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Redefining Clean for Facility Managers

Gallant sanitation workers aside, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't care about working in a clean environment. But what you may not know is just how important a clean and environmentally friendly workplace can be in attracting new customers, increasing productivity and retaining employees. What's more, you may not be aware of the critical distinction between workplaces that have merely been cleaned and those that truly define clean.

A recent study from the American Society of Interior Designers revealed that cleanliness and good air quality are essential to workplace comfort--a factor that is directly linked to overall job satisfaction for a growing number of employees. Moreover, studies from the World Health Organization and University of California Berkeley show that sustainability, (business practices that equally value environmental, economic and social interests) also has an impact on employee productivity, operational efficiency and revenue growth. Simply put, clean and environmentally friendly workplaces have a significant impact on the perceptions of employers and customers. And this can make or break a company's growth potential.

To achieve clean you have to first know what it really is. Facility managers who care as much about the value of a long-term maintenance system as they do cleaning as a process know that there is no broad brush approach for every workplace. For instance, a typical detergent-in-hot-water method of carpet maintenance is effective for areas with heavy grease, animal traffic or similar environments. But using a polymer-based dry method as a follow up does not contribute to the growth of mold, mildew or other contaminants that can be a factor in using solely wet-based methods. In addition,detergents used in wet systems create residue that can have a damaging effect on the carpet, causing rapid re-soiling, which leads to poor appearance and a shortened life. Is that really clean?

Systems using dry-polymer -- either as the primary cleaning agent or as a followup to hot water for areas with heavy soil for typical business environments -- are a better bet for maintaining a consistently good appearance and prolonging the overall lifecycle of textiles and carpet. Polymer-based systems also don.t require the high level of water usage that can drive up utility costs and negatively impact the environment by excessively consuming water and disposing of water waste. The extent to which workplace air is freed of fiberglass, dust mites, dead skin and detergent residue itself is also a key distinction between systems that just transport dirt and those that promote the quality of the textiles and carpet, good air quality and improve the overall environment (exterior as well as interior!). This is the essence of clean.

So choosing the right long-term maintenance process for carpet and textiles can help facility managers achieve healthier workplace environments that bridge the gap between the mere appearance and the reality of clean . resulting in happier guests, more productive employees, and a healthier bottom line.

By Stephen Lewis, Technical Director, MilliCare 
Submission from MilliCare by Lincoln Office

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