How do you remove urine odors from vinyl flooring in a nursing home?

This can be challenging. Time plays a big part in how this procedure is done. The quicker you identify the spill, the easier it is to remove. Floor finish is a great way to assist in protecting the floor from not only spills, but odor causing materials. When floor finished is used, you should have an easier time not only mopping or cleaning up the urine, but less issues with the malodor getting into the vinyl flooring.  Where floor finish is not used, soft brushing utilizing floor equipment, hand tool or handle would be the alternative. The best alternative is to follow the similar process used in removing urine odor from restrooms. Scrubbing the source where the malodor is coming from and allowing for disinfectant, enzymes or live bacteria to work is key. Remember, to rinse the area with water or cleaner designed for the surface cleaned is an important step after working the area where the malodor is coming from.

— Jonathan Rice, vice president of sales – corporate account, Amrep Inc., Marietta, Ga.

Hydrogen peroxide is a good start to clean and deodorize urine. Urine is usually a bit acidic but the normal range can be a pH from 4.6 to 8. When debris or organic material need to be removed, the hydrogen peroxide works with oxygen to bring the debris to the surface, where it can be wiped away. An enzyme-based product can then be applied to a really tough situation where the odor seems ingrained. An acidic type of product might be needed if the spot was unattended and stain ingrained in the vinyl.

— Brent Crawford, president, Core Products Co., Inc., Canton, Texas

How do you remove urine odors from grout?

First, clean the floors with a specialized/dedicated bio-enzymatic washroom cleaner, certified green. Second, flood the floor and grout as part of cleaning, not simply doing a light damp mopping. The urine flooded the floor and grout so a damp mopping won’t do. Remember, no disinfectants can also be used on the floor. In about 30 days, a significant difference in cleanliness and odor will be evident. 

— Mike Sawchuk, vice president, Enviro-Solutions, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

You will need to use a medium duty brush with utility a hand tool, handle or equipment. The chemical to be used is either a disinfectant, enzyme- or live bacteria-based product. Be sure you saturate the area with the solution being used and scrub the area. Enzymes and disinfectants tend to foam when agitation occurs with a cleaning tool. Allow for the product to have adequate enough time to emulsify and devour urine. Five to 10 minutes is ideal, however as all germicides state dwell time, follow instructions. Do not allow the product to dry out on surface, you will need to clean up solution with water or selected cleaner utilized for the surface type being cleaned.

— Jonathan Rice, vice president of sales – corporate account, Amrep Inc., Marietta, Ga. 

Reducing Vacuuming will ruin your carpets – Part 3

When vacuuming is skipped, dirt, grit and soil become embedded in the carpet. It will be harder to remove them later.  The pile underneath the carpet fibers will break down if the dirt is left in. It also creates a breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria.  Frequent vacuuming not only keeps the carpet cleaner, it significantly reduces wear and tear especially in traffic areas.

Reducing frequencies will ultimately cost facilities more money in the future. Janitors will have to make additional passes to remove soil in heavily embedded areas and eventually the carpet will require an expensive deep or restorative cleaning. Or worse, ultimately the carpet pre-maturely wears out and requires replacement.

Reduced frequencies may have met the short-term budget needs of the present, but they shouldn’t compromise the future. It’s easier to skip some tasks over others, but reduced vacuuming isn’t one of them. To ensure longer life and maintain appearance, carpet requires regular vacuuming. Facility managers and building owners should never underestimate the effect frequent vacuuming has on carpet.


Reducing Vacuuming will ruin your carpets – Part 2

Commercial carpet is a textile. The most popular commercial carpet is made of synthetic fibers such as nylon, olefin or polyester. In fact, nylon is most often specified by architects and designers for commercial installations. It is frequently referred to as the durable fiber.  Just like other textiles — for instance, a favorite pair of broken in blue jeans faded with washings and worn knees — carpet will show wear over time and without proper maintenance. A combination of factors will cause premature wear, including embedded soil in the carpet. Infrequent vacuuming and poor matting are the main reasons carpets show signs of premature wear.  Major traffic lanes need to be vacuumed daily.  Shoes track in most of the dirt, grit and soil that end up in carpets. Other factors also contributing to soiling include dust, airborne pollutants and food or drink spills.


Reduced Vacuuming will ruin your carpets – Part 1!

As skip-cleaning schedules become more widespread, especially as appropriate and consistent vacuuming frequencies are reduced, the indoor environment suffers. Reducing the vacuum frequencies from five days to every other day or less may, on the surface, seem like an easy way to save a dollar and trim a budget. However, the unintended consequence of such a decision lays hidden in the carpet pile. As the frequencies are reduced so are the carpet’s appearance and its life.