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“Fun” Facts about Cleaning

Have a ‘Fun Fact’ to share ?  tweet us @TS__Maintenance 

Fact is- no one likes to clean. But maybe these cleaning facts and trivia bits will help bring a little levity to the situation (and maybe you can convince someone to help you).

  • Did you know that if you clean for 2 hours, you burn 200 calories? #burncalories #cleaning
  • The average person spends 87% of their time indoors; did you know that 70% of dust particles are made up of dead skin flakes? Either clean or get outside! #gross
  • Most antibacterial cleaner must be left on surfaces for 30-60 seconds before wiping away
  • Running low on antibacterial spray? Lemons are a great disinfectant #theysmellgoodtoo
  • Do you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? You don’t?!?! 
    (ahem) Cleaning is the action of removing dirt while disinfecting is destroying or preventing the growth of germs / disease-carrying micro-organisms.  #smartypants
  • Did you know that almost HALF of cohabiting couples argue about cleaning? (the other half pays for a service)
    What do they fight about? 27%  on who should clean, 24% on how often to clean, 34% on other issues like products & equipment, and 17% on how to clean something #knowitall
  • Did you know the average woman cleans for 12,896 hours in her lifetime us. 6,448 hours for men. #cleanfight #stepitUP #TotallyUnfair
  • Did you know that most people say their favorite room to clean is the BATHROOM?! #eewNotMine I like the kitchen. What’s your’s? Tweet us @TS_Maintenance 
  • Speaking of kitchens, did you know that the kitchen sink has more germs than your toilet?
  • You can put more than just dishes into your dishwasher; toys, toothbrushes, combs, sponges. Just be sure to take the dishes out first. #TRUTH
  • Put ice cubes down your garbage disposal; it helps sharpen the blades and get rid of trapped grease
  • If your vacuum starts to smell a little musty, call your friend down the street with the do-Terra inventory to get rid of. A few drops of essential oil like peppermint or citrus in the canister or on the filters will help clear the olfactory offensiveness
  • Remove watermarks from wooden surfaces with a small amount of mayonnaise! or toothpaste on a damp cloth. (It works, I SWEAR!) 
  • Lemon juice can be used for stains or rust on plastic furniture
  • Vodka! Use it on a soft cloth to shine up porcelain, chrome or glass. Put that desk bottle to good use, Mr. Draper. #happyhourcleaning 
  • And for the weirdest of the Fun Facts about Cleaning – Ketchup can be used on tarnished or corroded brass will help bring back its shine.
    I’m not sure I actually believe this one. Have you tried it? Did it work? Tweet me a photo @TS_Maintenance 
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The Importance of Properly Caring for Your Carpet

 

If you are anything like me, you probably spent a lot of time and money on your carpet. Researching the pile depth, softness, durability vs beauty, color options, etc. Properly maintaining and keeping your carpet clean increases its longevity and keeps up its appearance. Thus, protecting your investment. It’s important to ensure that your carpet is professionally cleaned at least once or twice every year, depending on foot traffic. Regular vacuuming will also keep it in good condition.

 

Dust, allergens, dirt and other particles accumulate in carpet and can stick within the fibers. When these particles get embedded within the individual fibers, they can split and deteriorate the fibers. Removal of these particles will increase the lifespan of your carpet. An expert carpet cleaner uses some cleaning techniques that involve hot-water extraction for stuff that gets deeper into the carpet.

Vacuuming more regularly is much easier than hiring a professional carpet cleaning service, although it only removes dirt on the surface. A professional carpet cleaner will remove all debris embedded within the fibers of your carpet and treat it appropriately to remove bad odors and prevent the serious risks involved by such particles like asthma or allergies.

An expert carpet cleaner will easily remove all tough stains in the carpet. The cleaner will use hot water extraction technique to remove stains from coffee spills, dirt, mud, ink, red wine and pet stains among others.

 

Preventing dirt and grime from getting on the carpet in the first place is a great way to start keeping it clean.
The following helpful hints can stop dirt in its tracks:

  • Use mats- Outdoor and indoor mats or runners can reduce the amount of dirt that enters the house.
  • The most-used entrances, doorways, traffic lanes and in front of chairs will collect dirt faster than other areas. Clean these areas as they begin to show dirt. This will stop dirt from spreading and will extend the time between professional cleaning.
  • In addition to frequent vacuuming, it’s important to clean your carpet on a regular basis. Cleaning systems will remove the oily, sticky dirt that vacuums can’t take out and will help keep your carpet looking great over time. Cleaning systems target the soils that result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt. The particles of oily dirt deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn’t lost but is hidden under the film. If this type of dirt can accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry dirt.
  • Get on a cleaning schedule. If the carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning.

 

Spot Removal Steps:

Act Quickly!
Most carpet available today has been treated with a stain-resist treatment, so many spills can be removed if immediate action is taken. The longer the delay, the higher the probability of a spill becoming a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors, and no carpet is completely stain proof

-Blot liquids with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white paper towels (no printing).
Do not scrub the area! Scrubbing may cause pile distortion in the affected area. Continue to use a dry cloth or paper towels until the area is completely dry.

-For semi-solids, gently scrape up with a rounded spoon. Solids should be broken up and vacuumed until completely removed. If the spot can be identified, locate the substance in the spot removal computer and follow the directions carefully.

-Pretest any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to be certain the solution will not damage the fiber or the dye. After applying several drops to the testing area, hold a white cloth on the wet area for 10 seconds. Examine the carpet and cloth for color transfer, color change, or damage to the carpet. If a change occurs, another cleaning solution should be selected.

-Work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent the stain from spreading. Do Not Scrub! Blot in order to absorb as much as possible and repeat if necessary.

-Continue using the first cleaning solution as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. It is not necessary to use all the cleaning solutions if the first chemical removes the spill.

Be Patient!
Complete removal of the spill may require repeating the same step several times. After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid soiling if the solution is not completely removed. Apply a one-half inch layer of white paper towels to the affected area, and weigh down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.

A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to accelerate drying time.

Treatment of the affected area should begin immediately upon discovery. The more time that elapses before treatment, the more difficult a stain will be to remove. For best results, use a carpet spot remover and cleaning kit.

 

Regular Care for Lasting Beauty

A regular maintenance program extends the life and the initial appearance of your carpet. Today’s carpet fibers area designed to hide dirt and reflect light and can resist soiling and stains. However, the lack of apparent dirt does not eliminate the necessity of regular cleaning.

You’ll need to vacuum your heavy traffic areas, such as hallways, stairs, and exterior entryways at least twice a week. Vacuum less heavily used areas weekly. For best results, use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush, and with a strong enough airflow to penetrate the carpet backing. Most dry dirt has razor-like edges that abrade carpet fibers, causing light to reflect differently and give the carpet a dull appearance. Dirt can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile.

 

No matter how often you vacuum, your carpet will still need heavy-duty cleaning from time to time. Professional cleaning is usually required to maintain your warranty.

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Window Washing – what type of company should you be looking for?

When it comes to façade and window cleaning, you have hundreds of companies to choose from. Where do you begin? To start, recognize what type of cleaning you need. This is some brief information to hopefully help you weed out options beginning with your google search.

Some research points to help you get started:

Window Cleaning Crews fall into two categories: Grounded and suspended

  • Grounded crews clean windows by accessing them using ground-based equipment, including extension poles, water-fed poles, ladders and aerial man-lifts.(cherry pickers)
  • Suspended workers are supported on the sides and off the roofs of building while cleaning. ( think Superheroes washing hospital windows)

Commercial window cleaning then falls into several sub-categories:

Route Work –
A route company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on first or second floor commercial windows and cleans these accounts on a recurring daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. These companies’ accounts will include structures such as storefronts, shopping malls, professional buildings, restaurants, and car dealerships

Low to Mid-rise work –
A low to mid-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on ground-based operations that are typically performed on commercial buildings under five stories in height. They are most often utilizing non-suspended equipment such as ladders, water-fed poles and aerial work platforms (scaffolding).

High Rise Commercial –
A high-rise company is a window cleaning company that concentrates on cleaning commercial structures that are more than four stories in height. They most often are the guys you see dangling from harnesses on the sides of the buildings downtown.

Residential windows require a type of white-glove service not typically needed for a commercial space. Extra care for clients’ safety and their belongings should be paramount.

As with always hiring a contractor, once you have selected one, !Do Your Homework!! Don’t make your job unnecessarily hard by neglecting to do your homework upfront. A little extra work at the front end can save you a ton of hassle, headaches and money down the line. Verify that their license is current, ask for proof of insurance with ample coverage. Ask for references and then call the references. If people are truly happy with a company, they will share.

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Garbage vs. Recycle vs. Compost

One of the most challenging aspects of our job, is keeping up the ever-changing Recology mandates. Here in the Bay Area we have some strict rules about what goes into the Land Fill > Compost > Recycling. You can use black trash liners in the landfill bins, but not the recycling, those have to be clear. Compost liners are costly but do help to cut down on the smell and you don’t have to wash the can as often and the list goes on.

Most people don’t think about what goes into which cans until their garbage company sends them a letter and usually (if it’s a repeat offense) a huge fine.

It is important to train your employees to be careful with disposing of their trash. Most buildings have a pretty simple set-up. This is the standard at our office:

For the restrooms – paper towels only in the bins. They are not to be lined and they are to be put into the compost / green bin.

Recycle / Blue Bins – no can liners.  Commonly accepted recyclables include: paper, plastic, cardboard, and aluminum. You do not need individual bins for recycle. The items below can all be put into the same cans.

Land Fill: Black Bins –clear or black garbage liners. This is everything that is not recycling or compost. But be sure not to throw away batteries or light bulbs! Those must be handled specially.

The info below is a handy guide that you may want to hang in the kitchen or wherever you have multiple bins.

  1. Paper:
    Paper (staples okay)
    Newspaper
    Envelopes
    Junk mail
    Phone books
    Brochures Magazines 
  1. Cardboard:
    Ream wrappers
    File folders
    Poster board
    Frozen food boxes
    Cardboard boxes
    Milk cartons
  2. Plastic:
    Water bottles
    Take-out containers
    Soda bottles
    Bagged film plastics
  3. Aluminum:
    Aluminum beverage cans
    Food cans
    Scrap metal
    Some small appliances
  4. Glass:
    Bottles (clear, green & brown)
    Jars

Compost –The list is long and varied.

From the Kitchen:

  • All Food Waste
  • Egg shells (crushed)
  • Coffee grounds
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags (Make sure they are made of natural materials like hemp or cotton, and not rayon or other synthetics. If in doubt, just open it and compost the tea leaves alone.)
  • Loose leaf tea
  • Used paper napkins and paper towels
  • Unwaxed cardboard pizza boxes (ripped or cut into small pieces)
  • Paper bags (shredded)
  • The crumbs you sweep off the counters and floors
  • Crumbs from the bottom of snack food packaging
  • Paper towel rolls (shredded)
  • Cardboard boxes from cereal, pasta, etc. (Remove any plastic windows and shred)
  • Used paper plates (if they don’t have a waxy coating)
  • Nut shells (except for walnut shells, which are toxic to plants)
  • Unpopped, burnt popcorn kernels
  • Peanut shells
  • Cardboard egg cartons (cut them up)
  • Wine corks (chop up so they decompose faster)
  • Toothpicks
  • Bamboo skewers (break them into pieces)
  • Paper cupcake or muffin cups

From the Bathroom

  • Used facial tissues
  • Toilet paper rolls (shredded)
  • Old loofahs (cut up, natural only)
  • Cardboard tampon applicators

From the Office

  • plain paper documents (shredded)
  • Envelopes (shredded, minus the plastic window)
  • Pencil shavings
  • Sticky notes (shredded)
  • Old business cards (shredded, if they’re not glossy)

One of the things you want to make sure to do is shred those papers. Composting can take a while, you don’t want a full sheet with account information on it, just sitting around in a pile of dirt. Shredding the docs allows them to break down even faster while providing the necessary security.

 

If you have questions or want to host a training session for your employees, most county waste management programs offer onsite training.

Here are some links to Bay Area Waste Management Companies:
https://www.recology.com/

https://www.republicservices.com/

https://ssfscavenger.com/ 

https://www.wm.com/us

A common misconception in our business is that your janitor will sort through your trash for you… NOT SO. We will make sure the liners are the correct type and will dispose of items into the proper totters. The most important thing you can do is train your employees. Make sure everyone is on the same page and helping to save the earth and the company some $$.

 

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Healthy & Happy Employees Need a Clean Work-Space

Employee morale sagging? They may love their job, but on those bad days, a bright and clean work-space can help lift their moods and keep them productive. Working in a clean, healthy environment can have a major impact on how people feel. (I know I love coming home after my housekeeper has visited. That clean smell that hits my nose when I walk in the door perks me right up.) In a dingy or cluttered work-space, frustrations can mount more quickly and bad days and problems seem to only get worse.

While your employees may be more concerned about pay raises, benefits and vacation time, one of the top issues affecting their overall performance is the state of the office environment. In fact, as study done by Harvard and Syracuse Universities ( https://phys.org/news/2017-05-air-quality-productivity.html )  shows that if you improve air quality at work, you’ll improve productivity too. It’s one of those things you don’t think about until it becomes a problem.

It goes beyond your employee’s moods, and can save your business money.

Going too long without a good cleaning can put the health of your employees at risk. A clean work-space improves air quality and reduces the spread of germs and bacteria. That cuts down on sick days and absenteeism. When your workers are healthy, they’ll have more energy and feel more creative, resulting in improved performance and a boost in business. Who doesn’t want that!?!?

A clean work-space benefits your customer service as well. A well-maintained and clean work-space will make your customers feel confident entering your business and working with you. A bright, clean, airy space is like putting out a welcome mat for your clientele and it demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail.

The bottom line is that you want people, customers and employees, to feel good about your work. If you don’t have the internal resources to clean and maintain your work environment as well as you’d like, a commercial cleaning company such as Townsend & Styer Maintenance can help you put together a regular and affordable cleaning and maintenance schedule. Townsend & Styer Maintenance provides cleaning services for commercial, industrial and institutional work-spaces. Give us a call 510-597-7900 today for a free estimate.

 

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Allowing Dogs in the Office

Do you allow dogs in the office?

It is becoming a more popular practice. Personally, my Ava Louise comes to work with me every day. She takes her job seriously. That patch of sunshine isn’t going to nap alone.  And everyone that walks in to the office gets stopped for kisses and belly rubs.

Ruff day

There are pros and cons to allowing pets in the workplace.
*Helps reduce stress levels
*Encourages getting up and away from computer
*Encourages midday walks = more exercise = healthier employees
*Happy employees = productive employees (unless games of fetch get a little rowdy)
*Employees can work later because they don’t have to run home to the dog
*It is also financial benefit for the employees: It eliminates Pet Care Costs
Allowing owners to bring their pets to work also provides a significant financial benefit—it eliminates the additional costs of doggie daycare or dog walking services for employees who work long hours or commute a significant distance from their home each day. 
Daycare or walking services can be quite costly, so this can be an excellent perk for a pet owning employee.
*Customers and Clients like being greeted by a wagging tail
*Promotes Positive Interactions
A pet-friendly workplace tends to increase employee satisfaction and to improve morale.  Pets are also a point of common interest that can help to promote an atmosphere of teamwork and communication.

Pitfalls:
Allergies and messes – 

Dog-friendly workplaces can cause a serious medical problem for employees who are allergic. For most, the allergy resides in the pet’s dander, which is secreted through the dog’s saliva, skin, and hair. Dander can travel through the air, so an allergic employee can be exposed even if he or she tries to maintain a distance from the pooch. Vacuuming regularly, which is often offered as a solution, may help some, but it is probably not a cure-all.

That’s where we come in.

Professional janitors have the tool to handle any dirt (or muddy paws) you throw at them. HEPA filters are your friend (see https://www.tsmaintenance.com/hepa-filters-often-change ).
If you allow pets in the office, then your cleaning team needs to be detail vacuuming on every visit. And that’s just for the dander… Accidents happen and spot cleaning doesn’t always get the job done. The dog will likely do his/her business on the floor at some point,
so have cleaning supplies (spray cleaner and paper towels) available. Then, call your janitorial company and give them a head’s up to bring the spot bot with them on their next visit. Mark the area with a note and give that dog a written warning from HR.

Obviously there are a lot of things to consider, when considering a dog-friendly workplace. Don’t let fear of dirt and hair be one of them; Hire a professional cleaning company, Good dog!

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Benefits Of A Back-Up Estimate

Here at T&S Maintenance, we often contact businesses that currently have janitorial services through another provider. Many times the companies that we contact are relatively happy with their current service. Believe it or not, it is still worthwhile for us to put together a free, no obligation estimate for our services. The reason we are willing to put together an estimate is that you never know what might happen to the current service. For Matt and I, putting together this free, no obligation estimate is of not an inconvenience to us. With our twenty years of experience, we have found that companies need to make unexpected changes for a variety of reasons. We’ve seen companies need to make changes due to family emergencies, moves, acquisition of new accounts, financial difficulties, etc.  If one of these unfortunate situations were to arise with your provider, you would have a detailed service and rate in your file. It is like having an insurance policy for janitorial services. If you would like to receive a free, no obligation estimate, please fill out the request for quote form and we will happily contact you.

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The low down on keeping your restrooms clean

Periodic Detail Restroom Cleaning

Your plan for maintaining clean restrooms should include periodic cleaning tasks that either take a little more time than daily cleaning or require the restroom to be closed for safety. These detail restroom cleaning tasks include but may not be limited to floor scrubbing, dispenser maintenance and high dusting. Detailed fixture cleaning is another essential task and steam cleaners are ideal for this task.

The reason it is a good idea to include these tasks in your overall restroom cleanliness plan is that they serve as preventive maintenance. By scheduling this periodic restroom ‘deep cleaning’ you reduce the chances of having to perform restorative cleaning, which requires more time and effort.

 When to Perform Periodic Detail Restroom Cleaning

Because many of the tasks involved with periodic deep cleaning of restrooms take more time than typical regular cleaning, it is a good idea to schedule this work when the restroom is at a low traffic time or when it is possible to close down the restroom all together. Wet floors and equipment can also be potentially dangerous for restroom users. Plus having the restroom closed allows the cleaning staff to work uninterrupted.

 What Should Be Included?

Periodic detail restroom cleaning should include anything that cannot be done during regular daily cleaning. There are always those tasks that simply are not possible to accomplish or do not need to be done every day. A perfect example is floor scrubbing with a compact auto-scrubber. Every type of floor requires some type of scrubbing from time to time. It is not usually practical to scrub a restroom throughout the day and for most facilities floor scrubbing on a daily basis would be overkill. But weekly or bi-weekly makes sense.

Every facility is different and has different traffic patterns. The times and the tasks that are needed will very. The important thing is that periodic detail restroom cleaning is included in your overall restroom cleanliness plan.

When it comes to deep cleaning restrooms, there are several tools that can make the process easier. Before mechanical scrubbers and high pressure cleaning systems, we were pretty much relegated to using a hand brush to deep clean floors and baseboards.

While the elbow grease methods still works, the use of restroom cleaning equipment makes the deep cleaning process much faster, safer and produces much better results.

Restroom Floor Scrubbing

Rotary floor scrubbers are very versatile when it comes to cleaning floors. In a restroom setting, they are able to quickly deep scrub tile and grout, loosening built up soils to be easily removed. For this application, it is most effective to use a brush rather than a pad. The longer bristles are better able to get down in the uneven surface of the floor. When partnered with the correct cleaning chemicals, a rotary scrubber can make a big difference.

Square floor scrubbers are also a good option. These machines have an oscillating head rather than a rotating head. Providing more of a vibrating motion, square floor scrubbers make it easier to control when scrubbing in tight areas like restroom stalls. Also, because they are square, corners are much easier to get into. Turf pads are an excellent choice for grouted areas when using a square machine.

Edger scrubbers can be a big help as well. They look similar to a line trimmer, but have a small brush on the base. This makes it possible to get behind toilets and into other tight areas that a rotary or square scrubber cannot.

 Restroom Cleaning Equipment for Floors and Beyond

Another type of restroom cleaning equipment are touch free systems. These employ high pressured water, that blast away dirt and soils. Using a controlled stream of water, you are able to deliver cleaning chemicals directly to the areas you need to clean, both to the floor and to the fixtures in the restroom. Areas like stall walls, toilets, urinals and sinks can be quickly and easily cleaned without the user having to touch them. These systems use detailed procedures to do both deep cleaning as well as daily maintenance.

Steam cleaners are another method of deep cleaning. Using steam rather than water, difficult soils can be removed without chemicals. Although this is a slower method, it can produce great results on hard to clean areas.

Using mechanical equipment to deep clean restrooms provides a cleaner facility, extended maintenance cycles and happier, safer employees.

Every trade has its tools and restroom cleaning is no different. Having the proper tools will always make tasks easier, faster and provide better results. So when it comes to above the floor restroom cleaning, such as dusting, wiping and scrubbing, it just makes sense to have the correct cleaning tools for the job.

 Dusting Tools

I have always thought of dust as job security for cleaning. No matter where you clean, there will always be dust settling on surfaces. Restrooms have lots of places that dust can be found. Partition walls, window ledges, counter tops and fixtures are just a few of the examples. Controlling dust during cleaning is the key to overcoming it challenges. The old traditional feather duster is only a quick fix that usually just makes more work for later. The better option is to use a damp microfiber cloth or pad to grab and hold the dust. It is important to not use an overly oily chemical for dusting. The residue left behind by the oil can for a dust trapping film on the surface. This will build up over time and be difficult to remove. The film can also discolor surfaces.

If you are more of a traditionalist, there are microfiber dusters that look similar to feather dusters that work very well. But keep in mind, that they do not catch all of the dust. Much of it will still be stirred up into the air.

The best option for removing and controlling dust is to use a vacuum. Back pack vacuums make it very easy to remove dust from surfaces at all heights. By containing the dust in the vacuum bag, it will not settle back on to surfaces you will need to clean again later.

 Wiping Tools

There is only one type of material that is guaranteed to work for wiping surfaces in a restroom and that is microfiber. Because it grabs and holds dirt and soils so well, microfiber cloths, pads and mops make cleaning much more effective. Microfiber is made of synthetic fibers that can also help to prevent the spread of bacteria.

When setting up your microfiber cleaning processes, it is also a good idea to use a color coding system to reduce cross contamination. Designating specific colors for specific tasks and surfaces help with staff training and provide a safer working environment.

 Scrubbing Tools

Brush technology has come a long way in the last few decades. Synthetic materials provide a cleaner, more effective means of getting those hard to clean areas without the spread of bacteria. Because they use plastic rather than natural materials, soils can be rinsed away easily and bacteria cannot thrive on them.

Scrubbing pads are also a great option along with the newer technology Magic Erasers. These provide optimal scrubbing power without damaging surfaces.

Above the floor restroom cleaning is an important factor in the overall cleanliness of a restroom. Having the best tools for the job will make all of these tasks easier, safer and more effective.

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Windows vs. Partition glass

A frequently asked question that we receive is- what is the difference between my partition glass cleaning and a standard window cleaning; and how are each maintained?

Partition glass is considered all the windows inside the main walls. T&S Maintenance will typically define your main windows looking to the outside of the building as “curbside windows”. Per a standard janitorial contract the client can expect that their partition glass will be maintained for spots and smudges. A full top to bottom cleaning of the partition glass should be scheduled once a year. Depending on your agreement there may be a fee associated with this service.

For your curbside windows, a typical cleaning would almost always fall under the category of an additional service. Depending on the size and location of your building, the exterior curbside windows should be examined every few months to determine if a full cleaning is needed. Typically, the interior of the curbside windows will be thoroughly cleaned on an annual basis.

 

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Is Clutter Killing Your Productivity?

Does your work space need some serious de-cluttering?  If you are always thinking, “I just don’t have time to get organized”? Well, this might spark you to make the time: In a survey by OfficeMax and the National Association of Professional Organizers, 82 percent of workers said that being organized improves their performance. (But hey, don’t feel bad — almost a third also fessed up to keeping a disorganized workspace.)

And if bettering your productivity isn’t enough to motivate you to declutter your cubicle, how about this: Writing on Forbes.com, Jenna Goudreau tells us, “According to a survey of over 1000 workers by staffing firm Adecco, a majority of Americans (57 percent) admit they judge coworkers by how clean or dirty they keep their workspaces. Meanwhile, nearly half say they have been ‘appalled’ by how messy a colleague’s office is, and most chalk it up to laziness.”

Now we’re sure you don’t want to be billed “lazy” by your coworkers; so here are a few tips for banishing clutter and chaos:

1) Go digital. Do you really need to print out all those sales reports or meeting notes? By cutting down on printing, or printing double-sided when you absolutely need a hard copy, you’ll reduce those piles of paper that invariably collect on your desk. You’ll save a few trees to boot.

2) Make time. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to dispose of food containers and coffee cups (or wash reusable ones), sort paperwork and gather personal items to take home.

3) Adopt a once-a-week routine. If you’ve reduced the clutter, you’ll have an easier time keeping dirt and dust at bay. Use earth-friendly wipes to clean your phone, keyboard and mouse, and other items you use a lot. And don’t forget your monitor; a soft microfiber cloth is best.

Following these tips will make it easier for your janitors to vacuum and dust around your cubicle, and who knows, a little of your sparkle might inspire your coworkers to tackle their own clutter.