8.0 Products & Supplies
8.1 The Basics
Knowing what cleaning products you need can be confusing, whether that’s a basic spray with a damp cloth, or serious bleach for toilet areas. There is a huge range of products available, not to mention any particular compliance issues, and then the challenge of knowing whether they will suit your circumstances.
As an overview, here are four basic stages to considering the right products:
1.Having Nothing at All
Even just a quick wipe with a duster or cloth can help quickly remove obvious items and mess, and a simple vacuum clean or sweep of floors can take place without needing any substances to help. Simple clearing of rubbish, de-cluttering, and basic wiping can go a long way.
2.Using Just Water
The most natural of ingredients, but can work a treat, with the most basic form being a damp cloth. Only in some circumstances do you have to carefully consider if this is appropriate, for example if involving chemicals that may react wrong, or wiping, say, a rusty piece of metal.
3.Make Use of Normal Household Substances
These are available at your typical shop, and range from multi-purpose sprays and surface cleaners, to floor cleaners, to even more specialist items like oven and drain cleaners.
They will suffice for most basic domestic and even commercial jobs, the best advice is to choose one particular brand and type and stick with it after getting familiar with any instructions, particularly with any unusual circumstances like allergies and small children around.
4. Adapting For Unusual and Larger Scenarios
So if you’re geared up for commercial use, you will really need to find more appropriate and cost effective products, and in any special personal circumstances. At this stage it’s worth taking specialist advice and steer on the right ones.
In terms of where cleaning equipment and materials should be stored, there are four basic rules of thumb to storing these, with any specialist and more commercial activities of course needing further consideration.
Firstly, keep them out of easy access, for example on a high shelf where no children or other vulnerable people can touch them. The more potentially dangerous products like bleach are, then the greater need for them to be higher up.
Secondly, keep them in a dry and cool environment. Most storage areas will provide this, unless particularly near heating/cooling equipment, or lots of daylight.
Thirdly, make sure they are kept in their original package with full details on, rather than pouring, say, a substance into an old bottle. This not only keeps all the substance’s information on, but makes it clear what it is so that no one will mistake it for any other product. Also, make sure any signs on the main storage cupboard door are also in place.
Fourthly, keep the storage areas locked. Whether that’s a full walk-in locked cupboard with the key only being issued to authorised people, or a kitchen cupboard under the sink at least having safety catches on to stop small children reaching them. This stops anyone wandering in and deliberately or even accidently tampering with products.
8.3 Where to Purchase
A lot can be from your local shop or by ordering online. They’re easy to locate, and often popular known types and brands with generally lots of detail and Data Sheets available, and often reasonably priced.
If you’re needing larger quantities for, say, commercial use, it’s worth seeking more specialist providers and suppliers of just cleaning products, to not only receive the best rates and deals, but more specialised types as well.
8.4 Non-Animal Tested
In terms of which cleaning products are not tested on animals, these are products that have not involved animals in their testing process, and are becoming more of an important aspect to consider for both actual cleaners and the end user.
Although labels should state this, you need to then research actual products online to make sure they are accurate claims and read any reviews of them.
8.5 The Best Ones
When you’re looking at which cleaning solutions, supplies, or products work best, the issue is knowing how to define the best ones, often boiling down to the best value for money in terms of cheapest price and most effective use. Although a certain product may be cheaper, you may need to use a higher quantity of the product which will outweigh the cost savings.
Popular online sources like Amazon and Ebay will sort results more by popularity and value, although check actual reviews and feedback. Also ask actual cleaners and users of products to make sure they are living up to their name.
8.6 Mixing Products
It’s essential to only mix products that are permitted and in the correct way, according to Data Sheets and instruction from them. You therefore firstly need to check which cleaning products should not be mixed.
As an example, spray products like Zoflora will need simple water to dilute them, however you need to ensure the correct ratio of these is established and then mixed together.
8.7 Chemical Inclusion
Information should be issued on a Data Sheet and labels as to what chemicals are included in a substance. This needs checking in terms of any precautionary steps like PPE being required, any reactions and allergies to particular skins and people, and the correct way to use and store them.
In regards to what cleaning products are safe for pets like dogs for example, if you have exposure to pets and animals, then make sure there is no risk of the substances causing harm to them. This is both after they have been applied, but also during the process of using them.
People tend to have a love-hate relationship with bleach, which is a concentrated form of substance for areas like toilets with notable bacteria and germs, therefore leaves people asking why cleaning with bleach is bad. On one side they are an effective way to deal with this, but on another they can pose issues when exposed to people, particularly in public or commercial areas.
Generally then, they are only used in controlled conditions, or deliberately excluded and alternative non-bleach products used instead.
8.10 How to Use
Instructions will be on the side of the container, and you can generally find details from their website, including formal Data Sheets of information.
As well as basic aspects like how much of the substance you use, and do you apply it straight onto the surface or a cloth, you need to check what other safety considerations exist, for example using gloves and not combining with other products.
Finally, know what to do after they have been used, how they are safely stored, and how to deal with old containers.