Goodbye Malcolm!

Congratulations Malcolm, on your second retirement!

Many of you know Malcolm as your smiley and helpful delivery driver, and will be sad to learn that he’s retired, following his 65th birthday last week.

Malcolm joined the Foremost team 8 years ago, soon after retiring from the Fire Service. We’ve enjoyed working together, he’s been a star, and his retirement is very well-deserved.

To thank him, we had a very special cake made… and what better theme than Malcolm the Fire Engine?

IMG_20160729_143236

 

What can finance & HR teach the cleaning industry?

We picked up some highly relevant takeaways at the BICScRoadshow2016 – Thanks KPMG for hosting such a great event!

Two of the presentations were from support suppliers rather than the cleaning industry itself (KPMG on accounting and Citation on HR) – Both were practical and will help cleaning businesses manage these essential aspects of their operations effectively, and that means profitably. There was a clear message in both these presentations – a proactive support partner can save a business time, money and add value too.ProAct smallThis resonated for me – At Foremost we benefit from the proactive support offered by our accounting and HR providers. But does this only apply to finance and HR? Are there other areas of business where a proactive supplier can make the Business of ‘Clean’ easier? Yes, Of course!

Your core purchases are cleaning materials and consumables – can the same benefits of proactive supply apply here? Yes! What’s on your wishlist? It’s no longer a daydream, a proactive supplier will give you all this and more:

  • Distribution of orders direct to sites
  • prolinkIncognito deliveries to protect your brand
  • Quicker, leaner processes for ordering
  • Fast, accurate delivery
  • Budget and hazard controls
  • Site-by-site reporting and analysis
  • H&S and COSHH support and training
  • Tools to assist with consumables re-charging
  • Support with tendering and winning new jobs

To find out about proactive support for your supply of cleaning materials, drop a line to sales@foremost-uk.com or call us on 01243 771340.

www.foremost-uk.com/section/proAct-proactive-services-for-the-cleaning-and-facilities-sector

The importance of handwashing

We like this gross but highly visual reminder of why it’s important to wash your hands properly

Hanwashing

A primary school teacher used this effective experiment to teach her class about germs and how they spread:

  • She put bread slice no.1 into bag no.1 with a gloved hand and labelled it ‘contolled’.
  • Bread slice no.2 was placed into bag no.2 with freshly washed hands and labelled ‘clean hands’.
  • Last but not least, bread slice no.3 was passed around the class, every child touching it with their (unwashed) hands, and then placed in bag no.3 and labelled ‘dirty hands’.

The picture of the results speaks for itself!

Scrub up on your hand hygiene here:

Alcohol hand sanitisers

Trust S alcohol hand sanitising gel

Pump bottle handwash

Flower Shop Antibacterial lotion soap

Bulk refill handwash

Pink Pearl lotion soap

Cartridge refill handwash systems

PURELL ADX-12 Dispenser 1200ml - White/White - manual

Cleaning tips – Keeping your office clean and tidy

Following our blog on why it’s important to keep your office clean and tidy, here’s some practical tips for keeping on top of it day-to-day and in between cleaner visits.

  • Keep spare bin liners in the bottom of your bins, outside the bag. You can quickly whip the old one and slip a new one in when it gets a bit close to full.
  • Keep spray & wipe, absorbent paper roll, tubs of office wipes and other basic equipment in an easy-access office cupboard or desk drawer for quickly mopping up spills and sanitising your keyboard and phone.
  • Avoid eating at your desk (if you currently do eat at your desk, please tip your keyboard upside down and give it a shake – you might be shocked!). As well as crumbs-in-the-keyboard it makes your mouse, phone, handles, pens and anything else you touch greasy and contributes to bad smells.
  • Keep clutter down – it’s a lot easier to clean a tidy area than one piled high. Chances are if your cleaner is having to navigate piles of papers and boxes that only the clear areas of your desk and floor will get attended to.
  • Make employees responsible to keep their own area tidy.
  • Open the windows when weather conditions and noise levels permit – maybe an hour in the early morning, or whenever works for you. The fresh air will blow cobwebs and bad smells away (or at least help combat them!) and that oxygen boost will help your staff perform better during the day.

Got a cleaning tip you want to share? Let us know: tips@foremost-uk.com

A Clean Office – is it really necessary or just an additional cost?

Clean Office

So, does it really affect your staff whether or not your office is cleaned?

Yes! You might be surprised just how much productivity can be improved by ensuring your premises are always looking their best.

  • Mess & dirt distracts – staff admit to getting bugged by, talking and complaining about, and spending time cleaning up dirty office spaces. Distraction might take a few minutes out of their working day, talking and complaining is another few minutes multiplied by the number of other staff talked to / distracted, and getting on and cleaning up the mess might take an hour of their prime time! If they’re not paid to be a cleaner, they shouldn’t be doing the cleaning…
  • Dust reduces productivity – A work study found a performance loss of between 2-6% comparing staff in a dusty environment with staff in a clean environment. Dust can have health and comfort implications such as dry & itchy eyes & throat, watery eyes, lethargy, tight breathing, headaches… all of which stop your staff getting on with their work.
  • Desks harbour germs – hands carry germs, lots of them. Keyboards, mice, desks, door handles, anything you touch harbours those germs – yours and that the previous people who touched it. It’s nice to give and share, but not germs please and thanks – tends to end up with people getting ill and having time off and everyone else having to work harder, or find cover staff, or (perish the thought) the work not get done… which doesn’t equal happy customers. Simple solution: get the office cleaned.
  • First impressions count – Prospective client come to visit? New supply partner in for negotiations? Job applicants for a day of interviews? If you want to get the best of them,  you’ll have to give them the best. Clean & Tidy goes a long way to showing you’ll look after them, even the small details.
  • Food goes off – and gone off food goes smelly, and smelly offices get the staff complaining, the visitors backing away… Uh oh. Let’s get the bins emptied and floors vacuumed and then we don’t need to worry about the apple cores in the bin and cookie crumbs under the desk.

Come on in, our office is lovely!

Prepare for the snow… Miracle Ice Melt

We all know how beautiful the snow can look – that pure carpet of freshly fallen whiteness. But we also know that behind that beauty lies some dangers – cars skidding, people slipping, damage to persons and property… Why not safeguard against the risks? Miracle Ice Melt can be used as a preventative measure when snow or frost is forecast as well as a fast method of clearing snow and ice once it’s settled.

Here’s why we think Ice Melt is better than Rock Salt:

  • Ice Melt is effective at temperatures as low as -15c (rock salt only works down to -5).
  • Ice Melt doesn’t attack concrete or vegetation and doesn’t rust metal. This makes it ideal for steel and concrete buildings, multi storey car parks and any hard surface that drains into vegetation.
  • Less grams of Ice Melt are needed to clear each square metre than Rock Salt.

What’s more, throughout January 2016 we’re giving away a free Professional Snow Shovel with every order for 2 or more bags of Ice Melt!

Place your order now

Cleaning tips – removing chewing gum

Chewing gum and fabric fibres tend to be great friends – once they’ve found each other they’re pretty hard to break apart. But don’t worry, we’ve found some great products and tricks that will make your task a little easier…

FREEZE – Freezing the gum causes it to turn brittle, then you can snap or scrape it off the surface. If it’s a garment or small item that’s soiled, try chucking it in the freezer for a couple of hours and the gum should break off easily. If you’re dealing with gum trodden into a carpet use an aerosol freezer spray such as Sel-Freez – you may need to repeat the ‘freeze and remove’ process to successfully eliminate the stain. We like this method because it works quickly and makes little mess.

MELT – If you want to avoid aerosols, you can use a chemical to break down the gum. First perforate the surface of the gum as much as possible to allow the chemical to penetrate – use a perforator block like this. Apply a small amount of chemical such as solvent chewing gum remover and allow it to permeate the gum – but be careful, don’t allow it to penetrate rubber carpet backings!

Got a cleaning tip you want to share? Let us know: tips@foremost-uk.com

Need to buy chewing gum removers? Click here!

Microfibre – what’s so good about it?

proShine

Why has microfibre suddenly become the cloth of choice for professionals, replacing replacing traditional cloths, mops and dusters faster than you can say mi-cro-fi-brrrr… ?

It’s an innovative super fabric that’s impressively effective at cleaning just about everything!

 

Microfibre removes dirt from surfaces rather than pushing it round 

Microfibre cloths are made of lots of wedge-shaped fibres which grab dirt particles off the surface and trap them in the structure of the cloth. In comparison, cotton cloths are made of rounded fibres which can’t trap and hold the dirt and result in spreading it along the surface.

This image makes it nice and simple to understand – it’s a massively blown up diagram of the fibre in the cloth. You’re wiping from left to right – as you can see the surface behind where the microfibre has wiped is clean and free from residual particles, whereas behind where the cotton has wiped there’s still dirt and germs on the surface.

 

Microfibre is more ‘green’

Microfibre can be used with just water! You’ll need to make sure any large residual dirt is removed first. This is great for environments where people are allergic to certain chemicals, or there’s restrictions on what chemicals can be used on site.

 

Microfibre leaves surfaces ‘streak-free’ not smeary

We’ve already talked about traditional cloths spreading dirt around the surface, not grabbing it away like microfibre does. Because microfibre takes the dirt away from the surface there’s nothing left at all to form those streaks which ruin your just-cleaned surfaces.

 

Microfibre is more absorbent

The surface area of microfibre is 40 times greater than that of a comparable size piece of cotton.  The capillary action of the very fine fibres coupled with huge surface area results in microfibre being able to absorb up to 7x its weight in fluids!

 

Microfibre doesn’t scratch

Microfibre is one of the softest materials ever created, due to its tiny tiny fibres (1/100th of a hair width) – the cloth itself will not ever scratch a surface, not even the shiniest, glossy black grand piano… AND, because it traps dirt particles rather than pushing them across the surface, it also protects the surface you’re cleaning from damage by the dirt on the surface.

 

Microfibre is multi-purpose

Microfibre cloths and mops can be used dry or damp and for almost any application.

Dry cleaning – microfibre filament creates a static charge that attracts dust, dirt, liquids and holds them until the cloth is washed.

Damp cleaning – capillary action draws dirt and germs into the cloth and holds them until the cloth is washed.

Applications

  • dusting (dry and damp)
  • polishing mirrors and windows
  • car valeting
  • bathroom cleaning
  • kitchen cleaning
  • mopping
  • lots more!

Microfibre is more durable

Microfibre cloths can be washed on a high-heat hygiene cycle to kill the germs that have been caught in the fibres, and can withstand tumble-drying for convenience. If you want to save energy and avoid leaching or colour-running wash them at 30. Microfibre cloths can be washed up to 500 times and still retain their effectiveness. This makes it an exceptionally cost effective choice of cleaning cloth.

*PS: it’s important not to to use microfibre with strong acid or bleach, or wash it with a fabric conditioner, as these clog and damage the fibres thereby reducing the effectiveness of the cloth.

 

Buy microfibre cloths here

Buy microfibre mops here