Cleaning Procedures and Equipment

The O&M manual and related trainings should address specific cleaning strategies and techniques, including the proper dilution and mixing procedures for concentrated cleaning products, the use of safety gear, provision of adequate ventilation, and strategies for reducing the cleaning-related waste of energy, water, or supplies. Maintenance staff should also be educated about how and where to properly store and dispose of cleaning products.

Procurement criteria for janitorial supplies should promote the use of reusable supplies (e.g., microfiber cloths) in lieu of disposal products, and should call for a high recycled content for all paper goods, trash bags, and other commonly used products.

Specifications for selecting housekeeping equipment should include particulate removal, low-noise, low-vibration, and water-conserving criteria. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) rating system has useful guidelines on healthy and efficient housekeeping equipment within its indoor environmental quality section. For example, vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters should be selected. In rental properties, the owner or property management should consider purchasing a number of high-quality HEPA vacuums that tenants can borrow from the main office. Dust, animal hair, and other common indoor pollutants are asthma triggers. Frequent vacuuming reduces exposure to these pollutants and the related risk of asthma attacks.

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