This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
18 Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WALDEN’S CONVENTION DAILY ISSA/INTERCLEAN® 2012 Technical Tip…Tile and Grout Cleaning One good thing about a recession is, it

forces business owners to rethink their op- erations and make adjustments where pos- sible to help them ride out the downturn. If these are positive changes, they can have long-term benefits for the company. For

carpet cleaning technicians, one

tactic is to look into additional services. Some have ventured into escalator clean- ing, for instance, others pressure washing. However, many have taken up cleaning the other type of floor covering, hard-surface floors, specifically tile-and-grout floors. Among the most common tile-and-grout floors are ceramic and quarry tile. These floors are porous, so soil and grit can pen- etrate into their crevices. Plus they are installed with grouting, typically slightly below the floor’s surface, which makes for a very handy space for soil, contaminants, bacteria, as well as mold and mildew to collect and multiply. When this happens, the flooring can become discolored, slip- pery, produce malodors and, at least in the grout area, become noticeably soiled. What technicians should know is that if cleaning tile and grout manually, the pro- cess can be difficult, slow, and fatiguing. Additionally, since the tech is so close to the chemicals being used, many of which can be very powerful, it can also be un- healthy. A more effective and certainly faster way to clean tile and grout is to “au-

tomatize” it as much as possible. Bioenzymatic Cleaning The first way to automatize tile-and-

grout cleaning does not require any type of machine. Further, it allows technicians to go about other cleaning tasks, such as clean- ing carpets, while the system is working. What we are re- ferring to are bioenzymatic cleaners. And now that some bioenzymatics are proven Green, having been certified by respected certification bod- ies with some also registered with the USDA Bio-Preferred Program, the use of bioenzy- matic cleaners to clean this type of flooring becomes an even better, as well as health- ier option. Enzymatic

cleaners are

part of the bigger umbrella of what are termed biocleaners, which are made from agricultural prod- ucts such as corn, soybeans, coconuts, and other crops. Bioenzymatic cleaners take this a step further. They have specific en- zymes—even “good” bacteria—that allow them to break up soils and contaminants into smaller pieces. Once this is done, the bacteria digest the contaminants. According to Mike Sawchuk, vice presi-

dent of Enviro-Solutions, a manufacturer of biocleaners and other Green cleaning products, bioenzymatic cleaners are not new; in fact, the first patent for enzymatic


ferred Program, established to help drive down the use of petroleum used in mak- ing ingredients in cleaning products, to help U.S. farmers, and through executive orders from the president. Second, Green certification has made them more attrac- tive to consumers. “This adds Green bio- enzymatic and biocleaners, to the Green cleaning arsenal.” Following manufacturer’s instructions and allowing proper dwell time, enzymat- ic cleaners may be sprayed on to tile and grout or mopped on to floors.* For heavily soiled areas, some brushing of the surface area to be cleaned may be necessary. “The [enzymatic] cleaner begins working as soon as it is applied,” adds Sawchuk, “and they continue to work up to 80 hours after application.”

Once the bio-enzymatic cleaners have done their job, the area can be mopped or better yet flushed clean using plain tap water.

Enviro-Solutions Bioenzymatic Cleaning Booth 1748

cleaner dates back to 1932. “They have been used in homes for years,” Sawchuk explains, “mainly in laundry detergent, contact lens cleaners, and some bathroom cleaners.” However, Sawchuk says they are get-

ting far more attention today for two key reasons. First, the federal government has encouraged their use through the BioPre-

Cleaning with Dual Surface Extractors Another option for automating floor cleaning does require equipment but it is equipment that can be used to clean both carpets and hard-surface floors such as tile and grout. This makes it a convenient and economical option for carpet cleaning technicians. Referred to as “dual-surface extractors,” these systems often have separate pumps, with one generating adjustable 150 to 500 psi for cleaning carpets and fabrics, ac- cording to Mark Baxter, an engineer with U.S. Products, maker of professional car- pet extractors. “On some systems, a sec- ond pump is used to clean hard-surface floors and tile and grout. This pump gen- erates 1,200 psi, which is ample pressure to flush clean tile and grout flooring” Usually, all that is required to transform

the extractor from a carpet cleaner to a hard-surface cleaner is a change of the wands. A special floor surface cleaning at- tachment is used to clean floors. Because so much water is being used in the cleaning process, some of these machines have auto-fill/auto-dump ca- pabilities. For technicians, this results in nonstop cleaning because no tanks need to be emptied or filled during the cleaning process. Further, removing the moisture helps floors dry very quickly. “This is a work productivity enhancer for sure and [because one machine can be used for two surfaces] means less equipment must be brought to the job site,” adds Baxter. Used in Tandem Bioenzymatic cleaners and dual-surface

Don’t settle for any redistributor— choose a true partner.

We know what you want: a redistributor who works hard to get you what you need, when you need it, and all for a great price. It’s all part of our commitment to being your partner.

extractors can open the door for new op- portunities for carpet cleaning technicians. Together, they provide effective hard sur- face floor cleaning as well as relatively easy and soil and contaminant removal. The process can also increase customer satisfaction, and in tough (and good) eco- nomic times, a happy customer is a loyal customer, a repeat customer, and a referral generator.

Richard Sanchez operates a contract cleaning and carpet cleaning service in Northern California. He may be reached at

*Bioenzymatic cleaners can be used on

a variety of surfaces including stainless steel, wood floors, hard floors, soft floors, eliminating odors, and as a washroom cleaner and all-purpose cleaner. n By Richard Sanchez

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40