Take a look in your janitor's cleaning closet. Is it a jumble of jugs and piles of pails filled with cleaning products from a variety of vendors? Do you have an enormous stack of material safety data sheets that defies organization? If so, maybe it's time for some New Year's closet cleaning. Variety may be the spice of life, but when it comes to streamlining your cleaning process, consistency is key. Pre-portioned cleaning chemicals offer one of the easiest, most effective methods to simplify cleaning while saving time and money.
These pre-measured packets have a lot going for them. They eliminate waste and guesswork, simplify training, and are easy to transport and use. They're appropriate for use in both large and small facilities. Most surprisingly, their minimal packaging makes them more environmentally friendly than heavy plastic jugs and pails.
Safe for Staff and Customers
Pre-portioned cleaning chemicals eliminate hazards that staff may encounter when working with liquid concentrates. Often, cleaning professionals try to measure the right product-to-water ratio using the "glug" method. Not only inaccurate, this method exposes staff to spilling and splashing hazards, as well as fumes.
Well-meaning janitors may use more than the recommended amount in an attempt to clean an area better or faster. Instead of improved cleaning, the result is often slippery, sticky, or hazy floors and surfaces. Pre-measured packets remove all the danger and variability by delivering a consistent amount of chemical every time.
Less Weight Equals More Efficiency
Small, lightweight packets allow a full day's supply of pre-portioned chemical to ride along in the cleaning cart. This method lets technicians refill spray bottles, buckets, and other equipment on the fly, instead of stopping work and trekking to the nearest janitorial supply closet when they run out of product. This process cuts back on down time, but more importantly, it allows management to efficiently track how much chemical is used—which simplifies restocking.
Easy and Green
Using pre-portioned cleaning chemicals is easy. Staff simply cut open the package, pour the chemicals in, and fill with water. Often the packets come with directions for use printed right on the packaging. Even so, training on when, where, and how much of the cleaner should be used cannot be ignored. In an interview posted on CleanLink, Joseph Garcia, supervisor of custodial services at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, recommends an initial training in product use, along with refresher training five to six times a year.
While it may seem that individual cleaning packets would add more to the waste stream, these lightweight packages actually take up less space in the landfill. They also use less energy to transport than traditional bulk cases of cleaning chemicals. Cleaning professionals should feel good about using pre-portioned chemicals. In fact, an article from the Professional Retail Store Maintenance Association suggests that using pre-portioned chemicals delivers positive environmental and social benefits.
For more information how to simplify your cleaning jobs, click here.
Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines.
Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.
She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.