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Michigan State UniversityMichigan State UniversityInfrastructure Planning and Facilities
IPF worker cleaning the floors of a building

Photo courtesy of Nabil Ashi

High-performance cleaning

Green cleaning

The Custodial Services crew of IPF Building Services makes every effort to align with MSU’s “Be Spartan Green” environmental stewardship initiative by using cutting-edge techniques and technology to sanitize spaces while protecting the heath of building occupants and the environment.

Over the past few years, the office has:

  • introduced a cutting-edge cleaning technique with a focus on occupant health,
  • implemented use of a chemical-free floor cleaner,
  • sealed floors to protect from stains and decrease the need for harsh stain-removers,
  • made increased recycling a top priority,
  • reduced the amount of chemicals washed down campus drains,
  • and lowered water consumption and electricity usage.

Efficient and sustainable

The use of an innovative cleaning process used at MSU, which seeks to put the health of building occupants first, has improved the efficiency, safety and cost of the services it provides to buildings. Other benefits of the program include new, more user-friendly and environmentally friendly equipment and a reduction of chemicals used in buildings.

This cleaning method was strategically tested in the Natural Resources Building to see the benefits and results. That building was then used as a template for the process in others. Custodial Services is in the process of implementing the program in all buildings on campus. See if your building uses the new method.

Custodial Services aims to go above and beyond the expectations administrators and employees have for their buildings with this more efficient, healthier and greener procedures. The combination of this leadership training with a state-of-the-art cleaning system will help make Custodial Services the standard by which other universities measure success. It aims to make its services invaluable to customers.

Pre-treatment to protect  

Preventive measures against stains reduce the need for harsh chemicals to remove them. For example, products that were tested on a terrazzo floor renovation project eliminated the need for any use of product on the floor in the future. After stripping off all seal and finish from the floor, a water-based sealant, also known as an impregnator, was then applied to aid in protecting the floor from oil, grease and water stains. The terrazzo floor will be maintained by using a series of three different buffing pads to bring out the natural sheen in the floor. It will never have to be stripped, sealed or finished again. This will eliminate the need for harsh chemicals while maintaining the same end result.

Chemical-free cleaning machine

The office uses some floor-cleaning machines that do not require any chemicals. The scrubbers use the company's ec-H2O technology to electrically convert water into a chemical-free cleaning solution. The T5 is particularly effective on floors such as those found at the Duffy Daugherty Football Building, which normal chemicals streak but the T5 does not. In addition to being better for cleaning, the machines were a smart financial investment.