Air Disinfection: A Safe Method, Proven to Work

If you’ve searched online to learn more about air disinfection in your building, it’s likely you’ve been subjected to a lot of good ol’ fashioned witchcraft, with seemingly everyone out to make a buck and little regulation in place.

Well, that’s not how we go about things. Everything we do, from the disinfectants we use on hard surfaces to our sanitizing methods, are anchored in science and data. It’s why we have a health & safety officer on staff. It’s why we use EPA-approved chemicals. And it’s why if we’re going to make a recommendation on air disinfection, we insisted on finding an option backed by fact.

With all that said (sorry for the soapbox moment), we regularly speak with clients and customers about a technology and approach that uses dry hydrogen peroxide (DHP) to kill germs in the air. Wait, what? Yes, it kills microbes floating in the air and does so without hurting humans.

Below, we’ve laid out some of the essentials.

How Dry Hydrogen Peroxide Works

DHP is a form of gas. The molecule, hydrogen peroxide, is a natural component in human lungs and is harmless at levels emitted by the technology we recommend.

It works by “attaching” to microbes in the air, and effectively neutralizing them. A specific piece of technology generates the DHP and manages the level of the gas in the air, which falls well below Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommendations.

The reason microbes attach to DHP is that all of them need water from the environment to live. Therefore, they seek out the DHP, which is packed with moisture created from naturally occurring humidity in the air. Then, the DHP breaks down the microbe’s cell membrane (think of this as the cell’s shield that protects it) and then destroys the germ.

Is DHP safe?

DHP is incredibly safe at the minimal levels produced to kill airborne microbes. It’s harmless to humans and can hurt nothing bigger than an insect.

DHP was designed to allow people to safely remain in the room where the technology is working. This means no disruption to your staff and visitors. The gas is emitted into the air at less than 20 parts per billion. That means the technology would have to run nonstop for 2.5 years to even produce the concentration found in a single droplet of hydrogen peroxide you’d find in your medicine cabinet.

Currently, we’re seeing this technology used safely and effectively across multiple industries, including healthcare, food service and education.

What it Isn’t

As important as what it does, is what DHP isn’t. It’s important to note this technology does not use bipolar ionization or needle point. Those two approaches to air disinfection were proved to be ineffective.

Recently, one California school district pulled bipolar ionization units from its schools and is now suing the manufacturer. They did so after alleging these units made air quality worse.

On top of that, ASHRAE, the HVAC industry’s leading professional organization, said ionizers have shown “results ranging from no benefit to some benefit for acute health symptoms.”

The technology we recommend is backed by data, science and in-market testing that proves it works and is safe.

To learn more about this specific technology and how it may fit into your facility’s air purification efforts, contact us anytime.

Air Cleaning: How to Purify Without Reworking Your HVAC

You’re in charge of your facility’s overall cleaning program – from how to keep frequently touched surfaces to disinfected to floor care. But now you have a new surface to worry about: The air.

Since the pandemic hit air quality has taken center stage, with recommendations on how to ventilate your building coming from government agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as private industry organizations such as ASHRAE.

But, what if overhauling your HVAC isn’t reasonable? How can you clean your air and reassure employees and visitors? Responsible for helping our clients manage the health and safety of their buildings, we’ve turned to portable air purification.

Why We Like Portable Air Purification

Virus removal.

You want to make sure any portable unit you use is proven to capture aerosols that contain viruses, bacteria, molds and other contaminants. Make sure you ask for the data. We only recommend purifiers proven to capture 99.97% of particulate matter down to .3 microns. Anything that doesn’t go down to .3 microns isn’t worth your consideration.

Targeted purification.

They work wonderfully in offices, classrooms, common areas and conference rooms. You can easily move them around to occupied areas, while avoiding wasted energy and resources in parts of the building currently unused.

Employee/visitor perception.

Seeing is believing. When purifiers are in the room it gives people peace of mind that the air is actively being cleaned (and it is). We particularly like purification systems that allow you to scan a QR code to see the active purification status.


Reworking your HVAC system can cost thousands of dollars, if not more. With portable systems, you can control your budget and still get quality results where you need them.

Easy to maintain.

Most portable units only require you to change the filter on a regular basis. At KleenMark, we provide not only the air purifiers but our team can also take care of changing filters for you.

Digital monitoring.

With some purifiers you can monitor the effectiveness 24/7 from your smartphone or computer. Additionally, you’ll get notifications for when the filter needs changed, scheduled on/off times, etc.

If you want to learn more, send us a note or give us a call. Our team includes a health and safety officer, and we only recommend solutions proven to work.

Office Spring Cleaning: Top Products for Floor Care and Disinfection

Our teams clean 25 million square feet a day, meaning they know a thing or two about what works – and more importantly, what doesn’t. So, with office spring cleaning around the corner, we want to share some of our favorite products.

Ideally, we can save you a headache or two, giving you the guidance needed to find the right tools for the job. Because, let’s be honest, none of us has time to deal with broken, ineffective gear.

Below are a few of our favorites when it comes to floor care and disinfecting. We’ll be back as spring nears with a few more essential items our teams rely on.

Floor Care Tag Team: Vacs & Scrubbers 

ProGen 15 from ProTeam

One of our go-to vacuums is the upright ProGen 15 from ProTeam. It offers increased mobility, easy maintenance and 50-foot cord. It’s HEPA filter captures 98.36% of germs and debris at 0.3 – .5 microns.  

Tennant i-Mop Plus XL Scrubber

Need to give your hard floors a good scrubbing after salt and grime took its toll? We’re big fans of Tennant’s i-Mop Plus XL Scrubber. It’s maneuverability let’s clean tight spaces and under tables. That means you can move like you’re using a mop but with the cleaning power of a scrubber. 

Victory Electrostatic Sprayers – For Deep Disinfection 

When you need to make sure all the germs are dead, your best bet is an electrostatic sprayer paired with EPA-approved disinfectants.  

Victory Electrostatic Sprayers

Victory Sprayers continue to reign supreme, with handheld and backpack options available. Each offers a 3-in-1 nozzle, long battery life and are easy to maintain. We also have a full line of disinfectants approved to kill COVID-19. 

It’s a must to dust. Do it like a pro. 

SSS Bulldog Disposable Dusting Sheets

Pair Bulldog Disposable Dusting Sheets with any standard dust mop and you have a solution that reduces cross-contamination, while collecting more dust, dirt, sand and grime. These sheets are double-sided for extended use and work with any existing dusting tools. 

Top-tier Cleaning Chemicals for Every Job

SSS Cleaning Chemicals

Whether it’s Blue Thunder All-Purpose Cleaner or P.S.T Cleaner for showers, tile and similar surfaces, these are go-to chemicals our teams use in the field daily.  Find a full line of cleaners we trust, at

Six Ways to Incorporate Green-cleaning Practices During a Pandemic

It’s not always easy being green, especially when we’re in the midst of a pandemic. But when it comes to your facility’s cleaning program, you can still take small, strategic steps to incorporate green-cleaning practices.  

Since 2011, we’ve held ISSA’s “Cleaning Industry Management Standard – Green Building” certification (excuse the humble brag). We only mention it because we have the training and the chops to help you achieve your environmental goals. 

Choosing to adopt green cleaning practices will not only help the environment by reducing the release of harmful chemicals into our waterways; it benefits your staff, cleaning team and potentially your bottom line.  

We know that’s tricky right now, because you need to use powerful disinfectants to kill COVID-19. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Below are six easy ways to layer in some green cleaning. 

6 Green-cleaning Hacks 

Amp up your recycling program. Make sure recycling bins are placed throughout the office, if not at every workstation. Establish a plan for collecting and recycling used toner cartridges and batteries.  

Opt for green cleaners. More than likely, there’s a “green” variety of each cleaner you’re currently using. Try to choose eco-friendly window cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, stainless steel polishes, degreaser for floors, etc. It’s perfectly safe to continue to use these in the age of COVID-19, as long as you also use a disinfectant from the EPA’s List-N group. Using these green cleaners will help reduce employee and cleaning staff exposure to cleaning chemical irritants such as chlorine and ammonia, which can be harmful to the skin and lungs 

Use cold water. Hot water isn’t always necessary when cleaning. Using cold water can be just as effective and help reduce energy usage and costs. 

Use high-efficient batteries. They’ll hold a charge longer. Opt for cordless options when you can. For instance, Proteam’s GoFree vacuums are a great example. 

Watch your VOCs. Keep an eye out for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Lower VOC means less emission of harmful toxins into the air. That’s good for everyone. 

Source green. If you outsource your cleaning, make sure the company you choose is green certified and follows best practices that can improve your own facility’s environmental impact.  

You can learn more about our green-cleaning practices, here

About the Author 

Jeremy Angle leads our team in Southeast Wisconsin. As general manager of our Milwaukee branch, he works with some of our largest clients to ensure they have the right cleaning program in place. 

Air Dryer or Paper Towels?

The Big Decision: Paper Towels or Hand Dryers?

It’s time to settle the great hand-drying debate once and for all: should your facility use paper towels or hand dryers?

Air Dryer or Paper Towels?

Why? Because in the age of COVID-19 it’s not really a debate any longer. We’ve known for some time that air dryers aren’t as good at containing the spread of airborne germs. While always a concern, it’s a top priority today for facility managers and cleaning teams.

Let’s break down a few critical areas you always want to consider.


A University of Westminster study examined the spread of viral germs across three common hand-drying methods: paper towels, a hot air dryer and a jet air dryer. The study found that jet and warm air dryers spread significantly more viral germs than paper towels. And, germs can remain in the air around air dryers for up to 15 minutes. Whoa – thinking about that pre-COVID is pretty interesting. Thinking about it during a pandemic is anxiety inducing.

Ultimately, paper towels were found to spread the lowest amount of germs from users’ hands into the rest of the bathroom. Researchers found that wiping your hands on a paper towel effectively removes some germs that may linger after hand-washing. Also, paper towels promote more hygienic practices when used for turning off faucets and opening restroom doors.


Believe it or not, paper towels can be an affordable and eco-friendly option. From a cost perspective, many paper towel options are derived from recycled material, whereas more electricity is pulled to run an air dryer. Certain models sense motion and dispense appropriate towel lengths to reduce waste and save money.

Air dryers use energy, and certain paper towel products will impact landfill waste. Do your research and purchase dissolvable, biodegradable paper towels to lessen your impact on the environment.

Short-term Cost

It’s no secret air dryers are the less expensive option. Facility costs may decrease with air dryers in restrooms, but employees and visitors are more likely to leave with wet or damp hands. Even though paper towel dispensers can pose challenges when it comes to waste and overuse, it’s a more effective method for drying hands faster and completely.

 The Verdict

In the end, air dryers are less expensive in the short term, but touchless paper towel dispensers are the clear winner when it comes to hygiene and germ control. Each method’s sustainability depends on choices you make about product sourcing and usage.

Lastly, providing your employees and customers with paper towels promotes a cleaner restroom environment. It can contribute to slowing the spread of germs such as COVID-19. That helps promote public health. And, it gives your employees and visitors the confidence that you’re putting their health at the top of your priority list.

Matting Maintenance: How to Protect your Office Floor Mats

When bad weather hits, it’s a sobering reminder that keeping up with matting maintenance is your facility’s first line of defense against salt, sand and grime – not to mention slip-and-fall accidents.

But here’s the deal: If you follow a few simple steps, you can keep your mats in top condition. The result: Better performing and better looking mats that protect your floors and your people.

At its core, matting maintenance comes down to three considerations:

  • Own rather than rent
  • Vacuum properly and frequently
  • Regularly use hot-water extraction

Own vs. Rent

We’ve written about the financial benefits of owning rather than renting your matting. Check out 10 Reasons it’s Better to Own than Rent if you want the details.

But, for the sake of maintaining quality mats that work, owning them should also be a top consideration.

Here’s the main reason why you should own: Rental matting often isn’t much thicker than a magazine. That means it doesn’t absorb as much water or grime. And that means they don’t work as well.

Quality matting is heavy. It absorbs loads of water and winter gunk. Additionally, its corners and edges won’t curl. That helps reduce trips.

And while the look of your mats may not be your top priority, the perception of clean often is as important as the actual cleanliness of mats. If they’re faded, frayed or stained they look dirty. That’s not the first impression you want.

Vacuum … and then vacuum again.

It sounds straightforward and obvious, we know. But this is the workhorse of any matting maintenance program.

Make sure you’re vacuuming all carpets daily. If your company salts and sands, you’re going to want to vacuum mats two to three times each day. If you don’t have one, consider adding a day porter to your team to handle workday cleaning needs such as vacuuming.

The goal is to keep that salt, dirt and sand from making it into the building. This saves maintenance time and costs and also keeps hard floors from becoming slick.

Additionally, when salt and dirt grinds into a mat, it’s going to make it less effective. The more dirt in the mat, the less that mat can do its job.

Hot-water extraction – spa day for your mats

Who doesn’t need some extra attention after being trampled on all day at work? Enter, hot-water extraction.

Hot-water extraction is the process of using special machines to pull dirt and grime up from the bottom of your mats, ensuring fibers are thoroughly cleaned. The hot water penetrates the carpet, and is extracted using the same high-power machine.

Extraction is efficient and effective, which is why we recommend it’s built into your matting maintenance program. At KleenMark, we can do about 50 mats in two hours. An extractor pulls out 99 percent of the water, meaning your mats are dry by the morning.

To go full circle, one reason we recommend buying your mats is because they’re easier to clean. Our favorite mats use berber carpet, which is often four to five times thicker than a rental. Because they’re more durable and robust, they can hold more dirt AND you can use an extractor to remove that grime. Browse a variety of berber and anti-slip mats.

At the end of the day, it’s really about picking quality mats and then establishing a regularly scheduled vacuum and extraction program to keep your mats in top shape. Do this, and your building’s not just going to be cleaner – it’s going to look better all winter.

Cleaner’s Corner: What tips do you have to improve school gym disinfection?

About this series: In the Cleaner’s Corner, our experts address questions we receive in the field. Our goal is to provide straightforward, practical tips and information you can apply in your facility. 

Question: Other than maintaining a cadence of regular disinfection, including high-touchpoint surfaces, what tips do you have for reducing germs in a school gym, specifically when working with soft surfaces such as wrestling mats and trainers’ tables? 

Mike Staver, KleenMark’s Director of Operations: 

Whether it’s for school gym disinfection or any commercial gym, I focus on a few specific things when disinfecting mats, weight benches or similar surfaces. 

First and foremost, try to use a hydrogen peroxide-based disinfectant. When they dissipate, these types of disinfectants return to a water state. That’s important because others, like quat disinfectants, will leave a residue and cause the surface to fade. We prefer Alpha-HP from Diversey.  

Oxivir wipes are also a good choice. They’re convenient and have a hydrogen peroxide base. I will say, even when using these types of disinfectants, I recommend wiping the surface afterward with water and a microfiber towel – again, to prevent any chance of discoloration. 

Household soap products are another excellent choice but they’re not practical. Often, they create a lot of suds and aren’t an efficient way to frequently disinfect items used daily. 

Lastly, focus on dwell time. It’s tempting to wipe the disinfectant off immediately, especially when student athletes are using the equipment multiple times each day. Instead, try to find a disinfectant that has a 1-minute dwell time, so you can still move quickly but while insuring you’ve killed the germs. 

Commercial cleaning robots: Are they effective?

When it comes to commercial cleaning robots, there’s more to them than meets the eye.

That’s because while the idea of a giant, robot vacuum quietly cleaning the halls of your 100,000 square-foot office building is inspiring, it’s unfortunately not that simple (never is, right?).

For that reason, we’ve broken down what we like and don’t like – and the role we see for cleaning robots at this time.

What we like about commercial cleaning robots

Well, first and foremost we like the idea of commercial cleaning robots. To think that we could program a large floor cleaner to run itself, freeing our teams up to focus on other tasks, is intriguing.

We’ve seen robots thrive in large, single-floor retail spaces with wide aisles.

Where we’ve seen robots thrive is in large retail spaces, where they have long, wide aisles. They’re efficient in this setting because the machine doesn’t have to be moved to different floors and you don’t need to buy more than one.

Also, robots are always on the job. They don’t call in sick for work or get distracted by their cell phones. That’s tremendously valuable when trying to provide an efficient cleaning service.

What we don’t like

One of the biggest issues is cost. These machines range in price, but often can cost as much as $50,000.

To see the return on investment, you really need to be sure a robot is efficient and saving you labor hours. We’re continuing to study this, but often, especially in multi-floor buildings, the robots aren’t as efficient as our professional cleaning crews.

Large commercial cleaning robots also aren’t ideal for smaller spaces. For instance, they can’t work around desks or even in some narrow hallways. With a focus on consistent, quality results, we aren’t yet able to count on robots to do the job.

Lastly, reliability is a concern. So far, the ones we’ve tested seem to be well-engineered, well-built units. But, every machine needs maintenance and that equates to downtime. Also, robots have to be trained, which means we have to teach our cleaning technicians how to operate them.

The verdict

At this point, commercial cleaning robots aren’t our go-to machines for vacuuming and floor cleaning. They’re costly and somewhat cumbersome. Also, our crews are well trained and efficient to a degree robots haven’t yet matched.

With that said, robotic cleaners are here to stay. They already play a viable role in certain types of facilities, including warehouses. And, they’re only going to get better and more cost effective. I’m optimistic their time to shine (the floor) will come.

About the author

Mike Staver is director of operations at KleenMark, where he oversees a team of more than 800 technicians who clean more than 25 million square feet each day.

Surface disinfection: 3 steps to perfection

Seemingly every week, an organization is putting out new surface disinfection recommendations for every industry under the sun.

Whether it’s the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), local health departments or trade organizations, someone is throwing new guidance your way.

Here’s the secret: While nuanced guidance for your industry is important, effective disinfection in the age of COVID-19 comes down to a time-tested, proven process.

We’ve broken that surface disinfection process into three steps to make your life a little easier. This is the same process our team uses daily, in dozens of facilities.

3-step guide to surface disinfection.

Want more information on a few key topics mentioned here? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered for you, too.


Office matting: 10 reasons it’s better to own than rent (including saving money)

Office matting is the unsung hero of clean facilities everywhere. It captures everything from sand to salt, keeping the rest of your building’s floors free of debris.

The logical thinking is to rent your mats, so an outside organization can replace them regularly. We’ve done our homework, and that logic doesn’t add up.

Owning your matting not only means you get better-quality mats, but it means you save money and keep your building cleaner.

Below are 10 reasons to own your matting rather than renting. We’ve also included a real-life example from a client (kept anonymous to protect their brilliant matting strategy), showcasing savings over three years.

Top-10 reasons to buy office matting rather than rent it

  1. Rental matting doesn’t perform as well and cost more money over time.
  2. High-quality matting removes more dirt and water. That equals better looking floors and lower maintenance costs.
  3. You pay for rental mat replacement even when mats aren’t dirty.
  4. Usually, ROI from purchased matting is achieved in less than one year.
  5. Rental costs go up annually and you’re hit with gas/environmental surcharges.
  6. Buying more effective matting can help you meet green initiatives.
  7. Contract cleaners can deep clean the mats you own for less than a rental company charges.
  8. Mats are cleaned/replaced when needed – NOT when the rental delivery dictates.
  9. High-quality matting doesn’t move and curl. That reduces risk of trips/falls.
  10. More color and design options available with purchased matting, enhance the professional look of your facility.

Real-world cost savings

Below is an example from one of our clients. Depending on how many mats your facility needs, you could see even more savings over three years. Here’s some context: In the example below, about 50 mats were needed. You can see the total dollars saved by eliminating rental costs.

Buying vs Renting Office Matting Costs

If you need mats or want a custom estimate for your facility, reach out to our product expert, Doug Lerch at

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