Green Cleaning and Sustainability with Kaivac - Kaivac, Inc.

Green Cleaning and Sustainability with Kaivac

by | Apr 22, 2021

Implementing a green cleaning program brings many benefits to your facility. Expect healthier interiors, happier employees and a better protected environment, along with chemical savings and a reputation boost that will enhance your bottom line.

Green cleaning has come a long way since its inception in the 1990s. Back then interest in more environmentally-friendly products and processes was growing, but efficacy and oversight remained lax. Products did not perform as promised, cleaning professionals became frustrated and the term “greenwashing” was born.

Today, green cleaning is no passing fad. Products and processes can be proven and certified. Green cleaning has become so mainstream and verifiable that the U.S. Green Building Council rewards green cleaning programs in their LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System.  

Shifting to a green cleaning process does not have to be complicated or expensive. If you are looking to become LEED certified or just want to green up your maintenance protocols, start with Kaivac. Kaivac’s green and sustainable equipment delivers consistently clean interiors that meet the strictest standards.

Green Cleaning Chemicals

Many people associate green cleaning with using the right kind of chemical cleaning agents. That makes sense considering the connections found between on-the-job exposure to cleaning supplies and the development of asthma. There are also suspicions about cleaning chemical exposure and an increased risk of cancer and reproductive or developmental problems.

Some cleaning products can also contribute to poor indoor air quality and leave residues that cause eye and skin irritations.

Choosing better cleaning chemicals used to mean relying on vague manufacturer marketing terms like “eco-friendly” or “all-natural.” Combine that with poor results and you get frustrated workers, unhappy customers and a new word for green cleaning claims that miss the mark: greenwashing.

To combat the hype, independent, third-party agencies like Green Seal®, began testing and certifying products and claims. The global non-profit verifies claims with rigor before listing products in their certified directory.

Kaivac’s KaiO meets Green Seal® standards, ensuring that the product is effective while living up to its sustainability promises.

Fewer Chemicals or None at All

Using less chemical and making sure it is accurately diluted is an important way to green and improve the cleaning process. Unfortunately, many janitorial workers use too much chemical either because of poor training or the belief that “more is better.” This is dangerous for the worker, erodes indoor air quality and prematurely ages fixtures, finishes and floor surfaces.

Kaivac’s equipment comes with metered chemical injection and color-coded metering tips to ensure accurate dilution. The result? Kaivac’s floor care systems reduce chemical usage by 66% when compared to traditional mops or auto scrubbers.

Even more promising, Kaivac’s unique process leaves surfaces 99.9% clean using just water alone. 

Chemical Recycling and Water Savings Earns Green Seal® Approval

Green cleaning is more than just using the right chemical. Products and processes that use less resource by design can also help meet green cleaning goals. Kaivac offers two products, The AutoVac Stretch™ and UniVac™, with Green Seal® certification for Environmental Innovation.

The AutoVac Stretch is perfect for wide-area, hard surface floors. It performs as well or better than an autoscrubbers while using less water, chemical and time. Its unique recycling option and innovative double filter system allows the recycling of cleaning solution without impacting results.

The AutoVac Stretch can:
  • Conserve 75% or more water
  • Reduce chemical use by over 66%
  • Clean more than 25,000 square feet per hour

The UniVac™ is perfect for tile floors. The technology works much faster than manual mopping while leaving floors 60 times cleaner.

Protecting Floor Shine and Indoor Air Quality

Servicing finished floors with an autoscrubber negatively impacts the finish and is terrible for indoor air quality. That is because auto scrubbers trap particulate matter in their pads. This harsh scrubbing kick up bits of pulverized or powdered finish into the air, degrading air quality and dulling the finish. A burnisher then sands down another layer of finish, sending even more particulates into the air.

The process leads to a cycle of refinishing floors to keep them looking good, which is terrible for sustainability. Unfortunately, that process requires using harsh chemical strippers and liquid finish, further degrading air quality. It also takes time and resources away from other tasks.

Kaivac’s cleaning process and philosophy breaks that cycle. The advanced equipment thoroughly removes dust, grit and grime to protect the floor’s finish without dust mopping first. This process dramatically cuts down on the need to scrub, burnish, strip and re-finish, resulting in great looking floors and better indoor air quality.

HEPA filters for both wet and dry cleaning further clean and protect the air.

Protecting Worker Health

Worker wellbeing is an important part of creating a healthy, green, and sustainable environment. Kaivac’s process goes far beyond shielding employees from harmful, chemical fumes. Their advanced equipment is designed to protect workers from repetitive motion injuries, slip and fall accidents, and damaging noise levels.

Kaivac’s No-Touch cleaning systems mean that janitors no longer have to crawl, twist or lift heavy equipment to clean. This eases stress on the muscular-skeletal system, reducing the chance of strains and sprains. Because it is no-touch, it also protects workers from exposure to contaminated surfaces and disease transfer points.

Wet floors can lead to dangerous and costly slip and fall accidents for both workers and occupants. Kaivac equipment leaves floors clean and dry. This process protects both workers and occupants from dangerous slip and fall accidents.

Noisy conditions also impact indoor environmental quality. Increased noise is more than just unpleasant, it can lead to fatigue, stress and reduced productivity. In a hospital setting, loud noises can slow recovery and contribute to a chaotic work environment. 

Kaivac battles noise pollution with innovative baffling and muffling technologies. This reduces noise levels to a safe 65 decibels. The machines are so quiet they are appropriate for “noise-sensitive” settings like schools and healthcare.

Boosting DEI Programs

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is a hot topic as institutions strive to identify and remove structural barriers throughout their organization. Switching to Kaivac can actually boost a company’s DEI efforts as any worker can use their machines.

There is no disadvantage due to a person’s size, strength or physical ability.

Even language barriers fall away as the KaiTutor™ training system uses clear, visual instruction. This just-in-time training turns inexperienced workers into cleaning professionals, improving self-reliance and boosting employee morale.

Kaivac Sustainable Manufacturing

Kaivac uses the Kaizen, or rapid improvement process, in their sustainable manufacturing process. This process focusses on eliminating waste, improving productivity, and achieving sustained continual improvement. It is the building block of Lean production methods, a philosophy promoting system-wide efficiency.

This efficiency is passed down to product maintenance and repair. Kaivac’s equipment is easy to service in house, as opposed to auto scrubbers which require a lot of maintenance downtown. If there is a problem with the motor, Kaivac’s black box technology allows for easy swap out.

Simply remove the compartment and swap in a working one. The boxes are designed for easy shipping via common carriers so you can always keep one working box on hand. This innovative technology allows maintenance workers to fix problems easily with almost no down-time.

Green cleaning is about maintaining efficacy with the least inputs. Kaivac uses less chemical, less labor and less water while still putting out better results. Kaivac designs and manufactures the equipment with efficiency and waste reduction in mind. And any worker can quickly transform into a cleaning professional.

Contact Kaivac for more green cleaning ideas and solutions.

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.
Amy Milshtein
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