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Cleaning in the USA

One of the things I’ve been talking about recently is how science and technology is and will continue to impact the cleaning industry. When I say technology, most people think of a new green chemical or a piece of floor care equipment with a lot of bells and whistles. Although such things will impact the industry, I believe the greatest impact in the years ahead will come from our and our customers ability to test and validate the work we do. No longer will it be good enough to say I cleaned it, over the next few years, your customer’s will begin to respond back with, ok show me the data.

This month I’m going to review some of the latest technology that’s on the market and being used to validate that the work you did, actually obtained the desired results. This isn’t science fiction; this is reality that is already being put to work in other industries and will soon come to a janitor closet near you.

If you have any comments or would like to discuss this subject or other issues you can reach me at: or call my cell at: 206-849-0179. If you want to buy a book or video or just check out my website visit:
Till next time, keep it clean out there. Bill Griffin
Printed catalogues and websites with a wide variety of inspection tools, moisture meters (tests moisture content in wood, concrete and other building materials), Infrared camera (used to see/map moisture content in walls and building structure without destructive testing), particle counters (measures size and quantity of particulate in the air), Wide selection of testing and inspection equipment is available. Ph-1-800-895-4916, 1-800-334-9291, 1-800-787-3003. The best gadget sites on the web for all types of inspectors.

GE Testing Equipment
Various moisture meters and testing equipment are available.
Visit: or call 1-800-321-4878
Suggest model MMS as most versatile. Approx. $1000.00
The source for round magnets for finding nails and staples in wood floors. Very powerful. Recommend the .750 size magnets

Bacteria Tester (Digital)
Lumitester PD 10 and LuciPac W

Conductivity/Resistivity Meter
Monroe Electronics, Ph-800-821-6001, model 264a

Gloss, Color and Film Thickness Meters
Horiba, Model IG-320 or IG 331, Approx. $800.00, or
Available from Eastern Marble and other suppliers, Ph-1-800-643-8818,,
b. Various meters are available. BYK-Gardner has meters that measure gloss, film thickness and color. How shiny is the floor or stone?
Visit: also visit:
Ph-1-800-343-7721, 301-483-6500

Slip Meter for Hard Surfaces
Universal Walkway Tester,
One of several meters available from different sources for testing the relative slipperiness of a hard surface

Microscopes (pocket to computer type)
a. Harper Scientific Inc.,
Variety of types, sizes 60 to 200 power, costs vary.
b. Inexpensive source for 60 to 100 power pocket microscopes $25.00 and up.
c. Radio Shack for 30-power pocket microscope. Under $15.00.

UV (black) Lights and Magnifier lamps
a. Spectronics Corporation, Ph-1-800-274-8888, 516-333-4840
b. Radio Shack. Inexpensive black light.
c. Black light pens and light for inspection of fabric and hard surfaces, Creative Solutions,

Indoor Air Quality Meter
a. Aircuity Equipment, Ph-617-641-8825
Has the Optima meter and system for testing, tracking and monitoring multiple IAQ conditions.
b. Airborne Particle Detection (small hand held unit)
ParticleScan CR,, Ph-1-877-715-4247

Cole-Parmer Instrument Co.
Sells HVAC testing equipment related to IAQ. Visit; Ph- 800-323-4340

Tuft Bind Scale (up to 8 pounds)
a. South Bend pocket scale. Northbrook, IL. Visit your local fishing store or (Actually a fish scale but works great for onsite testing)

Coating Thickness Gauge
a. Wet mil gauge to test thickness of freshly applied (wet) coatings on hard surface substrates.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
A hand held XRF unit (about $35,000) sends energy in the form of x-ray photons into a sample matrix (fiber, paper, plastic, metal) and the x-rays strike electrons in the shells of the atoms present and sends back a signature to the hand held device that measures the energy and number of returning x-rays to determine the quantity and type of elements present in the sample.

Once the price comes down and the size of the device shrinks to that of a cell phone or smaller, the subjective process we now call quality control inspections will take on a whole new meaning once they are based on quantitative measurements.

I attended a presentation sponsored by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) ( The CRI has partnered with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) ( and KeyMaster Technology ( to use XRF technology to analyze what’s left behind after carpeting has been cleaned.

Dust, Soil and Particle Indentification Analysis
a. LA Testing, Ph-800-755-1794,

Lab Testing for Carpet Samples (full range of services)
a. Professional Testing Lab, Dalton, GA
Gary Asbury, Ph-706-226-3283,

Note: Before making any purchases visit to see what prices and products are available, substantial savings are often available. I just purchased a $1000.00 moisture meter for $500.00. Now that’s the kind of deal I like.