As I have researched various tools that can benefit our front line custodians I am amazed at the various items available but I do not usually see on most custodial carts. Of course, there may be legitimate reasons for controlling some products which can be easily pilfered or damaged. In spite of these risks, there should be a way of distributing, controlling and supervising staff to reduce or eliminate these concerns if they actually help with increasing productivity and producing better outcomes. Two examples are:

• Microfiber dusters – These products are oftentimes referred to as “lamb’s wool dusters” and are to be differentiated from the old fashioned feather dusters. Although these units vary in color and appearance they are all 4-12 inch long dusters attached to a wand or pole so that the worker can dust along edges, shelves, vents and other surfaces without the need for a ladder, thereby reducing fall hazards. With appropriate extension poles, a worker can dust high vents and ledges. In contrast to a (natural) feather duster, these tools can be washed, rinsed and air dried periodically so that they remain dust free. Try that with a feather duster and you may have problems. Most of them attract and hold dust by the electrostatic attraction to dust. Of course, one can also use disposable sleeves that are tossed after use.

• Foam erasers – These sponge by chemical free sponges can be used to “lightly” remove marks from most painted surfaces without damaging the paint or surface. It is very important the worker knows how and when to use them to reduce the chance of damaging a surface. They work best when soaked in plain water and wrung dry. Always test before use, read the label and stop use if the surface is damaged in any way. Damage can be a removal of paint of simply created a dull spot on a painted surface that stands out.

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