Facilities looking to increase their sustainability scores can look to floor maintenance. By timing cleaning routines and using the correct amount of cleaner, healthcare facility managers can reduce the environmental footprint and save costs, according to an article by Jennifer DuBose, research associate at the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in the March/April 2011 issue of FacilityCare.
Green cleaning solutions include the following:
• Use the correct amount of detergent. This reduces the amount of money spent on cleaners and limits the amount of caustic substances that enter the waste stream.
• Consider water-only cleaning. Areas such as upper floors where there is little traffic may be suitable for water-only cleaning. To ensure proper floor maintenance, floors must be cleaned frequently. Automatic floor scrubbers will do a better job of cleaning with water than a mop-and-bucket routine.
• Evaluate areas for low-detergent applications. Porous flooring, such as grouted tile, terrazzo, vinyl composition tile, concrete and rubberized track surface must be cleaned with a surfactant to clean within the cracks and crevices. For flooring that is cleaned regularly, a full-strength solution may not be necessary. The normal ratio is 128 parts water to 1 part solution, but a ratio of 400 parts water to 1 part solution may be appropriate for regularly cleaned floors.