floor polishing vs buffing a floor

Buffing vs. Polishing for Commercial Floors

The Differences Between Polishing and Buffing a Floor… and When to Do Which

As a new business or office, you may be wondering about how you should go about cleaning your floors. In large spaces with many employees and customers or clients walking through, it might be needing a good sprucing up soon. We can help with that here at Mayfair Building Services.floor polishing vs buffing a floor

After cleaning your floors, it’s important to give them a good buffing or polishing at least once a month to keep them looking fresh. But what do these mean, and which method should you use? While either buffing or polishing will get the job done, there are clear differences between the two.


What is Floor Buffing?

Sometimes known as spray buffing, buffing uses a buffing machine that contains rotating pads, requiring it to move at a slower pace. Using a spray bottle, you spray the floor with a special solution that will fill in any nicks or cracks in the floor and get rid of smudges. Essentially, you are “buffing in” the solution and creating a nice, new shine.

Floor buffers usually come supplied with buffer pads that are specifically designed to take out any scuffs and other kinds of dirt or various markings. This helps to keep the floors looking their best and maintaining their sheen.

While spray buffing is the most commonly used method, there is also such a thing as dry buffing. Used with machines over 1000 RPM, dry buffing uses the mechanical action of the high speed to smooth the finish and remove marks without using any spray. You can also use this method after you’ve already buffed the floor once or twice with the spray solution. This way you can eliminate any excess spray that might’ve been left, which can leave the floor feeling tacky.

With both spray and dry buffing, the key is to move gently back and forth in a pendulum motion, lingering on scuff marks a bit longer. Make sure not to move the machine too quickly, as you want to allow enough time for proper buffing.

While cleaning should still be done beforehand, buffing is a great way to both clean and polish your floors simultaneously, as the machine contains cleansing bristles in the back. You can think of buffing as a sort of “exfoliation” for your floors.

What Does Floor Polishing Do?

Polishing, or burnishing, is similar to buffing, but not quite as commonly used in commercial cleaning. A polishing machine operates at a much faster pace than a buffing machine. With polishing, you’re basically taking off the top layer of the floor to create an even surface and bring back its glassy shine. 

Just like a buffer, a floor polisher creates a smooth surface on the floor that makes it look cleaner and brand new. But with polishing, the quality of the floor material might actually change a bit more, as an extra substance is added on top to protect it. Polishing tends to give more of that glossy, wet look, so at times, polishing is done after buffing to achieve more of that effect.

It’s also extra important that you prep and do a total clean—dust mop or sweep and then wet mop—before polishing your floor.


Which is better – Polishing a Floor or Buffing a Floor?

Either polishing or buffing is a great way to clean your commercial floors and keep them in top shape. They can even be used interchangeably, as well. On a larger industrial scale, both can get rid of chips and other imperfections, and both require specialized machines and care – particularly on floors with delicate material.

With that being said, polishing uses a heavier process to clear away the bumps and chips. Therefore, if you find that your floors just need a little touch up on some scuffs, buffing might be your best option. It can also depend on the type of flooring you have. Wood or laminate floors can be easily polished, while concrete floors are best cleaned with a concrete floor buffer and a concrete sealer to help improve their lifetime.

However, if you are still unsure which method is best, it’s always better to consult a commercial cleaning professional first so that your floors can last for their optimal time and don’t get accidentally damaged in any way.

If you are looking for a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly clean for your floors or anything else, look no further than our team at Mayfair Building Services. We offer expert janitorial services and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to keep your workplace both squeaky clean and environmentally conscious. Our whole crew is not only trained, certified and specialized in a wide variety of cleaning techniques, but also bonded and insured as well.

If you’re in the greater Vancouver area and need a floor or carpet clean or an all-over deep clean, we can help! Contact us at Mayfair Building Services today to get started and talk with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.

dirty workplace habits

Top 7 Bad Workplace Habits

Unhealthy Workplace Habits Introduce Harmful Germs into Your Workspace

At Mayfair Building Services, we’re experts on clean and we specialize in keeping office spaces and retail spaces at their best. From floor to ceiling, we’ll have your workspace looking and feeling clean and fresh. That said, there are some steps that you and your co-workers can take to ensure that your workplace is a healthy space for everyone. 

Bad Habits in the Workplace Can Impact the Health and Safety of Yourself and Your Colleagues

1. Eating at your deskdirty workplace habits

Experts agree that mindful eating is important for our physical and mental well-being. Not only is skipping your lunch break and wolfing down your sandwich a recipe for indigestion, keyboards are notorious crumb-catchers. Eating at your desk can leave all sorts of debris behind, result in spills and the introduction of bacteria. For meal and snack breaks, give yourself a real break and stretch your legs while you enjoy your food outside of the office. If you need to eat at your desk once in a while, be sure to wipe up all crumbs with a clean, dry microfibre cloth and then sanitize with a clean, damp microfibre cloth. At the end of the day, give it another once-over to be sure there are no “leftovers”.

2. Keeping old food in the communal fridge

Someone is always going to be stuck cleaning out the staff fridge. Maybe it’s the temp, or the intern, or maybe you have a rotating chores list for staff. Forgotten sour cream from the Mexican take out down the street, the half-eaten salad from last week, or even Tina’s tuna sandwich that got shoved to the back of the fridge… these things do not age well. Food that’s past its prime can very easily introduce germs and bacteria into the staff fridge. Not only does it look and smell horrible, but it can contaminate the kitchen, making you sick. Encourage everyone to remove their leftovers and food containers at the end of every workday. Make a rule that the fridge must be emptied out at the end of every week, except for the communal coffee creamer or condiments.

3. Not washing hands after using the bathroom

Not washing your hands after using the washroom can mean that everything you touch afterwards can become contaminated with germs, particularly e-coli. Experts now believe that not washing your hands after using the toilet can be more unhealthy than eating raw meat! So, do yourself and everyone else a favour and always wash your hands with soap and water after you go. Wash between your fingers, your wrists, tops of hands and under your fingernails as well and use a clean paper towel to turn off the faucet and open the door to keep your hands squeaky clean.

4. Not using disinfectants between cleanings

Depending on the schedule you’ve chosen for your janitorial service, you may need to do some DIY disinfecting between cleanings. High touch areas should be given a quick wipe down at the end of the day, or during shift changes. These areas include doorknobs, faucets, light switches, the staff coffee maker, microwave handle and anything else that is frequently touched and used.

5. Going to work while sick

It’s tempting to try to tough it out and not have to use a valuable sick day, but by going to work while ill, you increase the chances of a longer recovery period for yourself. When we’re sick, we feel run down and tired because our body is asking for rest to be able to fight the cold or flu you’re struggling against. Not only that, but chances are good that you’ll spread the illness to your coworkers or boss! No one wants to be exposed to germs at work, so if you’re under the weather, fight the urge to soldier on. Stay home and enjoy your rest.

6. Grooming at your desk

Not only is it strange, but it’s also unhygienic. Filing nails, clipping toenails, brushing hair, doing your makeup, etc… at your desk looks unprofessional. Even if you’re in a rush, your best bet is to practice your grooming routines in the privacy of your own home or the staff bathroom.  Especially if you have a shared workspace, you really won’t want your hair and makeup brushes to touch the desk surface and then touch your face or hands. Also, anything with a scent should generally be left at home. That goes for nail polishes and colognes/perfumes since the scents and ingredients can affect others with sensitivities and allergies.

7. Letting your trash pile up

Your cold-brew cup and straw, snack wrappers, used tissues, and other paraphernalia can quickly fill up a small wastebasket and recycling bin. It’s easy to let it pile up and take it out when it’s full, but for best results, you’ll want to clear out your personal waste at the end of every workday. Insect and vermin love crumbs left from lunch, or those dregs of your 11 am coffee. The last thing you want to deal with while checking the daily reports is an army of sugar ants on the carpet or a pesky housefly buzzing around. Keeping your bins emptied will also reduce the risk of accidentally tipping them over and spreading bacteria and germs that quickly attach themselves to waste. The less garbage at your desk, the better.

Dirty workplaces impact productivity and employee health and morale. When you’re looking for commercial cleaning services for your business, you can trust Mayfair Building Services. Our trained and certified cleaning crew is bonded and insured and specializes in a wide variety of cleaning techniques. 

We also offer eco-friendly cleaning solutions to get and keep your workplace at peak cleanliness, without the use of any harmful chemicals and cleaning products. Whether you need the occasional carpet cleaning or require a frequent and thorough clean, contact us at Mayfair Building Services to discuss your needs with our knowledgeable staff today!

microfibre cleaning cloths

Aren’t All Microfibre Cloths The Same?

Find Out How Microfibre Cloth Works on Different Surfaces

Did you know microfibre cloths can remove 99% of harmful bacteria? Compare that to a conventional cloth, which reduces bacteria by a mere 33%. With the addition of water, you can clean most surfaces without using harmful chemicals. Time to say goodbye to sponges and paper towels! A high-quality microfibre towel can be used hundreds of times, unlike disposable cleaning cloths.

Not only does it save you money, microfibre cleaning cloths also outlast other cleaning cloths. First created in the 1950’s, and developed further in the 1970’s, microfibre began to find its way into the mainstream by the early 1990’s. Today, professional cleaners are using microfibre material more than ever.

What are the Different Types of Microfibre?microfibre cleaning cloths

Over the years various manufacturers have developed specific microfibre products for particular tasks ranging from scrubbing floors and dusting, to cleaning hard surfaces like wood, tile, glass, and stainless steel. These products range from split, to non-split fibre. While high-quality fibre is split during the manufacturing process to produce multi-stranded fibres, non-split is typically disposable or for limited use. While bargain microfibre can have approximately 50,000 fibres per square inch, superior microfibre cloths can have more than 3.1 million fibres per square inch. The difference in quality and longevity can go from 50 washes to 300 washes! 

  • How to tell if it’s split or non-split fibre product: Pour a small amount of water on a surface. If the cloth pushes instead of absorbing water, it’s non-split microfibre. You can also run the cloth over your hand. If it clings to your hand it’s split microfibre.

Typically, microfibre cleaning cloths can be made of 100% polyester or a combination of polyester and polyamide (nylon). The shape, size, and combination of fibres are created for certain characteristics such as: softness, toughness, absorption, water repellency, electrostatics, and filtering ability.

  • Microfibre can be used to make mats, knits, weaves, apparel, upholstery, and industrial filters. 
  • Microfibre is useful for making wallets, handbags, book covers, shoes, cell phone cases and coin purses. It’s lightweight, durability and water repellency make for an ideal leather substitute. 

But how does it work? One strand of microfibre is about 1/5 the diameter of a human hair. These millions of split fibres all help lift and hold dirt, grease, grime, liquids, and bacteria. The fibres include positive-charged polyester and negative-charged nylon that helps attract and sweep away whatever is on the surface.

Unlike cotton, microfibre will leave zero lint behind. Think of microfibre as a million little fingers that work together to pick up debris from various surfaces around your building.

 How to Use Microfibre Cleaning Cloths on Surfaces

When dusting surfaces, be sure to keep the cloth dry. That will maximize the amount of debris that gets lifted up. For other chores, dampen the cloth to wipe surfaces clean.

Try using one section of a cloth at a time. Here’s a little tip: fold the cloth in half, then in half again. This gives you 8 total surfaces for cleaning (4 on each side of the cloth). When the cloth section begins to leave dirt or lint, refold the cloth to a fresh section.

Things to Keep in Mind About Microfibre Cleaning Cloths

  • Microfibres are antibacterial but are not antiviral.
  • Split microfibre cloths are your best choice for effective cleaning. Since it can hold up to 8 times its weight in water, this makes it very helpful during messy cleanups like cleaning spilled food off of countertops. It also leaves a streak-free finish, which is perfect for greasy fingerprints and cleaning the stovetop with no streak residue.
  • Non-split microfibre is basically a soft cloth. These are typically used for facial cleansing, as well as removal of skin oils, sunscreens, and mosquito repellents from optical surfaces such as cameras, phones, and eyeglasses. They effectively remove the oils without smearing. 
  • While microfibre can clean most surfaces, it can be unsuitable for some high-tech coated surfaces such as television screens. 

How to Clean Microfibre Products

One of the many benefits of microfibre cloths is that they’re machine washable. For best results, you should wash your microfiber cloths after every use. Between machine washes, you can easily rinse the cloth in warm to hot running water for about 10 to 15 seconds to flush out the accumulated dirt. 

If the microfibre towel is extra grimy, keep washing until the water begins to run clear. Once rinsed, it’s ready for use again.

Tips for Cleaning Microfibre Towels and Products

  • Always use regular detergent, and don’t use bleach or fabric softener. The bleach can potentially damage fibres, and the softener can clog the fibres. 
  • If cloths have become ineffective or start to smell, simply boil them in water with a ¼ cup of baking soda for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Always follow proper drying instructions. Some products have specific instructions for care.

You might ask, what about potential microfibres being washed and released into the environment? You can purchase special fibre-trapping balls and washing machine filters as a perfect solution.

Why use Microfibre Cloths?

Microfibre towels and cloths are vastly more hygienic than conventional cloths and can help you to avoid using expensive and harmful cleaning products too. While cleaning solutions do break down some dirt and grime, dirt can be missed and chemical residue can be left behind. 

These same cleaning products can cause potential allergic reactions in people and animals. Chemical cleaners can also drain into our rivers and seas, creating water pollution. 

Quality cloths made from microfibre are much more beneficial and cost-effective in the long run. They can be used on countertops, windows, metal, baseboards, any bathroom surface, and various electronics. Make the switch to microfibres today!

Mayfair Building Services Ltd. offers expert janitorial services with over 30 years of experience, available in the Greater Vancouver Area. Whether you need a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly deep clean, carpet clean, window washing and anything else involving clean, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.

ecologo eco-friendly cleaning products

What is an Eco-Friendly Cleaning Company?

How Green Cleaning is Changing the Commercial Cleaning Industry

Eco-friendly cleaning practices are in demand for all types of commercial worksites. At Mayfair Building Services, we provide commercial cleaning for British Columbia businesses ranging from office cleaning to heavy-duty industrial cleaning.

“Green cleaning is arguably the No. 1 trend in the cleaning industry.”- The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association. 

An eco-friendly cleaning company is one that uses eco-friendly materials and natural cleaning products. How “green” you want to be can vary depending on your preferences. Some of our clients prefer to have only environmentally friendly products in use on their worksite. Other clients may want to substitute a few “green” cleaning products in place of cleaners made with harmful chemicals. This might be done in specific areas, like workstations that can benefit from daily hands-on cleaning using non-toxic, environmentally friendly products.

Why Choose Eco-Friendly Cleaning?

There are so many great reasons to choose an eco-friendly cleaning company or a company that utilizes these products. The number one reason – it’s safer. It’s safer for our employees and for your employees, who might be sensitive to harsh chemicals found in chemical cleaners.

Commercial janitorial services have traditionally been an industry where there has been a reliance on heavy-duty chemical-based cleaners. However, as cleaning products with biodegradable formulas have evolved, the use of green cleaners is becoming more common. 

According to cleanlink.com, “The demand for using green products for cleaning is increasing through to 2021 (and) manufacturers of cleaning products for industries and institutions have adhered to the changing societal demands and have started using bio-based ingredients, innovating cleaning products that require less or no water with eco-friendly and recyclable packaging.”

Today, it can be used for all methods of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting in just about any environment.

Many of our clients request our green cleaning service because it gives them peace of mind. Using eco-friendly cleaning products and practices means that:

  • No potentially harmful products are coming into their workplace
  • Usage of petroleum-derived cleaners is reduced or eliminated
  • Their employees are not exposed to the synthetic fragrance added to many cleaning products (a common irritant)
  • They are doing good for the environment by creating less waste, choosing biodegradable products and encouraging practices that use less water
  • They are helping to protect workers’ respiratory health with the use of HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration systems
  • They are helping to protect Mayfair’s employees from prolonged and repeated exposure to VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) found in many solvents
  • They are helping to reduce waste. Many eco-friendly cleaning products have great refill options for spray bottles, refill pods and more. This means there is less plastic waste being sent to landfills. 
  • They are actively helping to reduce the impact to the environment

Examples of Eco-Friendly Products

When thinking of eco-friendly products, some people might automatically think of cleaning with vinegar and half of a lemon. Others might think of the green cleaning products you might find on the shelf at the grocery store. In the case of eco-friendly cleaners for commercial businesses, the products are much different. Though they are controlled and safety tested, these types of solvents are still extraordinarily strong cleaners just like their toxic counterparts. Because of this, they still need to be carefully mixed and measured by a trained professional.ecologo eco-friendly cleaning products

At Mayfair Building Services, we use Dustbane EcoLogo certified products including degreasers, disinfectants, all-purpose cleaners formulated with plant-derived ingredients and more.

We also use high-quality green label certified commercial vacuums with top-of-the-line HEPA filters, eco-friendly microfibre cloths and mops and much more.

Microfibre cloths and mops are extremely effective for removing high amounts of oil and dirt from surfaces, with minimal water needed. After all, saving water is another great way to protect the environment.

How Do Eco-Friendly Cleaners Work?

Early natural cleaners were ineffective at best, and not suited for commercial cleaning. Today, eco-friendly formulas can easily power through the toughest grease and grime, while eliminating harmful bacteria. The enzymes in these new “green” cleaners work by eating away at bacteria. Today’s eco-friendly cleaners have evolved to become some of the most powerful germ and dirt fighters on the market today.

Benefits of eco-friendly cleaners:

  • Free of caustic ingredients
  • Non-corrosive
  • Non-flammable
  • Non-fuming
  • Petroleum free
  • Chlorine free
  • Ammonia free
  • Phosphate free
  • Free of dangerous acids

Apart from using these non-toxic cleaning products formulated with natural ingredients, green cleaning also applies to the equipment and procedures used.

At Mayfair, our WHMIS-trained employees use specific cleaning procedures and equipment specially designed for use with eco-friendly solvents. Altogether, our green cleaning practices help ensure that we’re maintaining a minimal carbon footprint within your workspace.

How Much Does Eco-Friendly Cleaning Cost?

Eco-friendly cleaning is generally more of an investment than traditional chemical-based cleaning. This is because the products themselves cost more and cleaning takes place daily on high-touch surfaces.

This more frequent cleaning routine increases labour costs and the amount of these more expensive cleaners. However, the daily cleaning required with an eco-friendly cleaning regime ensures that the traditionally dirtiest or germiest places in the office are also bacteria-free and sparkling clean.

Choose Mayfair Building Services for Skilled Eco-Friendly Cleaning Services

At Mayfair, we ensure our cleaning staff are fully trained on every aspect of their job, including eco-friendly cleaning practices. Our cleaners and janitors are fully trained in WHMIS to ensure the proper handling of cleaners. They’re also extensively trained in the use of commercial cleaning equipment.

We provide regular inspections and supervision for our clients to ensure services are up to our high standards. Many of our staff have been with us for a long time over our 30 years in business. That track record of mutual trust has led to long contracts with some of Vancouver’s top companies in a wide variety of sectors.

Eco-friendly cleaning is here to stay. If you’ve been curious about how you can make the switch to a “greener” approach to cleanliness in your business, we can get you started. Serving the Greater Vancouver areas of Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey and White Rock, we are happy to work with you to create a schedule that meets both your cleaning requirements and budget. Need daily, weekly, monthly or occasional cleaning services? Contact us today to get started.

Sanitizing Surface

Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting

Know the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting for the Deepest Clean

A clean office is a happy office, and healthy employees are happy and productive employees. Cleaning is not a one-step process and there’s a big difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Each method has its own place when it comes to doing away with harmful germs and bacteria that can make you sick. At Mayfair Building Services, we’re experts on clean! 

Read on to learn more about how to make your workplace as healthy as possible. 

What is Cleaning

Cleaning gets rid of dust, grime, hair and other debris by washing and rinsing. Cleaning can be done with a mild detergent, a mixture of gentle soap and vinegar, or a prepackaged cleaning product meant for the surface. Basic surface cleaning isn’t enough to wipe out harmful bacteria, so any high-touch areas, like food-prep areas should always be cleaned and then sanitized. Cleaning is most suitable for windows and floors and other low-touch areas with less of a risk of transmission of germs, bacteria and fungi. Cleaning means wiping and washing hard or soft surfaces to make it look cleaner, but it can only kill up to 94% of virus-causing bacteria. 

What is Sanitizing

Difference between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Sanitizing is a term used for reducing up to 99.9% of bacteria on soft surfaces. Upholstery, clothing and other porous surfaces are generally cleaned and then sanitized, to kill the most bacteria possible. Most sanitizers require a “dwell time”, which is a period of time to let the sanitizer sit on the surface before rinsing.

Sanitizing can also be done with very hot water (think dishwasher run on “sanitize” mode, a load of laundry washed in very hot water with sanitizing cleaner and steam cleaning carpets and fabrics. Using a steam cleaner or the hottest setting on an appliance to clean porous materials is an effective way to kill bacteria and viruses when it’s not possible to use a disinfecting solution.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the surface can stand up to steam cleaning. Tile floors are an excellent candidate for steam cleaning, while some types of flooring, like laminate and hardwood floors, could become damaged by steam cleaning. 

What is Disinfecting

Disinfecting products are used on non-porous hard surfaces and use chemicals to get rid of all bacteria AND viruses. Surfaces like countertops, doorknobs and keyboards should all be regularly disinfected, especially when shared between colleagues. Disinfecting these types of high-touch surfaces is effective for preventing the spread of illness, like different types of influenza (flu) or rhinovirus (cold). Disinfectant cleaning products (not sanitizers) are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved to destroy bacteria and viruses. 

Combined with a regularly scheduled office / workplace cleaning, disinfecting is a great way to keep your whole office healthy. Between cleanings, it’s always a good idea to wipe down high-touch surfaces, like your desk, with ready-made disinfecting wipes. 

Clean, Sanitize and Disinfect Surfaces for Best Results

As an example, let’s say you’ll be cleaning the microwave in your staff kitchen. These appliances are a haven for bacteria and should be cleaned daily for heavy use and weekly for light use. 

Simply spraying a sanitizing product onto a surface isn’t enough to kill bacteria. The surface must be cleaned well and for best results, all visible dirt and debris must be cleaned thoroughly first. Any debris left behind makes sanitizers and disinfectants less effective and can spread germs around. When using cleaning products, always wear gloves to protect your hands.

  1. Clean and scrub with a mild detergent. Wipe with warm water and a clean microfibre cloth and allow the surface to air dry. Extra dirty surfaces may need extra rounds of cleaning and scrubbing.
  2. Apply (spray or wipe) a sanitizing product, allow the product to dwell for at least 4 minutes or as directed. This is known as dwell or contact time. Wipe the product off with a clean, dry microfibre cloth, unless directed to leave it on.
  3. Finally, apply the disinfectant and allow it to dwell for at least 4 minutes to kill germs. An alcohol-based disinfectant may dry faster than 4 minutes. In this case, apply liberally and leave the surface wet as long as possible. 
  4. Give it a good wipe down with a microfibre cloth if you need to get rid of any residue on the clean surfaces.

Best used as a trio, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants all guard against bacteria and viruses. They’re regulated in Canada by Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). 

When in doubt, the product label will provide valuable information on where and how to use the cleaning product. Or you can leave it to us. Our team is specifically trained in commercial and industrial cleaning service. As a result, they know exactly which products and which dilutions to use in your workspace, completely eliminating any guesswork.

Trained in commercial and industrial cleaning, our experts at Mayfair Building Services can provide one-time or routine cleaning for your workplace. With over 30 years of experience, our professional, fully trained and certified employees can handle every cleaning task, from floor to ceiling, inside and out. From carpets to windows, you can trust in our expertise to get your workspace as clean and healthy as possible. We serve the entire Greater Vancouver area including Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley and White Rock. Contact our Burnaby office today at (604) 439-0312 to book your first appointment today.

how to clean hardwood floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Other Wood Flooring Maintenance Tips

Many higher-end commercial office spaces and heritage buildings feature hardwood floors. Hardwood floors definitely add a timeless beauty to any office or retail setting, but we know it can feel a bit intimidating when it comes time to clean them. Hardwood floors do need to be given a bit more TLC than standard laminate flooring, but it’s relatively easy for you or a professional cleaner like Mayfair Building Services to get and keep your wood floors looking their best. All that’s needed are gentle cleaning and refinishing products, some know-how and a bit of elbow grease.

In this article, we’ll guide you in the best ways to prevent damage, clean, and erase unsightly marks on the natural wood flooring in your workspace.

how to clean hardwood floors

Prevent Wear and Tear of Hardwood Floors

Protect Your Flooring

Taking the proper steps to protect hardwood floors from daily wear and tear will go a long way to preventing scrapes and scuffs.

  • Task chairs should be outfitted with hardwood casters, specially designed to prevent scratching or scuffing.
  • Task chairs can also be used with plastic protective floor pads or low pile floor mats. If you’ve got some carpeting, look at our helpful post on how to clean and maintain the carpeting around your office.
  • Other pieces of furniture like waiting room chairs and coffee tables should always have felt floor protectors applied to the bottoms of the furniture legs, since they get moved around quite a bit.
  • Over time, clients getting up and pushing the chair back and forth could result in quite a bit of scuffing and scratching on hardwood floors. In that same vein, when moving furniture, you’ll want to pick it up and avoid dragging it whenever possible.
  • Add a welcome mat, a heavy-duty rug and a good solid boot tray/shoe tray by the front door. This will help keep dirt, water and mud off the flooring.

Sweep Daily and Vacuum Weekly

A quick daily sweep and a weekly or bi-weekly vacuum will keep your floors looking fresh and prevent damage from dirt and dust.

  • Before vacuuming or sweeping, go over the flooring with a dry mop or Swiffer-type sweeper. This will attract any hair, dust and dirt.
  • Next, vacuum with a floor brush attachment. For wooden floors, you’ll want to avoid using a powerhead or beater bar, which can scratch the wood.
  • Vacuuming should be done weekly or biweekly, depending on the volume of traffic through your business.

Deep Clean Hardwood Floors as Needed

It’s a good idea to do a deep seasonal clean to remove dirt and oil build-up. This grime can dull the finish and durability of the flooring over time.

  • After you vacuum, use a good wood floor cleaner and saturate a mop (sponge or rag) well. Let the cleaner sink into the fibres.
  • Wring out the mop really well so it only feels slightly damp. This is important because you don’t want to have any standing water left on the floor.
  • Damp-mop, working from the back of the office to the front, making sure to get underneath furniture and in corners.
  • Rinse and wring out as often as needed. Depending on the size of your office, you may need to change your water.
  • If the cleaning product recommends a fresh-water rinse, use a second mop rinsed in clean water.
  • To speed the drying process for your newly clean floors, turn on the air conditioner or ceiling fans.

Removing Marks from Hardwood Floors

Despite our best efforts, wood floors do get marked up from time to time. Because wood is so durable, however, this is an easy fix. The key is to know the finish of your floor to be able to safely remove the mark.

  • If the stain is sitting on the surface, the wood likely has a urethane or polyurethane finish, which is a hard finish that stays on top of the wood.
  • If you’re working in an older building or a heritage building, the original flooring is likely to be oil finished. If the stain has spread through to the wood, you can bet it’s a soft oil finish.

Removing Marks from a Hard Urethane Finish

The best choice for removing marks from modern hardwood flooring is a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions, sandpaper, steel wool or any other gritty material, since these will damage the finish. A good, gentle cleaner is all you really need to remove a surface stain.

Removing Marks from a Soft Oil Finish

This is a bit more complex and can involve some staining, waxing and buffing. If you’re really stuck, call us at Mayfair Building Services for advice or to schedule your floor cleaning service.

Heel Marks- Floor wax and very fine steel wool make short work of those pesky heel marks. Use the steel wool to gently rub in the floor wax, and it will gently scrub away the markings.

Oil-based Stains-Use a soft cloth and gentle dishwashing soap to cut the grease. Rinse the soap with a soft cloth dampened with clear water. This might take a couple of applications. Once the damp spot has dried, you’ll see raised grain. Gently buff the raised grain of the wood and finish up with stain if needed.

Pet stains or Dark Spots- Did the office pet have an accident? Just rub the spot with very fine steel wool and floor wax. If you still see a dark spot, let a small bit of vinegar soak into the wood. This should completely lift the stain. If not, try bleach once the vinegar has completely dried. Finish up by rinsing with a clean damp cloth.

Water Marks- Use your trusty steel wool and floor wax here too. If the stain has saturated the floor, you can very lightly sand the floor using a fine grit paper. Clean the rest of the stain with your fine steel wool and mineral spirits.

Professional hardwood floor cleaning, deep office cleaning, pressure washing and more —at Mayfair Building Services, we do it all. Whether you need daily, weekly or monthly office or industrial maintenance and cleaning, our team is expertly trained to handle any mess you can throw our way. Contact us at our Burnaby, BC office via email or by phone at (604) 439-0312 to schedule an initial consultation and join our growing list of happy clients.

pressure washing vs power washing vs soft washing

What’s the Difference Between Power Washing, Pressure Washing & Soft Washing?

Should You Choose Pressure Washing, Soft Washing or Power Washing for the Exterior of Your Home or Business?

Soft washing, power washing and pressure washing and are all effective methods for cleaning the exterior of your home or business. Are you tired of scraping your mossy roof every year, dredging through the gutters and endlessly scrubbing your siding? Are your clients walking into your office under an unattractively stained awning? All these things take away from the curb appeal of your home and business, making it look unkempt and uncared for – not the first impression you want to make!

When it comes to cleaning the exterior components of your home or business, it’s important to know whether power, pressure or soft washing is the best method. Otherwise, you risk a torn awning, damaged siding, and more of a mess than you started with. This is why it’s always a good idea to bring in a professional cleaning company for these big exterior cleaning jobs.

At Mayfair Building Services, we’re that company! We offer a wide variety of exterior cleaning services for residential and commercial settings. Beyond looking great, your home or industrial facility will be sanitized and free of pests, moss, lichen and other organisms that can age and damage the exterior of a building.

What is Power Washing?

Commonly confused with pressure washing, power washing is a more heavy-duty method of using pressure to clean hard surfaces. It uses pressure and extremely hot water to easily blast away mold, mildew and grime from solid outdoor surfaces like asphalt and concrete. Power washing is highly recommended for larger spaces, since it can get the job done faster. Visit homes.com for a quick read on what you should know before you power wash anything.

What is Power Washing Used For?pressure washing vs power washing vs soft washing

  • Cleaning grease and stuck on stains from the driveway and garage floor
  • Weed- killing (the extremely hot water can destroy weeds without the use of chemicals)
  • Washing salt off driveways and sidewalks
  • Removing dried on items like chewing gum
  • Clearing mold and mildew from patios and decks
  • Clearing dirt and grime from hard outdoor surfaces like:
  • Cement
  • Brick
  • Parking lots
  • Rock
  • Sidewalks

What is Pressure Washing?

Commercial pressure washing uses a powerful hose and pump to blast surfaces clean. Unlike the electric or smaller gas-powered pressure washers that are marketed for residential use, commercial pressure washers are much more effective. Unlike their power washing counterpart, pressure washers typically use cold water. As with power washers, it’s important to know how to properly operate them to prevent property damage or injury.

What is Pressure Washing Used For?

  • Weedkilling (weeds will be blasted away, but they will come back quicker than if they were treated with hot water)
  • Clearing dirt and grime from hard outdoor surfaces
  • Cement
  • Brick
  • Parking lots
  • Rock
  • Sidewalks

Never Pressure Wash or Power Wash These Surfaces:

  • Painted or stained surfaces (unless you’re intentionally stripping them)
  • Fabrics and tarps
  • Playground equipment
  • Patio furniture
  • Gutters
  • Wooden surfaces (decks, furniture)
  • Electrical panels and equipment
  • Vehicles
  • Areas that cannot dry out easily (this will introduce mould and mildew)
  • Windows or glass panels
  • Old mortar
  • Light fixtures
  • Soffits

Applying a high-pressure jet of water to soft surfaces like siding, fabrics, loose gravel, etc. can be disastrous. Jets of water under the siding damage the siding materials and can let water up into the soffits, into the insulation and into the attic. This creates a breeding ground for mould inside the building.

What is Soft Washing?

Soft washing is a gentler method for removing algae, mildew, moss and mould from the entire exterior of a building. It’s used to clean and disinfect textiles like awnings and boat canvas where pressure washing would cause damage. It’s also a longer-lasting solution, keeping your exterior clean and sanitized up to 4-6 times longer than power washing or pressure washing.

With a combination of eco-friendly cleaners and a lower pressure wash, it’s a longer-lasting system. When our expert team soft washes a home, it lasts 4-6 times longer than with traditional power or pressure washing. Your mossy roof and slimy gutters are no match for soft washing.

  1. First, we spray on a solution of environmentally friendly cleaners. We use half the pressure and less water than a pressure or power washer.
  2. Next, we let the surfaces soak to let the cleaners get down deep to the trouble spots and lift up tough grime. As it soaks, the surfaces are sanitized.
  3. Finally, we rinse off the cleaning solution, again using a lower pressure that will not harm siding, gutters or any softer surfaces.

What is Soft Washing Used For?

  • Awnings
  • Gutters
  • Roofs
  • Asphalt (flat and tiled)
  • Cedar shakes
  • Clay tiles
  • Cement
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • PVC
  • Slate
  • Plinths
  • Siding
  • Signs
  • Stucco

Are you thinking about spring cleaning but you’re already dreading dragging out the ladder? Give us a call. At Mayfair, our experienced and fully trained team offers complete cleaning services inside and out. We’ve been serving happy customers in the Greater Vancouver area for over 30 years now!

From cleaning your commercial windows to power washing residential / commercial driveways, we can handle anything that’s needed to clean and beautify your home or business. We schedule our services to work around your lifestyle and schedule, whether you need a one time, weekly, monthly, or annual deep clean inside and out. Contact us to speak to our friendly staff and book an appointment today.

cleaning your computer keyboard

How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

Tips on Keeping Your Computer and Desk Area Clean

Some experts say keyboards are even dirtier than the toilet. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Because keyboards are such a high touch item, it’s important to keep them as clean as possible. This will help keep everyone protected from the bacteria and microbes that make us sick.cleaning your computer keyboard

Particularly in shared desk environments, you’ll want to make sure that the keyboard at your desk is cleaned and sanitized. The good news is that cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard and desk space only takes a few minutes each day. Another thing to keep in mind is that a dirty work area has also been shown to decrease employee morale and productivity.

If the keyboard at your desk is dusty, sticky and full of crumbs, follow these steps to get it looking and feeling fresh again.

What You’ll Need

  • Clean microfibre clothes (1 damp with water, 1 to use with disinfectant, 1 dry)
  • Can of compressed air meant for use with electronics.
  • Toothbrush, clean mascara brush, toothpick, Q-Tip or whatever you have on hand to reach between the keys.
  • Cleaning slime or clear tape.

Best Way to Clean an External Keyboard

  1. First, you want to clean dust debris from between the keys. To do this, use a can of compressed air with a narrow nozzle. These are specially designed for sensitive electronics since they clear out crumbs and other “junk” without the use of chemicals or moisture.
  2. Hold your keyboard at a 75-degree angle and spray the compressed air from left to right in a zigzag pattern.
  3. To clear out anything left behind, unplug the keyboard if needed. Gently flip it over and tap the bottom. This should dislodge anything left behind.
  4. Give it another once-over with the compressed air.
  5. Next, dampen a clean microfibre cloth with water and gently wipe the tops of the keys.
  6. For any of that stuck on residue, take a Q-tip or clean mascara brush and gently brush each side of the keys.
  7. Finally, use your favourite disinfectant and wipe the keys with the damp cloth.
  8. Let dry for 5 minutes and then gently wipe with a fresh microfibre cloth.

Best Way to Clean an Internal (Laptop) Keyboard

  1. Turn off your laptop.
  2. Very gently flip your laptop upside down.
  3. Use a can of compressed air to blow debris out from between the keys.
  4. Adjust the angle of the keyboard and spray from left to right in a zigzag pattern.
  5. Use cleaning slime or clear tape to gently pick up any debris or grime left behind.
  6. Give the keypad a gentle wipe with a clean lightly damp cloth.
  7. Wipe the keys with your favourite disinfectant.
  8. Let dry for 5 minutes and then gently wipe with a fresh microfibre cloth.

How to Keep Your Keyboard Clean

You’ll want to wash your hands after all meal and bathroom breaks. The germs from our hands like to latch onto surfaces like a keyboard (lots of places to hide!) Also, the naturally occurring oils on our skin can degrade the print on the buttons over time. Have you ever noticed certain keys have a shiny finish to them? That’s caused by the oils on our fingers.

Try not to eat at your desk. You need and deserve a proper break and it’s much more hygienic to eat in a space meant for meal breaks. Otherwise, you’re more than likely to find coffee drippings or those toppings from your “everything” bagel embedded between the keys.

Crumbs accumulate so quickly and can really muck up a computer keyboard. If you really don’t have an option, try a keyboard cover or “skin” to shield the keyboard from any debris. A good quality silicone skin can also be thrown in the dishwasher or hand washed and you can choose any style or colour to personalize your laptop or desktop computer.

You’ll want to sanitize your keyboard (and mouse) daily. Keeping your bleach solution on hand for a quick wipe down before you leave for the day is an easy way to maintain a clean workspace. Alternatively, you can use pre-soaked sanitizing wipes. Any of the high touch areas at your desk and around the office can benefit from a daily sanitizing.

This daily sanitizing has a hidden benefit: it keeps clutter at bay. It’s easier to clean a tidy desk space, so you’ll be more likely to keep items tucked away and organized. This, in turn, will make it easier to do your job.

Other High Touch Areas That Should Be Cleaned Regularly

  • Headsets
  • Keyboard shelf
  • Desk surface
  • Phone
  • Doorknobs
  • Stationary trays and pencil holders

While you’re in the mood to clean your desk space, PC Mag has an excellent article on how to clean all your electronics, from mobile phones to smart speakers.

Since a full-time office job means you spend upwards of 40 hours a week at or near your workstation, keeping it tidy and germ free goes a long way towards keeping you and everyone around you healthy. At Mayfair Building Services, we’ve been serving the Greater Vancouver area for over 30 years, specializing in commercial office cleaning. Whether you’re looking for daily, weekly or monthly janitorial services, we will work with your schedule and budget to create a solution that works best for you. Curious? Give us a call or send us an email  to get a free quote today.

bad cleaning company using residential stone cleaner

8 Ways to Tell Your Cleaning Company Isn’t Doing a Good Job

Your Office Might Look Tidy, But Is It Really Clean?

Regular office cleaning is an investment in the health and safety of your staff. Beyond health and safety, the image that your business presents is especially important for its reputation. If you feel like your workplace isn’t clean enough, listen to that gut feeling.

Commercial cleaning businesses should always leave the building fresh and spotless. Their job is to go beyond the basic tidying up. Industry trained staff can get at all the grit and grime that builds up throughout the busy workdays. If the carpets still look dingy or you’re noticing dust in hidden corners, you may not be getting your money’s worth and your carpets might be susceptible to germs. Read on for 8 ways to tell whether the company you’ve hired is white – glove worthy or not.

 

1. They Don’t Have Insurance

This is a must. Commercial cleaners must have insurance to protect you (and them) from anything that might happen while on the job. They should also have comprehensive insurance. This should cover transportation, worker’s compensation, liability and include an umbrella policy. Be sure to verify any insurance policy so you know your company is covered.

 

2. They Don’t Use Commercial Grade Products

bad cleaning company using residential stone cleaner

Commercial settings call for cleaning products tailored to each area. A reputable janitorial company will use the highest-quality cleaning products and tools. Household products are only meant for lower-traffic residential settings. In any business setting, you’ll need specially formulated products.

 

3. They’re Rushing Through the Job

Which brings us to our next point. If the team seems like they’re in a rush, it’s possible that you’re not getting the sanitized, fresh environment you need and expect. When your cleaners come in to vacuum and shampoo the carpets, they need ample time to follow proper procedures.

If they’re hurrying, areas are likely to be missed. This could mean that high touch points like doorknobs aren’t disinfected. It could also mean that they’re skipping carpet cleaning or vacuuming. Read our blog for some great tips on how to keep the carpet looking great between scheduled cleanings.

It’s important that enough time is scheduled for the thorough clean needed for your workplace. Some cleaning products and chemicals need time to absorb and settle before they’re wiped off. If this isn’t happening, you’re not getting the clean you need. Life happens, but a quality cleaning service should always be on schedule so there’s no need to rush.

 

4. The Janitorial Closet is Messy and Not Properly Stocked

Look at the supply closet. Is it restocked with paper towel, toilet paper, garbage bags and other daily use products? If this is part of your contract, your janitorial company should be restocking these items.

Also look at the condition of the tools being used. Equipment like mops, brooms, sponges and any other accessories should be replaced often. They should also not have any major signs of wear or tear. For example, if your mop head is discoloured and stringy, it needs to be replaced asap.

If cleaning products are kept on site, they should be topped up after each visit. Time spent re-mixing chemicals and hunting down the proper tools takes away from time spent on your next appointment. This means that the cleaning professionals might be having to rush to get to the next job.

 

5. They Can’t or Don’t Work With Your Schedule

There are few things more disruptive than being invaded by office cleaners in the middle of a task. If an employee is on the phone or finishing up a client meeting, it can be distracting to have the environment change.

For everyone’s sake, it’s a good idea to schedule between office hours. This will let the cleaning team have full access to each room and surface. If this isn’t possible, it will be tough for them to be able to meticulously scrub and sanitize all the areas that need it. For best results, try to schedule your appointments for a time when the office is empty.

 

6. You Don’t Often See the Same Faces

Some companies may have a lot of turnover, which is a red flag. If their employees aren’t happy, they won’t feel dedicated to the task at hand. Companies who are constantly losing employees also tend to suffer from reduced manpower. This increases the workload for the cleaners while also decreasing the time spent taking care of your space.

This also makes it hard to ensure that each team member is properly trained. Janitorial service staff who are familiar with a space will know the best way to wash and sanitize each area most effectively. Having been to the building many times before, they’ll have a solid routine.

 

7. You Notice Cleaning Product Residue

When you open shop in the morning, you need to be able to snap into your routine, without having to worry about cleaning residue or streaky glass. The last thing you want is to have to do a tidy-up job after the janitorial staff has come and gone. If this is happening, you’re not getting the quality you deserve.

 

8. They’re Hard to Reach

If you have questions or concerns and are unable to communicate with the company, this is a problem. A company that was all too happy to start a contract with you should be available to answer any questions you may have. Anything else signals complacency and this is a sign that they may not value you as a customer.

Communication should be easy and you should be able to quickly resolve any issues. If you’re feeling forgotten, it might be time to look elsewhere for your cleaning services.

 

If your cleaning company isn’t meeting your expectations, look to Mayfair Building Services for outstanding commercial cleaning services. With over 30 years of experience, our professional, fully trained and certified employees can handle everything from industrial cleanup to office floor cleaning. We also offer 24/7 emergency services for complete peace of mind. We serve the entire Greater Vancouver area including Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley and White Rock. Contact our Burnaby office today at (604) 439-0312 to get started.

happy staff in a clean office environment

Office Cleanliness is Linked to Employee Morale

Clean Workspace = Happy Staff

You know that feeling you get when you’ve just done a deep clean of your home? The air is fresher, the surfaces shine and you feel at ease? That’s the effect a sparkling clean office can have too. Since employees spend 40 hours (minimum) in the workplace each week, it makes sense that a hygienic and healthy workplace is linked to higher employee morale. After all, healthy employees are happy!

How Can Cleanliness Boost Morale?happy staff in a clean office environment

A cluttered desk can make it nearly impossible to find what’s needed to complete a task. Employees end up wasting time searching through drawers and cupboards. Time wasted hunting down basic items and necessary documents is time that can be spent doing their important work. Clutter also has a very real impact on stress levels and the ability to concentrate.

A dank and dusty workplace that’s cluttered and hard to navigate also impacts employee motivation and productivity. In fact, a study done by Harvard University looked at student productivity when working in spaces with various levels of mess and clutter. Interestingly, this study found that the students who worked in a workspace free of clutter were able to work 7.5 minutes longer than those trying to work in a cluttered space. The research concluded that a messy workspace can “undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks.”- i.e. make it hard to concentrate and work effectively.

A similar study on the impact of cleanliness on employee productivity was completed by Horrevorts, Ophem and Terpstra of Wageningen University in the Netherlands. This study goes into detail about the effect of a clean, organized workspace on the influence of employees working in office environments.

Cleanliness Boosts Your Business’ Curb Appeal

Not only is cleanliness essential for happy and productive employees, a tidy office also presents your business in the best light possible. When customers and potential clients walk in, you want them to see a light and airy space that is clean and well organized. This shows them that your business has it together and you’re running a reputable company.

Think about the last time you popped into a store or an office. What was your first impression and how did this affect your feeling about the company overall? If employees were peeking out from behind piles of paperwork, fixtures appeared dusty and carpets stained or torn, you might not have felt particularly comfortable or welcomed. In contrast, you likely feel much more confident visiting a store or office that is clean and organized.

Cleanliness Helps Prevent Illness

In these unprecedented times, cleanliness is essential for keeping our friends and family healthy. Our work family is no different and at Mayfair Building Services, we know that your frontline workers are essential to your businesses’ well-being. Keeping common areas like reception areas, kitchens and bathrooms sparkling clean and germ free is key to preventing illnesses like Covid-19, various strains of the flu, food-borne illnesses or even just the common cold.

Clean carpets and tidy desks not only create a comfortable environment for your employees, they also improve air quality and the ability to focus. Poor air quality can lead to headaches, trigger asthma attacks, spread illness and just really ruin a person’s day.

According to Statistics Canada, workers based in Vancouver, BC were absent 7.9 days out of the year due to common illness. Illnesses picked up at work can be largely preventable with regular cleaning and maintenance. Items like phones, desk surfaces and even the coffee pot handle are all hot spots for germs. For more on this, check out our previous post on the dirtiest places in the office.

Cleanliness Reduces the Risk of Accidents and Injury

Items left on the floor, debris on the carpet or spills in the kitchen can all lead to slips and falls, as well as potential injury to your staff members. As with illness, this can result in unplanned time off, which can end up impacting their income and ability to work (as well as your bottom line). In the end, workplace accidents create stress and anxiety for everyone. To prevent this, any tripping hazards should be cleaned up right away.

How to Maintain a Clean Workspace

Educate your employees on the importance of keeping their desks and workspaces clean. Particularly where employees desk-share, encourage them to wipe off and sanitize their desktop, keyboard, mouse and phone after every shift. Encourage everyone to remove their food from the staff room fridge and if it’s an option, sweep up any messes created between your cleaning appointments. Make sure the coffee pot is washed out, the dishwasher is turned on, any dirty rags are sent to be laundered and countertops are wiped and sanitized.

Your employees can also ensure that any loose documents or folders are filed often, to prevent piles from building up and toppling over. This will all take about 5 minutes to do before everyone heads home. This quick and easy daily refresh will make a big difference and make it so much nicer to come back to the next day.

A Clean Environment Will Generally Stay Clean

When the office is sparkling clean and decluttered, visitors and employees are much more likely to be influenced to keep it that way. Papers will find their way to the recycling bin much quicker, spills will be swept or mopped up when they happen and most people will want to keep the workspace feeling as great as it does right after a thorough cleaning.

Need a clean sweep? At Mayfair Building Services, we’re experts in commercial cleaning and provide everything from floor cleaning to industrial construction cleanup. We focus on making your workplace as healthy and clean as it can be. Whether you need a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly deep clean, we have been experts in the commercial janitorial industry for over 30 years in the Metro Vancouver region. Contact us to book your appointment today.

tips for cleaning tile and grout

Cleaning Tile Floors

Best Way to Clean Tile Floors: Tile & Grout Cleaning Tips

Tile floors can create a higher end look while standing up well to the wear and tear of daily traffic. Unlike carpet, they are easier to clean and much simpler to keep free of dust, germs and allergens. And unlike with laminate flooring, you don’t have to worry about any moisture seeping into the sub core, which can cause warping or discolouration.

No matter what type of flooring is in your workplace, we can help. As professional cleaners, we clean all vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile, hardwood, concrete and engineered hardwood flooring – so you don’t have to worry about the right method or right materials.tips for cleaning tile and grout

Tips for Cleaning Tile Flooring

Cleaning tile floors can be done quickly and easily with all-purpose cleaner or mild dish soap. If you’ve been finding that your tile is holding on to stubborn stains and stuck on debris, that surface debris could be damaging the surface coating of the tiles themselves. If this is the case, it’s important to ensure that dry and wet cleaning of tile flooring is on the cleaning roster for your commercial space.

Sweep or vacuum your floors 3-4 times per week, especially in high traffic areas like the entryway or staff kitchen. This keeps the floors clean and helps prevent stuck-on-staining that can be tough to remove, leading to dingy-looking floors. Mop the floor at least once a week as well.

The cleaning process for each type of tile varies, so it’s important to note what type of tiles you have in your space, well before you bring out the mop.

How to Clean Your Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tile floors do best when cleaned with warm water and a few drops of mild dish soap. You can also use your favourite all-purpose cleaner, or even a bit of white vinegar to help dissolve staining on the tiles or grout.

Step 1: Move any furniture and rugs off the floor and carefully sweep each section of the floor with a broom. You can vacuum with a soft brush attachment afterwards, to pick up anything that may have been left behind.

Step 2: Grab two buckets (one for rinsing and one for the cleaner). Have you ever seen someone use the same mop and bucket and spread dirty water around over and over? It doesn’t get anything cleaner and it doesn’t remove germs or bacteria. For the best results and a reliable clean, make sure you use two buckets and refill your cleaning bucket when the water starts to look muddy or grey.

Step 3: Choose your cleaner. Ceramic tiles can withstand the acidity of white vinegar, which is quite useful for stain removal when mixed with warm water.

To make a great stain remover, try this solution:

In a clean spray bottle, mix 2.5 Tbsp of mild dish soap with 1 C of white vinegar. Fill a bucket with warm water.

With your spray bottle, spray the stains with the mixture of vinegar and dish soap. Let it sit for just a minute and then use your clean, damp mop to scrub the tile. For dirty grout, you may want to use a stiff brush to really get into the crevices.

Step 4: If using regular all-purpose cleaner, simply let the cleaner sit for 2 minutes and then use your damp, clean mop to scrub the floors. If you have a textured floor, a string mop will work best. For a smooth floor, a sponge mop or mop with a microfibre pad will be more effective.

Step 5: Rinse your clean mop and make another pass over the floor, working section by section. Here it’s important to note that no matter how good your cleaner is, it can sometimes leave a filmy residue behind. After you’ve mopped each section, take the time to dry and buff the tiles with a soft cloth. Drying the tiles will help bring out their natural sheen and help them stay cleaner longer.

Step 6: Rinse out both buckets and let your mop dry thoroughly. You’re done!

How to Steam Clean Tile Floors

Tile flooring can be easily steam cleaned for in-between maintenance.

For smaller spaces, you might be able to get away with a steam mop designed for home use, but it shouldn’t be used in place of a mop if you have a very dirty, stained tile floor.

To use a steam mop on tile flooring, follow these steps:

Step 1: Move furniture and any floor coverings off the floor.

Step 2: Sweep or vacuum with a soft-brush attachment. Steam mops do their best work when the floor has no debris left behind.

Step 3: Keep several clean mop pads on hand to avoid having any dirt or debris smeared around as you steam mop.

Step 4: Keep the steam mop moving as you wash, taking care not to let it idle on any one spot. If you need to leave the room, make sure to turn off the mop, just for safety’s sake.

Step 5: For a more thorough cleaning, make multiple passes across the floor, working section by section.

Step 6: When you’re done, pop the steam mop pads into the wash. Generally, they are just washed with other white and light-coloured items. Hang them to dry to prevent any shrinkage, and they’ll be ready to go for next time.

*Tile floors can be incredibly slick when wet, so always be sure to put a wet floor sign down or block access to any wet flooring.

The routine maintenance of your office flooring is relatively simple, but you might quickly find that it makes more sense to bring in a professional, with commercial quality equipment. This way, you no longer have to worry about scrubbing grout and removing pesky stains from tile flooring, or getting the carpets perfectly clean and sanitized. Our certified cleaning professionals can create a commercial cleaning plan and schedule that perfectly suits your needs and leaves your workspace sparkling. Contact Mayfair and our expert cleaning team today to discover how we can help.

carpet cleaning vancouver area

10 Easy Carpet Care Tips and Tricks

Why Office Carpet Care and Maintenance Matters

Just like the paint colours, furnishings, textiles and lighting that you’ve so carefully chosen, the flooring in an office can go a long way towards creating a great first impression. Carpeted flooring can add warmth while also add a feeling of luxury, fun or comfort to your office space.

As the most used piece of décor in the office, the carpet and rugs in the space take a beating. Floor coverings are walked on almost constantly, particularly in very high-traffic entrance areas. All this daily wear and tear combined with office pets, spilled coffee, forgotten crumbs and mystery stains from that office party can all add up to one ugly carpet. A discoloured and flattened carpet affects the look and feel of your office space and can even turn off potential clients and visitors.

Clean Carpets Protect Employee Healthcarpet cleaning vancouver area

More than that, dirty carpets harbour dust and problem-causing allergens. Because office workers generally don’t kick their shoes off at the door, carpets in commercial buildings can be havens for germs, dust mites, and even the flu virus.

Employees who are sniffling, sneezing and suffering with poor air quality are also likely to be much less productive. Did you know that according to Stats Canada, in 2019, Vancouver-based workers were absent 7.9 days out of the year due to illnesses? Even if they are in the office, employees suffering from poor air quality likely can’t function at their best. Considering employees spent 40+ hours in the office every week and about 90% of their time indoors overall, indoor air quality is very important.

Thankfully, as well as creating a fresh, hygienic environment, regular carpet care can contribute to a healthier workplace overall.

10 Easy DIY Solutions Using Basic Products

If you’re between full carpet cleanings or just have a small stain to take care of, try these tips:

What you’ll need:

  • Lint roller
  • Squeegee
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Ice cubes
  • Spoon
  • Clean white towel
  • Spray bottle

 

  1. Use a lint roller or a damp squeegee to pick up extra crumbs and hairs from carpet. This works great for office upholstery like waiting room chairs and sofas in the lounge areas.
  2. Vacuum slowly. If your office has a vacuum for quick jobs, pass slowly over each area 5-6 times to ensure you get as much of the ground in dirt and debris out as possible.
  3. Pre-treat stains with water and vinegar. Mix 3 parts water and 1-part vinegar then lightly spray onto the stain. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
  4. Always blot instead of rubbing. Blot a stain from the outside in, making sure to remove any solids before pre-treating the stain. This will keep the stain from spreading.
  5. Office pet had an accident? Baking soda can help. Sprinkle plenty of baking soda over the urine to absorb the smell. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then blot before vacuuming.
  6. Use a 1:1 water/vinegar mixture to help fluff up flattened areas of carpet. Just spray onto the carpet and run a spoon sideways on the carpet to help bring the carpet fibers back to life.
  7. If you’ve moved the office furniture and are now looking at impressions in the carpet from where the chairs and desks once sat, try an ice cube. Put an ice cube on the dents and let them melt. Blot the water and once dry, use the spoon trick above to fluff up the fibers.
  8. For solid spills, scrape off as much of the solids as you can before adding any kind of cleaning product.
  9. Gum in the carpet? An ice cube can help with this one too. Hold an ice cube over the gum for a minute or so, or until the gum has hardened. Once it’s hard, you should be able to scrape most of it off the carpet.
  10. Mist lightly when spot-cleaning and always blot moisture from the carpet afterwards. Leaving damp spots can lead to mildew and mold growth in the carpet, carpet pad and flooring.

Commercial Carpets Require Commercial Cleaning Solutions

Regular cleaning and vacuuming are the best ways to extend the life of your carpets, particularly in high traffic areas like entrances. Choosing when and how often to clean your carpet is an individual decision, but there are some basic things to keep in mind, such as the colour, density, material and pile of the carpet.

Protect your investment. Regular carpet cleaning will keep the air free of allergens and toxins, creating a fresh, clean working environment. Remember that proper deep carpet cleaning requires the specialized equipment and training of a pro. Mayfair Building Service’s reliable and professional carpet cleaners are fully trained and have years of experience, certification and first-hand knowledge of our industrial equipment and solutions.

Looking for professional carpet care in the Lower Mainland (Vancouver, Langley, White Rock, Surrey, Burnaby & Coquitlam)? We will work with you to create a convenient cleaning schedule. You can choose carpet cleaning as a standalone service or as part of a regularly scheduled cleaning package. As well as commercial carpet cleaning, we offer commercial floor cleaning, full office cleaning, window cleaning and more. Contact Mayfair Building Services today for a free quote on any of these services.

Dirtiest places in the office - desktop

The Dirtiest or Germiest Places in the Office

These Areas Should be the Focus of your Office Cleaning Efforts

The average office worker spends 40+ hours a week at the office, so it’s important that it’s a clean, healthy environment. When it comes to office cleanliness, there are some obvious places for germ collection. The first ones that come to mind for many people are the staff washroom and the computer keyboards. True, those are among the top absolute germiest places at work, shown to harbour E. Coli, Salmonella, Staph and Norovirus (a close relative of Covid-19). However, there are still quite a few other tricky areas you may not think about, like cabinet handles or the start button on the photocopier.

The Staff Kitchen

Coffeepot handles, the brew button on the Keurig, the fridge handles… not to mention the fridge itself, are all hotbeds for illness-causing germs and bacteria.

The kitchen sink is another area that needs to be cleaned and sanitized regularly, including that nasty sponge that hasn’t been replaced in months. If the sponge is still in decent shape, squeeze it out, run it under fresh water and pop it into the microwave for 2 minutes. It’ll be sanitized and ready to go. Do this every day to keep from unintentionally spreading germs to staff dishes, including the coffee mugs. Replace the sponge every two weeks and replace washcloths daily to make the kitchen a much healthier space.

Speaking of coffee mugs, they’ve been found to be big carriers of germs, so it’s a really good idea to have each staff member stick with one favourite cup. These mugs should also be thoroughly washed daily with the clean sponge or put through the dishwasher on a hot water cycle.

The fridge is another common culprit and should be cleaned out regularly, removing any food past its prime, moldy containers, dried up spills and anything else that doesn’t belong.

Basically, any high-touch surfaces should be sanitized daily or even more frequently. This includes handles, faucets, cabinet doorknobs, microwave buttons, the watercooler and anything that is used frequently.

DesktopsDirtiest places in the office - desktop

Moving to where the magic happens. Desktops receive heavy use, as do the tools on top of them. The phone handset, mobile phone, pens, computer keyboards and mice should all be sanitized daily, whether that’s by the user or a reputable cleaning company like Mayfair Building Services.

Our mobile phones travel everywhere with us, and we’ve all heard by now about how they’re dirtier than a toilet seat, so before you plunk it down on your desk, it’s a good idea to give it a wipe down. On the subject of phones, headsets are a great way to help lower how much a phone’s handset is being touched and keeping the keyboard clean will definitely help to keep your workstation clean. Try this to clean your keyboard:

  • Unplug (if corded) and turn the keyboard upside down. Gently shake out any debris
  • Use a can of compressed air to remove anything else that might be stuck between or under the keys
  • Wipe down the keys and surrounding spaces with disinfectant (a mix of bleach and water works perfectly—see directions below)

The Main Office

Areas in the main office spaces to consider are the photocopier, which often serves as the office “watercooler”, mail equipment, doorknobs, stair rails and elevator buttons.

Basically, you’ll want to focus once again on the high-touch areas that are touched by many different people throughout the day. It’s not pleasant to think about, but especially during a pandemic, you’ll want to be vigilant about keeping the space as clean as possible.

Staff members might want to keep a pack of sanitizing wipes at their desk to help them do everything they can to avoid the spread of germs—particularly during this ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the cold and flu season.

The Staff Washroom

Bathrooms can be gross and that goes double for staff washrooms that get used all day, every day. The doorknob, any stall handles, faucets, paper towel dispensers and other high-touch areas should be sanitized daily and deep cleaned regularly.

Because germs are sprayed out every time a toilet flushes, it’s a good idea to have toilet lids installed to stop that from happening. This prevents the spray from hitting the counters, sink, faucet, and anywhere else within close range. Staff members can also use a piece of paper towel to turn the faucets on and off, and to open and close the door. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer and hand soap within reach to encourage staff to wash their hands and sanitize after using the washroom.

It’s not a lovely subject, but it’s important to know how to identify and prevent those germ havens in the office environment. The good news is that nearly everything in the workplace (check manufacturer directions to make sure) can be given a good swipe with a sanitizing wipe or paper towel and a bleach solution.

Try this mixture to make your own basic disinfectant and keep a few bottles handy throughout the workplace.

  • Mix ¾ cup of bleach with 1 gallon of water
  • Dip your cloth or paper towel and wring out the excess, leaving it damp instead of dripping
  • Wipe down all the surfaces thoroughly
  • Let the solution sit on the surface for 5 minutes
  • Dip a new cloth or paper towel into warm water, again wringing out the excess
  • Wipe the bleach solution off the surfaces

 

With the demands of the workplace, it can feel daunting to take on the responsibility for keeping the office sparkling clean and thoroughly sanitized. Particularly now, when many workplaces have lower staff numbers and are extra conscious about keeping everyone safe and healthy, it can feel like a major job. That’s why it’s our job. We focus on making your workplace as healthy as it can be, so you don’t have to. At Mayfair Building Services, we will take the stress and worry out of getting and keeping your workplace as clean as it can be. Whether you need a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly deep clean, we have been experts in the commercial janitorial industry for over 30 years in the Metro Vancouver region. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.

Washing Hands. Cleaning during a pandemic

Cleaning During a Pandemic

Cleaning and Disinfecting- Preventative Measures During a Pandemic

When COVID-19 hit British Columbia in the spring of 2020, those who couldn’t get disinfectant wipes or bleach (or toilet paper!) stocked up on hydrogen peroxide to wipe down their doorknobs, groceries, and even their shoes. Cleaning became paramount and we questioned the safety of everything around us.

Now, as the pandemic wears on, it’s become commonplace to see a bottle of sanitizer or a wash station near the entrances of every commercial and retail building. Consumers are urged to wear masks, and stick to social distancing and other measures of prevention.Washing Hands. Cleaning during a pandemic

These measures help, but cleaning and disinfecting commercial buildings goes far beyond ensuring everyone who enters has a mask and clean hands. This is where Mayfair Building Services comes in.

Effective cleaning, disinfecting, proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), using approved products, and following stringent procedures are key in the fight against the virus.

 

Cleaning Services Workers are Key

Cleaning services workers are now classified as front-line employees. Our experienced cleaning staff are working more diligently than ever to keep you and your staff safe and healthy.

We highly recommend that you hire a professional cleaner for your commercial space for regular deep cleaning and disinfecting. This will make it easier for you and your staff to focus on the business without worrying about reducing business hours to spend more time cleaning.

In the meantime, this guide to cleaning and disinfecting during the pandemic will help to safeguard your workplace.

 

Cleaning

Cleaning refers to the cleaning of dust, dirt and debris from hard and soft surfaces. Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping will clean a floor, but only a proper disinfectant will eliminate harmful microbes.

According to CTV news, Health Canada has approved 222 cleaning products that are effective against COVID-19. If you absolutely cannot find cleaning products, you can make your own. The most basic cleaning product out there is a mixture of two parts water with one-part dish soap, and an antibacterial oil, such as tea tree oil.

Cleaning soft surfaces can be a little more challenging. Communal couches, carpeting and padded task chairs all need to be regularly cleaned and disinfected. Refer to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions or use a gentle soap and water solution on soiled areas. Removable textiles like cushion covers or cleaning cloths can easily be washed in a hot water cycle with regular detergent or bleach.

 

Disinfecting

Cleaning reduces germs and disinfecting takes care of the remainder of germs by using chemicals.

Disinfecting and cleaning go hand-in-hand. You can’t really clean without disinfecting nor disinfect without cleaning first. In fact, spraying a disinfectant on a messy surface can deactivate the disinfectant and actually spread more bacteria around. And cleaning without disinfecting can encourage the spread of bacteria.

Accepted disinfectants include bleach, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol and store-bought disinfectant solutions. Note that things like lemon juice or vinegar do not work to stop COVID-19 and are not approved by Health Canada, the EPA, or the CDC. A full list of EPA approved disinfectants can be found here.

Disinfectants are used after cleaning a surface and should be used frequently on high-touch surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, light switches, keyboards, and phones.

It’s important to ensure that the disinfectant is wet for the entire contact time listed on the product’s package. For instance, hydrogen peroxide should be left wet on the surface for 1 full minute before wiping with a clean paper towel.

 

Organizing Your Cleaning Efforts

For best results, time cleaning and disinfecting for less busy periods during the day, and after the store or business is closed for the night. Traditionally, this is when we come in to do a thorough clean.

It can also help to designate specific employees to take care of the cleaning during a shift. This lets them clean effectively while other employees take care of other aspects of the job, like serving customers. This reduces the risk of any cross-contamination, especially in the food service or hospitality industry. Always try to time cleaning to limit custom and staff exposure to cleaning products and potential fumes.

  • For high-touch surfaces, regular cleaning and disinfecting at least twice a day is ideal.
  • Frequently used items like debit machines should be cleaned and disinfected after every customer
  • Doorknobs, counter-tops and any shared equipment (ie. Point of Sale systems) should be cleaned and disinfected as frequently as possible
  • Washroom facilities should be cleaned more often

 

Important Safety Tips for Using Cleaning Products and Disinfectants

  • Never mix your own disinfectants
  • Never use high concentration alcohols near sources of ignition
  • If using bleach, mix 3 Tablespoons of bleach with 1 Litre of water *Never mix bleach with another substance. This can create harmful fumes.
  • Use all cleaning products and disinfectants in a well-ventilated area
  • After cleaning, throw away any disposable items like gloves or masks
  • Keep lids on containers closed to prevent spills
  • Wash your hands after using cleaners and disinfectants

 

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

The number one way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to practice good hygiene. Clean hands that touch surfaces have very few germs to spread around, and surfaces that are thoroughly and frequently cleaned and disinfected won’t support any germs that might have transferred.

  • Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

 

At Mayfair Building Services, we have a loyal client base throughout the Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley, Surrey and White Rock areas. We know these times can be challenging and overwhelming. When you book cleaning services with us, we take just one more task off your plate, providing peace of mind and the knowledge that your workplace is the healthiest it can be. Whether your business needs a deep clean or you’d like to explore a continual cleaning schedule, contact us today for a free service quote.