Everything you need to know about floor care!

MCC Building Maintenance has performed all types of floor care related projects in the last 25+ years including but not limted to, VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), wood, stone, concrete, rubber (mondo floorings), marble, terrazo, and marmoleum floors.

What are the coverage rates of floor care products?

These are approximate estimates only developed by MCC:
Floor Finish: 2,000 – 2,500 square feet per gallon
Stripper: 700-1,000 square feet per gallon at 1:4 dilution
Cleaners: 700 square feet per gallon through an auto scrubber
Spray Buff: 25,000 square feet per gallon
Water-based Gym Finish: 425-625 square feet per gallon

Does the mill finish have to be stripped / removed from my newly installed VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile) floor before I apply floor finish?

No, that’s old school. The mill finish that is currently applied to VCT at the manufacturing companies is different from what was put on years ago. The new procedures are; after the VCT is laid down, the floor should be protected, to do this clean the floor using a damp (not dripping wet) mop and neutral cleaner. Do not strip the floor at this time. Apply 2 protective coats of floor finish until the new construction is done.

How many coats of finish can I put down in one night?

You should only lay down a maximum of 3 coats in one night; otherwise you run the risk of improper drying, which may affect the appearance of the top coat.

Can water-based finishes be used on hard-wood floors?

No, there is no way to strip the hard-wood floor of the finish. It would require sanding. 

Why does my floor finish yellow??

Most modern floor finishes don’t yellow on their own. They no longer have “yellow wax” and other components that traditionally yellowed. The main reason floor finishes appear to yellow is that soil is ground into the finish surface under heavy traffic or use of soiled cleaning and burnishing pads.

Why do I get a trail of yellow and brown discoloration leading from the front door of my facility into the building in the summertime?

If a proper cleaning program is in place and this type of discoloration appears, it’s most likely “asphalt tracking”. This is a result of asphalt sealer on the parking lot attaching itself to shoes of patrons, who then, track it into the building. It’s important to keep this area as clean as possible. If the area is allowed to become discolored, there is a possibility that the asphalt sealer will work its way through the floor finish and into the tile, permanently discoloring the tile. These areas should be deep-scrubbed and recoated more often to keep discoloration at manageable levels.

Why do I get discoloration under my “walk-off” mats?

Floor finish needs to properly cure after it’s been applied to the floor. Generally a finish will be applied to the floor and immediately after the floor finish is dry to the touch, the walk-off mat will be put back in place. Floor finishes have a variety of chemicals that need to evaporate in the curing process to give the floor finish the positive characteristics it was developed for. If a walk-off mat is placed on the floor finish immediately after drying, these chemicals will not evaporate at the expected rate. This may cause color to be drawn from the mat which discolors the finish.

Why do I get burnishing marks or swirls in my floor finish?

In these cases, generally the burnishing pad is too aggressive for that particular finish. Also, moving the burnisher too slowly may leave behind swirl marks. Different pad types require different machines. If too slow of a machine is used with a given burnishing pad, the film may actually become scratched, rather than being smoothed.

Why does my floor finish seem to “walk-off” the floor and not last very long?

Adhesion failure is generally the culprit here. Floor finishes are designed for a specific appearance, maintenance program, and formulated to adhere to a specific type of substrate. For instance, if a floor finish is formulated for use on Vinyl Composition Tile, it may not properly adhere to marble, granite, terrazzo, or ceramic tile. Adhesion failure can be the result of improper floor preparation or surface contamination.

Why do I get streaks in my floor finish after it has dried?

Floor finish is applied over subsequent coats that weren’t properly dry. Other causes could be applying too many coats of floor finish in one day (MCC recommend 3 coats maximum in 24 hours) or applying the finish too heavy. Less common reasons that contribute to streaking would be the use of contaminated mops or improperly preparing the floor before coating.

Why does the spray buff liquid smear and take forever to buff out?

Most spray buffing liquids are designed to cover about 25,000 square feet per gallon. The idea behind spray buffing is to spritz very little on the floor, then buff it out using three passes. If you have to use more than three passes, there is a good chance you are applying too much spray buff liquid to the area. One spritz should be enough to cover 6-9 square feet.

What is acid-etching?

Sometimes acid-etching is used to prepare concrete floors prior to coating. Diluted hydrochloric (muratic) or phosphoric acid is spread over the floor and etches the concrete to give a rough profile that can improve the adhesion of some coatings. Acid-etching will only work on uncoated concrete floors.

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MCC introduces complete landscaping services.

MCC Building Maintenance, LLC a full-service commercial building service provider that has been in business for over 27 years is proud to announce and introduce “MCC Landscaping Service”. We are now the only janitorial and building maintenance company in the San Francisco Bay Area that is a licensed C-27 Contractor (License # 960754) and is able to build and maintain landscaped portfolios.

MCC Building Maintenance and MCC Landscaping Service both operating subsidiaries of the LLC are based in Novato, CA with satellite locations in San Francisco and Petaluma. We are dedicated to serving the growing demands of the commercial, municiapal, institutional, resort, multi-family, HOW and estate markets. We now offer a comprehensive landscape service solution including but not limited to landscape maintenance, landscape installation, irrigation installation, athletic field colorscaping, landscaping construction, and seasonal flowering.

Our goal at MCC continues to be the same, “to provide professional, quality and dependable service to all our clients”. 

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WHY not to hire a janitorial franchise!

In December 2010, we provided insight on the four types of Janitorial Service providers that are primary servicing the entire building industry. One of the primary was a Type 1 Janitorial Service provider which is basically a nationwide franchises. Names of these franchises can be googled in by typing ‘commercial cleaning franchises’. At the end of this blog, I will give you a real life example of how I experienced a local franchise bidding on a commercial building which was managed by an owner.

A national janitorial franchise will most likely grab as many accounts as fast as the salesman can drive from one building to the next, and then hire sub-contractors or Franchisees to do all of the work at a minimum price.

When you begin to realize that the cleaning service you receive does not measure up to the salesman’s pitch you are left with an office that is not clean, the company has your money in their pocket, and you are left with a dirty office, scrambling to find a reputable service to come in right away. You do not need this kind of trouble.

What can you do?

Do not hire a National or Franchise Company to clean your office or building. If you do some quick research via google, you will find that they have minimum employees and usually they have is the salesperson! Also, when doing a google search type in words like reviews, lawsuits, complaints in front of the name of the company. Additional information can also be found at http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com

Although their advertisements may claim to offer the ability to staff your building with their employees, most of these companies utilize small franchisees as owner operators! An account is sold to these franchisees (owners) for 3 to 4 times the monthly amount.

This means that they have no control of the day to day operations and actually have no one from their company on your site.

So, do you really know who is in your building? Can you be sure that they are insured, registered or legal?

Why take that risk?

Why you should avoid Franchise Cleaning Companies. 
Most franchise cleaning companies do NOT make their money from the cleaning contract they have with you.

They make it by selling your contract to a franchisee.
They anticipate and actually expect some of the franchisees to fail!
It allows them to re-sell your contract to another franchisee.

Do you want the headache of having a new franchisee every 2 to 3 months?

If you have any questions regarding utilizing a franchise company, ask them to pass this simple test, I have the facts for you:

1. Ask for a list of cleaning clients that they have been servicing for 5 or more years.
Fact: Probably NONE.

2. Ask for a list of franchisees that have been owners of a franchise for more than 5 years.
Fact: Probably NONE.

3. Ask what the background is of the franchisee that will be cleaning for you.
Fact: Any John who can pay 3 or 4 times the monthly account value, the royalty fees, and any other franchise fees. 

4. Ask them how much of the invoice you pay will actually be received by the franchisee and then consider this; would you run a business for that low a rate? And how long?
Fact: Variates from franchise to franchise (ranges from 1o to 25%). A franchisee would be running a business at extremely low wage after paying for all the expense. Now you figure out how long would that last!! Not too long. 

5. Ask them to introduce you to the franchisee owner who would actually clean the facility? And ask them, if he or she can be your contact person for any issues.
Fact: They will never introduce you to the franchisee owner neither would he/she would be your contact person at any time. Reason being, they want to control and be able to sell their accounts to different franchisees to maximize profits.

5. After you’ve done all of this then check with the Federal Trade Commission and see how many former franchisees have litigation pending.
Fact: You will find many litigations out there, google them!

You do have a Choice:

There are many things to consider when it comes to choosing a janitorial service.

We have already made some of those clear for you.

Here are a few others:

• Smaller to large (Type 3) , local, and family owned private companies that have time for you and your buildings.
• You are the consumer (not a franchisee/sub-contractor) and you will be given the personal attention that you should be getting.
• Most of the money you spend with a locally owned and operated janitorial service provider will stay within your city or community, and this boosts your local economy.
• Someone is always available to attend to your needs, answer your questions or run over to your office within hours notice, because you matter to them.

LOCAL COMPANIES VS JANITORIAL FRANCHISE BID COMPARISON

This is a real bid analysis and estimates that I got from a building owner here in San Francisco, California. He obtained 4 bids for his Class A commercial building, three from privately owned local companies and one from a national janitorial franchise.

Bid # 1: $2,950.90 (competitor’s bid)
Bid # 2: $2,540.00 (competitor’s bid)
Bid # 3: $2,650.00 (MCC bid)
Bid # 4: $1,800.00 (Janitorial Franchise)

Fact # 1: Note the significant low bid by the janitorial franchise company.

Fact # 2: They will sell this account for atleast 3 times the value (minimum $5,400) prior to even starting this building. It will take the 3 private bidders atleast 16 months to make that kind of profit.

Fact # 3: They will find something negative about the franchisee and take the account away and sell it to another franchisee to make additional $5,400. By doing this 2 to 3 times per year they have made enough money that their least concern would be the client.

Fact # 4: You are dis-satisfied with the service, try giving them a termination notice or try getting rid of them. It will take you a minimum of 6 months to terminate them + be prepared for their legal team to be pointing towards the signed contract and potential litigations on failure to abide by the signed contract.

Fact # 5: They purposely underbid this job (or any job as a matter of fact) because they make money selling their accounts to franchisees.

Finally, now that all their tricks are exposed….please do not hire a janitorial franchise for the cleaning and/or maintenance services for your facility. As we indicated to the owner of this building, he can hire MCC Building Maintenance or one of the two other bidders (privately owned company) to provide services to his building. To my utter surprise, we were selected for this building and we are proud to say this building owner is on our long list of happy clients.

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Landscaping contracting services on the horizon at MCC

MCC Building Maintenance has been providing landscaping maintenance services to its’ clients for a long time. In order to better accomodate client requests when it comes to construction of landscaped areas, new irrigation installation, hardscape construction and overall site management MCC has initiated procedures with the California State Licensing Board (CSLB) to become a licensed C27 Contractor.

Our goal to become a one-stop maintenance company for property managers, owners, and portfolio managers continues in 2011. In a matter of months, MCC Building Maintenance will become the first Janitorial and Building Maintenance company with a valid C27 Landscaping Contrators’ license.

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Four types of Janitorial Service Provider

Sometime back I talked about things to look for when hiring a building service provider for proper care and maintenance of your facility, and I briefly touched the topic of “types of commercial janitorial service provider”.

There are four types of companies offering janitorial and building maintenance services, and they are as follows:

  • large nationwide or statewide franchises
  • large areawide privately held companies
  • small, medium or large sized privately held companies
  • micro individually owner owned & operated companies

WARNING! what you need to know about the 4 different types of commercial cleaning and maintenance companies, before you choose one! Please do not be surprised of what you will read or learn from this blog.

It’s important to feel good about choosing the right building service provider, and to help you make this decision, you need to know about the different types of commercial cleaning services available.

Compare the 4 different types of janitorial service provider below, and you’ll see why MCC Building Maintenance, a Type 3 full service one-stop janitorial and building maintenance company, is your best choice.

TYPE 1: LARGE NATIONWIDE OR STATEWIDE FRANCHISES
This type of operation usually has plenty of man-power to staff accounts (usually selling accounts), but only a one-style-fits all cookie cutter “franchise” formula. This may or may not be the best thing for your particular needs. In addition, this large, nationally spread out type operation could diminish the personalized “local” attention, flexibility, and customized cleaning your facility may need. Some franchisors may have full service janitorial capabilities, but service levels may be inconsistent from city to city. Periodically, there is franchisee turnover on accounts after their failure to meet the scope of work and lapse of good service, and the “re-selling” of your cleaning contract to 3rd party franchisees is a standard and common practice that many people aren’t aware of.

I will be writing another blog as to “what practice the large cleaning franchises use to earn their clients”, and provide the readers with many reasons not to hire a nationwide or statewide commercial cleaning franchises. Please stay tuned.

TYPE 2: LARGE AREAWIDE PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES
This type of operation are usually companies that are covering large territories or one to few States in the region. Depending on who you hire as your building service provider, most of the time they sub-out all their clients to Type 4 service providers. Once again, majority of the companies falling in this category also have spread out operation thus diminishing the quality of work. Such companies have a good ‘sales force’ out there who pulls clients only to realize they would not be able to service the client’s best interest. Having said that, I would say that there are some providers in this group that have developed area managers and employees to service the large territories that they cover. Howerver, 9 out of 1o times, this may or may not be the best thing for your particular needs.

TYPE 3: SMALL TO LARGE SIZED PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES
MCC Building Maintenance falls into this category, and we feel it offers the best of what you’re looking for in a professional cleaning and maintenace service. MCC Building Maintenance is a locally based company that’s been serving San Francisco and surrounding cities since 1984, and you get the stability of a larger, established cleaning company with plenty of man-power that can provide experienced fill in help at any time, along with the flexibility to expand as your business needs expand. Plus, you get local responsive ownership and that extra personal attention. Full service janitorial capabilities are always available with MCC, as well as top notch quality control measures. Any building service provider that falls under this category, chances are that you will be in good hands at all times. Although, do make sure to check out their experience in this industry, references, insurance/workers comp documents and if possible check to see if they can provide a “waiver of subrogation” for you to protect your building and its’ tenants.

TYPE 4: MICRO INDIVIDUALLY OWNER OWNED & OPERATED COMPANIES
This type service can give you good personalized attention, but often has little back-up if someone is sick or no-shows, so you might have more missed cleaning days. Small mom & pop’s may be unable to expand and keep up with your expanding business needs, and oftentimes don’t have adequate insurance coverage. Many small mom & pops and husband & wife cleaning teams lack full service janitorial capabilities, and advanced quality control measures are frequently absent. Additionally, some mom & pop’s are splinter companies of a large company meaning they went around the company for which they were working and decided to take over some of their clients. It is alway wise to stay away from this group of companies due to the reasons indicated above.

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MCC – Goals for 2011

The recession of 2009-10 left very few people untouched in one way or the other, and those of us who made it through with jobs intact and businesses still strong do not take the good fortune for granted. As always, we count our blessings here at MCC Building Maintenance, and we want to thank all our clients for continuing to choose us as their building service contractor for past year. We also want our MCC team (our employees) to know how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication to our company. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to do the quality work we do for our clients. We want to take a moment and wish everyone a prosperous and successful year ahead, but most important we wish everyone a year of positive personal growth and good health that will enable you to pursue your dreams and goals and enrich your lives on all levels.

So now on with our goals for 2011, and celebrating our 27th year in business under the same dynamic ownership! At MCC, we will carry on as usual, trying our hardest to offer the best janitorial services possible for our clients and to run a company that stands for quality and integrity. In addition to janitorial business as usual, we have expanded our services to better serve our clients and their facilities. Please refer to the services page of our website.

On a final note, as a certified Bay Area Green Business, we are also expanding our efforts to implement a more thorough recycling program for all our clients. We now offer a complete recycling program and we recycle everything out there such as cans & bottles, fluorescent lights, electrical ballasts, toners & cartridges, monitors & computers, electronics, and miscellaneous electronic devices. For those clients who are interested in our recycling program we are ready to assist you and we are hoping more clients will chose this new recycling program next year.

Our goal for the New Year is to make it easier for our clients to recycle. This is an area where we think we can make the biggest difference and be better stewards of the environment. Based on our experience, recycling is an area in most businesses where there is still a great deal of lethargy. Even though many individuals and businesses know they should be recycling more, they continue to throw huge amounts of unnecessary waste into the landfill. We understand that it can be inconvenient to sort and store recyclables and then at some point donate or dispose of these items at the proper facilities. It can also be costly to transport these items and pay the fees that some recycling facilities require.  At MCC Building Maintenance we are looking at ways to make this process easier for our clients at a reasonable cost or in some instances ‘No Cost‘. We hope you will give us a call or email us to find out more about our MCC Recycle Program.  It’s one more way we can all achieve our goal of doing more this year to protect the planet and reduce our carbon footprint. So for the New Year, let’s all do more to reduce, recycle, reuse, repair and definitely rethink how we can do even more to save our precious planet!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all….

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Upcoming cold and flu season

Cold and flu season is headed in our direction again which brings us back to the annual subject of how to prevent the spread of illnesses to ourselves, our family and our co-workers. Last year we had the swin flu (H1N1 virus) scare. What will it be like this year? In response to last big scare, MCC Building Maintenance went one step ahead in our nightly disinfecting procedures for all our commercial buildings. Although our night time janitorial staff frequently disinfected touched areas like door knobs, water faucets, telephones, etc…..one touch by someone carrying germs on their hand or coughing or sneezing while entering the building will simply create the airborne virus that could simply reinfect the area with new germs the same or next day.

To provide a clean approach to majority of our facilities, MCC installed touchless hand sanitizing dispensing units on all entrancess and/or levels of the buildings (fronting the elevators) so every visitor, employee, and staff can use the alcohol based hand sanitizers when entering the facility.

This year we will continue the same same good cleaning techniques for all our facilities which includes sanitizing and measures to help prevent the spread of the flue and keep your employees healthy. For additional information on the sanitizing techniques or the installation of hand sanitizing dispensing units, please do not hesitate to contact us at (415) 493-2156.

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Cleaning of Operating Rooms (Terminal Cleaning)

A terminal or a thorough, cleaning routine is usually performed in addition to the end of the day staff cleaning. End of the day cleaning, is just a basic cleaning that is performed by staff of the facility (RN’s, CNA’s, medical techs etc). Terminal cleaning is sometimes referred to as nightly deep cleaning and is usually performed by a cleaning contractor or by an in-house janitorial crew employed by the medical facility.

Generally, a typical terminal cleaning involves the following:
1.   Move all removal equipments, beds, and furnishings to the hallway or opposite side of the surgery or operating room.
2.   Scrub and clean all kick buckets and racks.
3.   Vacuum all air conditioner grills.
4.   Clean and sanitize all shelves, cabinets, sinks and tops.
5.   Using disinfectant solution such as Virex II 256, damp wipe all overhead lights and equipments.
6.   Wash wall surfaces with disinfectant solution.
7.   Damp wipe all furnishings and other equipments including all wheels and casters.
8.   Remove all cushions and pads from the operating tables. Scrub cushions and pads in sink. Thoroughly clean the entire operating table with disinfectant solution. Remake the operating table and move it back under the overhead lights.
9.   Empty all soap dispensers, change tubing, and disassemble foot pedals. Clean everything up and refill dispensers and reassemble foot pedal.
10. Wipe and scrub down all sinks with disinfectant solution.
11. Using Fade-A-Dyne II aqueous solution, remove any Povidone Iodine stains on floors.
12. Machine scrub all floors with disinfectant solution or appropriate cleaner as recommended for the subject floors. Pick up all solution after cleaning.
13. Return all furniture and equipments back to the room when floor is completely dried.

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Hiring a building service provider for your facility!

When managing a large building or few buildings, it is extremely important to select the right janitorial and building maintenance company that will best fit the needs of your organization, the needs of the owners and your tenants. It is always a good idea to select a building service provider who does more than just basic cleaning. Many small businesses that only provide cleaning service do not have enough work to justify employing a janitor or team of janitors, having the right equipments and/or knowledge to be able to perform a variety of specialized services that comes in maintaining an entire facility clean and properly maintained. In other words, be able to perform other relevant maintenance related work that is necessary for a building such as carpet steam cleaning, floor or stone care, window washing/cleaning, electrical, graffiti removal, hauling, etc.

We all know that there are thousands of cleaning services out there, but how do you go about choosing the right one with all necessary services?  Well first off, you need to choose the service that best fits your facility needs.  How often is your facility going to require such services?  Does it require night time service or it requires day time services as well?  What specialized services will be needed for your facility, like maintenance, carpet shampooing, or doing landscaping maintenance, this will be an integral component in finding the services that would best fit the needs of your building.

There are few types of companies offering janitorial and building maintenance services, and they are as follows:

  • large nationwide or statewide franchises
  • large privately held companies
  • small to medium sized privately held companies
  • micro individually owner owned & operated companies

Each type has its pros and cons, and a detailed discussion of it will be provided in my upcoming blog.

Another important step in finding a commercial building service provider is checking references. This can be a sure-fire way to hear first hand what kind of company this is, and what kind of services they offer. Make sure when in the evaluation process that you ask for references, and check them out thoroughly by calling the references. Another important step you can take to protect yourself, the owners and or the tenants of the facility would be to ask the service provider to show proof of liability insurance and certified bond. A good commercial building service provider must be able to provide a minimum of $10,000 bond insurance, which sets aside money that could be used in case of broken, damaged, or lost properties of the tenants in their building. Make sure that you verify proof of all their insurance, including auto insurance that employees drive, and their certified bond insurance. One other thing is to make sure, the building service provider can provide copy of workers comp insurance for their employees. If they can not provide a copy, it means they are using sub-contractors or some other wrong means of paying their workers. Always ask the potential company, can you provide a waiver of subrogation on your workers comp policy? If they say ‘yes’, it means you have a company that is legitimately doing all their business operations in the right way. I would always recommend selecting a company who can provide this waiver. This waiver protects the owner or the property manager or the tenants of the facility if ever an employee gets hurt during the work hours while working within the facility.

The final step of the evaluation is finalizing a contract together. Make sure that everything that you had discussed and agreed upon is in the contract and is in writing, including how often, and to what extent, they will be rendering their services. Most importantly, make sure that you make provisions in the contract, to be able to drop the service, if you do not find they have lived up to their end of the bargain. Any building service provider who wants to sign a contract of two years or more is a red flag, and has clause that indicates 4 to 6 months of corrections or notification for cancellation. I will be discussing contracts and some dirty tactics that some of the nationwide franchises uses to trick property owners and managers.

Thank you for reading, and if you enjoyed this article, please feel free to post it on your site or blog and forward this link to your friends. Till then, have a terrific day!

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Study: Cell phones dirtier than toilet seats

Toilet seat or phone? Might seem like a silly question but, then again, the answer might just suprise you!

According to research carried out by Dr Charles Gerba of University of Arizona in 2002 the average office phone carries over 25,000 germs per square inch whereas the toilet seat carries a mere 49! Even an office desk carries over 20,000 germs per square inch which is nearly 45 times more than the loo seat! Scary!

Below are the main results from the study –

Phone: 25,127 germs per square inch
Desktop surface: 20,961 germs per square inch
Keyboard: 3,295 germs per square inch
Mouse: 1,676 germs per square inch
Fax machine: 301 germs per square inch
Photocopier: 69 germs per square inch
Toilet seat: 49 germs per square inch

According to a study done at the University of Arizona, it is very likely your cell phone harbors more germs than a toilet seat.

Headed by Microbiologist Charles Gerba, the studies found that cell phones are the most germ-infested items people come in contact with on a regular basis-followed by desktops, water fountain handles, microwave door handles, and keyboards/mice. The average cell phone has over 25 thousand germs per square inch, as opposed to the average toilet seat with a mere 49.

The study said college students are at a greater risk to spread diseases because of their environments. A classroom desk was found to support the capacity of 10 million microorganisms at any given time, potentially resulting in a 72-hour cold or flu bug.

In a university environment, the time spent hovered over desks and computers-all of which eventually touch cell phones-makes cell phones a bacterial breeding ground. However, hypochondriacs can rest assured: living in a world of germs may not be as frightening as one may think. Even with all the hand-holding at BYU, Dr. Richard Robison, a professsor of microbiology and molecular biology, said germs on cell phones don’t pose much of a serious health risk. “The issue is the type of bacteria found,” Robison said.

Timpanogos Hospital Microbiologist Susan Lehnhof said cell phone germs gets ugly when people start sharing phones.

“It isn’t necessarily a problem as long as the germs all come from you,” she said.

Lehnhof claims that a possible legitimate threat would be taking cell phones to the bathroom. This year, American Standard polled Americans across the country in regards to multi-tasking in the bathroom. 88 percent use at least one electronic device in the bathroom, and 15 percent talk on the phone.

Experts recommend wiping your phone with antibacterial wipes or rubbing alcohol to clean them. Also, many phone companies have come out with proactive measures to combat the germs: anti-microbial coating on cell phones and cell phone covers.

The Center for Disease Control said the most effective precaution anyone can take to avoid becoming sick, especially during the upcoming colder months, is to wash hands frequently and correctly. That, and perhaps keeping your cell phone to yourself.

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