CASE STUDY: Machines Help Keep Iowa Schools Spotless

Contributed by Kaivac.

The Cedar Rapids Community School District has the second largest enrollment in the state of Iowa. Currently, the district serves more than 16,000 students in 21 elementary schools, six middle schools, and four high schools. It also has "alternative schools," to educate children with special needs or abilities.

There are many things all of these schools share in common, and one of them includes how they are cleaned. The district has been using Kaivac No-Touch Cleaning systems for more than five years. The reason for this, according to the district, is that by using Kaivac equipment, school custodians can "minimize restroom cleaning to a single machine without using numerous disinfectants and tools to do it."

Kaivac is the developer of no-touch cleaning, introducing the machines more than 20 years ago. For those that do not know how these no-touch cleaning systems work, they are as simple as they are effective. Using the machine, fresh cleaning solution is applied to all surfaces to be cleaned. This can include floors, counters, restroom fixtures, walls, tile-and-grout, doors, etc. The same areas are then power-rinsed with fresh water. This provides the agitation to loosen soils, which are then vacuumed up, along with all moisture, using the machine's built-in wet/vac system.

In most cases, restrooms can be open for use in minutes after cleaning.

"Cleaning restrooms with Kaivac machines allows us to clean deep into corners where dirt and germs can accumulate," said one district spokesperson. "The equipment is used to clean both the inside and outside of toilets, urinals, and sinks without the custodian needing to have contact with those surfaces."

This last point is why no-touch cleaning was invented in the first place. Engineers at Kaivac were looking for a way to dignify cleaning when it comes to cleaning toilets and urinals in public restrooms.

Historically, these fixtures had to be cleaned by touching soiled fixtures; bending to clean hard to reach areas of the fixture; and even requiring the cleaning worker to get down on their hands and knees. These undignified cleaning procedures were eliminated with no-touch cleaning systems.

The district also uses the Kaivac systems to clean floors. The company touts that "while mops tend to help kill germs and bacteria, they don’t remove them from surfaces. The Kaivac system does."

Further, the district believes the Kaivac cleaning systems are a "big step," as they call it, in bringing green cleaning practices into their school.

"Many disinfectants and restroom cleaners evaporate harmful fumes into the air… and can be harmful to those using the restrooms," said the district spokesperson. "Kaivac eliminates [this] concern. [After a disinfectant] has been applied to these surfaces, the disinfectant pools on the floor and is vacuumed up."

Lastly, the district has found that the Kaivac systems are fast. They help "clean restrooms almost twice as fast [so] our custodians have more time to complete other projects, helping to keep our schools spotless."