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Cleaning in the USA


IICRC Holds Meetings and Instructors Symposium
The Heathman Lodge in Vancouver, WA was the site of the recent IICRC Instructor Symposium and its twice annual Board and Certification Council meetings held on Oct 22 to 24. The only thing people didnít like about the location was the $30.00 cab ride from the airport; otherwise it was an excellent location with Tempurpedic mattresses, large showerheads, and great food.

There was a lot happening at this year’s meeting. The Instructor Symposium was a hit with those in attendance. I missed the first day because of date conflicts with the ISSA Show; let’s hope that doesn’t happen again. As for the second day, Doug McCallum, an instructor with the Bob Pike Organization, walked the instructors through over 60 different instructional techniques that can be used in educational settings with adult learners. McCallum stressed the need for student involvement and shared responsibility for learning along with less use of PowerPoint in presentations. These concepts took a little getting used to for some instructors as we have always heard that PowerPoint and lecture formats were the best method to get all the technical information across to our students.

“Not so,” said McCallum. “If retention is the goal, you need to have students up and doing something every twenty minutes or youíll lose them. Involvement is the key,” he told the crowd. From there, he demonstrated several opening techniques, after lunch energizers, and PowerPoint do’s and don’ts. The day continued with him using the class as guinea pigs for his instructional techniques presentation. By the end of the day most of us were convinced. We not only hear it, but we experienced it first hand. Now the hard part comes, translating and applying what we learned in the classroom to reality in our own presentations. I think most everyone went away optimistic and excited about weaving all the new techniques into their programs. I know it will improve what I do in the classroom, even though Iíve always thought of myself as a pretty good instructor. I think that most people came away feeling the same way.

When it comes to dealing with large a amount of technical information, McCallum suggested sorting your presentation content according to the following criteria:

1. Have to Know (cover it)
2. Nice to Know (limit it)
3. Resources: Where to go to get the information you need. (hand it out)

McCallum had his work cut out for him. A group of 70 plus experienced IICRC instructors can be a bit intimidating and rightfully so. They are truly the cream of the crop when it comes to educators in the cleaning industry. Most started by doing the work and advanced up the ladder through hard work, voluntary contributions of their time, energy and knowledge, not to mention each one has his or her heart in the right place and is willing to give back as much as he receives.

Overall, I think most everyone agreed, this was the best instructor symposium weíve ever had and may be tough to beat for next time in 2007. The recently formed Instructors Advisory Panel, with Doug Bowles as Chair, put this yearís symposium together. Job well done everyone.

I noticed a special optimism in the air at this year meetings and symposium. It appears the IICRC is evolving or at least maturing. Certainly there is more work to do, but I think the group has turned a corner. Although the old boy network is still in control, I get the feeling that those in charge know people are watching and giving them feedback because what they are doing impacts others, so they better get it right.

IICRC Saddles up with ANSI
In an effort to answer the question of whoís certifying the certifiers, the IICRC has sought and been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Beyond that the IICRC has submitted its S500 Water Damage Restoration Standard and Reference Guide, (3rd Edition) to ANSI for review and approval, with all future standards to be handled in a similar manner. The S520 mold standard is next in line, with revision in progress and with submission slated for midyear 2006.

The Certification Council approved a school for the Resilient Floor Inspector Course.

Future IICRC Board and Certification Council Meetings are scheduled as follows:

Spring 2006: Vancouver, WA. March 18, Certification Council, March 19 & 20, Board meeting 2006

Fall 2006: Las Vegas, NV. September 24, Certification Council, September 25 & 26, Board Meeting. These meeting are scheduled right after the 2006 Connections/Dri-Eaz Symposium on September 20 to 21.

Shaw To Require IICRC Cleaners
Shaw Industries the largest manufacturer of carpeting in the USA recently announced that as of January 1, 2008 the company would require consumers to use an IICRC certified cleaner to service their carpet in order to keep their product warranty valid. Other carpet and rug manufacturers are expected to follow Shawís lead. Time will tell how legal and effective this concept will be.

Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Tests and Approves Cleaning Chemicals and Equipment

The CRI is in the process of implementing its “Seal of Approval” program for cleaning spotters and cleaners and extractors. For more information visit:

The CRI already tests and approves Vacuum cleaners with it Green Label Program.

Connections West 2005 Draws Crowd
Las Vegas and Connections ring up a winner with over 2600 cleaners in attendance for their second and last show of 2005. Some 270 booths populated the exhibit hall and with over 40 seminars drawing attendees to presentations in meeting rooms nearby over the show 3 day run on September 23 to 25.
Connections has become the Carpet Cleaning Show in the USA. The next Connections shows for 2006 are scheduled for:

May 4, 5 & 6, Clearwater Beach, FL, Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort
September 21, 22, & 23, Las Vegas, NV, Las Vegas Hilton
For more info visit:

You Can Still See Connections 2005.
It is not as good as being there, but if you missed this yearís show and youíre welcome to join me for a walking tour of the show floor via streaming video. Visit: and click on the Connection logo at the top right hand of the home page.

Mops Die A Slow Death
I know this will make a few people mad. Especially those who manufacture and sell string mops, wringers and pails. But I canít keep quiet any longer. Mops are old out dated technology that have out lived their usefulness.

Quite frankly I donít think they ever did a good job of cleaning, but for a long time we didnít have anything better and now we do so itís time to move into the 21st century.

Mops may be good for cleaning solution application (like a bowl swab) but when it comes to solution removal they do a poor job. I have come to the conclusion that if you really want to get a floor clean, especially a grouted floor, the only way to effectively accomplish this task is with some type of suction.

If the floor is dry, any suction type vacuum will work far better than a dust mop and new efficient head are available, my favorite is the Nilfisk-Advance Nilfisk mop, it handles just like a dust mop and is just as fast, even if it does look a little funny.

If the floor is wet, a wet vacuum is needed or there is no way you can suck the dirty water and soil out the pits and crevices in the grout between the tiles.

Bottom line, the time is now. Do yourself and your floors a favor; switch over to an auto scrubber or at least some type of vacuum system. You’ll be glad you did and your floors will be and stay cleaner much longer. Itís time to retire the trusty old mop to the museum where it belongs.

The One Show
The ISSA/INTERCLEAN Show held in Las Vegas, NV Oct 18 to 21 hit the jackpot with attendees and exhibitors and broke all previous first day attendance records for the ISSA with over 9700 visitors. Everyone I spoke to said the show had exceeded his or her expectations. The exhibit hall with over 600,000 sq ft was filled to brim with over 630 display booths from around the world. New additions to the show format this year included food and drink in exhibitor booths, a most innovative products contest, a cleaning related fashion show, along with presentation stages on the show floor and IICRC certification seminars.

Exhibitor Jeff Dykstra, Midwest Sales Manager for GranQuartz Stone & Concrete System in Tucker offered these comments. “This is the best ISSA Show I’ve ever attended. The first two days have just been great. I think people are starting to get it and are asking the right questions. I was apprehensive to start with, but it’s just turned out to be a great show. I’m impressed and that is no easy task for an old timer like me.”

As I plied the show aisles I heard that same sentiments repeated over and over again by exhibitors and attendees alike. And I agree. It was a great show. You could tell that change was in the air. The aisles were packed with attendees from all segments of the cleaning industry eager to search out new products that would make their work easier or more profitable. Hat’s off to the ISSA for a job well done.

The One Show is quickly becoming a rallying point for the entire cleaning industry in the USA. Thanks to the ISSA’s insight and support, other trade associations and groups are now holding meetings, conventions and seminars centered on the ISSA/INTERCLEAN Show.

The International Executive Housekeepers Association (IEHA) and Association of Residential Cleaning Professionals (ARCP) both held their conventions in cooperation with the ISSA/INTERCLEAN Show. The NISH Group held a Custodial Round Table and sent its attendees on an educational scavenger hunt in the exhibit hall for one day. And it didn’t stop there, unknown to most was The Stone Expo (a natural stone show)( that took place in an adjoining exhibit hall and down the street a convention and symposium on infrared camera use was held for water damage restoration professionals (

(ICAN) and the (CIRI) Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI) both held meeting during the show.

You really had to pick and choose what you wanted to attend and see as there were so many events, seminars and meetings that there was simply no way you could attend everything that was going on during the 3-day event. It was just overwhelming even for a seasoned attendee.

As ever, I especially enjoyed the show floor. Overall trends that I noticed included:

More and new green product, such as disinfectants, strippers, along with floor and carpet care products.
More automated riding equipment, with easy to used controls.
More products and equipment from international companies, micro fibers seemed to be everywhere.
A blending of industries, there seemed to be quite a few new exhibitors from related or associated industries that you normally would not find at the show who are now exhibiting.

Last Chance to See This Years ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2005
If you didnít make it to the recent ISSA show itís not to late to get a quick tour via streaming video of some of the most interesting exhibits found on the show floor.

Visit and click on the ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2006 Logo on the top right of the page and you’ll walk the floor with author Bill Griffin. It’s not as good as being there, but it will give you a feel for what you missed. Don’t make the same mistake in 2006

Hereís a recap of some of the best new products that I came across in the show floor.

Magnet Electrostatic Sprayer
This is my number one choice for the most innovative product at the show. The Pullman Holt Company introduced an air assisted electrostatic sprayer for the application of disinfectants, deodorizers, sealants, topical coatings, and cleaners that is far more effective than conventional sprayers. According to the manufacturer MagnetSpray produces a highly charged high-speed air stream that applies chemicals up to 70 times more efficiently than conventional sprayers. A patented nozzle design uses compressed air to produce up to a 12 ft plume of very small electrically charged droplet that wrap around the tops, bottoms and sides of surfaces for superior uniform coating. The electrostatic wraparound technology pulls the spray droplets towards the surface with 40 times the force of gravity, evenly delivering the chemical to every corner, crevice and hidden area of the intended surface.
For more info visit:

Fas-Pad by Fas-Trak Industries Inc.
Centrifugal Floor and Micro Pad Cleaner

An automated wall or cart mounted cleaning system allows you to clean, reuse and recycle costly synthetic floor pads, microfiber pads, bonnets and mops. Cleans and dries in under one minute, fits in most custodial closets. Centrifugal water jet design is fast and effective. Easy to set up, push button start with automated timer to control the process. An environmentally responsible way to reduce inventory and costs. For more info:

Satellite Drive Assembly
Dual direction orbital action converts standard 175-RPM machine to 600-RPM machine that offers superior cleaning, polishing, sanding or grinding. The company offers a wide selection of specialty attachments (pads, nylon grit brushers, diamonds, scarifiers, stones, shredders and scrapers) that can be used with the Satellite Drive Assembly to clean floors, remove adhesives and coating or to polish stone and concrete,
For more info:

Chrisalís Natura-Zyme Tile and Grout Cleaner
Kitchen Clean is a totally new residual microbial-based concentrated cleaner for use on kitchen and food processing plant floors. Uses enzymes to deep clean concrete, ceramic, quarry and other clay tile floors. Residual bacterial action continues to eliminate odors and slippery floors long after initial application. The company also makes cow foot cleaner and other products. For more info:

PowerWand Systems
Coress Solutions Inc.
The company manufactures a sturdy line of products for window cleaning (175 PSI), low (1800 PSI) and high pressure (3000 to 4000 PSI) cleaning systems and tools. The poles, tools and accessories are well thought out, made of hard-anodized aircraft aluminum and easily interchangeable due to a quick lock ring connection design that requires no hand tools. The basic telescoping wand is available in 8 to 60 ft configurations and is compatible with dozens of industry standard accessories. For info visit:

Sterifx Disinfectant
Sterifx Inc.
FX Hard Surface disinfectant is a non-toxic aqueous solution that can be used anywhere disinfection is needed to rapidly eliminate pathogens in home, industrial, food service/processing and medical environments while limiting safety concerns for handlers. USDA approved anti-microbial treatment for poultry processors, with EPA registration.

This (GRAS) Generally Regarded As Safe product kills HIV, MRSA, VRE, other pathogens and bacterial spores. The very low pH formula is not harmful to the skin and is rated as very safe with a toxic category IV rating. For more information visit:

Acid based Anti-Microbial Cleaning Formulations
Purac is a natural lactic acid, which is produced by fermentation of carbohydrates. It can be used in many applications in the food, chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic and detergent industry. The main functions of Purac in cleaning formulations are decalcification, pH regulation and bacterial control. The product is compatible with metals and plastics, biodegradable, produced from renewable sources and toxicologically and environmentally safe. For more info visit:

Water Resistant Nanotechnology Coating for Glass and Tile
Diamon-Fusion nanotechnology creates a covalent bond with the surface that is 10 times stronger than hydrogen-bridge bonds used by most other water-based coatings. A covalent bond means the coating shares the electrons within the glass itself, thus becoming part of the glass. Nanometer dimensions (1 billionth of a meter) are at the atomic dimension scale.

When this environmentally friendly coating is applied to a surface it improves and protects the surfaces of glass, tile porcelain, granite and most silica based surfaces making them highly water repellant; less water on the surface means less frequent cleanings and a reduction in mold causing bacteria. Surfaces become more stain and graffiti resistant, oil repellant, scratch and impact resistant and on glass it adds up to 20% more brilliance. For more information visit:

Glass Restoration and Scratch Removal
Glas-Weld Systems offers a simple one step distortion free scratch removal process for glass surfaces with no pads to change or interim clean up required. Great for construction sites, homes, businesses as well as commerical and industrial applications. Introductory kit has everything you need to get started including a training video and instruction manual. For more info visit:

Granite Polishing Powder
East Chem Pte Ltd of Singapore has introduced an all color polishing powder that is used with a white synthetic polishing pad and a standard 175-RPM floor machine to restore an exceptional gloss to granite surfaces. The company offers a full line of stone care products including honing pads and buffing liquids for granite and marble floors.
For more info visit:

Mildew Remover, Cleaner, Restorer
Freon’s has introduced a line of chemical cleaning products that are effective in cleaning, restoring and protecting wood, concrete and plastic, canvas, acrylic and cotton materials. The products are great for removing that dark dingy weather beaten look from plastic and canvas patio and deck furniture, wood fences, decks, furniture and siding. They also make a scale and scum remover for pools and spas and grout and tile cleaner for floors and walls. For more info visit:

Automated Trash Bin Lid Opener
lopenR permits hands free automated use of virtually any swing door trash bin commonly found in fast food restaurants, convenience stores, restrooms, food courts and doctors offices. Each IopenR system has an infrared eye to sense motion at the door and a trash level sensor with an LED display that changes from solid green to flashing red when the bin is near full. Installation is quick and easy with an electric screwdriver and few hand tools. The IopenR operates with a standard plug AC adapter. For more info visit:

Deionized Water Cleaning System
Eagle Power has introduced the DI Cart as a complete portable cleaning system. The 72 pound DI Cart includes 150 ft of hose on a reel and a two-stage filtration system that removes 99.9% of dissolved solids allowing the user to clean windows, frames, facades, awnings and signs without the use of chemicals. Surfaces dry spot free even in direct sunlight.

The company also makes several 12ft to 60 ft light weight carbon fiber Reach and Wash waterfed pole systems. For more info visit:

Disinfectant provides 28-Day Anti-Microbial Protective Shield
NoviGuard is a uniquely effective surface disinfectant, sanitizer, decontaminant and deodorizer solution that forms a long lasting full spectrum anti-microbial protective shield when applied to surfaces. Contains Novcil a patented formula that has been proven to provide longer lasting protection than any leading hospital, commerical or consumer grade disinfectant. NoviGuard kills existing and newly introduced germs, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, mold and mildew continuously for 28 days. For info visit:

Specialty Bioremediation Chemicals
Clift Industries offers a full line of innovative bio-based solutions and spill kits for a wide variety of cleaning and remediation needs. BioRem-2000 is a surface cleaner that uses microbe technology to remediate hydrocarbons into water and carbon dioxide. Acid Eater is a line of products to remove, clean and neutralize acids. Base Eater neutralizes caustics. Other products are available for use on ammonia, formaldehyde, solvents, mercury and chlorine, hydrogen peroxide and metal parts cleaning.
For info visit:

High Production Bonnet Cleaning
Aztec Products has introduced a self-propelled battery powered bonnet cleaning machine with dual counter rotating heads that cleans a 33 inch path and up to 24,000 sq ft of carpeting per hour. The system is designed for large open areas such as those found in hospitals, convention centers, hotels, airports and schools.
For more info visit:

Motorized Power Sprayers
No pumping eliminates hand fatigue and increases production. Smaller hand held units fit most standard bottles and are powered by two AA batteries in spray head with adjustable no drip safety lock nozzle. Continuous stream one touch trigger with flexible suction tube works at any angle even upside down. Larger 48 oz. to 2-gallon cart or shoulder strap sprayers are also available. Ideal for the application of all type of liquid solutions. For more info visit:

Disposable Restroom Mats
Uses a soft flex rubber base combined with a disposable top sheet. The base is engineered with stay put pegs to hold each fresh new top sheet in place. Mats reduce the need for mopping, eliminate odors and staining and last up to four weeks.
For more info visit:

Toilet Seat Wipes
An innovative product that encourages increased personal hygiene by allowing individuals to clean the toilet seat before use with a disinfectant wipe. Solution contains a light, quick drying and refreshing deodorizing scent. Towelettes are biodegradable, semi-dispersible and safe for septic systems. The functionally designed wall mounted dispensing unit is made out of ASB plastic and is easy to mount, refill and pleasing to the eye. For more info visit:

Nanoemulsion Disinfectant
EcoTruís nanospheres act as a highly efficient vehicle for delivering a lethal dose of the biocide PCMX (parachlorometaxylenol) directly into the microbial membrane. The PCBX disrupts the membrane and membrane bound protein function resulting in cell death. EcoTru is a safe, hospital level, hard surface ready to use disinfectant cleaner that eliminates all health hazards associated with the use of other disinfectants. The product is hypoallergenic and causes no respiratory, dermal, ingestion or ophthalmic irritants or effects. Unlike bleach or phenolic-based products, EcoTru is non-staining and will not damage clothing or carpets. The EPA requires no warnings on the EcoTru label. It is safe for people and the environment. EPA registered disinfectant that kills TB in minutes.
For more info visit:

Paint Solidifier, Paint Remover and Coating Stripper
Disposal of waterborne paints typically cost $4 to $7 per gallon. Doraset 9000 waste paint solidifier cost roughly $1.50 per gallon allowing the paint to be disposed of curbside or dumpster disposal. The company also produces such product as: Graffiti, Gunk, Goof and Overspray Remover and DoradoStrip for coatings removal without hazardous or toxic air pollutants.
For more info visit:

The WizKid polypropylene, antibacterial floor mat is designed to hold and deodorize urine splash while its rubber backing keeps it in place under the urinal.

Beauty and function are found in the stainless steel truckmounts from All Cleaning Equipment (AVE) in Las Vegas.

The X-VAC Pile Lifter from Kleenrite offers a streamlined look and micron filtration seldom found in similar machines.

Tired of trash can liners falling in every time something hits them? The Cinchô trash bag holder from SpecTech, Inc. sticks to the side of the can and keeps liners neatly in place. Save replacement time, too.

Nacecare has both an 8 and an 18 gallon solution tank available in its FoamTec Spray Cleaner restroom cleaning system. Foam it on, give it dwell time, rinse it off and vacuum it up. All in one machine.

Just introduced, the ProTeam QuietPro can barely be heard running. Has the power of the familiar QuarterVac but, as the ad says, They won’t even know you are there.

Stand and ride the Windsor Chariots for hard floor scrubbing, burnishing, carpet vacuuming, or interim carpet cleaning.

Floor finish dry in 4 Ω minutes? Apply up to 6 coats an hour? Betcoís Express dries and cures fast!

An ergonomic toilet swab. Indeed! Unger has the26î long handle to eliminate stooping over and the curve for pushing out the trap with ease. Changeable heads, too.

Don’t Miss These Shows

ISSA/INTERCLEAN 2006 Show in Chicago, IL, Oct 4 to 7, 2006.

ISSA/INTERCLEAN, Mexico City, March 8 to 10, 2006

Clean Expo 2006, St. Petersburg, Russia, April 10 to 13, 2006

ISSA/INTERCLEAN, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, May 9 to 12, 2006.

The largest cleaning Show in the world:
ISSA/INTERCLEAN China, Shanghai, September 20 to 22, 2006

ISSA/Afidamp, Singapore, Feb 6 to 8, 2007

For more info on any of the ISSA shows above, contact: