Professional cleaning services tips and advice for cleaning auto shop bathrooms, and the advantages to going green.
Cleaning Services Tips For Auto Shops, Going Green, and Exfoliating Like a Man
Auto shop restrooms, especially publicly facing ones, are prime breeding grounds for bacteria and a trap for toxins.
Microbes in restrooms are a public health and safety concern, regardless of who has access to it.
Auto shops must also be cautious of what chemicals go down the drain to avoid polluting the water table.
An increasingly common trend has been for the shops to 'go green'; reducing their carbon footprint and regulation exposure while endearing themselves to their customers.
For smaller shops that still prefer to do everything on their own, we have some healthy, do it yourself advice and cleaning tips.
The Problem With Public Restrooms
A recent study, published in Applied and Environmental Magazine, conducted by Argonne National Laboratory, tested four bathrooms in San Diego Universities North Life Sciences building.
The goal of the investigation, which spanned several months, was to determine the rapidity of the growth and spread of microbes in a restroom.
The test began with four freshly cleaned bathrooms, two male, and two female, and divided evenly according to high and low traffic volume.
What they discovered was nauseating, and especially concerning, given the potential for contact with young children.
- Within one hour of sterilizing with a bleach solution, the bathrooms were covered in germs.
- Genetic markers for 77,000 unique strains of bacteria were discovered over the course of the study.
- 45% of which were of 'fecal origin'.
Also, the scientists discovered signs of;
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Herpes, and, our personal favorite;
- An 'overwhelming abundance of Staphylococcus' (Staph), including;
- Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).
The bacteria were found everywhere, but were mainly concentrated on:
- Toilet seats.
- Stall doors and handles.
- The sink.
- All over the soap dispenser.
- The light switch.
- Toilet paper dispensers, and;
- The bathroom floor.
Dr. Jack Gilber, one of the authors of the study, parted with the following advice;
It's good to have good hygiene.
Don't lick the bathroom floor.
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The issue is compounded significantly in auto, and other repair shops, that use toxic chemicals that may come in contact with the soles of the worker's shoes.
The toxins on the shoes are spread to the bathroom floor, proven to be filthier than a toilet seat, exacerbating the issue further in even seemingly spotless restrooms.
Waste and Storm Water
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation defines industrial wastewater as;
[sic]...all non-domestic wastewater discharges from any industry, trade or business.
Industrial wastewater can contain a large variety of pollutants which have specific treatment requirements.
Industrial wastewater at auto body repair shops includes water from washing vehicles, equipment washing, work area washing, and wet sanding.
Wastewater-toxins include chemicals and water used for personal hygiene and to clean the bathroom, stating;
Don’t flush any industrial wastewater down bathroom or kitchen sinks, toilets, showers, or other places designed for domestic wastewater.
The regulations go on to emphasize the importance of maintaining clean stormwater;
It is important to prevent contamination of stormwater by cleaning up spills, and not dumping wastewater or materials into storm drains or onto the ground.
Your shop should store chemicals, and wastes in a manner that prevents rain and snow melt from coming into contact with these materials.
Cleaning Services Tips
If the average university bathroom is as filthy as reported, imagine the restroom and floor in a busy auto shop.
Cleaning is necessary, but getting rid of bacteria entirely is a fantasy.
The idea is to clean it beyond the expectations of your pickiest customer.
Your employees will appreciate the healthy, clean environment, your client won't lambast you on Yelp, and you run a lower risk of coming up on the wrong side of your county health department.
- Focus on the high-touch surfaces listed above, especially the floor around the toilet and the soap dish/container.
- Consider using a spray and vacuum cleaning, as opposed to conventional mopping, but use a microfiber mop and green solution if the service is unavailable.
- Using the spray and vacuum cleaning method will allow the cleaning services provider to dump the wastewater in agreement with local laws.
- Use established green cleaning practices on the toilet and sink.
- Make sure to remove any grease or other chemicals transferred from the shop floor.
- Strongly consider implementing a daily cleaning regimen, with routine checks throughout the day, especially for busy and public restrooms.
There are several ways to run a green auto shop while making a profit and helping the environment.
- Collect and dispose of grease as toxic waste instead of allowing it to absorb in kitty litter and eliminating of it in the trash.
- Recycle used oil, fluids, and lubricants.
- Use citrus based degreasers.
- Consider implementing a bioremediation device for your sink to break down grease and bacteria, preventing it from entering the water supply.
- Hire a green cleaning company to keep your shop floor, parking lot, waiting room, offices, and bathroom spotless.
Do it Yourself Mechanic Hand Cleaner
The problem with chemical-based hand degreaser is, well, the chemicals.
Cancer-causing chemicals, to be precise.
A safe, natural alternative is to mix:
- 1 - Tbsp Dawn liquid soap.
- 1 - Tbsp Sugar or Corn Meal.
- Water; just enough to make it thick but 'useable'.
There are numerous reasons for an auto shop to go green.
- Reduce maintenance costs through recycling.
- Healthier working environment.
- Free advertising through supporting local government programs.
Up and coming consumers strongly favor green, sustainable businesses.
According to a recent Nielsen report;
The rise in the percentage of respondents aged 15 - 20, also known as Generation Z, who are willing to pay more for products and services that come from companies who are committed to positive social and environmental impact was also strong—up from 55% in 2014 to 72% in 2015.
- The Challenges of Auto Shop Cleaning and How to Tackle Them
- Organic auto mechanics
- Water-dissolvable bioremediation device and method of use
- Liquid Hand Cleaners
Bathrooms are filthy enough as is.
Adding the toxic chemicals and cleanup regulations typical to U.S. auto shops make cleaning up the job for experienced professionals.
A repair shop business owner can decrease their monthly expenses significantly by going green.
That same company can reduce compliance risk by hiring a professional green cleaning services provider to handle all of their needs.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional cleaning services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
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In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790