Facility cleaning managers are wary of distributors that try to solve odor issues by pushing products — namely ones containing fragrance. 

“Too many people are masking odors — and that’s a problem,” says Nestore. “You don’t want to smell lemon or cherry. You just want to smell ‘clean.’”

Instead, custodial managers value distributors who understand the science behind odor prevention and can help them identify the root cause of malodors.

“A lot of the responsibility is placed on distribution,” says Almeida. “We expect them to be knowledgeable in this realm and understand our problems with odors. So not only do they need to sell, but they need to educate.”

Fortunately, Elk Grove School District has a good partnership with its local jan/san supplier. Recently, Almeida approached the distributor about implementing a bus cleaning program.

“Kids have accidents on the buses and do a lot of unsanitary things, but the bus drivers are not trained to clean those buses,” he says. “And with 185 buses, you can imagine we’re tasked with lack of time.”

Almeida’s distributor recommended using a cordless mister/fogger to spray the buses with hypochlorous acid once a week. Almeida already had a corded version of the fogger in use to clean and sanitize classrooms.

“We have special needs kids that have to have their diapers changed, and sometimes teachers have pets in the room, so there are all kinds of odors,” says Almeida. “We’ll send out a response team at random to spray down classrooms, and over a period of two to three months, they hit all 68 schools.” 

In addition to using hypochlorous acid, which is generated on-site, custodians use a handheld electrostatic sprayer to clean and disinfect classrooms and buses. Both solutions have proven successful and reduced bio odors significantly.

In fact, when it comes to fighting odors, more custodial managers like Almeida are ditching harsh chemicals in favor of environmentally friendly products and technologies that generate engineered water. They also prefer partnering with distributors that support their mission and focus on prevention rather than cure.

“One distributor wanted to sell us seven chemicals to clean the bathroom,” says Brewer. “But we learned through our integrated pest management program that you don’t have to use harsh chemicals and pesticides to kill every bug you come across. Use common sense first, then processes and equipment, and finally chemicals. And when you do use chemicals, use them in the least toxic way to get the job done.”

Kassandra Kania is a freelancer in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a frequent contributor to Sanitary Maintenance.


previous page of this article:
Cleaning Carpets Of Bio Odors