Periodically I like to get back to the basics of cleaning since we all need reminders along the way of the details necessary to clean a facility effectively and safely. Remember:

No one would consider building a house or working in the yard without the proper tools and supplies. Too often, well-meaning purchasing agents who do not even know how to clean in many cases will fail to equip the custodial cart with the correct tools and supplies to perform the assigned cleaning tasks. Oftentimes they are motivated by pressure to come in under budget for the month or year which can generate a nice bonus for them. Management will not always connect the dots and realize the reason that custodial operations is not productive is in part due to lack of support in this key area. Let's look at a few ideas:

1. Cheap cleaning supplies including poor quality towels/wipes that are not designed to pick up like a quality microfiber cloth that has been laundered. These towels or wipes oftentimes leave microorganisms on the surface to continue spreading.

2. Cheap dusting tools that distribute soil and germs as much as they pick up. Remember that germs can be transported by dust particles.

3. Cheap mop heads that can hold a lot of dirty solution but are not designed to get into the grout lines of ceramic tile much less have the surface contact to consistently pick up soil. It is important to use clean mops with clean solution if you want a cleaner outcome.

4. Cheap toilet tissue (usually 500 per sheet) that is less expensive to purchase but very expensive to service in a high traffic rest room. Repeated change outs can result in increased labor.

5. Expensive multifold towels that usually come out in clumps and have to be refilled often resulting in increased labor. Converting to high capacity roll dispensers can benefit everyone.

Going cheap can result in increased labor hours thereby reducing critical profit margins.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or