Thursday, December 2, 2010

I learn so much at work. We have chemicals that clean, degrease, disinfect, polish and scrub all kinds of mineral deposits and scum. We are the contracted sanitation company, so we all work for a very large corporation. Or at least, one corner of the planet they do business in. Quite a corner. There are 106 buildings on the site, some of them are the size of a large suburban mall. It's a big place!

Most everybody has their own building. Some buildings are so large, there are five or six of us and we still never see much of one another until it's time to punch out.

So the chemicals have to be approved by a committee. Health and Safety. Health and Safety means being as screaming cheap as possible, and still managing to disinfect everything people touch or sit on with their bare skin. We call it Hell and Save Me. We used to have chemicals that would kill every germ known to man, including most prionic stuff. Prionic diseases are like Mad Cow stuff. Can't be killed, really, which is why they are so dangerous. Even if you cook a cow brain and douse it with bleach, you're screwed.

Now, the Company is pinching the Bottom Line, by limiting the stuff we can use on the toilets. Sucks, really. We had a great germicidal aerosol, but it was decided by Hell and Save Me that it cost too much to use. We are stupid janitors, after all. We were somehow wasting it by using it to clean greasy fingerprints, pee, shit and boogars (welcome to the corporate bathroom) off the stainless steel. God, it worked great! Spray it on, wait five minutes - BAM!!! Clean stainless steel, ready for a re-coat of polish.

We are using this crap that is basically peroxide. Doesn't clean a whole lot. They tell us it is a disinfectant. For what, exactly, I don't know. We all hate it. During breaks, we sit together and talk about our chemicals. There are all kinds of tricks of the trade. One guy mixes the industrial degreaser, floor wax stripper and window cleaner in a spray bottle and uses it to get the heavy grease and tire marks off the mechanic's bays in the large garage. It smells particularly awful, but it leaves the floor paint looking fresh. I am quite sure it will eat through just about anything.

We've got a girl who mixes the heavy virucide (disapproved) with the orange cleaner in her mop bucket. She once cleaned a three story stairwell with this stuff. She took it up to to the top flight, kicked the bucket over so the stuff ran like a waterfall down the stairs and swept the linty, gray puddles to the bottom tier. All the office workers freaked out. She didn't close the stairwell to traffic, so people were coming up when she kicked the bucket over.

I personally, have my own method of cleaning the stainless steel. I spray my crappy toilet de-mineralizer (it doesn't work on hard water stains, even though Health and Safety lies to us and says it works fine), scrub gently with a scrubby-sided sponge, and wipe it off. I follow up with the window cleaner to rinse. Then I am ready to polish the stainless. It looks great.

We have one product that works really, really well. It is an acid-based toilet bowl cleaner. Similar, but more potent than the stuff on the grocery store shelves. I think it is Sulfuric Acid. Smells like death, for sure. It does wonders on the toilet bowl hard-water and rust stains. If you get it on chrome, it will EAT the chrome off and leave you with a lovely pink. The pink is the freshlly exposed brass. We aren't supposed to use it. But we do. It makes the porcelain white and shiny.

But the disinfectant sucks. We are supposed to use it on EVERYTHING, including the mirrors. We sit and compare it to using water. Water with orange smell. So, when we eventually run out of the other stuff (mentioned above) we have to use the disinfectant. Oh! How we complain! LOL!

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