The condition of your cleaning equipment directly influences the effectiveness of your cleaning. If you want a clean and hygienic environment, your cleaning equipment must also be clean and hygienic! Makes sense, doesn’t it?
There are surprisingly many cleaning staff that never cleans or disinfects mops and cleaning cloths. They feel that if they use it for cleaning every day with cleaning chemicals, it is clean! But that is not the case…
One of the first things I do when visiting an establishment is to look for dirty mop signs. They are usually everywhere! Next time you go somewhere, look at the wall skirtings. Most of the time, especially if it is an older establishment, you will find a dirt streak all around the room a few centimetres off the ground. If you find this streak, you can also check the chairs and table legs, they will have the same! This is a tell-tale of years of washing floors with dirty mops. If the mops aren’t clean, are the rest of the cleaning equipment clean and hygienic? I seriously doubt that!
Then there is the smell, the smell of a dirty mop. We all know that damp, slightly funky scent that hangs in the room after the floor is washed. What you are smelling is bacteria that is growing on the mop. Keep in mind that whenever the floor is mopped, these bacteria are being spread all over your floor. An easy solution is to use a detergent with a nice scent that can mask that smell! That might be an immediate solution, but it does not solve the actual problem. A dirty mop!
There is a very easy and inexpensive solution to keeping your mops clean and hygienic. After the floors are washed, soak your mop in a bleach or chlorine solution. Wash it out with clean water and then hang the mop up to dry. This must also be done with all cleaning cloths daily!
For the home the normal drop mop is perfect, you do not need more than that. But for a large establishment, or when working in the food industry, I will recommend the fan mop with the removable fan mop head. If you can remove the head, it is a lot easier to get it completely clean and dry.
I have a product called Akti-Suds. This is an organic chlorine powder that is portioned in 30g sachets. You only have to use one sachet on 10lts of water to get the correct dilution for cleaning and disinfecting. Akti-Suds has many applications and is also SABS approved, but for the purpose of this blog, we will only focus on using this product to clean and disinfect your cleaning equipment. I frequently advise my clients to use Akti-Suds instead of normal bleach because it is portion controlled! Your staff can not waste it.
When cleaning your mops and cloths, you must use a product that cleans and disinfects. If not, you will not get rid of the bacteria smell and your mops will stay brown. Sometimes you will find that it is too late to save the mop, then get a new one and do it right from the beginning.
Now I have helped you to identify the problem and give you a solution, but you still have dirty floors, skirting, chairs, and table legs? Do not fear! You don’t have to move to a new location. All can be saved!
You have probably already tried a few different products to try and fix the skirting, but nothing really worked. I personally struggled with that problem until I found Lift-Away! Use a strong solution of 500ml/10lt of water and spray it with a spray bottle to make sure that the chemical sticks to the surface. Leave it for 10 minutes and wash it off with a cloth. You might need a second application if the problem is particularly bad.
The floor is another headache. There is built-up dirt in the corners, the grout is looking grimy, and you don’t know what to do! The best method for this problem is using a floor stripper. It might be that you have never used polish and do not see the need, but the stripper will clean all the other problems that arise with old buildings or heavily trafficked areas that were not kept clean properly.
My best solution is a product called Rotostrip. This is a non-ammonia stripper that will not leave a bad smell like the other floor strippers you will usually find. Use 100ml/1lt of water solution, apply with a wet mop, brush with a broom, and rinse off. Easy as pie!
Raise your glass to clean skirtings and no more dirty mop smells!
Written by Marzanne De Jager - Sales Manager in Windhoek