School cleaning best practices.

School Cleaning Best Practices

When students get sick, they miss school, and that can negatively impact their learning and grades. When faculty and staff get sick, you are stuck scheduling last-minute substitutes. But what if students or staff don’t realize they’re ill until they’re at school? Or what if they know beforehand and come in anyway? You’re left with a facility that needs to be cleaned.

Even with a healthy student population and faculty, your school facility needs regular cleaning. Doing so keeps everyone in your facility better protected from illnesses. So what are the best school cleaning practices? And what school cleaning and disinfecting recommendations should you follow? Below, you’ll find tips to add to your school cleaning and disinfecting considerations to make a cleaner environment for everyone at your facility.

Understand the Differences Between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing

Before you learn about classroom cleaning tips for schools, you need to understand the differences between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing. While we all often use those terms interchangeably, they refer to different levels of cleanliness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the differences between cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing are as follows:

  • Cleaning: This process uses soap and water — or a detergent and water — to physically remove dirt, impurities and germs. While it doesn’t kill germs, it does lower their numbers and reduce the risk of spreading.
  • Disinfecting: Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs on objects and surfaces. Disinfecting doesn’t always remove dirt from a surface, but it does kill germs and lowers the risk of them spreading.
  • Sanitizing: This process works with both cleaning or disinfecting practices. It reduces the number of germs on a surface to what public health standards deem to be safe.

Promote Personal Hygiene Among Students and Faculty

The best practices for school facility cleaning start with the students’ and faculty’s hygiene. While you cannot control all the personal hygiene habits of students and staff, such as showering and laundering clothes, you can help manage personal cleanliness in school. Promote these ways to help reduce the spread of germs and keep your school clean:

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after sneezing, after coughing and before and after eating.
  • Sneeze or cough into the elbow when tissues aren’t available.
  • Avoid sharing food, drinks or eating utensils.
  • Keep cuts or scrapes clean and covered with bandages until they heal.
  • Avoid sharing gym clothing or towels.
  • Avoid coming to school if you feel ill.
  • Maintain an appropriate social distance of 6 feet during the time of COVID-19.
  • Wear a CDC-recommended mask when required during the time of COVID-19.

Along with those rules and recommendations for students and staff, you can take additional measures. Promote personal hygiene in your school by providing:

  • Tissues in classrooms — you can also encourage students and faculty to bring their own.
  • Hand sanitizer stations for students and staff to use in addition to washing their hands.
  • Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • CDC-recommended masks during the time of COVID-19.
  • Thermometers to monitor temperatures throughout the day during the time of COVID-19.

Use in-class lessons to promote personal hygiene or put up informative displays throughout your facility. Consider signs in bathrooms that encourage students and staff to wash their hands. Washing your hands is one of the most essential steps to maintaining an environment with fewer germs. The correlation between cleaning and hygiene in schools is clear, especially considering that hand-washing education can help reduce respiratory illnesses by 16% to 21%. It can also decrease school children’s absences due to gastrointestinal illnesses by 29% to 57%.

clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day

Clean Frequently Touched Surfaces Throughout the Day

In addition to promoting personal hygiene in schools, you’ll also want to attend to frequently touched surfaces throughout the day. Staff should use cleaners registered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Green cleaning products will still disinfect or clean while keeping your school, students and staff healthy.

Based on school cleaning and disinfecting recommendations from the CDC, daily cleaning is necessary for frequently touched items. You may also create cleaning and disinfecting protocols for your school that promote frequent cleaning throughout the day. Have staff focus on touchpoints that students and faculty interact with often, such as:

  • Doorknobs and handles.
  • Door surfaces.
  • Light switches.
  • Computer keyboards, monitors and mice.
  • Phones.
  • Desks and tables.
  • Chairs.
  • Toys for younger age groups.
  • Hands-on learning devices.
  • Lockers.
  • Soap and paper towel dispensers, if they aren’t automatic.
  • Faucets, if they aren’t automatic.
  • Water fountains.
  • Vending machines.
  • Counters and appliances in break rooms or cafeterias.
  • Stairway railings.

Using cleaning and disinfecting guidance for schools, you could encourage students to clean their desks after use. This works for older students in a school setting where they switch classrooms throughout the day. You may provide disinfecting wipes and instruct teachers to set aside a few minutes at the end of class for students to wipe down their desks and chairs. If students are younger, you may have teachers or staff wipe down the desks between classes.

Conduct Thorough Daily Cleaning for All Surfaces

Incorporate daily cleaning for all surfaces with EPA-registered disinfectants into your school cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Daily cleanings are essential because the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. During that time, the virus can potentially infect others. Daily cleaning helps combat those viruses and germs. It also makes it easier to clean instead of letting dust and dirt build up on surfaces.

As you explain how to clean and disinfect your school, instruct your staff to follow directions on cleaning and disinfecting products. That practice promotes safe and effective use and helps ensure the product works as intended. Cleaning chemicals may have a recommended contact time, which is how long a product should sit on a surface to kill or remove germs.

During this daily cleaning, have your staff focus on all surfaces. Emphasize touchpoints they have cleaned throughout the day, so they can disinfect these again. You should also add floors, windows and stairs to this cleaning list. Don’t forget about areas that get more exposure to dirt, grime and germs, like:

  • Entryways.
  • Gymnasiums.
  • Cafeterias.
  • Locker rooms.
  • Nurse’s offices.

These school cleaning and disinfecting considerations are easiest to perform before or after hours. While cleaning staff should take care of emergencies as they arise, it will be easier to clean inside classrooms once students are gone for the day. After hours, personnel can also clean floors thoroughly without concern of students slipping.

hire professional janitorial staff

Hire Professionals

Hire professionals to clean and disinfect your school the proper way. Following cleaning and disinfecting guidance for schools is easier when you work with a cleaning company. Professional janitorial staff will bring:

  • Experience: Janitorial professionals have been in the business for years. They’ll know the best cleaners and practices to use to keep surfaces clean yet undamaged.
  • Versatility: Professionals have experience across an array of industries, and that makes them versatile. They can go from cleaning a classroom to a gym to a laboratory and all the areas in between.
  • Convenience: A professional cleaning company will staff your facility throughout the day to meet your needs. You can trust the professionals to take care of your school while you worry about your other duties.
  • Proper PPE: Fully trained janitorial professionals will be provided with personal protective equipment to protect themselves and everyone in the facility.
  • Up to date technologies and products: A professional cleaning company will constantly add the most up to date equipment and products to be more effective and efficient in providing a safe and healthy environment at school.

When you take care to clean your facility, especially with professionals, you help keep your students and staff healthy. In turn, that could reduce the number of absences you see throughout the year. It also shows off your school in the best way, making it clean and beautiful for visitors.

Hire Shine Facility Services to Clean and Disinfect Your School Facility

If you need help cleaning your school, we at Shine Facility Services will give you high-quality and customized janitorial solutions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our experienced and specialty-trained team will bring the best school facility cleaning practices to you, including:

  • Electrostatic Disinfectant Sprayer
  • EPA-Registered 1-minute kill time of COVID-19 disinfectant
  • EPA-Registered COVID-19 day protective seal

We’ll talk with you to outline our tasks and discuss the time it will take to clean your school. Whether you need green carpet cleaninghard floor careeco-friendly cleaning or disinfecting and deep cleaning throughout your facility, we’re happy to help.

Contact us at 415-400-5671 to request a quote and learn more about our janitorial services in the Bay Area.

How-to-Reduce-Indoor-Air-Pollution

How to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution

You may associate air pollution with smog-belching smokestacks or bumper-to-bumper L.A. traffic, but harmful air pollution can affect an ordinary home or office space. Although we don’t discuss it as frequently as outdoor pollution, indoor air quality impacts our lives just as much, if not more. Office managers shouldn’t underestimate the importance of indoor air quality. In your role, you need to know how to detect possible indoor air quality issues and prevent potential health hazards.

With more and more studies directly connecting the quality of a building’s air significantly to its occupants’ overall health and ability to focus, office managers need to be well-educated on the effects of indoor air pollution and the importance of air filtration. For those seeking to understand how to improve indoor air quality, this article will explain the health effects of poor indoor air quality, explore what causes poor indoor air quality and offer tips to improve indoor air quality in office spaces.

How Does Indoor Air Quality Affect Your Health?

Before we can understand the effects of indoor air pollution and why you should focus on indoor air quality, we must first answer the question: What is indoor air quality (IAQ)? As its name implies, IAQ refers to the quality of the air within and directly surrounding a particular building. The nature of indoor air quality and its link to individuals’ health, productivity, comfort and well-being make the quality of a building’s air a major concern for building managers, tenants, business owners and employees alike.

Many of us spend up to 90% of the day indoors, so it should come as no surprise that the quality of a building’s air directly affects its occupants’ health and ability to function at their highest capacity. But the extent to which IAQ can impact health may be a bit of a shock — the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that some indoor environments can have levels of pollutants even higher than the pollutant levels outside.

Many people believe staying indoors is an effective way to avoid breathing polluted air, but inside air contains pollutants from outside, plus added contaminants from indoor activities, such as smoke from cooking or fumes from cleaning products and building materials. The EPA has said indoor air pollution is typically between two and five times greater than outdoor air pollution, with the potential of being up to 100 times worse than the outside air.

This poor quality of air is partly due to keeping office windows closed to shield employees from outside pollutants. Despite good intentions, closing windows cuts down on a building’s ventilation and means every breath an employee takes in a cubicle or conference room raises the carbon dioxide level. This high concentration of CO2 can lead to headaches and drowsiness.

Indoor air pollutants can also lead to more severe illnesses. Because of the potential health problems posed by poor indoor air quality, the EPA has consistently ranked indoor air pollution among the top five environmental risks to public health. Even carefully run buildings can unknowingly experience excess air pollutants indoors, so it’s essential to recognize the symptoms of poor indoor air quality.

Why is indoor air quality important? Here are three signs that poor indoor air quality is affecting your health.

1. Sick Building Syndrome

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is just as it sounds: a sickness that stems from spending too much time in a building with poor air quality. Because of their similar symptoms, SBS is easy to mistake for a bad cold or the flu. Pay attention to whether your symptoms improve after leaving a specific building and return when you go back, which is a significant indication that SBS is to blame.

SBS usually includes skin, respiratory or neurological symptoms like these:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating or forgetfulness
  • Throat irritation
  • Chest tightness and respiratory illness
  • Runny nose
  • Rashes

2. Lower Productivity

According to the EPA, poor indoor air quality may cost the nation tens of billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and medical care coverage. That’s because conference rooms with constantly closed windows create increased levels of carbon dioxide in the room, resulting in drowsiness, headaches and trouble concentrating. The source of this productivity loss is a large number of pollutants in the air which reduces the amount of oxygen available to the brain, resulting in declined cognitive abilities.

On the flip side, the EPA has reported a direct connection between improved indoor and higher productivity and fewer lost workdays. Research also found that employees who worked in an environment with high-quality indoor air performed 60% better in cognitive tasks than those in a traditional office space. Because better air quality improves oxygen flow to the brain and cognitive performance, investing in better air quality will pay off for organizations in the long run.

3. Respiratory Problems

Severe indoor air pollution can contribute to more serious health issues, especially for those with underlying conditions. High levels or concentrations of air contaminants like dust, mold and secondhand smoke can exacerbate existing respiratory problems or cause new ones. More toxic pollutants, such as asbestos, formaldehyde or carbon monoxide, may result in severe health conditions.

Extremely poor indoor air quality can lead to these long-term illnesses:

  • Lung cancer
  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Rapid heartbeat and heart disease
  • Chronic lung disease

What Causes Poor Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality is a complex concept. Many variables play a role in making up the air’s composition, such as a building’s design, maintenance and surrounding outside air, and they are always changing. Although the exact quality of indoor air at a specific point can be hard to pin down, the EPA has been able to identify which pollutants affect it the most.

What-Causes-Poor-Indoor-Air-Quality

These are the three primary indoor air pollutant categories to be aware of.

  1. Chemical pollutants: Chemical pollutants are often products of combustion, such as tobacco smoke and nitrogen dioxide, but can also include accidental chemical spills and emissions from products like cleaning products or office equipment.
  2. Particles: A particle is a solid or liquid substance light enough to hang in the air, such as dust and dirt. These tiny particles usually come from outside and can be harmful to human health.
  3. Biological contaminants: Contaminants like large concentrations of bacteria, viruses, dander, pollen and molds typically come from inadequate building maintenance or moisture from spills, humidity and condensation. This kind of pollutant is especially hazardous for those with allergies or asthma.

Within these categories, there are many different forms of toxins and pollutant possibilities. Depending on a building’s structure, upkeep, ventilation and location, its indoor air could have a variety of particles and pollutants. Not all offices will have the same variables, but there are some standard sources of air pollution for every building manager to watch out for.

Here are some specific factors that contribute to indoor air quality.

  • Smoke: Regardless of a no-indoor-smoking rule, smoke can still cling to someone’s skin or clothing and accompany them inside the building. Containing more than 400 chemical compounds, cigarette smoke is particularly dangerous to have inside a poorly ventilated space.
  • Dust: Dust and mites may seem tiny enough to ignore, but these minuscule particles can circulate around a building and set off a string of allergy symptoms.
  • Mildew and mold: A change in temperature can quickly lead to condensation and moisture, which serves as a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Buildings with water damage are especially susceptible to mildew and mold problems.
  • Chemicals: Chemicals can come from building materials, furniture, upholstery and practically every manufactured item, making proper office ventilation essential.

With all these microscopic causes of poor indoor air quality, it can be overwhelming to know when your building’s air quality needs a boost. In particular, it can be challenging to detect potential air quality issues within large commercial facilities. Often, health symptoms are the most reliable signs of air quality issues, but it’s always preferable to clear out air pollutants before sickness strikes.

If you notice your building occupants starting to show SBS symptoms, follow these three steps to addressing indoor air quality.

  1. Investigate: Before deciding there’s something wrong with your building’s airflow, look into whether other environmental factors like noise, poor lighting and thermal comfort could be affecting employees. Once you’ve eliminated these possibilities, it’s time to examine the quality of your indoor air.
  2. Inspect: Check out the building’s ventilation system to make sure it’s taking in the right amount of air from outside and distributing it throughout the building well. Also, make sure the filtration systems are functioning correctly.
  3. Test: Air testing kits are a great way to detect air pollutants within a space. You can submit samples to a lab for analysis of whether your building has high levels of mold, asbestos, carbon monoxide, toxic gases and other chemicals.

How to Improve Air Quality Inside Your Office

How to Improve Air Quality Inside Your Office

Now that you’ve seen the dangers and causes of poor indoor air quality, you may be wondering how you can improve your workplace indoor air quality. Luckily, there are many ways to purify your workplace’s indoor air and make sure your employees are comfortable. Putting a little extra effort into keeping your building well-maintained will go a long way toward eliminating air pollutants and increasing productivity.

Take a look at these top 10 ways to improve office air quality and protect employee health.

1. Test Regularly

Routinely testing your workplace’s levels of indoor pollutants, regardless of any SBS symptoms, will allow you to stay on top of your building’s air quality and detect any abnormalities before they become a problem. Air quality tests should include checking for mold, airflow, ventilation, odd odors, humidity levels and water damage. A professional air quality test will tell you exactly what you need to fix within your building to improve its indoor air.

2. Unblock Vents

Make sure your building’s air vents are fully opened and unblocked. Cabinets, storage boxes, chairs or other furniture in front of an air vent could disrupt the circulation throughout the building and negatively affect the quality of air, resulting in health issues.

3. Change HVAC Filters

To see the benefits of indoor air filtration, try to clean your HVAC system regularly as well as change its filters. A clogged HVAC filter can put a stop to your building’s airflow and speed up the rate at which pollutants collect in your enclosed space. Letting dust and debris build up within a clogged air filter will cause allergens to settle inside your air ducts and risk your employees’ health.

4. Check Air Ducts

You’ll need to inspect and clean your air ducts regularly, especially if you recently had a clogged air filter. To prevent any major health concerns, call in an expert to assess and fix your air ducts if you notice any signs that they may be interfering with your building’s circulation or air quality and in need of professional cleaning.

5. Freshen the Air

Use commercial-grade equipment, such as dehumidifiers, air purifiers and air scrubbers, to clean your building’s air. Investing in top-of-the-line air-cleaning devices will keep your indoor air quality at an appropriate level and save you from having to hire professionals to fix problems later.

6. Go Natural

Thanks to photosynthesis, indoor plants are a workplace’s secret weapon for pure air. Adding an office plant will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the air and increase the levels of oxygen released into the air to make breathing easier. As a bonus, the greenery will give your office space a more peaceful and pleasing aesthetic.

7. Open Up

Let fresh air in through an open window whenever possible. Windows are a great way to promote natural airflow and circulation throughout a building. If your office has windows, open them whenever the weather permits so that stale air has an outlet and fresh air can come in.

8. Monitor Humidity

A healthy level of humidity is crucial to indoor air quality. Make sure your building’s humidity level hovers somewhere between 30 and 50% to prevent dust mites, mold and other allergens from thriving. Air conditioners and a dehumidifier can be your allies in maintaining your workplace’s proper humidity.

9. Mop up Spills

To avoid mildew and mold from excess moisture, clean up any workplace spills immediately. Water damage and residual dampness support the growth of mold and mildew, which is detrimental to human health. Prevent this problem before it arises by taking care of leaks and spills as soon as someone brings it to your attention.

10. Keep Your Building Clean

Scheduling regular professional deep cleans for your workplace is the easiest way to maintain its indoor air quality. Thorough cleanings will keep contaminants and allergens from spreading through the air, get rid of dust and reduce the chance of mold growth.

Between cleaning appointments, keep a clean workspace by clearing away clutter and disposing of garbage before it has time to build up. Look for a cleaning service that uses eco-friendly cleaning products instead of harsh chemicals that could harm your building occupants’ health.

Contact Shine Facility Services to Improve Your Air Quality

If you need a one-stop-shop to sanitize your building and raise standards of cleanliness, contact Shine Facility Services. At Shine, we use green cleaning products and disinfectants to protect and preserve the health of your office. Our goal is to deliver top-quality commercial cleanings that are sustainable and effectively reduce air pollutants.

To get started on making your office a safer and more productive place to work, request a quote from Shine Facility Services today.

Shine Facility Services today

7 Tips for a Healthy Workplace small image.

7 Tips for a Healthy Workplace

If you manage an office, you’ve likely seen how fast germs can spread. If one employee comes to work sick, it’s usually not long before their colleagues start sniffling. According to research from the University of Arizona, a single sick employee can infect half of the office’s commonly touched surfaces in just a few hours. By the end of the day, the risk of getting sick from a contaminated object is still high because it only takes a small amount of exposure to catch something.

Even if your employees understand infection control, it can still be a challenge to keep a workplace clean and healthy. What if your office contains hundreds, or possibly even thousands, of workers? The good news is that there are several ways to improve workplace cleanliness, no matter the size of your workforce. We’ll share some tips for achieving a cleaner and healthier work environment and show you how easy it can be.

Importance of a Clean Workplace

A clean office is essential to your employees’ health and well-being, regardless of your industry. When you focus on hygiene, you reduce exposure to harmful viruses, bacteria, mold and dust. Having a clean work environment offers many benefits, such as:

  • Improving air quality.
  • Boosting productivity.
  • Leading to fewer sick days.
  • Improving employees’ mental health.
  • Making a great impression on clients.

Overall, a clean office makes employees healthier, happier and more efficient. It shows you care about your staff and the environment, and it can also help visitors feel more confident in your company.

Use green cleaning products

7 Tips for a Healthier Office

Ready to make your employees feel appreciated and more comfortable at work? The following tips will show you how to have a healthy workplace:

1. Hire Professional Cleaners

Sometimes, it’s best to leave cleaning tasks to the professionals, especially if you own a large office building or want to ensure your workplace is sparkling. Cleaning professionals are trained to clean and disinfect an office’s surfaces thoroughly and efficiently, including common germ-filled areas and hard-to-reach places. They have the experience, supplies and training to keep your office as germ- and stress-free as possible.

2. Use Green Cleaning Products

Cleaning products should create a healthier environment, but some cleaners, such as those containing hazardous chemicals, can actually make employees feel sick. Many standard cleaning products reduce indoor air quality and cause headaches and throat and eye irritation. Some may cause asthma attacks in certain individuals.

Green cleaning products, on the other hand, do not contain hazardous chemicals and are therefore less likely to make employees sick. Sustainable products are also better for the environment since they include nontoxic ingredients and come in recyclable packaging. To create a truly clean office that promotes good health, go with green cleaners whenever you can.

3. Send Sick Employees Home

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers must keep a clean and healthy work environment for their employees. While it may not always be obvious if an individual is sick, you’ll want to encourage workers to go home if they complain of symptoms or show signs of illness. If you feel an employee is putting their co-workers at risk of becoming ill, you can require them to go home, even if they say they can work.

By sending a sick person home, you make your other workers feel much more comfortable, and you give the ill employee a chance to recover. Truthfully, many individuals want their sick co-workers to stay home, and it upsets them when they come to work. According to an Office Pulse survey, one in five business professionals would give up a vacation day to keep a sick co-worker home.

Sending an ill employee home is also better for business. Every person who comes into contact with the individual’s germs and gets sick will cause higher productivity loss. Depending on the illness, they could wind up missing days of work — maybe even weeks. It’s better to send one employee home than lose several members of your team within the same period.

4. Give Your Employees Sick Time

About a third of employees will come to work when they’re sick because they don’t want to lose their vacation time. It’s understandable that workers don’t want to spend their vacation lying in bed when they’d rather be relaxing on the beach. By offering sick time, employees won’t have to sacrifice their vacation days and will be more likely to take time off to recover. As a result, they’ll avoid going to work and possibly sharing their germs with co-workers and clients.

If you have a sick time policy in place, make sure employees know you support and encourage them to stay home when they don’t feel well. That way, they won’t feel pressured to come to work while sick or feel guilty for being absent.

5. Offer Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a simple and affordable way to stop the spread of germs in the workplace. Providing hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can decrease the number of germs employees encounter throughout the day. When people don’t have time to wash their hands with soap and water, hand sanitizer offers a convenient, time-saving solution. It can be especially helpful in germy areas like meeting rooms, break rooms or employees’ desks.

To ensure your employees can use hand sanitizer easily, make sure the dispensers are accessible and easy to see. Place them next to commonly touched surfaces such as doorknobs and copying machines, and encourage your workers to help themselves. Simple interventions like giving individuals hand sanitizer might reduce their risk of getting infected by a workplace virus to less than 10%.

6. Keep Bathroom Soap Dispensers Full

One of the most frustrating restroom-related experiences is finding an empty soap dispenser at the sink. Just like toilet paper dispensers, soap dispensers should rarely, if ever, be empty. Show your employees you care about their health and well-being and always make sure the soap dispensers in the bathrooms and kitchens are full.

Germs spread when people touch a contaminated surface and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Therefore, an easy and extremely effective way to prevent the spread of illness is to encourage employees to wash their hands regularly. It’s critical for your cleaning staff to monitor the soap supply and keep the dispensers full.

7. Remove Clutter

The presence of clutter can have detrimental effects in the workplace. It can make it harder to clean and disinfect surfaces because it gets in the way. Clutter also takes a toll on mental health and can lead to increased stress, which weakens the immune system.

Employees might not have the time they need to remove clutter from their desks during a regular workday. To solve the clutter problem, consider scheduling time for workers to tidy up their workspaces at least every quarter or once a year. They will feel less pressured to rush through the process if they have time in their schedule to declutter, and they’ll enjoy an organized, easy-to-maintain space as a result.

Create a Healthy Workplace With Shine Facility Services

Create a Healthy Workplace With Shine Facility Services

A clean, healthy work environment supports employee well-being and promotes productivity. It’s much easier to focus on the job when you don’t have to waste time worrying about germs or illness. As a manager, you may be wondering how to keep up with cleaning tasks and ensure a high level of cleanliness and safety for your staff. You don’t have to handle the challenge alone. At Shine Facility Services, we’ll take care of it for you.

At Shine, we are committed to providing high-quality commercial cleaning services and exceeding our clients’ expectations. Our trained professionals use the latest and most effective green cleaning products to make your workplace healthier for employees and give your company a competitive edge. To learn more about our eco-friendly cleaning services, contact us today — we’ll be happy to meet your needs!

Man in protective suit cleaning and disinfecting a kitchen.

Our Response to COVID-19

At Shine Facility Services, the safety of our team members, our clients, and the public is always of primary importance in everything that we do. We wanted to provide you with an update on the actions we are taking in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and reassure you that we are prepared, with a clear action plan in place.

What We Are Doing

First, Shine Facility Services remains vigilant in monitoring the most up-to-date safety, infection control and cleaning protocols recommended by global experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Second, in connection with guidance provided by global health authorities, we have strengthened our on-site cleanliness measures. These actions include, but are not limited to, the following efforts:

  • Implemented Disinfection Process using EVA CLEAN PRO TEXUS ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING TECHNOLOGY.
  • Increased cleaning scope to sanitize all high-frequency touchpoints more often. We use WAXIE SOLSTA 730 DISINFECTANT CLEANER, which has a kill time of 1 minute for Covid-19.  Information about this disinfectant is listed below.
  • Ensuring sufficient stock levels of soap and soap dispensers remain filled
  • Upon customer’s request, installation of hand sanitizer dispensers, which will be available at the building entrance or in pantry areas, etc…
  • Upon customer’s request, order and distribute the wipes to office employees to wipe down internal surfaces

We are committed to creating a healthy and safe environment for your facility. We will keep you informed of any new developments which may impact you and your facility. Please do not hesitate to contact Shine if you have any questions or requests.

EVA CLEAN PRO TEXUS ELECTROSTATIC SPRAYING TECHNOLOGY

Protexus electrostatic sprayers easily disinfect and sanitize around curved and hard-to-reach surfaces, covering up to 3x the surface area of a conventional sprayer or mister using the same amount of time and labor.

Electrostatic Sprayer

Electrostatic Sprayer

PUR:ONE Fast Dissolving Cleaning and Disinfecting Tablets

PUR:ONE is a fast-dissolving concentrated tablet that dissolves in water. It is the first chemical with an EPA registered kill claim against bacteria present in biofilm. It is a powerful cleaner and disinfectant having sporicidal grade disinfection in a safe and effective formula for workers and surfaces. PUR:ONE can be applied with a mop, spray bottle, and micro-fiber. It is the only sporicidal disinfectant that will not dull or damage the floor finish. It can replace bleach, peracetic acid, and quats in any disinfecting program. It is used as the first step of the EvaClean program to effectively clean, disinfect, and kill bacteria in biofilm in 1 minute.

PurOneDisinfectant

PurOneDisinfectant

WAXIE SOLSTA 730 DISINFECTANT CLEANER

A one-step hydrogen peroxide-based product for disinfection, cleaning, and deodorizing. Cleans quickly by removing dirt, grime, mold and mildew stains, body oils, and other common soils found in hospitals, nursing homes, office buildings, schools and colleges, and many other locations. For use on any hard, non-porous washable surface where disinfection is required. Contains hydrogen peroxide. Meets CA Code of Regulations maximum allowable VOC levels for the disinfectant category. 4/3 Liter bottles per case. For use with Solution Station dispensers only. A new claim for SARS-Related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in one minute.

WAXIE SOLSTA 730 HP DISINFECTANT CLEANER

WAXIE SOLSTA 730 HP DISINFECTANT CLEANER

Recommended Precautions

While thorough cleaning & disinfecting is a critical component of managing the spread of COVID-19, the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Additional Information

Sars-Cov-2/COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus that causes COVID-19, an illness which is primarily spread from person to person. COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild (or no symptoms) to severe illness. A person can become infected in different ways, such as coming into close contact (about 6 feet or two arm lengths) with a person who has COVID-19, from respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, or by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, followed by touching one’s mouth, nose, or eyes. It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious, influencing factors such as the size of the room and the ventilation system design (including flowrate (air changes per hour) and location of supply and exhaust vents.))

Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. It does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

Disinfecting refers to using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Understanding LEED Certification and commercial cleaning.

Understanding LEED Certification and Commercial Cleaning

Today, many companies are taking on sustainability and green initiatives to have a more positive impact on the environment and human health. The LEED certification program gives the framework for buildings to be more environmentally responsible and recognizes these achievements with different levels of certification. These designations are attractive to potential residents and tenants, as well as investors and the general public.

While LEED certification covers many different facets of a building’s construction, design and day-to-day operations, a huge part of it is the cleaning products and methods used in the building. Making sure that only non-toxic cleaning solutions are used contributes to a more positive environmental impact, as well as a much healthier environment inside the building. Choosing LEED-certified commercial cleaning companies helps a building achieve and maintain its LEED status and ensure better air quality and human health.

What Is LEED?

What is LEED

 

LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a globally recognized certification program that recognizes sustainability and environmental responsibility in building design, construction and operations. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) created this certification program to ensure consistent metrics that promote the most important elements of sustainable building design, including:

  • Energy conservation and savings
  • Water efficiency and conservation
  • Indoor air quality and overall indoor environment
  • Minimized carbon dioxide emissions

The LEED certification program is based on a points system, and points are awarded for each of these main categories, to give a building its total score. Based on this system, a building can then be listed as LEED-certified and go on to achieve higher levels of certification, designated by silver, gold and platinum levels. Recertification is necessary at certain intervals in order to maintain the LEED certification status.

This program gives builders, designers and building owners a framework to follow for measurable solutions in green design, and at all stages — from building design and construction to daily cleaning and maintenance. The program can be used for buildings of all types, too — whether residential, commercial or something else. Homes, businesses, healthcare facilities, schools, churches and even whole neighborhoods can benefit from the LEED certification program.

A LEED certification is an honorable designation that shows the building’s owners and designers care about the environment and are responsible stewards of the earth. It shows a commitment to leadership in green living and sets an example for other companies and communities to strive for.

What Is LEED-Compliant Green Cleaning?

LEED certification isn’t just for new construction — the ratings can also be used to certify existing buildings for renovations, as well as daily maintenance, cleaning procedures and general day-to-day operations. This type of certification is called LEED-EB, or LEED for Existing Buildings. The LEED-EB program involves all of the main aspects of regular day-to-day building operations like energy and water efficiency, recycling facilities or programs, indoor air quality, mechanical systems and maintenance methods, cleaning methods and uses of chemical agents and so much more.

Why Are LEED Certifications Important to Cleaning?

At first, the cleaning methods and supplies that a facility uses may not seem as important as other aspects of LEED certification, but they can have a huge impact on the overall environmental quality of the building, and in turn, the building’s LEED score.

Green and sustainable cleaning services ensure a safer indoor environment with non-toxic cleaning products and more efficient cleaning methods. A green cleaning certification means that the indoor environment of the facility is protected, and the environmental impact of the building and the health of the people who use the facility are also a priority.

LEED Cleaning Standards

 

When seeking LEED certification for a facility, a LEED-certified green cleaning program will need to be implemented as part of an overall green maintenance plan for the building. A LEED green cleaning policy should include standards to follow for all of the following and more:

  • General-purpose cleaners: Any cleaning solutions or chemicals used in the building must meet strict environmental and safety standards to comply with LEED cleaning certification. Cleaning products need to be used in the proper dilutions and be the mildest possible solutions while still effectively doing their job. Cleaning solutions must be considered non-toxic in their undiluted form, as well as non-corrosive to skin and eyes, and should not contain any heavy metals or ingredients known to cause cancer, asthma or reproductive disruption. Green cleaning products should not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are disruptive to indoor air quality, and not leave behind harmful residues.
  • Floor and glass cleaners: Specialty cleaners should also adhere to the cleaning standards of LEED, ensuring that the chemicals used do not contribute to a degradation of the environment, air quality or water quality and aquatic life.
  • Vacuums: To comply with LEED standards, vacuum cleaners need to be certified with the Carpet and Rug Institute and their Green Label program. Vacuum cleaners also should not exceed 70 decibels of noise volume when operated.
  • Carpet extractors: Equipment used for deep cleaning of floors and carpets need to have a Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute to ensure LEED compliance.
  • Paper products and trash bags: Trash liners or bags, and any paper janitorial products used, such as paper towels, should all meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. All of these products should be made from renewable or recycled resources and not contain virgin tree fibers.
  • Hand soaps and sanitizers: Any soaps and sanitizers provided in the building for hand washing should not contain anti-microbial agents, unless this is required by other health codes — such as in hospitals and nursing homes.
  • Hazardous cleanup plans: The building must have LEED-compliant procedures to follow for any chemical leaks, spills or other toxic cleanup situations. Plans should minimize any damage to human health and the environment.

Cleaning supplies that meet LEED standards are also often packaged in more environmentally friendly recycled bottles and packages, and should also be recyclable. Energy and water usage, as well as renewability of materials, are also considered in the manufacturing process for green cleaning products.

All of these smaller aspects add up to a greater environmental impact, and it’s easy to see how green cleaning benefits LEED scores overall. A LEED-compliant professional cleaning company will be knowledgeable about these green building certification cleaning requirements.

Why Do You Need a LEED-Compliant Cleaning Company in Order to Be LEED Certified?

Any facility seeking LEED-EB certification will need to make broad policy changes in all day-to-day operations, and the cleaning products and methods used are a huge part of this. In fact, LEED certification requirements include a green cleaning plan for the building.

Because the cleaning requirements of LEED are so specific and are an important, integrated part of the overall plan, it’s best to use a cleaning company that understands corporate cleaning and LEED standards. A knowledgeable green cleaning company will have the right cleaning products and services to keep you on track for LEED certification or maintaining your LEED status.

How to Know If a Cleaning Company Is LEED Compliant

When you choose a cleaning company for your building, they should be listed as a green cleaning company and be knowledgeable and experienced with more environmentally friendly cleaning practices. Some green cleaning companies train their staff on LEED compliance and only use LEED approved cleaning products. Shine Facility Services is proud to be a green commercial cleaning company committed to the environment and experienced in the green cleaning provisions of LEED.

How to Choose a LEED Commercial Cleaner

A commercial cleaning company that is committed to green cleaning and LEED standards can help you earn points towards a LEED certification for your building. You’ll want to know that the cleaning company you hire is aware of LEED standards and uses environmentally safe cleaning products. Look for cleaning companies that have their own third-party sustainability and environmental certifications, and trained staff members in green cleaning requirements for LEED.

The International Sanitary Supply Association, or ISSA, has their own certification program for green cleaning companies called the Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) and CIMS-Green Building (CIMS-GB). With this certification program, you can be sure that a cleaning company will deliver consistent results and will have a comprehensive green cleaning program that aligns with LEED cleaning requirements.

Benefits of LEED Certification

Obtaining LEED certification for your building offers many benefits for the building owner, with virtually no risks or downsides. LEED certification at any level demonstrates that a building is concerned for the health of the people who use it and the planet, too. Some of the benefits of LEED certification include:

1. Positive Environmental Impact

One of the biggest benefits — and the main point of LEED certification — is a reduced impact on the surrounding environment and planet as a whole. Pollution and waste are reduced, as well as the impact on natural resources. A LEED-certified building will have a much smaller carbon footprint than other similar buildings without LEED standards in place.

2. Healthier Inhabitants

Along with a healthier environmental impact comes a healthier environment inside the building, too. LEED requirements ensure the air quality inside the building is improved, with the use of HVAC filters and approved eco-friendly cleaning products.

With fewer allergens, bacteria and toxins in the interior environment, those who live or work in the building experience less environment-related health problems. A 2018 USGBC survey showed that employees want to work for value-driven companies, and those that work in LEED-certified spaces were healthier, happier and more productive.

3. Higher Productivity and Retention

A LEED designation is more attractive to tenants and employees, so whether the building is for apartments, office spaces or something else, you’ll have an easier time finding people, and keeping them happy in the space as long-term tenants or employees. Healthier inhabitants also means better performance and higher productivity for office workers, as well as greater job satisfaction, since increased air quality leads to fewer sick days. People want to live and work where they will be healthier and where the environment is a priority, and will be more likely to seek out LEED-certified locations.

4. Positive Public Image

The public will look more favorably on a LEED-certified project or company. Communities will be more welcoming to new construction projects that have LEED certification. Companies that prioritize environmentally friendly spaces can experience a boost to their brand image, leading to higher sales numbers, while at the same time looking more attractive to investors and other corporate initiatives. A LEED designation can set a company apart from their competition and be a powerful marketing tool.

5. Reduced Utility Costs

Beyond all of the amazing benefits for people, the environment and business, LEED certification will also save a company money in lowered utility costs. Buildings that are LEED certified are designed to greatly reduce their water and electricity use, which is not just great for the planet — it also saves huge amounts of money.

Plus, the cost savings are not just limited to water and energy — with a comprehensive recycling program, trash will also be reduced, saving the company money on waste removal services.

6. Higher Resale Value

Buildings designed with LEED certification in mind or those retro-fitted for LEED-EB can experience an increase in property value and greater interest if the building is on the market. Tenants are often more willing to pay higher rents in LEED-certified buildings, so profits can increase for the current owner as well.

7. Tax Benefits and Incentives

The LEED certification program comes with many available tax breaks to take advantage of, at both state and local levels, as well as other added incentives like discounts on permits or fast-tracked permits, among other benefits.

Professional LEED Cleaning From Shine Facility Services

 

If your company is seeking LEED certification, you’ll want to hire a green commercial company that upholds cleaning industry management standards for green cleaning and LEED. Shine Facility Services understands your commitment to green practices and provides professional, top-quality cleaning services that comply with LEED standards.

As an eco-friendly commercial cleaning company with years of experience, we offer the best janitorial services in the San Francisco Bay area, using high-quality green cleaning products and staff trained in LEED practices. Shine only uses safe, non-toxic cleaning products that maintain the best indoor air quality and health of your employees or residents.

Contact Shine today to request a quote or get more information about our exceptional green cleaning and facility management services.