Selecting The Right Chemicals for Your Cleaning Program

Taking care of your facility and the occupants in it starts by maintaining a healthy and safe environment. This includes investing in a cleaning program that utilizes high-quality and effective products. Although it is often advertised that any and all types of cleaning chemicals can benefit your facility, many common cleaning products contain hazardous chemicals that can do more harm than good. Learning how to find the right chemicals for your cleaning program is essential for all facility managers and can significantly improve the longevity of your building.

Quantity Doesn’t Equal Quality  

The state of your facility’s supply closet is often a telltale sign of how effective your cleaning program is. Bulking up on cleaning products for your facility may seem like an efficient solution, but overstocking supply closets is a quick way to fall into over-resource consumption. This increases the opportunity for cluttered supply closets, which not only lessens space within your facility but can lead to safety risks. Additionally, restocking your supply closet on a regular basis can quickly become costly, with the average company spending between $63 and $200 per month. There are a lot of factors that can help determine which cleaning products are right for your facility, including different types of floors, surfaces and the current condition of your building. Before ordering every cleaning product, take time to learn which chemicals work for your building type to help get the best results.

The Value of Outsourcing

Clear out the supply closet all together! Another effective method of making sure your facility is being effectively cleaned with the right chemicals is by outsourcing a professional team of cleaners. Taking time to find a quality staff that is properly trained in maintaining different types of facilities can help relieve stress for employees to upkeep their work environment while also prioritizing their daily tasks. Additionally, outsourcing a cleaning team can help ensure that every part of your facility, even the parts that are often overlooked, are being cleaned with the correct chemicals and equipment. Establishing a routine schedule for outsourced cleaning professionals to upkeep your building is a cost-effective solution to restocking a supply closet and the hassle of making sure the products you’re using are right for your facility.

Cleaning with Green

If your facility is set on using its own cleaning program, investing in certified environmentally friendly cleaning products not only benefits the planet but is a proactive way to ensure your facility is being cleaned with safe chemicals that don’t harm the building or the occupants inside of it. Green cleaning products have been shown to be just as effective at cleaning while utilizing safer chemicals that are less hazardous to users. However, many brands that are labeled as eco-friendly are guilty of greenwashing. This is when companies claim to be environmentally friendly as a marketing technique. To avoid falling victim to false advertising, make sure the products you buy are certified and labeled with safe ingredients. Switching to green cleaning products not only shows consideration for the planet but also the well-being of those in your facility.

Strive for Clean Chemicals

When you invest time in finding clean chemicals that work well in your facility without posing risk to employees and guests, you save money, time and energy that would be wasted on using incorrect cleaning chemicals, damaging your facility, harming your building occupants and maintenance repairs. Work smarter not harder by implementing cleaning chemicals that are safe, effective and help create a safe and welcoming environment.

Celebrating Those Who Care About Clean at GSF USA

We’d like to take a moment to celebrate all our hardworking employees who have recently celebrated significant milestones and anniversaries at GSF USA! We’re proud of our employees and their dedication to providing a safe and clean environment for our customers.  

Congratulations to all and thank you for your continued efforts to help GSF USA grow and differentiate itself as a leading building service contractor. We could not have gotten to where we are today without your hard work! 

20th Anniversaries 

Francisco C., GSF Illinois 

Luis P., GSF Indiana 

15th Anniversaries  

Martin M., GSF Indiana 

Kelvin M., GSF Indiana 

Rosario M., GSF Indiana 

Albaro V., GSF Ohio  

10th Anniversaries  

Hilda L., GSF Indiana 

Jesus P., GSF Indiana  

5th Anniversaries 

Sherman B., GSF Ohio 

Miguel C., GSF Rockford  

Jose G., GSF Indiana  

Maria M., GSF Indiana  

Karla M., GSF Indiana  

Yolanda M., GSF Indiana  

Maria O., GSF Indiana  

Israel R., GSF Illinois  

Debra R., GSF Rockford  

Fatma V., GSF Illinois  

Facility Maintenance Musts for a Safe Building

June is National Safety Month. The annual observance brings awareness to efforts that reduce unintentional injuries in the workplace. GSF USA is committed to creating a safe and healthy work environment starting with a well-kept building. Research shows that 64% of guests will leave an establishment that feels unsafe or unclean. Safety starts with the consideration of others’ health, which means cultivating a facility that meets today’s cleaning standards is essential.

Routine Professional Cleaning

Unsurprisingly, our environment affects our emotions, health and attitudes. Research shows that there is a direct correlation between the cleanliness of a facility and the productivity and happiness of employees. When workers have a clean environment to come to each day, it promotes motivation and shows consideration for their well-being. On the contrary, facilities that are not maintained or cleaned regularly can lead to increased levels of workplace-related stress, health issues, and decreased retention rates. Utilizing a team of cleaning professionals can help not only ensure that your facility is being maintained on a regular basis, but also takes the stress off employees to keep up with cleaning while also prioritizing work-related tasks. Setting expectations for your custodial team on how often each space needs to be cleaned can help ensure that your cleanliness standards are being met. There are many factors that determine how often your facility needs to be cleaned, like the size of it or how many people occupy it each day.

Proper Use of Cleaning Equipment

Using cleaning chemicals and equipment incorrectly can lead to dangerous and in some cases even fatal injuries. This makes it essential to hire cleaning professionals that are trained in how to properly mix certain cleaning chemicals and use equipment without causing damage to themselves or the facility. Storing cleaning chemicals is another task that can quickly become dangerous, as overstocking inventory can become hazardous. Outsourcing cleaning professionals efficiently eliminates the danger of overstocking supply closets and ensures that properly trained professionals are cleaning effectively and safely. Many commonly used cleaning chemicals contain harsh chemicals that can lead to various health problems with prolonged use. Help keep your employees and occupants safe by utilizing green cleaning products that are made with safer ingredients but still sanitize and disinfect effectively. Not only does this help benefit the health and safety of your facility, but it protects the environment.

Optimized Maintenance Training

Although your hired cleaning team may come with their own set of skills, it’s important to ensure your facility’s cleanliness standards are clear, as each building is cleaned differently. Providing onboarding training can help maintenance staff get familiar with the building and how each space should be maintained. Training opportunities include learning which cleaning chemicals should be used on various surfaces, how to use cleaning equipment correctly and how often certain cleaning procedures need to be done. It’s important to communicate expectations, such as how often trash cans should be emptied or which days the floors should be cleaned. Onboard training can help you have peace of mind that your cleaning staff are on the same page and do a thorough job of keeping the building clean and safe for everyone.

Safe Cleaning for a Safe Building

National Safety Month is an opportunity to bring awareness of prioritizing the health and safety of those who enter your building. Take time to ensure your cleaning staff is properly trained, taking correct cleaning measures and maintaining every part of your facility. Help promote employee productivity and wellness while inviting guests into a thriving facility that looks and feels clean and safe.

Heart of GSF: Mary B.

At GSF USA, we take great pride in hiring team members who embody GSF’s mission, values and goals. We look for individuals that come to work with a growth mindset and are continuously looking for ways to improve their skills. Positive work ethics aren’t easy to come by, which is why we are especially thankful for our employees and their dedication to providing exceptional outsourced cleaning services for our clients. When you have a team of people eager to succeed, it shows in their work.

One of GSF’s long-term employees, Mary, holds a special spot in the heart of GSF. With over 40 years in janitorial experience and working as a Service Operator for GSF the past 5 months, she has found that her current position has helped her pick up useful skills and experience numerous opportunities. “It was a great company to transition to,” said Mary, “I come from a background of having jobs in the cleaning industry, but at GSF, there’s always opportunities to keep learning and growing.”

As a Service Operator, Mary is tasked with various daily jobs for her client. Having a supportive team to work alongside makes the quick-paced work environment easier and more enjoyable. “I love the team I work with. I tell everyone I know that GSF is the best company to work for because of how kind and helpful everyone is,” said Mary. Teamwork and collaboration are essential when it comes to getting cleaning tasks done efficiently and effectively; “We all come together to decide what needs to be done and the best way to do it. If we see someone who needs help, everyone is willing to pitch in,” she said.

Between new partnerships, clients and equipment changes, there is always something new to learn at GSF USA. “We’ve had a lot of recent changes, and people look to me to guide them since I’ve worked here for so long,” she said, “However, I’m confident in the work I do. I know what needs to be done and feel familiar with the tasks given to me.” One of GSF’s more recent partnerships, PathoSans, has allowed GSF to work with high-quality, sustainable cleaning materials. “Working with PathoSans has been wonderful,” Mary stated, “Their products look, feel and smell clean. They get the job done.”

It’s passionate and hard-working employees like Mary who create the strong culture that GSF USA possesses. “We do what needs to be done to create a safe and clean environment for our clients,” said Mary. The heart of GSF is made up of a dedicated team of individuals who believe no task is too much and that a sustainable, clean facility can help make a positive impact. Interested in joining a team like Mary’s? Check out our open positions!

Clean Hands Make a Happy Business

Although National Hand Hygiene Day has passed, continuing to implement hand hygiene practices in facilities to create a cleaner environment can help keep occupants healthy and safe. In recent years, the awareness of how easily germs and bacteria can transmit from person to person has become increasingly known. This makes it more important than ever to implement practices that encourage employees and guests of your facility to be mindful of how their hand hygiene affects those around them. These practices can also support your facility’s cleanliness goals, which reflects positively on your business.

 How Hand Hygiene Supports Cleanliness Goals

Clean hands really can make a significant difference when it comes to business. Studies show that 95% of consumers want to see more cleaning practices in businesses regularly. When occupants feel that a facility is not meeting their cleanliness standards, this creates a negative connotation and reduces the chances that they will return or recommend your facility to other people. Hand hygiene may seem like a simple task, but research has found otherwise. In 2020, 2.3 billion people lacked basic hand hygiene while out in public facilities, making it extremely easy for the transmission of germs and bacteria and increasing people’s risk of illnesses. Help support your facility’s cleanliness goals by encouraging hand hygiene among employees and guests. Doing so shows occupants that their health and safety are a top priority while reducing the spread of germs in your facility.

Hand Hygiene Practices to Implement

Increasing hand hygiene practices in your facility means implementing the right tools. For employees, make sure they understand it is a requirement to wash their hands after situations such as using the restroom, handling and preparing food, as well as coughing and sneezing. You can also encourage employees to sanitize their hands after touching high-touch surfaces such as stair railings, elevator buttons and door handles. These surfaces often carry a larger number of germs that can easily be transmitted from person to person. Setting hygiene expectations for your employees to follow helps keep them safe and shows guests that health and safety are taken seriously within your facility. As for guests, have hand hygiene appliances accessible to them throughout the building. This includes hand sanitizer stations as well as routinely stocked soap products in public restrooms. Hand hygiene is only effective when done correctly. Implementing signs in public restrooms that display how to wash your hands properly can help remind employees and guests to be mindful of doing a thorough job to help eliminate germs.

Celebrate Hand Hygiene Year Round

National Hand Hygiene Day can go beyond just 24 hours. Spreading the importance of practicing hand hygiene year-round helps show consideration for everyone’s health and safety! Take the celebration to a whole new level by putting together hand hygiene goody bags. This can include small items such as hand sanitization bottles, infographic cards on the importance of hand hygiene and other on-the-go hygiene items such as travel tissues or hand-hygiene wipes. This is a fun and resourceful way to support your facility’s cleanliness goals by providing employees with hand-hygiene products they can use while on the job.


Reduce the spread of germs by spreading awareness of hand hygiene practices in your facility. At GSF USA, we continue to make efforts toward providing a sustainable, clean and safe environment for guests, with employees that are empowered by our leadership. Clean hands can help support your facility’s cleanliness goals and keep your occupants healthy and happy.

Keeping Seasoned Employees Engaged

Since 2000, analytics firm Gallup has tracked employee engagement levels in the United States. The percentage of engaged employees, defined as workers who are highly involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace, is typically 35%, with more than half reporting they are not engaged and more than 10% being actively disengaged. While these figures fluctuated during a tumultuous 2020, the levels typically only shift by a few percentage points from quarter to quarter or year to year. With only about a third of employees engaged, organizations face challenges related to retention and performance.  

The cleaning industry has its own unique set of hiring and retention obstacles. Cleaning roles can sometimes feel repetitive and thankless. Thus, facility managers need to understand ways to engage employees who have been in their roles for years or decades. These employees have become experts at cleaning and have the power to inspire the next generation of professional cleaners. Read on for specific employee engagement tips you can implement to improve your cleaning program.  

Tips for Retaining the Right Talent 

Consider the following strategies for retaining experienced employees:  

Provide high-quality and durable tools and equipment. 

Cleaning tools and equipment are intended to help workers clean more effectively and efficiently, but if they’re in poor shape, they can actually create more work and frustration for employees. High-quality equipment can even help reduce repetitive motions that can lead to muscle soreness or injuries. In addition to providing new sets of tools to recent hires, it’s important to also review the tools that your more seasoned employees are using so they feel valued and supported in their roles.  

Promote workplace safety. 

Today’s employees are increasingly concerned about their wellbeing in the workplace. They want to know that their employer has practices in place to protect them from harm. Clearly communicate the ways in which your facility is prioritizing safety, from using cleaning chemicals that are free of fragrances and caustic ingredients to opting for floor care equipment with quality squeegees that reduces slip-and-fall hazards. Promoting a culture of safety can keep workers focused on their tasks and eliminate fears that can impact engagement.  

Invest in ongoing training.  

Providing opportunities for training is crucial, especially given the fact that some of your long-term employees are likely to rise into leadership roles at some point in their careers. They will be given more responsibilities and relied upon to oversee other workers, some of whom may be newer to the industry. Regularly conducting hands-on training will allow your seasoned employees to confidently take on management responsibilities and uphold cleanliness in your facility.    

Solicit feedback from employees.  

What better way to make staff members feel heard and improve your cleaning program than to solicit feedback from your team? You might discover that employees have recommendations for how to perform certain tasks or have insight on cleaning supplies that are causing frustration or strain. By encouraging and listening to feedback, you can implement changes that will enhance cleanliness, safety, sustainability and employee engagement.  

Seasoned Employees Help Drive Success 

The commercial cleaning industry faces high turnover rates that can impact the consistency of results and the satisfaction of those who visit your facility. A revolving door of workers can also negatively affect your company culture. For these reasons, it’s important to invest in strategies that support retention. Well-trained employees who know how to effectively maintain buildings are instrumental in keeping environments clean and people healthy and safe. By following the above best practices, you can ensure that professional cleaners will stay engaged and commit to your organization over the long term.  

At GSF USA, we prioritize training to educate both new and seasoned employees about the latest cleaning and disinfecting tactics and tools. If you’d like to learn more about our commercial cleaning services, contact our team here. Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more.  

Securing Approval for New Cleaning Technologies 

As a facility manager, staying up to date on the latest trends and technologies enables you to maintain a clean building. Thankfully, the cleaning industry is continuously innovating in order to meet today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. This has been especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, with new tools being launched and adopted.  

Once you’ve identified a cleaning technology that will make your cleaning program more efficient, effective, sustainable or safer, it’s important to be able to confidently sell it to the decision makers within your organization. Read on to learn more about specific technologies to consider and best practices for successful implementation.  

Taking Cleanliness to the Next Level  

The cleaning industry has come a long way in the last decade, and even more so within the last two years given the emergence of SARS-CoV-2. Today, there are technologies that lend additional support to cleaning professionals. Some make the process of cleaning less strenuous and therefore less injury prone, while others make cleaning more consistent or efficient. The following technologies can help your operation reach its cleanliness goals: 

Robotic floor scrubbers 

Address your labor challenges and improve productivity with a robotic floor care solution that works in tandem with your employees. A robotic floor scrubber uses advanced artificial intelligence that improves upon safety, allowing it to avoid people and obstacles like staircases and furniture. Additionally, automated scrubbers deliver reports at the conclusion of operation to drive continuous improvement—all while allowing employees to address other high-priority tasks in the meantime.  

Electrochemically activated solutions (ECAS) 

These cleaning and disinfecting solutions are produced in your supply closet with an on-site generator and only three ingredients: salt, water and electricity. ECAS are just as effective as conventional chemicals but do not contain potentially harmful ingredients that can lead to eye and skin irritation and ECAS are non-irritating to the eyes and skin and contain no added fragrance but are still 99.999% effective at killing germs. Implementing ECAS streamlines worker training and eliminates burns. They are also better for the environment, as eliminating recurring chemical shipments reduces greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste associated with single-use spray bottles and containers.  

Electrostatic sprayers  

This process entails spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto various surfaces or objects. The spray itself is a specialized solution combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. Because the spray contains positively charged particles that aggressively adhere to surfaces, the chemical is able to adequately disinfect the covered surfaces. There are even backpack versions of electrostatic sprayers that make it easy for employees to carry the equipment as they disinfect.  

Automated vacuum cleaners  

Collaborative robot, or “cobot”, vacuums can be used autonomously thanks to their built-in AI platforms, which take the hassle out of manual vacuum sweeping. Many of these systems are powered by advanced commercial operating systems that allow your vacuum to develop its own flight plan for areas that require cleaning. They’re efficient and clean up to 50% better than traditional vacuums.  

Cleaning verification programs   

Applying a cleaning verification program to your routine can help provide clearer visibility into the compliance and consistency of your cleaning procedures. This will allow you to advance clearer and safer standards of cleaning across your locations, ensuring all building occupants are satisfied, your reputation is upheld and more opportunities to grow your business are revealed.  

Tips for Talking about Technology  

When attempting to gain approval to implement a new technology in your facility, it’s important to consider the following best practices: 

Humanize your pitch. 

Framing the technology around the benefits it delivers to those who work in and use your facility is key. For example, many technologies make cleaning more efficient and less strenuous, providing benefits for the organization as a whole as well as individuals.  

Once the technology is approved, you will want to also highlight the benefits to those who will be using it regularly.  The more your cleaning professionals understand that this technology is working alongside them to increase productivity, rather than hinder or replace manual efforts, the quicker adapting to these changes is likely to occur.  

Address safety. 

Reflect on how the technology will make the cleaning process safer, and your building safer. For example, robotic floor scrubbers adequately remove chemical and water from floors, thereby reducing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Also, having properly measured chemicals prevents unnecessary safety hazards 

Take the environment into consideration. 

Discuss how the technology will reduce water, chemical or energy consumption. When chemicals are accurately dispensed, target areas get clean the first time. This prevents you from having to use more chemicals, water and energy for second or third cleanings. 

Be ready for questions.  

Be prepared to answer detailed questions about how the technology works, why it’s superior to current methods, the cost to implement the technology and anticipated return on investment.  

In the COVID-19 pandemic era, there is no time like the present to begin addressing necessary changes to your cleaning program. Rising innovations in sustainability and safety practices have produced game-changing tools you can confidently say will make an impact on the cleanliness of your facility.  

You can partner with a building service contractor that prioritizes using high-tech equipment to further enhance your cleaning program. At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people behind clean. Contact our team here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more.   

Top Cleaning Mistakes and How to Solve Them

Proper cleaning enhances the appearance of facilities and, more importantly, keeps germs from spreading from surfaces to people. While cleaning is an essential process, everyone has been met with an unclean facility, an overpowering cleaning chemical fragrance or even a slippery floor at least once in their life. There are certain mistakes that can negatively impact cleaning results, brand reputation, sustainability and the bottom line. Understanding these in more detail is crucial to running an efficient and effective operation.   

Everyday Cleaning Mistakes that can Impact Cleanliness 

There are numerous missteps that can complicate the cleaning process, and in turn, the cleanliness of your facility. Be on the lookout for the following mistakes and lapses so that you can enhance your approach to facility maintenance, quickly correct bad habits and reduce overconsumption. 

Using chemicals that create risks. 

As people become increasingly aware of the impact that cleaning chemicals have on the air we breathe and our overall health, it’s important to consider whether your inventory is leading to unnecessary risks. Many conventional cleaning chemicals contain harmful ingredients that can irritate eyes and skin, cause headaches and nausea and even negatively impact indoor air quality (IAQ) by releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

With cleaning occurring more frequently than before the pandemic, using safe and effective products is more important than ever. Electrochemically-activated solutions (ECAS) generated using water, salt and electricity are powerful enough to tackle pathogens of concern, but are also non-irritating and safe for the environment.  

Cleaning in the wrong order. 

Cleaning should be an organized process that carefully considers high-touch areas and cross contamination risks. Approaching cleaning in the wrong order can actually spread germs and leave surfaces unclean.  

Always clean from top to bottom. This enables you to dislodge dust and other soils from higher areas that can fall to floors before you clean them. Additionally, cleaning from top to bottom maximizes germ removal. For example, you wouldn’t want to wipe a restroom floor or toilet seat and then address a stall door or counter.  

Only conducting floor care manually. 

Taking care of floors is a time-consuming process but an essential one. It’s hard to ignore the quality of flooring upon entering a facility. Whether tile, wood, concrete or another material, floors play a part in shaping first impressions regarding cleanliness. Plus, clean floors promote safety by helping to reduce the risk of slip and fall accidents. Relying solely on employees to conduct floor care can mean that other areas of the facility don’t have time to be addressed.  

Implementing robotic machines that can work alongside and support your team members helps take some of the burden of floor care off their to-do lists. Consider cobots that are easy to operate, safely avoid people and obstacles and provide detailed reporting. While some floor care tasks may still need manual intervention and oversight, having an automated helper can certainly improve the floor care process.  

Forgetting to consider sustainability.  

By its nature, the process of cleaning requires the consumption of many resources. Keeping your program from becoming too wasteful is essential as an increasing number of buildings look for ways to be more sustainable. By taking a closer look at your cleaning operations with a green lens, you can drive chemical, water and energy savings.   

Have durable tools and equipment on site that will effectively clean and also last for a reasonable amount of time to keep them out of landfills. Avoid single-use supplies wherever possible. As previously mentioned, ECAS are a greener option for cleaning and disinfecting. Plus, the on-site generators that produce ECAS enable you to eliminate purchasing replacement bottles made from plastic. Simply reuse a set of containers for each custodial cart in your facility.  

Course Corrections in Cleaning 

Commercial cleaning is easier said than done. The process requires dedicated employees who are knowledgeable about how to carry out cleaning and disinfection using the appropriate supplies, chemicals and machines. With all eyes on cleanliness in offices, retail stores, schools and other types of facilities, cleaning needs to be completed correctly. Cleanliness not only enhances visitor confidence and brand reputation, it is one of the best defenses against potentially harmful pathogens.  

To course correct common mistakes and even avoid them altogether, it’s essential to train staff so they can effectively and efficiently clean. Providing visual demonstrations and opportunities for hands-on learning and constructive feedback is essential to maintaining healthy and safe buildings. Both tenured employees and new hires will appreciate the time you take to guide their education and make them better cleaners.  

Regular training and investment in the right tools, equipment and chemicals helps employees uphold cleanliness every day. At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people behind clean. Contact our team here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more about our services and specialties.  

Cleaning vs. Disinfecting: Best Practices for Maintaining Clean Facilities

Since the onset of the pandemic, the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning and disinfecting has increased in public facilities as well as in our homes. While it’s great to be prepared against pathogens, it’s equally essential to not go overboard when it comes to these processes. To avoid hygiene theater, facility managers should have a clear plan in place for what to clean and disinfect and how, and to educate their staff on the key differences between these tasks.

Differentiating Cleaning and Disinfecting

Cleaning is the action that removes dirt, dust and other contaminants from surfaces as well as germs and impurities that we cannot see with the naked eye. Products labeled as cleaners or soap and water, which some may use to clean, may not necessarily kill bacteria and fungi or inactivate viruses. However, by addressing these visible and microscopic contaminants, cleaners reduce the number of germs on the objects and surfaces with which we come into contact.

Alternatively, disinfecting is the process of targeting pathogens and their ability to cause infections. Disinfecting chemicals kill bacteria and fungi. With regards to viruses, these solutions inactivate, as viruses are not living organisms and therefore cannot technically be killed. In order for a disinfectant to meet its claims against bacteria, fungi and viruses, it is necessary to correctly apply the product. The label will include “dwell time” instructions, or the amount of time the surface needs to remain wet. Following these directions will enhance the efficacy of the product.

It’s important to remember that before your employees disinfect surfaces, they must first clean them to take away soil loads that may inhibit the disinfectant from working at optimal performance. This is because the process of disinfecting doesn’t necessarily clean a surface.

What to Clean and Disinfect

When thinking about cleaning and disinfecting, we often consider these tasks as coupled, or a two-step process. First, employees clean. Then, they disinfect. It’s true that when disinfecting, you must follow this sequence. However, not every single surface needs to be disinfected. In fact, the volume of cleaner that staff members use should be much higher than the level of disinfectant that is consumed. Disinfectants are reserved for objects and surfaces that are considered high touch and would be most likely to pass infectious pathogens to people’s hands.

So, what surfaces might require disinfecting? In an environment such as a school where there are many people gathered and communal spaces, things like door handles, restroom counters, desks, cafeteria tables and fitness equipment will likely need to be cleaned and then disinfected. Meanwhile, floors, windows and walls can simply be cleaned.

Alternatively, in a commercial office, elevator buttons, appliance handles and cubicles should be cleaned and disinfected, while chairs, floors and other items that are not shared or are used on a less frequent basis can be thoroughly cleaned to save time and chemical.

Perfecting the “How” of Cleaning and Disinfecting 

Getting the “how” of cleaning and disinfecting right is paramount, especially when it’s our wellbeing at risk. As stated above, following a product’s dwell or contact time is key when disinfecting. However, it’s also important to carefully consider the types of solutions you’re using, as these can have long-term impacts on the professionals who perform these duties as well as facility occupants and visitors.

Select products that do not contain added fragrances or ingredients that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. Increasingly, facilities are adopting electrochemically-activated cleaning and disinfecting solutions that are generated on site using salt, water and electricity. These solutions are incredibly effective and safe, and support sustainability, making them an excellent alternative to caustic traditional cleaning chemicals.

A Smarter Approach to Cleaning and Disinfecting

In the face of contagious viruses like SARS-CoV-2 it’s crucial to have a sound process in place for cleaning and disinfecting your facility. An organized approach can effectively manage these infectious disease risks and enable your staff to adequately address the most important surfaces when disinfecting. Additionally, a smart strategy will enable you to limit wasting resources like chemical, water and energy, and enhance productivity while also reducing the risk of burnout among your cleaning staff. In turn, this will yield a more efficient, sustainable and safe operation as well as cleaner buildings.

If you’re looking to enhance the way you approach cleaning and disinfecting in your facility, contact GSF USA here and follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook to learn more about our sustainable and unique approach to facility maintenance.

What Makes GSF USA a Great Place to Work

At GSF USA, we care about clean and the people behind clean. By investing in our people, we help our employees discover rewarding careers in commercial cleaning. Learn more about our benefits and culture via our infographic.