What the Numbers Mean?

March 1, 2013

Vince Elliott

The presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on a surface indicates the presence of contamination — food residue, allergens, and/or bacteria — implying a potential for the surface to harbor and support bacterial growth.


Therefore, low ATP levels are desirable. The manufacturer of the meter used in this study notes that ATP levels of 0-30 are acceptable on food preparation surfaces and levels below 100 are considered “clean.”

A luminometer measures the reflective index of light. On a scale of 1 to 100, 1 is the lowest possible gloss and 100 is the highest. With the floors in this test, the concrete surfaces were not polished or finished and, therefore, a less glossy or matte surface is desirable because grease and syrup residues are shinier than a clean floor.

Slip resistance: On a scale of 0 to 1, 0 is the most slippery floor and 1 is the least slippery.

Therefore, higher slip resistance or static coefficient of friction ratings are desirable to ensure slip, trip and fall incidents are minimized.

Putting the Hype to the Test

February 1, 2013

Vince Elliott

Testing using with ATP

Performance Image

I received a question from a reader about the effectiveness of scrubbing with ionized water — rather than chemicals — to clean floors. After some searching, I found equipment that is filled with regular tap water that becomes electrically charged and is used to clean floors.

Could something like this really work?

We wanted to find a challenging floor care environment, one that’s been using a chemical scrubber to clean floors. A soft drink bottling plant/warehouse in Baltimore was the answer

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The Scoop On Water Cleaning

January 1, 2013

Robert W. Powitz, Ph.D., MPH, RS, CFSP

A Brief Review of a New Generation of Cleaners and Sanitizing Agents


A new technology has taken the housekeeping industry literally by storm this past year. It is activated water. The recent threat of an H1N1 pandemic severely impacting our public health prompted new and innovative ways for spot cleaning, particularly to clean frequently touched surfaces (frequently referred to as “high-touch” or “common-touch”) in institutions in which the flu finds an ideal fomital transmission environment, such as schools, hospitality, recreational and correctional facilities.

Because several states, as well as the U.S. Federal Government, are aggressively urging the housekeeping industry to embrace the concept of sustainability and green cleaning, coupled with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Tools for Schools initiative, the housekeeping professionals have responded by seeking better ways of cleaning with products of lower toxicity and zero persistence in the environment. Not surprisingly, nothing meets this criterion better than water. As sanitarians in the public health arena, we are not only concerned with cleaning but also significantly reducing the bioburden as we clean. Additionally, by way of disease prevention, maintaining the potential bioloads of these surfaces as low as possible, under practical and cost-effective conditions, makes the use of water, in any form, ideal.

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