Home Cleaning & Maintenance Achieving Greener, Healthier Cleaning at Less Cost in Hotels

Achieving Greener, Healthier Cleaning at Less Cost in Hotels

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Allen Rathey

The right cleaning delivery systems can produce greener, healthier guestrooms and public areas while lowering costs; gains that directly affect guest well-being, satisfaction, and the hotel’s bottom line.

Three proven technologies can help achieve greener, healthier cleaning at less cost:

One: Cleaners and disinfectants dispensed from concentrates at controlled-dilution or mixing stations.

Two: Electrochemically activated (ECA) solutions systems—sometimes called electrolyzed or engineered water on-site generation units—that produce cleaners and disinfectants from self-contained devices connected to the hotel’s plumbing.

Three: Dry steam vapor (DSV) systems on mobile carts for chemical-free cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection.

One: Cleaners and disinfectants dispensed from concentrates at controlled-dilution or mixing stations.

Water is costly to ship, so removing water from the ingredients in chemical cleaners/sanitizers to yield concentrate lowers costs to ship, store, and use a product, especially when part of a closed system that dispenses Ready-to-Use (RTU) products in correct mixtures, without exposing people to concentrates.

Manufacturers often install and service such dispensers as a “value-added” perk of buying their concentrates—connecting, setting up and adjusting units to add/mix precise amounts of water using existing plumbing.

Adopting these systems makes hotels greener and healthier in several ways:

  1. Less product packaging and waste: e.g., Ecolab Oasis reports a packaging reduction of up to 99 percent vs/ RTU cleaner, and “one case of Oasis Pro generates less than 2 oz. of plastic compared to almost nine pounds from the 70 RTU bottles needed for the RTU equivalent.” Or, a truckload of concentrate replaces more than 100 truckloads of RTU products.
  2. Costs vary but may range from US $.10 to .50 per RTU gallon dispensed from a dilution station, compared to off-shelf RTU products costing perhaps 10x to 20x more.
  3. Dilution systems ensure accuracy and prevent product waste; affecting safety, performance and value.
  4. Closed loop dilution stations prevent exposing people to concentrates. Cleaning products may be Green Seal certified, EPA Safer Choice or USDA Biopreferred recognized.

Two: Electrochemically activated (ECA) solutions systems—sometimes called electrolyzed or engineered water on-site generation units—that produce cleaners and disinfectants from self-contained devices connected to the hotel’s plumbing.

PathoSans system

Installed in a hotel cleaning closet or housekeeping area, ECA systems typically soften or condition water, add salt, then electrolyze or activate the solution to yield separate cleaning and disinfecting streams having a 30 day or greater shelf life (Ref: PathoSans).

ECA systems help make hotels greener or healthier since:

  1. Solutions are made on-site without adding conventional chemicals, eliminating remote manufacturing, packing, shipping, storing, handling, using and disposing of most daily-use cleaning and disinfecting chemicals.
  2. ECA solutions are dispensed as divided streams, a cleaner and a disinfectant. Costs range from US $.05 to .07 per RTU gallon. Cleaners may be Green Seal Certified and or have other third-party validations. Disinfectants may have third-party lab validation, and can be EPA-registered.
  3. Rental programs may include maintenance and upgrades to make green-tech more accessible.
  4. RTU solutions eliminate guesswork or glug-glug dispensing of conventional concentrates, helping to standardize performance and prevent exposure to harsh chemistry.

Three: Dry steam vapor (DSV) systems on mobile carts for chemical-free cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection.

Dry steam vapor system. Courtesy: Advanced Vapor Technologies

Dry steam vapor (DSV) systems use low-pressure (50-60 psi) and low-moisture or “dry” (6 percent water) steam applied with insulated tools to clean and disinfect.

Green and health benefits include:

  1. Very low water consumption—just “quarts per hour” of tap water.
  2. Dry steam is produced on-site, so there is no need to buy, pack, ship, store, use or dispose of conventional packaged chemicals. It is fragrance-free, residue-free, does not require added chemicals; and reduces chemical exposure hazards.
  3. DSV units making disinfecting claims kill most pathogens such as E. Coli, Norovirus, MRSA in 2 to 7 seconds without standard dwell time needed by chemical interventions (Ref: TANCS Advanced Vapor Technologies).
  4. DSV penetrates surfaces to kill dust mites, bed bugs, microbes and mold without chemical disinfectants.

About the Author

Allen Rathey is Principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI), Meridian, ID. He is the author of dozens of journal articles, promotes healthy indoor environments, and writes and speaks on systems-thinking and other facility topics.

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