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Other Education Articles

Surfactants Make Water Clean Better

Entrance Matting: Buy or Rent?

Cleaning for Ebola, Enterovirus and Influenza

Guidelines: Cleaning Child-Care Facilities

Graffiti Wipe-Out in Norfolk

“No Leak Guarantee” Soap Dispensers

Keys to Carpet Longevity

BioEnzymatic Cleaners ... Beyond the Greasy Drain

Eliminating Phthalates for a Healthier Facility 

Controlling Paper Towel Costs

Disinfectants and Sanitizers 101

Microfiber: Are You One of the 90%?

Is Your Upright Vacuum a Pain in the Back?

Is Your Hand Soap Impairing Muscle Functions?

Any Task, Any Dilution is Easy with Multi-Task System

MATTING: Saving You Money & Preserving Your Floors?

How to Identify and Prevent Cause of Odor in Mens' Room


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When to Use Carpet Cleaning Encapsulation (Interim Cleaning)

Download this guide to Interim CleaningInterim carpet cleaning is a cost-effective way to maintain clean carpets and reduce re-soiling in between deep extraction cleanings.  But when do you perform encapsulation cleaning?  In what areas is it most effective?

Encapsulation technology uses polymer chemistry which encapsulates, traps, and holds soils and detergent residues.

The encapsulating solution is pre-sprayed on freshly vacuumed carpet, then agitated with a machine that allows diluted solution to be sprayed through the scrub brushes or pads.  One pass should be done with the solution being applied, the second pass with no solution and just the agitation. Then, allow the carpets to dry (about 20 minutes). When dry, the polymer fractures, creating particles which are easily vacuumed up, leaving carpets clean and virtually residue-free.

How often should you perform encapsulation (interim) cleaning? It depends on the traffic area. 

  • High traffic areas: Weekly.  Building entrances and major hallway arteries.
  • Medium traffic: Monthly.  Conference rooms, office hallways, etc.
  • Low Traffic: Quarterly.  Interior offices, break rooms, classrooms, etc.  

Care should be taken to use a high quality encapsulation cleaning solution for maximum results.  We have seen great interim cleaning results using Multi-Clean ECO2, a product that combines encapsulating technology with hydrogen peroxide. The oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide attacks any odor from bacteria, mold, or mildew while enabling safe bleaching of stains.

> Download the “Interim Carpet Cleaning” diagram chart

> Read more about ECO2 Encapsulating Cleaner with Oxygen and our list pricing


Surfactants Make Water Clean Better

Ever see a small insect walking on the water’s surface? Although it is denser than the water, it does not sink. This is a great example of surface tension, which is the ability of liquids such as water to “bead” and take up the least amount of surface area possible.

Surface tension is created when a liquid interfaces with air, as there is a greater attraction of water molecules to each other than to air molecules. The result is the water surface behaves much like a stretched elastic membrane.
When a surfactant is introduced to the water, it immediately breaks the attraction of the water molecules to each other. Thus, the “membrane” is broken and water covers more surface area.

Cleaning Surfactant Video DemoThis video produced by Springer Publishing Company provides a visual explanation of what surface tension is and how introducing a surfactant into the equation breaks down the tension.

So how do surfactants play into surface tension and increasing the effectiveness of a cleaning chemical? They lower the surface tension of water, thus allowing the detergent or soap to work better, as the water more easily soaks into the pores of the surface being cleaned.

>Read more about surfactants and how they improve cleaning (link to blog)

> View the video by Springer Publishing Company
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Entrance Matting: Buy or Rent?

Entrance Matting Buy or RentWhen it comes to entrance matting, many facility managers consider mat rental because of the convenience.  However, economic indicators point to the benefits of purchasing entrance matting versus rental.

The national average for floor mat rental is $5 per week for a standard 4’ x 6’ mat.  Matting experts suggest having between 12’ to 15’ of matting at entrances to capture at least 3 footsteps of visitors, so this would translate into $12 to $18 per week, per entrance door, for mat rental. 

Let’s suppose your facility has just one entrance door.  In a month, rental costs for entrance matting would run approximately $48 - $72 or between $565 - $864 annually, with limited inventory.

Cavalier carries 4’ x 6’ entrance mats starting at $113 in an array of colors, shapes, and types.  That means in the first year you would save over $330 to cover 12’of entrance flooring at just one entrance.   

Matting maintenance is simpler than most think.  It is recommended that daily vacuuming is done to remove the day’s debris.  Many facilities that are currently renting matting are already performing this daily task.

Rental mat companies will change out dirty matting, saving facilities the task of cleaning the entrance mats. However, pressure washing entrance mats is not a difficult task and does not take an inordinate amount of time.  Most facilities already have a pressure washer on hand, so there is no additional cost involved in the purchase of this equipment.

If the mat is particularly soiled, it will require using a cleaner with the pressure washer. We carry a product called “Split!,” a multi-purpose cleaner that is detergent-free with no oxidizers or bleaching agents.  It is ideal for pressure washing entrance mats as is will not leave behind any detergent residue that encourages re-soiling. 

Let Cavalier help you in assessing the best entrance matting solution for your facility and start saving entrance matting dollars.

> View video on cleaning entrance matting

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Cleaning for Ebola, Enterovirus and Influenza

Cleaning for EnterovirusIt is a good idea at the beginning of each flu season to have a refresher on proper cleaning procedures to contain the spread of contagious disease. 

This year, there are more serious concerns  as we face the presence of Ebola and Enterovirus D68 in addition to Influenza. 

Cleaning for Ebola includes some strict procedures, however some of the steps are the same ones you would use in cleaning to combat Enterovirus, Influenza or other pathogens.  It is important to know that all these viruses are “non-enveloped” viruses, meaning they are easier to kill and can be addressed with most broad spectrum disinfectants.

If you are a Healthcare Facility:
It has not been established how long the Ebola virus will survive on surfaces, however because of its deadly severity, the CDC recommends in its “Interim Guideline for Environmental Infection Control in Hospitals for Ebola Virus” to use a disinfectant that is more powerful than most broad spectrum formulations. 

The CDC states:
Use a U.S. EPA-registered hospital disinfectant with a label claim for a non-enveloped virus (e.g. Norovirus, Rotavirus, Adenovirus, Poliovirus) to disinfect environmental surfaces in rooms of patients with suspected or confirmed Ebola infection.”

We carry the following disinfectants that are effective against non-enveloped viruses:

•    EcoConcepts GC2 Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner
•    Multi-Clean Microcide TB Disinfectant Cleaner
•    Monk Disinfecting Wipes

Additionally, we carry nitrile gloves, shoe covers and Tyvek disposable full body suits.

Non-Healthcare Facilities:

If your facility has not harbored an Ebola patient, nor anyone who has been in contact with an Ebola patient, you can determine whether you want to take the additional cleaning precautions and use a disinfectant for non-enveloped viruses.

We suggest following basic thorough cleaning practices, paying special attention to disinfect high-touch surfaces, such as light-switch plates, door handles/knobs, keyboards, phones, etc. Make sure you follow disinfecting directions on the product label and allow proper dwell time.
We carry broad spectrum disinfectants with kill claims for enveloped viruses (such as Enterovirus and Influenza):
•    Multi-Clean # 256 Guardian CQ Disinfectant Cleaner
•    Essential #49 Neutral Germicidal Cleaner

Still have questions?  Give us a call at 888.569.0066

> Download the CDC “Interim Guideline for Environmental Infection Control in Hospitals for Ebola Virus”

> Download OSHA’s “Cleaning and Decontamination of Ebola on Surfaces.” 

> Learn more about Enterovirus D68

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To Disinfect or Not? Guidelines to Cleaning Child Care Centers

How often have we heard of child care centers being referred to as “petri dishes” for bacteria, viruses and germs?  It’s no wonder, as young children sneeze, cough, drool, wear diapers, and are in the midst of toilet training. They hug, kiss, touch anything within reach and put everything in their mouths.

Therefore, it is understandable why people may think the best way to control the spread of illness in a child care center is to liberally and frequently use disinfectants. Quite the opposite, according to the EPA and National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education (NRC).

Keep in mind a child’s body mass is much smaller than an adult, and if exposed to the same dose of toxins or chemicals, that it proportionally translates into a much greater exposure to their small bodies and organs.
Therefore, disinfectant use is recommended only in certain areas of a child care facility.  Most surfaces can be cleaned with sanitizers or general purpose cleaners.

The NRC provides a reference chart of suggested routine cleaning in each area of a child care center. Here is an excerpt:

Area Before Each Use After Each Use Daily (end of day) Weekly Monthly
Tables, High Chair Trays Clean, Sanitize Clean, Sanitize      
Food Area Countertops   Clean Clean, Sanitize    
Pacifiers   Clean Clean, Sanitize    
Door, Cabinet Handles     Clean, Sanitize    
Play Activity Centers       Clean  
Potty Chairs   Clean, Disinfect      
Floors in Toilet Area     Clean, Disinfect    

You’ll note there are many areas that can be sanitized instead of disinfected, such as food area countertops and pacifiers.

Cavalier carefully evaluates environmentally preferred products and offers only those that we feel meet superior performance at great pricing. Give us a call for guidance on the best green cleaning options for cleaners and sanitizers, as well as disinfectant wipes, aerosols, and liquids.

> View Cavalier's full line of disinfectants and sanitizers

> Download the full NRC Routine Schedule for Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Child Care Facilities.

> Read more about the EPA’s “Green Cleaning Toolkit for Early Care and Education”

> Download the EPA’s webinar, “Green Cleaning Toolkit for Early Care and Education”

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Graffiti Wipe-Out in Norfolk

EcoConcepts Graffiti Remover is environmetally preferred product to remove graffiti.There are two active graffiti abatement programs in the city of Norfolk to address the unsightly markings left behind with paint or markers.

The first program, TAG-OUT, is being piloted in the area with the highest concentration of graffiti. The program seeks to remove graffiti within 24 hours by working directly with concerned residents, business-owners, and community based agencies.

The second program, GRAFFITI REIMBURSEMENT, provides reimbursement of up to $50 for the removal of graffiti from private property.

Both programs encourage removal of graffiti as quickly as possible, as experts agree that a significant way to fight graffiti is to promptly remove it. Taggers are looking for visibility, and if you deny them that visibility, it deters additional tagging.

According to Graffiti Hurts, studies indicate that removing graffiti within 24 to 48 hours after it appears results in a nearly zero rate of re-occurance.

> Check out our products for graffiti removal

> Learn more about the City of Norfolk Graffiti Abatement Programs

> View the TAG-OUT area map

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“No Leak Guarantee” Soap Dispensers

Top-dispensing Soap dispensersFrom the “top down,” there are differences in soap dispensers that can impact your bottom line.  The differences are particularly noteworthy if you have beautiful granite or marble counter-tops in your restrooms.

First of all, top-dispensing devices enable hand soap users to easily see the product being dispensed which translates into fewer pushes.  Automatic dispensers are even better for product economy as they discourage users from activating the device multiple times. 

Additionally, top-dispensing devices have the pump spring contained in the refill, which means a new spring is loaded with each refill change.  Bottom dispensing systems have the spring mechanism attached to the dispenser, so over time it will wear out.

Perhaps most significant is the “No Leak Guarantee” that comes with top-dispensing hand soap dispensers.

No more product loss due to drips on the counter and no likelihood of staining expensive stone counter surfaces.

Soap stains can be very difficult to remove from porous stone surfaces such as granite and marble.  Hand soap stains on these surfaces usually appear as darkened areas on the surface.  According to the Marble Institute of America, oil-based stains such as soap must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be rinsed way.  As a first step, try using a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach, ammonia, mineral spirits, or acetone. 

If the soap stain is embedded in the granite, it can often be removed with a poultice with baking soda and water.
One might think that with all these advantages that a top-dispensing system would cost significantly more.  Actually, our customers are very surprised at the affordability, not to mention the peace of mind knowing that surfaces will not be damaged with the “No Leak Guarantee.”

> See comparison chart of top-dispensing vs. bottom dispensing hand soap dispensers

> View video about top-dispensing hand soap dispensers 

> Check out Cavalier’s top-dispensing hand soap dispensers 

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Keys to Carpet Longevity

Cavalier commercial carpet cleaning adviceAlthough many facilities will replace carpet every 7 or 8 years, the truth is it can last up to 20 years with the proper maintenance.

Implementing a preventative maintenance program will give it the longest life possible and delay premature replacement.

The key factors in any carpet maintenance program include:

  • Regular vacuuming with a commercial-grade vacuum cleaner
  • Regular extraction cleaning to remove dirt and debris
  • Stepped-up vacuuming and extraction during winter months, especially during periods of heavy snowfall.
  • Proper entrance matting
  • Use of chair mats in office areas
  • Daily removal of spots and spills which reduces the possibility of a permanent stain.

The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends dividing your facility into three main traffic areas; Light, Medium and Heavy.  These areas will guide you in a basic maintenance schedule, such as light and medium traffic areas should be vacuumed as needed, but at least every 2-3 days.  Heavy traffic areas should be vacuumed daily.

Special care should be taken during harsh winter months and the removal of ice melting agents and road salt that is tracked into the facility. It is imperative that proper matting is used and changed as it becomes saturated by foot traffic.

Keep in mind that the carpet extraction products you normally use may not be removing all the salt residue. Even if you don't see that unsightly, crusty white debris, there may still be small particles embedded in the fibers.

That is because unlike most carpet spills and stains which lean toward the more acid end of the pH range, road salt is just the opposite with a higher alkaline content.  To be effective in removing an alkaline agent, you need to clean with a more acidic pH cleaner.

So, if you treat salt residue areas with a typical pre-conditioning agent, you may not get results because you are using your “default” pre-conditioner, which is probably alkaline.

Cleanfax Magazine offers this convenient pH chart for the best pH cleaners to use for certain soil removal:

Type of cleaner pH range Soils
Mineral-acid cleaner 0-2 Heavy oxide scales
Mild acid 2-5.5 Inorganic salts, water soluble metal complexes
Neutral 5.5-8.5 Light oils, small particles
Mild alkaline 8.5-11 Oils, particulates, film
Alkaline 11.5-12.5 Oils, fats, proteins
Highly alkaline 12.5-14 Heavy grease/soils

Need some extra guidance on plotting a carpet maintenance program?  Give the carpet cleaning experts at Cavalier a call at 888.569.0066 or 757.855.6091.

> View some of our neutral cleaners

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BioEnzymatic Cleaners ... Beyond the Days of Greasy Drains

Chemistry BottlesWhen bio-enzymatic cleaners first emerged in the custodian closet, they were primarily seen as effective solutions to clear grease traps and drains.  As time has passed, this exciting new genre of cleaning products has proven to be effective in a number of facility maintenance applications.

Bio-enzymatic cleaners contain a mixture of enzymes and bacteria that work in concert to effectively clean and remove odors.  Different bio-enzymatic products will contain different mixtures of enzymes and bacteria, depending on the cleaning job for which they are formulated.

The enzymes in the bio-enzyme formulation act as a chemical catalyst to break up the more complex molecular composition of soil and waste into smaller, simpler pieces.  These simpler molecules can then be easily digested directly by the bacteria in the bio-enzyme formulation.

Perhaps the most impressive performance of bio-enzymatic cleaners is their odor-fighting prowess.  Because of their composition, they continue to work long after their initial application to the surface.  Many users are delighted to experience the benefits of these cleaners working up to 80 hours after they are applied as they continue to digest odor-producing bacteria.

Obviously, bio-enzymatic cleaners are quite popular for restroom cleaning and odor control, especially as they continue work in porous grout lines and reach the actual cause of odors.

In addition to odor control and restroom cleaning, facility managers find bio-enzymatic cleaners are effective for use in food prep/kitchen area cleaning and to remove spots and stains in carpets.

Cavalier carries the MISCO Enzibrite Floor Cleaner that is ideal for use in restrooms and food service areas, as well as schools, hotels, hospitals, and long-term care centers.  It is formulated for use on hard surfaces such as concrete, ceramic tile, quarry tile, grout, brick and rubber mats.

Having difficulties with carpet stains and odors?  Check out the efficacy of the Majectic Triple Action Cherry Almond Enzyme Carpet Cleaner.  This RTU, multi-enzyme carpet spotter and deodorizer uses a broad-spectrum odor counteractant to neutralize the malodor while bacteria attack and eliminate the stain.  Additionally, your stain-resistant carpet is restored  to its original protective properties.

> Read more about EnziBrite Bio-Enzymatic Floor Cleaner 

> Read more about Majestic Triple Action Cherry Almond

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Eliminating Phthalates for a Healthier Facility 

Are you exposing your tenants to potentially harmful air? 

A study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that 12 of 14 common household air fresheners contained phthalates. 

Have you check the MSDS on your current freshener to assure it does not contain phthalates?  Here are the most common:

  • Di-ethly Phthalate (DEP): Associated with changes in hormone levels and genital development in humans.
  • Di-n-butyl Phthalate (DBP): Recognized as a reproductive toxicant by the National Toxicology Program and the State of California. It can lead to changes in genital development.
  • Di-isobutyl Phthalate (DIBP): Associated with changes in male genital development.
  • Di-methyl Phthalate (DMP): Inconclusive evidence has shown reproductive toxicity in animal studies.
  • Di-isohexyl Phthalate (DIHP): Limited toxicity testing has shown that DIHP is probably a developmental and reproductive toxicant.

Fresh-Eco-Air video 

Check out this video on Eco-Air and its environmental benefits

Cavalier stocks only the most environmentally preferred air freshening products.  One example is the Eco-Line of air fresheners from Fresh Products, which includes the Eco-Air 30-day air freshener, the Eco-Clip for toilet bowls, and the Easy-Fresh fan air freshener.

The Eco-Air fits in most fan dispensers (including TC®, TimeMist®, Ecolab®, Hospeco®, Kimberly-Clark®, and Vectair®). Made in the USA, it’s a real workhorse and outperforms gels, wicks, and aerosols.

The Eco-Clip clips discretely in ladies’ restrooms on the outside of the bowl and remains unseen, secure, and working for up to 30 days.

The Easy-Fresh fan unit assures consistent performance for 30 days, a the computer chip and probram automatically runs the fan only when needed.

Recycling Air Fresheners
When it is time to recycle, Fresh Products makes it simple and easy with the industry’s first closed loop recycling program for air fresheners. Just fill up any box with 50 or more Eco-Air cells or Easy Fresh covers (box must weigh at least 6 pounds), and go online to download a prepaid UPS shipping label ( Simply seal the box and call for an UPS pick-up.
As an additional environmental bonus, Eco-Air qualifies for LEED points under the “Purchase of Sustainable Cleaning Products and Materials” criteria.

> Read full report: "Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners"

> Check out our Fresh deodorizers

> Review our air freshening choices

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Controlling Paper Towel Costs

Today’s technology provides some easy solutions to controlling paper towel costs, as well as enhancing a restroom experience. 

Did you know that nine out of 10 people prefer an automatic or touch-free towel dispenser?

That’s a smart choice, as a study conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, also known as “Dr. Germ” found that paper towel dispensers have over 50 times more bacteria on their surfaces than a typical public restroom toilet seat.

But not everyone is thrilled with automatic dispensers that don’t recognize your hand motion or experience battery failure.  It can lead to frustration with ineffective hand waving, searching for additional dispensers, or exercising the dreaded toilet paper last option.

From an expense standpoint, it is most effective to utilize a dispenser that delivers consistent towel size to eliminate excessive towel waste.

One towel dispenser Cavalier stocks meets the needs for controlled dispersal, touch-free, and dependable operation.  The Cascades Tandem Roll Towel System is also at the top of our list, as it does not operate with batteries or electricity and is manufactured with 40% recycled material, making it a more environmentally friendly paper towel dispensing option.

Additionally, it holds up to 1,000 feet of towel and features end-of-roll transfer system which eliminates stub roll waste.  An extra neat feature is the built-in “advertising” window that can be used to communicate anything from upcoming company events to local restaurant lunch deals.

> View video on Tandem Roll Towel System features

> View video on installation and re-stocking

> Read article: “Selecting the Right Dispensing Systems Can Help Reduce Restroom Bacteria”

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Disinfectants and Sanitizers: 101

clean-counterWe are often asked the question about the difference between disinfectants and sanitizers.  It is not surprising, as there are many similarities however they are two different micro-organism eliminators.

First, let’s cover some basics.  If a product claims to “kill or otherwise mitigate a micro-organism,” it is considered a pesticide.  This holds true for both disinfectants and sanitizers. 

Under federal law, the product must be registered with the US EPA before it can be distributed or sold.  It is best practice to always look on the label to verify if the product carries an EPA registration number.  If there is no EPA registration number, it is not a disinfectant nor a sanitizer.

Perhaps the main difference between disinfectants and sanitizers is the micro-organism kill effectiveness, however one could argue the differential can be quite fractional.

According to the EPA, disinfectants are used to destroy or irreversibly inactivate certain viruses, fungi, and bacteria, but not necessarily their spores. There are two types of disinfectants: hospital and general use.  Hospital-type disinfectants are used for infection control in medical facilities whereas general disinfectants are those most likely used in other facilities.

Sanitizers are used to reduce, but not necessarily eliminate micro-organisms, to levels that are considered safe as determined by public health codes or regulations.

In other words, disinfectants will kill nearly 100% of the microbials identified on its label, and sanitizers will eliminate 99.9% of organisms listed on its label. 

It is imperative to read the label completely to assure the product you are using will target the specific micro-organisms you want to control.

Equally important is using the product in the manner described on the label.  The most common mistake made in using either disinfectants or sanitizers is cutting short the dwell time.

Are there “green” disinfectants?

Currently, the EPA is conducting a “Design for the Environment Antimicrobial Pesticide Pilot Project: Moving Toward the Green End of the Pesticide Spectrum.”  The pilot program began in 2010 and was originally planned for conclusion last month, however it has been extended until May, 2015.
The ingredients that are approved for use in products for the DfE Pesticide Pilot program include citric acid, hydrogen peroxide, l-lactic acid, ethanol and isopropanol.

Give us a call and we will guide you through your current choices for healthier cleaning and disinfection.

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Microfiber: Are You One of the 90%?

A survey conducted by the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS) shows 90% of the floor mopping in professional facility maintenance is being done with traditional cotton mops and a single compartment bucket.  Are you included in that 90%?

Consider some of these statistics from that same study on microfiber benefits+:

  • Microfiber cleans floors 45% better than string mops
  • Traditional cotton mops and single buckets are good for just the first 1,000 square feet.  After that, the procedure is redistributing contaminants back onto the floor.
  • Traditional cotton string mops last for about 50 washings while microfiber mops can be laundered 300 or more times.
  • Microfiber removes almost 99% of surface bacteria.

The diagram below from one of our microfiber suppliers, Nexstep/O’Cedar, illustrates the effectiveness of microfiber construction and its ability to actually attract and hold dirt and contaminants.

Nexstep OCeder Microfiber

Another interesting study published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) discusses the role of microfiber in infection prevention.  A test conducted with extremely fine (.37 micrometer diameter) microfiber was shown to remove 98% of bacteria and 93% of viruses from a surface when USING ONLY WATER (no chemicals!).

By comparison, the traditional cotton fibers have been shown to remove just 30% of bacteria and 23% of viruses from a contaminated surface.  This study showed the cleaning staff was able to complete a patient room 40% faster using a microfiber mop compared to a traditional mop and bucket.  Microfiber also easily enables a “one-pad-per-room practice,” thus decreasing the likelihood of cross-contamination from one room to another.

Cavalier carries a full array of microfiber mops and cleaning cloths.  Call us today for more information and our microfiber suggestions for your facility.

> View “Understanding Microfiber” webinar from the Green Clean Institute

> Read “Understanding Microfiber’s Role in Infection Control Prevention” in Infection Control Today

> Read “Microfiber Cleaning: Just the Facts” article


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Is Your Upright Vacuum a Pain in the Back?

back painDo you have a pain in your back?  If so, you’re not alone.  It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their lives.

If you are a cleaning professional, chances are you’ve have back pain more than just once.  One culprit may be your upright vacuum cleaner.  According to occupational therapist Michael Milicia, a Cleveland Clinic specialist in industrial rehabilitation, many back pains can be the result of practicing poor vacuuming technique, such as reaching with your arms while bending at the waist, or turning side-to-side without moving your feet, but rotating at your waist.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, cleaning professionals experienced more days away from work in 2011 due to injuries than police officers.  Of those injuries (and illnesses), about 3 percent were attributed to repetitive motion involving micro-tasks, such as vacuuming.  Although this sounds like a small percentage, those  workers required nearly triple the number of days to recover from these injuries than other injuries … an average of 23 days of lost work days. 

Mercury backpack vacuumOne solution to minimize the injury due to repetitive vacuuming is switching an upright cleaner for a backpack vacuum.  The green cleaning guidelines published in the LEED-EB rating system recommends that “power equipment be ergonomically designed to minimize vibration, noise and user fatigue.”

Backpack vacuums are designed so the weight of the machine  is supported by shoulders and hips, where our bodies are supposed to carry weight.  The key to proper fitting is to make sure the waist belt and shoulder straps are properly adjusted.

Backpack vacuums are ideal for use in a number of vacuuming applications, including those requiring repetitive reaching or are in small or confined areas, such as movie theaters, stairs, hallways, classrooms, offices and conference rooms.

Other advantages of using backpack vacuums are easier bag replacement, HEPA filters, and lower noise decibels.

> Call us for advice on backpack vacuums and how to properly adjustment them. 757.855.6091

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Is Your Hand Soap Impairing Muscle Functions?

hand-washingCavalier doesn’t stock hand soap and products that contain Triclosan. 

Why? Studies have shown that washing hands with plain soap and water is just as effective as washing with a product that contains antibacterial ingredients … and it costs less, too!  Perhaps a more significant reason we do not stock products containing Triclosan are concerns that have been raised about this particular ingredient.

Triclosan is a popular antibacterial and antifungal agent that manufacturers use in many personal-care products, such as toothpaste, hand-soap and body wash. Although it is proven to be an effective antibacterial, there are studies that have raised concerns about its safety. 

Currently, the FDA is engaged in an ongoing scientific and regulatory review to determine if there is enough evidence to recommend consumers discontinue using products made with Triclosan.

It is interesting to note that the FDA has accelerated the schedule for Triclosan’s registration review process.  That review is scheduled to begin this year,  a full ten years earlier than originally planned because of the scientific research indicating a health concern with the ingredient.

Let’s review some of the current studies on Triclosan:

  • A study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and published by the National Institutes of Health  in 2003-2004 found high concentrations of Triclosan in the urine of nearly 75% of study participants, ages six years and older.  It is interesting to note that the concentrations of triclosan were highest in those between the ages of 20 – 30 years old with higher household incomes.
  • The FDA notes that animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation, but points out that effects in animals don’t always translate to humans. 
  • According to the FDA, there are studies that raise the possibility of triclosan contributing to making strains of bacteria resistant to antibiotics.
  • The University of California, Davis and the University of Colorado recently published findings of a study in which they performed several experiments to evaluate the effects of triclosan on muscle activity.  They used doses similar to what we may be exposed to in everyday life.  They found:
    • In “test tube” experiments, triclosan impaired the ability of isolated heart muscle cells and skeletal muscle fibers to contract;
    • Triclosan impairs heart and skeletal muscle contractibity in living animals. Anesthetized mice had up to a 25-percent reduction in heart function measured within 20 minutes of exposure to the chemical.
    • Mice had an 18-percent reduction in grip strength for up to 60 minutes after being given a single dose of triclosan.
    • The research team has previously linked triclosan to other health effects, such as disruption of reproductive hormone activity and cell signaling in the brain.

One of the study co-authors, Nipavan Chiamvimonvat, professor of cardiovascular medicine at UC Davis noted, “The effects of triclosan on cardiac function were really dramatic.  Although triclosan is not regulated as a drug, this compound acts like a potent cardiac depressant in our models.”

He is also quick to point out that translating results from animal models to humans is “a large step”, however the effects they discovered provides evidence that triclosan could have effects on humans at the current levels of exposure in our everyday lives.

Call us for more information about hand soap choices for your needs.

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Any Task, Any Dilution is Easy with Multi-Task System

Any task.  Any dilution.  Any application type.  The Multi-Task System streamlines cleaning with 19 products and eight different dispensing options to fit your particular needs.

Any of the Multi-Task Concentrates can be dispensed with a variety of Multi-Task dispensing options:

  • Multi-Task Wall Mount Dispenser
  • The WAVE Touchless Cleaning System
  • Multi-Task Portable Dispensing Options
    • Easy Fill Gun
    • Multi-Task Foamer
    • Multi-Task Sprayer
  • Multi-Task Squeeze ‘n Pour
    • Squeezed into Proportion Cup
    • Poured in measured quantity
    • Poured into clear-view on-board measuring container
This video provides an overview of the Multi-Task System by Multi-Clean and its ease of use.

The Multi-Task Wall Mount Dispenser integrates metering tips into the container design.  This eliminates the installation of dilution tips in equipment and assures trouble-free operation.  The Wall Mount Dispenser  fills spray bottles, buddy jugs, mop buckets, auto scrubbers, and carpet extraction equipment.
The WAVE Touchless Cleaning System is a battery powered mobile cleaning system designed for
cleaning restrooms faster and better. The system dilutes concentrates and the dispenses the use dilution onto surfaces to be cleaned or disinfected.

The Multi-Task Portable Dispensing Options include:

  • Easy Fill Gun – Dispenses into mop buckets, scrubbers, buddy jugs.
  • U-Fill Sprayer – Allows dispensing directly onto surfaces.
  • U-Fill Foamer – Dispenses foaming cleaner directly onto vertical surfaces.

The Multi-Task Squeeze ‘n Pour system does not require any equipment, as the patented Multi-Task bottle allows users to dispense product using a graduated proportioning cup.  The containers can be:

  • Gently squeezed to fill a graduated proportion cup to the desired amount
  • Poured directly into a mop bucket, scrubber, or spray bottle  in a measured quantity
  • Poured into a clear-view onboard container to desired level.

The Multi-Task System cleaning concentrates that are packaged in convenient, multi-lingual, two-liter bottles that are numbered and color-coded for easy identification and training.  Many of these cleaners are Green Seal certified or DfE recognized.

> Click here for full brochure explaining Multi-Task System

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MATTING: Saving You Money & Preserving Your Floors?

One of the most important preventative steps you can take to reduce damage to your flooring and decrease maintenance costs is having the right entrance matting.  The proper matting will trap dirt and debris before it is tracked into your building. Did you know that the cost to remove one pound of dirt is over $600?

It is important to lay the mats in the right locations, as well. So often, we will visit a faciilty and the entrance matting is not placed appropriately. Or, the matting is curling at the corners, which is typically the result of a cheaper production process.

Curling edges on mats is particularly alarming, as they present a trip-and-fall hazard. Additionally, they will not trap the amount of dirt and debris to decrease maintenance and replacement costs.

Check out this video from The Andersen Company that demonstrates the value of proper matting.  

Matting needs differ from facility to facility.  As an example,  the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) recommends an office building should have at least 12 to 15 feet of entrance matting, while a grocery store or hospital should plan on up to 20 to 25 feet.   Some other tips:

  • Foot traffic evaluation – Make sure your matting is appropriate for your level of traffic and the season.

  • Facility Specific Matting – Check with Cavalier for advice on the proper mat for your facility … matting that is appropriate for a manufacturing plant may not be appropriate for a hospital.

  • Changing Climate Conditions – Although the weather in our area is quite moderate, there are considerations, depending on your location and business, such as visitors tracking in mud or sand.

  • Matting as a System – Ideally, there should be three mats installed at each entrance to your facility.  A scraper mat directly outside the building, a wiper mat placed in the entry or vestibule, and one more wiper mat inside the building to trap any remaining debris.

  • Replace Worn Mats – Keep an eye on your matting integrity and replace as soon as wear is noticed.

> read more from Carpet and Rug Institute

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How to Identify and Prevent Cause of Odor in Mens' Room

Perhaps the most difficult and persistent challenge in facility maintenance is urine odor in the men’s room.

One way to test cleaning effectiveness is to shine a black light in the urinal area.  Any traces of urine salt and bacteria will glow brightly.

It is not uncommon to find traces of urine as far as five feet away from the urinal from splashback.

It is imperative that daily wipe-down includes the stalls and walls, preferably using a sanitizer. Because grout can be porous, urine can quickly penetrate into the surface, making it more difficult to remove.

Summertime weather can accelerate an odor problem, especially if there is no air conditioning in the building.

With high humidity, urine takes moisture out of the air and more quickly forms urine salt. You must eliminate the salt stain, or you'll never get rid of the odor.

One way to reduce splash back onto tile and group while optimizing a pleasant fragrance is to use a uniquely designed urinal deodorizer. 

The WAVE by Fresh Products is designed with tiny “fingers” that help reduce urine splash.  The translucent, flexible design allows for a full view of the urinal drain, and ensures optimal drain flow while trapping debris.

The WAVE urinal deodorizer contains beneficial bacteria to boost ongoing cleaning, and has been shown to reduce cleaning time by up to 50%.

WAVE is available in 11 different fragrances to coordinate with any cleaning program, including the scents of honeysuckle, kiwi-grapefruit, spiced apple, cotton blossom, ocean mist and cucumber melon.

> click here for faster download  



Copyright 2012 ~ CAVALIER INC. ~ 2771 St. Julian Avenue ~ Norfolk, VA 23504 ~ 757.855.6091