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Save money, water and electricity by using environment-friendly wash systems 22/09/2017

In any increasingly competitive industry, margins get slimmer and any advantage that helps your bottom line is vital. If your business involves cars, trucks, and vans that need to be cleaned regularly, you’ve seen quite a bit of your revenue go literally down the drain.

Installing eco friendly wash systems can help you save money while lowering your environmental impact, an increasingly important trait consumers consider. Not only can you save money, but you’ll also actively profit off of environmentally friendly systems.

All about the bubbles

While a few suds in a bucket may not make much of a difference, bubbling systems can save water, energy, and chemicals. Rather than a liquid spray that easily runs off of vehicles into drains, bubbles allow for optimal coverage with less waste. Bubbling devices are easily adjustable, unlike foam curtains, and bubble mixtures often require less water to thoroughly rinse off the vehicle.

Water so nice you use it twice

What if the water your facility drains away wasn’t wasted? A comprehensive water reclamation system recovers your waste water, then cleans and conditions it for reuse. This water is fed back into your system for reuse in the wash process. While this saves you money on your facility’s water bill, it also saves water, helping you to protect the environment.

Think efficient, not big

Modern wash facilities require less water, but the space and energy demands are also far less than in the past. As miniaturization continues to make waves in electronics and electrical engineering, today’s control systems and electric motors require less square footage, and electric motor efficiency allows smaller ½ hp motors to effectively drive brushes and other equipment. Brush technology allows for better chemical application with less chance of vehicle damage thanks to modern materials and coatings. Even wash frameworks have been improved using state-of-the-art materials and alloys that are strong and durable.

Improvement pays for itself

If you’re looking for a full vehicle wash system, the benefits of starting right with an environmentally friendly setup is apparent, but what if you have a system already in place? The good news is that there is a path forward towards saving money, water, and energy. While an entire system installation may be easier, it may not be within budget, however retrofitting your current system can be accomplished on a piecemeal basis, matching purchase priorities to financial situations. Water reclamation systems, bubbler devices, or better brushes can be upgraded at a pace you determine.

Your bottom line

Whether you’re a fleet manager keeping your cars in tip-top shape or a commercial car wash operator looking for a better margin, spending a little to save a lot makes good financial sense. The right system can lower your utility bills and become a basis for recruiting and retaining customers. Make the investment in an eco friendly wash system today.

Written by Ethan Smith – a former wash system operator based in Los Angeles who transitioned to freelance writing a few years ago. His experience of running a car wash in drought-ridden California has led him to write most of his articles about saving water and the environment.

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Dealing with office pests 29/09/2017

How clean is your office really? What if it’s the one thing you didn’t think of? You live in a modern society where everything is clean right? Wrong.

Our lives are still littered with possible health dangers. You’ll only realize them once they start affecting you.

On commercial property these effects can impact your and other people’s lives. And what if you realize the problem too late?

Even if your premises’ health and safety guidelines are up to date you’re at risk. Pests and the dangers surrounding them have a knack of hiding until it’s too late to do anything about it.

Professional cleaning services are skilled to identify them. Are you? 

It’s smart to listen to some clichés.

Prevention IS better than cure.

Well Known Pests

Out of sight out of mind right? This is unfortunately true. Many people delay dealing with potential threats because pests aren’t seen or heard.

This doesn’t mean they’re not there.

Clues

You’ll be smart to educate employees about identifying every day pests. They leave tell tale signs. Unfortunately they’re too small to notice sometimes. You have to consciously seek them out.

  • Rodents: Who opened the bag of food you thought was sealed? That could be a mouse or rat. You’ll be surprised at the neatness of their handiwork. A small neat hole is all they need to contaminate your food. They may also leave some droppings or you’ll see holes in your building’s woodwork.
  • Cockroaches: They’re usually too fast to be caught in the act. But parts of their shed skin may be left all over your building.
  • Fleas: You’ll probably only know of fleas when you see their bite marks on your skin.

Hazards

If you’re a nature lover you don’t like the idea of killing living things. But what if the backlash is too difficult to manage later on?

Here’s what you stand to lose:

  • Mice and other rodents: The scary part is you don’t have to see them to get sick. Contaminated rats’ decaying waste expels dangerous particles into the air. You can inhale it and develop dangerous diseases such as leptospirosis that attacks many organs.
  • Cockroaches: It’s a myth that dirty rooms attract cockroaches. They simply enter in search of food and warmth. But they carry parasites from the sewers they dwell in. When they die or shed skin some particles become airborne. These have adverse effects on asthmatics and people with allergies.
  • Insects: If you thought fleas were bad because of the bites, did you know they can cause tapeworm? Make sure a lack of hygiene doesn’t cause someone to become sick with a 50ft worm.

These dangers are enough to call in cleaning services and pest control. They’re also quite common. Dealing with them is probably on your to do list.

Are you prepared for these following facts?

The Little Known—and even More Dangerous—Facts 

I’m not trying to scare you. But we can’t ignore the consequences of certain facts. We tend to forget the close proximity of some highly unhygienic areas around the office. No employee can avoid these areas.

Managing commercial properties calls for adequate cleaning and maintenance to keep these consequences to a minimum.

Disease Control

Hygiene has a direct impact on your employees. Did you know over 90% of employees contract diseases from their offices? This impacts:

  • Healthcare costs
  • Your profit margins
  • The office’s productivity level

Your responsibility is towards your employees AND your business.

Why Clean?

Employing workers for daily cleaning will save you money.

Each day communal areas aren’t cleaned you increase the risk of bacterial infections by 31%. This means employees may have to put in sick leave.

Office desks are known to carry many germs. But they’re less dangerous areas if only one person works there. We are usually immune to the germs we already carry.

But how clean is your communal areas:

  • Buttons on a water dispenser is a high risk area for catching germs
  • Washroom taps are known to spread diseases

Each time one of these items are cleaned the risk is minimised.

How long do you want to risk employees’ health?

Does your skin crawl as much as mine did when I first realized these facts? It required a huge clean up process to make me sleep sound at night. How do the employees at your office feel about the general hygiene? Their paranoia may not be displaced. If cleanliness isn’t a priority you won’t pick up on potential dangers.

Written by John Stuart on behalf of dailypoppins.co.uk

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Office cleaning checklist 05/09/2017

When it comes to tackling office cleaning duties, create an office cleaning checklist like this. It's the first step to having a clean and tidy office environment. First of all, and before starting your office cleaning duties, tidy up, paying attention to floors and work surfaces.

How to keep your desk tidy

Be disciplined at your desk. Don't allow waste to build up. 

Use accessories such as desk and drawer organisers to properly store pens, scissors, post-it notes and so on. 

Keep surfaces clear, especially at the end of the day, so cleaning can be done. 

File away paperwork in filing cabinets. 

Wash up cups and plates.

Empty waste baskets under your desk every day. 

Dusting

Dust will accumulate in your office and, if you're not careful, it'll build up over time, lingering around your computer and wherever there's a flat surface.

Before vacuuming, surfaces should be thoroughly dusted on a regular basis. Office spaces can be more prone to dust, for example, if paper shredders are in use. Too much dust can aggravate, or even cause, allergies. 

Only dust clear surfaces. You'll be wasting your time trying to dust around paperwork and general clutter.

Dust from top to bottom so you naturally catch dust falling from higher places, e.g. high shelves as you work your way down.

Use a microfibre duster for the best possible results. These pick up dust really well and you can machine wash and air-dry them easily.

If there's a heavy build-up of dust, make sure you use a damp cloth or duster. This will pick up thicker layers of dust without scattering it far and wide.

Don't neglect ceiling fans, vents and light fittings. Although these may not need dusting as often as desks etc., they still need regular cleaning. 

Remember to clean door handles, light switches, window ledges and skirting boards. You can dust or vacuum these then wipe them down with a multi-purpose cleaner.

Pay attention to safety when dusting high places. Never stand on desks or chairs and always use suitable access equipment, e.g. step ladders.

For vents, use your brush vacuum attachment then wipe down the vent with a duster or cloth. You can get reusable, washable vent filters, which help to create a healthier environment.

Cleaning electronic equipment

All electronic equipment has vents for cooling and it's essential that these remain clean, unblocked and not covered by paper, etc.

Dust vents on electronic equipment as well as the equipment itself. You can also (carefully) use a vacuum attachment.

Use a damp cloth or commercial screen cleaner to clean a computer screen or TV but, first, turn off the equipment. 

Antistatic cleaners can protect against dust and are effective on audio and video equipment computer casings, faxes, phones, printers and TVs.

For keyboards, compressed air dusters are ideal but need to be used with care so the dust isn't pushed further into the device. 

Turn keyboards upside down and blast with compressed air between the keys. Alternatively, a mini vacuum cleaner will do the same job.

Wipe the keys with a clean, damp cloth or cotton swabs. Don't spray cleaning products directly onto the keyboard as this will cause the keys to stick. 

Vacuuming and mopping floors

After clearing rubbish, dusting and cleaning, it's time to vacuum. This not only removes dirt and loose particles but prolongs the life of office carpets and flooring.

Regular vacuuming increases the periods between essential carpet cleaning. The more foot traffic a carpet gets, the more vacuuming it needs. Therefore, vacuum areas in high use areas on a daily basis.

Vacuum thoroughly under desks, tables, chairs, waste bins and other easy-to-move items. 

Don't neglect room corners, skirting and behind doors. 

Use tools like the crevice attachment for detailed vacuuming in hard-to-reach areas.

For efficient vacuuming, start in one area and work around the room in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. 

Vacuuming before you mop will save you time and energy.

Mop hard floors with a specialist floor cleaner or a multi-purpose cleaner diluted in water according to instructions.

For hygiene reasons, use a dedicated bucket and mop for general areas such as corridors and keep these separate from the mop and bucket for your kitchen and those for your toilet areas.

Cleaning toilet areas

Mop toilet floors and empty bins daily. 

Wearing gloves, use a cloth and antibacterial cleaner to wipe down all surfaces, including sinks, toilet seats, flushes, cisterns and door handles. 

Always use a separate cloth and floor mop for toilet areas to those that you use for all other office areas.

Thoroughly clean toilets and urinals using your cloth and cleaner around the lip and entire toilet bowl. Use the toilet brush to scrub particularly stubborn areas.

Cleaning kitchen areas

Wearing gloves, wipe down all surfaces and clean the sink and taps using a cloth and antibacterial surface cleaner.

Wash up or load the dishwasher on a daily basis.

Clean inside and outside microwaves and fridges and other appliances.

Empty rubbish and wipe down the bin.

Don't forget to wipe light switches and skirting boards.

Vacuum and then mop the floor using your dedicated kitchen mop and bucket.

Written by London and Manchester-based cleaning company Cleanology

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A short guide to conservatory cleaning 03/08/2017

No matter where your cleaning company is based, there’s bound to be a conservatory that desperately needs cleaning on a street near you, writes Robert Findley, owner of Polished Plastics.

From my own personal experience with over a decade of business and becoming the leading UPVC cleaning company in the North East of England, I know that people pay considerable money to have wood replaced with UPVC in their homes. Yet all too often I see it left without proper cleaning care and maintenance, clogged up with dirt, stained yellow and a filthy habitat for moss and algae.

I have compiled this short 5 step guide from my own hands-on experience in the industry. I hope it helps other cleaning companies add conservatory cleaning or gutter cleaning services to their list of services. They are both a great source of repeat income and can often lead to being asked to quote for bigger repair or replacement jobs. 

The professional way to clean a conservatory that I’ve split up into 5 stages is very simple and incredibly effective. Conservatory cleaning is a relatively easy yet great service that you can offer and it can be a terrific addition to a window cleaning round. When done properly the results can be stunning and a source of more referral work. 

Find out how to give UPVC a like-new feel by following my 5 steps below.

The conservatory cleaning process

Step 1: Start by assessing the conservatory in question to figure out what tools you’re going to need. Power washers and telescopic poles are useful tools for the hard to reach areas. Power washers are also ideal for removing plant material and other loose dirt. Just be careful what setting you have the lance on as too powerful a setting can remove old window seals. The rest of your conservatory cleaning tools should consist of other general equipment you already have such as sponges, cloths and squeegees.  

Heavy dirt, algae, moss and more should be completely removed with water or a power washer before you move onto the next step. If you’re cleaning the conservatory roof as well as the windows, doors and sides, ensure that you’ve got a sturdy ladder or set of steps to power wash from – it’s not wise to be standing on the conservatory as you’re cleaning it.

Once you have removed the loose debris give the conservatory a little time to dry. This is an ideal time to clean other UPVC such as the front door or empty the gutters.

I’d always recommend keeping your conservatory cleaning tools separate to other cleaning tools you may use, simply because UPVC can be damaged or stained by abrasive cleaning materials if there are any chemicals left on tools after use.

Step 2: Once the conservatory has dried a little we apply an industrial solvent to the frames and roof panels. The reason we wait until the conservatory has dried is that the solvent works better when it is not thinned down by excess water. The solvent should do the work for you removing staining and stubborn dirt as well as scuff marks. 

Step 3: Using your sponges and brushes, lather up a bucket of warm cream cleaner and sponge down the UPVC. Don’t worry if you’re getting it all over the windows and on the ground outside as your non-abrasive cleaner should be non-toxic and easy to rinse off with water once finished.

Step 4: Rinse off the cream cleaner, then apply a TFR cleaner with Aquawax to the frames paying extra attention to any lingering stains or marks that need a little extra work to lift off. 

Step 5: Now it’s time to clean the glass, you can use the simple glass cleaner you’re probably already using with a squeegee to remove water from the windows, doors and UPVC and give it a good shine until it looks like new.

Using the glass cleaner on the UPVC as well as the glass gives it a real “like new” shine, plus most glass cleaners tend to be anti-static, repelling dirt and keeping the conservatory cleaner for longer. Lastly, we recommend drying the frames of the conservatory with a towel. If you want to go the extra mile like I do, you can use an additional wax to give that extra clean sparkling finish. 

I’ve just got one last tip for you before you get going: if you plan to clean the interior of the conservatory too, you’ll need a set of step ladders to reach the higher parts of the roof. 

And that’s it! A very simple addition to your cleaning services, but one that can provide clients with very impressive results when you clean like a professional.

www.polishedplastics.co.uk

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Is deep carpet cleaning possible without harsh chemicals? 03/07/2017

Interior designers are well versed with the fact that carpets and rugs play a crucial role in decorating a house. Carpets are available in a variety of patterns and designs, allowing them to complete the overall decor and look that residents want.

Carpet can help to break up existing dull colours and patterns in a house or facility while providing good insulation and preventing the floor from becoming slippery. Despite all these benefits, it can be a hassle to clean carpets. It usually boils down to the owner not being able to keep it clean. It is common for people and children to bring in dirt and dust from outside and spill things on carpets.

While cleaning the stains and spills from carpets involves the use of harsh chemicals and toxins, it is not always a safe option, especially if you have children at home. Household cleaning products contain chemicals which may affect the eyes, airways, skin of young children and may lead to serious health complications. The good news is that there are ways to clean the carpets and rugs while being green. 

There are eco-friendly carpet cleaning machines, vacuum cleaners and non-toxic home cleaners which can be used to remove the toughest stains and keep the carpet clean without using harsh chemicals. 

People who find it difficult taking time out to dedicate to carpet cleaning may bring in a green professional to clean the carpets of a house using eco-friendly methods and cleaning procedures which are safe both for children and pets at home. They make use of chemical-free and organic solutions and products that clean the carpets and remove the stains, while keeping your house green and safe. 

Optimal home maintenance is more than just knowing how to clean the carpets and rugs of your house and dealing with nasty stains. If you overlook the condition of the carpets of your house and don’t clean it on a regular basis, then you may have a hard time removing stains out of the carpet later. Specialised organic vacuum cleaners can remove dust mites, dirt and heavy stains from carpets without causing allergic reactions. These cleaners never use any harsh chemicals to deep clean the carpets. 

The market is flooded with a complete range of eco-friendly carpet cleaning systems that are designed with high performance speciality technology and systems that are radically advanced compared to other cleaning systems. The advanced technology integrated in eco-friendly cleaners provide moisture controlled cleaning with increased cleaning productivity and impressive times compared to other carpet extractors in the market. 

Written by Bijay Ghimire from http://topcarpetcleaningmachines.com

        

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Cleaning London's building facades: the challenges and the solutions 23/06/2017

London is an amazing city filled with beautiful heritage buildings, and an increasing array of modern builds and iconic skyscrapers (The Gherkin, Walkie Talkie, Shard and Cheesegrater are to name but a few). As with any modern city, traffic fumes and pollution, along with graffiti and excessive bird droppings make the job of cleaning building façades a truly difficult one.

While modern architecture does incorporate cleaning solutions into the building design, heritage buildings require ever more care to protect the integrity of their often intricate façades. Modern technology, advanced cleaning methods and increasingly efficient and effective cleaning solutions are enabling cleaners to keep the façades of London's trickier buildings cleaner than ever before.

Here are some of the challenges faced by London cleaning companies, along with some of their solutions...

City pollution and grime

Dealing with London's pollution and grime is an on-going challenge. Exhaust fumes and everyday grime is evident on many of London's buildings, especially those that don't get the luxury of a regular clean. It's not just the façades that suffer. Guttering, rooftops, windows and sills all require continuing maintenance and cleaning.

With air pollution an ongoing problem in London (air pollution levels earlier this year surpassed that of Beijing according to a report in The Telegraph, London's building cleaners look set to continue to have plenty of work. 

Interesting developments were reported in The Evening Standard recently with news of a ground breaking building material that reverses the impact of air pollution by absorbing harmful airborne chemicals and releasing cleaner air.

Odd-shaped buildings

Modern architecture has definitely proved a challenge for cleaning companies. It may seem that façade access isn't a consideration taken seriously by the modern architects of London's odd-shaped buildings, but it does in fact have a great impact on the design. 

The Gherkin, formerly the Swiss Re Tower, was designed by Norman Foster. He consulted façade access company Reef during the development of the design. Its odd shape was a conundrum in terms of façade access. Architects don't like clumsy access equipment on show, because it messes with the sleek lines of their building design. Reef's solution was to create a device that slides out of a hole in the side of the building on rails that reaches both above and below for easy access cleaning.

Accessibility problems

Access is definitely a problem for many of London's cleaning companies working on the weird and wonderful shaped buildings across London's skyline. Abseilers, cherry pickers, cradles and hydraulic equipment are often required for hard-to-reach places.

And it's not just an issue with height. Awkwardly placed buildings can make access with cleaning equipment difficult.

Heritage buildings

Façade cleaning techniques have improved dramatically over the years. The DOFF and TORC cleaning systems are examples of technological advancement offering safe cleaning solutions for heritage buildings. Steam-based cleaning avoids the use of the heavy and potentially damaging abrasives used to clean building façades in the past. 

The DOFF and TORC methods can effectively remove moss, algae, fungi and any biological matter. There's no use of chemicals and 150°C temperatures of the DOFF system kills any spores, keeping buildings cleaner for longer. The TORC system uses a small amount of water, a fine substrate and low pressure to create a swirling vortex suitable for cleaning a wide range of different stone. It is effective in removing carbon sulphation, paint residues, lime scale, oil based paints, bitumen and lime or cement based paints. Cleaning heritage building façades has definitely moved on with protective cleaning solutions playing a part in building preservation.

High rise issues

Cleaning London's tallest buildings isn't for those without a head for heights. The only practical way to clean some buildings is by using abseilers dangling from ropes attached to the building. This requires specialist equipment and specialist training. Some more modern high-rise buildings have cleaning solutions built into their design, as in the aforementioned infamous Gherkin building. The high level cleaning London requires is increasing as more high-rise buildings make their way amongst London's skyline.

The future

New technologies are contributing to effective building façade cleaning solutions across the city, but with air pollution a continuing problem in inner cities, grime and pollution will continue to take their toll. As for the future… 

A recent report in The Independent showcased an envisioned three-mile-high skyscraper built from materials that are either in-development or have already been brought to market, including smog-eating surfaces and retractable balconies. The design was concocted by Arconics, a materials science company, working alongside futurists to imagine the technologies that will be most useful several decades from now. The future of the modern building façade looks bright, and very shiny! As for now, London's cleaning companies have their work cut out.

Written by Mike James, in conjunction with Cleaning Industrial Solutions.

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How to kick-start your cleaning business in 2017 14/02/2017

How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? It’s February, which means 66% of us have probably already broken their resolutions, or perhaps you didn’t make any to start with. But it’s not too late to make some goals and resolutions for 2017.

A new year is a great time to develop your work life, whether you’re starting a brand new business or looking to develop your current one. Whatever the reason, the cleaning industry is ideal for investing in because the services will always be needed. Perhaps you already do some odd cleaning tasks for people, or you love cleaning and think you can make a career out of your passion. Why not turn those skills and interests into a profitable career?

Whether it’s a busy couple who don’t have time, landlords who need cleaning for new tenants, or office managers keeping the space tidy and hygienic, cleaning services are always a necessity. Here’s how you could tap into that consistent, prosperous market.

Put your business hat on

While a passion for cleaning can help you create the business, you need to be prepared to learn new skills about running a business as well. This includes legally registering your business and being responsible for the taxes and paying any employees. Taking on employees is a big responsibility and there is a lot to consider with training, payment and drafting contracts.

Budgeting and profit are a huge part of any business. You need to set out goals and understand every aspect of finance involved in the business. How much money do you need to start the business? How much money do you need to make? What extra costs will occur? Some of this may be familiar, but it’s crucial that you understand all the responsibilities involved when launching a business and are prepared for the responsibility.

Look at your competitors

In order to know what to offer, you have to know who your competitors are and what makes you better than them. Competitor analysis is essential for any business. If you offer the same as everybody else in the market, you’re not going to stand out. Take what they’re doing and make it better. Offering the first cleaning service for free, having a personal account manager, or focusing on using environmentally friendly products are just a few ways to stand out from the crowd.

Get your business online

Over five billion people search on Google every day. Our knowledge, research and buying habits have shifted to the internet and have changed the way we consume information. As such, any business that isn’t online is seriously depriving itself of valuable customers typing away, looking for your services.

If you already have customers, use this to your advantage. If they recommend you, make sure there is a website to be referred to. You can even use these customers for testimonials on your website to show you are a trusted brand. This is particularly true in the cleaning industry when you are working in somebody’s home and personal space.

You’ll need to create a marketing plan and ensure your business is showing up on search engines. It’s important to think about marketing strategies such as SEO and paid adverts on social media.

What services will you offer?

When it comes to cleaning, think about exactly what you can offer. Will you do commercial cleaning, domestic cleaning, or both? Branching out from that, will you offer any other similar services, such as an ironing service? You don’t necessarily want to do everything all at once. It’s best to start small, see what works well and where your expertise lies.

If you’re a business and want to expand your services, the best place to start is by asking your current clients what other services they would like from you. Qualitative research like this allows you to create a business tailored to your target audience.

Where will you offer your services?

If you’re a small business, you can’t offer your services everywhere. This isn’t smart financially and it can be difficult to compete with national companies. Think about where you are based and the area you can realistically serve. Be sure to look at your competitors’ target areas and see if there is a gap in the market. Focusing on one specific area can make it easier and you can earn a reputation within that space, giving you the platform to branch out in the future.

If you are determined, passionate about cleaning and have realistic but challenging goals, you should be on the road to success with your cleaning business in 2017.

Written by Ankush Gupta, the owner of St Anne’s Cleaning Agency in London 



 
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6 top tips for the best way to remove graffiti 10/02/2017

Graffiti is a culture, yes? Graffiti is an art form, yes? Err, no, graffiti is a pain in the backside! And much like those annoying wads of chewing gum stuck fast to our pavements, graffiti appears everywhere – on buildings, bridges, walls, and any other space graffiti dweebs decide is the most appropriate for their ‘creations’.

In an article for the Telegraph in 2015, Anthony Peregrine wrote about a rail trip to Paris in an article in The Telegraph. It says: ‘As is the case in all great cities, the train enters Paris via the urban armpit. The approach to mainline stations is nondescript and ugly, because nobody wants to put anything pretty by a railway line. It is, though, rendered infinitely more so by looping, bulbous swathes of multicoloured graffiti. I despair easily, and despaired at the Gare d’Austerlitz, and again at the Gare de Lyon because there was graffiti everywhere. My trigger finger itched. How dare hooded wackos with aerosols inflict this on me, as well as on several million Parisians? “If this street stuff is art,” I muttered to the world in general, “then my burp is a concerto.”’ 

The right tools for graffiti removal

Luckily, with the right tools and techniques, you can remove graffiti easily and safely. But before you make a start have the following items at the ready. 

  • Painters’ rags (clean ones)  
  • Aerosol solvents
  • Stiff wire brushes
  • Rubber gloves 
  • A power washer 
  • Dust mask/respirator 
  • Safety goggles  

When it comes to solvents and cleaners, there are many cleaning products in DIY stores that can help you clean graffiti from various surfaces. But beware, as these can be hazardous to your health. You should wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and a respirator rather than a dust mask, so as not to inhale the harmful fumes. 

Using wire brushes together with a solvent can be an excellent way to remove graffiti from surfaces like smooth stones, decorative rocks, wooden fences, concrete and some rough metals. If the surface is smooth, start by cleaning the area with soap and water. If this doesn’t work try using a solvent. Graffiti on rough surfaces like cinder block can cause permanent damage. In this case, you’ll probably have to use a power washer with a biodegradable emulsifier. 

Sometimes a wire brush together with solvents can be a great way to clean red brick surfaces, but very often there may still be traces of paint left behind. If this is the case, you need to power wash the walls using a biodegradable emulsifier. This method minimises the toll on the surface whilst completely removing the paint.

Top tips to get great graffiti cleaning results

Essential protection

Before you start, protect the space around you. Using masking tape, stick plastic sheets to those surfaces that are not meant to be cleaned. Place a tarpaulin on the floor below the area you’re about to clean, put on your rubber gloves and respirator or dust mask and get to work.

Work top down

Now start from the top of the area to be cleaned and work your way down to the bottom. At the same time try to catch any running or dripping fluids. To get rid of chalk graffiti, it’s best to pressure-wash, but in the case of spray paint, you’ll probably need some type of solvent, cleaner or abrasive. Products that work really well on brick surfaces are acetone, paint thinner, baking soda-based products and WD-40, so try these.

Trial and error

Sometimes testing different methods is the best approach. Start with the least invasive method like soap and water, then try a solvent applied with a cloth, and finally try using a high-pressure washer (1000 to 3500 PSI) – but use hot water only and a wide-angled fan nozzle rather than a single jet-spray, so as not to damage the surface.

A combination can be good

A pressure washer used in conjunction with a solvent can give the best results. You should first apply the solution to the surface, wait for a few seconds while it takes hold, then start using the pressure washer.

Apply a preventative coating

Once you’ve cleaned the wall, you might like to apply a graffiti barrier coating (CPU 647, or OKON). Once applied, it forms a tough protective barrier and prevents additional coatings of paint from adhering to the surface.

Note: There are two types of coatings: sacrificial and non-sacrificial. The sacrificial coating protects the surface it’s applied to, but washes away after just one or two cleanings, while the non-sacrificial coating lasts for up to a dozen cleanings or so before reapplication is required.

And if all else fails…?

If, after all that, you can’t get rid of that messy graffiti, you’re probably going to have to re-paint the entire surface. Just remember to apply a good number of coats so that you stop the image from bleeding through.

Contributed by Cleaning Industrial Solutions

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How to make the perfect house cleaning schedule 10/01/2017

Creating the perfect house cleaning schedule can be a tricky task. But a well-designed cleaning schedule can take the stress of cleaning away and give a great sense of achievement when the property is tidy. It can also help to boost morale and make everyone more productive.

Let's take a look at the general areas that a domestic cleaning schedule would cover. The most frequently used living areas of any home are traditionally the following: 

1. Living areas and dining rooms

2. Kitchens and food storage spaces

3. Bathrooms

4. Bedrooms

Now that you have decided which areas are the most popular, it's time to get a flawless cleaning regime underway: 

1. Ceilings and Hard to Reach Spaces

Whenever you start to clean, a good general rule is to start high and work your way down in each room. This increases efficiency and provides you with less work, stopping you from spending hours in one particular room.

For example; if you started by clearing the floor first and vacuuming, proceeding to dust furniture and remove cobwebs – there will inevitably be small amounts of dust landing on your newly cleaned carpets. The result? You will have to start vacuuming all over again (not good).

High spaces can be tricky to clean. If you haven't got one already, it's worth investing in an extending feather duster. They can be easily adjusted to specific height requirements and make removing cobwebs and dust easy. For cleaning professionals and facilities managers, these are an absolute must have.

2. Walls and Furniture

Working your way down, start to tackle the walls and any furniture in the room. Start by clearing any clutter and removing any unwanted items by putting them into a waste bin. All waste bins will need to be removed and replaced once the room is completed.

Use antibacterial surface wipes to remove any marks and small stains and allow the area to dry. Once dry, use a multi-surface dusting spray and cloth to remove the final pieces of dirt.

3. Additional Surfaces

Worktops and preparation surfaces can be tricky. You need to ensure that the right cleaning products are used, especially if you are cleaning a food preparation area. 

To make sure that the product is suitable for food production environments, simply read the instructions on the back of the product. This will provide you with storage details and useful product instructions.

If you are a professional cleaner, your domestic training will allow you to identify the correct products and use them safely.

4. Floors and Carpets

Finally, now that you have worked your way down the rooms, you are coming to the closing stages. 

Begin by clearing any clutter and organising items that belong in the specific room. Now that the floor space is clear you can start to tidy it. Use a quality vacuum cleaner to remove any unwanted dirt, small particles and dust. If you have a vacuum that requires a bag, make sure that it is clear before you start and empty any waste as you go.

Recap

Before you start to create your cleaning schedule, make sure that you identify the most frequently used areas of the property. It can make you feel more productive if these areas are clean first.

When you start to clean the home, start at the top and work your way down. Begin with ceilings, before moving onto walls and any solid furniture, worktops and finally flooring and carpets.

Any waste bins will need to be replaced and any refuse sacks will need to be disposed of correctly.

Article created by RCS Cleaning, residential cleaners in Milton Keynes

Some addition (Misstidy - Updated on 25/01/2017)
Great summary. Though I'd add some regular decluttering to the checklist. Looking at the amount of extra stuffs piling up it' necessary.

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Healthcare cleaning: the way forward 13/01/2017

Carlos Alves, southern branch chairman for the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (ahcp), outlines his aspirations for the ahcp in 2017 and beyond:

I have led my team as the chairman of the southern branch for two years with some great success stories from organising the first national development forum 2016 to our study days and membership events. 

Yes, some would say I can have strong opinions and perhaps tend to drive a route or ideal too heavily, but this is because I believe in the importance of our profession and how we make a positive improvement to the quality and wellbeing of the lives of the ones surrounding us. 

I have a sound belief that we can be far more than we are both in terms of membership growth and as the voice of healthcare in any other arenas. I wish to take our association and its membership to another level; for it to be the first choice membership association of everyone in the healthcare environment. This not only includes those in the acute hospitals and primary care situations but for those cleaning professionals in all health and care sectors. This way we will have the weight of representation to demand our voice is heard in the corridors of power. We will have the influence necessary to change the way cleaning is perceived, giving our service the credit it deserves.

I cannot do so alone. Every one of us joined the ahcp because we care, because we know it is the way forward and because we believe that being a member means something important. Together we will grow our regional representation with the NHS Trusts, Health Boards and associated partners, and we will encourage others to join, to gain greater impact at the grass roots, with individuals and with organisations. It will become automatic that as you develop a career in healthcare cleaning that the association stays with you. We will also provide an entry route to capture those coming through who will be our leaders of tomorrow. 

Outside of the association we need to develop our identity. We cannot afford to be insular in our thinking. We need to explore the opportunities that working alongside other industry partners will provide us with. We need a seat at the table of influence. We are the experts so our opinion should be the first that others seek; to offer advice, for comment and for leadership in healthcare cleaning.

We cannot stay still, we must move onward and upward. It will not be an easy climb but  it is one we must do together.

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