Ever Wondered About the Similarities Between Disney and Sparkling Image?

January 26, 2010

I know; an odd question.

In the “About” section I talk about the cleaning company I own.  Let me elaborate.  My company is Sparkling Image of Eastern MO and we specialize in deep cleaning of what I call “BioHazard Transfer Zones”.

Everybody else calls them public restrooms!

But believe me, they can be scary places.

The CDC reports that 80% of all cross contamination comes from human “touch points”.  The World Health Organization reports infection as the #3 cause of death in US, but #1 worldwide.  Further, 25 years ago 90% of infections could be controlled by antibiotics.  Today less than 50% can be controlled because the germs have adapted and mutated in response to the antibiotics – and the overuse of antibiotics and antibacterials.

We will scrub every surface in a restroom from floor to ceiling, wall to wall, up the vent, and down the drain.  We scrub grout lines and tile with natural cleaners, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting each restroom.  Most of our customers are restaurants, drug stores, movie theaters, etc.  And, for the most part, you REALLY don’t want to eat in some restaurant where the staff cleans the restrooms…..and I have the before and after pictures to prove it!

So, what are the similarities between Disney and Sparkling Image?  Disney is world renown for its impeccable attention to detail.  They completely understand the connection between clean pathways, clean benches, clean rides, clean restrooms and a pleasant experience.

Our customers also understand the connection between clean kitchens, appealing presentation, great service, clean restrooms and a pleasant experience.  An experience that won’t be ruined by a dirty restroom.

Disney does everything it can within its power to control the experience its customers will receive anytime they come through those gates.  Our customers do the same thing because they understand how important it is for them to offer clean restrooms.  Guests will equate the cleanliness of the restroom to the overall cleanliness of the restaurant.

I am happy to offer a list of our customers if you ask.  Remember, my area is the St. Louis market only.  Then I ask you to patronize those establishments so that you can experience what I am talking about for yourself.  I am sure you will have a wonderful dining experience and the restaurants will appreciate your business.  Then, tell your friends.

You can have a wonderful experience at a Disney property.

And, you can have a wonderful experience here by patronizing the right restaurants, but no roller coasters.


This Can’t be Good

January 26, 2010

According to research by the John Hopkins Children’s Center, toilet seat dermatitis — once thought to be eradicated in developed countries — is making a comeback due to harsh cleaning chemicals and popular wooden toilet seats covered with varnishes and paints.

According to the release, children are susceptible to the irritation — which can cause painful and itchy skin eruptions — after repeated use of wooden toilet seats or those with harsh cleaning chemical residue.

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center investigator Bernard Cohen, M.D. said: “Toilet seat dermatitis is one of those legendary conditions described in medical textbooks and seen in underdeveloped countries, but one that younger pediatricians have not come across in their daily practice. If our small analysis is any indication of what’s happening, we need to make sure the condition is on every pediatrician’s radar.”

Cohen says that toilet seats and cleaners — both at home and school — may be the culprit for irritation.

To prevent toilet seat dermatitis, Cohen recommends: Using paper toilet seat covers in public restrooms; replace wooden toilet seats with plastic ones; cleaning toilet seats and bowls daily; and avoiding harsh cleaners containing skin irritants like phenol and formaldehyde, the story noted.

Researchers also noted that persistently irritated skin can lead to more serious infections.


Did you catch that phrase, “legendary conditions” in his quote?  So, now it’s happening in developed countries and its because of wooden toilet seats and harsh cleaning chemicals.

As an owner of a professional cleaning company, we have often recommended toilet seat covers to protect the user from the spread of disease, but I didn’t realize that we were also protecting people from “legendary conditions.”  Makes it appear as if we were doing SOMETHING right, doesn’t it?

Also, we have been training our customers in the proper use of cleaners and cleaning chemicals as part of our commitment to them.  Its amazing the number of businesses that still think the best way to clean something is with bleach.  Hello?!  Chlorine is one of the more dangerous chemicals known to man!  There is a place for bleach, just not in cleaning toilet seats or restroom floors.  And the point in not using bleach or harsh cleaners for toilet seats is reinforced by the information above.

If you are interested in knowing more about proper cleaning methods and products, submit a comment.

But, please, no more bleach!

Cleaning Surfaces in the Travel Industry

October 8, 2009
Cleaning a surface where an ill passenger had been seated.

Here are some guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control for group tours. The guidance and precautions are solid information and can help the travel industry reduce the risks to all their passengers.

Should a passenger become ill and leave the motorcoach to be treated, CDC advises that the following surfaces should be cleaned at the seat of the ill passenger (or driver) and at adjacent seats in the same row, the backs of the seats in the row in front of the sick passenger’s row or areas that the traveler frequented. Clean surfaces first with detergent and water and then disinfect with an EPA-registered disinfectant for use against influenza viruses. Ensure there is sufficient contact time between the disinfectant and the surface. (Dwell time is HUGE. Most disinfectants are completely worthless if they are not left on the surface long enough to dry.)

Be sure to clean the following surfaces:

Seatbacks (the plastic and/or metal part)
Tray tables
Personal lights and climate controls
Adjacent windows
Individual video monitor
Lavatory(ies) used by the sick traveler: door handle, locking device, toilet seat, faucet, washbasin, adjacent walls and counter
Luggage compartments
Door handles

When cleaning, be sure to:
  1. Wear non-sterile, disposable gloves that are recommended by the manufacturer of the detergent/disinfectant while cleaning the seating area and lavatories or handling cleaning and disinfecting solutions.  Never wash or reuse the gloves.
  2. Dispose of gloves if they become damaged or soiled and, when cleaning is completed, place them in a leak proof (e.g., plastic) bag securely tied shut.
  3. Wear eye protection, such as a face shield or goggles, if splashing is expected.
  4. When cleaning is completed and gloves have been removed, immediately clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel if no soap and water are available. Wash hands with soap and water as soon as they become available. Avoid touching the face with gloved or unwashed hands.
Cleaning frequency & disposal

A change to increased frequency of routine cleaning and disinfection practices may be considered based upon the circumstances of the pandemic.

State and local governments should be consulted for appropriate disposal decisions.

Barring specific state solid or medical waste regulations to the contrary, these wastes are considered routine solid wastes that can be sent to municipal solid waste landfills without treatment.

KMOX – Expert: Swine flu could hit 6 million people in Missouri and Illinois

October 2, 2009

KMOX – Expert: Swine flu could hit 6 million people in Missouri and Illinois

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1 in 3 Stethoscopes Carry MRSA

September 4, 2009

I just found this article from March of this year. It states that there may be as much as week or more before some stethoscopes are properly cleaned.

So, along with my rant about washing your hands, it appears as if the medical community needs to wash their equipment, too.

Many hospitals are now performing staph and/or MRSA tests during pre-admittance to confirm whether the incoming patient is already carrying these bugs. This is done for a couple of reasons: (1) if the patient is positive in these areas before admittance, the hospital has a separate protocol for treatment and cleaning to ensure that it doesn’t spread. (2) the patient can’t come back later, or their attorney more likely, and say the patient caught this particular ailment at the hospital, and sue the hospital and the staff.

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, so hospital screening is a prudent step in any case. Also, it appears that some sort of protocol should be introduced for the cleaning of the basic equipment that all medical personnel use daily.

Read more here: Medicinenet.com

Intramurals changes jersey policy – The Daily Iowan

August 27, 2009

Good article. One of the main points is that MRSA has increased yearly from 2005 to 2008 in people 18 years and younger, according to a study published in BMC Infectious Diseases last month.

“The infection starts off as small red bumps that, if left untreated, can infiltrate the body and infect bones and major organs. This disease has made its way from farms and rural areas to communities and hospitals, increasing the danger of infection.

The risk for students comes in the form of practice or scrimmage jerseys.”

All excellent points in recognizing what is happening and in an additional recommendation on not sharing practice or scrimmage jerseys.

Intramurals changes jersey policy – The Daily Iowan

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Bacteria Busting

August 21, 2009

From an interesting article at Mainstreet.com.

“But the worst kind of Staph, which traditional drugs can’t treat, is called MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It can be found in nursing homes, hospitals and gyms, but it’s relatively rare, and needs to find a break in your skin to invade, then overcome the immune system.”

All that is true, but MRSA is more prevalent than the article will have you believe. It has caused many hospitals in the UK to be completely shut-down for weeks while they deep clean them to remove any trace of MRSA as well as a few other nasty bacteria. It is also much more common in the US than the article will have you believe, but it is simply not be covered like it should to fully inform the public.

The full article is here. Mainstreet.com