Category Archives: Blog Page

Are You “Floored” With the First Impression of Your Floors?

You only get one chance to make a great first impression!  Keeping up with the maintenance of your lobby floors – whether they are ceramic or porcelain tile, natural stone, marble or concrete – is especially important. Who wants dirt, debris or mud being tracked in from the rain messing up your floors?

Don’t forget about your restroom floors! Restrooms get a ton of foot traffic, which means excess dirt and debris can make its way there too.

Having a good comprehensive floor maintenance strategy in place will keep up the appearance of your floors. In return, the appearance of your Kleen floors will impress clients, visitors and your staff.

Not sure which type of maintenance plan is right for your floors?  That is where the Mister Kleen experts can provide you with good recommendations.

However, before you decide to schedule a free consultation, here are some tips to keep in mind when seeking to maintain your floors:

  • For light traffic areas, it is ideal to have your floors maintained every three-to-six months. Medium traffic areas every three months.  Heavy traffic areas should be on a monthly maintenance plan.
  • Place walk-off or track-off mats at each entrance to reduce the amount of debris from foot traffic entering your facility… especially on those challenging weather days we get here in the Metro area.
  • Vacuum hard surface floors and ensure trash is being picked up daily will help keep your floors in good shape.
  • Sign up for an annual restorative maintenance package. Normal wear and tear is expected but unfortunate accidents do occur. Having a comprehensive annual package in place will increase the quality of the appearance as well as the longevity of your floors.

Another vital component of good floor maintenance is making sure the chemicals being used are not toxic to you or the environment.  Make sure to choose Green Seal (GS-42) certified cleaning solutions to accomplish this.

Many liquid based cleaners on the market contain bleach and acid which emit noxious fumes. Prolonged exposure to these fumes can cause harm to your health especially if the areas in which you are being exposed are not adequately ventilated. In certain extreme situations over long-term use, these harsh chemicals can erode your floors including the grout.

If you are concerned about your floors or it has been a while since they have been restoratively cleaned, then the best thing to do is schedule an appointment with Mister Kleen. One of our trained restorative cleaning technicians will meet with you to assess, diagnose and prescribe a solution that will help keep your floors looking great while minimizing health impacts among building visitors and tenants.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services. 

 

Have You Scheduled Your Exterior Windows to Be Cleaned Yet?

Ah… good old summer is officially here in the Washington, D.C. metro region. More time to spend in the sun is always fun and so is getting all of those critical exterior projects done to keep your grounds and facility looking pristine.

While the appeal of your parking lots, garages and curbs is always essential, maintaining a clean appearance with the exterior of your windows is as well. And with warmer temperatures out, now is an excellent time to get the exterior of your windows cleaned.

Over time the exterior of your windows accumulates dirt, debris, dust, bird droppings, spider webs and more. These items can be removed with a thorough exterior cleaning of your windows.  A good cleaning will allow more natural light can shine into your facility which can help improve employee morale, productivity and lower energy costs.

What’s also important to note is that if your facility is built with concrete, you run the risk that several of the minerals used to manufacture the concrete, such as calcium, leak out. This is one of the causes of those ugly streak marks on your windows. The longer these stains remain, the harder it becomes to clean and remove them.

Going with a professional cleaning company that provides quality window cleaning services is recommended. Make sure to ask about the process they use.  Employees hanging on ropes from roof anchors are a distraction and may not be needed.

If your facility is four (4) stories or less and is not facing a major road with a lot of traffic, you can use an environmentally friendly, pure water cleaning system. It will provide a clean, streak-free surface using state-of-the-art extension poles to clean your windows from the ground up and it is much better for the environment by eliminating the use of chemicals in the process.

An excellent looking curb appeal with beautifully cleaned windows will provide a positive first impression on employees as well as potential clients. While you are getting all of your important exterior projects completed this summer, why not get the exterior of your windows cleaned as well?

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Stripping and Waxing VCT Floors in the DC Area Requires Professional Help

Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) flooring is a common choice for many commercial and high security facilities in the Washington DC region. While these floors are durable and display a glossy look, now and then it becomes necessary to strip and re-wax the flooring to maintain appearance and functionality.

Hiring a professional cleaning company that specializes in stripping and waxing VCT flooring is the way to go when it comes to ensuring the highest-quality end result of keeping the flooring intact and looking good.

Below are four reasons why using a professional cleaning company is the recommended option:


They Can Bring Your High-Traffic Areas Back to Life Using the Right Equipment

The high-traffic areas of your office or workplace will lose their wax surface faster than areas with less traffic. These high-traffic areas will need maintenance more often and will require extra care.

A team of experienced and well-trained experts can give your high-traffic areas the extra attention they need to ensure the new wax job can stand up to the daily foot traffic of your busy workplace.

They will also use the right supplies and equipment to remove existing wax, scrub to remove foot traffic marks and apply the right amount of wax coats without damaging the floors.


They Can Provide an Extra Layer of Protection

When VCT floors are first installed, some installers only provide the default factory layer of wax. This thin layer does not last long, especially in busy offices or in high-traffic areas.

Even if VCT flooring was just installed, contact a professional for stripping and waxing. A professional can help ensure the floors have a durable layer of wax that will provide more protection than the standard factory finish.


Safety

A professional commercial cleaning company that specializes in maintaining VCT flooring will know how to implement proper safety measures while stripping and waxing these floors.  These safety measures protect the flooring, the professionals doing the job and most importantly the tenants in your building!  They will make sure to use the proper equipment and processes, put down plenty of wet floor signs and direct people away from the work area. This will ensure the stripping and waxing can be completed properly without damage and will prevent others from slipping and falling


Enough Drying Time

Depending on the volume of the traffic, several coats of wax may need to be applied. A professional cleaning company will know how long to wait before applying the next coat.

If the VCT flooring is walked on too soon, footprints can compromise the wax’s ability to protect the floor and diminish the floor’s glossy appearance.

When using a professional cleaning company that specializes in stripping and waxing VCT flooring, they will ensure your floors have enough time to dry before foot traffic can resume in these areas.

 

Choosing the Right Process

Turning a resilient floor that is in bad shape into a clean and shiny floor does not have to involve stripping and applying new coats of wax. Depending on a number of factors, there are other processes that can be used for the best end result.

When you hire a professional cleaning company that specializes in the restorative cleaning of resilient floors, they will know what recommended options to present to you when looking at your floors.  The right process can protect your floors, keep them looking better longer and get you the best price for the results.

Of course, the only way to know is to set an appointment so that your trained technician can provide his or her recommendation on the right process to use. He or she can also provide a recommended maintenance package to help ensure your floors stay clean and shiny for many more years to come.


Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Your Carpets Have New Year’s Resolutions Too!

Businesses often have more foot traffic during the holidays, especially with all those office parties and events.  When these events are over, there tends to be a glaring eyesore that catches everyone’s attention – the nasty stain or visible soiling on your carpet!

While you may have done your best to prevent food and drink spills, there’s always that one person (or more) who got a little too carried away.  And who knows what was on the soles of the shoes that tromped through everywhere!  Slush, mud, water, and all kinds of winter debris may have been brought in, which can not only damage your carpets but can also be hazardous to your health!

Help Your Carpets Fulfill Their New Year’s Resolution by Getting Them Cleaned!

With 2018 in full swing and you working hard toward achieving your New Year’s resolutions, why not help your carpets achieve theirs with a thorough deep cleaning?

They are a large investment in your building and one of the first things people notice.  Any glaring stains on your carpet need to be addressed so you can maintain a positive first impression when people enter your building.  And, whether visible or not, extracting the dirt and debris from foot traffic is vital for your occupant’s health.

If you are ever unsure about proper methods on how to restoratively clean your carpets, reach out to the experts who can recommend what needs to be done – ahem, Mister Kleen!

When you select a reputable provider that specializes in commercial carpet cleaning, the technicians will be able to recommend proper restorative methods of cleaning to get the results you want.  They can also advise you on measures to help prevent your carpets from future staining.

In addition to scheduling a restorative carpet cleaning, below are a few more tips you can incorporate to help you preserve your carpet during the winter months:

  • Place a welcome mat outside every entrance door, and a small runner or rug inside. These coverings will take care of most debris that could be tracked in.
  • Vacuum your carpets frequently. By creating and following a regular vacuuming schedule, you can reduce the amount of dirt collected in the carpet fibers.
  • Regulate heat and minimize the use of humidifiers to help preserve the longevity of your carpets.

Why Not Get Your Upholstery a New Year’s Resolution Cleaning As Well?

Kill two birds with one stone!  It makes sense to tackle your upholstery cleaning around the same time you are scheduling to have your carpets restoratively cleaned.

In many situations, your upholstery cleaning will incorporate a similar process that is being used for your carpets – e.g., hot water extraction or a steam cleaning method.

A simple count of how many chairs and pieces of furniture you want restoratively cleaned and the style of the furniture will help determine the right process to be used. Mister Kleen has trained specialists who can assist you with this so you can get an accurate quote to ensure your upholstery is cleaned properly.

Who doesn’t want to look and feel great in 2018?  Your carpets and upholstery do!

Schedule an inspection of your carpets and upholstery and get a quote from Mister Kleen today!

Avoid Damaging Your Office Carpet With These Expert Tips

Carpet looks great in your workplace and feels comfortable underfoot, but it comes with a big downside—one accidental spill can leave a nasty, hard-to-remove stain.

“No big deal, this won’t be hard to get out,” you may think after spilling your morning coffee all over the floor.

It seems everyone has their remedy for getting rid of carpet stains, using anything from baking soda and shaving cream to renting a carpet cleaner from a local store and everything in between. While some of these homemade solutions can certainly help get rid of stains (if performed right), it’s better to trust the experts for a truly effective deep cleaning. Here’s why:

 

Likelihood of Office Stains

Your commercial office is a busy place. If it is anything like ours, the pace and daily foot traffic are heavy.  Normal wear and tear is bad enough, causing your carpets to look dirty and dingy.  And that high pace, unfortunately, comes with a higher chance of drops and spills.

You may not be able to keep up with the number of stains on your own. Just when you think you’ve gotten rid of one carpet stain, another will appear – almost as if you are playing a game of whack-a-mole. If you’re trying to tackle a carpet that already has several stains, or is marred with heavy foot traffic, then you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.

 

Cleaning Stains Is Time Consuming

Finding the time to purge your office carpet of stains during the 9 to 5 grind can be difficult, especially if you have big assignments stacked up and important meetings to attend.

Depending on the severity of the stains, getting rid of them with DIY methods might not be as simple or quick as dabbing them with a white cloth and using Red Out, or other everyday solutions such as white vinegar, dish soap with water, or club soda. Deep stains may take hours and several rounds of treatment to disappear, and it can be hard to carve out time during your work day to focus on this when you have more pressing things to work on.

Removing some stains might even require you to move around furniture or prevent employees from stepping in the affected area(s) for a little while, which can interrupt your office’s productivity. And who wants to be stuck at the office cleaning stains after hours?

 

You Might Make It Worse

No matter how detailed those Internet DIY instructions are, attempting to clean your carpet on your own could result in a worse stain.

You could make the common mistake of rubbing the stain instead of dabbing, which just pushes your stain deeper into the carpet. Alternatively, you might find a set of less-than-trustworthy instructions online and use a solution that only damages your carpet more.

Unless you’ve received the same training as carpet professionals and know how best to tackle carpet stain removals inside and out, your carpet problem might just get bigger if you try to fix it on your own.

When you hire an established, reputable and certified carpet cleaning company, these trained professionals will know the right process that needs to be used to clean your carpets and remove those pesky stains properly.

They will also provide recommendations to properly maintain your carpets as proper maintenance is a key to keeping your carpets clean, minimizing the impact of stains, and looking their best.  These maintenance packages will also help keep your carpets healthy by extracting all the dirt and debris trapped deep within your carpet fibers, which can be cause for health concerns if not properly removed.

 

Trust the Professionals for Your Commercial Office Carpet Cleaning

If your office or commercial space in Northern Virginia or Washington DC needs carpet cleaning, contact Mister Kleen! Since 1976, Mister Kleen continues to serve the DC metro region with expert commercial and high-security carpet cleaning services.

Mister Kleen can apply a variety of carpet cleaning methods to get rid of stubborn stains and restore your carpet, and their highly trained and skilled carpet cleaning technicians are dedicated to customer satisfaction and attention to detail.

In addition, Mister Kleen is certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This certificate is earned through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examinations, and maintained by completing continuing education credits.

Schedule Your Free Carpet Cleaning Quote Today

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services. 

Do You Need to Re-Stripe Your Parking Spaces or Paint Your Curbs in Washington DC? Here’s What You Need to Know

Maintaining a beautiful property is a lot of work. This is especially true for building owners and property managers of commercial and high security facilities in the Washington, D.C. area.

During the warmer months, a bulk of your projects with contractors may be spent outdoors. From power sweeping and power scrubbing of your parking garages, sweeping dirt and debris up from your parking lots, cleaning windows, to pressure washing the façade of your building, these are all important projects at this time of year.

However, two projects you do not want to neglect are the re-striping of your parking spaces and the re-painting of your curbs. While you may think that any contractor you hire that has the right equipment is capable of doing these jobs, you may be in for a rude surprise. Here’s a few reasons why you should go with the right contractor to accurately re-stripe your parking spaces and re-paint your curbs in Washington, DC or the Northern Virginia area.

Appearance

First and foremost, a big reason it’s important to make sure your parking lot striping and curb painting is done properly is aesthetics. The condition of your parking lot or garage gives the first impression of your business, which can make or break a customer’s experience—especially for someone using your services for the first time.

Your customers don’t want to pull into a parking lot or garage that’s covered with trash or debris, and they certainly don’t want to pull into one with a lousy striping job. Uneven or messy parking lines communicate a sense of laziness or a lack of maintenance that might make customers start their cars back up and leave.

The same goes for curb painting. Though the most important significance of curb paint is to enforce parking rules, a curb with faded, chipped, or discolored paint definitely doesn’t look nice, either.

Safety & Communicating Parking Regulations

If your parking lot has crooked, messy, or incomplete parking lines, it can cause confusion in your lot and even put your visitors at risk of injury.  Properly striped parking spaces that are not too close together will safely accommodate as many cars as possible, with enough room in each parking space to avoid accidents and costly damage to your customers’ and employees’ vehicles as well as prevent their frustration.

Curb painting is especially important for communicating proper parking procedures at your business. You may have a special loading and unloading entrance for any vendors that deliver goods to your facility, and colored curb paint is often used to indicate that regular customers should not block an entrance. If your curbs aren’t accurately and clearly painted and marked, customers may mistakenly park along your curb and block any trucks that are trying to unload.

Legal Compliance

Depending on where your property is located, local ordinances and laws may require you to have certain types of lot striping or curb painting. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design requires that company parking lots and garages have handicap-accessible spaces. You may also be required to have a fire lane in front of your building in the event of emergencies, clearly indicated by a yellow-painted curb. You should make sure you understand and obey your local laws with proper striping and curb painting to avoid fines.

When Should You Have Your Parking Spaces Re-Striped and Curbs Painted in Washington, DC?

We typically recommend re-striping parking lots and garages and re-painting curbs every 12 to 18 months. When you do need re-striping and re-painting, make sure it’s not raining, and the temperature outside is above freezing. This definitely isn’t a project that you can put off for long, so when it’s time to have your lot or garage re-striped and your curbs painted, contact Mister Kleen!

Mister Kleen has been proudly serving the Washington, DC area and Northern Virginia region since 1976. We offer expert parking lot/garage striping and curb painting services near Washington DC for local companies. Our workers are well-trained and knowledgeable about striping and painting best practices, local ordinances, and providing quality work.

Schedule your parking lot / parking garage re-striping and/or curb painting here

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Washington DC: Power Sweeping, Power Scrubbing, Re-Striping Parking Spaces and Curb Painting – Oh My!

While it may be a cliché, a positive first impression is an important part of building a long-term partnership with your tenants and customers. And the first impression made at your buildings is the appearance of your parking garage and/or lot.

With the winter months behind us and summer in full swing, it is the perfect time to have your parking surfaces thoroughly swept and cleaned.  Excess sand and salt left behind can wreak havoc on asphalt and concrete surfaces over time.  Keeping those areas free of dust, dirt, and debris is essential for maintaining the integrity and appearance of a parking area and the entrances to your building.

Power Sweeping vs. Power Scrubbing

Power Sweeping

Power Sweeping is the preferred method to extract dirt and debris from parking surfaces. It is also a recommended process to have performed before you power scrub to remove tough stains. Blowers should be used for corners and edges to remove all the dirt and debris such as salt, sand, trash, leaves, and cigarette butts.

Power Scrubbing

Have you noticed those unsightly oil stains? Besides being a major eyesore, they can cause discoloration, and emit an odor if not properly handled. Power scrubbing is highly effective in ensuring your garage has an improved appearance by removing oil, grease, and grime build up. This will also lower the risk of staining, cracking, and formation of potholes.

Restriping Parking Spaces and Curb Painting

Now that your parking surfaces are spic and span, do you want everyone to see those old, faded and cracked striping lines?  Now is a great time to re-stripe and paint the lot and curbs.

Parking lot restriping and making sure your curbs are properly painted is not only good for appeal, but it also increases the safety of your business environment. When parking spaces and curbs are properly marked and painted you help reduce the number of accidents. Also, customers are less likely to block entrances, sidewalks, and intersections.  Keeping up with pavement markings can help you avoid unwanted citations from your local government, especially with stenciling and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities) requirements.

Typically, re-striping and/or repainting curbs are recommended every 12-18 months, as long as the temperature is above freezing, and it is not raining outside.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services. 

Washington DC: Do You Have Dirty Grout? Call the Mister Kleen Grout Busters!

Does your grout look like the before or after in the photos above?

If the grout in your floors is visibly dirty, then this is one sure-fire way to keep clients, visitors, and staff away. Not only is dirty grout in your tile flooring gross and embarrassing to look at, but it can also be a breeding ground for disease-causing bacteria and viruses!

How do you ensure your grout doesn’t look like the before images that can be hazardous to your health? Also, how do you ensure that the cleaning process being used doesn’t cause additional harm to your health?

Choose to go with a restorative grout cleaning process that is safer than traditional methods.

Introducing a new advancement in grout cleaning

Did you know that most grout cleaning methods use harsh chemicals that are toxic for you and the environment? Many of the liquid based grout cleaners on the market contain bleach and acid, which emits noxious fumes. You can experience serious harm to your health after prolonged exposures to these chemicals, especially if the area is not properly ventilated. Moreover, in extreme situations, these cleaners can erode away the grout surface over long-term use.

As a Certified GS-42 Green Cleaning CompanyMister Kleen is continuously adopting new and innovative cleaning processes that reduce the amount of exposure to such toxic chemicals being used. This is especially true with our latest advancement with grout cleaning, which is superior to the traditional chemical based methods that are being used by most cleaning companies.

Here are some of the benefits of using our unique process:

  • The process meets the latest Green Seal Certification under the most recent standards. Traditional methods using harsh chemicals do not satisfy these standards
  • All products are USDA certified 100% bio-based and biodegradable and have earned the USDA BioPreferred designation
  • The products used as part of the extraction process are manufactured in an EPA registered facility
  • And much more!

If the grout on your floors appears to be dirty, then it is time to call the Mister Kleen Grout Busters to restoratively clean and extract harmful bacterial agents. Using our new and innovative tile cleaning approach, we will ensure that no toxic chemicals harmful to your health will be used to bring your grout back to life.

For more information, or to speak to a Mister Kleen Grout Buster Specialist, email Christy Clark, Director of Field Services at [email protected] or call (703) 719-6900 today. 

2017 Tips to Ensure Earth Day is Celebrated Every Day

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year, and this year marks the 47th anniversary!

Across the globe, this special day is celebrated with festivals, rallies, celebrity support, and more. Here at Mister Kleen, we enjoy celebrating this special day by helping our clients in their continual efforts to enhance building sustainability.

While we certainly enjoy celebrating Earth Day each year, we do want Earth Day to be celebrated every day. Here are some 2017 tips for you to make every day an Earth Day:

Switch from plastic (and paper) to reusable shopping bags

Reusable shopping bag

Did you know that plastic bags take anywhere from 15 to 1,000 years to decompose, and only one (1) percent of plastic bags are recycled in the United States? Also, it takes 12 million barrels of oil to produce an estimated 100 billion plastic bags used in the U.S. each year, and about one (1) million birds, thousands of turtles and other sea animals perish each year from ingesting discarded plastic bags.

Using reusable shopping bags is one of the easiest every day tactics you can use to reduce the impactful harm that plastic bags have on our environment.

Switch from bottled to filtered water 

filtered Water

Did you know that plastic (when not recycled) takes about 450 years to decompose? Americans purchase over half a billion bottles of water each week, and there are no real benefits to consuming it. In fact, most bottled water is deemed to be overpriced tap water, which ends up contributing to over 1.5 million tons of plastic in our landfills each year.

Switching from bottled water to filtrated water is one of the fastest, easiest, and smartest actions you can take to reduce this plastic material from ending up in our landfills. You can also save a substantial amount of money each year. Check out this cost comparison of bottled water versus filtered water here.

The environmental impact of filtered water is much lower than bottled water.

Save waste by switching from regular batteries to rechargeable batteries

Rechargeable Batteries

There are many batteries, and the most common and readily available ones come in sizes such as A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-Volt, or NiMH. Most people do not realize the impact regular single-use batteries have on our environment. Corrosive materials, heavy metals, and many other chemicals result in bad news for our environment when improperly disposed of. Rechargeable batteries on the other hand have a much less impact on our environment. Also, rechargeable batteries can be used over and over, and they consume up to 23 times less non-renewable natural resources than your standard single-use batteries. This results in you saving money, conserving resources, and better protecting our environment.

Shop at a local farmers market

Farmer's Market

Shopping at a local farmer’s market reduces pollution since small, local growers tend to use more sustainable practices, which includes fewer greenhouse gas emissions associated with transporting food from long distances.

Not sure where to find the nearest farmers market? Just type in the phrase, “Where to find the nearest farmers market near me” on Google and the search results will show you what is available nearby.

If you are interested in taking this one step further, then why not consider joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) co-op, where you can pay ahead of time for several months’ worth of food, and in return, you can get a box of fresh vegetables every week. You can find a local CSA at www.localharvest.org.

Use reusable microfiber cleaning cloths

Microfiber cleaning cloths

Why waste money on paper towels when you can use reusable microfiber cleaning cloths? These nifty cleaning costs not only save you money when buying paper products, but they are also an excellent multi-purpose cleaning tool to remove dirt and debris from your desk, computer, sunglasses, phone, car, and so much more.

Turn off lights every time you leave the room to save energy

Light switch

Did you know that 44% of electricity use in office buildings comes from light alone? When you exit the room, please be sure to turn off your lights.

Some lights have timers that will automatically shut off. These might be a cost effective measure to implement. Also, keep an eye out for Energy Star labels on light bulbs. Switching to these light bulbs will save money on electricity and reduce your carbon footprint by two-thirds.

LED

Speaking of lightbulbs, have you considered purchasing LED bulbs? Your typical light bulb will use 60 watts whereas a LED only uses 10. LED light bulbs have dropped in price over the years as well, and they can last up to 25 times longer than your traditional light bulb. Not only does this save you money (in some cases in excess of $100 or more), but it will also help cut down on wasteful electricity use.

Use a coffee cup instead of disposable cups

Reusable coffee mug

You can save a lot of money by having your building occupants use reusable coffee cups versus disposable cups. Encourage your building occupants to bring their own cups from home, and maybe even have a contest to celebrate the individual who has the most memorable coffee cup. Perhaps this can be a regular contest to encourage people to bring in their favorite cups but to also help reduce the use of disposable cups.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Carpet Cleaning DC and Northern VA | Now is the Time for a Spring Cleaning

Spring is here. Now is the perfect time to schedule a spring cleaning of your carpets.

While the appearance of your carpets matters, it is also important that you restoratively clean your carpets to ensure your indoor environment is as healthy as can be. This means making sure your carpets are properly cleaned and extracted of all the winter salt, sand, dirt and debris that is currently trapped within their fibers, which will continue to pollute your environment if not removed.

Not sure which company to hire to restoratively clean your carpets? Here are three questions to have answered before hiring a carpet cleaning company.

 

What about the process to use when cleaning your carpets?

Wet cleaning via hot water extraction is the preferable option to go with if you haven’t had your carpets cleaned in a while. With this method, a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then extracted immediately back out of your carpet. This process can be performed using either a portable machine or truck mount.

If you have carpet tiles or sensitive wiring underneath your carpet, then it is recommended that you go with a low moisture encapsulation (LME) method.

The LME method is a newer technology in which encapsulation carpet chemicals are manufactured with ingredients that do not leave a harmful sticky residue on the carpet. They also have a crystalline polymer included that is designed to trap and hold any remaining soil that is left behind in the cleaning process. When the carpet dries, the crystalline and soil are vacuumed up during the next dry cycle.

The LME method is also recommended to be a good interim cleaning/maintenance process in between hot water extraction cleanings. Encapsulation cleaning keeps carpets cleaner for longer periods of time compared to other methods, and this method also avoids the drying time of carpet extractions as carpets can be immediately walked on.

 

Other options to consider can include:

Cylindrical Cleaning: A less aggressive process for short piled carpets using a cylindrical coil rotary brush designed to extract lint and debris.

Rotary and Extraction Cleaning: Using this method, matted stains are easily deep cleaned and restored as special rotary extraction power heads are used to remove all remaining residue. Ultimately, the rotary and extractions method can be an excellent choice when seeking to restore heavily soiled carpets back to their original condition.

Dry Cleaning: Also known as “very low moisture” (VLM) systems, as an absorbent (often a biodegradable compound) is evenly spread over carpets then brushed or scrubbed in. When using this method, carpets can be cleaned during business hours as they dry quicker. Also, the dry cleaning and VLM system is less labor intensive and better for the environment as trips to the janitor’s closet to fill and dump water are no longer needed.

Of course, it is always recommended that you seek professional advice from a reputable and certified company of which process to use to avoid these common eight (8) mistakes, which can destroy your carpets.

If at any time you would like some free expert advice, feel free to contact us to help you determine which process is best to use for your carpets. We can also provide you a free quote.

 

Get your quote here

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Garage and Lot Cleaning, Restriping Parking Spaces and Curb Painting, and Exterior Window Cleaning in the D.C. Area

Spring season is here, which means it is time for you to give some TLC to the exterior of your facility. Below are three (3) areas you don’t want to neglect this spring:

 

Parking Garages and Parking Lots  

Power Sweeping Garage

Imagine a customer pulling into your parking garage and lot, and all they see is trash, dirt, and debris. Not only is this an unsightly appearance, but this can also result in unwanted dirt and debris making its way inside your facility.

Power sweeping is the preferred method to extract dirt and debris from parking surfaces. It is also a recommended process to have performed before you power scrub to remove tough stains. All parking areas, entrance, and exit areas need to be addressed using top of the line equipment operated by skilled and trained personnel. Blowers should be used for corners and edges to remove all the dirt and debris, such as salt, sand, trash, leaves, and cigarette butts.

In conjunction with power sweeping your parking garage, it is also recommended that you power scrub the surface areas. Power scrubbing and pressure washing are two recommended processes to use to ensure your garage has an improved appearance by removing dirt, oil, grease and grime from building up on your surfaces. These processes can also help to eliminate some of those unsightly oil stains, which, if not treated, result in a major eyesore, and can emit an odor if not properly handled. By using the right approach with a trained technician, your parking lot and garage will not only have less harmful dirt and debris, but they will also have a lower risk of staining, cracking, and formation of potholes.

 

Restriping Parking Spaces and Curb Painting

re-striping parking spaces and curb painting

Parking lot restriping and making sure your curbs are properly painted is not only good for appeal, but it also increases the safety of your business environment. When parking spaces and curbs are properly marked and painted you help reduce the number of accidents. Also, customers are less likely to block entrances, sidewalks, and intersections.

Maintaining the appearance of your parking spaces and curbs is key. The more foot traffic or severe weather you experience, the faster these areas will deteriorate. Also, keeping up with pavement markings can help you avoid unwanted citations from your local government, especially with stenciling and the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requirements.

Typically, re-striping and repainting curbs are recommended every 12-18 months, as long as the temperature is above freezing, and it is not raining outside. As always, it is recommended that you hire a reputable contractor that has experience performing these jobs. When you hire the right contractor, you can expect a better outcome using the right materials and equipment to ensure your parking surfaces and curbs provide an excellent impression each day.

 

Exterior Window Cleaning

Exterior Window Cleaning

An area of maintenance that is commonly overlooked is exterior window cleaning. Over time your windows accumulate dirt, debris, dust, bird droppings, spider webs and more. Removing these items with a thorough exterior cleaning of your windows will not only improve the appearance of your windows but will also help to bring in more natural light.

If your facility is built with concrete, then you also run the risk of having several minerals that are used to manufacture concrete, such as calcium, leaking out of the concrete walls over time. This will cause streak marks on your windows, which can result in unsightly stains. The longer these stains remain on your windows, the harder it becomes to clean and remove them.

By having your exterior windows cleaned on a frequent basis, you will help keep your windows free of these minor mineral deposits by removing them before they become permanently imprinted in the glass.

In terms of process, you don’t always have to opt for the window cleaning service that requires cleaners to be hanging on ropes from attached roof anchors causing a distraction among employees. If your facility is four (4) stories or less, you can use an environmentally friendly, pure water system that eliminates the use of chemicals for exterior window cleaning. This system provides a clean, streak free surface using state of the art extension poles to clean your windows from the ground up.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Tips to prevent illness from running rampant within your facility in 2017

Preventing the spread of illness within your facility should always be a top priority. It is especially true this time of year as colds and the flu can severely disrupt workplace productivity.

A common concern in workplace wellness is “presenteeism” – working while sick –which leads to productivity loss, poor health and exhaustion. Poor worker health and related productivity losses cost U.S. employers hundreds of billions of dollars annually. Much of this is attributable to germs being spread within the workplace.

Below are some areas to focus on to help keep the spread of illness at bay within your facility:

 

Educate building occupants on the importance of personal hygiene.

Clean hands save lives and hand washing can be a “do-it-yourself” vaccine. Frequent hand washing, especially before certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.

The CDC has a series of videos explaining how to properly wash your hands to help fight and avoid the spread of germs. Sending out an email communication to all building occupants with the link to these videos can help educate and remind everyone about the importance of washing their hands.

You can also include the below image on proper hand washing techniques in your email with the link to the videos. Printing this image (or one similar) and posting it in appropriate areas throughout your building can also help inform everyone on proper handwashing techniques.

Hand washing technique

It is also critical to remind all building occupants to please cover their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing. The below graphic can be downloaded from the CDC website and shared with building occupants as well.

Cover your cough

 

Get a flu vaccination!

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reports that “the flu causes U.S. workers to lose up to 111 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.”

Every flu season is different and influenza infections affect people differently regardless of health. An annual flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the risk of getting the seasonal flu and spreading it to others. In 2017, the CDC recommends using injectable vaccines. Nasal spray flu vaccine should not be used this year.

Here is the link to the CDC website with some relevant facts, the availability of flu vaccines, and several other commonly asked questions people may have with the vaccines.  

 

Install touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers.

Touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers

Restrooms and kitchens are two popular areas employees visit throughout the day. These are also areas in which germs are spread, especially on commonly touched items such as soap dispensers and hand towel dispensers. Installing touchless hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers is an excellent way to reduce employee’s exposure to high-touch items in your restrooms and kitchens.

 

Place hand sanitizing stations in common areas throughout your building.

Hand Sanitizing Stations

Offering hand sanitizing stations, in addition to proper handwashing stations, can help increase usage and prevent the spread of infection and illness. It is important to have alcohol-based hand sanitizers where your building occupants can easily access them. Such areas can include:

  • Entrance/lobby
  • Elevator banks
  • Work areas
  • Reception desk
  • Fitness facility/locker rooms
  • Restrooms
  • Break rooms and cafeterias
  • Conference rooms and meeting rooms
  • Shared workspaces

Do you clean or disinfect or sanitize? 

Many building occupants may commonly mistake cleaning as disinfecting or vice versa. Clarifying the difference can help greatly educate your building tenants on the importance of each, and inform them of when they are appropriate to use.

Below is a brief explanation for your building occupants clarifying the difference of cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing:

Clean – Cleaning involves using soap (or a detergent) and water to remove germs. Cleaning doesn’t necessarily kill germs, but it can lower the risk of spreading an infection by attempting to remove them from the cleaning process.

Disinfect – Disinfecting uses chemicals to kills germs on surfaces. Using a disinfectant is not the same as cleaning (just like cleaning is not the same as disinfecting). If a product is labeled as “disinfectant only” then federal law requires surfaces to be cleaned first before applying a disinfectant. Also, when using a disinfectant make sure to read the label carefully to determine how long the solution needs to be on the surface before removing.

Note: When using bleach as a disinfectant, make sure to dilute the solution and comply with state or local regulations. A recommended dilution is 1 part bleach to 10 parts of water (or 1 oz. of bleach and 9 oz. of water).

Sanitize Here is a link to a CleanLink article that provides a good explanation of sanitization. From the article:

“Sanitizing should only be applied to food contact surfaces, which is required as part of the food code… Since sanitizing does not make anti-viral claims, sanitizing offers no confidence of killing the flu or other viruses commonly found on surfaces.

…Sanitizing a surface makes that surface sanitary or free of visible dirt contaminants that could affect your health. Sanitizing is meant to reduce, not kill, the occurrence and growth of bacteria, viruses and fungi…When you sanitize, you are killing/reducing the number of bacteria present by 99.9 percent (3 log10) but doing nothing about viruses and fungus. Sanitizing is better than cleaning alone but the reduction of pathogen populations on environmental surfaces is exponentially better when you disinfect.”

 

If you are sick, do not come to work! 

This is by far the most important communication to send your building occupants. While an employee may not want to miss work for an array of reasons, it is best to have that employee stay home, rest, and telework until fully recovered. One person who comes in sick, forgets to cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and touches several items throughout the building, can cause an outbreak.

Below is a short Mister Kleen video of what you don’t want to happen with a sick employee in your office. It is best to send the employee home ASAP and disinfect contaminated areas immediately.

The winter season can lead to the spread of illness-causing germs within your facility as more people spend their time indoors. Focusing on the areas above can significantly help improve your chances of preventing the spread of illness within your facility, and keep your building occupants healthy in 2017.

We hope you find these tips helpful. Should you have questions or need to consult on products (e.g. dispensers and hand sanitizers) for your building, feel free to contact us.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Carpet Cleaning Tip – How to Remove Stains

Red wine?  Of course it couldn’t be white wine!  And someone spilled it all on the white carpet.  Now what?

Take action immediately on the spill before it becomes a stain by first using a clean white cloth to blot out as much wine as possible – do not use the cloth to rub the spill, it will only go deeper into the carpet fibers.

Select an appropriate solution to properly remove the stain. Red Out is one solution that can be used, which can be found at your local specialty flooring store or from a certified cleaning technician. If Red Out is not an available option, then you can use club soda, soda water or tonic, or white vinegar and dish soap with water, which are excellent solutions.

If using Red Out, treat the affected area by spraying the product on the red wine stain until damp.

You must use a white cloth (other colors may fade on your carpet), then place the damp cloth over the affected area for approximately two (2) minutes. Lastly, grab your iron and put on the steam setting, then place the iron on top of the damp cloth. The steam will effectively lift the spill onto the cloth –  repeat this process until the wine spill is gone.

If using club soda, soda water or tonic first blot out the wine spill as much as possible with a clean white cloth. Then pour either club soda, soda water or tonic over the spill and continue to blot. If this does not work, then you may also try a mixture of white vinegar, dish soap, and water in a misting spray bottle. Use ¼ cup of white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and fill with water. Spray area liberally and let soak for about 5-10 minutes and then move forward with blotting with a clean, dry white towel until stain is removed.

Here’s a quick video of Mister Kleen using club soda to clean up a red wine spill on carpets – enjoy!

The Appearance of Your Parking Garage, Parking Lots & Curbs Matter

While it may be a cliché, a positive first impression is an important part of building a long-term partnership with your customers. This is especially true when it comes to the appearance of your parking garage and/or parking lot.

Imagine a customer pulling into your parking garage or lot for a meeting and all they see is trash, curbs that need painting, spaces that need re-striping, and dirt and debris everywhere. This is an unsightly appearance and portrays to your customers that your facility is not professionally managed and run, which can hurt your business.

As the fall season approaches and leaves begin to fall, it is the perfect time to have your parking surfaces thoroughly swept and cleaned to help prepare for the cold winter months.

This is also an excellent time, while the weather is still warm, to ensure your parking spaces are re-striped, and curbs are painted with the correct colors.

Below is a list of services you should consider having performed to ensure an excellent first impression:

 

Power Sweeping
Power sweeping is the preferred method to extract dirt and debris from parking surfaces. It is also a recommended process to have performed before you power scrub to remove tough stains. All parking areas, entrance and exit areas need to be addressed using top of the line equipment operated by skilled and trained personnel.

Blowers should be used for corners and edges to remove all the dirt and debris such as salt, sand, trash, leaves, and cigarette butts.

 

Power Scrubbing and Pressure Washing
Have you noticed those unsightly oil stains? Besides being a major eyesore they can cause discoloration, and emit an odor if not properly handled. Power scrubbing and/or pressure washing are two methods that are highly effective in ensuring your garage has an improved appearance by removing dirt, oil, grease, and grime from building up on your surfaces. By using the right approach, with a trained technician, your parking lot and garage will not only have less harmful dirt and debris, but they will also have a lower risk of staining, cracking, and formation of potholes.

 

Restriping Parking Spaces and Curb Painting
Parking lot restriping and making sure your curbs are properly painted is not only good for appeal, but it also increases the safety of your business environment. When parking spaces and curbs are properly marked and painted you help reduce the number of accidents. Also, customers are less likely to block entrances, sidewalks, and intersections.

Maintaining the appearance of your parking spaces and curbs is key.  The more foot traffic or severe weather you experience, the faster these areas will deteriorate.  Also, keeping up with pavement markings can help you avoid unwanted citations from your local government, especially with stenciling and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities) requirements.

Typically, re-striping and/or re-painting curbs are recommended every 12-18 months, as long as the temperature is above freezing, and it is not raining outside.

As always, it is recommended you hire a reputable contractor that has experience performing these jobs. When you hire the right contractor, you can expect a better outcome using the right materials and equipment to ensure that your parking surfaces and curbs provide an excellent impression each day.

Obtain your free quote for the above services here

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Three Questions to Have Answered Before Hiring a Carpet Cleaning Company

Your first impression is a lasting one. This is particularly the case with your carpets, which represents a significant interior investment that gets a lot of foot traffic.

Below are three tips we have provided to help you in your quest to ensure you hire the right company to improve the appearance and health of your carpets.

Tip 1 – Is the Company Certified by a Reputable Organization?

It would not be wise to receive medical treatment from an unlicensed practitioner, nor would it be smart to hire a carpet cleaning firm that is not certified by a reputable organization.

Companies that are certified by a reputable organization are trained experts to avoid making mistakes such as using the wrong processes, equipment, and chemicals on your carpets.

How to find a certified carpet cleaning firm?

The main body that oversees the carpet cleaning industry is the Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Cleaning companies that have the IICRC seal of approval are deemed to be “experts” in the knowledge and execution of properly cleaning carpets. These certified companies are in it for the long haul and are not some fly-by-night operation.

The IICRC certification cannot be bought. Carpet cleaners must earn the certification through study, experience and successful completion of formal, written examinations. Cleaners who are certified by the IICRC have in effect earned a degree in carpet cleaning.

The IICRC website lists certified organizations within your area. Just choose your region, then enter your zip code to find local certified firms close to your facility.

By using a company that is certified by the IICRC, you not only improve the health and appearance of your carpets, you also prolong the life of your investment.

Tip 2 – How long has the company been in business?

Are you calling a small fly-by-night company to save money on cleaning your carpets? Or, are you reaching out to an established, reputable, and certified company to properly clean your carpets and improve the health of your indoor environment?

Not using the right products, processes and equipment to extract indoor air pollutants and restoratively clean your carpets can lead to greater health concerns. According to the American Lung Association, a higher level of indoor air pollution “contributes to the development of infections, lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases such as asthma.”

Also, indoor air pollution can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue. All of these factors lead to indoor environmental health issues, which play a significant role in lowering your level of productivity, not to mention how well you feel. This is why hiring a reputable company that specializes in cleaning carpets for both health and appearance is the way to go.

Also, when seeking the right company, be sure to investigate their track record working in similar environments. Not all carpet cleaning companies are the best fit for your needs.

For instance, a company that specializes in cleaning residential homes may not be the right fit to clean a large number of carpets in a school or commercial office facility. Using such a company may end up costing you a lot more in labor dollars as they may not have the correct equipment to clean your carpets efficiently.

Tip 3 – Did you receive a carpet cleaning recommendation?

Any carpet cleaning company can send you a quote, but does that quote include a recommendation of the right process to use?

There are two primary methods to use when cleaning your carpets – dry or wet clean.

Dry cleaning can involve any of the following methods:

  • Dry foam – includes an application of shampoo on your carpet, which is then left to dry. Once dried, the shampoo is extracted through a vacuum.
  • Dry-chem – this process is similar to the dry foam method. The main difference, however, is that when a dry-chemical is used, a large cotton bonnet is set on your carpet. Using a machine, the bonnet spins from side-to-side, absorbing the dirt in the carpet. After the bonnet is saturated with dirt, another cotton bonnet is applied. This process is referred to as “Bonnet Cleaning.”
  • Dry-compound – spreads an absorbent mixture that looks like wet sawdust all over your carpet. A machine is then used to brush the mixture into the carpet. Then when the mixture is dried, a vacuum cleaner is used to extract the material out of the carpet.

Neither of these options is the most effective as they can leave a residue that is hard to remove and can destroy your carpet fibers.

Wet clean via hot water extraction

If your carpets have not been cleaned in a while, then a more appropriate and effective method to clean your carpets is through a wet cleaning approach via hot water extraction.

With this method, a hot water cleaning solution under high pressure is forced into the carpet and then extracted immediately back out of the carpet. This process can be performed using either a portable machine or truck mount.

If you have carpet tiles and/or sensitive wiring underneath your carpet tile, then hot water extraction is not the way to go. A more appropriate use under these scenarios would be to use a low moisture encapsulation (LME) method.

The LME method is a newer technology that has recently become an accepted way for commercial and residential carpet deep cleaning. Encapsulation carpet chemicals are manufactured with ingredients that do not leave a harmful sticky residue on the carpet. They also have a crystalline polymer included that is designed to trap and hold any remaining soil that is left behind in the cleaning process. When the carpet dries, the crystalline and soil are vacuumed up during the next dry vacuum cycle.

The LME method is also recommended to be a good interim cleaning/maintenance process in between hot water extraction cleanings. Encapsulation cleaning keeps carpets cleaner for longer periods of time compared to other methods, and this method also avoids the drying time of carpet extractions as carpets can be immediately walked on.

While you may think hiring any carpet cleaning company will suffice, in reality, it won’t. Your carpets trap many pollutants, which can be toxic to your health. Hiring a professional carpet cleaning provider that is reputable and certified by the IICRC, and provides the right recommendations to clean your carpets to improve their health and appearance is the way to go.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Specialty Services Update – Summer 2016

We tend to focus on seasonal cleaning:  “spring cleaning”, “fall cleaning”, preparing for the winter months—but we all tend to forget about summer cleaning.  Well, summer is here!  It seems we all get so busy with our summertime activities and having fun that we tend to forget about the vital things in our buildings that keep them looking good.

Here are some tips for you during the summer months to keep your building and home in tip-top shape:

1.      Pay Attention to your Floors Summer is perfect for the outdoors, it is also a time when the outdoors find can find its way inside your facility. Especially after the winter we have had, the salt, sand, and debris come right into the building. Don’t forget about all the rainy days we have had that can lead to mud tracks on floors and carpets.  This is an excellent time of year to really “kleen” up your lobby floors, restrooms, etc. Routine maintenance is a good first line of defense, but deep restorative cleaning is always required, and summertime is a great time to get this done!

 2.      “Kleen” Windows If you would rather be outside than in your office on a bright sunny day, the next best thing is a “kleen” and spotless window to look through. If you need help with windows that are no more than four stories high, we can contribute to bringing the shine back into your office.

 3.      Carpets/Upholstery After this incredibly long winter everyone has been stuck inside sitting on conference room chairs, office chairs, walking back and forth on the carpets trying to get their steps in on his or her Fitbits. All of that sitting and walking about builds up dirt and debris, and it becomes an eyesore.  It is time for a good “kleening”.

 4.      Germs/Allergies You have enough to worry about with the overall appearance of your work environment. Did you know that germs and allergens spread all year round? With all the activity in and out of buildings, it can be a breeding ground.   Fact – a typical desk harbors around 10 million bacteria, while one elevator button can contain millions of germs alone.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Sustainable cleaning to improve indoor health

Sustainable cleaning –  sometimes referred to as “green cleaning” – reduces the exposure to potentially hazardous products, equipment, or processes that can adversely affect our health within the indoor work environment.

Three (3) key areas to pay attention to inside your facility to help achieve a healthier indoor environment include: chemicals, materials and equipment, and sustainable procedures.

Chemicals

Ironically, the same chemicals we’ve spent so much time reducing our exposure to outdoors has now made its way into our work environment – where we spend the majority of our time. Many cleaning products release Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s), which is a major component in the formation of smog.

There are many traditional household cleaners that contain an unnecessary amount of VOC’s that are toxic, such as Clorox, Pine sol, and Lysol. Repeated exposure to harsh chemicals with a high level of VOC’s over a long period of time can lead to major health issues. In some cases, people can also be bothered by low levels of exposure.

It is imperative that you limit the use of harsh cleaners, solvent based cleaners or cleaners that emit a strong fragrance. Instead, choose low-emitting products that are third-party certified and labeled by a reputable organization, such as Green Seal. Also, be wary of manufacturer claims of “no VOC”, “natural” or “alternative.” Read the labels and keep a look-out for the following clues:

Chemicals

Materials & Equipment

The right powered cleaning equipment can help reduce the exposure of building occupants and maintenance personnel to potentially hazardous particulate contaminants that affect air quality and our indoor health.

For instance, using a vacuum cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes and a HEPA filter ensures that dust and dirt won’t get blown back out in the exhaust. Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter also effectively helps get rid of other toxins, like brominated fire-retardant chemicals (PBDEs) as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust mites.

Using the right cleaning materials can also help ensure the indoor environments we work in is as healthy as can be. Microfiber mops and microfiber cleaning cloths, for instance, capture more dust and debris than traditional fibers and don’t require any cleaning solutions.

The USGBC lists credit requirements of proper cleaning equipment to be used inside LEED certified facilities. The following page provides a snippet of their requirements, which should be followed in all facilities to improve our indoor health.

materials and equipment

Sustainable Procedures

In conjunction with ensuring proper cleaning chemicals and equipment are being used, the right sustainable procedures need to be followed.

Green Seal, a non-profit environmental development certification organization provides sustainable cleaning standards and criteria to protect human health and the environment. Their GS-42 for commercial and industrial cleaning services provides a standard of not only tools and products to be used for cleaning, but also procedures for how cleaning is to be done. To become GS-42 certified, cleaning companies must be following these requirements at a minimum:

  • Proper storing and use of chemicals
  • Cleaning procedures to reduce solid waste (e.g. reusable cleaning cloths or microfibers to be used in lieu of paper products, and making sure these microfibers are laundered prior to reuse)
  • Proper use of vacuums and maintenance
  • Proper floor care (hard surface floors and carpets) and entryway cleaning
  • Disinfection procedures
  • Restroom care
  • Trash collecting and recycling
  • Cleaning of dining areas and break rooms

Our indoor work environment needs to be as healthy as can be. Reducing the amount of harmful pollutants to improve overall indoor air quality is an ongoing challenge for facilities and maintenance teams.

Using the right cleaning chemicals, equipment, materials and procedures that are environmentally safe and green certified help facilities provide a healthier working environment. Healthier employees are far more focused and productive to achieve mission critical objectives, not to mention a big savings on your bottom line.

Capture 4

If you have questions regarding the cleanliness of your facility and the impact this is having on workplace performance, then we encourage you to reach out to us below. We’d be more than happy to provide you a free no-hassle assessment, which takes a look at:

  • Chemicals, equipment and materials being used inside your facility
  • Sustainable cleaning procedures
  • Overall cleanliness of your facility to ensure harmful pollutants are not impacting workplace performance

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Where you spend 90% of your time may be detrimental to your health

According to the EPA, the average American spends 90% of their time indoors, and the vast majority of this time is spent in an office environment. In most office environments, concentrations of some pollutants are often 2-5 times higher, and in some cases even 100 times greater, than typical outdoor concentrations.

While the vast majority of office environments do not fall under the more severe range, most office buildings, including the well-run ones, can experience episodes of indoor air pollution leading to poor air quality. Poor indoor air quality is a major contributor to allergy and illness threats, which leads to billions of dollars lost each year dealing with higher employee absenteeism and a decline in workplace productivity.

 

Indoor air pollutants that lead to poor indoor air quality

According to the American Lung Association, a higher level of indoor air pollution, “contributes to the development of infections, lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases such as asthma”. Also, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation Association (AAFA), points out that an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies, which is the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S.

In addition, indoor air pollution can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue. All of these factors lead to indoor environmental health issues and play a major impact in lowering workplace productivity.

 

Major sources of pollutants

Biological

Biological

High levels of bacteria, viruses, fungi (including molds), dust mite allergen, animal dander and pollen are biological pollutants that lead to allergic reactions and asthmatic episodes. A high level of biological pollutants is often the result of poor housekeeping habits, water spills left untouched, inadequate humidity control, condensation, or may be brought in from other occupants.

 

Dust & Debris

Dust & Debris

With dust and debris, typically it is the smaller particles naked to the visible eye that is more harmful to our health. Such particles can make its way into facilities from the outside, and can also generate and accumulate from everyday activities that take place within facilities. This includes running and operating office equipment such as printing and copying, as well as poor cleaning methods that lead to more dirt and debris circulating in the air.

 

Chemicals

Chemicals

While there’s been a big push to eliminate harmful substances used indoors, many people are unaware of how hazardous these chemicals are toward our health.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), American workers use tens of thousands of chemicals each day. While many of these chemicals have a higher propensity to cause harm due to their intended use and composite physical properties, there are only a small number of chemicals that are publicly regulated [5]. As a result, not only is there a strong chance many chemicals being used inside of facilities are non-regulated, but many of these chemicals are also exposing building occupants to toxic fumes that lead to major health issues.

 

Sustainable Cleaning Tips to Reduce the Amount of Pollutants

Sustainable cleaning –  sometimes referred to as “green cleaning” – reduces the exposure to potentially hazardous products, equipment, or processes that can adversely affect our health within the indoor work environment.

Our next article, entitled sustainable cleaning tips to reduce the amount of harmful indoor pollutants will share three (3) key areas to pay attention to inside your facility to help achieve a healthier indoor environment.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Earth Day 2016

Today is the 46th anniversary of Earth Day! The very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970 in the U.S., and was founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson.As a certified GS-42 Green Kleening company, Earth Day is a special day for us at Mister Kleen. We are extremely passionate about sustainability, especially within the facilities we Kleen (clean).

To carry out our annual tradition and celebration at Mister Kleen, we are featuring some interesting facts below that may help you generate some ideas to be more sustainable this 2016:

 

Recycling one aluminum can save enough electricity to run a TV for 3 hours

 

Recycling one glass bottle or jar saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours

 

Recycling one ton of plastic saves the equivalent of 1,000–2,000 gallons of gasoline

 

More than 30 million trees are cut down to produce a year’s supply of newspapers

 

A ton of paper made from recycled paper saves:

 

    • 7,000 gallons of water
    • Between 17 and 31 trees
    • 60 pounds of air pollutants

 

Recycling a pound of steel saves enough energy to light a 60-watt light bulb for 26 hours

 

Americans recycle only 5% of all the plastics produced in this country

 

Americans use 100 million steel cans and 200 million aluminum beverage cans every day

 

One drip per second from a faucet wastes 540 gallons of water a year

 

It takes between 400 and 500 years for a Styrofoam cup to decompose. It takes an orange peel six months to decompose

Today, almost 22% of the glass produced in the United States is recycled

 

Happy Earth Day!!

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

The Importance of Cleaning Your Carpets and Upholstery this Spring

Spring is officially here, which means it’s time for a spring cleaning of your carpets and upholstery!

Most offices elect to have their carpets and upholstery restoratively cleaned this time of year. This makes sense considering all the salt, sand, dirt and debris that has been tracked inside from the winter months.

While appearance of your carpets and upholstery absolutely matters, at Mister Kleen we are also a strong proponent of making sure your indoor environment is as healthy as can be. This means making sure your carpets and upholstery are properly cleaned and extracted of all the dirt and debris trapped deep within their fibers that would otherwise continue to pollute your indoor environment if not removed.

Have you ever seen what comes out of your carpets and upholstery while they are being restoratively cleaned?

The photo below is what can be found inside your carpets, which isn’t pretty to look at:

Dirty Water Carpet Extraction

We want you to be as healthy as can be, and providing a heathier indoor environment will benefit your overall well-being.

Below are some articles we’ve published in the past that can help further educate you on proper cleaning of your carpets and upholstery:

Is Your Cleaning Company Hurting Your Carpets?

Why Your Upholstery Needs a Clean Makeover This Spring

If you are in need of a complimentary quote from a certified company by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) this spring, then certainly let us know. We’d be more than happy to help improve the health of your indoor environment.Request a Quote

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

How to prevent pipes from freezing and causing a flood this winter

Winter weather can be very unpredictable, especially in the DC metro region. While fluctuating temperatures is a nuisance when determining what clothes to wear, changes in temperature can also put your building or home at risk as pipes can freeze and burst when thawing under warmer weather.

Below are some tips courtesy of the American Red Cross on how to prevent frozen pipes from freezing, along with tips on how to thaw frozen pipes if there is an ice blockage. We’ve also included tips below on how to handle a flood during the winter season.

How to prevent pipes from freezing

Preventing pipes from freezing requires a two-prong approach: before the cold weather arrives and during cold temperatures.

Before cold weather arrives:

  • Remove, drain, and store hoses that are used outdoors
  • Close interior valves that supply outdoor hose bibs
  • Open outside hose bibs to allow water to drain
  • Keep outside valves open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break
  • Check to make sure hot and cold water pipes are insulated, especially in unheated areas
  • Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a “pipe sleeve,” UL-listed “heat tape” “heat cable,” or similar materials on exposed water pipes

During cold weather

  • Keep garage doors closed, especially if there are water supply lines in the garage
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night
  • If you’re going away during the cold weather be sure to leave your heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F

How to thaw frozen pipes

First, identify where the pipe is frozen and shut off the water valve corresponding to

Below are some appropriate methods further recommended by the American Red Cross:

  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, an electric hair dryer, a portable space heater (kept away from flammable materials), or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored
  • Check all other faucets in your home or office to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too

What to do if you experience a flood

If a pipe bursts and causes a flood then call a licensed plumber. A good website resource to find a local plumber is at eLocal.com. Simply type in your zip code to see registered local plumbers in your area.

Another good source to check out is HomeAdvisor. At HomeAdvisor, simply use the search bar to type in the service you need – in this case plumber – and follow the prompts to fill out your free service request. Once you submit your request, a notification is sent out to local registered vendors that will reach out to you immediately to help you with your plumbing needs.

If your flood cannot be cleaned up with a mop, bucket and towels then don’t fret – simply place two calls to:

1) Your insurance company to report the flood

2) A professional maintenance company that specializes in flood restoration workMister Kleen!

Ultimately, you can save yourself the headache, stress, and money by taking a few simple precautions to prevent a pipe from bursting and causing a flood during this winter season. We hope you’ve found this information resourceful, and certainly reach out to us at Mister Kleen should you have a question or are in need of a free cleaning quote.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Helpful Tips to Keep Your Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Floors Clean

Let’s face it, dirty floors are one sure-fire way to keep clients, visitors and staff away. If your floors are visibly dirty then just imagine how much dirt, debris and bacteria is trapped inside just waiting – in some cases screaming – to be cleaned. This is especially true with your hard surface floors, such as ceramic and porcelain tile.

Keeping ceramic and porcelain tile flooring clean is no easy task. The level of foot traffic these floors receive will dictate how much attention and effort is needed to ensure they are kept in pristine appearance and shape.

Below are links to articles that can help in your quest to keep your ceramic and porcelain tile clean:

Assessing Hard-Surface Floor Types and Properly Identifying Floor Materials is Essential for Cleaning- Not sure what type of floor you have? Don’t fret, Services Magazine provides helpful tips to determine what type of floor you are dealing with in case you don’t have access to the manufacturing specs or company who installed the flooring.

Helpful Tips for Cleaning Ceramic Tile Floors – As mentioned earlier, cleaning tile floors can require a good amount of time and effort, especially when there is heavy foot traffic. Here is another article by Services Magazine that provides information on how to determine what type of ceramic tile flooring you have – glazed or unglazed – and a few easy methods to thoroughly clean ceramic tile without the harsh chemicals. The article also talks about the importance of cleaning the grout lines, and resealing the grout to prevent against future dirt and liquid stains.

How to Clean Different Types of Porcelain Tile –While porcelain tile is one of the easier floors to clean with a .5% or less absorption rate, it is still possible for these floor surfaces to stain. BuildDirect features an article on tips to properly clean glazed, unglazed, and textured tile, along with some prevention and safety measures.

Should I Bother Sealing My Floor? Are you unsure if you need to seal your grout or not? Enviro Clean breaks down the importance of first identifying the three (3) common types of grout that can be sanded or un-sanded. The article also provides insights on porosity – water absorption, why it’s important to have your grout sealed to help keep your tile clean and free of stains, and information on penetrating sealers.

Periodic Cleaning and Maintenance

While routine cleaning is important, you also need to ensure your tile and grout floors receive periodic maintenance to restore appearance and extract dirt, debris, and potentially harmful bacteria.

If you are unsure of how often to have your floors maintained, or need quote to restoratively clean your ceramic and porcelain tile floors then here are a couple of pages to visit on our Mister Kleen website for helpful guidance:

Guidelines of Floor Maintenance

Tile and Grout Cleaning: Why Your Tile and Grout Lines Need to Be Cleaned Properly

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Stripping and Waxing VCT Floors Must be Done Right – Here’s What to Look For

Stripping a Vinyl Composite Tile (VCT) floor of old wax, soil and debris, and applying fresh coats of wax is a labor intensive process. However, when performed right your VCT floors will have a nice shine to them leaving a much better appearance than before.

While there are many steps involved to properly strip and wax a VCT floor, it is imperative that the team performing the restorative process has the right equipment, products, and experience.

If you are seeking a strip and wax of your VCT floor then below are five helpful tips to be aware of:

 

1. Make sure the company hired has not just the knowledge, but also the trained experience to strip and wax VCT floors. Your VCT floor should not be a testing environment.

 

2. Make sure the right equipment is being used. Is the company using the same mop bucket and ringer for the stripping agent, neutralizer, and wax solution? (a big no-no — each item needs to be in a separate clean bucket and separate clean ringers)? Also, is the right stripping pad and RPM machine being used?

 

3. Is the company performing proper safety precautions? Are they wearing gloves and goggles when mixing and applying the stripping agent to the floors?

Do they have enough wet floor signs to prevent people from walking on the surface? Have they allowed enough time for the floors to dry before people can begin walking on the surface once the final coat of wax has been laid down?

 

4. Has the company allowed enough dwell time for the stripping solution? Also, has the company properly diluted the stripping solution with the right amount of water before applying to the floors?

 

5. Is the right number of coats of wax being applied to the floor?

While these are just some key factors to keep in mind, it is best to go with a company that has the training and experience to properly strip and wax your VCT floors.

For more information, or for a free quote to strip and wax your VCT floors, click here.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Does your budget planning include specialty projects?

Budget season is here, which means it is time to plan for upcoming projects. Let Mister Kleen provide you a free quote for those specialty projects you have planned or would like to get completed in 2016.

Below is a list of the professional specialty and restoration services we offer. Simply click on the link that you need a quote on below, then fill out the contact form on the right of that page to request your free quote:

Professional Carpet Cleaning

Parking Garage and Parking lot Sweeping

Parking Garage Power Scrubbing

Parking Garage Pressure Washing

Tile & Grout Restorative Cleaning (Ceramic and Porcelain)

Stone & Terrazzo Restorative Floor Cleaning

Interior & Exterior (Low-Rise) Window Cleaning

Strip and Wax VCT (Resilient) flooring

Construction Cleanup

Raised Floor Cleaning (Data Center Cleaning)

Emergency Flood Restoration

Light Fixture Cleaning

Wood Panel Cleaning

Metal Cleaning

Haul Away and Debris Removal

Click here for a complete list of professional specialty and restoration services we perform.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services. 

Just Make it Look Clean!

Cleaning for appearance was the phrase and direction we often received for many years up until the late 90’s. There was no concern on the chemicals used inside of facilities and the impact this had on building tenants and our employees at the time.

Today, times are much different as the conversation is centered more-so on how we make buildings look clean using greener products, processes and equipment.

Mister Kleen was recently featured on The Green Seal Blog discussing how green cleaning has evolved throughout the decades and why green cleaning is deeply rooted within our company story.

You can read the story by clicking here

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Did you remember to budget for parking garage/lot cleaning?

Parking garages & lots are easy to overlook and certainly can take a back seat during budget season. Garages & lots are the first thing clients and staff see, and, as you know those first impressions are lasting ones.

What type of cleaning will you need?  It all depends on the last time you had your lots/garages cleaned and what was done in the past.

Below are three (3) services to consider having done, along with our recommendations this fall season:

1.    Remove Standing Debris Using a Blower. One of the most efficient and effective ways to remove debris is to use a high powered machine or blower. It is important to prep your garage/lots by using a blower first prior to anything else, especially around corners and edges.

Blower

2.    Power Sweep. In conjunction with using a high powered blower, power sweeping is a preferred method for your surfaces before a power scrub or pressure wash takes place. If you have a large parking garage or lot we recommend using a power sweeper along with a blower since the power sweeper is good at collecting fine particles that blowers can miss. Also, power sweepers provide greater production value within large parking garages and lots versus using a blower.

Power Sweep

3.    Power Scrubbing and Pressure Washing. The final cleaning step involves power scrubbing and pressure washing to remove dirt, oil, grease and grime that build up on your surfaces. By using the right approach with a trained technician your parking garage surfaces will not only have less harmful dirt and debris, they will also have a lower risk of staining, cracking, and potholes forming.

Pressure Washing

We recommend seeking the advice from a trained parking garage cleaning technician to inform you which cleaning would be best – a power scrub, pressure wash, or both. We don’t recommend power scrubbing or pressure washing parking lots since Mother Nature will pretty much take care of this for you.

Anything we neglect or put off will become costly it become harder to clean. Overtime the lack of cleaning will take its toll on the appearance and can lead toward the formation of cracks and potholes, which leads to potential liabilities and hazards.

Don’t neglect your parking garage and parking lots this fall budget season. Schedule a walk-through with a trained technician and receive your free quote to provide an excellent impression with clients or potential clients before they step foot in your facility.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

The Kleen Sweep – Summer 2015, Vol. XXXIII

Kleen Sweep goes Green

As part of our Green Kleen program, we’re pleased to announce that the Kleen Sweep is now 100% green! We will no longer print and snail mail the hard copies. This is just one more step to help make our company as green as possible, from the field to the back office operations.

Speaking of the connection between the field and main office, I’m pleased to announce that during the fourth quarter of 2014 we kicked off several initiatives to improve the connectivity and engagement of ALL of our team members. You can learn more about this in the various updates that are contained in this edition of the Kleen Sweep.

I hope you enjoy this latest edition and as always, please let us know if we can be of additional service to you or your team.

Click Here to view our full summer 2015 edition.

We appreciate your business and continued support.

Have a safe and fun summer!

Ernest Clark, Jr., CBSE

President

Is Your Cleaning Company Hurting your Carpets?

Commercial cleaning companies are not made equal. Many companies don’t have the means to fully train their staff to be competent in every cleaning discipline. This is especially true when it comes to restorative carpet cleaning.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has recently released a list of eight (8) common carpet-cleaning mistakes that could be shortening the life of carpets. Below is a quick snapshot from the article of these eight mistakes to avoid:

1.     Rough treatment of carpets, such as intense scrubbing or scraping, wears away at fibers and is usually unnecessary. Scrubbing may only truly affect the surface of your carpet, and in some cases can result in stains to penetrate deeper within the fibers.

 2.     Slow treatment of a stain, or not reacting quickly enough allows the stain to set. When a stain is not attended to right away the stain can soak through the carpet and padding below making it virtually impossible to remove the stains.

 3.     Using the wrong product on a stain can not only be ineffective, but can also make matters worse. An intimate knowledge of carpet cleaning products is important for any cleaning professional.

4.     Not testing a new product can be a costly mistake. Professional cleaning companies train their employees to test new products before using them on carpets.  Different materials have varying strength and tolerance to different compounds.

 5.     Misusing deodorizing powder. Deodorizing powder is an excellent tool that maintains a fresh scent, but it is no substitute for a good cleaning. Overusing this product can lead to build up in carpets, and vacuuming alone may not get the product fully up.

 6.     Chemical overuse is a common mistake. Cleaning products are helpful, but when they are overused they can cause damage to carpets.

 7.     Lack of professional cleaning is possibly the most damaging for carpets. Property managers, landlords and business owners can cut the lifetime of their carpets in half by trying to self-clean carpets on their own, or by hiring a company not trained or certified to restoratively clean their carpets. When you have a medical problem you’d more than likely seek advice from a doctor. When it comes to your carpets, you need to receive the same advice and care from a trusted and certified organization.

 8.     Renting equipment is not always a safe bet. Faulty or old equipment can be costly and ineffective.

If your office is in need of professional carpet cleaning, it’s important to contact a company with a good reputation. Double check that the company you choose to hire trains their employees in the various elements of professional carpet cleaning.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Who is Cleaning Your Office? Three Questions to Ask Building Management

While you may never get the chance to see or interact with the night time cleaners, you do want to be assured that your space is actually being cleaned. Studies show that the vast majority of our time is spent indoors so why not ensure your space is being cleaned using the right products, processes and equipment? After-all, there is a direct link between how clean your space is to how productive you and your team can be while minimizing indoor health concerns.

If you are unsure of who is cleaning your office then below are three (3) questions to have answered by either your facilities management or building ownership:

 

Who Cleans My Office? Before you do any checking on the quality of work, first make sure you find out the name of the company that is cleaning your space. Once you find out the company’s name then do a little investigative research online to determine their capabilities, how long they have been in business, and certifications and reviews received over the years. It’s important that they are not only a well-established and professional company, but that they are also well-liked by satisfied customers in your area.

 

Are the Tough or Tricky Spots Being Addressed? One good indicator on having the right company cleaning your office is the type of effort spent on the tough or tricky spots. Dusting elevated areas, ensuring restrooms and kitchen areas are clean, and paying special attention to details such as fingerprints on glass, stainless steel metal and baseboards are critical. Good companies will pay special attention on the details when cleaning your space.

 

Can You Meet with the Cleaning Company and/or Staff? If you can get to work early one day, stay late, or even contact your cleaning company to do a walkthrough, do it! There’s nothing like putting a face to what many office people deem as the invisible company who cleans at night.

Make sure to pay attention on how the products, processes and equipment are used. If you notice a cleaning cloth that was used in the restroom that is now used in your kitchen then you have a serious problem on hand. Also, find out if the company is using green products to clean your office. Believe it or not there are still companies who use products that are harsh for the indoor environment, which could ultimately impact your overall health and well-being.

 

While you may not see who is cleaning your office you ought to have a refreshed feeling each morning before you start your day. Ask yourself – would you rather work in an environment that is cleaned with the right products, processes and equipment to provide a healthier environment for you to work in? Or would you prefer to work in dust, dirt and debris on a daily basis?

If you prefer to work in a clean environment but aren’t receiving the service you require then reach out to building ownership or management and ask them the three questions highlighted in this article.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Restroom Floors – How Dirty Are Yours?

Your restroom floors can be a breeding ground for disease causing bacteria and viruses. One simple way to tell if enough attention is paid to your restroom floors is to look at the grout coloring. If your grout lines are discolored then it’s time to reevaluate the restorative cleaning process of your restroom floors.

Below are three key areas to consider when having your restroom floors restored and maintained:

1)    Make sure your restroom floors are being disinfected as they are cleaned. Proper disinfection is one of the best ways to ensure you are halting the spread of bacteria that could potentially make building tenants and/or visitors sick.

2)    Pay attention to mildew. If your restroom floors haven’t been restored in a while mold and allergies can build up, which can irritate sinuses and can be hazardous to your health. As your restroom floors are being restored, make sure special attention is focused on removing harmful mold and mildew.

3)    Improve the appearance of your restroom floors. Dirty restrooms are an embarrassment and can be a reflection on how clean your establishment is. Don’t get left in the dust because of a lackluster cleaning routine.

The picture above is an example of the difference a professional cleaning company can provide after restoring your restroom floors. When deciding on a company to restore and maintain your restroom floors make sure you select a reputable company with industry experience, the right equipment, and work ethic to ensure your restroom floors glow.

For more details, info, or to schedule a restroom floor cleaning quote click here.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

4 Practical Tips to Keep Your Office Clean this Spring

Hello Spring!  By following these four (4) cleaning (Kleening) tips you are sure to keep your office clean (Kleen) and healthy this spring!

KLEEN TIP 1 – CARPETS AND FLOORS:

Carpets

Winters can take a beating on your carpets and floors with all the salt, sand, snow, dirt and debris tracked into your facility. While it is good to maintain your carpets and floors by performing regular vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, it is even more beneficial to perform a deep cleaning to restore these areas.

Don’t be deceived by the appearance of your floors. Just because your floors don’t appear to be dirty, more than likely they are. This is especially true with the dirt and debris that is lying dormant inside your carpet fibers, or the dirt and debris trapped within the grout of your tile floors.

Ultimately, when you have a deep restorative cleaning done to your carpets and floors you will improve your indoor air quality and promote a healthier environment as allergens (such as mold, dust mites, and dander) are removed.

Unsure of how to perform a restorative process of your carpets and floors this spring? Click here to learn more about our various specialty and restoration processes, or schedule a free consultation with a trained technician today.

KLEEN TIP 2 – UPHOLSTERY:

Upholstery

While carpets and floors can get a lot of tender loving care (TLC) in the spring, it is imperative that your upholstery receives proper care as well. After all, who knows how much dirt and debris is within the fabric of your upholstery (or how many people have tracked in dirt and debris from sitting on your furniture) until you actually clean it.

Whether you have office chairs, regular chairs, ottomans, love seats, sofas, or fabric partitions with your cubicles, the spring is the perfect time to get these restoratively cleaned. Similar to your carpets and floors, having a restorative cleaning performed with your upholstery can improve your indoor air quality as you are extracting dirt, debris, and harmful allergens.

Here are three tips to clean your upholstery this spring.

KLEEN TIP 3 – CLEAN YOUR WINDOWS AND KEEP THEM CLOSED:

Windows

Pollen is just about everywhere in the spring. While it is nice to open up your windows to allow fresh air in, you could be putting yourself in harm’s way as pollen counts are at its highest during the spring season. Also, what’s worse is that you are now contaminating your carpets and floors (that you just had restored) with outdoor allergens making the inside of your facility dustier and your allergies worse.

Keep your windows closed and make sure you spend some TLC on cleaning the inside and outside of your windows as your windows truly are a reflection of your business.

Click here for more information on window washing to showcase a beautiful reflection to you and your visitors this spring.

KLEEN TIP 4 – CLEAN GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS:

Gutters and Downspouts

You may not realize it, but all those remnants from blooming flowers and trees can accumulate quickly and clog your gutters, down spouts and drains. Be prepared as spring and summer months can generate large amounts of rain, which can lead to a flood inside your facility.

Remember to clean all your gutters and down spouts at least twice a year. Also, check all exterior drains for debris on a bi-weekly basis, and if you have a sump pump make sure it is working.

If the unfortunate does occur with flooding inside your facility, make sure you inform your insurance company, take pictures, and call a reputable water restoration company to extract the water and restore your carpets and floors.

Sustainable Tips Just in Time for Earth Day

With Earth Day 2015 now here, we’re all thinking about our environmental footprint. While it’s important that we all do our best to stay green in our daily lives, the organizations that we are a part of can be much more impactful just by making a few easy adjustments.

In conjunction with our tips from last year, below are more helpful suggestions that can turn your environment into a green sustainability machine!

Flip the Light Switch

Flip the Light Switch

Did you know that 44% of electricity use in office buildings comes from light alone? Turning off a light when you leave the room just might be the easiest and most effective thing that you can do.

Some lights have timers that will automatically shut them off, and these might be a cost-effective measure to implement. Also, keep an eye out for Energy Star labels on lightbulbs. If you aren’t using these, switching to them will save money on electricity and reduce your footprint by two thirds.

Posting reminders next to switches can be helpful too; remember that it’s a group effort!

Buy LED Light Bulbs

Buy LED Light Bulbs

Why use 60 watts for your everyday light bulb when the LED bulb only uses 10 to produce the same amount of light? LED bulbs have dropped in price over the years and can last up to 25 times longer than your traditional light bulbs. Also, LED bulbs can save you money (in some cases in excess of $100 or more) over their lifetime.

Be Smart At the Printer

Be Smart at the Printer

Save the trees by printing on both sides of the paper, and make sure to recycle all of your old ink cartridges. Ask yourself what could be stored online or shared in an email rather than a print out.

Recycle

Recycle

If your office break room doesn’t have a recycling bin, consider getting one. Recycling paper, glass, and metal is great for the environment, and easy to do.

Reduce & Reuse

Reduce and Reuse

Why waste money on paper towels when you can use reusable products, like a microfiber cleaning cloth? Not only do these nifty cleaning cloths save you money, they’re also an excellent multi-purpose cleaning tool to remove dirt & debris from your desk, computer, phone, sunglasses, inside your car, and more.

Buy a New Toilet That Uses 1.28 Gallons Per Flush Or Less

New Toilet

You can save a lot of gallons of clean drinking water per day just by switching from a toilet that uses 1.6 to 1.28 gallons per flush. Look for models with a Water Sense label as these are not only efficient, they also meet a variety of flushing performance requirements.

Avoid Pouring Anything Down Storm Drains

Avoid Storm Drains

Storm drains lead to the bay, and most sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants do not remove poisonous cleaners, which can make their way to our ocean putting animals in harm’s way. Click here for more information provided by the EPA on hazardous waste disposal tips.

Take Your Devices Off Their Chargers Once Fully Charged

Device Charger

Portable electronics such as wireless phones, headsets, cordless mice and keyboards that recharge should be taken off their charger when they are fully charged to save electricity and heat. While it may not amount to much in savings of electricity per device, this can add up if everyone partakes in this simple step.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget about the importance of things like recycling and turning off the lights, but it’s important that everybody pitches in. We hope you find this year’s tips beneficial to use at work, home, in school, and share them with your friends!

 Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Guidelines on Floor Maintenance

Has your business undergone a much-needed facelift on your floors?  It is extremely important that you put in place a comprehensive maintenance strategy to ensure longevity of your newly installed floors.  A good maintenance plan will keep the appearance of your floors spotless—in return the appearance will impresses clients, visitors and staff.

Obviously foot traffic intensity varies depending on which areas see more activity than others. Below are some timelines and guidelines to follow when creating a regular flooring maintenance plan:

  • Light Traffic Areas:  Address every 3 to 6 months
  • Medium Traffic Areas:  Address every 3 months
  • Heavy Traffic Areas:  Address every month

Furniture and heavy objects should have protectors on their base to protect your floor.  You may want to consider:

  • Placing Walk-Off or Track-Off Mats at your entrances to reduce debris from foot traffic entering your building
  • Daily Vacuuming & Trash pickup will ensure flooring is kept clean
  • Annual Restorative Maintenance. This comprehensive yearly restoration is both proactive and preventative for the care of your floors. Normal wear and tear is expected, and unfortunately accidents do occur, that is why a yearly restorative maintenance program is imperative to increase the longevity of your floors.

Ultimately, it’s best to hire a professional that is certified and experienced in the care of your flooring. Your certified company will work with you to come up with a plan that best suits your needs.

Keep Your Parking Garage Clean This Spring With 4 Easy Steps

Parking Garage Cleaning in Northern Virginia: Spring 2015

Spring has Sprung!  Everyone does an annual Spring Clean of their home and building, did you ever think to do a Spring Clean on your parking garage?  I bet not!  Where do you think all the dirt, debris, salt/sand from the winter months go?  All in your parking garage, then everyone tracks the filth in your office buildings.

Now is the time to clean your parking garage.  We have provided 4 easy steps to help you keep your garage clean – and more importantly your buildings pristine!

 

STEP 1:  Remove Standing Debris

Blower

First thing you must do is sweep or blow your surfaces to remove all the dirt and debris such as salt, sand, trash, leaves, cigarette butts, etc.  One of the most efficient and effective ways to remove standing debris is to use a high powered machine or blower.

 

STEP 2:  Power Sweep

Power Sweeping - Dianna

Power sweeping is a preferred method to prep your surfaces before a power scrub and pressure wash take place. With power sweeping, all parking areas, along with entrance and exit areas need to be addressed using top of the line equipment operated by skilled and trained personnel.

 

STEP 3:  Power Scrubbing and Pressure Washing   

Pressure Washing

The final cleaning step before inspection involves power scrubbing and pressure washing to remove dirt, oil, grease and grime from building up on your surfaces. By using the right approach with a trained technician your parking lot and garage surfaces will not only have less harmful dirt and debris, they will also have a lower risk of staining, cracking, and potholes forming.

 

STEP 4:  Routine Cleaning for your Parking Garage Needs

While it is important to clean your parking lot and garage surfaces following our most recent and rough winter season, it is even more imperative to have your surfaces cleaned on a frequent basis.

Depending on size and use of your parking lot and garage surfaces, trash and debris removal should be performed daily, parking lot sweeping quarterly or semiannually and pressure washing or scrubbing semiannually or annually. Also, when contracting out make sure the company you hire provides a thorough cleaning of all areas, including conduits, pipes, light fixtures and columns.

 

Do you need a free parking garage or parking lot cleaning quote? Click here and fill out our contact form for a complimentary proposal.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

 

5 Misconceptions of Concrete Floor Maintenance

With its affordability, sturdiness and sleek design options, concrete has become a popular flooring material inside commercial and high security facilities. While one major advantage of having concrete floors is their ease of maintenance, there are common misconceptions on the proper restoration and maintenance of these floors.

A recent article on CleanLink shares an excellent list of common misconceptions provided by the Institute for Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). Such misconceptions include:

Misconception 1 – Chemicals aren’t required when cleaning concrete floors. Dirt and debris that make any floor dirty can also be found on concrete. Safe cleaning chemicals are used to break these substances down so they can be removed.

Misconception 2 – All concrete walking surfaces are the same. There are two major kinds of concrete walking surfaces: coated surfaces and polished surfaces. Depending on the material of the coating and the mechanical procedure of the polishing, surfaces may be more or less durable or prone to wear and tear. It is vital to consider the kind of surface you have before deciding on a concrete floor maintenance program.

Misconception 3 – The cleaning staff knows how to clean concrete floors. Many cleaning companies may seem like they know the proper materials and processes for concrete floor maintenance, but few have the extensive experience or training. It is imperative that you select a company that can provide the proper care of your concrete floors and have the credentials to back up their claims.

Many manufacturers recommend IICRC certified firms to care for their warrantied products. The IICRC certification cannot be purchased-it is earned through study, experience and the successful completion of formal, written examinations, and maintained by completing continuing education credits.

Misconception 4 - Concrete lasts just as long if it isn’t maintained. Concrete, just like any other surface, requires proper maintenance to maximize its longevity. The quality of the coating along with how the floor is maintained will help determine the longevity of your concrete floors. For surfaces that are mechanically polished the restorative methods used along with the execution of those methods will define how long your concrete floors will last.

Misconception 5 – The amount of soil and the type of soil do not impact how a concrete floor is cleaned. The type and amount of soil, along with the amount of foot traffic will determine the restorative cleaning and frequency that needs to take place on your concrete floors. Concrete floors should be treated no different than any other type of hard floor surface with regards to soil levels.

To read the full CleanLink article click here.

Ultimately, proper restorative care and maintenance is vital for the health and longevity of your concrete floors. A certified and trained concrete floor technician will recommend a proper restoration and maintenance program based on the type of surface and the amount of soil and traffic levels you have.

If you have a question regarding the restoration and maintenance of your concrete floors then please contact us. We are more than happy to help you protect one of the best interior investments inside your facility.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Another 6 Weeks of Winter: Are Your Carpets & Pipes Prepared?

Winter is tough on buildings. Freezing temperatures, moisture, wind, and melting snow can create havoc on the exterior and interior of your building(s) that can lead to costly repairs.

One critical area to pay special attention to this winter is your carpets as employees and visitors will track in slush, mud, water, and all kinds of winter debris.

Carpets

Below are some Mister Kleen tips to help you preserve your carpet during the winter months:

  • Make sure that every entrance to the building has a welcome mat outside the door, and a small runner or rug inside. These coverings will take care of most debris that could be tracked onto your carpets.
  • Vacuum your carpets frequently. If you create and follow a regular vacuuming schedule you can reduce the amount of dirt collected in the carpet fibers.
  • Regulate heat and minimize the use of humidifiers to help preserve the longevity of clean carpets.
  • Schedule a carpet cleaning with a trained cleaning technician. When choosing a carpet cleaning company it’s important to select a professional provider, preferably one that is certified. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a non-profit organization that certifies and develops standards for inspection, cleaning and restoration among building service contractors. The IICRC also serves as a valuable consumer referral source for certified technicians and firms, of which Mister Kleen is a member.

Frozen PipesAnother winter issue is flooding. While it may sound counter-intuitive, winter flooding is common as pipes will freeze and burst, which can create a costly expense if a flood occurs. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips below to help you prevent burst pipes that often cause this kind of disaster.

  • Make sure to shut off all outside water bib sources.
  • If you are going out of town, or your office will be vacant, be sure to turn off your main water source, if possible.
  • Keep your heat on at all times to prevent pipes from freezing.

For more helpful tips click here.

If a pipe happens to burst and cause a flood then call a licensed plumber. Below are a couple of web resources to assist you in finding a plumber:

http://www.plumbingnetworks.com/

http://www.findaplumber.com/

If the flood cannot be cleaned up with a mop, bucket and towels then don’t fret – simply place two calls:

1)      Your insurance company to report the flood

2)      A professional maintenance company that specializes in flood restoration work

While we still have six (6) more weeks of winter to go taking these simple precautions will ensure your building is headache free during the winter months. By utilizing our recommended tips your building will be ready for spring!

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

How Raised Floor and Data Center Cleaning Helps Companies Prevent Server Downtimes and Save Thousands of Dollars!

How Much Can Data Center Server Downtime Cost Me?

Countless businesses rely on data centers for critical information, and when they go down the costs are staggering.

A recent study by the Ponemon Institute found that the average server downtime was just under two (2) hours, costing more than $7,900 per minute – that totals to over $900,000! Further data indicates a 41% rise in downtime costs since 2010.


What Causes Data Center Server Downtime?

Cyber-crime and human error aside, other leading culprits are battery failure, equipment failure, heat-related outages, and environmental related factors (e.g. room temperature, rust, humidity, and debris buildup from dust and dirt).


How Can I Prevent Environmental Server Downtimes?

The raised floor system that protects the sensitive wiring that your data center relies on, referred to as the Access Floor System, will incur debris buildup over time. Such debris, which includes dust and dirt, can insulate systems and lead to overheating, poor air quality, and environmental equipment failure.

Ultimately, having a Raised Floor Cleaning regimen in place is a long-term cost-effective and efficient solution that can prevent environmental equipment failure, and save your company thousands of dollars in server downtimes.


How Raised Floor Cleaning Works

To efficiently clean and remove dust and debris in a raised floor cleaning area requires extensive work. There are many factors to take into account, such as:

    • Proper care with the removal and reinstallation of your panels
    • Subfloor conditions
    • Structural and environmental conditions of your panel surfaces

A trained technician will know how to effectively clean raised floors by taking the aforementioned conditions into account. This is done by focusing on eliminating harmful dust particles that negatively impact the efficiencies of your data and computer server rooms by inspecting and cleaning the:

    • Floor surface
    • Track cleaning beneath the tile
    • Subfloor dust and debris removal
    • High dusting and cleaning – depending on need using telescopic tools and air lifts
    • Cleaning of server racks

Ultimately, as data centers continue to evolve, more and more companies are making it a priority to prevent environmental server downtimes. One way in which companies are able to minimize their risk is with the proper care and maintenance of their Access Floor System through a periodic Raised Floor Cleaning regimen.


Click Here
for More Information and a Free Raised Floor Cleaning Quote

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Start the New Year Clean (Kleen)

The holidays might be past us but nasty weather, colds, and flu’s certainly aren’t. This year the Washington D.C. metro region has seen high rates of winter illness, much of it originating in the workplace. Taking simple precautions in the cleanliness of your office will not only save your employees from getting sick, but also save you the cost of their absence.

Below are a few areas to pay special attention to in the workplace this winter season:

 

Carpets

Carpets

While your carpets may look pretty – a winter’s worth of dirt, dander, germs and odor has permeated deep into their fibers. The more the foot traffic, the more materials are released into the air resulting in poor indoor air quality, which doesn’t help those who suffer from allergies and asthma conditions.

To clean your carpets you need a professional carpet cleaner who uses the right equipment and processes to extract the dirt and debris inside your carpet fibers. While there are a myriad of carpet cleaning options to choose from, it is best to receive guidance from a trained cleaning technician.

 

Upholstery

Upholstery

Similar to carpets your upholstery can also be a breeding ground for dirt and debris that can be harmful for you and the environment. While vacuuming and performing first-aid on spills are important, it is even more critical to have your upholstery deep cleaned each year.

If your upholstery has removable cushions then you may (depending on what the manufacturers label recommends) be able to machine wash the fabrics in cold water. If so, then we recommend turning the fabric inside out to wash as this can prevent colors from fading.

For removable covers that do not have a label, it is recommended to have them dry cleaned by a professional cleaning company.

 

High Dusting

High Dusting

According to the EPA, poor air quality is one of the largest environmental threats to our country. Hazardous pollutants and buildups can be in areas you would least suspect, especially in hard to reach areas that require frequent high dusting.

Such areas can include, but are not limited to:

  • Ceilings
  • Airducts
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Fans
  • Roof overhangs
  • Skylights
  • Atriums
  • Ledges

While it is important to dust your office on a frequent basis, it is also imperative that you have a cleaning company high dust in hard to reach areas. Such companies are able to use a ladder or a lift to dust these areas and help prevent hazardous buildups that can lead to environmental health concerns.

 

Questions/Request a Quote

If you have a question about the cleanliness of your office or would like a free quote for service please contact us. Our trained technicians are on standby ready to clean (Kleen) your office today!

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

Happy Theft Season!

Did you know that over $50 billion is stolen each year from U.S. businesses by employees? Did you also know that three out of every four employees has stolen at least once from their employer?

Source: Statistic Brain

With the holiday season now upon us it is not uncommon for office theft to skyrocket and become a headache for facility owners and managers.

If you think large ticket items are the most common things stolen from your office then you need to think again. In reality it’s the small stuff that you need to sweat, which often includes:

  • Pens, pencils and highlighters
  • Scissors
  • Post-It’s
  • Toilet paper (???)
  • USB  memory sticks
  • Tape
  • Printer Ink
  • Paper (and paper products)
  • Binders and binder clips

While no office can be 100% secure from office theft, there are measures you can put in place to prevent office theft from becoming a major headache this holiday season. Below are some tips:

No Piggybacking - do not open the door for unwelcome guests in your office and/or facility (a long-lost uncle can qualify).

Secure All Areas - make sure you secure all valuables, and lock all desks and cabinets.

Monitor Building Access – be certain that all entrances and exits are monitored for visitors. Require all guests to check-in prior to visiting an office.

Utilize an Equipment Security Log - keep track of equipment checked in and out with a security log.

Educate, Train and Report Suspicious Behavior – it is imperative that office personnel is trained and knows how and where to report suspicious behavior without putting their livelihoods at stake.

Below is a Mister Kleen infographic to keep on hand. We encourage you to share the below infographic with your colleagues for general information and tips to prevent office theft.

Happy Theft Season InfographicClick on image to enhance.

Mister Kleen is GS-42 Certified!

We are proud to announce that Mister Kleen’s “Green Kleen” program is Green Seal (GS-42) certified! Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization that identifies and promotes products and services that reduces pollution and waste, conserves resources and habitats, and minimizes global warming and ozone depletion.

Making an investment to become GS-42 certified is a big leap forward in our journey as a green cleaning company. As many of you know, green cleaning is near-and-dear to the Mister Kleen story. Our founder, Ernest Clark Sr., passed away in 2009 from multiple forms of cancer that can be tied back to traditional cleaning processes and products containing harmful chemicals.

For many years Mister Kleen has been utilizing our Green Kleen program, which consist of 3rd party certified products and equipment, sustainable materials and healthier processes. The difference now is our Green Kleening program is officially certified!

Our Green Kleen program is utilized to aid our partners in obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.  If you are seeking LEED certification we are here to help you and your project achieve the prerequisites and credits for Indoor Environmental Quality under the new LEED v4 for Building Operations and Maintenance (O&M). Ultimately, by having our certified program in place you now have the reassurance and added value that our cleaning program improves your environment.

“Green Kleening” is a standard, not an option!

“We are ‘Green Kleening’ your community one building at a time”.

Green-Kleen Image

Three Carpet Cleaning Tips this Holiday Season

Have you ever entered a home or business and your eyes immediately focused on how dirty the carpets are?

Your first impression is a lasting one. This is especially true with your carpets.

Below are three practical tips to improve the appearance and health of your carpets this holiday season:

1)    Choose a Restorative and Preventative Method

There are many methods used to clean carpets (vacuuming alone is not one of them). It’s important to choose a method that not only provides a great appearance, but also restores your carpets back to life. Check out Mister Kleen’s recommended restorative carpet maintenance methods for some general tips.

2)    Determine your Return on Investment (ROI)

Carpets represent one of your largest interior investments. When choosing a preventative maintenance method it is imperative that you select a program that will routinely remove soils from your carpets before damage occurs. The more foot traffic your carpets receive the more often you will want to schedule a cleaning.

3)    Go Pro

Would you rely on advice about your health from someone other than your doctor? Chances are you wouldn’t.

Much like your own personal health, the health and overall well-being of your carpets ought to receive advice from a trained and certified carpet cleaning professional.

 

IICRC Certified LogoThe Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is a non-profit organization that certifies and develops standards for inspection, cleaning and restoration among building service contractors. The IICRC also serves as a valuable consumer referral source for certified technicians and firms, of which Mister Kleen is a member.

 

Ultimately, following these three tips will help you determine the best option(s) and method(s) your carpets need for optimal appearance and health.

Don’t wait until your carpets appear dirty. Inquire a free consultation with a Mister Kleen carpet cleaning professional today!

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Prevent the Flu from Impacting Employee Performance and Your Workplace

“Just one person infected with the flu-virus has saturated their germs in the workplace in just four hours (40-60% of surfaces and 40-60% of people infected)”AOL Health article featuring Sumathi Reddy, Health Reporter at the Wall Street Journal

 

Flu season is upon us (November – April), and according to the CDC, billions of dollars are lost in workplace productivity each year as the virus sweeps through offices!

A healthier indoor environment is vital to prevent the flu-virus from spreading. This is especially true in this day and age as the majority of our time is spent in a climate controlled indoor setting.

 

Tips to Prevent the Flu-Virus from Spreading in Your Office

Many articles will share common well-known tips such as minimizing contact with highly touched items (e.g. door knobs, elevator buttons, water fountains, refrigerator handles, etc.), and washing your hands on a frequent basis. While these are important practices, below are a few more tips to have in place to further prevent the spread of the flu-virus in your office:

 

Install touch-less hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers

Hand Towel Dispenser and Hand Sanitizer

Installing touch-less hand towel dispensers and hands-free soap dispensers is an excellent way to reduce employee’s exposure to high-touch items in your restrooms and kitchen areas.

 

Place trash cans by restroom doors

trashcan by restroom door

Placing a trash can by restroom doors can encourage people to use a paper towel to open the door versus using their hands.

 

Place hand sanitizing stations in common areas of buildings

Hand Sanitizing Station

Post signs in restrooms and pantries on proper hand washing techniques

hand-washing-technique1

 

Ensure hot water is provided at the right temperature to wash hands effectively

hotwaterhandwash

 

Bonus Tip:

Make sure your office has an effective flu-response plan in place

“Studies have shown that the influenza virus can survive on environmental surfaces and can infect a person up to 2-8 hours after being deposited on the surface.” – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Having a proper regimen in place to clean, disinfect and sanitize your office is a critical component to lower your risk of a flu outbreak. It is also important to recognize that different pathogenic bacteria and viruses are destroyed more effectively by different cleaning materials and sanitizers. The Norovirus group, for instance, is best disinfected by using a sodium Hypochlorite (bleach) based sanitizer, whereas the influenza virus group can be disinfected by using quaternary ammonia compounds.

Earlier this year we published an article discussing the differences on cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, along with best practices to prevent the spread of the flu-virus on surfaces. Ultimately, it helps to have a cleaning company that has the knowledge and experience to use best practices in preventing the spread of the virus from impacting your bottom-line.

 

How Mister Kleen Can Help

While the flu can take place suddenly, people can host the flu virus for 1-4 days before symptoms can begin to take place.

Mister Kleen attends classes and seminars to learn best practices to improve the health and well-being of each facility that we clean. During Flu Season we reiterate and ensure key staff is properly trained to perform daily cleaning tasks for best health practices. Such cleaning tasks and health practices include proper cleaning processes, and techniques to effectively disinfect and sanitize high touch and use areas to kill bacteria and prevent the spread of the flu virus.

If at any time you have a question regarding our effective techniques to clean your facility please contact us. We are more than happy to provide our recommendations on best practices to prevent the spread of the flu-virus from impacting your health and workplace bottom-line.

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Indoor Air Pollution – How Chemicals and Cleaning Processes are Destroying your Health

According to the EPA, “the average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors.”

Unfortunately, much of the air we breathe indoors is toxic as pollutant levels “may be 2-5 times – and occasionally more than 100 times – higher than outdoor pollutant levels.”

A higher level of indoor air pollution, according to the American Lung Association, “contributes to the development of infections, lung cancer, and chronic lung diseases such as asthma. In addition, it can cause headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, and fatigue.”

One of the main contributors to a rise in indoor air pollution can come from the chemicals being used inside your facility and/or home. This is especially true with cleaning products as many people are exposed to harsh and toxic chemicals that, overtime, can lead to illness or death.

Of course, there are several initiatives and valuable resources that can assist us in making great strides to improve the environment in which we spend the vast majority of our time in. One such initiative is a push for facilities to pursue greener procedures and processes by obtaining reputable third-party certifications, such as the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program.

While cleaning represents a small portion of LEED, facilities can satisfy their pre-requisite points with a Green Cleaning Policy, and accumulate additional credits with the use of Green Cleaning Products, Materials and Equipment under the new LEED v4.

If you have a Green Seal (GS-42) certified contract cleaning company cleaning your facility you will not only satisfy the LEED pre-requisites and additional credits for cleaning, you can also reassure your occupants that they can breathe and work in a healthier environment.

Other valuable tips to help protect your indoor health as discussed in a recent BSCAI Services Magazine article include:

  • Examining your cleaning products with their emissions and odors being released.
  • Evaluating your cleaning processes and ways in which they can be modified to eliminate hazards.
  • Performing a chemical screening and using resources and toolkits to improve the health of your facility. One toolkit highlighted in the article includes the U.S. Department of Labor OSHA Safer Chemicals Toolkit.

Click here to further read BSCAI’s excellent article entitled Protecting the Indoor Environment as written by Roger McFadden, vice president and senior scientist for Staples, Inc.

A healthier indoor environment leads to a healthier you resulting in a productivity booster in your facility!

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

Presidents Corner

I can’t believe how quickly this year is flying by and I’m so glad that this winter is behind us and summer is in full swing! It’s been a busy and exciting first half of the year for the entire Mister Kleen Team, as you will see in the following pages.

I’ve also been quite busy, both personally and professionally. I’ve been busy with my normal responsibilities with the company and the various business groups that I participate in. I’m also pleased to have written and released a book entitled, You Can’t Spend Pride”. The book is about our family business and my primary goals in writing the book was to honor my late father and my mother for all that they have done for our family and to capture the more than 60 years of our history. You can learn more about the book on the following pages.

Many of you often ask about my daughter (Lexi) who had a featured column in the Kleen Sweep for many years. Well, she’s now a freshmen in high school, played JV and Varsity lacrosse this year AND will be driving later this year. Crazy how time flies…!

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Kleen Sweep and I wish you and your families a safe and enjoyable summer.

To read our summer edition of The Kleen Sweep click here.

Ernest Clark, Jr., CBSE
President

How to Prevent Indoor Allergens from Impacting Workplace Performance

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation (AAFA), an estimated 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies, the 5th leading chronic disease in the U.S.

While seasonal allergies in the spring are common, what many people fail to realize is that outdoor and indoor allergy triggers occur during the summer season as well. The most common summer allergy culprits include:

  • Pollen
  • Air Pollution
  • Insect Bites
  • Molds
  • Dust Mites

For companies this can spell trouble as allergies result in billions of dollars in lost productivity each year!

 

How Companies Respond to Indoor Allergy Threats

Many companies realize that it is much cheaper to invest in the prevention of allergy threats than to risk a decline in workplace performance that impacts their bottom-line.

An example of an out of the box thinker is St. Joseph Health System in Sonoma County, California. St. Joseph Health System partnered with ImmuneTech, Inc., to provide a simple and innovative allergy diagnostic test to employers using a finger stick. Testing, along with recommended treatment can result in fewer sick days and a boost to employee efficiency.

Many companies today are also taking proactive steps to invest in a comprehensive cleaning program to remove dirt, debris and dust mites for a cleaner and healthier environment.

ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, provides an excellent video discussing many health benefits companies can expect with a cleaner facility. According to their research, the average employee is sick 7.7 days per year costing companies $225.8 billion. With a cleaner facility employee absenteeism drops by 46% and a typical office can save $125,000 each year.

 

Tips to Prevent Indoor Allergens from Impacting Workplace Performance

Improve indoor air quality with dust prevention

Dust Prevention

Poor indoor air quality is a large environmental threat in the U.S. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “…Biological pollutants including molds, bacteria, viruses, pollen, dust mites, and animal dander promote poor indoor air quality and may be a major cause of days lost from work and school.”

Unfortunately, there can be a substantial amount of hazardous biological pollutants inside of the dust, dirt and grime buildups in facilities, which can lead to many poor health symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs
  • Asthma or breathing issues

Ultimately, preventing dust buildup is critical in maintaining proper air ventilation and improving indoor air quality. Dust removal needs to be done in both easy and hard to reach areas. Such areas to remove dust include:

  • Ceilings
  • Air ducts
  • Air Vents
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Fans
  • Chairs
  • Baseboards
  • Blinds
  • Sklylights
  • Atriums
  • Ledges

Extract harmful pollutants from carpets, upholstery and (grouted) floors

Carpets 1

Carpets, floors and upholstery can trap and hold countless amounts of pollutants deep within their fibers and pores. Foot traffic can release these pollutants into the air, which then becomes damaging to indoor air quality and for people who suffer from allergies and asthma conditions.

One of the most effective methods to remove pollutants and improve indoor air quality is to have your carpets, upholstery and grout cleaned on a regular basis (in addition to removing the dust).

A common misconception is that vacuuming your carpets and upholstery, and mopping floors on a regular basis will remove pollutants. While such methods are recommended for general appearance and upkeep, such processes do little to extract these pollutants.

Ultimately, it is recommended that you have a preventative maintenance program in place to deep clean your carpets, upholstery and floors on a regular basis. Having a preventative maintenance program in place will assist in keeping a healthy indoor environment while improving the appearance and prolonging the life of your carpets, upholstery and floors.

 

Pay attention to mold

Mold in a Edge

Allergic reactions to mold are common. Some of the allergic responses include, but are not limited to:

  • Hay-fever symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis)
  • Asthma attacks
  • Irritation of the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs

According to a recent HealingWell.com article:

The mold season often peaks from July to late summer. Unlike pollens, molds may persist after the first killing frost. Some can grow at subfreezing temperatures, but most become dormant. Snow cover lowers the outdoor mold count dramatically but does not kill molds. After the spring thaw, molds thrive on the vegetation that has been killed by the winter cold.

In the warmest areas of the United States, however, molds thrive all year and can cause year-round (perennial) allergic problems. In addition, molds growing indoors can cause perennial allergic rhinitis even in the coldest climates.”

While it is impossible to remove all molds and mold spores indoors, it is possible to prevent and control its spread with moisture control. Anytime there is a leak or intrusion of water, it is highly recommended to use a professional company and/or equipment to extract water from affected areas, treat with an antimicrobial agent and dry quickly with the use of air movement and dehumidifiers.

The EPA provides an excellent resource guide on tips to clean up mold, what to wear, and how to prevent future moisture and mold buildup.

Though not all allergies stem from the workplace, it is important that companies continue to be proactive in preventing indoor allergies from becoming an environmental issue. Ultimately, prevention is the key to thwart allergens from impacting workplace performance.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.

 

June is Cancer Immunotherapy Month – Help Support Cancer Research

Each year millions of people’s lives are impacted by cancer. While there are more advanced treatments available today than in years past, it is estimated that “global death rates will increase by nearly 80% by 2030 unless immediate action is taken” – The World Health Organization.

This month is Cancer Immunotherapy Month at The Cancer Research Institute (CRI). During the month of June CRI is raising extra awareness and funds toward research of the science breakthrough of 2013 – Cancer Immunotherapy.

Cancer Immunotherapy treatments mobilize, strengthen, and sustain the immune system’s ability to destroy cancer cells, wherever they are in the body. “…These treatments have the potential to achieve complete, long-lasting remissions and cancer cures, with few or no side effects, and for any cancer patient, regardless of their cancer type” – CancerResearch.org.

With cancer being near and dear to our Mister Kleen story, we wanted to show our extra support for CRI and Cancer Immunotherapy Month. 100% of the proceeds from each purchase of You Can’t Spend Pride: The True Story of a Family Business Defying the Odds on Amazon will go to CRI and their research toward Cancer Immunotherapy.

 

It is our hope that with more funds raised toward treatments like Cancer Immunotherapy, patients will have access to such treatments to help overcome this devastating disease.

Building Excellence Competition

It’s that time of year again for Mister Kleen to hold our Building Excellence Competition.  This competition is based on a special quality control program designed to build pride, inspiration and teamwork.  We create friendly competition among our employees to have the best overall rated building with regard to cleanliness, quality and safety.  Our team takes pride in this, and our clients do too!  The winning team receives an on-site party, a Certificate, and the Supervisor receives a monetary award.

 

NVRA & Team

NVRA & Team

The winner of our winter 2014 Building Excellence Competition is NVRA located in Northern, VA. This LEED Gold Certified Commercial Class A facility is comprised of approximately 230,000 square feet and is managed by The Peterson Companies.  Congratulations go to Carol Trice, former Area Manager, Supervisor Cindy Glascock and their team for all their hard work and outstanding service and dedication.

 

BEC - PP - SUMMER 2014

The winner of our summer 2014 Building Excellence Competition is President’s Park II located in Herndon, VA.  This commercial facility is comprised of approximately 201,000 square feet and is managed by Liberty Properties.  Congratulations go to Mister Kleen’s Area Manager Yolanda Rathbone, Supervisor Edwin Lovo and their team for all their hard work and outstanding service and dedication.

Employee Training Update

Training our employees to better serve our clients is a commitment of Mister Kleen.  Recognizing that this sets us apart from our competition, we have been busy educating our team members over the last several months with the latest and greatest technologies and techniques available in our industry.  Below are highlights of some of the recent training events.

January

OSHA Training was held by Area Managers of Mister Kleen for all field employees.  This annual training emphasizes the policies and procedures for OSHA forms. The training also features a formal review of safety and OSHA procedures including why it was created, what it covers, employer/employee responsibilities and how OSHA enforces standards.

February

Blood Borne & Pathogen Training.   This mandatory annual safety training was held at our various sites for all front line employees.  Learning how to prevent work-related illnesses and injuries is a must and Mister Kleen prides ourselves with a safety first mentality for all our employees and our clients.

March

Safety Training is led by Mister Kleen Area Managers to ensure staff is in compliance with all safety procedures.  Electrical cord and Chariot training was held at Mister Kleen’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

 

Employee Training Update

April

Sexual Harassment Training is led by Area Managers at each site.  The Managers ensure employees understand Mister Kleen’s harassment-free workplace policy including the complaint reporting process.

SalesNexus Training. Eric Koch, Marketing Specialist at Mister Kleen unveiled a new CRM contact management database – SalesNexus.  The training overviewed new procedures for: creating, storing, and managing contacts; marketing campaigns and business opportunities; reporting; and much more. With our new CRM in place, managers can now submit and deliver job proposals with a faster turnaround for clients.

May

Cleaning for Health & Environment is presented to all field employees by their Area Manager and Field Site Supervisors.  This informative training reviews all Mister Kleen’s green cleaning procedures.

June

Safety Data Sheet (SDS) Training.  Every product at every site must have a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) which provides information on what chemicals are inside each product.  Field employees are trained on how to handle and work with a particular substance in a safe manner, including information such as storage, mixing of chemicals, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures.

Driver Safety Training held annually is provided to all employees that operate company vehicles.  Team members watch our driver safety video which provides key defensive driving principles needed to prevent driving accidents.  This informative training was led by Mister Kleen’s Human Resources Department.

You Can’t Spend Pride

“Rags to riches to rags” — that saying has endured for centuries through many cultures because family success, whether fame, fortune, or otherwise, rarely survives through the third generation. In the United States, only 30 percent of family businesses make it through the second generation, while only 12 percent make it through the third.

You Can’t Spend Pride tells the story of one family business, Mister Kleen, that has defied the odds. Not only are three generations of the family working in the company, but Mister Kleen has grown to be a multi-million-dollar operation that ranks among the top 10 percent of businesses in its industry.

Narrated as a first-person account by the co-founder, Mary Ann Clark, and her son and current company president, Ernie Clark Jr., You Can’t Spend Pride tells the improbable story of how the family built their business from cleaning one client’s office in the evenings to maintaining millions of square feet of high-security and commercial space throughout the Washington, D.C. area.

And success certainly didn’t happen overnight. The family fought through financial challenges, health issues, and many bad economic times over the course of decades to get the business on solid ground—now employing more than 400 people.

You Can’t Spend Pride is a must-read for anyone looking to start their own company, having difficulty growing their current company, and most certainly for anyone running a family business. Filled with stories and solid entrepreneurial advice, you’ll find yourself immersed in the inspirational history of Mister Kleen as it rises from a home-based business in 1976 to the trusted leader in high-security and commercial cleaning in the Nation’s Capital.

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Cancer Research Institute:

Learn more at CancerResearch.org.

 

Why your Upholstery Needs a Clean Makeover this Spring

With spring in full bloom now is the perfect time to freshen up your home and office with a clean makeover.

Carpets and floors tend to get a lot of attention as dirt and debris is tracked in from recent winter storms. While it is important to clean both your carpets and floors, it is also imperative that you schedule time to spruce up your upholstery, which includes:

  • Office Chairs
  • Regular Chairs
  • Ottomans
  • Love Seats
  • Sofas
  • Fabric Panels (Cubicles)

After all, your upholstery tends to trap a lot of dirt and debris that can be harmful for you and the environment.

What’s the best method to liven up and protect your upholstery this spring? Below is a simple three step process we’ve broken down to assist you:

 

1) Vacuum

The first step is for you to use your vacuum to remove dirt and debris. Simply use your vacuum attachment to extract dirt and debris from the cushion surfaces, including cracks and crevices.

Vaccuum

Preventative tips to keep your upholstery fresh

If you have removable cushions then we recommend that you take your cushions outside and pat them by hand each month. We also recommend flipping over and rotating your cushions as you would do with your mattress for even wear. Performing this step each month will help prevent dirt and debris from settling deep into your upholstery fibers.

Another preventative tip is to limit or avoid food, drink and pets on your upholstery. This will save you time in the future when vacuuming dirt and debris and removing stains.

 

2) Perform first-aid on spills

With fresh spills on your upholstery you want to be quick to react. If you let a spill sit without prompt attention to cleanup then that spill will turn into a stain, which can make it a challenge to remove.

The best approach is to simply blot the spill with a dry white cloth or paper towel. Whatever you do don’t rub the spill with the dry cloth or paper towel as this can result in a deep smudge that will create a larger stain.

What do I do if the spill on my upholstery turns into a stain?

If your spill turns into a stain the first thing you need to do is check the tag or label of your upholstery to determine which cleaning products can be used. The upholstery industry has a specific code system to identify which product cleaners you can use:

W: Water-based cleaner or detergent can be used.

S: A solvent or water free product can be used.

WS: Water-based or solvents can be used.

X:  Don’t use a solvent or water-based solution. You will want to contact a professional upholstery cleaner to come out and treat the stain.

We also recommend contacting a professional cleaning company that specializes in upholstery cleaning if you don’t have a tag or label on your upholstery. It is best to seek expert counsel than to damage your upholstery.

 

3) Deep clean your upholstery

While vacuuming and treating spills before they become stains are important, it is imperative that you schedule to have your upholstery deep cleaned each year.

If your upholstery has removable cushions then you may (depending on what your label recommends) be able to machine wash the fabrics in cold water. If so, then we recommend turning the cushions inside out to wash as this can prevent colors from fading.

We recommend calling a professional cleaning company to deep clean your upholstery if you have removable covers that can only be dry-cleaned. We also suggest calling a professional cleaning company if you don’t have a label recommending a process to deep clean your upholstery.

In conjunction with cleaning your floors and carpets this spring make sure to schedule a cleaning session for your upholstery. You will not only have a fresh looking home and office, you will also have a healthier environment to live and operate in.

 

Mister Kleen is a leading provider of contract cleaning services to Commercial and High Security facilities since 1976. Our primary service area is the DC Metro region. We also provide a variety of interior and exterior specialty services.