Storage and Disposal of Chemical Products

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Many of our customers purchase cleaning and floor maintenance chemicals from us.  Some of these chemicals are hazardous, toxic substances; so it is important to know how to properly use, store, and dispose of them.

Chemical Use
Chemical substances should be used only in the manner and for the purpose for which they were intended. Carefully read the label or the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) prior to use.   Major safety precautions to follow when using chemicals are as follows:

  • Avoid contact.
  • Where protective gear (gloves, goggles, shoes).
  • Mix chemicals only in approved combinations and according to approved dilution levels.
  • Do not spill or splash.

Chemical Storage
Follow storage precautions listed on label or Material Safety Data Sheet  (MSDS).  Major storage precautions are as follows:

  • Be aware of types of chemicals that should not be stored near each other because of risk of combining spills and/or fumes.  Bleach and ammonia should never be stored in close proximity; neither should acids and alkalis, as well as petroleum-based chemicals.
  • Never store chemicals in mechanical, electrical, or boiler rooms.
  • Keep chemicals away from sources of heat.
  • Keep chemicals in original container - never transfer to an unlabeled container.

Chemical Disposal
Always check label or Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for proper disposal method.  General disposal rules are as follows:

  • Never flush or drain volatile or corrosive chemicals into the sewage system.
  • Dispose of materials used to clean up a chemical spill per the clean up instructions for the chemical.

Cleaning With Vinegar

Did you know we carry distilled white vinegar? White vinegar is a terrific all-purpose cleaner.  It contains acetic acid which makes it highly effective at dissolving mineral deposits, removing soap scum and grease, and polishing metal surfaces.  Vinegar has the added benefit of being all-natural, non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.  To top it off, it is really inexpensive. 

Here are just a few ideas for cleaning with white vinegar:

Toilet - Pour in 1/2 cup of vinegar.  Let it sit.  Then wipe the inside of the bowl and flush. 

Tile & Grout - Make a paste of vinegar and baking soda.  Apply to tile and grout. Scrub well and rinse.

Coffee Pot - Pour in equal parts water and vinegar. Run coffee machine for a cycle. Then run for two more cycles using just water.

Microwave - Pour equal amounts of water and vinegar into a bowl. Microwave until solution boils.  Wipe down inside of microwave.

Metal Surfaces - Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 16 ounces of water. Spray on soft cloth and wipe surface clean.

Washing Machine - Pour in 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and favorite detergent into empty machine. Run for one cycle.

Dishwasher - Add 1 cup of vinegar to empty machine and run for one cycle.

ETC's Diamond by Gorilla Floor Maintenance System

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Last month ETC of Henderson hosted a workshop dealing with best practices in floor care and maintenance at our facility in Stuart.  One of the topics discussed was their new floor care system using Diamond by Gorilla pads.  We thought some of our customers would like a run down of this new system.

Their Diamond Polishing System was developed for natural stone floors like concrete, terrazzo, granite, and marble.  It uses 4 pads (Red 400, White 800, Yellow 1500, Green 3000) and water. 

Step 1 - Red 400 Pad
Use water slurry as a lubricant.  Use a low speed rotary machine or an auto scrubber with Diamond by Gorilla 400 pad. Move side-by-side for 7-10 passes. Then change direction and repeat process. Use a wet-vac to pick up water slurry between each pass.  Clean area well before moving to next step.

Step 2 - White 800 Pad
Use water slurry as lubricant and repeat Step 1 using a Diamond by Gorilla 800 pad.

Step 3 - Yellow 1500 Pad
Use water slurry as lubricant and repeat Step 1 using a Diamond by Gorilla 1500 pad. Let floor dry completely before moving to next step.

Step 4 - Green 3000 Pad
Do not use water.  Use a High Speed or UHS electric or propane burnisher with Diamond by Gorilla 3000 pad for 3-5 passes.

Maintenance
Clean floors with neutral cleaner and red pad.
Polish floors using Diamond by Gorilla 3000 green pad.

Using Microfiber Mop Pad to Apply Floor Finish

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Traditionally flooring professionals have recommended using a rayon mop head to apply floor finish.  Rayon mops are lint free and non-absorbent so finish can be applied smoothly with minimum wastage.  However, many of our customers have switched to microfiber mop pads for floor finish applications. Microfiber pads are lint free and apparently deliver a thinner, more even coat of finish in a fraction of the time.  Microfiber pads also work better in corners and along floorboards.  The only downside to using microfiber pads is that they are very absorbent so more finish is required than if using a rayon mop.

Making Sudsy Ammonia

Sudsy Ammonia is a great all-purpose cleaner for boats and jewelry.   However, it can be hard to find in stores and online.  Luckily the ingredients are readily available, and the solution can be easily made in your kitchen.  Here is the "recipe" ...

Ingredients & Supplies
Household ammonia
Dawn dishwashing liquid
Plastic bottle with trigger spray
Funnel (to pour ammonia)
Rubber gloves (to protects hands)
Protective eyewear like goggles (to protect eyes)
Indelible marker (like a Sharpie)

  1. Mix ratio: 2/3 water to 1/3 ammonia and a squirt of dishwashing liquid
  2. Wear the gloves and protective eyewear and work in a well-ventilated area.
  3. Place the plastic bottle in your kitchen sink and fill it with tap water until it is about 2/3 full.
  4. Using the funnel, pour ammonia into the bottle so that bottle is almost full. (Obviously, do not completely fill bottle to rim.  You will need to add soap and shake.)
  5. Add a squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid.
  6. Screw the trigger spray cap on to the bottle.  Make sure it is TIGHTLY closed.
  7. Gently shake the bottle.
  8. With indelible marker, write "Sudsy Ammonia" and "POISON / Do not mix with Bleach" on the bottle.

You are ready to clean.

Floor Care & Maintenance System

ETC of Henderson hosted an extremely informative workshop dealing with best practices in floor care and maintenance at our facility in Stuart on June 27th.  One of the topics addressed was "a complete floor care system".  We thought some of our customers who couldn't attend would appreciate a synopsis.

1. Strip the floor using an aggressive stripping pad.  If you are using a low speed, lighter weight machine, go with a black stripping pad.  If you are using a high speed, heavier machine go with a Razorback stripping pad.

2. Rinse the floor and allow it to dry thoroughly.

3. Apply finish.  Finish should be applied with a lint free mop (do not use cotton or rayon mops - cotton produces lint, and both cotton and rayon are too absorbent).  A minimum of four coats of finish should be applied.  You should burnish after each application/coat of finish, and only after the finish has completely dried.  Typically you should wait 48-72 hours after a coat of finish has been applied before burnishing and applying the next coat.  However, if you need to burnish freshly dried finish use a super-soft curing pad.

4. To maintain the floor in between stripping, you need to clean and polish the floor on a regular basis depending on traffic and wear-and-tear.  Use a dust mop to remove dust, dirt, and debris from the surface of the floor.  Then clean the floor with a neutral cleaner using a mop or a single disc machine or auto-scrubber with a red, blue, or green pad.  Use a red pad for light cleaning, a blue pad for a medium cleaning, and a green pad for a deeper scrubbing.  Once the floor has been cleaned, polish it.  Use a white pad with a low speed machine or Gorilla Lite pad with a high speed machine.

ETC's new floor care and maintenance system using Gorilla by Diamond pads will be addressed in our next blog.

Ultra Chem Labs' Quantum Floor Finish

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Most of our customers who are in the commercial flooring business swear by Ultra Chem Labs' line of products.  Their floor finish, Quantum, is one of the best on the markets.  Quantum is a low maintenance, dry brite durable floor finish.  This high performance finish dries and levels with great "off the mop" gloss.  Quantum dries from the bottom up so it dries extra fast. It can be easily repaired during application and does not require frequent burnishing.  Quantum's durable acrylic polymer base provides resistance to black heel marks, pad burns and soil embedment and is ideal for the protection of most types of resilient floors in high traffic areas. Quantum is free of metals and styrene so it will not discolor or yellow while sustaining high levels of glossy vibrance.  With proper maintenance, stripping cycles can be dramatically reduced or eliminated.  To top it off, Quantum is an environmentally friendly product.

Entryway Floor Mats

Entryway floor mats are a smart investment for both the workplace and home.  They protect floors and carpets by significantly reducing the amount of dirt and debris that is tracked into work and living areas.  Most experts agree that matting can trap 80 to 85 percent of the dirt from shoes that walk across them.  This means that less time and money needs to be expended to clean and maintain floors and carpets.  This also translates to better indoor air quality.  If you are interested in maintaining cleaner floors and improved air quality on the job and in the home, consider purchasing floor mats for your entryways.