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Jarod Kesselring |

Whether you are in charge of a professional cleaning service, a janitorial staffing company, or you are simply a concerned homeowner that wants the best for your house, family, and loved ones, shopping for cleaning chemicals is not an easy task.

Everyone has their own tips, tricks, and advice, but no one agrees across the board what the “best” cleaning supplies are, even with respect to specific applications and jobs. Experience is a good teacher, but if you lack that, you can lean on the experience of a cleaning products supplier like JaniSource!

So, whether you’re shopping for a green all-purpose cleaner or a specific solution for cleaning carpeted floors, keep these high-level nuggets of information in mind while you shop. They’ll help you come out at the end of it with the best cleaning products in hand, regardless of the situation.

1.Shop based on the surface you need to clean.

Probably the first and most important consideration you need to make is that you need to shop based on the surface you need to clean, or on the specific application for which you’re going to be applying the cleaning chemical in question.

For example, there are many cleaning products that can be used to kill or remove mildew from a surface, but they are not all universally compatible with the same surfaces. Granted, for cleaners like these, there will be a lot of crossover - for example, mildew grows in bathrooms so many cleaners will be safe for use on tile - but take no chances.

As an example, check out our Sporelok Mildew Stain Remover, which is a purpose-formulated, chlorine-based mildew remover that is safe on a large number of surfaces. In addition to being safe for use on tile and grout, it has also been specifically formulated to be safe for use on rubber and vinyl surfaces where mildew may also occur. This means that this cleaner is ideal for some shower mats, shower curtains, and even outdoor covers made from these synthetics.

What it does not mean is that other cleaners are equally suitable for use on these surfaces, and when you’re working with chemicals like this you should never assume anything. Always check, double-check, and then check again. That will not only prevent accidents but will ensure that you’re using the right cleaning chemicals for the job.

2.Be aware of the ingredients and know what you need to use.

Similarly, you should always be aware of the ingredients in the cleaners you choose to use, how they can be used, and what they can be used to do. The ingredients list and the material safety data sheets that you can find for all of our products will be of great value to you here - and you can always call us for more help.

To illustrate this point, consider our ViruScrub Citrus Disinfectant, which is made with a very effective mixture of water and ethyl alcohol, along with butane and propane. It sounds like a very simplistic chemical formula, but it is wildly effective at killing microbes, including viruses.

This cleaner is effective at killing a wide range of microbes, including bacteria and viruses, such as MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), Strep, Salmonella, and a variety of viruses like some strains of the flu. This is all a result of its highly effective, albeit simple, formula, which enables this product to work effectively.

It also means that not every single disinfectant will work exactly the same way as this one. Depending on the chemical composition of a product in question, or even the concentration of the formula, some will be more effective than others at killing certain germs. The chemical formula of a given cleaning product will also affect where and how it can be used and not just how effective it is at killing microbes.

3.If you’re looking for green cleaning products, see past the advertising.

The words “green” and eco-friendly get thrown around a lot these days, and there is no single standard that governs what it means for a product like a cleaner to be truly green. That being said, there is a general consensus that green cleaners make use of natural or naturally derived ingredients and shy away from harsh chemical cleaners that can be hazardous to health and even property when used improperly.

This is the reason that natural materials like white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide are so widely used in green cleaning products. The popularity of the movement is also why so many products are labeled as “green” cleaners, but if you’re looking for these, make sure you don’t trust a label alone. Be sure to look past the advertising and promotion and consider the list of ingredients. Look for ingredients like:

-Citric acid

-White vinegar

-Hydrogen peroxide

-Baking soda

-Natural oils, like citrol, lemon oil, or others

-Among many others

In addition to “green” ingredients like these, some other sellings points you might see listed in a catalog of green cleaning products include but are not limited to:

-Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) concentration

-Phosphate, chlorine, or bleach-free

-Natural fragrances (as opposed to synthetics)

-Non-corrosive nature

These are some common traits of many green cleaners, but there are plenty of others. If you’re really invested in finding a catalog of green cleaning products, we have plenty here at JaniSource, and you should take some time to get familiar with the ingredients list. Look in-depth into the MSDS listings to see what’s really in the formula, and of course, if you have any questions, get in touch with us.

4.Educate yourself on how the product works and can be safely used, and always follow safety guidelines and instructions to the letter.

Something else you also need to follow, and which is extremely important, is the recommended usage of a given cleaning product. To illustrate this point, consider that some foodservice professionals might have a pressing need for a food service surface cleaner.

Our Bussit Clean Food Surface Sanitizer & Cleaner, which is highly effective at killing bacteria (it kills over 99.9% of common bacteria, does not require a rinse after it is used to treat surfaces. It can also be used to clean non-porous food preparation surfaces in addition to utensils and much more, but the key feature is that it does not require a rinse, which saves businesses time and money.

Not all food service surface cleaners can be used in such a fashion; some require a rinse after they’ve been applied, which is time-consuming but entirely necessary as instructed by the manufacturer. Don’t just buy a foodservice surface sanitizer because you’ve had one single experience with one in the past. Dive into the instructions and make sure you know how to use it because when you get it if it can’t be used due to some obscure specification, that won’t be good for business!

That’s also just one simple distinct scenario, and not all will be like that. You need to be aware of how, when, and where a cleaning chemical can be used. This is a matter not only of efficacy but also of safety. As you may be aware, some cleaning chemicals can not be mixed and are dangerous to do so; some chemicals are hazardous to the skin or can strip the finish off of certain surfaces. Each of these considerations can be accounted for with a deep dive into instructions or Material Safety Data Sheets where you can clear up any confusion or questions.

5.Be aware of special instructions from the manufacturer.

In addition to knowing the manner in which the cleaning chemical can and cannot be used, you should be on the lookout for special instructions from the manufacturer. For example, if a cleaning chemical has to be applied and then allowed to rest for a certain period of time, that’s something for which you’ll have to account.

When you’re looking through a catalog from a cleaning products supplier, you need to be aware of any special accommodations, preparations, or precautions you need to take when using that product. You might need to apply it in a certain fashion or use special tools to apply or remove it. That’s just something else to be aware of as you go through a catalog. Ingredients, the surfaces on which it can or can’t be used, and how it can be used are important - but there are fine details not to miss between them.

6.Listen to what others have to say.

Other janitorial professionals, and even other enthusiastic homeowners, can be a really valuable resource when you’re shopping for new cleaning chemicals and supplies. Although experience is a great teacher, if you don’t have the firsthand experience you need yourself to make a decision, you can consult others that have.

The first place you can check is right here at JaniSource, where you can find reviews that customers may have left on the product pages themselves. It’s a great way to learn more about the actual use of the product, learn more about how people use it, gather tips and tricks, and more. Customer testimonials - that is, insight from real users and not just promotional copy - are a great way to identify new, effective cleaning products and formulas that you can make use of.

You can also perform a quick search of the product online - JaniSource isn’t the only resource you can consult for help. Even if you can’t find the particular brand name, you can research more about the active ingredients in them, find comparable products and see how others are using them and how they’ve been reviewed, either positively or negatively. All of that is great information that you can use when you’re shopping.

Just one thing to remember - while customer reviews and tips are helpful, you should always remember to consult the manufacturer instructions first and customer advice second. Always follow manufacturer suggestions exactly as prescribed.

7.Don’t forget any other cleaning supplies you need

One more thing you can look for in a cleaning products supplier, although it doesn’t relate directly to shopping for quality cleaning products themselves, is to look for the peripherals and other cleaning equipment you need to tackle a job head-on. You’re not applying most chemicals with your bare hands!

Here at JaniSource, we supply not only the chemicals themselves but also a whole range of cleaning equipment and accessories, like brushes, sponges, mops, gloves, paper products, and so much more. We even carry commercial cleaning equipment and highly specialized tools, including ride-on floor machines, pressure washers, backpack vacuums, and more.

8.Shop with a reputable cleaning products supplier.

Finally - and this should go without saying - always shop with a reputable cleaning products supplier like JaniSource, one that provides not only the products but the support you need. In addition to our cleaning chemicals, we offer some of the best customer service in our industry, as well as financing on select products, free shipping on qualifying orders (over $99), and nationwide warranty coverage and support services.

Even though you’re shopping online, we’ve always aimed to offer the best possible customer service, and you can reach us by phone when you need us at 877-667-4323. Ask for a product recommendation, get the low down on the best floor cleaners or food surface sanitizers, or anything else you need. We’re here to help.

Start with these guidelines as you shop through any cleaning products supplier’s inventory, and make sure you ask questions when you need to. Any supplier worth its salt will extend quality customer service to its customers - at least, that’s been our guiding principle.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or about the products we sell in our online store, please feel free to reach out to us at 877-667-4323 and we’d be more than happy to help. We can also provide you with more specific guidance, depending on the types of chemicals you’re looking for and the results you hope to achieve. Get in touch with us and let us know what you need - we’ll help!

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