Dirty public restrooms can leave a lasting negative impression on the people that enter your building.
In fact, about 47% of people are led to believe a business doesn’t care about its customers when they see an unclean restroom.
If your guests encounter restrooms that have a foul odor, there’s a high chance that they’ll immediately turn around and leave.
While some of your customers may make a complaint with your staff, others may go so far as to leave a poor review of your facilities, which can affect the way your building is viewed.
To avoid this, you and your cleaning staff should make sure that your restroom remains clean and maintains a fresh smell.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the different types of restroom odor control solutions that can help keep your commercial restrooms smelling fresh.
How Do You Keep Your Public Restroom From Smelling?
The first, and probably most obvious thing to do is to clean your commercial restroom regularly. A regular cleaning schedule will help reduce the risk of the people in your building encountering a dirty restroom.
The second thing your business can do is make sure that your public restroom consistently smells good. There are a variety of odor-control solutions available to use, like:
Active Odor Control Systems
Fragranced Cleaner And Deodorizer
Grout and any cracks in your floors are moist, dark, and hard to clean, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria from urine and other soils.
When occupants and guests use the restroom urine splashes from the toilets and urinals, seeping into the grout and other cracks.
If removing the bacteria from these areas wasn’t tough enough already, the trapped bacteria from urine and other contaminants is the main cause of restroom odors.
It can also lead to floor damage, dirty appearance, and an overall unsanitary environment.
Urinal screens are designed to reduce the chance of splashback when your urinals are used by your guests, protecting your floors and reducing odors. Uric acid can also seep into the grout and through any cracks in your floors.
A fragrant urinal screen, like the Wave 3D, can be used to minimize the risk of urine splashing to floors, reducing the risk of odors, bacteria growth, and other related issues.
Active Odor Control Systems
An odor control system that constantly releases fragrance in your restroom is an essential part of preventing foul odors.
Active odor control systems are designed to deliver scents into the air at regular intervals in order to combat any foul odors in your restroom.
These systems can be used to treat all of the air in an area, as opposed to passive odor control systems which use air passing to release the scent.
Systems, like the Fresh Products™ ourfresh, come with different fragrance options that can be matched to the different types of odor control products you have in your restroom.
The variety of scents will allow you to choose the best fragrance option that best meets the needs of your commercial restroom. Depending on the odors you are combatting, you may want to choose a stronger or more neutral fragrance for your restroom.
The ourfresh active air freshener is a dry fragrance system that provides consistent public restroom odor control for up to 30 days.
The Fresh Products™ ourfresh uses a fan to release the right amount of product during use.
These odor control systems can be placed near the sink or mounted on a wall to provide a pleasant experience for your guests as they enter the stalls.
Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate
The products you use to clean your commercial restroom can also play a role in how it smells. Not only will the right cleaning chemical be successful in removing odor-causing bacteria, but it can also leave behind a pleasant scent.
Janitorial products that clean without removing the source of odors will lead to lingering odors in your restroom.
The lingering smell is usually urine that has seeped into the floor and cannot be reached by regular restroom cleaners.
Bio-active concentrates are a cleaning chemical filled with bacteria that will break down the bacteria that cause restroom odors and penetrate the surface to remove stubborn urine residue.
The Fresh Products™ BioConqueror 105 is a bio-active concentrate that consumes urine and waste that has settled on the floor and other surfaces.
The Bio-Conqueror 105 can be diluted for use on your floors with a mop or auto scrubber, in your toilets, and on various surfaces to provide a deep clean of your restroom.
This product is available in a variety of fragrances that can be matched with the existing scents in your public restroom to leave a desirable smell in your restroom after cleaning.
You will want to make sure to use the same scent throughout your entire restroom because having too many different scents can be overwhelming for your guests.
Controlling the presence of odors in your restroom is an important part of making sure that your guests are satisfied with their experience in your facility.
Using a combination of urinal screens, active odor control systems, and fragranced cleaning chemicals can help eliminate odors in your restroom and even keep them from returning.
These products target and treat the cause of odors that can affect how your guess perceives your facility’s cleanliness.
For more information on how these products can help create a clean, good-smelling commercial restroom for your business, contact an Imperial Dade sales consultant today!
We service businesses located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Canada. Our specialists can set up a restroom consultation to help match your business with the right products for your unique needs.
An essential part of being able to clean and maintain your facility is keeping your janitorial equipment in working condition.
Not only will your cleaning staff need to perform basic maintenance procedures before and after each use, but your machine will need more thorough periodic maintenance to keep it up and running.
This additional maintenance is referred to as “preventive maintenance.”
Preventive maintenance is an important component of making sure that your equipment doesn’t experience long downtimes and that your cleaning staff has access to the machines they need to complete tasks in your facility.
In this article, we’ll tell you why janitorial preventive maintenance is an important part of keeping your equipment up and running to save your facility time and money.
5 Benefits Of Preventive Maintenance
When performed routinely, janitorial preventive maintenance will avert unexpected downtime caused by broken and out-of-service equipment along with other issues like increased cleaning times, lower productivity, and higher costs.
Most frustratingly, equipment always seems to break at the wrong times. Like when you are trying to get ready for the first day of school, open up the office, or get ready for the lunch rush.
You may not think you need preventive maintenance because your equipment is in working order, but these maintenance procedures are meant to prevent breakdowns and extend the life of your machines.
It’s also common to avoid preventive maintenance because it’s an additional cost for your business, but when performed properly, it can save your business money on labor, repairs, and time in the long run.
Preventive Maintenance can provide your business with 5 main benefits:
Increased Occupant Health and Safety
Longer Asset Life
Less Equipment Downtime
1. Cost Savings
The greatest benefit of preventative maintenance is a lower cost of labor and money saved on expensive machine repairs.
Machines that aren’t properly maintained can break down more often because the parts are not serviced regularly and become worn during regular use.
Preventive maintenance can help your business reduce how much it spends on repairs by catching and fixing issues before an extensive repair is needed.
For example, if you are not checking the batteries on your floor machine, you may cause your batteries to have a shortened life and require replacement.
If your staff or chosen service center is able to maintain your machine before a part breaks or needs to be replaced, you can reduce the cost of getting your machine back up and running and eliminate the risk of the machine breaking down mid-cleaning procedure.
You can also save on labor costs with commercial preventive maintenance. When equipment breaks it will take your staff more time to complete cleaning tasks in your facility.
With labor being the most expensive resource, it’s imperative to ensure equipment is in working order especially when some equipment can boost productivity by up to 230%.
2. Time Savings
Equipment often breaks at the most inconvenient times. When your janitorial cleaning machines break, your staff will have to spend more time cleaning, leading to reduced productivity and higher labor costs for your business.
This is due to the need for using older, less efficient cleaning tools or methods while waiting for your broken equipment to be repaired.
Janitorial preventive maintenance will keep your equipment in working condition without disruption. It also greatly reduces the chance of needing reworks due to poor cleaning results from malfunctioning or poorly taken care of equipment.
For example, floor machines that are not maintained after use can lead to wobbly machines, causing floor scratches or scuffs and uneven cleaning.
Incorrectly maintained floor machines can also lead to damage to other parts of your equipment, like the pad driver.
Regular maintenance can help catch any worn parts so that they can be replaced before they cause an issue for your janitorial team.
When your staff can work uninterrupted, they can get more done.
3. Increased Occupant Health and Safety
If a part of your machine is broken, worn, or dirty, you may not be able to get the best clean possible.
Equipment operating in poor condition will leave behind dirt, debris, and bacteria that would normally be removed.
For example, a commercial floor scrubber with a malfunctioning recovery system may not be picking up enough slurry from your floors. If the people in your building walk on your floors thinking they’re dry, there’s an increased risk that they will slip on the wet floor.
Not only is this unsafe and a hazard for guests, but this will also affect the appearance of your floors.
Another important consideration is the health and safety of your staff.
On some floor maintenance equipment, floor pads are used to complete cleaning tasks and should be checked periodically to make sure they aren’t damaged or worn. If your staff attempts to complete cleaning with a damaged or extremely worn floor pad, it may fly off of the machine and put the people in your building at risk of injury.
4. Longer Asset Life
Every piece of equipment has an average life span or amount of time it’s expected to last before needing replacement.
Preventive maintenance can help extend the life of your equipment and keep it up and running for longer.
It’s normal for your equipment to have wear and tear from daily use around your facility, but a regular maintenance schedule will keep your equipment in good shape, extending the overall life of your equipment.
For example, a full flush of the solution and recovery system on an auto scrubber is needed to help you identify any leaks or loosened connections in the machine.
A full system flush is also important to help remove and loosen any built-up residue in the machine. Chemical residue left in a solution tank can clog the solution lines and cause the failure of internal valves and pumps.
If not performed at least once a month, hoses can be affected and dramatically lower the overall lifespan of your machine in turn costing you more money.
5. Less Equipment Downtime
A majority of equipment breakdowns are caused by preventable issues when caught early on.
Commercial preventive maintenance addresses potential issues before they cause your machine to break or go out of working order. Extensive issues can be avoided so you don’t have to wait for parts and repairs for your machines.
For example, a floor buffer will need lubricant to be applied to all of the pivot points and assembly parts that may become dry and hard to rotate. Without proper lubrication, the machine may start to squeak and grind. If ignored, this can cause damage to the axle or frame of the machine.
Failing to lubricate the joints of the machine can lead to out-of-service equipment. In today’s market, the parts needed to repair the machine could take weeks to months to arrive so you can get your machine back in running condition.
Scheduling maintenance when it’s most convenient as opposed to waiting for unexpected breakdowns will help reduce the amount of time your equipment spends out of service.
Preventive maintenance is a key step to making sure that your cleaning staff can clean and maintain your facility to the best of their ability.
Some tasks are easy and can be performed by your janitorial team, like charging a dead battery, but others may require maintenance to be done by a service professional, like replacing a power cord.
Imperial Dade has service centers across the country that can send out a licensed technician to your facility to perform the preventive maintenance services your machines need to keep them running.
If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, or the Caribbean reach out to an Imperial Dade specialist today to schedule janitorial preventive maintenance for your janitorial equipment.
No-touch disinfection is becoming more and more popular as facilities need to be vigilant at killing germs and bacteria from surfaces that are frequently touched by guests.
Finding ways to disinfect the surfaces and objects in your facility quickly and safely is an important part of reducing the risk of spreading illness-causing germs from person to person.
For some facilities, using chemical disinfectants to kill germs on objects and surfaces may not be a viable option because the chemicals can affect occupants or building guests.
For example, disinfecting with chemicals increases the risk of respiratory discomfort and can require more time than using other high-volume disinfection methods.
Unlike other disinfection methods, UV-C disinfection doesn’t require any chemicals, which makes it an option for disinfecting surfaces in your facility.
In this article, we’ll define UV-C disinfection and explain how using this method can help reduce the likelihood of spreading germs and bacteria in your facility.
What Is UV-C Disinfection?
Ultraviolet-C disinfection, or UV-C, is a no-touch disinfection method that uses Ultraviolet radiation to kill common pathogens that cause illness.
The radiation is artificially created with specialized UV-C lamps on the machine.
The light from the lamps needs to be able to make contact with the surfaces being disinfected in order to effectively kill the bacteria. The amount of contact time needed is dependent on the specific bacteria being targeted.
For specific guidance on how long a room would need to be exposed to UV-C disinfection, you will need to consult the device manufacturer’s guide.
Is UV-C Disinfection Safe?
There are three types of UV radiation that are classified according to their wavelength (nm).
Each type of radiation differs in its ability to kill germs and bacteria and how likely they are to penetrate the skin.
UV-C (100-280 nm) is the strongest type of radiation but it doesn’t penetrate the skin during use. UV-C used for disinfection is artificially generated by specialized lamps on the device to kill germs on various surfaces.
At effective dosages, UV-C radiation is lethal to common pathogens such as SARS-CoV-2, Influenza, MRSA, and C. diff.
To disinfect, the UV-C disinfection device should be positioned in the area or location that provides the best coverage for the surfaces to be disinfected in your facility.
Meaning, the light produced from the device will need to be able to have full contact with the areas being disinfected for the recommended contact time.
The UV-C lamps cannot disinfect through objects, so your staff will need to make sure that the light produced from the machine can make contact with the various areas that need to be disinfected.
If the contact time for the specific kill claims of the machine is not met, the germs on the surfaces will not be killed and the area will not be thoroughly disinfected.
In the event that the UV-C device can’t be positioned to disinfect the entire area, you may need to move the device around the room during disinfection for the best and most effective coverage.
A 900 sq/ft room can be disinfected in about 3 minutes for most pathogens with a UV-C device. This allows you and your cleaning team to clean and disinfect large areas.
Where Can UV-C Disinfection Be Used?
For the past 20 years, UV-C disinfection has been used in healthcare facilities to reduce the risk of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs).
More recently, other facilities have also begun implementing UV-C disinfection to treat surfaces where large areas needed to be disinfected in less time.
UV-C disinfection is hospital-grade technology that is perfect for use where using harsh chemicals may be harmful to the people in your building.
Keep in mind that UV-C lamps can degrade some materials like plastic, polymers, and dyed textile. If you have these materials in your facility, you should exercise caution when using these devices to disinfect those surfaces.
It’s important to note that the effect of UV-C light on these surfaces is typically no more severe than the standard disinfectants you’re probably already using.
How Much Does UV-C Disinfection Cost?
The specific cost of UV-C Disinfection depends on the machine that you’re looking to purchase for your facility.
While UV-C disinfection generally costs more than other types of No-Touch Disinfection, the amount you can save is also higher than other types of NTD devices.
These machines can seem like a costly purchase upfront, but the return on investment that your business will see can save you a significant amount of money on labor and chemicals.
What Types Of UV-C Disinfection Devices Are Available?
Imperial Dade offers two of the most prominent UV-C devices on the market to help you and your cleaning staff achieve effective and efficient disinfection in your facility.
Two specific devices that will make disinfecting the surfaces in your facility easier and less time consuming are:
UBTECH® ADIBOT System
Diversey Moonbeam ™ 3
Both of these machines are portable using wheels on the bottom of the device.
The ADIBOT System is more costly than the Moonbeam™ 3, but the ADIBOT is better for large facilities with multiple large areas that need to be disinfected.
UBTECH® ADIBOT System
There are two UBTECH® ADIBOT systems that are available to disinfect your facility’s surfaces.
The ADIBOT A can be used fully autonomously for robotic disinfection of specific areas in your facility.
There’s also a stationary model, the ADIBOT S, that can be moved manually from space to space on omnidirectional wheels.
Each UBTECH® ADIBOT has a sleek, vertical design that allows it to disinfect throughout your facility.
The ADIBOT A is equipped with 16 UV-C bulbs over the 66.5-inch height of the machine. This machine can achieve disinfection of upper and lower surfaces in the building.
The ADIBOT S has 8 UV-C bulbs that run the entire 74.8-inch height of the machine. This machine can cover a full 360 degrees top to bottom coverage during disinfection.
The ADIBOT A UV-C device can work autonomously so that your cleaning staff does not have to spend time operating and moving the machine through your facility.
While the ADIBOT S does not move from space to space on its own, once set up, the unit is capable of disinfecting about 900 square feet in 3 minutes while your cleaning staff performs other duties.
The ADIBOT S is stationary and can be operated using a remote to keep your staff safe from radiation exposure.
The ADIBOT A is autonomous, so your staff does not need to operate the machine at all to disinfect your facility.
For both pieces of equipment, your staff can also use a remote control or the app to perform disinfection.
The ADIBOT A is battery-powered, which gives your cleaning staff increased flexibility when using the system to disinfect the surfaces in your building.
The ADIBOT S is a corded device that can be used as soon as it’s plugged into a power source.
Diversey Moonbeam™ 3
This UV-C disinfection device is portable and disinfects high-touch surfaces quickly. The Moonbeam™ 3 is easy to use and efficient for high volume disinfection.
The Diversey Moonbeam™ 3 has three adjustable UV-C heads with 2 bulbs each that disinfect both horizontally and vertically. They can be positioned in various combinations in order to maximize the efficiency of the cleaning machine.
The UV-C heads of this machine are able to disinfect between 6 to 84 inches.
This device is easy to move and takes less than a minute to set up. That means that your cleaning team can complete disinfection in various areas in your facility without long set-up times.
The device comes with a remote that allows your staff to operate the UV-C light at a safe distance and with little exposure.
There’s also a shield that acts as a remote for the device which can also be used to transport the device from one area to another. The shield acts as a safety cone, letting guests know that a room is being disinfected using a UV-C device.
The Moonbeam™ 3 is a corded UV-C disinfection device, which means it will need to be used near an outlet for continuous use.
Both of these UV-C disinfection systems can effectively reduce the number of disinfectant chemicals and amount of labor needed to disinfect the surfaces in your building.
UV-C disinfection is the right choice for facilities that are looking to lower their cleaning chemical costs or eliminate the use of disinfectants that may affect the health and safety of their guests.
With a UV-C disinfection device, your business will be able to create a more sustainable cleaning program and save money on labor costs.
Imperial Dade can help you and your business choose the best no-touch disinfection device for your facility based on your specific needs. Contact an Imperial Dade sales consultant today to be matched with the right products, equipment, and processes for effective disinfection.
We can help, whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada!
Creating a clean, sanitary environment for you and the people in your building is an important task for any facility manager.
Manually cleaning the various surfaces in your building can create very long cleaning times, making it hard for your janitorial team to complete other tasks in your building.
To combat long cleaning times, your janitorial staff can use an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer to disinfect the surfaces in your building.
In this article, we’ll explain what electrostatic disinfection is and how you and your staff can use electrostatic disinfection in your facility to reduce the chance of spreading illness-causing germs.
What is Electrostatic Disinfection?
Electrostatic disinfection is the process of spraying a disinfectant chemical on a surface or object in your facility using an electrostatic sprayer.
When using an electrostatic sprayer, your cleaning staff can apply disinfectant faster, using fewer chemicals, and achieving an even coating.
As a result, large areas that are disinfected using an electrostatic sprayer are treated more efficiently and economically.
How does Electrostatic Disinfection Work?
Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers are able to deliver uniform, 360-degree wraparound coverage by applying either a positive or negative charge to the disinfectant chemical.
Since most surfaces have a neutral charge, the charged particles that are dispelled from the sprayers are attracted to them.
Applying a disinfectant using an electrostatic sprayer allows for thorough coverage since the droplets are attracted to the surface while repelling droplets of disinfectant. This means that if an area has already been coated with disinfectant, the chemical will travel to new areas or surfaces that haven’t yet been coated by disinfectant.
What Disinfectants Can Be Applied Electrostatically?
It is important to note that not all disinfectant chemicals can be applied electrostatically, and not every electrostatic sprayer is compatible with the same disinfectant.
Some manufacturers, like Victory Innovations and Clorox, have outlined the different types of disinfectant chemicals that can be used with their electrostatic sprayers.
When choosing a disinfectant to use with an electrostatic sprayer, you should double-check the product manufacturer’s instructions for compatibility with the device you’re using.
You should also check that you can achieve the required dwell time using an electrostatic disinfection sprayer.
If you use the wrong chemical in your sprayer, you could risk inadequate surface coverage and reduced disinfection caused by the disinfectant not being able to hold the electrical charge.
Where Can Electrostatic Disinfection Be Used?
Electrostatic disinfection is most effective when used in areas like:
& other facilities that require frequent disinfection
You can also use this technology to clean hard-to-reach areas and crevices that would otherwise be ignored.
WARNING: When using an electrostatic sprayer in a food service or food preparation facility, you should use extreme caution. An electrostatic sprayer shouldn’t be used when food and other items are out and can come into contact with the chemical disinfectant.
You should also be cautious when using an electrostatic sprayer in an area where children commonly spend time.
What Types Of Electrostatic Disinfection Devices Are Available?
Imperial Dade provides a variety of electrostatic devices to help you and your cleaning staff achieve effective and efficient disinfection in your facility.
We can provide your facility with our two top-rated electrostatic devices that will make disinfecting the surfaces in your facility easier and less time consuming:
The Victory Innovations® Electrostatic Sprayer is designed to cover more surfaces in your facility while saving your cleaning team time and labor.
The Victory Electrostatic Sprayer comes in either a 5 lb handheld sprayer with a 1L capacity or a 10lb backpack sprayer with an 8.52 L capacity.
Depending on the size of the area being cleaned, you can choose between the handheld and the backpack sprayer.
If you have to disinfect an area that has a lot of obstacles and furniture, you will benefit more from the handheld sprayer while disinfecting an open area will be easier with a backpack sprayer.
Victory Innovations sprayers are designed to use a range of disinfectant chemicals, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets. However, the manufacturer doesn’t sell disinfectants specifically for use with the sprayer.
That means the chemicals you use can be tailored to meet the budget and infection prevention needs of your specific facility.
For your preferred disinfectant chemical, you will need to confirm with the chemical manufacturer the disinfectant is suitable for electrostatic spray application and is effective against the target pathogens.
The Victory Electrostatic Sprayers are cordless, lithium-ion battery-powered electrostatic sprayers. A cordless sprayer offers you and your cleaning team increased mobility without the risk of tripping on a power cord.
Optimal Spray Distance:
The handheld sprayer is best used at a distance of 2-4 feet for the best disinfectant coverage, while the backpack sprayer has an optimal spray distance of 2-6 feet.
Both of these models have a 4-hour run time on a single charge and a 90-minute battery charge time.
Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer
The Clorox Total 360 provides a uniform surface coverage and kills illness-causing germs from surfaces in your building.
The Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer comes in either the 33.8-ounce handheld TurboPro™ model or the Total 360 electrostatic cart that is compatible with the Clorox 128 fl. oz. disinfectant products.
The Total 360 system should only be used with Clorox’s line of disinfectant chemicals. These products range from cleaner disinfectants to sanitizers.
The TurboPro™ can be used with any compatible disinfectant chemicals that work with an electrostatic sprayer and have EPA approval for application by electrostatic spray devices.
The handheld TurboPro™ sprayer has a rechargeable battery, while the Total 360 cart system is corded and can only be used as far as the cord will allow the system to go.
A corded electrostatic sprayer is able to maintain a consistent charge during use, which is key to making sure that the disinfectant can achieve a full 360 degree wrap on surfaces and objects.
Optimal Spray Distance:
The TurboPro handheld sprayer should be held between 2-3 feet from the surfaces being sprayed. The Total 360 cart sprayer should be used between 2-4 feet away from the surfaces being treated.
The total 360 system is corded, so it will run as long as it’s plugged into an outlet.
The TurboPro™ can run for 4 hours on a single charge.
Electrostatic disinfection is a great option for any facility that needs to complete high-volume surface disinfection. It also works great for any facility that may deal with hard-to-reach spaces or objects that are not easily disinfected by hand because of the object shape or fixture surface area.
With an electrostatic sprayer, you and your cleaning staff will be able to apply disinfectant chemicals to various areas in your building faster and use less labor and chemicals.
If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada, contact one of our Imperial Dade sales consultants to learn more about how electrostatic disinfection can benefit your facility. Our specialists can help match you with the best products and equipment for your business’s specific needs.
If one thing is guaranteed to make customers unhappy, it is being given dirty wares like spotty glasses, smudged silverware, and unclean plates during their dining experience.
Whether you own a small business, run a restaurant, manage a cafeteria, or any other foodservice establishment, providing your customers with spotless wares is key to keeping guests satisfied.
Unfortunately, this can be challenging especially if your facility still manually cleans wares after use or doesn’t have the best commercial dishwasher for your needs.
Without the right commercial dish machine, you run the risk of having to deal with customer complaints and more time-consuming cleaning processes.
Commercial kitchens are busy with staff constantly moving around to prepare and serve food that is satisfactory to your customers.
Adding the right commercial dish machine to your kitchen can help boost your staff productivity without sacrificing cleanliness.
A commercial dish machine replaces manual dishwashing and sanitizing dirty dishes, pots, pans, and glassware in your facility.
There are many different types of commercial dish machines, which can make it difficult to find the right one for your business. The best dish machine for your facility will depend on the specific needs of your establishment. The goal is to find the best machine and ensure you’re getting spotless wares in one wash cycle.
You’ll also want to be sure that you choose a dish machine that can handle the volume of dishes produced by your commercial kitchen and that the dishwasher is capable of cleaning the various types of wares your patrons use in your facility.
In this article, we will review the different types of commercial dish machines and the available features to help you choose the best option for your facility.
How Does A Dish Machine Work?
You may think this is a silly question and that all dish machines work the same. In short, all dish machines use dish detergent to wash, sanitize, and dry the dishes used in your commercial kitchen.
However, there are two major types of commercial dish machines:
High Temp Dish Machines
Low Temp Dish Machines
Low and high temp dish machines perform differently. The temperature of the machine determines how much dish detergent is needed and affects how your wares are sanitized. Some commercial dish machines will also require external equipment to maintain the temperatures needed to complete the wash cycles.
High Temp Dish Machines Vs Low Temp Dish Machines
High Temp Dish Machines
A high temp commercial dish machine washes dishes at 140-160+ °F and rinses them at 180-195 °F.
The temperature of the superheated water allows for the dish cycle to sanitize the wares without using a chemical dish sanitizer and achieve faster drying times.
High temp dish machines can also clean visibly soiled dishes that are coated in fat, grease, and tough soils. This means that though your dishes should always be rinsed before being loaded into the dish machine, the high heat can tackle any leftover soils on your wares.
One thing to note about high temp dish machines is that most of them require both an external booster heater to maintain the heated water temperatures and a condensate hood.
The booster heater helps ensure the machine maintains its high temperatures.
A condensate hood is used to capture heat or condensate from non-grease producing appliances, like a dish machine.
Some dish machines can be ventless, which uses an internal vent system to eliminate the need for a condensate hood. These ventless machines can also reduce the amount your business spends on energy expenses.
Low Temp Dish Machines
A low-temp dish machine washes and sanitizes dishes at a temperature of 120-140 °F degrees.
Since these machines don’t use high temperatures, a chemical sanitizer is needed to sanitize and kill germs on the dishes.
Before dishes are loaded into the dish machine, they should be thoroughly scrubbed and pre-rinsed. A low temp dish machine isn’t able to handle grease on dishes, so your staff should be extra careful to remove any and all visible soil.
It’s also important to note that low-temp machines generally take longer to clean dishes.
The lower temperature machines don’t require a booster heater or a condensate hood.
What to Consider When Choosing a Dish Machine
There are three main features you should consider when determining whether a dish machine will be right for your kitchen:
High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine
High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine
How to Choose Between a High Temp and Low Temp Dish Machine
When deciding between a high temp and a low temp commercial dish machine, you will need to consider what kind of food your facility serves.
High temp machines are better for establishments that have greasier foods, like barbeque, while low temp machines can clean non-greasy soils like salads or pasta.
You will also need to consider the electrical capabilities of your building. High temp dish machines require higher voltage outlets, so if you have concerns about your facility’s energy usage a low temp machine will probably be best.
The footprint of your dishwashing machine is simply the amount of space that the equipment takes up in your facility.
If you have a commercial dish machine that is both vertically and horizontally large, it will require a lot of space and affect the way your staff moves in your kitchen.
Commercial kitchens with ample space, like a cafeteria, hospital, or other high-volume facilities can use a machine with a large footprint.
In larger foodservice facilities, you can benefit from a dish machine that is built for efficient ware washing in a busy facility. These machines, called conveyor dish machines, are large but have faster cycle times than smaller commercial dish machines.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your commercial kitchen, you will likely have to settle for a smaller dish machine that’s able to clean and sanitize your dishes quickly. Undercounter dish machines can be tucked away beneath counters to make the most of the space you have available in your kitchen.
Another feature you should consider when trying to find the right dish machine for your facility is the cleaning capacity.
There are a variety of different sized dish machines that can be used to clean soiled dishes in your kitchen.
Some dish machines are capable of cleaning a high number of dishes throughout the day while others may be smaller and clean fewer dish racks.
In a commercial foodservice facility, you will want a dish machine that makes it easy to quickly turn around dishes and wares for use.
For smaller facilities, like a cafe or a compact commercial kitchen, you’ll likely benefit from a machine that can clean up to 35 racks an hour. Larger commercial kitchens, like cafeterias or banquet halls, will likely need a dish machine that can process more than 150 racks an hour.
Types Of Dish Machines
Dish machines come in various types, sizes, temperatures, and operations for cleaning the dishes in your facility.
Each type of commercial dish machine comes in either high or low temp, depending on the specific make and model of the machine you’re looking at.
Below, we’ll cover the four most popular types of commercial dish machines that you can use in your facility:
Under Counter Dish Machine
Upright Dish Machine
Conveyor Dish Machine
Glassware Dish Machine
Under Counter Dish Machine
An under-counter dish machine is the most compact type of dish machine.
Undercounter dish machines are about the same size as a household dishwasher but they have a quicker cleaning cycle.
The small size of the machine allows it to sit either in the Back Of House (BOH) or in the Front Of House (FOH). The compact dishwasher can be tucked under a counter in your facility.
In facilities that don’t have a lot of space, an under-counter dish machine may be the best option.
An under-counter commercial dishwashing machine can clean about 20-30 racks per hour.
These dish machines are a great choice for small restaurants, hotels, or in foodservice businesses where the commercial kitchen is cleaned as you go.
Upright Dish Machine
An upright type dish machine is a larger commercial dish machine that can clean a larger number of racks in an hour.
This type of dish machine is perfect for facilities with large dishware. For a restaurant or foodservice business that produces a lot of kitchenware, like pots, pans, and baking ware, you will benefit from having an upright dish machine.
An upright dish machine will take up more vertical space than an under-counter dishwasher.
This allows your staff to stack pots and pans in the dish machine.
The vertical footprint also allows the machines to sit out of the way in the back of the house. They are designed to sit out of the way of traffic in your commercial kitchen.
Upright dish machines can clean between 35 and 60 dish racks each hour.
These machines are perfect for medium-sized food service facilities, like diners.
Conveyor Dish Machine
A conveyor dish machine is the largest type of dish machine and cleans dishes the fastest.
Kitchens that need to turn over a lot of tableware during operating hours and have plenty of space can benefit from using this high-capacity, heavy-duty machine.
Not only are these machines large vertically, but they also require a lot of horizontal space.
A conveyor dish machine has a loading area, where your staff places the dish rack to fill the basket with dirty dishes. Then, the rack is pulled into the wash/rinse tank for the cleaning cycle to begin. Once completed, the dishes are then moved into the unloading area for your staff to remove the clean dishes for use.
A conveyor dish machine is a perfect choice for a commercial kitchen that has a lot of space and requires quick turn around times for dishes.
These conveyor dish machines can clean 150-200 dish racks an hour.
Commercial conveyor dish machines are perfect for large, busy facilities, like cafeterias, hospitals, and other high-volume businesses.
Glassware Dish Machine
Businesses, like busy bars or lounges, that use a lot of glasses or particularly fragile types of drinkware will benefit from using a glassware dish machine.
Unlike the other types of machines, glassware dish machines produce reduced water pressure and power to safely clean your glassware with as little breakage as possible.
In facilities, like bars and restaurants, cleaning glassware quickly and accurately is important to provide your patrons with a steady stream of beverages.
Your staff will have access to clean, spotless glassware for each customer’s beverage needs.
Glassware dish machines come in either under-counter, upright, or in-sink models.
In-sink glassware cleaners use a combination of water and brushes to clean glassware. These machines usually clean one glass at a time, so in facilities that use a larger amount of drinking glasses, you will benefit from either an under-counter or upright dish machine.
Depending on the size of the specific machine, a glassware dish machine can clean up to 1,000 glasses per hour.
Dish machines will help you and your foodservice business increase the productivity of your workers and create a healthier environment. Instead of having to manually clean the dishware in your facility, your staff can run the dishes through a commercial dish machine to achieve clean wares in less time.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to commercial dish machines. Deciding which is the best fit for your facility can be difficult.
If you have a small foodservice business that doesn’t need to clean a lot of dishes throughout the day, an under-counter dish machine will likely be best for your facility.
Larger establishments with greater space will benefit from either an upright or conveyor dish machine, which can clean more dishes per hour.
Imperial Dade can help you select the best commercial dish machines for washing and sanitizing dishes, whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean.
Have a question about the best dish machines for your foodservice business? Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist today for more information on choosing the best dish machine to achieve your food service goals.
by John Thomas, Director of Health & Wellnessat Imperial Dade
Did you know that every year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses? Foodborne illnesses can be spread in several ways, including through food prepared at a food processing facility. No matter the size of your food processing operation, it’s important that you’re taking the cleanliness and safety of your facility seriously to avoid spreading foodborne illnesses.
To maintain a clean food processing facility, you and your staff should have a good understanding of what food sanitation is and how to use the appropriate products and procedures. Food sanitation refers to the practice of maintaining a high level of cleanliness throughout the food processing establishment using certain cleaning and sanitization processes and procedures.
Failing to achieve a high level of sanitation can lead to product contamination that affects your food product quality, taste, and most importantly, consumer health. Foodborne illnesses not only lead to sick guests but also product recalls, which may damage the reputation and brand image of your facility and even lead to lost future sales. In addition to lost sales, you might also face fines due to failure to comply with food sanitation rules.
Organizations like the USDA and the FDA have created regulations to help you stay compliant with food sanitation guidelines and avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses. Compliance is key to avoiding fines and maintaining a clean, sanitary food processing facility.
In this article, we’re going to review how to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility to protect your customers and remain compliant with food sanitation guidelines.
What Is a Foodborne Illness?
A foodborne illness is a sickness caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are present in food. Toxins and chemicals that are harmful when ingested can also cause foodborne illnesses. If a consumer has a foodborne illness, they may experience discomfort and other, more serious symptoms like:
Removing illness-causing bacteria from food contact surfaces is key to protecting the food being processed and reducing the chance of a food recall.
What is a Food Recall?
Public food recalls are initiated to remove contaminated foods from the marketplace to protect consumers from buying and eating foods that have been contaminated by illness-causing bacteria. In the year 2021, there were 47 recalls initiated by the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS). The total volume of food being recalled annually is usually tens of millions of pounds.
What Are the Effects of Food Recalls?
All these recalls and the related health consequences can translate to a damaged brand image and have a negative impact on your bottom line. If your food processing facility is responsible for food that causes foodborne illness for customers, your business could experience a loss in sales and extra costs. Proper sanitation can save your business money on avoidable expenses.
The need to protect your customers, and your brand, requires that your operation implement effective and documented cleaning and sanitizing processes within your facility.
How To Avoid Foodborne Illness In Your Facility
Below, we’ll provide three practices that you can use in your cleaning program to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses to your customers.
3 Ways to Avoid the Spread of Foodborne Illnesses
Whether your food processing operation is a large meatpacking plant or a small producer of specialty items, it’s important to implement these processes and procedures to manage the operation’s food safety and sanitation programs.
To avoid the spread of foodborne illness, your food processing establishment can implement practices like:
Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Using the Right Chemicals
Cleaning Before Sanitizing
Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Guidance from the USDA and the FDA stresses the importance of having a written food safety plan and established standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your sanitation program.
Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are a set of written instructions that give your staff step-by-step instructions to perform routine cleaning. With SOPs, your cleaning staff will have the correct information to know the right way to clean and be able to achieve consistent results. SOPs outline the tools, products, and procedures that your staff should use to clean areas in your facility. By following thoroughly created SOPs, your janitorial team will know how and when to complete cleaning.
Each of these food safety programs and laws provides guidelines on how to minimize contamination and keep your food processing facility safe through proper sanitation practices.
The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in order to ensure that food is safe by preventing contamination. This act requires facilities to create a plan and retain documentation on their food safety and sanitation practices.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) is a management system that addresses food safety through the control of hazards in food processing facilities.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) helps reduce cleaning inefficiencies through certification and provides auditing benchmarks.
Imperial Dade has had success with providing Spartan training programs to food processing customers. Spartan offers food processing sanitation training that will teach your cleaning team how to eliminate food pathogens.
Practices that will help your facility remain compliant with the FDA regulations include:
Establishing Written SOPs
Specifying Cleaning and Sanitation Frequencies
Provide and Document Necessary Education and Training
These programs will train your cleaning staff and equip them with the knowledge of how to remain compliant in the workplace. During training, they will learn exactly what to do, how often to do it, and the best products to use.
Using the Right Chemicals
Food-safe sanitizers should be used to reduce the presence of bacteria on the surfaces in your food processing facility. It’s important to note that sanitizers and disinfectants are not the same. Disinfectants are not typically used for food contact surfaces because they can leave behind harmful residues. Sanitizers that are food-grade effectively kill germs and are safe for contact with food without contaminating it.
Each sanitizer can remove up to 99.99% of the germs listed on the product label. The best sanitizing chemicals for your facility will be able to kill illness-causing germs and remove bacteria from surfaces.
Imperial Dade offers food production sanitation solutions including a line from Spartan Chemical.
Their Sani-T-Plus food equipment surface sanitizer is specially formulated to be effective against illness-causing bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E.Coli. Imperial Dade also carries Spartan’s PAA Sanitizer, which is a peroxyacetic acid-based sanitizer that can be used on hard, non-porous food-contact surfaces in your food processing facility. This product is so safe, it can even be used as a fruit and vegetable water treatment.
For surfaces that don’t come into contact with food, Spartan’s Metaquat is an option for removing germs from the surfaces in your facility. This product can effectively kill bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses and can spread to food contact surfaces.
Cleaning Before Sanitizing
Any surfaces in your food processing facility that come into contact with food products should be cleaned and sanitized. Pathogens can easily spread on surfaces that aren’t being sanitized properly. Before using a food-safe sanitizer, you should always clean your surfaces. A dirty surface cannot be sanitized effectively. Surfaces like counters and prep tables should be clean and sanitized often to prevent the spread of foodborne illness-causing bacteria.
These surfaces should be cleaned:
Before each use
Between uses when preparing RTE (ready-to-eat) foods and raw food
Any time there’s a risk of contamination
Cleaning surfaces removes any soils and prepares the surfaces for sanitizing. Sanitizing surfaces reduces the number of harmful bacteria present to levels that are acceptable by the EPA.
Whether you’re cleaning surfaces that are covered in grease or stubborn soils, Imperial Dade carries products that will help you achieve clean surfaces and equipment. The High-Performance Alkaline FP is a highly concentrated alkaline cleaning solution used to effectively remove sugars, proteins, and other soils found in food processing facilities. Spartan Chlorinated Degreaser will quickly cleans soils from equipment in your facility.
Avoiding foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility is an important way to keep your customers safe. Properly cleaning and sanitizing the surfaces in your building will kill illness-causing bacteria before they can infect food that touches the surface.
Imperial Dade has a wide range of food-grade sanitizing products and programs. Spartan Chemical is one of the premier chemical lines we provide which helps your janitorial team create a clean, safe environment in your facility. Spartan provides economical cleaning and sanitizing products that meet all regulatory requirements.
Whether you need sanitizing products or programs to help you create SOPs and thorough cleaning practices, Imperial Dade can help match you to the perfect products for your business.
Check out the food sanitation products that Imperial Dade carries from Spartan to help reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses in your facility:
High Performance Alkaline FP
Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist for help deciding which sanitation products are right for your facility. We will conduct a review of your sanitation program and suggest the best products, training, and processes for you and your cleaning staff. Visit our website for a location near you and call today.
Did you know poor IAQ, or the indoor air quality, can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article by learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your business’s facility.
What are the Downsides of Poor Air Quality?
IAQ, or the indoor air quality of your building, has a big impact on your occupants. Poor indoor air quality can create discomfort and illness amount the people in your building. Sometimes it can even lead to health issues that seemingly have no direct cause, meaning that fresh air is crucial for the well- being of everyone in your facility.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) refers to this as “sick building syndrome,” which is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. There are numerous causes for sick building syndrome including chemical and biological contaminants, but inadequate ventilation and poor air quality are notable sources of discomfort for many.
These symptoms typically include, but are not limited to:
Irritation of nose, throat, and eyes
Depending on the type of facility you manage, this can create several issues.
Poor IAQ in schools can create long and short-term health effects for students and staff, which can affect their performance. Students that are affected by poor air quality may have reduced attendance, comfort, and performance. Given how students attend school with the primary purpose of learning, poor air quality can inhibit their growth and development in the classroom.
For businesses, employees can also be affected by poor indoor air quality which can cost tens of billions of dollars each year because of reduced worker productivity and illnesses. Poor air quality can also be detrimental to the well-being and experience of customers who visit your facility.
Up until recently, improving indoor air quality wasn’t a high priority for many businesses. However, as COVID-19 surged, more people realized the importance of clean air since illnesses including COVID, the flu, and the common cold are spread through the air.
While COVID-19 has been around since 2019, removing the virus (SARS-CoV-2), and other contaminants, like dust, allergens, and other illness-causing germs is still as important as ever.
If there is one concept that will last well past the current COVID-19 surge, it is the importance of improving indoor air quality. Before we tell you how to improve your building’s indoor air quality, let’s review:
What is Indoor Air Quality?
Indoor air quality refers to the number of pollutants inside and around the outside of your facility. The air outside of your facility contributes to the quality of air inside your facility because ventilation systems allow air to pass into your building. If there are high levels of air pollution outside of your building, your indoor pollutant levels will also likely be high.
What Are the Most Common Air Pollutants?
There are many pollutants that linger in the air that we breathe every day. Some of the indoor pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality include:
Bacteria, Mold, and Viruses
Volatile Organic Compounds
Dirt and Dust, Including Dust Mites
Outdoor Sources (such as tobacco products, etc.)
Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance, among many other factors for an individual’s well-being and performance. Allergens, like mold, can cause musty odors and are linked to health issues like headaches, allergic reactions, and respiratory discomfort.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using an air purifying system to help you understand if it might be a good indoor air quality solution for your facility.
How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?
The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce the number of pollutants that are present in the air.
While this can be done in several ways, some of the most popular include:
Increase ventilation. There are several ways to accomplish this including opening windows and doors to create natural ventilation allowing fresh air into your building.
Have your building’s HVAC (Increased Filtration and Purification Technologies) systems inspected to ensure it is operating properly. Make repairs and upgrades if needed.
Check and clean or replace air filters.
Clean and maintain your facility on a regular basis, reducing the build up of dust.
Invest in portable air purifying technology.
While there are several ways to improve indoor air quality, the most flexible, versatile, and economical option is through the use of a portable air purifier.
What are Portable Air Purifiers and Why are they a Flexible Option for Commercial Buildings?
Portable air purifiers are commercial air purification systems that operate separately from your facility’s HVAC system. These purifiers filter the air in a certain area of your facility and complete multiple air changes per hour.
A portable air purifier can either be wall-mounted, recessed into the wall, or standing. The Fellowes Air Purifier provides flexibility to install units in locations that are most convenient while not occupying a large amount of space.
Some of these systems have features that are easy to use and can provide your occupants and visitors with clean air, faster. These features include:
Multiple Layers of Filtration
Multiple Layers of Filtration
There are commercial air purifiers that use multiple layers of filtration to remove as much of the air pollutants from an area as possible. The different filters work together to remove different kinds of particles from the air, like odors and VOCs.
Some units have smart technology that will allow the purification system to run most efficiently. This smart technology uses a sensor to sense when people are in the area and will adjust fan speeds to best clean the air while conserving energy and extending the filter life. There are also settings that accommodate the need for quiet fan speeds and will emit less noise when the room is occupied.
The air purifier may even have the capability to show you the percentage of particles being filtered out of the air and the quality of the air in the room.
Many commercial air purifiers are built to be run 24/7 without affecting the effectiveness of the system. Because of this, you can rest assured that your air is being cleaned consistently.
Another feature of portable air purifiers that makes them a good option for cleaning the air in your facility is that they can be moved easily. If you notice that an area is being used less, you can move the equipment from a low-traffic area to a higher trafficked one.
What are the Drawbacks of Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?
Though portable air purifiers are a great air cleaning solution, their size affects the amount of space they’re effective in. Each commercial air purifier has a maximum space recommendation that will allow the air purifier to achieve 3-5 air changes per hour. It’s important to note that you may need more than one device to clean the air in your entire facility.
By putting a system in a room that is too large, you may not be able to remove pollutants from your air. This means that you will need multiple portable air purification systems to efficiently clean the air throughout your building.
What Businesses Can Benefit from Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?
Now that you understand how you can improve indoor air quality, you may be wondering what types of facilities are most applicable for their use. All types of businesses, whether they are large or small, and no matter what types of services they provide, can benefit.
Imperial Dade has had success with the Fellowes Aeramax Pro® line of portable air purifying devices, which is a great option for cleaning the air in your facility to create a safer environment.
In fact, one of our customers purchased the Fellowes Aeramax Pro ® purifiers to help them improve the quality of air in their school. They were looking for ways to ensure that their students were coming into a safe and healthy building as they returned to school after the summer.
Many of the students have medical issues that are related to allergies and asthma, which are triggered when there are higher levels of pollution in the building. They chose to implement portable air purifiers throughout their school because of the company’s experience with air purifying technology and the purifiers are inexpensive to run.
Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance, enhancing focus, and making students more comfortable. With the addition of portable air purifiers, schools can ensure the air their students are breathing is clean and safe.
By learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your facility and implementing improvements that lower the amount of contaminants in the air, everyone in your facility will be more comfortable.
If you’re interested in improving your facility’s indoor air quality, an Imperial Dade Specialist can help you decide on the best air purification system for your building. Our specialists will assess your specific needs, building size, and budget to match you with the system that will be most effective. In addition, Imperial Dade also offers a complete line of cleaning products and janitorial equipment to help your facility clean.
Reach out to an Imperial Dade specialist today! Visit our website for a location near you.
Stretch film, or stretch wrap, is customarily used to secure products onto pallets to ensure the load is stable and secure during transport and storage. This greatly reduces the possibility of the damage and protects people from injuries should a load topple over. Using stretch film is less labor intensive compared to metal strapping and is easy to remove. Stretch film should not be confused with shrink film, which requires a heat source to melt the edges and close the wrap around the load.
Stretch film is available in a variety of materials, sizes, gauges, application methods, and colors. Custom print stretch film is also available for maximum branding. The use case will dictate which is the best option for your needs.
There are two main categories of stretch film: cast and blown. Cast stretch film has a high level of clarity, ideal for scanning barcodes through the film, and requires minimal force to stretch. It also has high tear resistance, offers excellent cling abilities, and is quieter. Blown stretch wrap is a premium quality film that delivers powerful stretching ability and high tack. It has the power to help loads stay securely in place in some cases better than the cast film can.
Hand wrap is applied manually, with the operator moving around the load and wrapping the film. This can be physically demanding, so if a great deal of hand wrapping is necessary, pre-stretched film may be a better option. Pre-stretch is just that, already stretched to a degree. It requires less effort to achieve the same results. There are also very small rolls of stretch film, 3” to 5” wide, called bundling film. These provide a quick, inexpensive film for bundling odd-shaped items together.
Machine grade film is used in conjunction with a stretch wrap machine. There are turntable style machines where the load is placed on a rotating platform and the wrap is applied by an arm. Robot style machines automatically circle around a stationary load until completely wrapped.
Other options include colored films that can help with identification or branding and opaque film that can conceal the contents for security purposes. For agricultural use, there are perforated wraps that allow airflow to maintain freshness. And, the latest innovation coming to market is hand film made with bio-assimilation technology. This allows the film to breakdown into a food source for microorganisms without exposure to sunlight or oxygen.
Stretch film is one of many industrial packaging options available from Imperial Dade. It is important to consult with an experienced supplier to determine the right products for your operation. For more information or to download our industrial packaging brochures, visit our website and request a complimentary consultation today.
As we’ve always known, schools are where most students need to be, and they are now reopening while we’re still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we will also be entering another annual cold and flu season with its attendant absenteeism and other adverse health impacts. It’s enough to make anyone responsible for providing and maintaining healthy environments lose some sleep!
Disinfecting all of the critical high-touch objects in our buildings is a challenge for any housekeeping program at the best of times, even more so during periods of increased illness rates and outbreaks. However, we believe that an established technology known as No-Touch Disinfection (NTD) can help solve this problem.
Through the use of electrostatic spray devices, NTD augments your current daily cleaning and disinfection practices, allowing you to ensure complete disinfectant coverage of all high touch surfaces economically and efficiently. As you are probably aware, this approach is now being used to provide enhanced disinfection for everything from nursing homes to passenger planes to schools.
Implementing NTD can be easy once the facility’s requirements are appropriately matched to the correct application technology and disinfectant chemistry. Once the technology is selected, education and training enable the safe deployment of NTD.
Here are some guidelines when evaluating NTD:
What is electrostatic spray application?
During periods of heightened threats of infection or actual outbreaks, you need to be able to ensure 100% coverage of all frequently touched surfaces and objects. Imperial Dade offers electrostatic and spray disinfection systems that can meet everyone’s budget and application requirements. These units impart an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant to achieve 360 degree surface coverage. As a result, large areas can be effectively and efficiently treated economically.
What needs to be considered when instituting a NTD program?
In an educational setting, the disinfectant needs to be matched to the organisms of most concern, be it the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the infection known as Covid-19, Influenza, Norovirus, MRSA, or any number of other bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Then, is it necessary to treat the high-touch objects on a weekly or more frequent schedule? Also, will the areas to be treated be adjacent to occupied spaces? Can corded equipment be used in the desired regions, or is there a need for battery-powered devices for portability?
Which disinfectants can be applied electrostatically?
Most importantly, the disinfectant chemistry for NTD needs to be compatible with this type of application equipment. Is the disinfectant product approved or authorized for this application method, with electrostatic spray, mist, or fog? What is the label dwell time requirements and the efficacy against the microorganisms of concern? Regarding SARS-CoV-2, is the disinfectant on the EPA List N of products approved for use against the coronavirus? Fortunately, according to the EPA website, products on List N are effective against all strains of SARS-CoV-2 as genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants. Finally, regarding your staff, what is the safety profile of the product and the recommended Personal Protective Equipment?
What types of NTD devices and disinfectants are available?
There are several manufacturers of NTD devices and chemistries that are available. Many customers have found success with the corded Clorox Total 360 systems. However, many others prefer the ease and portability of the Victory Innovations line of battery-powered electrostatic sprayers. Furthermore, the Victory units are designed to use a wide range of disinfectants, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets, so the chemistry can be tailored to meet the individual educational facility’s budget and infection prevention needs.
Your Imperial Dade sales consultant has the resources, knowledge, and expertise to make the correct product recommendation for your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you to learn more about how No-Touch Disinfection can benefit your school.
If we have learned anything from our experience with COVID-19, we know that we are supposed to wash our hands. Study after study shows that proper hand hygiene is the most critical thing we can do to prevent the spread of infection in education, healthcare, or any other field serving the public. This is mainly in viral diseases, such as COVID-19, influenza, and other respiratory maladies. Even gastrointestinal viruses like norovirus can be controlled through proper hand hygiene. Beyond COVID-19, the stakes remain high as colds, the flu, and norovirus outbreaks result in millions of lost school and work days and costs the economy tens of billions of dollars.
Unfortunately, even during the pandemic, research shows that poor compliance to proper hand hygiene continues to be a significant obstacle to controlling these illnesses, even in the highly regulated healthcare field where healthcare-associated infections are a constant threat. For example, while over 50% of students wash their hands in schools, less than 20% use soap. Men are also less likely to wash their hands properly – come on, guys, we need to get into the game.
Poor compliance can be attributed to several different factors we can control. The condition of the restroom and the supplies provided throughout the facility can and does encourage people to help keep their hands in a more hygienic condition. The following four considerations can summarize these key actions.
1. Hand Care Products that Encourage Use
Get rid of the bulk soap dispensers. There has been significant development in hand soap formulations that improve performance and reduce skin irritation. In addition, hand soaps from many manufacturers come in hygienically sealed cartridges, eliminating contamination. These are the types of products people are looking for when washing their hands away from home. Remember, the idea is to encourage hand hygiene and not look at the expenditure only as a cost.
2. Convenient Dispenser Locations
There should be sufficient dispensers in the restroom to facilitate the hand washing process. In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers should also be available throughout the building. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol hand sanitizer is effective against the SARS_CoV-2 coronavirus, as well as those pesky colds and flu viruses. It is a viable option for hand hygiene when hand washing isn’t an option. However, as with hand soap in the restroom, empty hand sanitizer dispensers are a common complaint. Dispensers need to be routinely checked and filled.
3. Access to Paper Towels and Facial Tissue
Simply put, most people like to dry their hands with paper towels, and most people don’t actually like hand dryers. Paper towels provide for higher compliance, and the mere wiping of wet hands can remove bacteria and viruses through mechanical action. But, just as with soap and sanitizer, empty dispensers discourage compliance. Lastly, where practical, providing facial tissues is a great way to control cross-contamination from sneezes and runny noses.
4. Established Educational Programs
As with any behavior change, education is key. Every primary hand care and paper company can provide educational programs and materials appropriate for a wide range of audiences. Whether it be elementary students, college campuses, or the workplace, tools are available to help promote effective hand hygiene. Talk to your Imperial Dade sales consultant and find out if there is more that you can be doing to encourage this vital health and wellness behavior.
We’re here to help! Visit our website to find a branch near you.