The Royal Roads University, in Victoria, British Columbia, is a highly respected institution, worldwide. The university is committed to developing and maintaining high standards of environmental stewardship. Its goal is to become a global leader in environmental sustainability through innovative strategies, which foster the protection and preservation of the environment. In 2001, Royal Roads invested $15,000 for the creation and implementation of a virtually Chemical Free cleaning system. This new system relies exclusively upon microfiber cleaning products, and many additional independent sources were utilized to further the independence of this study’s findings.
“our job [as a department] to come up with ideas to be more environmentally friendly”, says Darren Gardham, supervisor, custodial and housekeeping services. The custodial services department has developed ways to minimize cleaning chemical use, use fewer cloth and paper resources, improve health of custodial staff and occupants, and increase cleaning efficiency. For approximately the last five years, microfiber products have played a significant role in the university’s sustainability program.
During the trial period, the manufacturer representative conducted a black-light test demonstration to compare microfiber performance results with other tools and products.
The test was conducted on three restroom urinals after a day of use. Before any cleaning was done, a black light was used to test the area for protein spots. Then each urinal was cleaned using different methods. One urinal was cleaned with a cotton rag and water. A second urinal was cleaned with a cotton rag and disinfectant. The third urinal was cleaned with a microfiber cloth and water.
The microfiber cloth used with water produced almost identical results as the regular rag and disinfectant, Gardham says. [Whether we used] disinfectant with a regular rag or microfiber with water, the urinal was bacteria-free.
Results of The Study:
- Microfiber cleaning products leave the surface of the item being cleaned â€œFree of any foreign material.
- Microfiber products “Do not cross contaminate.”
- As microfiber products can be used wet, there is no need to mechanically dry them. By avoiding the use of commercial dryers, â€œSignificant additional energy costs are avoided.
- Microfiber cloths & mops, used only with regular tap water, are 99.94% effective in removing bacteria from smooth surfaces, as compared to conventional cloths and mops used with Lysol or bleach, which were only 91.89% effective.
- Microfiber products “do not negatively impact the shine value of the surface being cleaned.”
- Microfiber “mops allow a greater area to be cleaned than conventional mops, and microfiber mops are 5 times less expensive to clean.”
Benefits of Using Microfiber:
- Reduced environmental impact.
- Saves substantial time & money.
- Fewer allergic reactions.
- Decreased risk of backs and shoulder problems.
- Reduced chance of spills & chemical related accidents.
- Improved public safety, slip & falls reduced or eliminated.
- Microfiber cloths can be reused a minimum of 500 times.
- Cloths & mops are light and can therefore be washed in large quantities, greatly reducing water and energy consumption.
- Cloths & mops take up less physical space and therefore reduce both transport costs and area required for storage closets.
- This system provides for very substantial cost and labor savings, on a yearly basis, as the system is more efficient.
Reduced environmental impact, healthier people, fewer accidents and injuries are priceless savings. This system is simple, efficient and effective, and represents the next Generation in cleaning systems. Lastly, this system is as effective as cleaning with chemicals.
This system is simple, efficient, and effective, and represents the next generation in cleaning systems. Lastly, this system is as effective as cleaning with chemicals. Strong words from a university that states its goal is to become a global leader in environmental sustainability through innovative strategies, which foster the protection and preservation of the environment.