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Dollarphotoclub_69748825Whether you run a large group of hotels or a smaller inn, you know how important it is to have the right cleaning products. Cleaning is how you keep your building safe for guests and employees and it also makes people more likely to want to stay and continue coming back.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions in the industry about janitorial cleaning supplies. Many business owners and managers buy their products in bulk and keep their hospitality supplies for far too long, not realizing that just like fresh food, these supplies have an expiration date.

The Importance of Throwing Away Janitorial Cleaning Supplies

In a hotel or other type of resort, guests come to stay expecting a clean, sanitary room that they can enjoy. In order to provide each and every single one of your guests with this type of experience, it’s critical to have the right hospitality supplies because of the high level of pathogens that are found in a hotel room. On TV remote controls, for example, researchers discovered an average of 67.6 colony-forming units (CFU) of bacteria per cubic centimeter squared. To put this in perspective, the suggested guidelines for hospital cleanliness are to have no more than 5 CFU per cubic centimeter squared.

When you use expired janitorial cleaning supplies, you aren’t able to effectively get rid of these germs, which means you are putting everyone that sets foot in your building in danger. To prevent this problem from happening, it’s critical to learn about the shelf lives of various common hospitality and janitorial cleaning supplies so that you can ensure that you are effectively sanitizing your hotel for guests and staff.

Shelf Life of Common Hospitality Supplies

From sponges to mops to laundry detergent, businesses in the hospitality industry use lots of cleaning supplies. Here are some of the more common products, their shelf lives, and how to tell when they need to be disposed of:

1. Disinfectants

According to Ohio State University’s Environmental Health and Safety department, most bleach-based disinfectants have a shelf life of a year. However, this is only true when bleach is stored at a constant temperature of 70 degrees. Any warmer and your disinfectant will degrade at a faster rate rendering the active agents in the cleaner ineffective.

2. Sponges

Sponges are notorious for harboring germs: WebMD says that sponges are the number one source of germs in residential homes, so you can imagine how this statistic is amplified when it comes to hotels. The shelf life of a sponge depends on the size of your facility and type, but generally speaking if the sponge becomes discolored or deformed you should toss it.

3. Laundry Detergent

You might not believe it, but even if you store your laundry detergent in a cool and dry place, it will expire 6 months to one year after opening, according to Good Housekeeping. However, if the container is left unopened the detergent may not start degrading until month 9.

4. Lysol Spray and Wipes

Lysol products are famous for killing 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, but the cleaning power dramatically drops past the suggested shelf life. The common shelf life for these products is two years, but if they contain bleach, that timeframe drops down to one year.

Knowing how long your janitorial cleaning supplies will last is critical to ensuring that your facility is in great condition. With the proper management of your supplies, you can ensure a safe working environment for employees and a healthy and fun stay for guests.

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About Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson is AFFLINK'S Vice President of Marketing and Communications. He has been with the organization since 2005 and provides strategic leadership for the entire supply chain team. In his free time, Michael enjoys working with the Wounded Warrior Project, fishing, and improving his cooking skills.

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