Home Cleaning & Maintenance

Cleaning & Maintenance

From the housekeeping department, where green cleaning is considered and implemented, to engineering, where mechanical systems are maintained and fine-tuned, hotel operators have implemented innovative products and processes to save energy and minimize the impact on the environment. Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Home Cleaning & Maintenance
From the housekeeping department, where green cleaning is considered and implemented, to engineering, where mechanical systems are maintained and fine-tuned, hotel operators have implemented innovative products and processes to save energy and minimize the impact on the environment. Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Automated Preventive Maintenance Systems Ensure Energy Efficiency

NATIONAL REPORT—No engineer will dispute the connection between preventive maintenance (PM) and energy efficiency. Ask a roomful of engineers the best way to conduct PM, however, and you may get a wide variety of answers. Fortunately for hotel owners and operators, there are myriad automated systems available that help ensure that proper PM gets done, and that energy and profits do not disappear into thin air. The following are descriptions of a few PM system vendors and their solutions. Dunedin, Fla.-based Mintek Mobile Data Solutions’ WinTrack PM system incorporates mobile devices and bar coding to help engineers...

How to Clean and Maintain Waterless Urinal Systems

NATIONAL REPORT—A waterless urinal looks very much like a conventional urinal. In fact, about all that is different is that the flush valve or piping that normally sits above the unit is missing. This is because waterless urinals, as the name implies, do not need water to operate. Instead, waterless systems have a vertical trap design that incorporates a cylinder or trap filled with a thin layer of liquid sealant sitting atop the drain area of the urinal. Urine passes through the cylinder and sealant, and as the cylinder fills, it flows under the barrier layer and into...

Green Cleaning Fluids Offer Healthy Alternative to More Harmful Options

NATIONAL REPORT—The road has not been an easy one for green cleaning product entrepreneurs trying to break into the hospitality industry. One company has dominated the lodging sector for years and there has been the perception that green cleaning products are more expensive and less effective than market competitors. While those perceptions may have been true 10 years ago, it is no longer the case. In fact, with the price of petroleum—a primary ingredient in many cleaning fluids—skyrocketing, green cleaning options can be just as affordable. Also, in many cases, they can be more effective than more toxic...

What to Consider When Developing an Indoor Air Quality Management Program

NATIONAL REPORT—Why be concerned about indoor air quality (IAQ)? It has been well documented that indoor air contaminants can cause physiological and physical changes in humans including nose, throat and skin irritation, allergic reactions, respiratory problems such as asthma, and even infections. Poor IAQ also has been shown to damage building materials, furnishings and equipment. For example, walls, furnishings and paintings can become coated with residue fumes from cars and trucks, tobacco smoke, fireplaces, cooking fumes and odors, and even candles over time. Some contaminants can even change the electrical nature of components in electronic equipment. ...

Sizing Up ‘Smoke Free’: Is it Time for Your Hotel to Ban the Butts?

NATIONAL REPORT—Patty Griffin, a nonsmoker, recently found herself staying in a smoking room in a hotel in Texas. It wasn’t her first choice, but it was what was available. The smoking odor didn’t hit her hard, however, until she got home and unpacked. “I took out a cotton nightgown, and I couldn’t believe how much it smelled like smoke,” says Griffin, president and founder of the 300-member Green Hotels Assn., Houston, Texas. Certainly, hotels and motels are becoming more accommodating to nonsmokers such as Griffin who don’t want to smell stale smoke or be exposed to its health risks. In...

Getting Green, Shade by Shade While Keeping Your “Triple Bottom Line” in the Black

NATIONAL REPORT—What does it really mean to implement a “green cleaning” program? Is it critical to only use green chemicals, or can other products be used? Is green cleaning an all-or-nothing proposition? Do we have to implement a complete, comprehensive program all at once, or can we phase one in over time? What role do our cleaning personnel play? And how do we identify green cleaning leaders and innovators? The goal of the green cleaning movement is to ultimately introduce cleaning systems that effectively impact an organization’s “triple bottom line” consisting of environmental, economic and social considerations. When...

Earth-Friendly Pesticide Alternatives Keep Bedbugs on the Run

NATIONAL REPORT—It is a hotel owner’s nightmare—a call from an attorney representing a guest who has been bitten by bedbugs. If accounts found all over the Internet, on blogs and from vendors are true, it happens often. In fact, the news media recently reported that a woman is suing a Catskills resort for $20 million due to the approximately 500 bedbug bites she received while staying at the property in summer 2005. Traditionally, hotels have resorted to chemical treatments from some of the pest control industry’s leading companies to fight the problem. This medicine can be as bad as the...

The Ashkin Group Adds Communications Staff to Consulting Team

BLOOMINGTON, IND.—The Ashkin Group, LLC, a consultant firm leading the effort to “green” the cleaning and maintenance industry, announced that it has added two communications experts to help expand its green cleaning industry awareness and training activities. David Holly, a video and multimedia production expert, will oversee the development and implementation of all new technology solutions for the firm. He brings an unusual mix of both cleaning industry and cutting-edge media experience to the firm’s online training and outreach. His past experience includes: director of sales and marketing for S.C. Johnson Professional, and marketing director for Multi-Clean. ...

The Low-down On Canister Vacuums: How They Stack Up Against Uprights

NATIONAL REPORT—Old habits die hard. Most of us in the United States were raised in houses that used upright vacuum cleaners. Chances are your mother used an upright at home, and your grandmother before her. Now, you use an upright, not just at home, but also at your job. A recent survey by “Sanitary Maintenance” magazine found that 80 percent of cleaning equipment distributors named uprights as their company’s best-selling item. The alternative to uprights, canister vacuums, accounted for just 2 percent of sales. The situation is completely different in the rest of the world, where canister...

Hotel Companies Adopt Mintek’s Automated Asset Management Systems

DUNEDIN, FLA.—Leveraging the power of the Internet, sophisticated handheld technology and its own innovative software, Mintek Mobile Data Solutions is helping to change the way some of the world’s leading hotel companies manage their assets. At the core of the Dunedin, Fla.-based company’s solutions is its Lodging Asset Management Suite—WinTrack PM, Maintenance Portal, Asset Director, Work Order Kiosk and Alerts. “Increasingly, hotel and management companies are recognizing the potential savings possible through implementation of a comprehensive, automated asset management plan,” says Mark Sokol, director of product marketing for Mintek. “Some of the most important benefits include extended asset...