their savings down to their customers.

Using environmentally friendly cleaning products reduces the effects that harsh chemicals have on the environment.  By not using harsh cleaning products, harsh chemicals do not pass into the plumbing and drainage systems, which could damage the environment, as well as your water supplies.  Also by not using aerosols, you are working to help against the breaking down of our O-Zone layer. Green janitorial services are most of the time available, if you just ask your Commercial Cleaning service.

Businesses doing their part for the environment contribute a great deal because they help lead the way for the rest of society.  Also because many businesses are most of the leading polluters in the planet, it is their responsibility to provide a safer working environment for the rest of society.  While you may think that having your office cleaning going green is a good idea, you may still see it as insignificant.  However, many insignificant occurrences working together can have a huge impact on society as we know it.

October 27th, 2009

Who doesn't believe that every past time was better?  We hear that all the time and there is a reason for it.  In the past, when our grandparents were growing up, no one wasted money, every penny was sacred.  And this was also true when cleaning.  Grandmas cleaned the old-fashioned way, and their houses were always shiny and smelling fresh.  They learned the secret from their parents: to use natural cleaning products that were superb at getting the job done.

Back then people were smart.  They did not let others fool them to spend a fortune on toxic products that could only bring harm.  In contrast, today, we are so busy taking care of our families and earning money that we have no time to learn what is actually good for us and our kids.  The wisest thing we can do in this case is to put ourselves in the hands of professionals who do know how to clean well and safely.

A professional office cleaning service will teach you and your staff about green cleaning and how to keep your office and the environment safe.  Is your business suffering from constant leaves due to asthma, respiratory conditions, allergies, and maybe even some other life threatening illnesses in employees?  Sure it is!  And toxic cleaning products are probably to blame.  It is that serious and these are that dangerous, but the companies that produce these products will never tell you what you and everyone else are exposed to, they just care about the money they make.  It is up to you to check the ingredients they contain and their long-term effects on the body, and if you don't have the time, which most certainly you don't, hire a commercial cleaning service that does and cares.

Office cleaning services that choose natural products containing ingredients like baking soda, borax, cornstarch, lemon juice, mineral oil and vinegar, just like what grandma used and even made herself, know about the healthy way to clean and care for their clients enough to use products that will not harm them.  These companies go beyond cleaning, as they have a more important mission, to teach you and most importantly, show you, how much better it is to clean green.

So, go back in time, and hire a cleaning company with the principles your grandma lived by, you will never regret it and will surely live longer to enjoy a healthy planet!

October 27th, 2009

For any company seeking to take there business to the next level, there is no doubt that hiring a well established, and professional commercial cleaning service, will be an essential part to your business's success.  As you already know, the first impression of your business made to clients, as well as customers, dictates a lot of further action down the line.  If your clients see your business as unorganized, poorly managed and chaotic, then what will that say about the person that is running the business?  First impressions are extremely important to any business looking to compete in this modern world, and you only have one chance at it.  Be sure to make it a good one.

And the best way to do that is to ensure the cleanliness of your office to a professional staff of Janitorial Services, to promote the highest quality work.  Why waste your employees' limited time with cleaning duties, that they will only perform begrudgingly, and at 50% quality, at the most? Why not save the money you're losing on lost productivity, and hire a professional cleaning company who can do the job right, and leave your business looking professional at the same time?

A clean and well organized place of business is absolutely necessary when competing over the long term.  Remembering that you only have a small window to make a long lasting impression, you'll want everything to be as perfect as you can make it.  And that involves bringing in a professional cleaning crew at least once, to twice a week.  Having a cleaner and better organized office not only goes along way with your clients and customers, but also helps a great deal with your employees as well.  When professional cleaning crews are being used effectively, your employees will no longer have to worry about performing those cleaning duties on their own, and they can focus on more important work at the office.  Having a cleaner office also help productivity as a whole, because your employees will find it far easier to do their jobs, when the office is at its utmost cleanliness.

When looking for a professional cleaning crew for your business you will want to check out several companies before making your final decision.  You will want to check references of previous clients they have had to ensure the utmost quality work.  You will also need to compare their prices with prices of their competitors by calling around different cleaning companies in your area, looking for the average price.  After conducting a thorough search, and finding the best cleaning company to fit your needs, then you will want to complete the next step, which is to sign a contract. The contract that you enter with the office cleaning company should be clearly spelling out your needs as a business, and exactly what the service is intended to provide.  By being as clear and precise as possible, it will be easier to get out of a contract, later down the line, if you feel they're not living up to their agreement.

October 28th, 2009

People today, and the generations to come, have to live with the sad and threatening reality of Global Warming over their heads.  Global warming is the result of glaciers melting, sea levels rising and rain forests and wildlife dying, and we, human beings, are to blame.  Yes, read it again:  It is our fault, we have been reckless!

It's been ages of releasing harmful gases and toxic chemicals into the atmosphere while performing our daily life activities what has taken the planet to the sad point where it is today, worse then ever before in history.

The problem with global warming resides on the changes it causes on the Earth's climate patterns.  As the globe spins, new heat goes along, collecting moisture from all over the oceans, rising somewhere and settling somewhere else.  Global warming is changing the weather configuration that is vital for living organisms of all kinds, and only we, as its cause, can work on the solution.

An important change we should make is in the way we clean big and small spaces.  The average person uses around 40 pounds of toxic cleaning products per year!  These products contain neurotoxins, carcinogens, allergens, central nervous system depressants and heavy metals, among other substances, that can produce cancer, respiratory problems, reproductive abnormalities, allergies, behavior problems, and many other serious illnesses.  Toxic products reach the environment when flushed down the toilet, when poured down sinks, when sprayed in the air, when thrown in the garbage and when dumped on the ground.  When we think about this, one can't but wonder: What on earth are we thinking???

So, whether you do it yourself or hire a professional commercial cleaning service, change the cleaning products you use to natural ones, green products.  By selecting products that are made out of natural substances and that are environment-friendly, you are saving people, animals and the planet.  The best office cleaning companies are the ones that use natural products to perform their service, showing care and respect for their industry, profession, clients, and the world.  One thing is clear and crucial for survival at this critical point, everyone must start taking responsibility and doing his or her share.

November 30th, 2009

Keeping carpets clean is the hardest thing to achieve when dealing with office cleaning.  If don't believe it, just ask your commercial cleaning company. Every carpet needs regular cleaning to keep bacteria, dust, and dirt under control.  These are guilty for the deterioration of carpets and can really shorten their use.  However, the worse problem commercial cleaning staff encounters is stains.  These really make the carpet look ugly and convey an unprofessional image.

Here we present several tips to help you keep your carpets clean when an emergency occurs and the professionals are not around:

This is probably the most common type of stain that you will find in office carpets.  When dealing with a coffee spill, soak up the excess with a towel, clean with soda water, dry with a cloth, and repeat until the stain disappears.

We've all been there.  You're having a sweet glass of red wine to celebrate a colleague's birthday or an office achievement when suddenly, tragedy strikes!  Red wine is spilled over the white carpet.  Luckily, this is a very easy problem to solve: just pour some white wine or soda water over the fresh red wine spill.  If you spill white wine instead, spray with soda water.

These are not very common in the office, but if you happen to spill some, you should soak up the liquid with a paper towel and clean with warm water or soda water.

This is a true nightmare!  If you don't get it right, you will lose your carpet.  We recommend putting ice in a bag and rubbing it on the gum so that it solidifies, and then scrape as much as possible with a blunt knife.  After this is done, use carpet shampoo to clean the spot, wait until it dries, and finally vacuum it.

These are also very common in the office.  The treatment will depend on the type of ink:
* Ballpoint ink stains have to be dried up ASAP.  Wipe with menthylated spirits or apply a stain remover.
* Fountain pen ink stains have to be diluted with soda water and washed out as much as you can.  Make a hot mixture of soap flakes, leave it on the stain for fifteen minutes, and clean.  Repeat this procedure until the stain is gone.

Put blotting or brown paper on the stain, put a cloth over the paper and iron the spot at medium heat so that the grease adheres to the paper.  Later, apply carpet shampoo.  If the stain shows up again after a few weeks, it means the grease was sucked inside the carpet, and you will have to look for professional treatment to clean it.

These also give cleaning staff the biggest headache.  If you don't remove them right, you will have to simply change the carpet.  Start by scraping the excess tar off, combine equal parts of glycerin and water, apply and leave for one hour; finally rinse with water.  Do this until the stain is no longer visible.

Yep!  Stains can cause you physical pain!  You and your personnel should be extra careful when handling beverages or materials that could cause serious stains. Prevention is the best practice; however, accidents happen.  Stay calm, follow the instructions above, and call your office cleaning service immediately for professional support.

November 30th, 2009

It only takes a cough from the colleague sitting next to us to turn us all into hypochondriacs.  We immediately think we are being infected with swine flu and run to the nearest pharmacy only to find out that all the facemasks are gone.

It's true that we have to be cautious in regards to swine flu; it is very contagious since it expands through droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  An infected individual can infect others even one day after symptoms start and up to seven days after being sick, however all extremes are dangerous.  Not everyone with a cold is infected with swine flu; remember that the symptoms are very similar to those associated with a common cold: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue, and only a doctor can confirm if someone is indeed infected with swine flu.  What we all can and should do is work on prevention.  Prevention is the key to stop this dreaded virus for good.

We have to be especially careful around crowded places, and this is why keeping a clean environment in the office is vital to ensure your safety while at work.  A clean office will not allow the virus to spread, because it will not survive for too long.

Every office, be it small, medium, or large, must be cleaned daily.  If yours was cleaned three times a week until now, request a change.  Your commercial cleaning service will work with you to define a daily schedule that is right for you.

Encourage visitors, clients, associates, and suppliers that come to the office to sanitize their hands by placing respectful requests and signs in the appropriate places.

And personally, what can you do to stay healthy and avoid being the cause of others getting sick?  As much as possible, avoid commuting with the crowd, so ask for a flexible schedule at work.  Wash your hands frequently, and as soon as you arrive to the office or home no matter where you have been; always have a hand sanitizer with you in case there is no way to wash your hands. Cover you mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Clip your nails regularly and keep them clean because they are where viruses love to reside. Exercise regularly, learn to manage stress, and get a good night's sleep. Drink lots of liquids and eat healthy foods, and most importantly, do not go to work if you feel even a little sick.

Professional commercial cleaning services are trained to use the most efficient cleaning methods to ensure your office is 100% free of viruses.  They make sure employees have a good supply of tissues on their desks, keep a close eye on the stock of soap and hand drying supplies to make sure these are always available, and clean those difficult areas that are normally forgotten but touched continuously, for example, light switches, corners, door knobs, keyboards, and phones.

Do your part and let the professionals deal with the rest, so that you can work and live in peace and health.

November 30th, 2009

If your office is carpeted, chances are you will need the help of a commercial cleaning service to get them cleaned.  You may already have this service as part of your cleaning contract, but have you ever questioned how your office carpets are cleaned, and if the methods are safe for you, your colleagues and the environment?

There are basically two types of carpet cleaning: dry cleaning and steam cleaning.  Dry cleaning involves the addition of a cleaning powder deep down into the carpet absorbing dirt particles as it is beaten into the carpet.  The powder is then vacuumed out and the dirt along with it.

Steam cleaning is basically a water extraction method of cleaning.  Cleaners are applied to the carpet via a stream of very hot water and then vacuumed up, extracting dirt at the same time. There are fans of both methods and it's hard to say which will be right for you. Here are a few of the pros and cons of each to consider.

Vacuuming the powder out of a carpet completely can be difficult.  Particles of the powder may remain in the carpet and move into the air as people walk on the carpet releasing chemicals and toxins that everyone then breathes in.  However, this is a generally a much more cost-effective method of carpet cleaning as the equipment used is much less expensive, but many people question that all of the cleaning compounds can ever be removed by a vacuuming process.

Steam cleaning or hot water extraction seems to be the method most used and preferred by cleaning companies and consumers alike.  Part of the reason for this is that large trucks with exterior motors and pumps can be brought on site to extract the dirty water.  The motors on these machines are much more powerful that those of portable units that can be brought right inside a building, with the end result being less residue left in the carpets. This means fewer toxins remaining behind that can move into the air, and less residue in the carpet that can attract soil and stains, and also less drying time for your busy workplace.

The high temperatures of the hot water used can also be better for destroying bacteria that can lurk in your carpet, providing further support to the theory that steam cleaning, or hot water extraction is the best carpet cleaning method.

Regardless of which method is ultimately used in your office or building, keeping carpets clean is of the utmost importance.  In addition to regular cleanings, daily vacuuming and immediate spot removal are the two best ways to keep office carpet in tip top shape.

November 30th, 2009

Air quality is something everyone needs to be concerned about.  You have invested in quality janitorial services to keep your office free of dirt, bacteria and toxins.  It is just as important to ensure that the air in the office is clean and toxin free as well.  So, how do you know if the air quality in your office is healthy? Consider these points.

The air quality in a building is a constantly changing thing.  Any efforts to improve or change it have to be made on an ongoing basis and monitored continuously.

Bacteria do not just exist on surfaces, but travel through the air as well.  These bacteria can come from dust mites, animal dander, spilled water or other liquids, as well as poor cleaning habits in general. Inadequate humidity control and poor ventilation can also be contributing factors.

Cleaning products and chemical spills of even the smallest amount can reduce air quality.  Furniture, carpets, wall coverings and office equipment can all give off gases that affect air quality.

Minute particles of airborne pollutants can enter the building from outside and be harmful to the health of workers inside.  Renovation activities such as sanding wood or drywall, painting, and even cleaning can introduce harmful products into the air.

Printing, faxing and copying equipment can release chemicals into the surrounding area.

Excess humidity can create all kinds of air quality related hazards, with mold being at the top of the list.  Even the drain pan in your fridge can be a breeding ground for bacteria if not kept clean and dry.  Likewise, low levels of humidity can create air that is too dry, resulting in various related health issues.

Indoor air quality is achieved by the conditioning of outdoor air that is carried inside through the air conditioning or heating systems.  If these systems are improperly maintained the quality of indoor air will be reduced significantly.

Placement of office furniture and equipment can also have an effect on indoor air quality.  Office partitions and furniture can obstruct air flow as can block registers, ultimately resulting in poor indoor air quality.

Cooking odors from inadequate kitchen ventilation can be bothersome and unhealthy.

Maintaining good indoor air quality is not difficult but it does require effort and communication among workers.  The services of a good office cleaning company and good equipment maintenance will go a long way to keeping the air quality where it should be.

November 30th, 2009

Many professionals go to college and earn important degrees in order to be able to create and run a successful company; however, those MBA's and PhD's forget to teach them some of the basic and simplest secrets to success.

What follows may seem pretty obvious, but it truly is not.

Every successful company's trademark is a beautiful office, one decorated by professional interior designers and with the footprint of modernity and class all over it.  The rationale behind this powerful investment is that an inviting and interesting ambiance for employees and a professional look for the customers translate into a good image and more sales.

However, there is little or nothing a top-notch office décor can do in the presence of a dirty office.  Many owners and managers forget to think about the cleaning and maintenance of their office, an aspect that is a clear and basic management consideration and one of vital importance.  Office cleaning can mean the difference between skyrocketing or free falling in business.

A company that shows a great interior décor but is dirty and not cared for shows its clients it doesn't care for detail.  It is clearly just presenting a facade that fools no one, because what this dirt translates into is a lack of concern about long-term results and actions.  Additionally, it is obvious that the personnel working there must be desperate, because no outstanding professional will accept working in an environment that could make him or her sick and where clearly there is no interest in providing quality care for the most valuable asset a business has: its employees.

You certainly don't want your company to be perceived as careless, dirty and unkempt, even less so in times when every little extra care you put into your business can separate you from the hundreds, if not thousands, who are closing their doors.

One of the reasons why office cleaning is so neglected could be because it is a time consuming and very hard effort, and many professionals don't even know where to start.  Come on! They got an MBA in Engineering, not in Office Cleaning, and it's true. This type of cleaning requires specialization; it calls for an expert.

Your best choice for efficient commercial cleaning is to hire professional janitorial services; otherwise, you will have to sacrifice your time doing what you do best, to keep your office impeccably clean.  And we know this won't happen, right?

In order to select the best cleaning company for your needs, call several services and take them through your office so that they can evaluate what is needed and what they can offer.  Ask them for a detailed estimate, including number of janitors, their specialties, schedules, materials needed, and frequency of cleaning needed to maintain the space sparkling.  Ask for references, trained personnel, and prefer companies that give you ample details.

Even though it may cost you money, think about your image and consider what it is worth.  This could be one of the best or worse decisions of your career, without question!

November 30th, 2009

So you're certain that you have selected the best office cleaning service available because they charge you something that is within the range of your budget; they offer you flexible schedules to fit yours, they use only natural products that are eco-friendly, and they are very attentive and always happy.  You are right, it sounds like you have won the janitorial services' lottery.

However, have you considered that there could be more they should do for you? If you haven't, think again, because there is, and here it is:

If you really plan to get your business ahead of the game, you should make sure the cleaning service can adapt to your ever-changing business needs.  Is it a small, medium, or large company? Does it work with companies of many sizes? Does it have a history of success in many areas, like office cleaning, shop fitting cleaning, and builders' cleanup? If you are taking the time to create a trusty relationship, and are investing money on cleaning services, you have to make sure this relationship matures along with your business.

Obviously you established a cleaning schedule with them, so make sure they comply with it and that you are getting the best out of your money.  The service must understand the importance of your time, since it can directly affect your employees' health, your image, and the working atmosphere.  So, if they cannot get it done, be certain that someone else can.

So, how is this important for you? When a cleaning service works with different size and background companies this shows their top priority is flexibility, professionalism, and to please, no matter what.  On the contrary, someone who just provides service for small companies, for example, tells you that their potential is limited.

If you're certain you have hired the best, they surely have to be listed and recognized by national boards and have to have earned awards.  These honors represent the hard work the company has put into giving the best cleaning services and in keeping its clients happy and tended to, such good work that it got someone's attention.  You can be certain these companies' employees are highly trained, even scientifically, to know exactly what products to use in which areas without causing any harm.  It sounds amazing, because it is.  If your company advertises that they have earned important awards, you truly found the best out there.

Taking the time to thoroughly research the commercial cleaning services offered can really pay off.  If you want the best, the four considerations above are key to ensure your cleaning services will not let you down.  This is something you shouldn't be asking for; it is something that should be offered to you from the beginning.

November 30th, 2009

Studies show that a clean and organized work space increases and sustains increased employee productivity.  We all feel better in an atmosphere that is relaxed and free of clutter and chaos.  If your company has invested in the services of an office cleaning company then they are doing their part to ensure a clean working environment.  So what can you, as an employee do to help?  Consider taking these actions to help keep your office a place that is conducive to efficient working habits.

* Keep your desk and work station organized and free of clutter.  Use trays or filing boxes to take care of loose papers and folders.

* Streamline your processes so you can keep things tidy.  Handle notes, papers and correspondence that cross your desk as soon as you can.  Handle documents only once, putting them straight away into their proper place.  Items that you set aside to look at later seldom get remembered and more often end up being buried under other paperwork.

* By being organized you will also save tons of time by not having to look for things.  Nothing is more frustrating than having to stop midway through a task to locate a stapler, paper clip or file folder.

* Invest in the use of a paper shredder to quickly dispose of paperwork you no longer need and also to reduce the volume of paper waste left behind for the cleaning company to dispose of. It is a standard security feature in a lot of companies anyway, so just make it a personal goal to do it as soon as possible instead of letting the paper pile up.

* Keep personal belongings out of the way and in their proper place.  It's hard to move about quickly if you have to be conscious of tripping over a handbag here or a shopping bag there.  Keep that extra sweater on a coat hanger up and out of the way instead of on the back of your chair where they can fall on the floor and get in the way.  Make it a habit to take home items each night that you don't use every day.  Extra coffee mugs, water bottles and thermos jugs can quickly clutter up a desk and make it difficult to work efficiently.

* Limit personal items that you bring to work and find a convenient place for things such as plants, pictures and radios so they don't clutter up your work area.

By just keeping these simple techniques in mind you will be doing your part to contribute to a healthy, happy chaos free workplace.

November 30th, 2009

The office kitchen and the boardroom are places that everyone uses.  Your commercial cleaning service may do a nightly cleaning of these rooms but they don't look after the small personal types of tidying up that need to be done after each and every person uses the space.   There are some simple manners and common courtesies that should be kept in mind by all.  Here are a few to consider.

* Be considerate.  Everyone is entitled to some space in the fridge and cupboards.  Don't just cram your lunch into the front spot.  Take the time to arrange your items carefully among others that might already be in there.

* Identify what belongs to you.  This will help to avoid any misunderstandings in the case of misplaced, discarded or wrongfully eaten food. A half eaten sandwich on a shelf may be something you planned to eat later but another well-meaning colleague might assume it is a leftover from some earlier meeting and toss it away. If it's yours and you want it, label it so others know!  Likewise, if you come across something unidentified in the fridge, try to find out who it belongs to before deciding to throw it away.

* Delegate a person in the workplace to be in charge of creating a cleaning schedule for things like dishes etc. that the janitorial services maybe don't cover or might take care of much later.

* If your day off or the weekend is approaching, be sure to remove items that belong to you that will spoil during that time.

* If you drink the last of the coffee in the pot, it is considered polite to make another pot.

* If you use the microwave to reheat leftovers, be sure to wipe it down if your dish has overflowed or sprayed around the oven.  Spills that are left unattended not only dry hard and become more difficult to remove; they also create an odor for the next person who uses the oven.

* Crumbs and spills in the kitchen and the boardroom should be swept up as they happen to leave the room neat and tidy for the next person's use.  Tables and counters should also be wiped down. All empty disposable cups and napkins should be disposed of at the end of meetings.

* Replace bottled water in the fridge if you use the last of the supply, or arrange to have a new water bottle put on the cooler if you use the last of it.  Likewise, replace the paper cup holder if you use the last one.

These are just a few of the little things that each person can be aware of and do as needed to help make the office a cleaner, healthier place for everyone.

December 15th, 2009

Green cleaning stands for cleaning that promotes a healthy environment for people while being eco-friendly.  Green cleaning involves a lot of considerations, like reviewing the cleaning procedures and equipment the cleaning company uses, as well as the cleaning products they employ.

It's easy to assess if a cleaning business is using the right vacuums and dusters for green cleaning, however, it is not so simple to know if the products they are using are truly green.

Here we give you some tips to help you identify if your office cleaning service is truly working green:

1. The products they use should be certified by Green Seal, which provides environmental certification standards for green cleaning products based on scientific examination.

2. The products should not be toxic for humans or animals, and especially marine life.

3. The products should be biodegradable, meaning they may be disintegrated by microbes.  The longer it takes to disappear, the more harmful it is. The products should have a label stating that they are biodegradable.

4. Check if the product is concentrated or ready to use.  Ready to use products contain 90% water, meaning more energy and packaging were used to produce them, and extra packaging means extra solid waste.  Concentrated cleaning products use much less water, less packaging, and weigh less, diminishing the cost of fuel needed to transport the product to the stores.

5. Green cleaning products work perfectly well with cold water.  This saves energy, contrary to products needing hot water, which require much more energy to work well.

6. Products shouldn't contain chlorine bleach.  Residue water containing this chemical can cause a toxic reaction when in contact with other chemicals.

7. Green products are not made with petroleum.  Petroleum is a non-renewable resource, it is flammable, and can be toxic if it is inhaled.  Green cleaning uses products made from pine oil or citrus, which are renewable resources.

8. Green products do not come in aerosol.  Aerosol bottles are dangerous if they are perforated, because the spray is out of control and can put people at risk of over exposure.

9. Products should be pH neutral (7.0), which is safer for both the environment and people.  Alkaline or acidic products may burn your skin.

10. Green cleaning products come in recycled containers.  In many cases, post-consumer materials are used to manufacture the containers and cardboard boxes.

There are many ways to do things, but there is only ONE right way.  If you are truly committed to green living, you should go all the way and ensure you are making the right choices, to the last detail.  Ensure that the office cleaning company you hire is in line with your life philosophy and doing its part to contribute to the health of the planet and its preservation.

December 16th, 2009

Nothing says 'spotless clean office' like 'spotless clean bathrooms'; equally, nothing says your commercial cleaning company provides quality service like the pristine restrooms in your office building.  More often than desired, clients go into an office bathroom only to be greeted by nasty smells or very strong scents that clearly state that no care is being put into cleaning it effectively.

There is a process for cleaning an office bathroom effectively and professionally.  For example, the cleaning staff has to study the restroom to identify where the odors come from in order to get rid of them.

Odors can come from many sources, for example from dirt, bacteria, and drains, among others.  To keep odors under control, cleaners have to thoroughly clean and disinfect every surface in the bathroom; mopping every day will get the surface dirt off, but the cleaner may have to use a more aggressive method to get rid of the dirt that has penetrated the grout.  The proper training of the cleaning staff will ensure bathrooms are correctly cleaned.  A properly trained employee will get rid of the dirt you can see as well as of the one you can't, he or she will know what cleaners and disinfectants to use and how to use them, contributing to solving the odor problem, instead of creating it.

The staff must recommend the best products to help keep the restrooms smelling fresh, like commode mats for urinals and toilets to avoid any urine from dripping on the floor and to diminish odors, and air fresheners with soft fragrances that are not offensive to the user.

After odors have been controlled, a bathroom is considered spotless clean if the following are met:

* Dispensers are free of spots and dust, and are correctly filled with the right supplies.

* All the trash is gone and a clean liner has been installed into the trashcan.  The trash can's outside has no stains, fingerprints, and dust.

* Toilets, urinals, and urinal screens have no soil, spots, stains, and urine or other fluids, on the inside and the outside.

* Sinks, fixtures, and drinking fountains have no water spots, stains, soap, and dirt around the base.

* Countertops and ledges have no soil and dust.

* Mirrors have no stains, fingerprints, water spots, streaks, and other residues.

* The bathroom floors have no dirt, hair, paper, gum, soil build-up, urine, and other fluids.

* Floor drain covers have no soil, lint, mop strings, and dirt.

* Ceiling vents have no dust, lint, and build-up.

* Partitions, doors, doorknobs, walls, and ceilings have no soil, stains, fingerprints, water spots, and graffiti.

The best way to ensure your commercial cleaning service is doing a superb job, besides checking their work personally after cleaning, is to be honest and see if you would be willing to use that bathroom yourself every single day.  Everyone is extremely picky about the restrooms they use, and if you are certain that you would feel comfortable using your office's public bathrooms this means they probably are spotless clean.

December 17th, 2009

As we all know, personal appearances and first impressions can be crucial when owning and operating a business.  If your office or store is sloppy, and poorly organized, your customers, as well as your clients, will see your business the same way.  Having an organized and messy office can show your work to be less than quality, and can be detrimental to your business down the line.  Much of this can be avoided by simply hiring a professional office cleaning company to clean your office one to two times a week.  But when hiring a professional office cleaning company for your business, there are a number of important factors that you must bear in mind.

One of these important factors, that should be investigated, is the company's reputation.  Does the company have a good reputation?  Have you ever heard of this company before?  Where you referred to this company by a friend or colleague, or did you simply pick them out of a phone book?  Although this doesn't mean they won't do a good job, it is also important to hire a company that you can rely on, and has an established reputation.  When evaluating a cleaning company make sure you see if they have any good recommendations on their website or provide a list of references you can check out prior to entering into a contract with them.  By doing your research early, you will be saving your company time and money down the line.

If you have found an office cleaning company that you're comfortable with, the next step would be to enter into a binding contract with that company.  But before you do you must first negotiate what the pricing will be, as well as the services they will provide.  It is important before entering into any contract that both parties are as clear as possible on the terms of the contract.  Make sure you provide a list of all the services that you will require, and make sure that everything is clearly listed in the contract.  This way if either party is not living up to their end of the bargain, you will be legally able to dissolve the contract on account of violation of the terms.

It may also be a good idea to install security cameras in your office to make sure that everything is running according to plan.  This can be a good protection for your company, in case anything gets damaged or stolen.  Make sure you have security cameras positioned in key areas so as to monitor any suspicious behavior, and make sure you have enough of them to monitor as much as you can.  This way the office cleaning company will have no excuses in case of stolen or damaged property, as well as less than desirable work.  This is also important in a legal sense, as the video evidence will be more than sufficient if they deny the event, and you're looking for legal compensation.  By taking the proper time to evaluate each company, and protecting yourself with cameras and a strong contract, you will be able to choose the best office cleaning company to fit your company's needs.

December 18th, 2009

Running your own commercial cleaning company can be a great opportunity for yourself to run your own business, make a nice amount of money, and devote yourself to something you enjoy doing.  But as with any business, there are common pitfalls involved, which if properly avoided, will mean a smoother and more profitable business.  By just following a few of these easy tips, and being more aware of possible pitfalls in the future, your commercial cleaning company will prosper, as well as make profits year in and year out.

One of the biggest mistakes commercial cleaning services make is that they often don't know what the right price is for doing a particular job.  This can be a common problem when your company is just starting out, and you may be unsure of what the market value might be, or you may want to slash prices to stay ahead of the competition.  Knowing the right pricing levels for each particular job may be crucial to your success or failure.  If you are charging too much, you might lose much needed contracts, business that your company just can't afford to lose.

On the other hand, if your company is charging less than the market price, you may be undervaluing your work, and losing much needed capital.  The most important thing to figure out when you're quoting a company is to calculate your expenses, by the market price, and figure out a comfortable medium price that you can live with.  Figuring out the right pricing system will be a crucial element to your long term success, or failure.

Another important pitfall to avoid while running your own commercial cleaning company is not knowing your employees well.  Many times in commercial cleaning companies, the owner usual hires his employees through contracting firms, or may have assistants do the hiring themselves.  This can sometimes cause problems if you are not familiar with who exactly is representing your business.  If you want your business run a certain way, and you want your employees to represent your company in a certain manner, then it might not be a bad idea to do all the hiring yourself.

Another common problem that many business owners fall into is hiring the wrong people.  This may include people who are not legal citizens, or unqualified family members.  Hiring illegal immigrants can be dangerous to your business if you're not careful.  Hiring illegal immigrants is illegal, and although they may save your company expenses in lower wages, they may hurt the reputation of your company, as well as make you incur heavy fines if they are discovered.

You must also be careful when hiring close family members.  Oftentimes, owning your own business can be a great opportunity to create good job opportunities for fellow family members who might be looking for work.  This can be a great asset to a family; it can help families prosper, as well as bring them closer together.  But on the other hand, it can also break families apart.  If things don't work out, and you have to end up firing a close family relative, this could be potentially detrimental to your long term relationship.  The smart advice is to hire family members, only if they are qualified for the job, and if you can properly separate your family life from your business life.  By following these tips, your commercial cleaning company is sure to have a more successful future, as well as stay ahead of the competition.

December 21st, 2009

As winter approaches and we start thinking about keeping the workplace nice and toasty, we must not overlook the benefits of having air ducts cleaned and ready for an efficient heating season.  If you have a commercial cleaning contract, you should check with them to see if they offer this service, and if not, ask if they can recommend you to a reputable company.  The good health of employees is paramount to a productive workplace and the most important aspect to consider is the air we breathe.

Here are some important facts to consider before you make a final decision on duct cleaning.

Duct cleaning generally refers to more than just the duct work but also includes all the components of heating and cooling systems including registers, vents, coils, drain pans, humidifiers and housing units for all the systems.  Many of these parts are not visible so it is hard to see dirt, mould and moisture that might be hiding there.

Contaminants that are not cleaned out of the duct work get blown back through the system and float in the air we breathe.  This is not healthy for anyone but people prone to allergies or asthma can suffer a lot from breathing in this polluted air.

If you are uncertain whether a duct cleaning would benefit your office, you can have a pre assessment done to determine the state of your system.  Not all ducts need cleaning if the system has been properly installed and maintained and is running efficiently.

An average duct cleaning will most likely run the company anywhere from $500 to $1000, depending on the size of your office space.  When searching for a company to perform the cleaning, be certain that they are registered with the National Air Duct Cleaners Association.

There is no EPA certification for duct cleaning as actual health benefits have not been studied and documented.  They will not endorse the cleaning of ducts as a benefit to the air quality of a workspace.  They do however, recommend against having chemicals of any kind added to the heating and cooling systems as part of a duct cleaning process. These chemicals that are supposed to keep your air clean and fresh can actually be very detrimental to good health so it is recommended you refuse this service if the duct cleaning company recommends it.

Whether you decide to have the job done or not, just be sure you are adequately informed on all the pros and cons.  In either case, there are some things you can do to make the air in your workplace healthy.  Change any filters as necessary and be sure they are installed properly.  Vacuum the office often to remove dust particles. By staying on top of the cleanliness game, and hiring professional janitorial services, you will help maintain a greener more efficient office, and save more money too!

December 22nd, 2009

Keeping your computer and other electronics clean not only helps to control the spread of the germs that can linger there, it also helps prolong the life and health of your electronic equipment.  Computer screens, keyboards, scanners, fax machines and computer towers are all magnets for dust and debris.  Even in a workplace that is kept clean by professional janitorial services, the necessity to keep electronics clean may be entirely up to the individual.  Here are some handy tips to remember to help keep your electronics in tip top shape.

For cordless phones or cell phones, a cotton swab dipped in a bit of rubbing alcohol is a good natural stand by.  Just dip the swab in the alcohol and work it into all the little crannies and crevices.  The alcohol kills germs, and dries quickly leaving no residue behind.  A very similar product that can be used in the same fashion is alcohol wipes.  They work under the same principles as the swab but they are a little harder to get into all the tiny crevices.

Tiny crumbs and dirt particles love to hide away inside your keyboard.  Not only can this be unhealthy, it can also cause keys to stop functioning properly.  There are cans of pressurized air that can be purchased that essentially blow this dirt right out of your keyboard.  If you don't want to pay for canned air, there are other methods to keep your keyboard clean.  A small artists brush can be used to dislodge debris in your keyboard, then simply vacuum with the brush attachment of a regular or small hand held vacuum.  There are small vacuums actually sold for this precise purpose and are small and handy to keep in your desk.

Always remember to use a vacuum to remove dust and hair from around tower fans.  Dirt forgotten here can easily cause your electronics to overheat and prematurely burn out.  Also, wipe down all cables and dust out all plugs and ports.  There are a thousand places where dirt and debris can hide and be overlooked.

Monitor screens should never be cleaned with harsh cleaners or water.  Use a specialty wipe that has been treated with a safe cleaning chemical intended for monitor and lap top screens.

A soft, dry lint free cloth is the best tool to use to clean computer discs, CDs or DVDs.  Just wipe them gently in a circular motion.

It is always best to turn off your equipment before cleaning, and always check the manufacturer's instructions for any specific maintenance and cleaning suggestions.

February 17th, 2010

Waste removal is quite often a part of your office janitorial services, but reducing personal paper waste is something every individual can and should make a concentrated effort to achieve.  While there is nothing we can do about some documents that require filing and storing, there are many simple ways to work towards having as paper free a work environment as possible.  Here are 4 steps you can take to help reduce the paper clutter that has to be removed from your workplace.

The first step to reducing paper clutter is to decide exactly which documents must be kept and which are headed for the waste bin. At this stage you are determining the final destination for all the paper that collects in various spots around the office.

There will be papers that must be filed for keeping and need to be easily accessed if and when necessary, such as tax documents, legal agreements etc. These will go in a pile for filing. If you're ever in doubt as to whether or not a document is needed for official purposes, always file it away.  Better to be safe than sorry, but don't let it be an excuse to keep every piece of paper that crosses your desk!

Then there are those papers that should be kept for future reference but not for official purposes, such as advertising materials, brochures, business cards etc. and these will go in a pile for scanning.

And finally, there are those papers that have no further purpose and can be thrown away.  These will go in a pile for the shredder.  Now you're ready to make those piles of paper disappear!

All documents in the "file pile" can now be filed away in appropriately labeled folders for quick access whenever necessary. Make it a habit to go through the filing cabinet at least once a year to determine if there are documents there that can be removed.

Investing in a good quality scanner for your computer is a must in order to reduce paper waste. Each of the documents in this "paper pile" can now be individually scanned into your computer and kept in a properly labeled folder on your desktop. You should also back up your scanned items on a memory stick or CD for safekeeping in case of a computer crash.  A hard copy can always be printed again if needed, and the document is readily available at the click of your mouse for reading, editing or reference.  Once scanned and electronically filed, these documents can now be moved to the shredder pile.

There are mobile shredding companies that will come to the workplace for shredding larger amounts of paperwork, bur individual paper shredders are inexpensive, easy to use, and will allow you to take care of paperwork yourself as you are finished with it.  Once shredded, the paper is off your desk, into the recycle bin, and gone from the office!

February 19th, 2010

No one wants to be surrounded by foul odors all day, especially when you're trying to get your work done, but beware of trying to mask those odors with commercial air fresheners!  There is plenty of doubt surfacing as to whether or not these perfumed culprits are actually quite harmful to our health.

If your office cleaning company uses natural green cleaning products, you should have no need for them in the workplace anyway, but many individuals like to have that little stick, or gel, or spray to chase away odors just in case.  If you're one of those people, here is a bit of information on the downside of air fresheners and also some tips on keeping the air fresh naturally!

Many air fresheners on the market today contain chemicals known as phalates, which are suspected of causing cancer, birth defects and fertility problems.  Conclusive evidence has not been confirmed regarding the amount of exposure required before adverse affects take place, but as a precaution many countries have banned the use of phalates in some cosmetics and children's toys.  This should tell us that being exposed to this dubious chemical is not a good thing, and might as well be avoided if possible until evidence is found to the contrary.  So, where does that leave us with our concerns about nasty odors in the office?  Well, the truth is, some simple answers can be found right under our noses!

Cleanliness, of course, is the first defense against odors.  As mentioned above, if you have hired a diligent and efficient cleaning company, your office should be free of odors anyway.  But for those not so pleasant smells that waft in from time to time, you can try these things:

* Open windows to bring a bit of fresh air if possible to eliminate a temporary odor from a burned lunch or food spill.

* Empty all trash containers daily or immediately if something is really smelly and shake a bit of baking soda into the bottom of the trash can as well

* If you have a garbage disposal, run a piece or two of lemon through the system every so often

* Heat a small dish of water and cinnamon in the microwave for a few minutes to eliminate odors both in the oven and the room

* If someone in the office has a green thumb, consider placing a few houseplants throughout the office.  Plants act as natural air purifiers and look pretty too!  There are also commercial companies that will provide and maintain plants for the workplace in the event that no green thumbs can be found!

* Consider putting a small personal air cleaner on your desk.  These can be found in a variety of sizes and price ranges and work quite well to keep small areas odor free.

* Zeolite crystals also help to eliminate stubborn odors that are sometimes hard to pinpoint.  These crystals are usually sold in a mesh pouch and can often be found in home, farm and hardware stores.  They absorb odors for a period of time and then can be refreshed by being placed in the sun for a time.

February 19th, 2010

There is a lot of value in an office cleaning company that promises and reinforces green cleaning.  However, one thing is promising, and a very different one is actually talking the talk and walking the walk.

Here is a list of the points you have to supervise in order to confirm that your office cleaning services are really green cleaners.  As you will see, the fact that you use commercial cleaning services does not mean you don't have to keep an eye on the job being done:

The entrance to an office is the place where most contamination settles, because everyone goes through there.  Office cleaners must be good at containing this pollution immediately, before it gets into the building.  The entrance and mats should be cleaned and vacuumed very frequently.

How exactly do you do this?  It's very easy. Check if the cleaners are using microfiber cleaning cloths; these trap the dust in the cloth and do not let it disperse, and they also reduce the need to use chemicals for cleaning.  If the cleaners use chemicals, see that they apply it to the cloth instead of spraying it on the surface that is being cleaned; this will ensure the chemicals are contained.

The right vacuums are HEPA vacuums, which reduce airborne particles.  The cleaners must empty and clean them frequently to ensure they work well.

A green office cleaning company will only use green cleaning products, and they will also be knowledgeable about chemical management systems to dilute the products correctly.

In order to do this, you have to read the directions yourself.  Most disinfectants need time to settle in order to work well, and every cleaner should follow the directions on how to properly and safely use every chemical.

These are the microfiber flat type, which grab and get rid of dirt instead of moving it around the place, like normal mops do.

For example, cleaning cloths organized by color: red to remove dust, yellow for toilets, blue for windows, etc.  They should also categorize mop buckets and handles by color to avoid mixing chemicals.

Green cleaning services promote the use of recycled paper products on bathrooms and kitchens.

The only way for an office cleaning company to go green is to teach their staff why it is important to be green.

Green cleaning, as much as green living, is not something you can impose on someone. It has to be understood in order to be accepted as a way of life, and a way of cleaning.

February 22nd, 2010

A proficiently organized janitor closet is the first step to ensure your office is truly safe and clean.  Why?  Because places with important amounts of human traffic, like hospitals, apartment buildings, hospitals, and office complexes, depend on organized and efficient janitorial services to run smoothly, and this can only be accomplished if the cleaning supplies are in order and adequately stored.

Janitors' closets are, in many cases, the neglected source of many chemical dangers and accidents.  A janitor closet must have more than enough room to hold all the cleaning equipment and products.  The size of the space will depend on the size of your office and its needs; however, there should be enough room for extra supplies and for the staff to move freely and safely around.

Every janitor closet must have a good place to put the 'material safety data sheets' (MSDS). These explain the correct use of every chemical, and the entire cleaning crew should know them by heart and must know where they are in case of an emergency.  In the same way, the cleaning staff must know how to dispose of dangerous products or materials. They should be trained for it, and it is your responsibility, as the hiring company's owner or representative, to ensure the office cleaning services you hire are professionals in preventing accidents as much as they are for cleaning.

A well-equipped janitor closet must contain:
* The relevant MSDS sheets
* The appropriate labels for all bottles
* A list of emergency phone numbers
* First aid kit
* Extra supplies
* Protective equipment like goggles, gloves, and aprons
* A sink and tap with the right drainage
* Enough room to safely store the equipment and products

No one should neglect the janitor's closet when checking safety and health aspects at the office.  If there's room for everything, it is easier to store it and keep it clean, organized, and safe, and it is also easier to deal with an emergency in case there is one.

Janitor' closets are a priority on the lists of health and safety inspectors.  They check that these comply with every health and safety regulation, like the MSDS sheets, the storage capability, type of ventilation, and proper work area for the staff.  Your company can save lots of money and prevent serious emergencies by complying with these simple guidelines.

But maybe the most important thing is that all the office cleaning personnel receive the right training and that they know where everything is in the janitor's closet.  They must respect your company's policies and standards as well as reinforce the good habits and safety procedures your business abides by.

The janitor's closet may be the smallest room in your office's building; however, it is most certainly not the least important.

February 24th, 2010

As we know, it can be quite a difficult task maintaining a business office, especially if your company does not have a professional office cleaning service of their own.  Cleaning the office can be a monotonous activity, especially if you have more important work that is being put off so you can take care of the necessary cleaning.  Today's modern offices need sweeping, mopping, dusting, scrubbing everyday, and this can be an overwhelming task if it is not clearly defined and addressed.

Because employees will often resent it if they are forced to clean the office along with everyone else, then from a managerial standpoint, this will only lower employee morale and cause unneeded problems and conflict down the line.  If you are forcing your employees to address these cleaning issues, then it is not only taking them away from the job that your paying them to do, but oftentimes, the cleaning work done will be substandard at best.  For all of these reasons, many business owners decide that it would be best for their company to just hire an outside office cleaning company, who are professionals, and can do the job much easier than your employees, while cutting out all the unnecessary conflict associated with office cleaning.

The aim of using a professional office cleaning service is to make sure that your entire business premises, including offices, bathrooms, and hallway areas, are kept spotless and well organized at all times.  Because commercial cleaning services are a professional operation, they will most likely make use of the newest technologies and tools, to make offices as clean as humanly possible.  This not only saves your employees time and effort from doing the job themselves, but the end result will be a much cleaner and happier office.

Some professional office cleaning companies may offer additional services as well, including handyman services, superintendent services, and pest control.  This can save your company money because you won't need to hire additional pest control or repair companies to fix any ongoing problems at your business office.  Professional office cleaners should take care of all cleaning responsibilities including sweeping, mopping, dusting, waxing, vacuuming, trash collection, polishing, sealing, and cleaning the carpets.  Some office cleaning companies may offer extra carpet care like washing and steaming of the carpets, for a little bit extra.

An office cleaning company will get your office looking the best it ever has, without all of the fallout of making your employees get their hands dirty.  A good commercial cleaning company will follow the appropriate office cleaning standards, while maintaining your facility, and restoring a professional image to your business.  It is recommended that you research the different companies in your area.  Before hiring an office cleaning agency, make sure to ask them for some references, so you can get some secondary feedback about their service.  Hiring an office cleaning company will not only help your business to maintain the kind of image it's looking for, and can also boost employee morale at the same time.

February 25th, 2010

When running and operating an office setting, one of the largest expenses you're likely to have is buying and maintaining all the appropriate electronics.  Because computers, printers, copy machines, and fax machines can be quite expensive, especially if buying them in large quantities, it is absolutely essential to your business that your electronics stand the test of time, and don't need to be readily replaced.  Because of this, it is very important to the overall bottom line of your business, that these electronics be properly maintained and cleaned regularly.  And one the best ways for your company to do this is by hiring a commercial cleaning service that specializes in office technology cleaning.

Your computers, copy machines, and office printers are important investments that need to be protected.  But oftentimes office equipment such as this can go unprotected for months to years at a time, damaging the equipment, giving it a much shorter life span.  Dust buildup overtime, can get into the equipments' circuitry and cooling systems reducing their ability to work properly and keep from overheating.  This dust can also clog up the air inlets, and may result in an improper air flow, which can slow down or even break your equipment.

To prevent this, it is important that your company take all the necessary precautions to ensure that you're not replacing your expensive office equipment every few years.  And the best way to do this is by hiring an outside commercial cleaning company that specializes in cleaning office equipment.  These companies will not only clean your office from top to bottom, but will also carefully clean each piece of office technology you may have, ensuring a proper life cycle for all your equipment.  This way, not only will you have a sparkling and well organized office space, but you will be saving your company thousands of dollars by properly caring for your office's electronics.

A professional commercial cleaning service that specializes in cleaning office electronics will also be able to help you maintain your equipment so that it will stand the test of time.  One way to do this is to offer you advice on how to take better care of your office equipment.  Some advice they may give you is to try using covers on your keyboard, mouse and screen when you're not using them.  This will prevent dust from getting into cracks and crevices, while reducing cleaning frequency.    They will also teach you the appropriate ways of cleaning computer screens and other sensitive equipment, so that it does not cause damage.

Try researching commercial cleaning companies in your area, ask them if they specialize in cleaning office electronics, and any other cleaning services they provide.  This way, not only will you have a clean and well organized professional office space, but you will not have to replace your costly office electronics every few years.

February 25th, 2010

The average office cleaning worker normally is in such a hurry to finish the job that he or she sacrifices the quality of the work, or they are constantly struggling to clean everything up.  In the majority of cases this happens because they are not employing the right tools and products to get the job done, those that will do most of the work by themselves.

Here we present you the 6 secrets that top office cleaning services swear by, the ones that help them clean effectively and be the best at what they do, saving them and others precious time and energy:

Lots of cleaning products demand time to work; if they are sprayed and immediately wiped they will not clean or disinfect appropriately.  Cleaning personnel must read the product's instructions to find out how much time it needs to perform at its full capacity so that it easy for them to remove the dirt or bacteria from the surface.

Many times surfaces and objects don't get cleaned properly because the cleaning staff is using the wrong chemical for the job.  For example, there are special products to get rid of grease accumulations. These break through the fat tackling the situation from the core, but if the cleaning personnel use an all-purpose cleaner instead, they will have to work three times harder to get rid of the grease.

In some cases, the dirt is very much adhered to a surface, and in these cases, spraying and wiping is not enough.  The cleaning staff may need to work harder or use better tools to clean more efficiently; this is, to shake up the dirt so that it can be removed easily.  Sometimes, a slow speed floor machine works better than a hand.

Some cleaning products require hot water to be effective while others need cold water.  Again, the staff must read the product's instructions to find out the correct water temperature they should use.

In the case of carpets and floors, ventilation is key to ensure proper drying of the surface.  Without good drying, these surfaces could grow mold and mildew, creating very unhealthy conditions.

There are several cleaning tools that instead of removing soil spread it around, like feather dusters or vacuum cleaners without sealed bags or HEPA filters.  The removal of soil is crucial to clean effectively.

When hiring an office cleaning service, pay attention to the procedures they employ to clean.  Do they use professional tools and equipment?  Do they use the products guided by the labels on them?  If your answer is yes, you have found a cleaning gem, and you can trust it with your office cleaning completely.

February 26th, 2010

Mopping the floor is one of those activities that everyone seems to know how to do, but in reality, very few people do correctly.  If you do not employ the right technique to mop, you will be creating a lot more work, and will even be promoting danger, for yourself.

Here we show you the right way to mop a floor, just like professional commercial cleaning services do:

* There are different sizes of mop heads, thus, select a weight that fits your body size.  If the mop is too heavy, you may hurt your back, because you will have to make a greater effort to move quickly and efficiently.

* Fill the mop bucket with 4 gallons of cold water, and add the cleaning product following the manufacturer's directions.  Always chose a neutral pH floor cleaner to avoid damaging floor finishes.

* Before mopping, sweep or vacuum the floor.  If loose dirt is not removed before you mop, you will spread the soil around the floor when doing it, and this will create a mess.  Remove gum or stickers with a putty knife.

* Locate wet floor signs surrounding the areas you are mopping and their entrances.

* Begin mopping at the farthest corner of the room and move backwards in the direction of the door.  Always keep the mop bucket on the side of the floor that hasn't been mopped yet and in a place where you won't trip over it.

* Start the job by mopping along the baseboards to avoid splashing the walls or baseboard with the cleaning product.  Later, fill in the open areas.

* Never push the mop forward and backward, but from side to side forming an eight figure, and overlap each stroke as you move back and forth.  Maintain your back straight as you mop, never twist the spine, or else, you will strain it.  Use your arm muscles, not your back, to move the mop back and forth.

* Turn over the mop and use the other side when one side gets dirty.

* Rinse the mop in clean water and squeeze it to get as much liquid out as possible, but never force the wringer and don't twist the head, because this will break the fibers.

* Change the water as many times as necessary.

* Once the floor is completely dry, put the wet floor signs away, and rinse out the mop head, the bucket, and the sink.  Store the mop correctly and safely, preferably hanging so that it can dry thoroughly and easily.

March 15th, 2010

"A cluttered desk is a sign of creativity and imagination"... this is the excuse many people give when faced with a mountain of papers, trinkets, and cups piled up on their work desks.  Truth be told, they are plain disorganized and lazy in regards to office cleaning.

When you start wasting time looking for things amid the chaos that your work desk has become, instead of investing that time in being creative and brilliant, you know it's time to change something.

Miracles happen; even a messy person can maintain a clean and organized desk, and here we give you 10 precious tips to do just that:

Most of the clutter on work desks is paper, thus, you have to find a place for everything:

* An inbox, a simple stackable letter tray where you can put the documents that can't be filed yet, perhaps memos, printouts, or other random papers placed on your desk by other people.

* An incubate box, a letter tray located above your inbox one to put things that are "on hold".  These relate to things that are not yet completed like articles you plan to read, sketches for a potential project, or information about an upcoming event.

* An action and follow-up file, an A-Z accordion file works perfect.  In it, you will put papers that require an action that will take you more than two minutes like forms to fill out, or documents you must review.

* A current projects holder, a file holder or box to put your active projects' folders.  There should be one folder per project.

* A filing cabinet, to put completed projects, reference items, or any other material that you may be using in the future.  Employ simple flat folders labeled from A-Z to stack your information.

* Dump boxes, namely, a trashcan, recycling bin and shredder.  Get rid of everything you no longer need, in the best way possible.

Now, you need the POR system to clean your desk: Process. Organize. Review.

* Process: Put all the papers on your desk in the inbox, check each file, and ask yourself if you can act on it.  If you can:
o Do it, if it will take you less than two minutes.
o Delegate it, if you are not the right person to take care of it.
o Defer it, if it takes longer than two minutes, put it in your action and follow-up file, or in your projects' file if it has to do with a project.

* Organize: If you don't have to act on the file:
o If it is not needed, trash it, recycle it or shred it.
o Put it in the incubate box until you are ready to deal with it.
o File it in your filing cabinet for future reference.

* Review: Set up reviews for you to process your inbox and to organize your files:
o Daily, go through your inbox at least twice during the day, it must be empty by the end of the day to start again tomorrow.
o Weekly, at the end of the week, move the completed projects to your filing cabinet, check your incubate box and see what you are ready to tackle, and dispose of what you have put into the recycling bin.
o Monthly, at the end of the month, check your filing cabinet and clean it from files you won't be using again.

These get lost easily and look ugly.  Use a notebook to write down reminder notes instead.

Do not keep printouts after you have completed the task related to them.  You should already have a hard copy.

You won't be filing anything if you don't have things handy.

Set a time to clean your desk at the end of every day.  It will become a habit fast.

Just keep two pens, no need for more.

This includes cheap pens, magazines, brochures, postcards, or anything else that will clutter your desk. Just say no.

If there are books you don't need regularly, keep them home.

This only means more trash and dirt: paper bags, cups, utensils, crumbs, and stains.  Additionally, eating out lets you have a break from work.

You should have a picture of your loved ones at your desk, but don't overdo it, it can only distract you and clutter your workspace.

March 17th, 2010

There are many health risks related to office spaces that are closed up, with sealed windows, maximum insulation, and no circulation of fresh air.

Several dangerous pollutants like formaldehyde, black mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and other gases, can build up inside closed areas. However, NASA has discovered that there are 15 plants that can help purify the air within a building of 1,800 square feet.

In the study conducted by NASA, several gases and contaminants were placed inside Plexiglas chambers in the company of different plants to see how effectively these plants would clean the air.  Among the plants that got rid of up to 90% of the formaldehyde present in the environment were aloe, the snake plant, the golden pothos, and the philodendron.  These are most certainly good plants to help you purify the air in your office.

When the plants were tested against benzene, the champions were the peace lily, the English ivy, the dracaena, and the gerbera daisy, which removed up to 80% of this contaminant, and they proved very effective in dealing with carbon monoxide and other pollutants too.  For example, these cut the trichloroethene levels in half, an unstable organic chemical that is present in office cleaning products, glues and paints, and that gets in the air through evaporation.

Among the most popular plants to clean the air are the ficus, the spider plant, the rubber plant, and the Boston fern.  There are also several palms on the list: the areca palm, the bamboo palm, the dwarf date palm, the reed palm, and the prayer palm.  The Chinese evergreen that grows in dark rooms is another favorite, and among the flowering plants that get the job done we can find the Christmas cactus and the chrysanthemum, which will add color to the environment while they help clean it.

March 19th, 2010

If there is a space that must be kept spotless clean 24/7, it is a medical or dental office.  Its cleanliness is vital to ensure the safety and comfort of the patients and the personnel.

Many medical practices decide to hire professional commercial cleaning services to take care of their daily cleaning needs; nevertheless, there are strict guidelines that must be followed by the medical staff in between patients and at the end of the day to ensure no one is at risk of injury or illness.

Among these guidelines we can name the appropriate cleaning and sanitation methods demanded for dental and medical offices established by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), as well as any personal preferences that may exist in regards to office cleaning.

In order to ensure a medical facility is completely safe and comfortable for the patients and medical staff, follow these 5 cleaning steps:

1. Replace used linens, towels, and patient gowns immediately after each patient is dismissed.  Put the dirty ones in laundry bags or the laundry area.  Empty the trashcans, and wipe all of them with a disinfectant cleaner.  Change the bags in every trashcan.

2. Gather all the used instruments and put them in an established location for sterilization or processing.  Make sure every instrument and tool for patient care is taken away from patient rooms and care areas before the next patient arrives.

3. Wipe all the surfaces with an accepted disinfectant cleaner.  This includes countertops, chairs, desk areas, patient tables, door handles and knobs, and any other surface that may have been touched, held, or could have come in contact with body fluids.

4. Clean all the equipment for patient care.  This is, dental and medical tools, procedure equipment, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, and any other portable equipment; these should be wiped with a disinfectant as they are used during the day.

5. Tidy up the office waiting area.  Make sure the trashcan is taken away, organize and disinfect magazines and other reading materials, and clean the chairs, table surfaces, and desk areas with an accepted disinfectant cleaner.  Get rid of any garbage on the floor and vacuum or sweep the floors as much as needed.

Remember to always wear gloves and other personal protection equipment, like a gown, cap or mask, as you could come in contact with blood or other body fluids during cleaning.

Last, but not least, disinfect any toys that remain in the medical facility regularly with an accepted disinfectant, and let them air dry completely.

March 22nd, 2010

One of the worst decisions you can make is to wash a deck or a wall using too much pressure.  Most certainly you will end up cleaning more than what you initially planned to, and will probably have to replace shingles, boards, or even wall plaster in the process.  This is, without thinking about the shock you will experience in front of the power such a washer has.

If you decide to pressure wash a surface in your house or office, make sure first you understand how this machine works, since you will be working with the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water.  In many cases, it is better to hire a professional commercial cleaning service to ensure the job is correctly done.

The first element is air, or pressure.  If too much pressure is exerted over a wooden surface, wood splinters will fly all over the place, and believe us, you don't want that to happen.  Test the pressure on a small section of the surface to ensure you are going to get it right and will not be causing more damage than good.

The second element is water, or water flow rate, in this case.  If the pressure washer works with cold water, you will have to compensate for the absence of heat, and will need to intensify the water flow.  On the contrary, if the washer works with hot water, ensure you follow the directions on how to add the chemicals, otherwise, the dirt won't get emulsified correctly ?this is the third element, earth and it will stick to the surface you are trying to clean, like when you are trying to wash grease from a concrete surface.  In general, hot water pressure washers the fourth element, fire? do a better job.

After reading the directions and testing the pressure on the washer, follow these tips to make sure you go through the process smoothly:

* Wear the right body protection.  You don't want to accidentally pressure wash your eyes or other sensitive body parts.

* Read and understand the directions fully.  Although the machine may look easy to handle, it isn't.  If you stand too close, you may damage the surface, if you stand too far away, you won't get the best results.

* Work from the top down, if not, you will have to clean again.  It is about working smart, not hard.

* Do not aim the nozzle directly at the surface you are cleaning.  There should be an angle on the washer wand to efficiently push the dirt off instead of shooting it into the surface.  This will be a big issue with stucco and brick surfaces.

* Never aim the nozzle at windows or screen doors.  You know what will happen... yes, these will break and the screen doors will be torn off the frame.

* Turn off the washer before changing the nozzle or refilling the detergent tank.

March 25th, 2010

Some people don't think clients and other visitors to their office notice the ceiling fan full of dust and even creepy bugs hanging dead from its blades.  Don't fool yourself!  They do notice and pray that nothing will fall on their heads while they are talking to you.

Quality is in the details, and a clean fan says a lot about the care you put into your business, your surroundings, your employees, and your clients.  In other words, take the time to clean your office's ceiling fan at least every two months.

Besides the unprofessional appearance a dirty ceiling fan gives, it will not work as well as a clean one, because the dirt limits the airflow, making the fan less efficient.  In addition, a dirty fan brings allergens into the air, since the dust they collect is being re-distributed all over the place.

Cleaning it is really easy. Do not think that because the fan is located high up you will have to break your neck as you try.  If you dust it every week, you will maintain it very clean, and you can do it with a long duster, which will get rid of the daily dust easily, or you can use a vacuum with a ceiling fan cleaning attachment.  Nevertheless, when a thorough cleaning is required, you will have to get up there.

This is the equipment you will need to clean your office's ceiling fan:

* A tall and safe stepladder.
* Paper towel.
* A good, and if possible, organic cleaner.  You can do your own by mixing warm water, dishwashing liquid, and white vinegar.
* Old newspaper sheets.

This is what you need to do to clean it up like an office cleaning expert will:

* Turn the fan off.
* Put old newspaper sheets on the floor directly under the fan; these will catch the dirt that falls while you clean the blades.
* If the fan has a light fixture, remove the bulb, and clean it before putting it back.
* Climb up to reach the fan and use the paper towel and the cleaner to clean the blades one by one.  Use one towel per blade, the paper must be clean every time you wipe the dirt off a blade.

Thoroughly cleaning a ceiling fan may take you between thirty minutes to an hour, depending on how dirty it is.  If there is a fan in the kitchen, you will have to use a cleaner that removes grease.

When cleaning the fan, never soak the blades with water or cleaning fluid, because these can get deformed depending on the material.  Read the fan's manual before cleaning it, because some materials, like iron, should not be cleaned with water.  You may use some polish to give the fan a shiny finish; however, don't go overboard, because the polish may grab more dust.

Make sure the fan's motor remains dry while you clean the blades; otherwise, you may cause electrical shocks and may damage the motor.

Once your office's ceiling fan is thoroughly cleaned, it will be very easy to maintain if you remember to look up and dust it on a weekly basis.

March 30th, 2010

Besides adding beauty and elegance to any office setting, mirrors also make small spaces appear bigger, thus, they are one of the preferred decorative elements modern interior designers use to enhance business spaces.

Nevertheless, mirrors have a big disadvantage: they get dirty very easily. This dirt can really be seen, and it is an ugly sight.  If your office has mirrors, you must learn how to keep them clean, just like professional office cleaning services do.

This is what you need to clean mirrors:

* A soft dusting cloth
* Glass cleaner (homemade or ready made)
* Paper towels
* Old newspapers

This is how a mirror should be cleaned:

* If the mirror is hanging, take it down.  Put it over old newspaper sheets so that these catch the dirt and you don't have to clean floors or other areas afterwards.
* Dust the mirror and its frame to get rid of the dirt that has built-up, and of tiny particles that may scratch the glass when cleaning it.
* Put glass cleaner on the dusting cloth and rub strongly.  Never put the cleaner directly on the mirror surface because it produces a dim, stained look on the edges.
* Immediately get rid of any cleaning fluid that may have penetrated the frame because, depending on the material, this liquid may damage it.  If possible, do not let any fluid reach the frame.
* Finally, rub the glass with dry old newspaper to leave the mirror shining.

If there is grease on the mirror, you can use alcohol and a blade to remove it, but be careful not to scratch the glass.  You have to work fast to prevent the fluids from drying on the glass before you wipe them.  If the mirror is very big, work by sections to ensure you get it right.

Follow the three "A's" principle when selecting a glass cleaner:  Acids, Alkali, and Abrasive.  Fluids that contain acids and alkalis can destroy glass, and abrasive substances can scratch it.  You can make an excellent natural glass cleaner with vinegar, rubbing alcohol, ammonia, and water.

For bathroom mirrors, rub some liquid soap or shaving cream to prevent them from fogging after a hot shower; however, this soap layer must be cleaned regularly.

By the way, this method also works for cleaning windows like a pro!

March 30th, 2010

There are many types of allergies:

* Food allergies
* Latex allergies
* Hay fever
* Sinusitis
* Nasal allergies
* Chronic allergies

Non-allergic irritants like smoke or severe temperatures can influence chronic allergies, which, along with the nasal ones, are the most common types of allergies.

Here are several tips to learn to identify, treat, and get rid of allergies:

1. An individual who suffers from nasal allergies most probably will show a runny nose with watery and clear mucus.  He or she will suffer from itchy eyes, nose, throat, and ears, as well as of eye redness, and watering and incessant sneezing.

2. Nasal allergies can be treated in several ways:  with antihistamines, allergy shots, nasal sprays, and Vitamin C.
* The antihistamines control the sneezing and coughing, and they decongest the sinuses.
* Nasal sprays take care of serious and persistent symptoms every day.
* Allergy shots are recommended only for individuals with incessant and acute allergic reactions
* Vitamin C can be taken every day, is present in many foods, and is a natural antihistamine.

3. Many non-prescription allergy medicines have pseudoephedrine, which is a strong decongestant and stimulant, thus, these can make you nervous, restless, produce insomnia, can raise your heart rate, and elevate blood pressure, so, be careful.

4. If nasal sprays are used for a long time, these can make congestion worse.

5. You can try immunotherapy, through which your body is exposed to several irritating allergens one at a time, increasing the amount of allergens slowly until your organism becomes immune to it.

6. If your allergies get worse while you are at home this means you may be in contact with mould, the number one cause of allergies, or maybe you are allergic to the family pet.

You should start looking for the black slime that characterizes mould, which can be eliminated with a strong mix of bleach and water.  If the problem persists, this means what was cleaned was just the surface mould, and your home will require a mould inspection.

In regards to your pet, ask your doctor if it can be the cause of your allergies before you take action.

7. If your allergies worsen when you are at the office, get some plants, which can help purify the air from allergens and dangerous chemicals. Find ways to increase ventilation in your office, and hire a professional janitorial services to ensure the space is always clean and dust free.

March 30th, 2010

Do you know what we are talking about?  Have you ever stopped to look at your keyboard?  No?  Well, you should.

You will never imagine how much dirt and bacteria this little object can hold.  However, now you know it, so ask your commercial cleaning service to take care of it regularly, or get what you need to start cleaning your keyboard yourself:

* Pre-treated computer wipes
* A soft cloth
* Cotton swabs or Q-Tips
* Compressed air or a small vacuum
* A small brush with stiff bristles
* Water or fluid to clean computers

Start by ensuring your computer is shut down and unplug the keyboard from the system unit, then:

* Turn the keyboard upside down and shake it to get rid of the loose dirt and crumbs inside of it.

* Use compressed air to blow away the remaining dust and other particles that are stuck between the keys.  Apply the compressed air at an angle while you hold the keyboard facing down.  Do this outside, so that the dust doesn't get scattered all over your office again.

If you don't have compressed air, use a little vacuum.  Most of them have appliances to clean tight spaces like the ones in your keyboard, however, be careful not to suck up the keys.

* Dampen the soft cloth with water or fluid to clean computers and wipe the keyboard.  This will remove dirt that is stuck and will help a lot in cleaning it.  Never spray the water or fluid directly on the keyboard.  If the dirt or stains don't come out, use a cotton swab and some alcohol to clean it.

* If you can't clean well in between the keys, try to remove one; most keys on keyboards can be removed, however, do it one at a time so that you remember where they go.  You can also take a picture of the keyboard and then, remove all the keys.

* Now your keyboard is clean.  Let it dry completely before you plug it back.  In the future, use a keyboard cover to protect your keyboard when it is not in use, and try not to eat over it!

April 6th, 2010

As a business and building owner, one of the most important things you have to do is to find the right professional janitorial service provider that will best fit your janitorial and operational needs.  However, while there may be a slew of commercial cleaning services out there to choose from, that doesn't necessarily mean that all of these services are qualified, and even more than that, even licensed.  When choosing the best janitorial service provider that fits the needs and wants of your particular business, or building, there are a number of things you're going to need to look into first.

As a business or building owner, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what kind of janitorial service you may be looking for, and the exact functions you need them to carry out for you.  However, you may be surprised to know that many janitorial services provide many different things, and you may not always get what you're asking for.  You may assume that the janitorial service you hire will thoroughly clean and steam the carpets on a regular basis, and take care of polishing and trash removal as well.  While most cleaning services encompass these basic services, many might not.  Before hiring a cleaning service, make sure to make a list of the services you need so you can show your potential cleaning service exactly what you want them to do.

While it is important to find a professional cleaning service that is the most reasonably priced, you should definitely keep an eye out for cleaning services that charge much lower than everyone else.  While these cleaning services may be appealing to many because of their cheap prices, and the possibility of saving your company money, they can also cost your company money as well.  This is because, many low end cleaning services are not usually licensed to do business in your country, state, or city, and are probably not insured or bonded.  This could be a large potential problem if someone gets hurt mopping, or slips and falls down a flight of stairs, or has any kind of accident. You will have to pay for it.

When interviewing applicants to provide you with professional cleaning services, remember that experience is key. The reason why experience is important in the professional cleaning field is that if a company has been around for a long time, then it has obviously done something right.  Many smaller low end commercial cleaning services don't last longer then 5 years, simply because of the competition and their overall lack of expertise.  If you find a cleaning service that has been around for 20 years, and one that has been around for 2 years, and offer comparable prices, you can be sure that the company with more experience will be the best option.

The last thing you will need to do when looking for the right janitorial services for your company or building, is to thoroughly check their references.  Checking references is the only true way of getting a glimpse into the integrity and abilities of a professional cleaning service provider.  If the company you have in mind can't come up with 2 or 3 good references of past work they did, then they are obviously not a professional company, and should not be trusted.  By thoroughly checking references, you will not only get idea an of what kind of work this cleaning provider will do, but first hand information about the companies practices, abilities, and overall attitude.

April 9th, 2010

Many commercial cleaning companies over the last 5 years have become increasingly aware of how important it is to clean with environmentally friendly products.  Many commercial cleaning companies, as well as the businesses they work for, have learned the hard way that the excessive use of chemically laden cleaning materials can be unhealthy for the building's inhabitants, as well as the employees of the cleaning service itself.  Some cleaning companies have even gotten sued by sick employees that developed serious health problems due to the harmful chemicals they were using in their cleaning products.

One of these dangerous substances that has been used in many cleaning products over the years is formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is mainly used in preserving dead bodies, but surprisingly is found in high amounts in many strong commercial cleaning products.  Formaldehyde has been linked to breathing problems, allergies, and even cancer in some cases.  Another age old cleaning substance that has been found to be detrimental to a person's health is chlorine.  Although chlorine is found in large amounts in swimming pools to fight off bacteria, it is also found in many cleaning products, and has been found to cause respiratory and breathing problems in some people.

One of the worst offenders of potentially dangerous substances found in cleaning products is ammonia.  Ammonia isn't used in as many cleaning products as it once was, but is prevalent in many disinfectants that commercial cleaners still use.  Ammonia is dangerous because it is both corrosive to the skin, and wreaks havoc on a persons breathing and respiratory systems.  Some forms of ammonia are very strong and can leave a chemical residue on buildings and even human bodies that it comes in contact with.  Too much chemical exposure to ammonia can cause severe skin rashes, skin irritations, headaches, liver damage, heart problems and even birth defects.

Because commercial cleaning companies want their employees, and their customers to be healthy, they are now taking steps to use more eco-friendly products that are much safer and better for the environment.  Eco-friendly commercial cleaning services have developed multiple methods over recent years to clean office premises with safer products that they are finding to not only do a better job, but also in many circumstances are cheaper than traditional cleaning products.  These environmentally conscious products are free of dangerous fumes and are much gentler on the surfaces they clean.

Some of these natural, biodegradable products are not only non-toxic, but are still able to kill as many germs on contact as traditional cleaning products.  Because children and the elderly are especially susceptible to the hazards of chemical exposure due to cleaning products, it is important if you have your business open to children and elderly customers to start thinking about having your company switch over to greener, more natural products.  When contracting a commercial cleaning service for your company, make sure to ask them what natural cleaning products they're incorporating into their service.

April 14th, 2010

Traditional cleaning products contain volatile components with toxic properties. Office workers with long-term exposure to these substances show decreased performance at best. Many of them develop lung disease.
Although we are often unaware of the many toxins and pollutants left by cleaning products, these can be found on office furniture, floors, windows, kitchenettes and bathrooms.
Some cleaning procedures, paradoxically, may make things worse (e.g., inexpert carpet cleaning):

We learned of a case where a client hired a company to clean a large rug.  After several days of cleaning, the company brought it back on a Friday. More interested in the coming weekend, no employee wanted to take care of the rug, so they left it, wrapped in nylon in a corner. The following week, the client found the rug all whitish coated. The cleaning company had used a chemical and failed to adequately air the carpet after using a chemical. The nylon wrapping retained moisture and promoted the proliferation of fungi.

A typical janitor uses 6 gallons of hazardous chemicals per year and about 18 gallons of other substances.
Some of these products, allegedly beneficial to human health, have never been tested and their environmental impact remains unknown.

Responsible office cleaning companies control their employees and make sure they mix cleaning compounds in the proper proportion. When detergents, antimicrobial preparations and cleaning solution are not adequately prepared, they may cause more problems than they help fight.  Microbes that survive weak bactericidal solutions generate resistant strains.

Moreover, good janitorial services train their employees in post-cleaning procedures. For example, they teach janitors how to dispose of hazardous chemicals-such as petroleum derivatives which contaminate water sources- without using the drainage system or trash cans.
Bad janitorial services contribute to indoor pollution.

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that air pollution in a typical office may climb as high as one hundred times as much as the pollution level outdoors. Besides shaking dust, poorly trained cleaning staff spreads dust mites, mold, dander and bacteria.

Meanwhile, a UK government organization found that air pollution in the office caused a 9% decrease in productivity and about 16 hours of lost work per month per employee.
Most employees, however, are unaware of what causes their wheezing, bronchitis, skin disorders, dry eyes, headaches and bad mood.

For example, one of the 6 most common air pollutants is ozone. Did you know that high-voltage equipment in the office produces ozone? Or did you know that tiny particles of self-copying paper were found guilty of eye and respiratory problems?

Fortunately, as researchers perform more studies and identify unsuspected pollutants and as more healthy cleaning agents reach the market, we improve our understanding of the impact of cleaning procedures.

April 19th, 2010

Definitely, every office needs a commercial cleaning service, but we'd like to talk about a most important fact: individual commitment. Every employee, every worker, must be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to keeping a healthy work environment, free of dirt and potential diseases. After all, most people spend a lot of daily hours in the office, and it's been proven that a clean workplace is favorable for production.

As in mostly every aspect of our lives, when we talk about cleaning, we should keep the old adage in mind: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That's why we encourage you to include a cleaning habit in your daily routine. To show you that it's not hard to achieve, let's go through some specific tips that'll help you know where to start.

To clean and disinfect computer keyboards, we recommend a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Make sure you don't soak the cotton swab, since this could damage the artifact.
Computer keyboards are among the dirtiest items in the office. Turn them over, and softly shake them to free them from food remains and dust. Then, use compressed air to blow the keyboard out. Finally, clean the entire keyboard wiping its surface with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. This process will clean and disinfect the keyboard, and help to halt the spread of germs. Before you clean your computer screen, turn it off. Then, wipe it gently with a soft microfiber cloth. Dust the printers and computer cases, fax machines and telephones with microfiber cloths.

Meticulously clean desk and shelves monthly or weekly, depending on how much dust settles on your furniture. To avoid insects nesting among your papers, remove everything once a month and clean the surfaces, wiping with an all-purpose cleaner. Before you put books or files back in their proper places, dust them. This monthly routine will save you cleaning time weekly. If your office chair is made of leather or vinyl, use leather wipes to wipe it down.

Disinfectant wipes are handy and they come packaged in a way that you can grab them whenever you need them. You can place them in your desk, so, for exmaple, if you drop some food on your keyboard you can immediately clean it in less than 20 seconds, or quickly clean up coffee spills, or even frequently clean the mouthpiece of the phone, which is a haven for germs. Remember that dirt tends to attach to surfaces as time goes by, so it's always better to clean it at the moment.

Keep a few trash can liners near your office trash can so you can quickly empty the bags and replace them. Having one of those dusting tools or mini vacuum cleaner can be very useful. Also, consider plugging in an air freshener to have a clean and fresh scent that lasts for several weeks.

April 20th, 2010

Whether you work from home or in an office, you surely spend a lot of time in front of your desk, which means you touch and grab things with your hands (like phones, keyboards, etc). By touching them, two things happen: if your hands are not clean, they'll get those things dirty; and if those things are dirty, but your hands are clean, your hands will get dirty. We could say that when two things make contact, the dirtiest one gets the other one dirty. A good reason to keep your workplace clean. But how?

The most important tip any office cleaning guru can give you is to be aware of the consequences of not having a clean office. To put it simply, if we don't take care of cleaning our work environment, we'll become ill.

So, it goes beyond de-cluttering, removing stacks of papers, and organizing bills. Let's take it step by step:

It's so easy to get lazy and let things grow untidy. If needed, put a note on your desk or in your digital calendar to remind yourself that you must take 15 minutes to clean up your desk and put everything away. As time goes by, you'll get used to cleaning your work environment without even thinking about it while you do it.

I know this is a hard-to-follow rule. But in order to understand why eating at your desk is so unhealthy, think of it the other way around: would you take your desk and your PC and work in the kitchen? If this example doesn't hit home, I suggest you turn over your keyboard and shake it, to see all the dirt and food remains that fall onto your desk like beautiful snowflakes.

After you tidy up your papers and stuff, this is the place that needs to be cleaned first. Use a soft cloth and any spray cleaner to wipe down your computer, monitor, keyboard, speakers, telephone, lamp, pencil holders, paper stackers, and anything else. Do not spray your cleaner directly onto the objects; simply spray your cloth and wipe them clean. Make sure your computer and monitor are turned off before cleaning.

We tend to think that throwing garbage in the trash can is enough to get rid of it. But our minds are playing a trick on us, because the trash can is inside our environment. It will become a place where bacteria grow unless we clean it regularly. For this purpose, you can use a cleaning spray too, but make sure you use a different wipe than the one you used for your desk.

If you have carpet, vacuum regularly. Tiled and other types of hard floor should be swept and mopped at least once a week. If you have a plastic chair roller over your carpet, be sure to clean it as well, using the spray cleaner.

Office cleaning is so important to add that plus to our quality of life. It will ultimately increase your productivity, because you'll sense a healthier environment, and hence you'll work more enthusiastically.

April 22nd, 2010

Cleaning always depends on the nature of the materials being treated. Professional cleaners, for instance, know that carpet manufacturers use several types of fibers and that each type poses different cleaning challenges. Most people, however, cannot differentiate nylon from acrylic or polypropylene fibers.

Either made of natural or synthetic fibers, carpets come in a variety of textures and materials. Texture and materials determine the feeling of a carpet; but also the extent to which dirt and germs adhere to it.  Likewise, the technology used in the manufacture of the carpet has an impact in the cleaning process.

Most carpets, for example, consist of at least two layers: a bottom sheet holds in place an upper stratum of knotted, woven or tufted fibers. Applying a heat treatment, manufacturers ensure that the fibers will retain their shape.

Synthetic, natural or blended?
Manufacturers choose fibers for economic and aesthetic reasons and take into account ease of dyeing, durability, resistance and costs. Natural fibers (long strands of material that can be found in plants and animals), for example, can be easily dyed, although generally more expensive than synthetic materials.

The most commonly used natural fibers are: wool, for the upper layer; cotton, for the edges (of rugs); and jute or hemp for the bottom layer.

Expensive, but long-lasting and abundant, wool is usually blended with synthetic fibers.  Commercial cleaning services should avoid heat and bleaching products when cleaning wool-made carpets and rugs; otherwise, the structure will be irreversibly damaged.

Synthetic fibers are: polypropylene, nylon, polyester and acrylic.

Polypropylene (also known as olefin) combines resistance to stain and abrasion with a warmth feeling. As this colorfast material absorbs no water, office cleaning services can handle coffee, tea and similar waterborne stains without difficulty.

Unlike wool, olefin can be treated with bleach and lukewarm water thanks to its colorfast property. Dry cleaning, however, may swell polypropylene fibers and must be avoided.

Chemically related to wool (believe it or not), nylon fibers have positive-charged sites that attract negative-charged stains; i.e., nylon carpets show a tendency to stain.  Manufacturers reduce the number of available dye sites with acid dye blockers, resins with negative charge that fill the spots. The acid dyes in beverage stains cannot attach themselves to the nylon strings.

Carpet cleaners also must take into account the neutralizing effect of some bactericides and anti-static products.  These chemicals have positive charge; if applied to a nylon carpet, they will only make it more prone to staining.

Should you clean it yourself or hire professional janitorial services? As you can see, carpet cleaning is more complicated than it seems. If you need to clean a large area carpet, first find out what materials it is made. Then, pick the right detergent solution and use adequate rinse procedure.

However, if you have no idea of the type of fibers or if you feel unsure about the adequate products, call a professional cleaning company. Efficient commercial and office cleaning services cost much less than having to replace an irreversibly damaged carpet.

April 27th, 2010

Laminate floors are popular because they are hard to damage and easy to clean and care for.  Here we show you how to care for them in the right way:

1. First, carefully and thoroughly read the warranty and care instructions provided by the floor's manufacturer.  Follow these instructions, or ask your office cleaning service to follow them, as accurately as possible, and consult them if there is a problem.

2. Ask the manufacturer for post-installation cleaning instructions, because you may not be able to mop the floor for the first 48 hours after it has been installed, or there may be special care instructions depending on the brand of the floor.

3. Laminate floors should not be wiped with a wet mop because water may leak behind the baseboards and under the floor creating puddles and damaging them.  To clean them, use a vacuum and a damp mop.

4. You should never apply wax or acrylic floor finishes to laminate floors.

5. If there is a stain, use only the stain removal products recommended by the manufacturer.  You will discover that many articles or publications suggest the use of acetone for cigarette burns and nail polish spills, and mineral spirits for grease and tar.

6. Get doormats for the garage and outdoors doorways.  These will catch grit that may slowly scratch the floor's surface.

7. Put easy-glide protective buttons on the feet of furniture to avoid scratching the floor.

8. When moving a big piece of furniture or a heavy appliance across a laminate floor, use dollies, otherwise, you may scratch it with minute stones that are trapped under the furniture's feet or under the wheels.

A lot of the precautions you must take to protect your laminate floor when working with sharp or heavy objects are based on common sense.  For example, if you are going to install a ceiling fan or are going to use a drill, place a thick cloth or piece of carpet under the area to protect the floor, because you can damage it if you drop something by accident.

April 29th, 2010

Although you may hate cleaning the fridge, it is crucial to do it, whether it is at home or at the office.  If you can't bare the idea, talk to your commercial cleaning service and arrange that they clean your office's fridge at least once a month, because a clean fridge maintains food fresh and safe for a longer period of time, and it becomes more energy efficient, saving you money.

Even if you are going to delegate the work, you should know how a fridge should be cleaned, because later you will have to check that the job was well done, thus, here we show you how to clean the office's fridge properly:

* First, get what you need:
1. A basin with mild soap water
2. A basin with mild bleach water
3. Sponges or pieces of cloth, and
4. Ziploc bags or other see-through storage containers.

* Unplug the fridge before you begin to clean it.

* Empty the freezer section, and take out the trays that can be removed.  Wash the trays in the soapy water and later wet a piece of cloth or sponge in the bleach water and wipe every tray thoroughly.  Put the trays to dry in the dish drainer or over paper towels.

* Change the soap water and with a piece of cloth or sponge, wipe the freezer's interior.  Then do the same but with the bleach water.  If you have an odor problem, which is very common in offices' fridges, mix two tablespoons of baking soda in one quart of warm water and wipe the inside of the freezer with it.

* Sort every product that was on the freezer and get rid of those that are not good anymore, if the products belong to your employees, they must be notified before throwing their food away.  Ask you personnel to use see-through containers and to label them properly.

* Now, move to the rest of the fridge.  Get fresh soapy and bleach waters and wash the pieces of cloth or sponges that you used to clean the freezer.  Empty the fridge; take out the food as well as the racks and trays.

* Wash the trays, racks, and the inside of the fridge just as you did with the freezer.  Do not forget to clean the grooves where the trays fit into, because these are areas where spills from juices and different foods collect, and remember also to clean the seals around the door.

* Sort the products that you are returning to the fridge and ask your employees to get rid of their leftovers or other items that are out of date.  Clean bottles and plastic containers before replacing them in the fridge, and put an open box of baking soda inside to help control odors.

* After the interior of the fridge is impeccable, move to the exterior.  Take some soapy water and clean the outside, especially the door handles; get the excess dirt off with the soapy water and then wipe with a disinfectant.

* Plug in the fridge.

It is imperative that you ask your personnel for help in maintaining the fridge clean and free of outdated food.  It is there for their convenience, thus, keeping it as clean as possible benefits everyone.

May 11th, 2010

In reality, there are many great benefits in hiring an office cleaning company, but there are 4 main advantages that may tip the scales if you are still deciding what works best for your company:

If you hire an employee to take care of your office's cleaning tasks this means you have to pay wages or a salary; you also have to pay health insurance, vacation time, sick days, insurance for unemployment and injuries, plus other benefits every employee is entitled to.

This means you are free from equipment maintenance costs and the regular cost of buying chemicals, because all this is taken care of by the office cleaning service; it is all covered in the contract you sign, which is the only amount you have to pay.

Some offices add the cleaning task as one of their employees' responsibilities, in this way; they don't hire another person or service to clean the place.
Under this scenario, the company has to either assign one employee to the cleaning, or divide the task among several staff members.
In both cases, the business is putting more work and stress on its employees' shoulders, and this can, sooner or later, hurt the business because of higher levels of absenteeism, work inefficiently done, and higher turnover levels.
Even worse, if the employees miss a day of work, the cleaning won't get done!

Every successful business knows that outsourcing is a key aspect of success.
A business grows and thrives when the people in it are dedicated to doing what they know to do best, and they don't waste their time and resources on jobs they don't master, like cleaning the office.  There are experts to do that.
If you use part of your time for cleaning, you will not have enough time to run your business.
It just makes business sense to hire a professional office cleaning service if you want to succeed and ensure your office shows it.

May 13th, 2010

Industrial cleaning services are available to thoroughly clean any size and type of business facility.
Obviously, your office is cleaned on a daily basis, and you have probably hired a professional office cleaning service to ensure your working space is spotless clean, healthy, agreeable, and accurately portrays your business's status; however, this may not be enough.

No matter how good and thorough a daily cleaning is, there are always hidden places and areas that are not touched, either because these do not necessarily require daily maintenance or because there's not enough time in the day to clean everything up.
This is why it is recommended that you conduct an industrial cleaning in your office building every once in a while.

While industrial cleaning companies can carry out every day janitorial services like vacuuming, sweeping, and disposing of trash, they can also schedule a sporadic heavy cleaning appointment with experienced cleaners to give your office a boost.

Industrial cleaning offers services that range from rigorous work like stripping and waxing tile floors to extending the life of delicate and valuable office furniture.  Some of these services take long hours or even days of work, depending on the size and difficulty of the task.

Some of the services that industrial cleaning offers you are:
* Washing exterior windows
* Pressure washing the outside of the building
* Grouting tiles
* Maintenance of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment
* Stripping and refinishing conference room tables
* Dusting ceilings and light fixtures
* Extraction of carpets (dry foam)
* Cleaning parking lots
* "Q-Tip cleaning"

These services have to be scheduled in advance, because the cleaners need enough time to do a professional job without disrupting work areas or employees.

Some companies expect you to have an every day cleaning contract with them before they can be hired to perform an industrial cleaning.  However, if you only want a one-time thorough cleaning, you can research cleaning companies that offer the service freely.

May 18th, 2010

Bacteria growth is a big concern in every office and working environment.  Because of the amount of people that share the space, special cleaning is necessary to ensure the employees, clients, and visitors are protected against harmful bacteria.

The first step towards protecting yourself and the people you work with is to understand bacteria and how it spreads. In this way, you can make informed choices and identify the office areas that may be at higher risk of growing bacteria.

Following are some facts about bacteria that will interest you, but most importantly, will freak you out. You will also read about some of the most common ways in which bacteria jump from one surface to another:

* Bacteria can't spread by themselves.
* We leave bacteria on the things we touch; thus, they can be virtually everywhere.  Pay special attention to doorknobs, telephones, desktops, bathrooms, kitchens, or any other surface that is regularly touched by human hands.
* Bacteria can also travel through air, in the moment someone sneezes, for example.
* Animals and insects are carriers of bacteria too.
* Bacteria reproduce by dividing.  When the cell gets to its maximum size, it begins to join in the middle until it breaks in two.
* The breaking of one cell takes between 15 and 30 minutes.
* In five hours, one bacterium can develop into more than a million bacteria!
* It is very rare to see a case where only one bacterium would start contaminating a surface; it normally starts with a bunch of bacteria. So, you can imagine why it is so easy for them to grow into millions and billions of bacteria so quickly.

Yes, we agree, the thought is scary, but there are very effective ways of killing bacteria:

* Cold will not truly kill the bacteria, but it will hold back their growth.

* You can also use ultraviolet light.

* You can use sterilization, this is, steam under pressure; or moist heat, this is, autoclaves; or boiling; or dry heat, this is, hot air sterilization.

* Here we find disinfectants or germicides.

Any office cleaning service you hire to take care of your workplace should understand bacteria and how they grow and move; this is an important way of showing they are professionals, and that they cares for your space and the people in it.

May 21st, 2010

It is easy to wash your cutlery and china in a dishwasher, but in order to truly clean your whole dining area and cooking gear, you will have to exert yourself.

Considering this, just imagine the level of effort that cleaning a restaurant demands.  A place where dozens or even hundreds of people come and go daily, where food is continuously falling to the floor and on the tables, where the bathrooms are visited by all sorts of individuals with different habits, where the kitchen is full of people talking and manipulating food, and amid all this activity, the place has to be spotless clean all the time, to ensure the health and satisfaction of your personnel and clients.

A commercial cleaning service can help you clean your restaurant efficiently to offer a hygienic environment for your staff and clients and to extend the life of the furniture and equipment.

A restaurant cleaning professional will provide a wide array of services like:
* Pressure washing of floors and building exterior
* Washing of kitchen hoods
* Exhaust fan, duct, and filter cleaning
* Table cleaning
* Grease trap emptying
* Floor mopping and waxing
* Waiting area vacuuming
* Bathroom sanitizing
* Sink, mirror, toilet, and urinal disinfecting and polishing
* Internal and external window washing
* Window, mini-blind, air conditioner vent, and wall hanging dusting
* Floor and kitchen mat washing
* Refilling consumables, including paper products and soap
* Removing wayward food and filth from dumpster areas

Pressure washing is one of the most crucial services offered by restaurant cleaning services.  Pressure washing helps remove loose dirt and filth to clean the space from top to bottom.

Restaurant cleaning services will also take care of the exhaust fans, which in case of restaurants can become a fire hazard if these are not properly tended to.  When the system is clean, it can remove odors and excess heat from the kitchen efficiently, it helps maintain the kitchen staff comfortable, and lets them focus on the food and its preparation.  Professional cleaners can take your exhaust system to the level of strict NFPA and FDA guidelines.

Restaurant cleaning services will also help you be ready for mandatory state fire and insurance inspections.  After the space is thoroughly cleaned, the commercial cleaning service will give you a certificate or hood sticker specifying when the cleaning was done and what services were delivered.

To ensure your clients are confident about the cleanliness of the bathrooms, the cleaning service will give you a chart that details the restaurant's daily cleaning schedule.

May 21st, 2010

The answer is no, although sanitizing and disinfecting may seem like similar activities, there are differences between the two, and the products used to achieve each one are different.

Companies normally hire a commercial cleaning service to ensure their office space is clean and comfortable; they know there's no one better to clean a crowded space like a professional, and they normally don't know a lot about cleaning practices and products. They just sense and see when a space is clean and when it is not.

Nevertheless, the people in charge of hiring commercial cleaning services for their office should know a bit about the topic, otherwise, they can't make sure they are hiring the best person for the job.

Here we will show you the difference between sanitizers and disinfectants, and we recommend that you quiz you commercial cleaning provider on this, to make sure they know this important difference, and that they are true professionals.

For example, if you are dealing with a food service area, you need a sanitizer; if we are talking about a medical space, you need a disinfectant.

A sanitizer is a chemical that diminishes the number of microorganisms to a safe level.  To be effective, it does not need to get rid of 100% of the organisms.

A sanitizer does not kill viruses or fungi.  In a food service area, the sanitizer has to diminish the bacteria count by 99.999%, and must kill infectious organisms in 30 seconds.

A disinfectant, on the other hand, is a chemical that destroys all organisms.  These organisms are bacteria and pathogens that cause disease.

According to the law, a disinfectant has to diminish the level of pathogenic bacteria by 99.999% in a period of time of over 5 minutes but less than 10.

In case you are interested in just removing dirt, this is, general cleaning, you will be ok using an all-purpose cleaner, in fact, a disinfectant or sanitizer won't get the job done as well as a cleaner will.

May 25th, 2010

If you have your own cleaning company but may be experiencing difficulty generating leads for your janitorial services, then there are various things your company can do to jumpstart your business.  While some of these tips may be obvious, others may not be, and they might be exactly what you need to get your business running full steam in no time.  Even if your company doesn't decide to use all of the following tips listed below, knowing all the different ways to generate business will only give you a clearer and stronger vision moving forward.

1. REFERRALS - Getting good referrals is one of the best ways your company can bring on new and reliable clients.  Because businesses are always looking for reliable cleaning services, they often look into getting reliable referrals from other companies in their area.  As long as you do a good job and leave strong impressions wherever you work, you're bound to get a lot of referrals in the process.

2. INTERNET MARKETING - Internet marketing can be a great way to bring new outside business to your company.  Once you have created your own website or blog, you can start working on boosting your web presence through Internet marketing.  Internet marketing is a system of creating web articles that you can post on your site or your blog, to increase web traffic to your business.  You can either do this by typing articles yourself, or paying a professional Internet marketing company that will provide you with the best articles possible, as well as other tactics to boost your web presence.

3. TELEMARKETING - While telemarketing may not be the most attractive option, many janitorial companies find great success generating leads from telemarketing.  If you want to you can outsource this marketing aspect to a professional company, or just do it in-house.  While it may seem difficult at first, telemarketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business.

4. FLYERS AND BUSINESS CARDS - Creating flyers and business cards is still one of the very best ways to generate new leads for your business.  Putting flyers in janitorial supply stores and other places business owners may visit is a great way to get your name out there as a reputable company.  The same goes with circulating hundreds of business cards with your company logo and contact information.  While this may seem old fashioned, many business owners still use business cards as a primary way of contacting other businesses, and the more business cards you pass out, the more likely you are to get some possible profitable leads.

5. PUT AN AD IN THE YELLOW PAGES - Even though the internet has almost completely made traditional phone books obsolete, they are still excellent ways to get your business information out there.  While the yellow pages aren't as popular as they once were, there are still many people that go through them looking for business services, especially business owners.  Having your ad in the yellow pages shows that your business is reputable, and it helps to give your company more credibility.

May 27th, 2010

If you're looking to make some extra money, or you want to go for it and have a successful and thriving business of your own, you may want to consider looking into the commercial cleaning industry.  Starting your own commercial cleaning business is not difficult, and even better than that, it is not cost-extensive, meaning you can do it on a pretty reasonable budget.  Because many businesses require a professional cleaning service, and because they don't like to waste time dividing the cleaning tasks internally, you're almost guaranteed to get business as long as you go about it the right way.  Here are 5 simple steps that will get you on the way to opening a successful and profitable commercial cleaning company of your own.  Let's get started.

In any kind of business venture, your first step will always be sitting down and writing a clear and concise business plan that will lay out your objectives, the mission for your business and where it is heading in the future.  Before you get too excited and started buying costly equipment and printing out thousands of business cards, you will first want to lay out your objectives and your plan for where you want your business to go.

Different business offices may have a lot of diverse needs, so it is important for your company to decide at the outset, what services you want to offer, and the price structure for these services.  The best thing you can do when planning this step is to call around other commercial cleaning companies in your area to find out exactly what services they provide, and how much they're charging for them.  By understanding exactly what your competition is offering, you will be able to better understand what services to offer that other companies do not, as well as the best competitive price to drive more business to your company.

After you have constructed your business plan and you know exactly what kind of services you're going to be offering, your next step will be to create a website and start marketing your business.  Creating a website is always crucial to getting your name out there and making your company available, but it is always a good idea to print flyers and business cards and register your company in your local phone book as well.

Now that you're ready to get started you will want to immediately purchase enough supplies at the outset so that you will be ready to starting taking on business right away.  Depending on the size and scope of your business, you may want to start off small and get only the necessary supplies first before you expand in the future.  Or you may be able to afford to buy as many supplies as you can at the outset, so that you will be able to take on more work right away.

While the last step might sound a bit obvious, it can not be overstated.  When starting any new business, there are certain to be trying times, and these usually come at the very beginning.  Remember to be patient, and be confident that your business plan is a strong one, while being flexible enough to be able to change aspects of your business on the fly.  With enough patience and determination you will be able to get your business off the ground in no time, and be making the kind of living for yourself that you always dreamed of.

May 28th, 2010

If you're looking for an excellent way to start making money, or maybe looking to be your own boss and quit the 9-5 grind, starting your own office cleaning company may be right for you.  Starting your own cleaning business is a great opportunity to make good money, with little investment needed.  One reason why opening up an office cleaning company in today's tough economy is a good idea is because businesses, big or small, always need regular cleaning services, especially a company that they can trust.  There will always be a demand for office cleaning companies, and you will always have business as long as you're reliable, trustworthy, and charge a competitive rate.

The first thing you're going to need to do when starting your own office cleaning company is to come up with a solid business plan.  If you are unfamiliar with constructing a business plan, there are many excellent resources at the library and online that can assist you.  In your business plan you will want to include the following things.  You will want to include the mission statement for your business, or the reason why you have decided to start your own cleaning company.  You will want to write down the logistics of your operation, as well as your projections for your cost and payment structures, the direction you want your business to head in, etc.  You will want to figure out what is the best rate to charge, what services you're planning to include, as well as the necessary capital it will take to get your business up and running.

During this planning phase, there will also be other things you will want to consider.  Are you planning on having a business partner for your new business, or are you planning on doing it alone?  If you have a partner you will want to meticulously go through every detail to understand how the profit sharing will work, as well as investments you will need to start your business.  Taking the time to go over this at the beginning will save you lots of time and headaches later down the line.

Your next step will be to construct a solid and concise marketing plan on how you will be bringing in clients.  Because much of the business you will be getting will be coming from referrals, sometimes the hardest step to starting your own cleaning business will be attracting those first clients.  When constructing a solid marketing plan, the best thing that you can do is to do as much research as you can about the existing cleaning companies in your area.  How much do they charge?  What kind of services do they provide?  Are they reliable around the community?  By clearly understanding all these factors you will have a better idea of what kind of price you should be charging, and what kind of services you can offer to stay ahead of the competition.

Now all that's left is to buy the necessary supplies you will need and to create your own website.  Creating business cards and brochures is also a good idea, so you can pass them around different offices in your area to solicit business.  But the best thing you can do is to create a solid business and marketing plan, with a catchy name to your business, that will show that your business is not only reliable, but also a professional company that does the best work possible.

June 7th, 2010

A lot of people are devoted to saving and recycling at home; however, the biggest impact is achieved when you do the same in your office.

Consider the level of activity at your workplace:  every light turned on all day long, several computers and other power consuming electrical equipment always on, tons of paper used and discarded throughout the day, paper cups and disposable lunch boxes come and go, and a huge amount of other recyclable waste that is just thrown into the garbage.

Here's a quick guide that will help you save energy and recycle in your office.  You will not only reduce costs and profit more by applying these tips, but also show your employees, suppliers, clients, and customers, that you care about them and the world.

* Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.
* Turn off the lights when no one is in the room.
* Get rid of decorative or unnecessary lighting.
* Install mirrors to reflect natural light and to diminish the need for artificial light.
* Install automatic motion detecting lights in rooms that are seldom used.
* Set external lights to turn on and off with a timer to prevent them from being on all day long.

* Substitute old equipment for the energy-efficiency rated kind.
* Unplug everything that can be unplugged when not being used.
* Do not leave any equipment on standby.  For example, turn off your monitor while you are away, the screensaver is not an energy saver.
* Print as much as you can in 'economy mode', to reduce ink or toner consumption by 50%.
* Put your font at a very dark grey instead of black to use 20 to 30% less toner.
* Prefer ink jet to laser printers to reduce electricity consumption by 80 to 90%.
* Print in black and white instead of color to use 50% less electricity.
* Fit multiple pages on one sheet of paper by using 'size reduction' on the photocopier.

* Turn down the heating or turn up the air conditioning a couple of degrees.
* Turn the heating down in unused corridors and storerooms.
* Program the heating system timer to match working hours.
* Maintain doors and windows closed when the heating is on.
* Check the radiators and storage heaters to ensure these are not obstructed.

Business travelling
* When possible, use video conferencing and other communication technologies to avoid travelling.
* Work from home several days a week to reduce commuting.
* Car pool with your colleagues to save gas.

* Ensure that taps don't leak and that toilets and urinals are working fine.
* Recycling and avoiding waste
* Only print what really needs to be printed, and use both sides of the sheet.  If only one side is printed, use the other side to take down notes.
* When possible, use email or telephone to communicate with others.
* Remove yourself from mailing lists and ask companies to contact you by email instead.
* Use 100% recycled paper.
* Have one single waste bin instead of one per desk, so that people have to think twice before throwing something away.  A full single bin will also be a reminder of how much waste is being produced.
* Buy large volumes of cleaning materials to reduce packaging and costs.
* Look for alternative ways to use packaging materials to avoid throwing them away.
* Use old paper to make notepads.

Office cleaning companies that are truly committed to excellence normally provide help with many of the tasks mentioned above.  Talk to yours or look for one that can help you enforce these valuable habits in your office.

June 10th, 2010

So, you don't know why you are not as productive as some of your colleagues and deliver less while working twice as hard?

We recommend you take a look at your desk.  Employees who keep their office desk tidy and who work in a clean environment are much more efficient than those who work surrounded by a mess.

It has been proven that cluttering our lives is a mechanism we subconsciously use to distract our brain from what we want by encouraging procrastination.

If the idea of getting rid of all the clutter on your desk scares you to death, focus on how great it will feel when you are able to be 100% productive and are worthy of a raise or promotion.

The brain requires a clean environment to be able to deal with the abundant tasks that fill your day.  Distractions like accessories or photos are not acceptable.

It is not for nothing that people say you must look at someone's desk to discover how organized his or her life, in general, really is.  One of the most meaningful ways to show how professional you are is to have a clean desk.

Researchers have discovered that using light colors and a minimalistic office décor lowers stress levels considerably; thus, a clean environment will help you go through the day in a calmer and more controlled way.

Your whole office environment must be tidy, and everyone's desk should be spotless clean; no food, no empty coffee mugs, and no handbags or briefcases should be left on the desk.  Files have to be filed neatly, and pens, paper clips, pencils, and erasers should have a specific place so that these are not lying all over the desk.

Your goal should be to achieve focus in order to be more productive individually and as a team.  This is so important that it should be one of your top priorities in life, to get organized and to clean up your mess.  Make your environment welcoming and productive by putting a plant on a corner, hanging up a nice picture on the wall, and placing a lively rug at your feet.  Set your computer and phone in ways that make them easily accessible.

It doesn't take long to organize your office space and to clean your working environment.  Join forces to establish a cleaning day or hire a professional office cleaning service to help you regularly.

Motivate your employees and colleagues by giving an incentive to the cleanest desk of the month; everyone will get into the habit and your office productivity will skyrocket.

June 11th, 2010

Even when you have janitorial services to take care of things, there are day to day chores around the office that must be completed by staff members to keep things tidy on an ongoing basis.  If you've gone to the effort of finding a company that uses environmentally friendly products for the office, you certainly don't want to undermine those efforts by using harmful chemical cleaners for the in between jobs.  It's easy to create a small kit of natural cleaning products to keep on hand at the office for handling those little clean ups in a safe and green fashion.  Here are some easy tips on preparing a natural office cleaning kit.

* For bathroom and kitchen cleaning, a box of baking soda is the first ingredient for your kit.  Simply mix baking soda with water until a fairly thick paste forms.  Put a bit on a sponge and use to quickly wipe down sinks, countertops and tiles.

* For windows, glass tabletops or mirrors that need a touch up now and then make a natural glass cleaner by mixing a small squirt of dish detergent and about 3 Tbsp. of vinegar to a couple cups of water.  Put it all in a spritzer bottle and apply as you would a commercial cleaner, using either lint free cloths or squeegee to clean.

* To keep wooden desks, cabinets and credenzas looking spit spot between major cleanings, a natural furniture polish is the answer.  In a small jar, combine a small spoonful of olive oil with about a quarter cup lemon juice. Dab a small soft rag into the mixture and rub into wood surfaces.  This mixture not only works well it smells great too!

* Unfortunately, unpleasant odors sometimes linger around the office.  Cooking, smoking and even sometimes outdoor odors can creep into the office and make the surroundings unpleasant.  Commercial air fresheners can only mask these odors and are can sometimes even be quite toxic. A natural, harmless odor remover can be made and included in your natural office cleaning kit easily and inexpensively.   To a cup of hydrogen peroxide, add 1/4 teaspoon of fruity scented dish soap and a tablespoon of baking soda.  This can be sprayed directly into the air but it should not come in contact with furniture or electronics.

* For a handy kitchen cleaner, mix equal parts water and white vinegar and add a tablespoon of lemon juice.  Keep a spray bottle of this mixture handy for quick counter, sink, stovetop and microwave clean ups.

* And last but not least, if there should be a spill on the carpet, a quick and efficient spot cleaner can often save the expense of professional cleaning.  Simply mix equal parts baking soda and salt with a few drops of white vinegar to make a paste. Apply a bit of the paste to the carpet with a soft brush and let it sit until it's dry, then vacuum.  Be sure to test this method in an inconspicuous spot before using to test that it doesn't damage the color of the carpet.

June 15th, 2010

While your office is generally maintained and organized by your janitorial services, there are some daily tasks that employees must handle for both security reasons and to keep paper clutter from getting out of hand. One of these important tasks is getting rid of superfluous papers and documents that need to be destroyed. Offices often use a paper shredder or paper shredding service to accomplish this task. If your office is in the market for an office shredder, there are several things to take into consideration before making a purchase to ensure you find the right machine for your specific needs.

* A paper shredder for the office will ultimately handle more work than one you might purchase for home use. In all likelihood it will be used by more than one person, and maybe as often as several times a day, which will require it to have a thermally protected motor that will prevent it from overheating during prolonged use. When searching for the right office paper shredder, be sure to consider its speed, capacity and price to ensure that it does what you need it to do. Most mid size shredders for office use can handle things like paper clips and staples so the need to take documents apart before shredding is eliminated, which can be a great time saver for busy employees. They will also usually include an auto off and reverse functions in the case of paper jams.
* You also want to be sure that your paper shredder looks nice in the office and blends well with the other furniture and equipment. Today's paper shredders are very sleek and efficient looking, unlike their cousins of the past.
* There are also different types of cuts to consider depending on the level of security required for disposed documents. Some machines perform a simple strip cut which is a standard level of shredding, and others, where more security is required can shred papers in a cross cut fashion. More expensive models can reduce paper to pure confetti.

* If you have a larger office and therefore a larger amount of paper to shred, you may want to consider a high volume or heavy duty shredder. These machines will accept almost thirty sheets at a time and shred quickly and efficiently in a variety of cuts to suit your security needs.
* They are built to be more durable to stand up to longer periods of use. Obviously, they will come with a higher price tag but there is really no way to put a monetary value on the security of your company's information.

While these two types of machines can handle the main paper shredding requirements for a variety of office needs, other machines offer even more features that your company may or may not require such as cardboard shredding or CDs. It's always wise to consider your exact needs before investing in any of the available models.

June 18th, 2010

How many hours a day do you spend in your office? Is the place clean and well-maintained all the time? Do your colleagues smoke in the office and, as a consequence, you must breathe this polluted air? Most people complain about the fact that their offices are not clean enough or that they can be cleaner, but, at the same time, they understand that building managers or owners cannot clean the entire building every day. Why is it so important to keep the workplace as clean as possible?

For one thing, a clean environment makes a better impression on potential clients and workers. Imagine that you, as the president of a very important company, invite a well-known executive to your office in order to close the deal that will change the way your company does business. When you arrive at the office with this VIP person, you realize that the office is not tidy enough; there are piles of documents on every desk, the floors are not polished, the windows are dirty, the few plants that exist are almost put it simply, the whole office is a mess. You look at the face of the executive of the other company and you can understand clearly what he is thinking: "Katrina must have been here". Remember that people tend to judge others and mainly companies by their appearance. You have probably figured out what this executive's first impression is.

Moreover, it has been proved that employers are more likely to become ill, and therefore, be absent from work, which definitely decreases production, when they work in a poorly maintained environment. This situation is even worse if the worker suffers from Asthma. Asthma patients are much more affected by contaminants such as dust or smoke. Besides, it is said that people do not feel encouraged to work at the top of their capacity if they are in an untidy or unclean workstation.

So the one million dollar question is: how can a company improve the condition of the work environment so as to provide both its clients and workers with a proper place to do business and to work? Fortunately, there are companies that have carried out studies on optimal sanitary conditions of workplaces in order to develop the best and most efficient cleaning services, which focus not only on the workstations, where the worker spends most of his time, but also on the entire building. Therefore, they provide services such as: window cleaning, floor cleaning, restroom sanitation, waste removal and recycling, among many others. Their main purpose is to provide services that create healthier and more attractive workplaces.

To conclude, if you want to avoid absenteeism and making a bad impression on your potential and current clients, contact a commercial cleaning company and hire its services. In a few days, your office will be shining like a diamond and your workers will be pleased to work in such a well-maintained environment; now they'll probably feel safer and more comfortable.

June 22nd, 2010

Even though stores would like to sell you dozens of cleaners, you don't need them. With just five simple ingredients, you can clean nearly everything in your car, office, or home.

Commercial cleaning providers know that many cleaning jobs have five separate actions:
1. Remove the dust and dirt
2. Dissolve and rub away the buildup
3. Rinse off the dissolving solution
4. Dry, shine, or polish
5. Prevent further soiling

Home and office cleaning with household items has become a very popular green trend. With the following five ingredients, you can cleanse an amazing array of surfaces.

* White distilled vinegar: Make sure you use distilled white vinegar. Cleaning with vinegar is economical and non-toxic. Because vinegar is naturally acidic, it dissolves many substances. It also kills bacteria and germs. Don't be afraid to use vinegar because it has an odor. After a few minutes, the smell wears off.

* Table salt: Table salt is an effective abrasion agent. Because it is soft, it will not scratch surfaces but will help remove tough caked-on substances.

* Baking soda: Baking soda is also a good scouring agent. It is essentially the opposite of vinegar. Baking soda tackles stains that vinegar cannot remove.

* Dish detergent: Soap is used to break the surface tension of water and allow water to get closer to the stain.

* Water: Soft water is considered the best dissolvent in the world. Over time, it will dissolve or change almost anything. Water is the perfect cleaning agent. It is best to use soft water or distilled water for rinsing.

You can combine these five ingredients in various ways to make a useful assortment of safe, non-toxic, office cleaning formulas.

The Tools You Will Need: You will also need a few common items to complete your cleaning kit.
* bowl for mixing
* several spray bottles to hold spray solutions
* rubber gloves for heavy cleaning
* old toothbrushes for scrubbing
* soft towels for drying
* soft cloths for polishing
* dryer static sheets for making baseboards anti-static

Full Strength Vinegar: Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and use to:
* wipe desk and countertops to remove stains, kill bacteria, and leave a fresh smell
* soak plastic items to remove stubborn stains
* clean the coffee maker
* spray on cutting boards for five minutes, then rinse
* spray on all surfaces of the toilet to kill bacteria and germs
* soak showerheads and faucets to remove calcium buildup
* clean the wheel of a can opener with vinegar and a toothbrush
* discourage mildew by spraying on outside window sills
* soak your sponges in vinegar and then rinse
* clean sticky scissors
* clean shower door tracks with vinegar and a toothbrush
* clean road grime off of windshield wipers then rinse with clear water

Naturally, your commercial cleaning services will take care of the regular heavy duty jobs, but it's always recommended that you have these green and natural cleaning products on hand to tackle any spills or in-between cleanings.

June 25th, 2010

As outdoor temperatures rise and the grass becomes greener, everyone starts to relax. After all, another flu season has passed. When spring and summer come, it is easy to forget about germs. But germs don't just disappear.
* Did you know that a typical telephone hosts 25,123 germs on a spot the size of a postage stamp?
* Would you pick up the phone if you knew that over 1400 bacteria thrive on just the mouthpiece?

But these aren't the only places germs abound. Computer keyboards, doorknobs, and light sockets are contaminated with hundreds of microbes that make us sick. However, it does not have to be that way.

There is proof that when businesses get rid of germs, people stay well. After Air New Zealand began sanitizing their telephones and computers, their absenteeism and sick days improved by 52%. Smart business people know that cleanliness saves money.

There are several economical measures you can take as a manager or owner to keep your company staff productive and healthy. The steps are not difficult, but they do require reminders and simple systems. Keeping the office healthy hinges on the efforts of both the office staff and the janitorial services of professionals.

An uncovered cough can bring your office to a standstill within days. Everyone in a business needs to be taught how germs spread and how to avoid contamination.

1. Encourage employees to wash their hands often
2. Put bottles of hand sanitizer on desks, by doors, and in the restroom.
3. Teach people to keep their hands away from their eyes, mouth, and nose.
4. Encourage people to use tissue to cover their cough or sneeze.
5. Used tissues should be discarded immediately in a wastebasket and not a drawer.
6. The wastebaskets need to be emptied daily.
7. Minimize face-to-face contact with people, especially those who are sick.
8. Encourage telecommuting where possible.

Viruses, fungus, and bacteria grow almost everywhere. Door handles, telephones, and chairs become especially grungy. But how many businesses really sanitize?

Mundane cleaning tasks are easy to overlook and often go undone. Investing in an office cleaning service helps businesses remain productive and healthy. When you hire a commercial cleaning company, ask about the proven methods and checklists they use. Insist on a safe electronic cleaner. In addition, confirm that they will sanitize:
* telephones, copy machines, fax machines, calculators,
* desk tops, desk handles, filing cabinet drawers, cabinet doors,
* doorknobs, light switches, push plates, door posts,
* sink knobs, soap dispensers, water taps, hand dryers,
* toilet handles, toilet paper dispensers, bathroom stall handles,
* refrigerator handles, microwave ovens, table tops, cabinet tops; and
* any other area people's fingers touch.

Ask your commercial cleaning vendor to thoroughly disinfect your work area several times a year and then to follow a regular schedule of maintenance. You may want them to sanitize daily, monthly, or three times a week. It may seem like wasted effort, but remember how much money the airline saved once it began sanitizing work areas.

You also need to have an ample supply of preventive supplies on hand. Make sure to stock:
* tissues for each desk and sitting area,
* soap,
* hand drying supplies,
* bottles of sanitizer, and
* anti-bacterial towels.

Here is an easy tip. Disinfecting wipes can reduce bacteria and germs by 99% on commonly touched office equipment and phones. Keep them handy and encourage their use.

A clean workspace is everyone's responsibility. Keep your company healthy, happy, and productive by keeping microbes at bay. So what do smart people know? They know that daily maintenance keeps unseen germs from wreaking havoc on profitability. Pass the wipes, please.

June 28th, 2010

The newest trend of this century is to be "green". That means that people tend to waste less, be more conscious of their choices, and try to help the environment.

One area that has especially benefitted from the new green emphasis is cleaning. We spend most of our lives in homes, apartments, schools, vehicles, and business buildings. Because we live indoors, internal air quality is crucial to our health. As such, we want to make sure our buildings are cleaned in ways that do not eventually hurt us.

What is green cleaning? It is cleaning that does not harm our health or our environment.
In years past, spring-cleaning could actually make indoor environments toxic. Grandma's cleaners were not the best for us. Many of the old-fashioned cleaning products were petroleum based. They cleaned well, but they also did damage.

Chemical products of just a few years ago gave off harsh fumes and left annoying residues. Did you ever get a headache from just one whiff? Did your mother have to use rubber gloves when she was cleaning?

Recently, many brands of safe cleaners have become available on store shelves. They are starting to gain popularity. Just last year, green product sales increased by 16%.

Nowadays, most safe cleaners are made without petroleum. Many are manufactured from renewable resources and are non-toxic and biodegradable. Your commercial cleaning vendor can now provide new formulations for:
* Glass cleaners, window cleaners, mirror cleaners
* General purpose cleaners, bathroom cleaners, disinfectants
* Tile cleaners, hard floor cleaners,
* Carpet cleaners, stain removers
* Hand soap, paper products
* Aerosols, air fresheners

As you are shopping for safe products, a good place to start is with the green seal. Green Seal Certification has been established to recommend products that are both effective and safe. Green Seal Inc. is an independent, non-profit organization based in Washington. They are committed to using and developing science-based standards to insure safe and effective products and services.

Even politicians are waking up to the problem. Because indoor air quality has come to the forefront, many State Legislatures have enacted Green School Acts to promote health for children and teachers at schools. Janitorial services are providing a valuable benefit by using safe cleaning products.

Many people are also seeing the need to provide safe work environments for employees. In addition to air quality, residues have become a problem. Unless a building has good air exchange, residue chemicals build up on all horizontal surfaces and the workplace becomes unhealthy. It is probably a good idea to have a commercial carpet cleaning firm wash out the residues that have settled on the carpet for years.

Businesses and homeowners are often hard-worked and time-pressed. There is no time for cleaning. Fortunately, there are commercial cleaning services that specialize in "green cleaning." They specialize in improving indoor safety for you, your kids, pets, and employees.

Times change and we have to decide if we want green cleaning. It seems like a lot of change, but the alternative is to go back to the dangerous and unhealthy chemicals of the past. What we truly want now is cleaning that helps us without hurting the environment.

Source:  Maintenance-One 

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