Total Quality Green Cleaning Procedures

After surveying the building and selecting chemicals, it is time to implement green cleaning procedures. These procedures vary based on the area of the building and are summarized below. However, the general principles include:

  • Cleaning for health
  • Typically requires more frequent cleaning
  • Procedures based on “Pennsylvania Green Building and Operations and Maintenance Manual” which serves as core for GS-39 standard
  • Try to reduce energy consumption and conserve water whenever possible
Area Cleaning Procedure Download

Standard Precautions



  • Traditional dusting has you move dust from higher areas to the carpet to be vacuumed
  • Inefficient b/c you need to deal with the same dust twice
  • Unhealthy b/c dust stays in the air for hours
  • Recommendations to capture as much dust as possible and not to stir up dust
    • Micro-fiber dust cloths
    • Replace dirty cloths
    • Vacuum for high dusting
    • Avoid feather dusters (stir up dust)
    • Avoid dust treatments
      • They have VOCs
      • They leave residue
      • For moisture resistant areas, use a damp cloth folded like a handkerchief
Download Download


  • Prime sources for bacteria and cross contamination
  • Cleaned at least once per day
  • Recommendations
  • Allow product to remain on surface for allotted dwell time
  • Often 10 minutes
  • Clean surfaces that your hands come in contact with
  • Doors, lights, handles
  • Eliminate moisture in general
  • Use large trash receptacles to minimize overflow
  • Clean hard to reach areas
  • Machine scrub floors periodically with sanitizer and disinfectant
  • Disinfect drains regularly
  • Install no-touch dispensers
  • Use care when handling chemicals
  • Spray cleaning systems
  • Dispense chemicals, Pressure wash, and vacuum dry
  • Does not require custodians to manually wipe or brush
  • Benefits
  • No-touch reduces cross contamination and the spread of germs
  • Conserves water
  • Deeper and thorough cleaning
  • Use for daily cleaning or weekly
  • Can only be used in restrooms with waterproof walls and floors
  • Reseal grout if needed
  • Procedures
  • Setup
  • Setup machine and chemicals
  • Empty tissue dispensers
  • Spraying
  • Spray chemicals on fixtures, walls, floors
  • Manual brushing
  • May be needed
  • Pressure rinsing
  • Rinse after dwell
  • Squeegee mirrors
  • Drying
  • Solution expedites drying, but you may need to blow dry areas
  • Pasco County Florida used this system to decrease cleaning time by a third and cut chemical use by 30%
  • Vapor Cleaning
  • Steam cleaning
  • Provides similar benefits to pressure washing
Download Download

Carpet Care

  • IEQ experts believe that a well maintained carpet can improve indoor air quality b/c its ability to hold dirt, allergens, and other contaminants that would otherwise become airborne.
  • Use micro-filtration bags and keep floors clean
  • Routine maintenance
  • Vacuum carpet in lobbies, elevators, and high-traffic areas thoroughly and throughout the day
  • Use state of the art, high efficiency vacuums with micro-filtration bags
  • Replace bags when they are ½ full to minimize emissions
  • Clean or replace filters regularly
  • Clean carpet spills ASAP
  • Vacuum more frequently to remove soils before they shift down and become embedded in the pile
  • Vacuum slowly and in multiple directions in high traffic areas
  • Use attachments or backpacks to remove dirt under furniture, along baseboards, etc.
  • Set the agitator brush to the appropriate level (too low wipes rather than flicks the dirt)
  • Use long cords so you don’t have to turn on/off the vacuum often (which results in a burst of dust from bags)
  • Extraction cleaning
  • Vacuuming removes large particles down to 1 micron
  • Extraction should be done to remove
  • Fine particulate matter
  • Solid and gas-phase organic compounds
  • Bio-pollutants such as bacteria and fungi
  • Allergens, such as dust mite feces
  • Heavy metals tracked into the building, such as lead, cadmium, and arsenic
  • Pesticides and herbicides
  • Peroxide cleaners reduce the need for hot H2o
  • Unlike floor refinishing, extraction provides direct and significant IEQ benefits without adverse impact
  • Every 6-12 months under normal conditions and more frequently for schools, retail, restaurants, nursing homes, and daycare centers
  • Evaluate condition of carpet using micron technology
  • Procedures
  • Minimize the amount of chemicals and use proper dilution
  • Using too many chemicals wastes money and results in rapid re-soiling
  • Minimize moisture in carpet which can cause mold, mildew, and bacterial growth
  • Use high quality equipment
  • Check for holes and leaks in wands or attachments
  • Vacuum multiple times in multiple directions
  • Increase ventilation for 24 hours to minimize microbial growth
  • Open windows
  • Increase ventilation
  • Use floor fans and carpet dryers
  • Have the HVAC on the occupy cycle during and after
  • Schedule when people are not in the building
Download Download

Bloodborne Pathogens


Hard Floor Care

  • The heart of a green floor care program is rigorous routine maintenance that removes dir and protects floors on a continuous basis
  • With routine maintenance, floors will need to be stripped and refinished much less frequently – perhaps once every several years
  • This can help reduce costs of the increased frequency in other areas
  • Reduces the need for complex cleaning that produces the most toxic chemicals
  • Unlike other cleaning, refinishing does not provide health benefits other that to improve the appearance of the building
  • Routine maintenance
  • Goal is to protect the floor finish so there is less need to s/w
  • Vacuum once per day with a high-quality backpack with a 20-inch wide tool
  • Advantages over sweeping or dust mopping
  • Removes dirt improving IEQ
  • Stirs less dirt that can be breathed or redeposited in the floor
  • More effective at removing dirt from grout, corners, edges, and under furniture
  • Improves productivity in crowded areas and thus less need for damp mopping
  • 25 minutes to clean a 1100 sq. ft. room with a vacuum and 1 bucket of damp mopping vs. 47 minutes for dust mopping and 2 buckets of damp mopping
  • Vacuum daily, before and after burnishing, spray buffing, or polishing
  • Value of removing as much dirt as possible
  • Removing fine particles prevents scratching
  • Minimizes buildup on floor pads making them last longer
  • Reduces the number of airborne particles
  • Damp or wet mop or clean with a scrubber each day
  • Use microfiber mops
  • Change microfiber frequently
  • Change clean and rinse solutions frequently
  • Scrubbers are best b/c cleans the floor and sucks up the dirty water. They also improve productivity
  • Regularly vacuum and damp mop stairs to reduce the chimney effect
  • Interim maintenance
  • Spray buffing and burnishing
  • Help restore appearance and postpone s/w
  • Recommendations
  • Vacuum and damp mop or auto-scrub before buffing or burnishing
  • Make sure the floor has adequate base of floor finish
  • Use water based or low VOC products
  • Apply chemicals in stream or coarse spray to reduce inhalation
  • When burnishing, use a vacuum attachment to capture dust
  • Restorative maintenance
  • Eventually you will need to strip and refinish
  • Use a durable finish to reduce the need to do it again soon
  • Recommendations
  • Use less toxic strippers
  • Select extremely durable, metal-free finishes
  • Build a solid base of finish – between 6 and 20 coats for a 30 percent solids floor finish
  • Notify occupants in advance
  • Have the ventilation system operating with several complete air changes and 100% outside air
  • Perform on weekends




  • 80% of dirt, VOCs, heavy metals, and particles are tracked through the entrance
  • Trapping dirt at the entrance keeps the building cleaner and healthier, protects floors, reduce slip and falls, improve IEQ, lower maintenance costs, improve the appearance, and reduces the need for periodic work (e.g. strip and wax)
  • Provide trash receptacles and cigarette urns at all entrances will reduce the amount of food and trash brought into the building
  • Place signs asking patrons to wipe their feet, “please wipe your feet to help us provide a cleaner and healthier indoor environment”
  • Mats
  • If building has asphalt, the mats should be grease and oil resistant
  • Place mats at all entrances
  • Should be minimum of 12 feet
  • Average adult should step 2x with each foot
  • Ideal is:
  • Outside scraper covering 15 feet
  • Foyer mat covering 5 feet
  • Inside carpet mat covering 10 feet
  • Exterior maintenance
  • Sweep exterior sidewalks, entry areas, and steps daily
  • Clean larger areas with a sweeper
  • Clean small areas with a push broom
  • Pre-sure wash as needed
  • Clean when people are not present
  • Mat maintenance
  • Vacuum at least once per day
  • Vacuum in both directions
  • Replace mats weekly
  • Clean under mats daily
  • Scrub dirty mats with detergent or carpet solution and let dry
  • Use special tape to keep mats in place
  • Lobbies
  • Clean more frequently. This will help improve IEQ and enable you to reduce frequency in other areas

Food Areas

  • Galleys, cafeterias, and break rooms
  • Should be cleaned daily b/c of potential for exposure to contaminants
  • Objectives
  • Provide a sanitary environment for preparing and eating food
  • Eliminate food residues that can attract pests and promote microbial growth
  • Recommendations
  • Clean and sanitize floors, tables, counters, and other surfaces
  • Separate recyclables from trash
  • Remove trash daily
  • Remove recyclables as needed
  • Keep trash covered
  • Rinse out food containers that will be recycled
  • Ask occupants to help
  • Monitor recycle bins for pests
  • Change filters on microwaves and water coolers regularly
  • Empty and clean refrigerators periodically


  • Bacteria, virus, and mold
  • Recommendation
  • Remove moisture and control humidity with ventilation
  • Keep humidity below 50%
  • Prevents condensation
  • Inhibits growth of mold
  • Control dust mites (common allergen)
  • Wright State University study shows dust mite infestation is eliminated if humidity is below 50%
  • Be alert to moisture
  • Respond to leaks
  • Extract excess water with wet vac
  • Dry the area within 24 hrs
  • Replace ventilation filters
  • Clean restrooms, drain taps, cooling towers, and humidifiers
  • Pay attention to dwell times and dilution ratios
  • Use disinfectants in certain buildings (e.g. hospitals)
  • Remove food sources through cleaning and integrated pest management
  • Remove microorganisms through vacuuming, carpet extraction, and biocides
  • Remove dirt and debris through regular cleaning
  • Vacuum carpet regularly
  • Deep clean carpets using wet extraction once or twice per year
  • Keep carpets dry
  • Clean air ducts
  • Prevent stagnant water in drip plans and other places
  • Odor contro
  • Identify source of odor and remove it
  • Oxidize odors with hydrogen peroxide or removed with enzyme based products


  • Problems
  • Slip and fall
  • Provide food and moisture for microbial growth
  • Recommendations
  • Clean spills ASAP
  • Use right amount of cleaning solution
  • Try detergent based spotters first followed by carpet extraction
  • Use solvent based spotter as needed
  • Make sure occupants know who to contact in case of spills
  • Have a portable extractor or spot cleaners on hand in the building
  • Especially in daycare centers

Handling Chemicals

  • Mixing a product too strong can damage the building surfaces, leave residue, and pollute
  • Mixing a product too weak will not clean or disinfect
  • Recommendations
  • Train workers on safe handling of chemicals
  • Use protective equipments when mixing concentrated products
  • Follow dilution directions
  • Put labels on secondary containers
  • Never mix chemicals
  • Ensure chemicals are stored properly
  • Use stream or coarse spray
  • Fine mists increases risk of inhalation
  • Use caution when using metal cleaners
  • Spray on cloth first
  • Use pre-measured packets or controlled dispensing units
  • Develop inventory of chemicals used and stored, and not just your chemicals
  • MSDS for all chemicals and should be easily accessible
  • Educate building occupants about chemicals
  • Dispose of unused chemicals annually

Trash Removal

  • Recommendations
  • Pull trash daily
  • Cover cans that contain food
  • Empty outside dumpsters regularly
  • Separate recyclables
  • Make sure occupants know how to separate recyclables

Hazardous waste

  • Chemicals, sewage, flammables, corrosive, infectious, etc.
  • Get a list of hazardous waste as defined by the state and post it
  • Use a certified hazardous waste company



Patient Room


Waiting Room



More Info on Green Cleaning

Customer Testimonials
Core Values

Total Quality Cleaning Services covers the entire Phoenix, Arizona metro area including office cleaning, building maintenance and janitorial services.

© 2012 Total Quality Cleaning Services. All Rights Reserved. | Home | Sitemap | Privacy | Contact