Thursday, December 11, 2014

Cork Flooring Care and Maintenance

As many facilities turn to sustainable materials, cleaning professionals are starting to see something new on their customers’ floors. Cork has become an increasingly popular flooring choice due to its durability, green properties and unique health characteristics.

A naturally renewable material, cork is made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows back after being harvested. Cork flooring remains at a stable temperature year-round and is naturally repellent to bugs, mold and mildew.
Click to learn more about the benefits of cork flooring.

Extremely durable, cork flooring can last for decades when properly maintained. Keep cork floors clean and beautiful with these simple tips:

Vacuum Frequently

Regular vacuuming is one of the most important factors to maintaining the integrity of a cork floor. Consider using a backpack vaccum to remove dirt, dust and debris that can scratch the floor surface. Not only are backpack vacuums highly effective and easy to maneuver, but they are also shown to increase productivity.

Wash Gently
Every one to two weeks, or as needed, wash cork floors using a damp mop or autoscrubber. Avoid leaving standing water on the floor and choose a machine with soft brushes to gently clean floors without damaging the finish.

Strategically Place Floor Mats
Placing floor mats at store entrances helps to significantly reduce damage to the floor by soaking up moisture and trapping debris from shoes. Opt for breathable mats. Rubber and other non-porous backing can trap moisture and mar the finish. Keep mats clean with frequent vacuuming and use a carpet extractor to remove excess moisture as needed. 

Wipe Spills Immediately

Heavy moisture can damage floor finish. Do not allow liquid to sit on cork floors. 

Opt for Green Cleaning Products

Avoid cleaning products with abrasive ingredients, since they can destroy your floor’s finish. Green-certified cleaning solutions effectively clean floors, protect the finish and have less impact on indoor air quality.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Keep Stores Clean and Shoppers Happy this Holiday Season

Cleanliness affects the shopping process and can ultimately impact sales.

Your retail business may have great merchandise, but if your store is dirty customers may take their money elsewhere. Ninety-nine percent of U.S. customers report that factors such as unpleasant odors and dirty restrooms and fitting rooms can negatively affect their shopping experience. In a competitive market, retailers can’t afford to have a dirty shop.

Shoppers will always prefer a clean retail store over a dirty one. An establishment that’s not clean can make customers uncomfortable and cause them to cut their shopping experience short. However, if a retail store has been properly cleaned and maintained, visitors are more inclined to continue browsing. And the longer customers spend browsing in a store, the more likely they are to make a purchase.

So keep your store tidy and clean to create an inviting environment that is welcoming to guests and stimulates the shopping process. With increased store traffic around the holidays, focus on these key areas to create a more positive shopping experience:


Establish the right tone the moment customers walk in the door. Ensure entrances are clean and inviting. Trap moisture and dirt from shoes with strategically placed floor mats at entrances. Mats also improve safety for guests by helping prevent slippery puddles from rain and melted snow. Be sure to clean entrance areas at least daily, if not several times throughout the day, to ensure a great first impression.


Simply sweeping or quickly vacuuming aisles is usually not enough to keep your product aisles fresh and spotless during the holiday season. Turn to Clarke’s line of compact auto scrubbers, vacuums, and carpet extractors to efficiently and effectively clean floors in a single pass.

Fitting rooms

Eighty percent of a customer’s buying decision happens in the fitting room—a great incentive to keep them spotless. Don’t make your guests dodge fitting room dust bunnies while trying on clothes. Vacuum fitting room floors regularly and keep mirrors free of dust and fingerprints.


Restroom cleanliness can strongly influence customers’ overall perceptions of your store and products. Create a cleaning schedule among employees to ensure that bathroom floors, stalls, sinks and trash receptacle areas are frequently checked and kept sparkly clean.


Does your store "smell clean?” Shoppers can make an assumption about whether a store is clean based on what they smell. Turn to green cleaning solutions to create a fresh aroma without the harsh odor of chemicals.

Shopping can be stressful, especially around the holidays. Focus on keeping these key areas spotless to create an inviting environment for shoppers this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The New Clarke: Tough Just Got Easier to Afford

Clarke is redefining the price of pure cleaning power with some affordable new additions: Clarke Pro products. Clarke Pro cleaning equipment gives Clarke customers more options for basic, reliable machines at a fraction of the cost. For cleaning staff with small budgets and little time to train on equipment, the new extended Clarke portfolio has all the answers. 

Of course, Clarke's scrubbers, extractors, sweepers, vacuums, burnishers, polishers and wet/dry equipment still deliver top-quality performance and efficiency for professional cleaners and contractors. The rugged durability of every Clarke machine is well known throughout the industry and carries on the nearly century old tradition of Clarke products being the best built, best-backed commercial floor equipment available.
But it's only worth building a machine that lasts if it features the kind of impressive performance that's worth keeping around. That’s why Clarke pioneered BOOST® orbital scrubbing, which can save up to 70% in solution, extend pad life by 40% and cut labor times in half. With that kind of cleaning power and efficiency, Clarke customers will appreciate just how long their machines last as well.
From high schools and hospitals, to office buildings and retail space, for virtually any budget and every floor cleaning need, the new Clarke has a winning cleaning solution for everybody.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Facilities Manager Survey Reveals Biggest Cleaning Complaints

This article was originally published in CleanLink.

In an industry such as building service contracting, the work that is performed speaks for itself. When people walk into a business, the condition of the building often serves as the first impression. 

“I think if we as BSCs work hard to partner with FMs in the day-to-day operations that alone builds value,” Flug says. “Taking the time to be the best in customer service wins in the end.” 

It’s important that BSCs understand the pivotal role they play in building management, Hewett says. 

“The biggest issues FMs are dealing with is customer satisfaction,” he explains. “A couple of the biggest issues are hot or cold buildings, and janitorial issues. Twenty years ago it was, ‘Are the trash cans getting picked up or not?’ Now, [facility managers] want to know they have someone they can trust, someone who is responsible and can understand their needs in the marketplace.”

Read the full article here to learn more about the biggest cleaning complaints.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Marketing Your Cleaning Business on Social Media

For many cleaning business owners, both veterans and newcomers alike, marketing is not likely to be your primary focus or background. And why should it be? Running a cleaning operation at maximum efficiency and productivity is already difficult enough so adding something like marketing on to your list of responsibilities (and costs!) might sound impossible. Fear not. In just an hour or two, you can make a huge difference in your company’s digital presence.

Identify your channels

The first step to setting up your business’ social media presence is to identify what channels your current and potential customers are using the most. One way to achieve this is to simply ask your current customers, but if that’s not possible, perhaps try looking for your competitors online and work from there. Facebook, Google+ and Linkedin are great places to start. Twitter is also a very common outreach tool, but may not be ideal for a company that is easing into digital marketing as it requires more upkeep and attention. You can always register, save the best user name to represent your company, and then come back to it later.
If you’re not familiar with using these social media platforms, consider signing up for your own personal page to try them out and get comfortable with the interface. They’re all free and very powerful for networking purposes, and you’ll need an account for yourself before you can build one for your company or brand anyway.

Set up your pages

Once you have identified the channels you wish to start with, create company pages on each of them. Here are links on how to do so for each platform:  

There are many other platforms out there that may interest you as well, such as YouTube to show product demos or Pinterest to advertise via product photography. Keep exploring and see what works best for you.
Once you have your first platforms created, you’ll want to upload your logo and any other photography that is relevant to your business in order to populate areas such as your cover photo (the big photo at the top of most social media pages) and the profile photo (the smaller photo that should best represent your company—this is typically your logo). Be sure to also populate important fields such as your address, website and contact information as these are the most likely to improve your sales leads and conversions.

Create & share

Once your page is optimized and you’re comfortable with what your visitors are going to see, start creating and sharing content that is relevant to your business. Whether it’s news about your business, or articles that you think your customers/audience might appreciate—just about anything on the internet is fair game for sharing so long as it represents your brand and has the proper attribution of the original creator.

Build your audience

Once you’ve established what social media channels are “working” for you, advertise them to your customers through traditional means. Add a link to your social pages in your email signature, post the URLs in your storefront, add them to your voicemail system by informing people what social channels you’re on. You may even consider trying to run promotions through your social channels to build your audience (people who are “following” what you share).

Don’t stop!

Once you’ve established good practices for your business’ social media presence (sharing new and interesting content regularly, engaging your customers, providing customer service through social media, etc.) then keep the momentum going! Find out where else your customers are online and build on those channels as well. The best way to get noticed on the web is to create content that people are interested in, but they may need a lot of touch points to find you before they can engage with your brand or company online.

Finally, if all of this sounds like it’s too much work or is too confusing, you can always resort to hiring somebody else to manage your brand’s digital presence. While social media may seem like just another expense that your business can’t afford, the reality is that your business can’t afford not to leverage the power of social media—especially when your competitors already are!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recruiting is Easier Online, Especially on Social Networks

This article was originally published in ContractingProfits.

Spreading your employee recruiting message is now significantly easier because you can use social networking tools to connect to a more desirable and broader labor pool.

According to the Pew Research Center, 65 percent of adult Internet users are members of, and regularly visit, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These sites open your doors to higher quality applicants because your social network connections are the people who know your company best: your existing employees, customers and vendors. When they rebroadcast your job openings, they are implicitly recommending you as an employer. By building your social networking presence, you can collect a large following of “virtual recruiters.”

Read the full article here to learn more about recruiting employees online.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How Clarke Delivers: Five Trends Impacting the Cleaning Industry

In response to an article written last year for CleanLink News discussing their top five niche trends for the cleaning industry, we've adapted each category specifically for the cleaning equipment industry. Here is how Clarke delivers in each category, ordered the same as the original article:

1. Performance

As the article referenced above points out, “Products which combine their efficiency with innovative features have an advantage in this marketplace.” While this is true for a majority of industries, it is especially so for industries that are as intensely competitive as the cleaning industry.

That’s why, in 2008, Clarke pioneered the first orbital scrubbing technology in the industry: BOOST®. By rotating a rectangular pad in a quarter-inch circular motion at 2,250 RPM, BOOST uses Orbital Scrubbing Technology to clean more efficiently. Beyond the benefit of having a squared off cleaning pad that matches the square shape of most any building space’s walls, BOOST also improves cleaning power thanks to its ability to hit dirt and grime from every angle, rather than hitting it from the same angle repeatedly like most disc-based autoscrubbers do.

2. Cost effectiveness

To meet the industry need for cost-effective equipment, Clarke is excited to introduce a number of new cleaning machines at the more affordable end of the pricing spectrum as of 2014. These new products will deliver the same high level Clarke cleaning power at a price point that is more competitive than ever.

3. Ease of use

In addition to these new 2014 Clarke products being more affordable, readers should take note that they are also among some of the simplest, most intuitive cleaning machines on the market. When Clarke facilitates equipment training schools for industry newcomers, “students” with little or no background in cleaning machine operation are encouraged to test each machine out for themselves. Those students often find the equipment extremely intuitive—from the user interface and handling to general storage and maintenance.

4. Environmental awareness

Clarke technologies like BOOST aren’t just in it for the powerful cleaning—they’re developed with an eco-friendly mindset. In the case of BOOST, operators can actually leverage it to remove floor finish without the use of costly, caustic floor chemicals. The Orbital Scrubbing motion removes floor finish with just a small amount of water applied to the floor, saving companies time and money while saving the environment from more waste.

5. Fragrances, aesthetics and packaging

While packaging may be less of a concern for most commercial cleaning equipment, Clarke does pay plenty of attention to aesthetics and smell.

For example, with the sleek, modern designs of Clarke equipment in their janitors’ closets, companies are better equipped to clean while conveying a sense of professionalism and high-tech efficiency. Sometimes replacing a mop and bucket of dirty water with a brand new Clarke autoscrubber is just the kind of face-lift a company needs to boost their professional appearance at every level of their operations.

Likewise, Clarke understands that cleaning can be a smelly, dirty job when cleaners are forced to use a conventional mop and bucket to complete the job. Even automated cleaning equipment can cause unruly smells (and unsightly appearances) if it’s not properly maintained. Fortunately, every Clarke machine is uniquely designed to optimize access to tanks, filters and other components that are prone to getting dirty, making them simple to clean and easier to keep smell free.