Cleaning Supplies Tips

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What cleaning equipment is preferable for hand washing, automatic hand dryers or paper towel dispensers?

The Importance of Hand Washing and Drying: Cleaning Equipment

Hand washing is one of the most important acts that all food workers can do to prevent the spread of food borne illnesses. Purchasing cleaning equipment such as
automatic hand dryers are a great way to encourage hand washing as well as
reduce waste and debris from paper towels. Automatic hand dryers prevent the
need for paper towels that may overflow on the restroom floors. Additionally, automatic hand dryers are
preferable due to the fact that the cost of purchasing automatic hand dryers
far outweighs the cost of continually stocking paper towels.

<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--><!--[endif]-->It is also important to ensure that your
food establishments are also equipped with hand washing cleaning supplies such
as antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers. All employees should understand the importance of hand
washing and drying in the workplace. Hands should be washed with antibacterial soap after visiting the
restroom, handling raw meat, after break times, handling trash, if coughing,
and if sneezing. Make sure to place
signs throughout the establishment to remind customers and coworkers alike the
importance of hand washing.

   
What advantage do wholesale cleaning supplies in bulk form have over ready to use cleaning supplies?

Wholesale Cleaning Supplies: Concentrate vs. Ready to Use

Buying items in bulk is not only great for your budget, but it is also better for the environment. When you buy wholesale cleaning supplies in bulk form, you save on packaging materials as well as the water that is used to make the cleaner ready to use. By purchasing wholesale cleaners in bulk form, and then storing them in approved containers that have easily legible labels, you reduce the amount of packaging materials that are wasted as well as save on the amount of water used to make the cleaning supplies workable.

   
What type of cleaning equipment does the HACCP recommend?

Implementing a Cleaning System with HACCP Recommended Cleaning Equipment

Implementing a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) program in your food establishment is a wise idea. The HACCP program utilizes the latest safeguards and precautions to prevent food borne illnesses in food establishments, and one of the most critical control points in preventing the spread of these illnesses is in proper cleaning and sanitation practices. Knowing the best cleaning equipment to use and devising a daily schedule are key components to ensuring that your HACCP program is a success. To become certified in HACCP you will need to take a course. To find a course near you, contact that HACCP Alliance. Part of the HACCP Coursework for Sanitation SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is to create an SOP that may be used in your food establishment.

   
What educational programs explain the best cleaning supplies to use?

ServSafe Course: Best Cleaning Supplies

To fully understand the best cleaning supplies for your food establishment, you may want to consider taking the Serv Safe course. Serv Safe is a voluntary course that will help ensure your food establishment is utilizing the best defense against food borne illness, bacteria, and the spread of disease. One of the new courses is entitled, “5 R ServSafe® Cleaning and Sanitizing” focuses on the difference between cleaning and sanitizing and the best cleaning supplies for each, how to establish a cleaning program, how to properly store clean item, utensils, and equipment, and how sanitizers work. This course consists of a DVD that is approximately 10 minutes in length. To find out more about the Serv Safe Course, contact your local branch of the National Restaurant Association.

   
What should I look for in a product when choosing all natural cleaning supplies?

All Natural Cleaning Supplies: Going Green

Whether you make a full commitment to going green or simply prefer to choose all natural cleaning supplies to reduce the impact of hazardous chemicals on the environment, choosing earth friendly cleaning supplies is becoming increasingly popular with restaurant owners. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best all natural cleaning supplies: <!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]-->

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Choose products that were made with plant based extracts as opposed to cleaners that were derived from petroleum products.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Look for products that state that they are phosphate free.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Avoid ammonia and if using bleach, never combine ammonia and bleach as this produces toxic vapors.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Avoid the use of chlorine and opt for products that state they are oxygenated, rather then use chlorine.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->Look for cleansers in large bottles to reduce waste.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> <!--[endif]-->If in doubt read the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet)

   
Why should I choose cleaning equipment that bears the NSF Mark?

Choosing Cleaning Equipment: NSF Mark

Cleaning equipment is vital to the success of your business and you need to take careful consideration when purchasing these items. The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) is a non-profit organization that helps to increase safety standards for both the public and the environment in the areas of food, water, air, and the environment. The NSF Mark certifies that a product or piece of equipment has been thoroughly tested and has passed various accreditations to become NSF certified. When choosing cleaning equipment, and commercial cleaning supplies, look for the NSF mark to verify that the product has met the NSF certification and will provide the level of sanitation that the product states it will deliver.

   
Can I reuse the containers that stored bulk cleaning supplies?

The Federal Food Code and Storing Bulk Cleaning Supplies

Every four years, the federal government updates the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Food Code to incorporate any changes that are applicable to food establishments. When it comes to storing bulk cleaning supplies, the U.S. Department has laid out some very clear rules.

First, they advise that all bulk cleaning supplies be stored in clearly legible containers with the manufacturer's information easily made visible. When bulk cleaning items are being used, they must be in working containers that are clearly labeled as well. Only chemicals and toxic materials that have been deemed appropriate for use in a restaurant are allowed to enter the facility. Also, containers that have been used to store bulk cleaning supplies or other hazardous items are forbidden to be used for storing, housing, or transporting food.

   

Custom Made Trash Cans

Consider a custom-made trash can for your business. It's a great way to add ambiance to a room. There are companies that customize trash cans in a variety of themes. You can order them in high grade commercial metal that will last years.

   

Strong and Easy to Clean Trash Cans

The 44 and 55-gallon trash cans approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) are a good choice for restaurants. They are strong and easy to clean and they also come with an optional dolly. You can get trash cans made of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) accepted materials that are NSF approved for food handling and storage.

   

Selecting the Yarn Type for Your Wet Mop

When selecting the yarn type for your wet mop, consider the following:
Cotton fibers are popular because of their low initial cost, limited shrinkage and great absorption. Cotton picks up two to three times its weight. Also, depending upon the type of mop you order, they can be designed to specialize in either everyday mopping or cleaning highly abrasive surfaces.

Rayon fibers have fast absorption. They are mildew resistant, lint less and dry fast. Rayon is designed to pick up six to seven times its weight but it has no retention capabilities and, therefore, is an excellent finish mop.

Blends combine all the advantages of several different fibers to provide the ideal balance of price, performance and appearance. These are highly absorbent. Blends pick up and hold six to seven times their weight. And, as a bonus, they require no break-in.

   

NSF Approved Trash Cans are a Good Idea

It is a good idea to buy trash cans that have been approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). This is a non-profit organization which focuses on public health, safety, and environmental protection. This is achieved by development of industry standards, education and by providing third party conformity assessments. NSF is the only third party product certifier to be fully accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in the U.S. NSF is widely recognized for its scientific and technical expertise in the health and environmental sciences.

   

Avoid Plain Bleach When Mopping

According to Cleanlink.com, the information resource for the cleaning industry, managers often want to cut corners by using bleach or washing powder or some other concoction they perceive as being cost-effective. These improvised products are not designed for removing animal fats and vegetable oils. Bleach is particularly ineffective. You can demonstrate this by mixing bleach and water in a clear disposable glass. Mix your degreaser and water in another glass. Pour a little vegetable oil or a little spent motor oil (dirty motor oil is black and provides good contrast) in both glasses and then stir. The oil will stick to the sides and some will float in the solution containing bleach, but it will completely dissolve or emulsify in the degreaser solution.

   

Cleaning Floors Within Budget

Productivity is key to maintaining a properly functioning restaurant while staying within budget. Cleaning products need to work quickly and effectively, while floor finishes need to last as long as possible.

Clean floors go a long way in making a favorable impression of a building. Often times, visitors judge how well a facility is run based on its floors.

Focus on high traffic areas, and think about the best floor type for your restaurant. Some types of flooring, such as tile, can be slippery. Vinyl composition tile requires a fair amount of maintenance, but tends to cost less initially. Other floors, such as terrazzo and stone, need less maintenance but cost more up front. Floors with satin finishes, rather than high-gloss, are becoming more popular, because they're known to be easier to maintain.

   

Selecting the Correct Wet Mop

When researching mop handles, you will need to decide if you want handles made of metal, plastic, wood or fiberglass. You will also need to decide if you want looped ends on your mop, cut ends, headbands or tailbands.

Looped ends add longer life and better performance to wet mops. Looped ends allow for an open more absorbent twist that does not lint, fray or unravel. This is ideal if you want to launder your wet mops. Cut ends are popular because of their low initial cost. Functional and affordable, they are ideal for almost any application from general mopping to applying finishes.
Headbands are available in 1 1/4 inch and 5 inch widths.
Tailbands improve coverage control. They enable the mop to cover a wider path saving time and labor. Tailbands prevent tangling and permit laundering.

   

Health Inspection of Trash Cans

Restaurant industry trash cans are filled with countless ingredients of all shapes, sizes and consistencies. It is important to ensure that outside trash cans do not leak. This can make the difference between passing or failing a health inspection. When it's time for a health inspection, the inspector will check to make sure the lids are closed so the rats are kept out and the garbage is kept in.

   

Mopping a Floor Effectively

You may need to change the water and cleaning solution several times when mopping your restaurant floor.

When mopping a greasy floor using the mop and bucket method, the grease is deposited into the cleaning solution each time the mop returns to the bucket. The degreasing solution quickly reaches its soil load capacity — the amount of soil or dirt a cleaner can hold before its cleaning ability is affected — and it is no longer effective. Once this happens, the grease and oil are just moved around without being removed.

   

Periodic Degreasing of Floors

Sometimes restaurant owners need to know when to put aside the mop and hire help for a deep floor cleaning. This is particularly important if, no matter how many times the floor is mopped, there is still a residue that makes the floor a falling hazard for employees and guests.

Deep-cleaning degreasing solutions are sometimes needed when floor build-up becomes too much for a traditional mop and bucket method.

This is when professionals come in and spray the floors with a chemical. Spraying allows adequate dwell time that is needed for the chemical to break the surface tension (a film formed by surface molecules) and to emulsify the soil. Cleaners will work by chemical action if given time. This method provides a good hot-water rinse that contributes to the level of cleanliness. Hot water works best when cleaning greasy soils.

   
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Heidi Splete