Some tools, while not new, present opportunities for success not immediately apparent to the casual observer. An excellent example is the spray-and-vac machine – a popular tool for restroom care in schools and universities – pioneered and made famous by Kaivac.
While workers often view these units as deep cleaning machines for periodic use only, they're actually best used for daily restroom cleaning, and in a surprising number of diversified applications.
Performance in Daily Use
ISSA's 612 Cleaning Times Book cites labor time for traditional restroom care as 2.5 minutes per fixture.
By contrast, a qualified operator using a Kaivac spray-and-vac system, reduces labor time to one minute per fixture.*
*work loading of labor to clean a restroom is based on the number of fixtures it contains. That number is a proxy for the overall size of the restroom and the estimated labor to clean it (e.g., per ISSA, a 10 fixture restroom would require 25 minutes using legacy methods, but 10 minutes using spray-and-vac).
A major school district on the coast of Central California has two Kaivacs per high school, and they use the Kaivac spray-and-vac every day in a restroom specialist approach. 'No Touch equipment is more efficient than manual methods, safer for employees, and enables a cleaner restroom,' says the district's director of facilities and operations.
Bottom line: Daily cleaning with Kaivac is faster and better than older methods.
Plus, if you clean restrooms every day, you will get better cooperation from the public by establishing a high aesthetic standard of cleaning, fostering the 'clean syndrome' and respect for the facilities, not unlike the Disney parks.
Applying disinfectant to fixtures for proper wet dwell timein compliance with EPA use-labeling requirements – is hard to do with a trigger sprayer. You might need to squeeze a sprayer trigger 60 times to dispense enough liquid to do the job as opposed to one pass with a spray-and-vac 'gun' set to a coarse spray setting.
If you repeatedly pumped a trigger sprayer to apply enough solution for proper wet-dwell-time to occur, there would be ergonomic and aerosol-inhalation concerns.
Conversely, the large-droplet spray from a spray-and-vac applicator quickly wets the surface while reducing inhalable fine airborne droplets.
With spray-and-vac, you apply only clean not dirty solution to the floor. Agitation is provided by a pressurized rinse at up to 500 psi. You extract soil by vacuuming it, even from porous areas like grout, and do not spread it around as when using rags or mops. You remove organics that feed bacteria producing odor, and chemical residues that create exposures and contribute to slips and falls. You leave the floor dry and safe, and can open the restroom immediately after cleaning.
On floors, mop water tends to deactivate the active ingredient of disinfectants, whereas spray-and-vac applies only clean viable solution, rinses, suctions off the liquid holding soil and microbes in suspension, and does a better job.
Newer Kaivac systems—based on the OmniFlex platform—recycle the grey water then vacuum it off floors producing cleaner results than mopping while reducing water usage.
Spray-and-vac is ideal for school kitchen floors with ceramic or quarry tile, as well as shop areas and ceramics classes with tile or concrete floors.
During summer deep cleaning, school furniture may be taken outside to clean it. Kaivac is ideal for this as it offers high pressure but gentle agitation that is strong enough to clean thoroughly but not damage washable furniture.
It's also great for summer stairwell cleaning. You start at the top of the stairwell, and using the Kaivac applicator and a long hose, you force all the dirty water down the steps, then vacuum the dirty solution.
Athletic areas should require spray-and-vac as standard equipment for cleaning.
Per the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), it is important to clean athletic areas and training facilities properly to help prevent community-associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (CA-MRSA), and other ailments transmitted by skin contact with wrestling mats, treatment tables, locker room benches, and floors. NATA reports 56% of all infectious diseases among athletes occur from skin contact with contaminated surfaces. (National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Skin Diseases, 2010)
Kaivac spray-and-vac is ideal for athletic areas, especially cleaning and disinfecting wrestling mats. The system rapidly cleans, disinfects, rinses and dries the mat surface to prevent skin exposure to infectious agents or chemical residues.
Understanding the versatility, capability, and customer benefit of optimizing the use of one's tools – e.g., Kaivac machines – is a mark of a true professional. It's also an opportunity to improve cleaning for all the right reasons—driving processes that provide enhanced performance, productivity, and healthier indoor spaces.