Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance keep facilities safe, professional looking and functioning properly. Industrial and institutional hygiene requires appropriate supplies.


Why is it so Important to Keep Facilities in Good Condition?

Keeping facilities clean is more than a cosmetic endeavour. Clean facilities are safer in many regards than ones that aren’t maintained, and less expensive.

Cleaning facilities properly ensures that many different types of hazards are addressed before they have a chance to cause real problems. For instance, slip and trip hazards on floors are removed before anyone is hurt. This not only keeps people safe, it potentially reduces the chances that the owner of the facility will be held liable for any sort of injuries caused by unclean conditions.

Of course, health and illness are affected by the overall levels of cleanliness in a facility. Areas that are prone to becoming infected with germs need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that they are as safe as possible. Other areas may not pose a threat of pathogens, but may have environmental threats that come from chemicals or other hazards. Cleaning properly eliminates those hazards or, at least, greatly reduces the chances that they’ll pose a serious threat.

Cleaning facilities also reduces maintenance costs. Controlling dust, for example, can make computers last longer and, most certainly, reduce the amount of time that techs have to spend cleaning them out and dealing with problems such as overheating and clogged cooling systems.


How Do You Ensure You Keep things Well Maintained? How Does this Save You Money?

When equipment or facilities are not properly cleaned, dirt, debris and materials from the environment can accumulate, causing damage to moving parts and finished surfaces. Cleaning on a regular basis can prevent damage from rust and corrosion and can prevent dirt and grime from affecting the performance of machinery.

Keeping spaces and equipment in proper working order, to a great extent, starts with having a policy that includes scheduled industrial hygiene. In addition to having policies in place that require cleaning at regular intervals, providing the right materials for cleaning is necessary. For instance, having supplies made for cleaning computers makes it much easier for workers to keep their keyboards, monitors and other hardware free of debris and grime, as the supplies are designed to clean out the tight spaces, sensitive electronics and other parts of computers that can be challenging to care for.

For larger jobs, the right equipment saves time and improves results. Floor scrubber pads, for example, need to be of a high quality and right for the finish of the floor on which they’re being used.

When facilities are maintained properly—as well as the equipment in them—the results can be dramatic as far as reduced costs. Clean equipment is safer to use and functions more reliably, preventing injuries. Clean spaces keep people healthy by reducing the chances of exposure to contaminants in the environment. Both can reduce costs considerably and increase safety.


What Tools and Equipment Exists to Keep Things Maintained?

Cleaning materials are available ranging from everyday wipes, brooms and vacuums that anyone can use to very high-capacity devices that are designed for professional cleaners and cleaning jobs.

The cleaning materials themselves consist of brushes, wipes, cloths and other materials that are very common. They also include specialized devices, such as cleaners specifically for electronics and cleaners made for flat screen monitors.

In addition to the cleaning supplies themselves, maintenance personnel usually require a variety of other equipment. They may require, for instance, signage that allows them to temporarily flag off an area or other crowd control devices that ensure safety for both the workers and the people passing through the space being cleaned.


What Are Brooms, Mops, Buckets and Dust Pans?

Brooms, mops, buckets and dustpans are among the most basic cleaning equipment. They’re also among the least expensive of all cleaning equipment, and therefore are usually supplied in most every closet in an industrial setting.

While these are common equipment, there are variations on these supplies that are suitable for some purposes more than others. A small broom, for instance, may be ideal for a break room, but woefully insufficient for a large industrial floor. Dustpans are similar, with size determining their overall suitability.

Mops and buckets are also very basic equipment, but also come in designs ideally suited for industrial use. Mop heads designed for industrial use are typically very tough and able to stand up to use on a variety of surfaces. Some mop heads are not used with buckets, such as dust mops, which are used dry and which can handle very large areas quickly and easily.

Mop buckets come in different sizes and colours. Some are provided with labelling that offers an additional Wet Floor sign. These buckets sometimes come with wringers built in, that make it easy for the cleaning personnel to keep their mop rinsed out, cutting down on the amount of labour involved in cleaning up the floor.


What Are Cleaners, Degreasers and Removers?

In an industrial or institutional setting, the many different cleaning jobs necessitate tough cleaners aimed at removing particular types of dirt and grime, paint and other materials. Cleaners include everything from glass cleaners to carpet cleaners. Degreasers are cleaners that are specifically formulated to attack grease. These are particularly vital in food service settings, but are also vital in industrial settings, where particular types of degreasers may be needed to clean machinery and surfaces.

Removers are usually targeted at a particular material. For instance, cleaning crews sometimes have to remove graffiti from outside walls and there are paint removers that are designed to make this much easier.


What Are Cleaning Brushes?

Cleaning brushes are sometimes meant for general-purpose use and sometimes meant for use on particular surfaces. Most scrub brushes, for instance, can be used on a sink or a wall with good results. A metal wire brush, however, can only be used on surfaces that are hard enough to resist being scratched with the brush, or where the scratching is not important, such as when cleaning a battery post.


What Are Cleaning Wipes and Cloths?

Cleaning wipes and cloths come in reusable and disposable designs. They are sometimes impregnated with a cleaner. This allows the user to simply pull a cloth out of a dispenser and wipe down a surface without having to have a separate container of cleaner and cloths. This is ideal for small applications, such as providing computer users with wipes that have monitor-cleaning fluid on them already. The wipe is used and thrown away.

Other types of cleaning cloths are designed to be used with a cleaner of the user’s choice. Some are washable and can be used many times. In other cases, a box of disposable cleaning wipes may be used, with industrial types typically being a bit tougher than their consumer counterparts. Some of these cloths are specialized, such as those that are used for polishing and microfiber cloths, which are used on lenses and monitors.


What Is Desktop Cleaning Equipment?

Desktop cleaning equipment provides a convenient way for workers to keep their own spaces clean and hygienic. They include wipes that are designed for phones, cleaners for computer monitors and other cleaners. They are sometimes dispensed as wipes, and come pre-treated with liquid cleaner.


What Are Electronics Cleaners and Protective Coatings?

Electronics cleaners include products that are intended to be used on PCB boards, flux removers, the swabs and other devices used to apply them and some cleaners that don’t actually touch the equipment at all.

Electronics equipment, of course, is sometimes very small. Many of the cleaners made for electronics are designed to be used in very small spaces. Some of the cleaners provide a protective coating to the device after they’re used, making it easy to clean and protect the device at once.

Air dusters are cans of gas, oftentimes 1,1-difluoroethane, 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane or 1,1,1-trifluoroethane, used to remove dust from hard-to-reach surfaces. The interior of heat sinks and fan blades are both areas where these types of cleaners are useful. They don’t deposit moisture or other contaminants on the surfaces they’re used on, making them safe for electronics.


What Is Facility Maintenance Equipment?

Facility maintenance equipment includes a great many cleaning devices that are more powerful than those used in less intensive settings. Air compressors, for instance, may be used with many different types of cleaning equipment. Pressure washers are commonly used to wash tough materials off of mechanical parts.

Other equipment in this category includes that which is used to protect the area where the cleaning is being performed. Tarpaulins, for instance, may be laid down around an area where pressure washing is being done.


What Are Floor Scrubbers and Accessories?

Floor scrubbers include manual and automatic devices that are used to physically remove dirt and grime from floors. They typically use pads which are attached to the base of the device, providing the scrubbing action by way of rotation. There are different types of pads available for different surfaces and levels of cleaning.


What Are Greases, Oils and Lubricants?

Greases are lubricants that are usually semi-solid at room temperature. Oils are usually liquids at room temperature. Lubricants are anything that is used to reduce friction. Some lubricants are very general purpose, such as WD-40, which is used to both provide lubrication and protection to metal parts. Some lubricants are designed to be used on specific parts, such as belts.

Lubricants can greatly extend the lifespan of most any equipment with moving parts, and provide better performance. Some devices cannot be used at all without them.


What Is Paint and What Types of Painting Supplies Are available?

Paint provides both aesthetic and protective benefits. It can be based out of oil, latex or other materials, and different bases provide different strengths and weaknesses.

Painting accessories include rollers, brushes, markers and more. Spray paint can sometimes be used as an alternative to brushing or rolling on paint.


What Is Traffic Management and Crowd Control?

Traffic management and crowd control are both terms that refer to directing the movement of people or equipment through a space. This is usually part of cleaning and maintenance, as areas that are being cleaned typically have to be flagged to keep people safe; wet floor signs, for example. Crowd control is both a safety and a liability issue, as unmarked hazards may violate industry regulations.


What Are Vacuum Cleaners and Carpet Cleaners?

Vacuum cleaners are devices that use suction to pick up debris from the surface of and from within the fibres of carpet. They are usually outfitted with beater brushes that help remove ground-in dirt. Some smaller vacuums are hand held devices without brushes. Others are designed to work for wet and dry materials.

Carpet cleaners are typically devices that have a vacuum and brushes but that also dispense water and cleaner onto the carpet. The brushes scrub the carpet and the vacuum sucks the water into a tank.


What Types of Washroom Equipment and Supplies Are Available?

Washroom equipment includes soap dispensers, hand sanitizers, hand dryers, air fresheners and more. They help to improve sanitation and appearance at the same time. They include products that are used by the people using the bathroom and people cleaning the bathroom.


What Are Waste Removal Bins and Accessories for Them?

Waste removal bins provide many options for keeping areas clean, such as wall-mounted bins, ashtrays and other receptacles.

These bins are usually used with accessories such as bags, which make it easier to empty the bin and keep it cleaner. Lids and other accessories can be added to these bins as needed, making them more useful and providing a way to keep waste contained.

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