Marking Milestones at GSF USA

Our people are our superpower at GSF USA. Day in and day out, they show up to keep our customers’ buildings looking their best. In the wake of the pandemic, all eyes are on cleaning teams and how they perform. Our crew meets the challenge at every opportunity. They are committed to learning the latest techniques for cleaning for health and working alongside innovative equipment to make cleaning more efficient and consistent.  

We are proud to have a team made of up both seasoned professionals and those new to the industry who are dedicated to making a difference. Each quarter, we celebrate those who have reached key anniversaries with GSF. Turnover in the cleaning industry can average as high as 200%. Our rewarding and forward-thinking culture is one differentiator that sets us apart and keeps professionals staying year after year and committed to growing into new roles.  

Thank you and congratulations to the employees below who are contributing to GSF’s mission!     

20th Anniversary  

  • Maria Del Rocio Tapia, GSF Indiana  

15th Anniversaries  

  • Nicolas Garcia Sanchez, GSF Indiana 

5th Anniversaries  

  • Juan Bustamante Mil, GSF Indiana  
  • Yesenia Sanchez Valdez, GSF Indiana 
  • Betty Chesser, GSF Ohio 
  • Arnold Pena, GSF Indiana 
  • Rosa Salaz Cantor, GSF Indiana 
  • Osmar Perez, GSF Indiana 
  • Virginia Padilla, GSF Illinois  
  • Duane Gibson, GSF Ohio 

Restrooms: The Greatest Facility Maintenance Challenge

Restrooms are often one of the smallest areas in a facility, yet they often present the biggest challenge for facility managers. This is because restrooms see frequent use and their level of cleanliness can make or break a visitor’s first impression of a facility. Plus, it’s not feasible to clean restrooms after each guest. A visible mess or odor can occur within a span of several minutes and negatively impact the next guest’s experience.

According to the 2020 In-House/Facility Management Benchmarking Survey from Cleaning and Maintenance Management, restrooms are the most problematic surface/area for facility managers across all types of facilities, by more than double. From toilet clogs to overflowing trash receptacles to slippery floors, there are many issues that can arise. Given that 90% of U.S. adults think employers should deep clean workplace restrooms regularly, cleaning teams need to dedicate a significant focus of the cleaning program to restroom maintenance.

Germs, Bacteria, Viruses – Oh My!

Viruses and bacteria lurk on high-touch bathroom surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, soap dispensers and toilet handles. According to a study in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 77,000 distinct bacteria and viruses can exist in restrooms.  These bacteria are more likely to spread after toilets are flushed because fecal matter is distributed into the air in aerosol form, commonly referred to as “toilet plume.” It then contaminates surfaces and potentially guests’ hands, thereby enabling these germs to spread from person to person.

Now more than ever, it’s vital to pay close attention to restroom maintenance. In June 2020, a survey from Tork revealed that 73% of people in North America felt more unsafe going to facilities with unhygienic public restrooms than before the pandemic. Now that the public is more aware of the risks associated with a lack of cleanliness, facility managers and their teams need to prioritize keeping these smaller spaces clean to ensure the biggest impact on guest satisfaction.

Strategies for Spectacular Restrooms

All aspects of restrooms must be considered when developing your cleaning strategy. Consider the following best practices to make your restrooms memorable:

Invest time in training employees.

Training employees is crucial for achieving the highest level of cleanliness and maintaining consistency across an entire facility or even several buildings. Many people incorrectly assume that the toilet is a restroom’s most unsanitary surface. In fact, many areas harbor high numbers of bacteria. Thus, it’s essential to train employees to clean and disinfect the less obvious surfaces, such as restroom stall walls and grab rails, which can become contaminated with pathogens. They should also learn the proper order for cleaning – top to bottom – to avoid cross contamination.

Set and follow a cleaning schedule.

Restrooms are high-traffic spaces that can harbor pathogens across many different surfaces. Germs can spread more easily if people are not practicing proper hand hygiene in these environments. The 2021 Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley Corporation found that nearly half (48%) of Americans admit to having simply rinsed their hands with water instead of washing with soap. Having a set schedule in place for cleaning, disinfecting and restocking restrooms can help limit the spread of germs by ensuring that guests have enough toilet paper, soap and paper towels to uphold cleanliness. Develop the schedule based on the facility’s typical traffic patterns. While some facilities are still experiencing lower-than-normal occupancies during the pandemic, restrooms must always be clean and ready for guests.

Incorporate sustainable cleaning chemicals.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused supply chain disruption and resulted in many cleaning professionals using products with which they were unfamiliar. Coupled with the fact that many facilities are cleaning more frequently, it’s important to understand their composition, as toxic ingredients and fragrances can negatively impact workers and restroom guests. Investing in an on-site generation (OSG) system that creates non-irritating solutions with just water, salt and electricity eliminates supply issues and enhances safety. The OSG system produces electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) that are effective against pathogens, safe for the environment and can replace the majority of chemicals required to maintain a facility.

Clean Restrooms Create a Better Facility

Maintaining clean restrooms is essential for creating safe environments for facility occupants. By thoroughly training employees, regularly cleaning and disinfecting, restocking supplies as needed and implementing sustainable cleaning chemicals, you can control the presence and spread of germs and give restroom guests a great experience at every visit.

Keeping restrooms clean protects your brand reputation and your facility’s occupants.  Contact us to learn how we can support your cleaning needs and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for updates.

Easy Sustainability Swaps to Limit Cleaning’s Impact

Findings from a 2019 Pew Research Center survey reveal that 62% of Americans said that global climate change was affecting their local community a great deal or some. With the climate crisis becoming increasingly clear, more companies and consumers are doubling down on efforts to protect the planet. The owners and managers of commercial buildings have a responsibility to reduce the impact their facilities have on the environment. One way to accomplish this is to review your cleaning program in detail and identify ways to increase energy, chemical and water savings and reduce waste generation.

Simple Changes Support the Environment

The strategies below are easy changes that you and your team can make to realize big environmental improvements.

Generate solutions on site.

Cleaning programs generate high volumes of packaging waste and this has only increased during the pandemic as facilities disinfect more frequently. Rather than ordering chemicals in plastic bottles to be shipped and delivered to a site, some organizations are realizing the benefits of generating their own cleaning and disinfecting solutions in house that are dispensed into reusable containers. Using salt, electricity and water, on-site generators produce electrochemically-activated solutions (ECAS) that can be used to clean and disinfect numerous surfaces throughout a facility. Not only does this approach greatly reduce plastic waste and packaging costs, but it also eliminates transportation emissions tied to these shipments. In addition to curbing waste and outdoor pollution, ECAS also enhance indoor air quality because they do not contain any volatile organic compounds, fragrances or other irritants like many traditional cleaning chemicals do. Plus, ECAS are extremely effective at upholding cleanliness, meaning you don’t have to sacrifice performance in order to achieve sustainability.

Focus on floor care.

Keeping floors clean typically requires a lot of time and effort. Managing floor care manually can exacerbate the consumption of water and chemicals. Utilizing high-tech equipment like floor scrubbers, whether operated by a team member or robotic, can help reduce the use of these essentials. Look for machines that clean exceptionally with one pass to eliminate the need to reclean floors. Some equipment can even adjust the amount of solution delivered to floors as its speed changes. This can also save water and chemical.

Conduct the majority of cleaning during daytime hours.

Cleaning during daytime hours can help reduce reliance on lighting and HVAC systems at night. Energy for lighting, heating and cooling is about 19% of total expenditures for the typical commercial office building. While some cleaning may need to take place during evening hours, especially after all or most occupants leave a building, find ways for cleaning professionals to conduct high-priority and time-consuming tasks earlier in the day. This will make evening cleaning more efficient and allow facility managers to lower energy use overnight.

Make microfiber a must have.

Using microfiber cleaning cloths to address high-touch surfaces is preferrable to relying on disposable, one-time-use towels that end up in landfills. Microfiber is highly effective at removing germs from surfaces and can be laundered and reused numerous times. Designating certain cloths for use in different areas, like cafeterias and dining areas, restrooms and classrooms can help reduce cross contamination.

A Brighter and Greener Future

While the cleaning process has traditionally been very resource intensive, there is a movement to make it greener. Finding ways to make cleaning more sustainable benefits the environment and our future. And in many cases, implementing greener methods can help commercial facilities reduce costs by limiting waste generation and resource consumption. The above strategies are just a few ideas that facility managers can consider to enhance their organization’s commitment to environmental stewardship.

At GSF USA, we care about clean, our people and the planet. Our Écologique cleaning program is certified by Green Seal® and delivers a high-quality clean while also considering the environment. Contact us to learn more, and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook for the latest company updates.

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