A Guide to Cleaning School Toilets Part 2: (Changing Places Toilets)

What is a Changing Places Toilet?

A Changing Places Toilet, (or also known as a “Hygiene Room”) is a special toilet for completing hygiene tasks for those disabled people who cannot use a regular disabled toilet. These toilets have hoists, a changing table, a perinuclear toilet and other specialist equipment for disabled people. You know, going back 20 years, when I was in my last year at school, we had a Disabled Toilet, but it was far from the standards we see today.

So, Changing Places Toilets are important in schools, as regardless of if you are a Primary School, Secondary School or Special School, having clean facilities is important, especially if you are helping someone with their toileting needs. We have 2 Changes Places Toilets. We have one in B Block and one in Sick Bay on the 3rd floor of J Block. We’re having a 3rd installed in D Block, replacing the Disabled Changing Room for a Changing Places Toilet.

So, we have followed the procedure from my last tutorial, so what do we still have to do? While high dusting, clean the track for the hoist and make sure the hoist moves and can go up and down correctly. Also, lower the hoist and make sure to properly disinfect the entire hoist arm and the hoist hooks. I also clean the part of the hoist that raises and lowers a pupil and is why I always need my steps, when cleaning a Changing Places Toilet.

Then there is the changing table, This isn’t too hard to clean. I spray all surfaces with anti-bac and then wipe clean. While I am there, I also check the paper roll for the changing table and restock the dispensers with gloves and aprons, as needed.

We have toilets in our Hygiene Rooms, which wash and dry a user, so we have to be really careful when cleaning, due to how the toilet works. I usually spray anti-bac onto a cloth and wipe thoroughly. While I am here, I always test the alarm, by yanking the red cord and then reset it. Also, I make sure the red cord has not been tied up or is out of reach.

We have Clinical Waste Bins in our Hygiene Rooms and so they need special disposal. (They cannot go in the normal bin) So I change the bag, spray and wipe the inside and outside of the bin and take the clinical waste bag to the clinical waste bins in J Block. (We have a refuse Room on J Block, as we have a rubbish chute for normal rubbish and clinical waste on each floor. The normal rubbish goes into a big commercial bin, while the clinical waste goes into it’s own separate bin.

Once the floor is washed, soap and paper checked and the sink, hand dryer and soap dispensers are disinfected, that’s job done! Don’t forget to put a wet floor sign up before you leave!

A Guide to Hazchem Symbols

Hazchem symbols give an indication of the hazard you may find in cleaning products, you use on a day to day basis. They can warn us about various hazards, such as flammable chemicals, chemicals which may explode if subjected to heat or chemicals which are harmful to the environment. When ever using chemicals, you must always wear the correct PPE. (Personal Protective Equipment)

In this guide, we will look at the symbols and what hazard they present.

Flammable

the Flammable Hazchem Symbol is used for products that may easily catch fire, when exposed to heat or a naked flame. Items that may be flammable include: Aerosol Canned Polish, etc. These chemicals need to be kept in a cool and dry environment, away from heat sources and naked flames. Petrol and Diesel are a an example of a chemical which catches fire very easily. It must be stored properly and away from naked flames or electrical equipment.

Corrosive

Some chemicals are corrosive to the skin and can cause chemical burns. A good example of this is the Acid Based Toilet Maintainer we use on our toilets and urinals. The chemical uses Hydrochloric Acid to burn away limescale. Hydrochloric Acid can burn the skin and cause lasting damage. It can also cause blindness, if you get it in your eyes. It’s strong stuff, so the correct PPE must be worn.

Toxic to the Environment

Chemicals that are toxic to the environment, can cause long term ecological damage, if it enters the ground or is allowed to enter a water passage, without being diluted first. Oils and Petrol are a couple of good examples of chemicals cannot be put down the drain, even if diluted. They require specialist disposal at a specialist facility. Asbestos is another substance that is toxic to the environment.

Respiratory Sensitizer

I mentioned Asbestos above and that it is dangerous to the environment. It is also a Respiratory Sensitizer and can cause long term damage to your lungs.You only need to inhale micro particles for it to cause problems. Thankfully, the effects are not immediate, but may appear in later years.

Explosive

I don’t think I need to go into detail on chemicals that are explosive, if exposed to fire (and or) high levels of heat. However, chemicals in aerosol cans are likely to explode if exposed to high heat or are punctured.

Oxidising

Oxidising products may cause or intensify fire. Oxidising materials can also cause explosions; therefore, they should be treated as flammable. Oxygen tanks and some cleaners, such as Ammonia and turpentine, will bear this symbol.

Flammable Gas

Flammable gasses, such as Butane, will easily catch fire and also may explode, if allowed to heat to a high temperature. Butane should be stored in it’s own cage, well away from the buildings if possible and smoking and naked flames must not be used in the area where the cylinders are stored.

Under Pressure (Compressed Gasses)

Containers bearing this symbol are pressurised, such as fire extinguishers and gas canisters. They contain gases that can explode if heated. It also applies to products containing refrigerated gases, which can cause serious cryogenic burns when exposed to skin.

Irritant

Chemicals that are irritant, may cause itching to skin, It may also irritate the eyes, should the chemical is allowed to get in your eyes.

Toxic

Chemicals that are toxic, may cause severe illness (or even death) if swallowed or allowed to get into your bloodstream. Chemicals that are toxic, may include Rat Poison, Bleach, Caustic Soda, Acids, etc. These chemicals can cause a severe risk to your life or may cause severe and irreversible damage to your body.

So next time you are about to do a cleaning task, look at the bottle of the chemical you are using and check for the above Hazchem Symbols. You should also make sure you read the COSHH Data Sheets, to check if there are any special precautions you need to take, when using chemicals. Ultimately, you need to make sure that you wear the correct PPE at all times, when using chemicals and you must ALWAYS follow the instructions on the bottle \ COSHH Data Sheets.

Dealing with Body Fluids

I have just come back from dealing with someone on Sick Bay, who had vomited all over the floor. Our school policy is to bleep Domestic Services during the day (7am – 3pm every day) or page me out of hours on a body fluid spill. So being that it was 11pm that this happened, I got paged to come to Sick Bay  to clear it up.  (I only live round the corner from school.)

So, I attended and needed the following kit:

  • Body Fluids Kit (We have one on each unit, including Sick Bay)
  • Blue Mop Bucket and a Blue Mop
  • 2 Bleach Tablets dissolved in 5L of water
  • Blue Paper Roll
  • Disposable Apron
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Wet Floor Sign

Once, I had everything I needed and I had the correct PPE; (Personal Protective Equipment) I put up a yellow “Wet Floor Sign and  sprinkled the absorbent powder onto the vomit. Using the paper roll, I slowly  scooped it up. and then used the spills kit hazardous waste bag to dump the blue roll and the vomit. Then using a socket mop and bucket, I washed the area of floor with diluted bleach solution, leaving the wet floor sign in place; until the floor has dried. The mop head went into the red infected laundry bag in the sluice room and will be taken down to the laundry, by the Unit Housekeeper in the morning.

Remember: When dealing with any body fluid, (regardless if it is urine, vomit, blood, faces or semen) you must wear PPE. It is safety first. – Wear disposable \ thick rubber gloves, an  apron and goggles. (when working with chemicals) You must also remember to stick to the correct colour coding of equipment. Please read this post, to find our  more information about colour coding when cleaning.

Cleaning Colour Coding

In a school or professional environment, it is important that we use the correct colour coded equipment when cleaning. This helps to stop cross contamination of germs and pathogens from getting to other surfaces in other parts of the building. This isn’t currently law, but is common practice in most workplaces.

So roll on the many colours:

Red Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Red coloured equipment must only be used in bathrooms, (Including bathtubs,  taps, shower fixtures, Shower curtains, taps, sinks plugholes, pipes, mirrors, tiles, window sills, window frames, door handles, locks, and floor)  toilets, (Including the inside and outside of the bowl, cistern, chain, pipes, seats, basins, window frames, window sills, sink, taps and pipework, mirrors, tiles and the floor. Also red mops can be used in changing rooms too. )

Yellow Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Yellow coloured equipment must be only used in areas of isolation. We only use those in single rooms in Sick Bay or in the event that Sick Bay has a Nova Virus outbreak. (This doesn’t happen often.

Green Bucket \ Mops \ Cleaning Cloths: Green coloured equipment must be only used in a kitchen on all surfaces.

White Dish Cloths with a Red Trim: x These cloths must only be used for washing up in a kitchen environment.

Yellow Dusters with a Red Trim: Dusters can be used universally, but must not be used in a kitchen \ bathroom \ toilet or isolation areas.

We also use colored Tabards too:

Red: Toilets \ Bathrooms

Blue: General Purpose

Yellow: Sick Bay Ward Areas \ Isolation Areas

Green: Kitchens

These guidelines are not law, (Apart from the use of green equipment being used in kitchens. ) but are recommended by the British Institute of Cleaning Science. These guidelines apply to cleaning cloths, mops, buckets, brushes, gloves (unless the gloves are disposable) and sponges. You will also need to change your PPE, (Personal Protective equipment) every time you switch areas. (IE: if you go from a bathroom to a general low risk area, such as a office.) This helps to reduce cross contamination.

So that’s Sam’s guide to cleaning colour coding for cleaning. 🙂

Laundry Machine Maintenance

So today is the the day that I put all the washing machines in the School Laundry on a self clean. Remember, our school washing machines are going 24 hours a day, Monday – Friday and every evening on weekends. The machines get their fare share of wear and tear, washing over Ten Thousand items a week! that’s is why I maintain the school washing machines on a monthly basis and the dryers on a weekly basis.  (Remember, our machines are large capacity commercial machines and not like the ones you have at home.

My monthly itinerary for laundry maintenance is as follows:

Washing Machines (monthly)

  • Run the machines on a 60°c cycle with Washing Machine Cleaner in the drum
  • Clean the filter and the propeller
  • Inspect and clean the seals around the door
  • Clean the Dosing System
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

Tumble Dryer (weekly)

  • Empty the Lint Tray
  • Clean the outlet from the drum and the external outlet from the machines
  • Clean the drum, door and porthole

OK, lets crack on…

My first job is to switch off the pumps behind the machines. (So it doesn’t dose laundry detergent and Conditioner) Then I put Miele Dishwasher & Washing Machines Cleaner into the drum. (It’s a powder so it is quite easy to use.) Finally, I put the machines onto a 60°c cycle and leave it to it.

Meanwhile, I turn my attention to the dryers. They also must be maintained weekly, to prevent a buildup of fluff, that can cause a fire. To do this, I remove the side panel and pull out the fittings the lint traps sit in. Once it is removed, I can manually remove the fluff for disposal. I also shove the pole for the Henry in there and give the area round the outlet as well. I also clean the inside of the drum on each machine, using a cloth and a spray bottle of disinfectant.

Once the washing machines  have finished, (which is around 45 mins) I put a bowl in front of the machine and open the filter flap. (Be careful if you are cleaning the filter, as water will pour out! It is best to use a old washing up bowl for this job) It is amazing what gets clogged ion the filter, I have found gum, hair, paperclips and even a few 20p’s. (I put these into the School Charity Box) Opening the flap, lets loads of water out of the machine and is why I have a large bowl below it.

It’s easy to remove the filter, just twist and pull to release it from it’s compartment. To clean it, I take the filters to the sink in the laundry room and use a stiff brush and running water to clear the filters. Pushing my bowl aside, I then use my Mag-light to  inspect the drain pump propeller. Using a screwdriver, I check the blades can turn and that nothing behind it is blocking the pump. (By using a screwdriver to yank out any debris. Next, in between the rubber seals in the drum gets a clean with a old toothbrush and disinfectant. It also allows me to inspect the seals for signs of perishing.

Time to re-assemble… So first I push the filter back into it’s compartment and check it is in fully. (Push and twist, then close the flap) Once I have cleaned up, I inspect the pumps behind the washing machines; which dose and pump the detergent and conditioner into the machines. Remember: Safety First,  switch off the pumps first. I unscrew the front panel of the pumps and inspect the pump mechanisms. If they are clogged up, a can of compressed air and a screwdriver to remove the gunk. Finally, I give the motors a good lubricating with WD40, before replacing the cover and screws. 

Finally, after cleaning the glass and the aluminum doors, I attach a sticker which has the word “I am Clean” and the date the machine was cleaned.

It is a good idea to clean your machine every month. After a month, the machine will begin to smell and will make your clothes smell. Also it is essential to keep the lint tray clear on your dryer, otherwise; it may catch fire! The machines at school automatically switch themselves off when the lint tray is full and will not start until the lint tray is emptied. 

However, the dryers that you have in your home are not Commercial Tumble Dryers, like the ones we have at school. (We have 8 Commercial washing machines and 6 dryers) So your lint trap is usually inside the door. For your sake and your family’s sake, do not forget to check the lint trap; before you switch on your dryer on. (Kyle and I do every time we start the dryer) A fire can kill and cause severe damage, so before it is too late, check the lint trap!

Removing Unsightly Teabag Stains From The Kitchen Floor

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Tea bag stains on the kitchen floor, is one of the most common issues I have to deal with in my school and is one of the most annoying issues I deal with every day. (staff who cannot be bothered to walk to the bin with their mug, before dumping the tea bag)

However, there is a solution! I use Jangro Cream Cleaner for the job. It cuts through the stain with tea stain without any effort.

BB050-50_2Of course, do not need to use Jangro brand products, as any cream cleaner will do just as good job. (Do not use VIM)

For this job, you will need:

  • Your choice of Cream Cleaner. IE: Cif Cream Cleaner
  • A green and yellow scouring sponge (Do not use steel wool scouring pads, as they will scratch the floor!)
  • A green bucket, filled with diluted disinfectant or hard floor cleaner. (I use Jangro Cleaner Heavy Duty)
  • A green socket mop head on a green handled pole
  • A yellow wet floor sign
  • PPE – Green rubber gloves and Goggles

First, collect your equipment and put on your PPE. Now squirt a pea sized amount of cream cleaner onto the green side of your scouring sponge. Gently work the cream into the stain until it lifts. Repeat this, until all the stains have been removed. Rinse the mop in your bucket of diluted disinfectant and wipe over the area you have just been working on. Once the floor dries. Remove PPE and return all equipment to the cleaning store. Once the floor dries, you can remove the wet floor sign.

Kitchen Worktop Tea Bag Stains and Rings from the underside of Mugs

DbqQXmFor stains on kitchen worktops, you use the same method as above, by applying cream cleaner to the green side of your scouring sponge and gently work in. To finish the job, rinse with a clean  cloth, (or with paper towels) making sure to remove ALL residue, left behind from the cream cleaner.