Something interesting happened after Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs, CO took steps to improve the overall cleaning, health and appearance of its schools' restrooms. "The students started respecting [the restrooms] more," says Bill Ringeman, the district's supervisor of Building Modification and Custodial. "They used to hang out in the restrooms, the restrooms got pretty dirty, and there was some vandalism. But we just don't see that much anymore."
Curiously, Calvin Stone, director of Building and Landscape Services at the University of Memphis in Tennessee, noticed the same thing. "Once our restrooms got cleaner, the kids started respecting them more," says Stone, who believes dirt and grime attract more dirt and grime, whereas cleaner restrooms do not.
Although Colorado Academy School District 20 and the university are entirely different types of educational facilities, both employ the same cleaning system -- the KaiVac No-Touch Cleaning? system -- to more thoroughly clean their restrooms.
"I first saw Kaivac's machines demonstrated at a tradeshow three years ago," says Ringeman. "I was so impressed... as soon as I got home I purchased one."
With the KaiVac No-Touch Cleaning system, cleaning solution is applied to dirty floors, walls, fixtures and other surfaces. The rinse cycle "blasts away" soils, and the machine's built-in wet/vac completely vacuums up and removes the contaminants -- an integral part of the system.
Cheers from the stadium
Ringeman did not waste any time putting his new KaiZen -- a smaller version of the full-sized KaiVac -- to work. He first used the machine in the school's stadium, where more than 600 people regularly attend sporting events. The stadium has four large restrooms with ten fixtures, several sinks, and plenty of counter space in each.
According to Ringeman, before switching to the No-Touch Cleaning system, the district's restrooms did receive ample cleaning attention from the custodial crew, but they just did not get as clean as he wanted them. "The crew was not to blame for the poor conditions of the restrooms," he says. "The problem was the use of outdated cleaning systems and tools, such as traditional cleaning cloths, buckets, brooms, mops and sprayers."
"Of course we would clean high and low surfaces when we could see they needed attention," he says, "but with the No-Touch system, we deep-clean these areas and the restroom fixtures every night. That's why they look -- and stay -- much cleaner than ever before."
Spreading the word... and the system
Ringeman was so happy with Kaivac's No-Touch Cleaning system he began demonstrating it to the district's parents and teachers. They were so impressed, they encouraged Ringeman to demonstrate the system to the district's top administrators and suggest they purchase more machines. "Well, that was three months ago, and from just one Kaivac machine we now have 30," he says.
Another thing Ringeman likes about the No-Touch Cleaning system is that it is simple to learn -- in fact it required little training at all.
This was because the school district also selected a KaiTutor -- an instructional DVD that teaches custodians how to use the KaiVac and KaiZen systems in all types of settings and situations.
Like most Kaivac users, Ringeman and Stone soon found several other areas around the schools where they could use the No-Touch Cleaning system. For instance, they both find the machines are perfect for cleaning the schools' stairwells -- traditionally a slow and cumbersome job.
And during school breaks, the students' desks are gathered up and pressure-cleaned with the system. Similarly, the scores of tables and chairs in the cafeteria are also cleaned with the machine.
"Cleaning the desks and the cafeteria tables has always been a tough, backbreaking job," Ringeman says. "But with the Kaivac system, it's fast, easy, and thorough."
Although Ringeman knows most Kaivac users appreciate the No-Touch Cleaning system because it is so much faster than conventional cleaning methods, that is not the main reason he likes it. "
As I mentioned earlier, it's so much more thorough," he says. "In my 19 years with the district, I can't remember the restrooms ever being this clean."