3 Products To Prevent Foul Public Restroom Odors

Dirty public restrooms can leave a lasting negative impression on the people that enter your building.

In fact, about 47% of people are led to believe a business doesn’t care about its customers when they see an unclean restroom. 

If your guests encounter restrooms that have a foul odor, there’s a high chance that they’ll immediately turn around and leave. 

While some of your customers may make a complaint with your staff, others may go so far as to leave a poor review of your facilities, which can affect the way your building is viewed.

To avoid this, you and your cleaning staff should make sure that your restroom remains clean and maintains a fresh smell.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the different types of restroom odor control solutions that can help keep your commercial restrooms smelling fresh.

How Do You Keep Your Public Restroom From Smelling?

The first, and probably most obvious thing to do is to clean your commercial restroom regularly. A regular cleaning schedule will help reduce the risk of the people in your building encountering a dirty restroom.

The second thing your business can do is make sure that your public restroom consistently smells good. There are a variety of odor-control solutions available to use, like:

  • Urinal Screens
  • Active Odor Control Systems
  • Fragranced Cleaner And Deodorizer
  • And More

Urinal Screens

Grout and any cracks in your floors are moist, dark, and hard to clean, making it the perfect breeding ground for bacteria from urine and other soils. 

When occupants and guests use the restroom urine splashes from the toilets and urinals, seeping into the grout and other cracks. 

If removing the bacteria from these areas wasn’t tough enough already, the trapped bacteria from urine and other contaminants is the main cause of restroom odors.  

It can also lead to floor damage, dirty appearance, and an overall unsanitary environment.

Urinal screens are designed to reduce the chance of splashback when your urinals are used by your guests, protecting your floors and reducing odors. Uric acid can also seep into the grout and through any cracks in your floors. 

A fragrant urinal screen, like the Wave 3D, can be used to minimize the risk of urine splashing to floors, reducing the risk of odors, bacteria growth, and other related issues. 

Active Odor Control Systems

An odor control system that constantly releases fragrance in your restroom is an essential part of preventing foul odors.

Active odor control systems are designed to deliver scents into the air at regular intervals in order to combat any foul odors in your restroom. 

These systems can be used to treat all of the air in an area, as opposed to passive odor control systems which use air passing to release the scent. 

In most cases, you should use a combination of active and passive systems to combat and control the odors in your restroom. 

Systems, like the Fresh Products™ ourfresh, come with different fragrance options that can be matched to the different types of odor control products you have in your restroom. 

The variety of scents will allow you to choose the best fragrance option that best meets the needs of your commercial restroom. Depending on the odors you are combatting, you may want to choose a stronger or more neutral fragrance for your restroom.

The ourfresh active air freshener is a dry fragrance system that provides consistent public restroom odor control for up to 30 days. 

The Fresh Products™ ourfresh uses a fan to release the right amount of product during use.

These odor control systems can be placed near the sink or mounted on a wall to provide a pleasant experience for your guests as they enter the stalls.

Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate

The products you use to clean your commercial restroom can also play a role in how it smells. Not only will the right cleaning chemical be successful in removing odor-causing bacteria, but it can also leave behind a pleasant scent.

Janitorial products that clean without removing the source of odors will lead to lingering odors in your restroom.

The lingering smell is usually urine that has seeped into the floor and cannot be reached by regular restroom cleaners. 

Bio-active concentrates are a cleaning chemical filled with bacteria that will break down the bacteria that cause restroom odors and penetrate the surface to remove stubborn urine residue.

The Fresh Products™ BioConqueror 105 is a bio-active concentrate that consumes urine and waste that has settled on the floor and other surfaces.

The Bio-Conqueror 105 can be diluted for use on your floors with a mop or auto scrubber, in your toilets, and on various surfaces to provide a deep clean of your restroom.

This product is available in a variety of fragrances that can be matched with the existing scents in your public restroom to leave a desirable smell in your restroom after cleaning.

You will want to make sure to use the same scent throughout your entire restroom because having too many different scents can be overwhelming for your guests. 

Final Thoughts

Controlling the presence of odors in your restroom is an important part of making sure that your guests are satisfied with their experience in your facility.

Using a combination of urinal screens, active odor control systems, and fragranced cleaning chemicals can help eliminate odors in your restroom and even keep them from returning.

These products target and treat the cause of odors that can affect how your guess perceives your facility’s cleanliness.

For more information on how these products can help create a clean, good-smelling commercial restroom for your business, contact an Imperial Dade sales consultant today!

We service businesses located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Canada. Our specialists can set up a restroom consultation to help match your business with the right products for your unique needs.

What is Electrostatic Disinfection?

Disinfecting large areas in your commercial facility can be time-consuming and require a lot of labor from your cleaning staff. Read this article to learn whether electrostatic disinfection is the right no-touch disinfection method for disinfecting surfaces in your building.

Creating a clean, sanitary environment for you and the people in your building is an important task for any facility manager. 

Manually cleaning the various surfaces in your building can create very long cleaning times, making it hard for your janitorial team to complete other tasks in your building.

To combat long cleaning times, your janitorial staff can use an electrostatic disinfectant sprayer to disinfect the surfaces in your building.

In this article, we’ll explain what electrostatic disinfection is and how you and your staff can use electrostatic disinfection in your facility to reduce the chance of spreading illness-causing germs.

What is Electrostatic Disinfection?

Electrostatic disinfection is the process of spraying a disinfectant chemical on a surface or object in your facility using an electrostatic sprayer.

When using an electrostatic sprayer, your cleaning staff can apply disinfectant faster, using fewer chemicals, and achieving an even coating.

As a result, large areas that are disinfected using an electrostatic sprayer are treated more efficiently and economically.

How does Electrostatic Disinfection Work?

Electrostatic disinfectant sprayers are able to deliver uniform, 360-degree wraparound coverage by applying either a positive or negative charge to the disinfectant chemical.

Since most surfaces have a neutral charge, the charged particles that are dispelled from the sprayers are attracted to them. 

Applying a disinfectant using an electrostatic sprayer allows for thorough coverage since the droplets are attracted to the surface while repelling droplets of disinfectant. This means that if an area has already been coated with disinfectant, the chemical will travel to new areas or surfaces that haven’t yet been coated by disinfectant.

What Disinfectants Can Be Applied Electrostatically?

It is important to note that not all disinfectant chemicals can be applied electrostatically, and not every electrostatic sprayer is compatible with the same disinfectant. 

Some manufacturers, like Victory Innovations and Clorox, have outlined the different types of disinfectant chemicals that can be used with their electrostatic sprayers.

When choosing a disinfectant to use with an electrostatic sprayer, you should double-check the product manufacturer’s instructions for compatibility with the device you’re using.

You should also check that you can achieve the required dwell time using an electrostatic disinfection sprayer.

If you use the wrong chemical in your sprayer, you could risk inadequate surface coverage and reduced disinfection caused by the disinfectant not being able to hold the electrical charge. 

Where Can Electrostatic Disinfection Be Used?

Electrostatic disinfection is most effective when used in areas like:

  • Educational facilities
  • Healthcare settings
  • Hotels
  • Airports
  • Restaurants
  • Athletic Facilities
  • & other facilities that require frequent disinfection

You can also use this technology to clean hard-to-reach areas and crevices that would otherwise be ignored.

WARNING: When using an electrostatic sprayer in a food service or food preparation facility, you should use extreme caution. An electrostatic sprayer shouldn’t be used when food and other items are out and can come into contact with the chemical disinfectant.

You should also be cautious when using an electrostatic sprayer in an area where children commonly spend time.

What Types Of Electrostatic Disinfection Devices Are Available?

Imperial Dade provides a variety of electrostatic devices to help you and your cleaning staff achieve effective and efficient disinfection in your facility.

We can provide your facility with our two top-rated electrostatic devices that will make disinfecting the surfaces in your facility easier and less time consuming:

  1. Victory Innovations® Electrostatic Sprayer
  2. Clorox® Electrostatic Sprayer

Victory Innovations® Electrostatic Sprayer

The Victory Innovations® Electrostatic Sprayer is designed to cover more surfaces in your facility while saving your cleaning team time and labor.

Size: 

The Victory Electrostatic Sprayer comes in either a 5 lb handheld sprayer with a 1L capacity or a 10lb backpack sprayer with an 8.52 L capacity.

Depending on the size of the area being cleaned, you can choose between the handheld and the backpack sprayer. 

If you have to disinfect an area that has a lot of obstacles and furniture, you will benefit more from the handheld sprayer while disinfecting an open area will be easier with a backpack sprayer. 

Chemical Compatibility:

Victory Innovations sprayers are designed to use a range of disinfectant chemicals, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets. However, the manufacturer doesn’t sell disinfectants specifically for use with the sprayer.

That means the chemicals you use can be tailored to meet the budget and infection prevention needs of your specific facility. 

For your preferred disinfectant chemical, you will need to confirm with the chemical manufacturer the disinfectant is suitable for electrostatic spray application and is effective against the target pathogens.

Power Source: 

The Victory Electrostatic Sprayers are cordless, lithium-ion battery-powered electrostatic sprayers. A cordless sprayer offers you and your cleaning team increased mobility without the risk of tripping on a power cord.

Optimal Spray Distance:

The handheld sprayer is best used at a distance of 2-4 feet for the best disinfectant coverage, while the backpack sprayer has an optimal spray distance of 2-6 feet.

Run Time: 

Both of these models have a 4-hour run time on a single charge and a 90-minute battery charge time.

Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer

The Clorox Total 360 provides a uniform surface coverage and kills illness-causing germs from surfaces in your building.

Size: 

The Clorox Electrostatic Sprayer comes in either the 33.8-ounce handheld TurboPro™ model or the Total 360 electrostatic cart that is compatible with the Clorox 128 fl. oz. disinfectant products.

Chemical Compatibility: 

The Total 360 system should only be used with Clorox’s line of disinfectant chemicals. These products range from cleaner disinfectants to sanitizers. 

The TurboPro™ can be used with any compatible disinfectant chemicals that work with an electrostatic sprayer and have EPA approval for application by electrostatic spray devices.

Power Source:

The handheld TurboPro™ sprayer has a rechargeable battery, while the Total 360 cart system is corded and can only be used as far as the cord will allow the system to go.

A corded electrostatic sprayer is able to maintain a consistent charge during use, which is key to making sure that the disinfectant can achieve a full 360 degree wrap on surfaces and objects.

Optimal Spray Distance:

The TurboPro handheld sprayer should be held between 2-3 feet from the surfaces being sprayed. The Total 360 cart sprayer should be used between 2-4 feet away from the surfaces being treated.

Run Time:

The total 360 system is corded, so it will run as long as it’s plugged into an outlet. 

The TurboPro™ can run for 4 hours on a single charge.


Final Thoughts

Electrostatic disinfection is a great option for any facility that needs to complete high-volume surface disinfection. It also works great for any facility that may deal with hard-to-reach spaces or objects that are not easily disinfected by hand because of the object shape or fixture surface area. 

With an electrostatic sprayer, you and your cleaning staff will be able to apply disinfectant chemicals to various areas in your building faster and use less labor and chemicals.

If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada, contact one of our Imperial Dade sales consultants to learn more about how electrostatic disinfection can benefit your facility. Our specialists can help match you with the best products and equipment for your business’s specific needs.

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Did you know poor IAQ or indoor air quality can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article.

Did you know poor IAQ, or the indoor air quality, can affect the health of your occupants and visitors? Keeping the air in your facility clean is vital to occupant comfort and health. Find out how to remove viruses, mold, dust, and other air pollutants in this article by learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your business’s facility.

What are the Downsides of Poor Air Quality?

IAQ, or the indoor air quality of your building, has a big impact on your occupants. Poor indoor air quality can create discomfort and illness amount the people in your building. Sometimes it can even lead to health issues that seemingly have no direct cause, meaning that fresh air is crucial for the well- being of everyone in your facility.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) refers to this as “sick building syndrome,” which is used to describe situations in which building occupants experience acute health and comfort effects that appear to be linked to time spent in a building. There are numerous causes for sick building syndrome including chemical and biological contaminants, but inadequate ventilation and poor air quality are notable sources of discomfort for many.

These symptoms typically include, but are not limited to: 

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation of nose, throat, and eyes
  • Respiratory diseases

Depending on the type of facility you manage, this can create several issues.

Poor IAQ in schools can create long and short-term health effects for students and staff, which can affect their performance. Students that are affected by poor air quality may have reduced attendance, comfort, and performance. Given how students attend school with the primary purpose of learning, poor air quality can inhibit their growth and development in the classroom.

For businesses, employees can also be affected by poor indoor air quality which can cost tens of billions of dollars each year because of reduced worker productivity and illnesses. Poor air quality can also be detrimental to the well-being and experience of customers who visit your facility.

Up until recently, improving indoor air quality wasn’t a high priority for many businesses. However, as COVID-19 surged, more people realized the importance of clean air since illnesses including COVID, the flu, and the common cold are spread through the air.

While COVID-19 has been around since 2019, removing the virus (SARS-CoV-2), and other contaminants, like dust, allergens, and other illness-causing germs is still as important as ever.

If there is one concept that will last well past the current COVID-19 surge, it is the importance of improving indoor air quality. Before we tell you how to improve your building’s indoor air quality, let’s review:

What is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality refers to the number of pollutants inside and around the outside of your facility. The air outside of your facility contributes to the quality of air inside your facility because ventilation systems allow air to pass into your building. If there are high levels of air pollution outside of your building, your indoor pollutant levels will also likely be high.

What Are the Most Common Air Pollutants? 

There are many pollutants that linger in the air that we breathe every day. Some of the indoor pollutants that cause poor indoor air quality include:

  • Bacteria, Mold, and Viruses
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • Dirt and Dust, Including Dust Mites
  • Building Materials
  • Outdoor Sources (such as tobacco products, etc.)
Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance.

Poor indoor air quality impacts concentration and performance, among many other factors for an individual’s well-being and performance. Allergens, like mold, can cause musty odors and are linked to health issues like headaches, allergic reactions, and respiratory discomfort.

In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of using an air purifying system to help you understand if it might be a good indoor air quality solution for your facility.

How Can You Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The best way to improve indoor air quality is to reduce the number of pollutants that are present in the air.

While this can be done in several ways, some of the most popular include:

  • Increase ventilation. There are several ways to accomplish this including opening windows and doors to create natural ventilation allowing fresh air into your building.
  • Have your building’s HVAC (Increased Filtration and Purification Technologies) systems inspected to ensure it is operating properly. Make repairs and upgrades if needed.
  • Check and clean or replace air filters.
  • Clean and maintain your facility on a regular basis, reducing the build up of dust.
  • Invest in portable air purifying technology.

While there are several ways to improve indoor air quality, the most flexible, versatile, and economical option is through the use of a portable air purifier.

What are Portable Air Purifiers and Why are they a Flexible Option for Commercial Buildings?

Portable air purifiers are commercial air purification systems that operate separately from your facility’s HVAC system. These purifiers filter the air in a certain area of your facility and complete multiple air changes per hour.

A portable air purifier can either be wall-mounted, recessed into the wall, or standing. The Fellowes Air Purifier provides flexibility to install units in locations that are most convenient while not occupying a large amount of space.

Fellowes Aeramax Pro Air Purifier

Some of these systems have features that are easy to use and can provide your occupants and visitors with clean air, faster. These features include:

  • Multiple Layers of Filtration
  • Smart Technology
  • Easy Movement

Multiple Layers of Filtration

There are commercial air purifiers that use multiple layers of filtration to remove as much of the air pollutants from an area as possible. The different filters work together to remove different kinds of particles from the air, like odors and VOCs.

Smart Technology

Some units have smart technology that will allow the purification system to run most efficiently. This smart technology uses a sensor to sense when people are in the area and will adjust fan speeds to best clean the air while conserving energy and extending the filter life. There are also settings that accommodate the need for quiet fan speeds and will emit less noise when the room is occupied.

The air purifier may even have the capability to show you the percentage of particles being filtered out of the air and the quality of the air in the room.

Many commercial air purifiers are built to be run 24/7 without affecting the effectiveness of the system. Because of this, you can rest assured that your air is being cleaned consistently.

Easy Movement

Another feature of portable air purifiers that makes them a good option for cleaning the air in your facility is that they can be moved easily. If you notice that an area is being used less, you can move the equipment from a low-traffic area to a higher trafficked one.

What are the Drawbacks of Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Though portable air purifiers are a great air cleaning solution, their size affects the amount of space they’re effective in. Each commercial air purifier has a maximum space recommendation that will allow the air purifier to achieve 3-5 air changes per hour. It’s important to note that you may need more than one device to clean the air in your entire facility.

By putting a system in a room that is too large, you may not be able to remove pollutants from your air. This means that you will need multiple portable air purification systems to efficiently clean the air throughout your building.

What Businesses Can Benefit from Commercial Portable Air Purifiers?

Now that you understand how you can improve indoor air quality, you may be wondering what types of facilities are most applicable for their use. All types of businesses, whether they are large or small, and no matter what types of services they provide, can benefit.

Imperial Dade has had success with the Fellowes Aeramax Pro® line of portable air purifying devices, which is a great option for cleaning the air in your facility to create a safer environment.

In fact, one of our customers purchased the Fellowes Aeramax Pro ® purifiers to help them improve the quality of air in their school. They were looking for ways to ensure that their students were coming into a safe and healthy building as they returned to school after the summer.

Many of the students have medical issues that are related to allergies and asthma, which are triggered when there are higher levels of pollution in the building. They chose to implement portable air purifiers throughout their school because of the company’s experience with air purifying technology and the purifiers are inexpensive to run.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance, enhancing focus, and making students more comfortable. With the addition of portable air purifiers, schools can ensure the air their students are breathing is clean and safe.

Improved indoor air quality in schools has been shown to improve attendance.

Final Thoughts

By learning how you can improve indoor air quality at your facility and implementing improvements that lower the amount of contaminants in the air, everyone in your facility will be more comfortable.

If you’re interested in improving your facility’s indoor air quality, an Imperial Dade Specialist can help you decide on the best air purification system for your building. Our specialists will assess your specific needs, building size, and budget to match you with the system that will be most effective. In addition, Imperial Dade also offers a complete line of cleaning products and janitorial equipment to help your facility clean.

Reach out to an Imperial Dade specialist today! Visit our website for a location near you.

Four Things You Need To Know About No-Touch Disinfection

As we’ve always known, schools are where most students need to be, and they are now reopening while we’re still in the grips of the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, we will also be entering another annual cold and flu season with its attendant absenteeism and other adverse health impacts. It’s enough to make anyone responsible for providing and maintaining healthy environments lose some sleep!

Disinfecting all of the critical high-touch objects in our buildings is a challenge for any housekeeping program at the best of times, even more so during periods of increased illness rates and outbreaks. However, we believe that an established technology known as No-Touch Disinfection (NTD) can help solve this problem. 

Through the use of electrostatic spray devices, NTD augments your current daily cleaning and disinfection practices, allowing you to ensure complete disinfectant coverage of all high touch surfaces economically and efficiently.  As you are probably aware, this approach is now being used to provide enhanced disinfection for everything from nursing homes to passenger planes to schools.

Implementing NTD can be easy once the facility’s requirements are appropriately matched to the correct application technology and disinfectant chemistry.  Once the technology is selected, education and training enable the safe deployment of NTD.

Here are some guidelines when evaluating NTD:

What is electrostatic spray application?

During periods of heightened threats of infection or actual outbreaks, you need to be able to ensure 100% coverage of all frequently touched surfaces and objects. Imperial Dade offers electrostatic and spray disinfection systems that can meet everyone’s budget and application requirements.  These units impart an electrostatic charge to the disinfectant to achieve 360 degree surface coverage. As a result, large areas can be effectively and efficiently treated economically.

Handheld Victory Electrostatic Sprayer

What needs to be considered when instituting a NTD program?

In an educational setting, the disinfectant needs to be matched to the organisms of most concern, be it the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus which causes the infection known as Covid-19, Influenza, Norovirus, MRSA, or any number of other bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Then, is it necessary to treat the high-touch objects on a weekly or more frequent schedule?  Also, will the areas to be treated be adjacent to occupied spaces?  Can corded equipment be used in the desired regions, or is there a need for battery-powered devices for portability?

Which disinfectants can be applied electrostatically?

Most importantly, the disinfectant chemistry for NTD needs to be compatible with this type of application equipment.  Is the disinfectant product approved or authorized for this application method, with electrostatic spray, mist, or fog?  What is the label dwell time requirements and the efficacy against the microorganisms of concern?  Regarding SARS-CoV-2, is the disinfectant on the EPA List N of products approved for use against the coronavirus?  Fortunately, according to the EPA website, products on List N are effective against all strains of SARS-CoV-2 as genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  Finally, regarding your staff, what is the safety profile of the product and the recommended Personal Protective Equipment?

What types of NTD devices and disinfectants are available?

There are several manufacturers of NTD devices and chemistries that are available.  Many customers have found success with the corded Clorox Total 360 systems. However, many others prefer the ease and portability of the Victory Innovations line of battery-powered electrostatic sprayers.  Furthermore, the Victory units are designed to use a wide range of disinfectants, including peroxide and chlorinated tablets, so the chemistry can be tailored to meet the individual educational facility’s budget and infection prevention needs.

Clorox Total 360 System

Your Imperial Dade sales consultant has the resources, knowledge, and expertise to make the correct product recommendation for your specific needs.  Don’t hesitate to contact a branch near you to learn more about how No-Touch Disinfection can benefit your school.

Best Odor Control Practices for Carpets, Restrooms, Dumpsters, and More

Controlling odors in and around a facility is a common problem for most cleaning professionals. Odors can lurk in many places: carpets, restrooms, dumpsters, and more. The best way to eliminate odors is to understand the cause of the smell. Once you identify the problem, consult this list of solutions to control the offending odors.

CARPETS

  • Carpet odor stemming from a food source, vomit, or urine should be approached with a carpet sanitizer.
  • Using an extractor to kill the odor source is recommended. If you can still smell the odor after thoroughly rinsing the carpet, follow up with an enzyme product.
  • After extracting the carpet, use a carpet fan, not a box fan. It dries carpet faster. Be sure your carpet is dry in 24 hours, or there is a risk of mold bloom.
  • Pet odors can linger in carpets. Enzymatic digesters will get to the source, killing the odor and not just covering it up.

RESTROOMS

  • In restrooms, urine is often the source of odor. Disinfectants will not impact urine that has dried. If urine odor is present, use an enzyme. If you are using an enzyme, do not use a disinfectant in the same area. Disinfectants destroy the enzymes before they are able to digest the bacteria. 
  • Check the floor drains, a common source of the odor. If the trap in a floor drain dries out, it will emit sewer gas. Use a drain cleaner, enzyme, or water to keep drains odor-free.
  • Don’t forget to clean often missed spots. The base of toilets, under urinals, urinal throats, partitions, and walls are often overlooked. Ceilings should be cleaned once or twice a year.
  • While it doesn’t replace a good cleaning program, adding an air care unit to help with transient odors will add to a pleasant restroom experience.

OTHER BUILDING LOCATIONS

  • Janitor closets can omit odors. Keep a tidy closet! After use, rinse mops with clean water and hang to dry. Empty and rinse mop buckets.  Clean, empty, and air out recovery tanks on equipment.
  • Inadequate ventilation can be cause challenges. If possible, open windows or clean air vents to improve air quality
  • Is the odor coming from the dumpster area or wastebaskets? There are several products made specifically for this application.

If you need more information on a specific odor or area, please contact your Imperial Dade Sales Consultant. A good daily cleaning routine will keep odor problems to a minimum! Visit our website to find a location near you.

Why Become a GBAC STAR Facility?

Organizations and institutions nationwide are taking active steps to prevent the spread of the ongoing pandemic within their facilities. To this end, the GBAC STAR Accreditation Program has emerged as a key solution in helping businesses prepare, respond, and recover from infectious diseases such as COVID-19.

The Global BioRisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) is a division of ISSA, a leading global trade organization for the cleaning industry. Their STAR Accreditation Program was launched in May 2020 to combat the intense COVID-19 breakout. Over 2,500 businesses have been accredited so far and can be found on the GBAC STAR Facility Directory. As this program’s success continues to grow, facilities from all over the world have expressed their interest or have committed to accreditation.

The GBAC STAR Accreditation Program was established to help organizations and institutions develop a comprehensive cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention system through extensive training from some of the cleaning industry’s leading minds. The program teaches correct disinfection techniques, cleaning best practices, and proper protocols relating to biohazard situations. Each facility must complete the 20 GBAC STAR Elements to earn its accreditation. Resources such as the Readiness Assessment Checklist and the Recommendations for a Successful Accreditation worksheet are available on the GBAC website.

Any facility can apply for accreditation, regardless of size or industry, including but not limited to:

  • Convention Centers
  • Stadiums and Arenas
  • Office Buildings
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Athletic Clubs
  • Retail Stores
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery Stores
  • All Public Venues

GBAC STAR is considered to be the gold standard of safe facilities. Earning this esteemed accreditation shows a commitment to prioritizing health and wellness. Accredited facilities must first undergo a rigorous screening process to prove their dedication to championing cleanliness.

“We’re doing everything we can to create the safest and healthiest environment possible. We didn’t want to create our own standard; we wanted to be accountable to the most credible third-party standard that exists. Working with GBAC ensures compliance with critical guidelines for the highest standard of cleanliness, and it is our hope that other venues will follow suit as we navigate through these unprecedented times.”

Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Vice Chairman and CEO

By demonstrating appropriate work practices and employing strict cleaning and disinfection protocols, GBAC STAR facilities instill confidence in employees and consumers. Additionally, employees of all ranks will feel empowered in knowing proper cleaning procedures to provide a safe environment.

Imperial Dade, a member of ISSA and janitorial products supplier to Hard Rock Stadium, encourages organizations and institutions to consider a GBAC STAR Accreditation. Our GBAC Trained Technicians are available to help answer questions, review cleaning chemicals and procedures, as well as provide a number of other COVID-19 resources. Visit www.ImperialDade.com for a location near you and contact us today.


Important Public Health Measures to take During COVID-19 in 2021

We are now seeing inquiries regarding the effectiveness of disinfectants against the new strains, or variants, of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the virus that causes of the disease known as COVID-19.

“All products on the EPA List N will kill all strains of SARS-CoV-2, including new variants.”

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, all products on the EPA List N will kill all strains of SARS-CoV-2. Genetic changes to the virus do not impact the efficacy of disinfectants.  List N disinfectants work by chemically inactivating viruses. The difficulty of killing a virus depends on its physical features, and the recent mutations to SARS-CoV-2 have not changed the basic physical properties.

This being said, any infectious pathogen that undergoes a change that increases its transmissibility poses a greater risk of spread throughout the community.  Therefore, it is critical that facilities open to the public continue to ensure that:

  • All frequently touched surfaces are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a routine basis
  • Indoor air quality is maximized through proper ventilation and/or air filtration systems
  • Effective hand washing and/or sanitizing is encouraged
  • All other mitigation efforts, such as masking, social distancing, and physical barriers are in place

These public health measures are now even more important than ever for controlling, and hopefully, preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 infection from individual to individual.

Imperial Dade offers a range of resources that can assist you in evaluating your current situation and, if needed, provide the appropriate solutions to help enhance your program. If you have any questions regarding your current infection prevention efforts, whether it be a school, office, restaurant, or other public venue, contact us today! Visit our website to find a location near you.

Disinfection – Where do we go from here?

By John Thomas

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one reality that has emerged is that as a nation we are now using more disinfectants, on more surfaces, and more frequently than ever before.  In addition, many of these surfaces were never designed or intended to be disinfected.  Plus, we’re applying the disinfectants through a whole new range of sprayer, fogging and misting systems, many of which weren’t even on the market 6 months ago.  Although the concern for COVID-19 is valid, we do need to be equally concerned about the possible health and environmental impact of the significantly increased exposure to these potent disinfectant chemistries.

As we move to the next, and hopefully final, stage of our battle against the SARS coronavirus, it is a good time to consider the implications of our disinfection practices and look at an emerging concept known as targeted hygiene.  Targeted hygiene fosters a balanced approach of preventing disease transmission with reducing over exposure of the environment to disinfectants and other microbial agents and potentially offers a sustainable strategy for the control of pathogenic microorganisms.

“It is a good time to consider the implications of our disinfection practices and look at an emerging concept known as targeted hygiene.”

During the COVID-19 health crisis, concerns with controlling the spread of disease has resulted in an extraordinary level of disinfection, be it through manual wipes or electrostatic sprayers.  While the cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces is an important component of an effective hygiene program, a risk assessment of possible disease exposure needs to be a part of the decision making process.  The following considerations can help assess risk levels and provide guidance in establishing the appropriate disinfection protocols.

Sites and Surfaces

Cleaning by manual wiping is generally sufficient for surfaces that in contact with a limited number of individuals.  Then as the number of people interacting with these surfaces increases, the addition of a daily or periodic disinfectant application is warranted.  Also, the surfaces themselves can make a big difference in the transmission of infection. Soft surfaces resist disinfection due to their very nature.  At best, we can only hope to achieve some level of sanitizing which is just a reduction of pathogens and again needs to be weighed against the real infection transmission exposure risk.  Variations in the behavior of the specific pathogen and their persistence in the environment plays a role in this analysis

Cleaning Versus Disinfecting

“Some facilities are attempting to disinfect as if they are in a constant state of outbreak which can potentially result is an overuse of disinfectants.”

During the current COVID-19 crisis, the CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfecting has always recommended a two level approach.  Basically, when the facility is free of active outbreaks in the facility is to continue to conduct routine cleaning and disinfection using the products typically used with attention being paid to surfaces not normally cleaned on a daily basis.  But, when there is an outbreak, or positive cases are identified, all potentially affected areas need to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly with special attention to all frequently touched surfaces.  However, it has been our experience that some facilities are attempting to disinfect as if they are in a constant state of outbreak which can potentially result is an overuse of disinfectants.

Safety Precautions

Key to the safe use of any of these potent disinfectant chemicals is following the use instructions on the label which provides information on proper dilution, contact times, application methods, and first aid.  Many disinfectants do not have approved label instructions for application via electrostatic sprayers and/or foggers so it is important to get clear, written authorization from the chemical manufacturer prior to their use through these systems.  Furthermore, it is important to insure that proper personal protective equipment is employed during disinfection as there can be significant health hazards, especially where spraying or fogging is involved.

“At Imperial Dade, our corporate commitment to health and wellness allows us the opportunity to assist our customers in establishing targeted hygiene programs appropriate to their facilities and operations.”

Once the current COVID-19 health emergency is brought under control, thought will need to be given as to developing a sustainable approach to maintaining hygienic environments in our schools, healthcare institutions, restaurants, and office buildings.  At Imperial Dade, our corporate commitment to health and wellness allows us the opportunity to assist our customers in establishing targeted hygiene programs appropriate to their facilities and operations. 

Contact your local Imperial Dade sales consultant to learn more about the products, services and programs that are available. Visit us at our website for a location near you and request a consultation.

John Thomas, Director of Health & Wellness at Imperial Dade, earned a BS in Microbiology from Penn State University and began his career as a microbiologist in the food industry. He has taught high school chemistry and worked for a number of leading chemical companies before joining Imperial Dade. He holds a number of professional certifications including the CMIP (Certificate of Mastery in Infection Prevention) and has completed programs in epidemiology by APIC (Association of Professionals in Infection Control.)

Which Building Rating System is Right for your Facility?

As the economy starts its slow path to recovery and employees return to the workforce, many are wondering what the future workplace will look like after COVID-19. Organizations across the world have reassessed and revamped sanitation practices, furniture layouts, and protective measures. Still, it’s difficult to determine whether these changes will be effective in creating a safe and healthy work environment without outside professionals’ help. That’s why so many business owners elect to utilize safety rating systems to prepare their establishment in the post-COVID world.

At its core, a safety rating system is designed to help an organization cultivate and maintain a workplace that enhances its occupants’ health and wellness. Take a look at some of the benefits offered by these programs.

No two safety rating systems are the same. Below, we will outline some the differences between the GBAC STAR Facility Rating System and the WELL Health and Safety Rating System to help you make the best choice.

GBAC STAR Facility Rating System

The Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) rating system, better known as the STAR Facility Accreditation program, is designed to help organizations establish a comprehensive plan for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention. Successful completion of the program requires organizations to demonstrate they can prepare, respond, and recover from biological threats, such as the coronavirus.

To earn this accreditation, organizations must meet the 20 different criteria listed in the STAR Program Elements. Organizations that acquire this accreditation meet the gold-standard of cleanliness and safety in their industry. Furthermore, their staff has the knowledge and tools to provide a safe environment for employees and customers alike.

The GBAC STAR Facility Accreditation program is available for organizations across a list of industries — daycares, restaurants, hotels, schools, stadiums, doctor’s offices, etc.

Take the Readiness Assessment test to see how your business holds up or learn more about GBAC here.

WELL Health and Safety Rating System

The WELL Health and Safety rating system focuses on workplace well-being as opposed to strict infectious disease prevention. They take a holistic approach to health and safety by encompassing factors such as comfort and resiliency when developing an effective program.

To earn this rating, organizations must meet 15 out of the 21 possible criteria across five categories:

  • Cleaning and sanitation procedures
  • Health service resources
  • Stakeholder engagement and communication
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Air and water quality management

Once certified, organizations must uphold the strict quality standards year after year to qualify for the rating system’s renewal.

Imperial Dade impacts the cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene portion of each rating system. Visit our website for a location near you.

How to Adopt Social Distancing Guidelines for Your Business

Although the fight against COVID-19 is not over yet, many businesses are starting to reopen their doors as some states scale back restrictions. Public health figures encourage the continuation of remote work where possible, but that’s not a feasible option for certain companies. Those who work in restaurants, retail stores, beauty salons, or other parts of the service industry have to return to their workplace to resume operations. Even some offices may need individual members present for important functions.

The bottom line is that, as more and more people get comfortable enough to venture into public spaces, businesses must ensure the safety of their patrons and workers by taking all of the necessary precautions, starting with social distancing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one of the best ways to help decrease the spread of COVID-19 is through social distancing. Social distancing requires all individuals to retain at least six feet of physical distance between themselves and others. The goal is to limit close contact with others, keeping yourself and, therefore, the public at large safe.

Although social distancing is crucial to workplace safety, it can also present challenges for those who are unsure of how to set up their businesses properly to comply with social distancing guidelines. We hope these tips act as a guide and provide you with a clearer picture of how to implement social distancing in your workplace.

  • LIMIT INDOOR CAPACITY: First and foremost, it’s important to understand that you cannot correctly carry out social distancing rules if you have a full house of clients and/or employees. You may have to limit indoor capacity, especially at the beginning stages of your reopening. This will allow you to perfect your safety procedures before allowing more people to visit.

  • REARRANGE SEATING & WORKSTATION AREAS: Move furniture as needed to ensure everyone has a six-foot radius of space around their area. This likely means less indoor seating and, if possible, moving outdoors. Another solution is to block off any areas that won’t be used; this way, you can safely distance people without dealing with the hassle of rearranging everything.
  • MARK WAITING LINES WITH FLOOR DECALS: Waiting lines can become a transmission area if people stand too close to each other. Ensure everyone follows social distancing rules by installing floor decals feet apart. One-way walking paths, indicated by floor decals, can also help minimize close contact.
  • INSTALL PLEXIGLASS PARTITIONS: For added security, install plexiglass partitions. These dividers work best in settings where people have to engage in face-to-face contact, such as retail cash registers, open-concept office areas, and restaurants.

Don’t forget: there are other precautions, besides social distancing, that you can follow to create a safe work environment.

For more information on reopening guidelines or to buy the equipment and supplies needed to prepare your business to reopen, contact Imperial Dade today. For a location near you visit www.imperialdade.com.

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