Saturday, 28 February 2009

Window Cleaning Video Mish-Mash

Tony Evans aka Mr. Squeegee of New View window cleaning in Iowa shows us what you can do with an Ettore super channel..

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PWC Access has many years experience providing access solutions to both the commercial and construction sectors. Specialising in providing safe access solutions to high rise buildings and any premises that present an access problem for window cleaning or building maintenance.
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John Lee from Simpole demos the 32' Simpole at the IWCA trade show in Atlanta.

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Wayne Shockey of Awning Cleaning Services in Fort Worth, Dallas shows us before & after photos in his video. The blooper video is second!


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Just a speed up clean in a hotel in Fuerteventura, Canary Islands, Spain

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Reach and Wash ladderless cleaning are based in the UK south east, and are part of laddersfree. They are mainly commercial ladderless window cleaners, but have a couple of add- on's like carpet cleaning and hard floor cleaning. Great music guys..

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and finally...

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Friday, 27 February 2009

The Active Ion Cleaning Solution - Mobile Electrolysis



Set to revolutionize the cleaning industry, the Activeion Pro is safe because it contains no added chemicals of any kind. The only hand-held cleaner that does not carry a chemical-related health warning label, Activeion Pro uses activated water technology rather than harsh chemicals to clean, making it the safest option for cleaning professionals, the customers they serve, as well as the environment. Activeion Pro is a versatile cleaner ideal for use on glass, stainless steel, wood, stone and marble as well as carpet and clothing. In fact, it can replace many general-purpose chemical cleaners commonly used for these types of surfaces. The unit, which retails for $299, can help professional cleaning companies save considerable money each year by eliminating the need to purchase a variety of general-purpose, window, glass, and stainless steel cleaners.




Activeion transforms tap water into a powerful cleaner through a simple, three-step process: 1. Charging: When the trigger is pressed, the water flows through a water cell that applies a slight electrical charge to the tap water. 2. Transforming: Next, the water passes through an ion exchange membrane where the activated water is separated into an oxygenated mixture of positively and negatively charged nano-bubbles. 3. Cleaning: When applied, the transformed, activated water helps lift the dirt from the surface like a magnet, enabling it to be wiped away. The activated water returns to its natural state after 30-45 seconds.



From cleaning medical devices and computer chips to food processing plants, the technology to create water electrolysis has been around for more than 50 years. In the past, water electrolysis has created two streams of water – negative and positive – which could not be combined. With the introduction of the Activeion hand-held sprayer, however, this is the first time both streams have been combined to work together to produce a general-purpose cleaner. As always - click the pictures to enlarge & see previous blog - "The Green Solution To Replacing Toxic Chemicals."

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Update: The nice man at Activeion Cleaning Solutions aka Todd Schaeffer sent me this in under an hour! -
On a full charge, the batteries have enough power to dispense more than 100 ounces (3+ liters) of activated water. That means on one charge you can refill the reservoir 6-8 times before the unit will need a new charge.
The water is activated in the head of the unit just prior to being discharged out the nozzle. When the trigger is pushed, the pump pulls the water from the reservoir up to the head of the unit. The water passes through the water cell just before it is discharged out the nozzle. After it is discharged out the nozzle, the water remains in the activated/charged state for 30-45 seconds. Our product provides activated water "on-demand."
The product is designed as a "spray and wipe" cleaner. Most cleaning applications that use spray bottles use a "spray and wipe" process. So,having the water active for 30-45 seconds after it is discharged from the unit is typically long enough.
Technically, when we apply the electricity to the water, the base chemistry of the water is altered. It stays in this "unstable" state for 30-45 seconds - this is when it takes on the behavior of a cleaning chemical.
Since all substances are always seeking their natural state, eventually the water chemistry returns to "normal" H2O. Does that help answer the question? If not, please feel free to call any time. Best Regards, Todd. Mobile: 612-708-9221Office: 866-950-4667

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Have You Hugged Your Window Cleaner Today? + Other News

George A. Faria of Fall River: George A. Faria of South Main Street, Fall River, died on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009, surrounded by his family. He was married to the late Dorothy Brett Faria for 52 years. Born in Fall River, he was a son of the late Francisco Alves Faria and Silvana Fernandes. A lover of nature, Mr. Faria enjoyed camp life and boating on his “Golden Pond” at the East End Sportsmen’s Club, and walking the shore at Sachuest Point and Colt State Park. An expert seaman, he spent many years fishing for stripers aboard “Dolly B,” the boat he built by hand and named in honor of his beloved wife. He was a long-time member and former president of the Fall River Linesiders Bass Club. Upon retiring from fishing, George enjoyed ballroom dancing and started his own window-cleaning business. His loving nature was expressed by the motto he placed on his window-washing truck: “Have you hugged your window cleaner today?” “Pa” George’s Peter Pan playfulness and upbeat outlook on life will be missed by all those fortunate enough to have known him.

A deer wreaked havoc last week in a home in the 3000 block of Harvey Lake Road in Highland Township, after smashing through a lower level window and getting trapped in a bedroom. The daughter of the home's owner was home Friday, Feb. 20 at the time of the incident and called Oakland County Sheriff Department deputies after seeing the deer thrashing around in the bedroom. Once everyone was in place, a deputy entered the room and took an open shot, killing the deer. The deputy then was able to get the deer through the window and out of the room. A tarp was then placed on the window. When the owner of the home arrived, deputies explained what had happened and referred her to a cleaning service that specializes in cleaning up blood.

Janitorial company cleans up in Dallas market: Businesses nationwide are downsizing but Central Florida-based D & A Building Services Inc., one of the area's largest janitorial/commercial cleaning companies and one of the nation's biggest Hispanic-owned businesses, is expanding. The company said this afternoon that it has snagged four contracts worth $100,000 since opening an office last month in Plano, Texas, to serve the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. D & A said the contracts are with the Texas Department of Transportation, the city of Huntsville, Garland Independent School District and the Marriott Hotel at Legacy Town Center. Al Sarabasa Jr., founder and president, said the company has already identified another $1.5 million worth of work to pursue this year in the Dallas area. If realized, that would require hiring 225 people to fill positions as cleaning specialists, lead personnel and area managers, he said. Sarabasa said he has used recessionary periods in the past as opportunities to add client services or expand into new areas. But the opportunity to expand to Texas arose in an unexpected way, he said. Antonio Espinel, employed at D & A's Central Florida office for the past five years, had relocated to Texas in late 2008 when his wife took a teaching position in Dallas. Sarabasa said that rather than lose a seasoned employee, he and Espinel explored the market for expansion possibilities, and when they saw the opportunities, Espinel was promoted to Texas branch manager to head a new branch there. D&A, based in Longwood just north of Orlando, has been in business since 1985. The company provides commercial full-service janitorial, window cleaning, high-rise window cleaning, specialized interior and exterior facility maintenance, landscape maintenance, pest control, waterproofing, construction clean-up and communications services to property managers, building owners, and local, state and federal governments. In addition to the main office near Orlando and the new one near Dallas, D&A has offices in Jacksonville, Tampa, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo. and Madison, Wis.

As Europe cuts, lean Germany may be spared the worst: Businesses across Europe are scaling back but some countries will suffer more than others. Liam Brewer has already embarked on the kind of restructuring that lies ahead for much of European industry this year. The managing director of Cargocare, a Dublin-based haulage company, has reduced his staff from 32 to 22 in recent months. He has also changed its business model, cutting prices in return for a reduced frequency of service. "If everybody works together you can eliminate some things that aren't essential. Everybody has to be a bit smarter in such a recession," he says. Economists say German companies may escape some of the pain facing those in France, Italy, Spain and Britain, even though the German economy is expected to suffer similarly. This is because German companies restructured far more heavily in the last downturn at the start of this decade. "The corporate sector in Germany can withstand a global slowdown more easily than France, Spain or Italy," says Mr Moëc. The Berlin government helped with labour reforms, particularly when Gerhard Schröder was chancellor, but companies played the leading role. They kept wage growth flat for almost a decade while salaries in France and Spain increased by 25-40 per cent. Mr Brewer says Cargocare is in as good a shape as it can be after examining "everything, right down to the window cleaner". Looking out into the slate-grey Dublin sky, he is pessimistic about the prospects for any company that does not embrace restructuring this year.

Happenings’ founder Grootveld dies: Robert Jasper Grootveld, one of the most emblematic figures of the 60s provo (provocation) movement, has died in a nursing home at the age of 76. Grootveld was famous for the ‘happenings’ he organised on the Spui (photo), then Amsterdam’s ‘magic centre’. The anti-smoking guru would dance around in a cloud of his own cigarette smoke chanting ugh, ugh, ugh - which became one of his mantras. Grootveld started out as a window cleaner, then turned to journalism and finally found his feet as an artist in the creative atmosphere of the 1960s. He came up with the famous white bicycle plan which has since been adopted by many cities around the world.

Francis M. Kretschmer, 93, of Sheboygan Falls went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Tuesday morning, February 24, 2009 at Sunny Ridge Health & Rehab Center, where he resided for the past two weeks. Francis was born in Big Falls, WI on June 15, 1915, the son of the late Oscar and Anna (Brennenstuhl) Kretschmer. He attended grade school in the Merrill area. At age 12, he began working away from home on the Ritter Farm in Merrill. On October 1, 1938, he married the late Lila E. Litke in Merrill. She preceded him in death on October 8, 2000. Francis, was the founder of a window washing business, and was well-known for many years in the Sheboygan area as 'the window washer'. Later, he worked at Schultz Sav-O until retirement in 1986.

Workers' strain injuries increase: Workers in Devon and Cornwall have some of the highest rates of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) in the UK. Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures for 2007 show between one and two in every 100 South West workers are affected by the condition. In Devon and Cornwall the figures for 2007 are near double the previous year. Many musculoskeletal upper limb or neck disorders like RSI are caused or aggravated by work.
Employers have a legal duty to prevent foreseeable risks of injury or illness in their workers.

A pensioner was left distressed after being assaulted by a teenage cyclist in Maidenhead town centre last week. Police want to hear from anybody who has information about the attack on the 69-year-old woman on Friday last week. She was walking along the High Street from the direction of the library towards the main shopping area at about 11.30am when it happened.As she passed a florist shop she saw a young boy on cycling on the pavement, forcing pedestrians to step into the road. When the elderly woman tried to tell him not to cycle on the pavement he swung his bike around, throwing it to the floor and pushed the woman against a wall and was verbally abusive. The suspect is Asian, aged about 17, well-built, with a ‘modern’ hair style. He was wearing a black hooded top and black trousers with ‘wine-coloured’ shoes. Case investigator Robert Giddings said: “The woman was not injured but she was extremely distressed by the incident. A man, who may have been working as a window cleaner in the area, came to her assistance and had words with the youth. “I would appeal for this man to come forward as he may have information that could assist with our investigation.” If you witnessed the incident or have any information that could help police, please contact Robert Giddings on 0845 8505 505.

Mr. Sanchez (aka Matt), gives you tips, tricks & tool techniques in the latest edition of his video.

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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Window Cleaning News & Videos




Window dressing: Harvey Nichols unveils new collection in Dundrum - Window cleaner Maros Baulims goes about his work as model Klaudia Molenda poses for photographs at the unveiling of the Harvey Nichols spring-summer collection at Dundrum Town Centre yesterday. Such was the demand for invites to the Harvey Nichols spring show in Dundrum yesterday evening that two presentations had to be organised to accommodate some 600 people. Prices ranged from €185 for a grey cardigan to €l,770 for a Balenciaga bag.


MICHAEL Shields has returned to his Liverpool home for the first time in three and a half years under new relaxed prison terms. The 22-year-old was allowed to spend three days back with his family in Edge Hill, on temporary licence release from jail in Warrington. Today his father Michael Snr (pictured) described the emotional moment his son finally walked through the front door again since he left to watch Liverpool play in the Champion’s League final in 2005. And he told how the engineering student spent his first night back in his old bedroom after a poignant family meal. But he insisted their ordeal is far from over, emphasising the agony of having to drive his son back to prison after the visit. The 46-year-old window cleaner said: “It was incredibly emotional for us all but particularly his mum.


How the oligarchs lost billions: They’re the filthy-rich tycoons who bought their way into the Kremlin. First they lost their power — now their cash. The high-powered gathering took place in the woods outside Moscow at a tsarist hunting lodge built, bizarrely, to look like a German medieval castle, now property of the Kremlin. Guarded by posses of armed bodyguards, Russia’s richest men arrived in chauffeur-driven Bentleys, armoured BMWs and the odd Maybach, a £300,000 custom-made limo. The chairman of TNK-BP, the Anglo-Russian oil giant, Fridman, 44, is one of the most successful pioneers of post-Soviet capitalism, a veteran of the wildest times in the history of Russian business. “The term ‘oligarch’ as understood in the 1990s no longer applies in Russia. Big business has not had real political influence for a long time — not since Putin came to power. It was clear from the beginning that Putin is a decisive person who won’t tolerate political manipulation on the part of big business.” A native of Ukraine who grew up listening to Radio Liberty, Fridman was 17 when he moved to Moscow as an impoverished student. He started out in business under communism by bartering theatre tickets for goods on the black market. He later founded one of the Soviet Union’s early private businesses, trying everything — even breeding white laboratory mice — until he started a window-cleaning company. That was the first stepping stone to his Alfa Group, an oil, retail, telecoms and banking conglomerate.


Broadwater pensioners fight price hike: Broadwater pensioners claim they are being unfairly treated over plans to hike their living costs by 30 per cent. Tom Wye believes the planned increases on maintenance payments, from £104 a month to £130, will make the lives of around 60 elderly residents at Penrith Court, in Broadwater Street East, very difficult. "I honestly believe these pensioners are getting a raw deal," said Mr Wye. "And given the current financial climate they are being exposed to unnecessary financial hardship." Residents were outraged when they received a letter from management company Guardian Facilities outlining the increases and plans to stop using a local window cleaner and replace him with a national contractor.

Another installment from Mark Strange of "Beautiful View" from Toronto, Canada gives us a few more unbiased reviews of products in the window cleaners workplace. This time his opinion on the Unger Vice-Versa & the Backflip from Ettore in this weeks edition of "Tool Talk."

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A short clip of high rise window cleaning of "Servico building maintenance, window cleaning division..
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Dan of Professional Window Cleaning Services from Worcestershire shows us how he does it..
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Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Window Cleaning Videos for Your Enjoyment & Pleasure

Mr Squeegee (aka Tony Evans) of New View Window Cleaning in Wellman, Iowa gives us a taste of the weather & cleaning windows in cold weather. Second video: Sean the salesman, just back from the IWCA trade show gives us an update on the inititive program for the window cleaners.

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Mike Draper of Reach Higher Ground gets interviewed at the first Canadian convention in the first video. Whereas Wayne of Specialised maintenance & awning cleaning services shows us round his local supplier - Dallas Window Cleaning Supply in Dallas, Texas.

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Window Cleaning tips from Park City, Utah. Joseph, owner of Mountain View Window Cleaning, explains the cause and solutions to hard water on glass.

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The "saviour of windows" shows us how quick of a draw he is - not as fast as the second guy.

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Monday, 23 February 2009

The Green Solution To Replacing Toxic Chemicals




Simple elixir called a 'miracle liquid.' Pictured above; Ojan Ahnad, chief engineer at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, shows the machine that electrolyzes ordinary tap water and salt to create a cleaner and sanitizer for housekeepers to use in hotel guest rooms. It's a kitchen degreaser. It's a window cleaner. It kills athlete's foot. Oh, and you can drink it. But the elixir is real. It has been approved by U.S. regulators. And it's starting to replace the toxic chemicals Americans use at home and on the job.
The stuff is a simple mixture of table salt and tap water whose ions have been scrambled with an electric current. Researchers have dubbed it electrolyzed water -- hardly as catchy as Mr. Clean. But at the Sheraton Delfina in Santa Monica, some hotel workers are calling it el liquido milagroso -- the miracle liquid. That's as good a name as any for a substance that scientists say is powerful enough to kill anthrax spores without harming people or the environment.
Used as a sanitizer for decades in Russia and Japan, it's slowly winning acceptance in the United States. A New York poultry processor uses it to kill salmonella on chicken carcasses. Minnesota grocery clerks spray sticky conveyors in the checkout lanes. Michigan jailers mop with electrolyzed water to keep potentially lethal cleaners out of the hands of inmates.
In Santa Monica, the once-skeptical Sheraton housekeeping staff has ditched skin-chapping bleach and pungent ammonia for spray bottles filled with electrolyzed water to clean toilets and sinks.
"I didn't believe in it at first because it didn't have foam or any scent," said housekeeper Flor Corona. "But I can tell you it works. My rooms are clean."
Management likes it too. The mixture costs less than a penny a gallon. It cuts down on employee injuries from chemicals. It reduces shipping costs and waste because hotel staffers prepare the elixir on site. And it's helping the Sheraton Delfina tout its environmental credentials to guests.
The hotel's kitchen staff recently began disinfecting produce with electrolyzed water. They say the lettuce lasts longer. They're hoping to replace detergent in the dishwasher. Management figures the payback time for the $10,000 electrolysis machine will be less than a year.
"It's green. It saves money. And it's the right thing to do," said Glenn Epstein, executive assistant at the Sheraton Delfina. "It's almost like fantasy."
Actually, it's chemistry. For more than two centuries, scientists have tinkered with electrolysis, the use of an electric current to bring about a chemical reaction (not the hair-removal technique of the same name that's popular in Beverly Hills). That's how we got metal electroplating and large-scale production of chlorine, used to bleach and sanitize.
It turns out that zapping salt water with low-voltage electricity creates a couple of powerful yet nontoxic cleaning agents. Sodium ions are converted into sodium hydroxide, an alkaline liquid that cleans and degreases like detergent, but without the scrubbing bubbles. Chloride ions become hypochlorous acid, a potent disinfectant known as acid water.
"It's 10 times more effective than bleach in killing bacteria," said Yen-Con Hung, a professor of food science at the University of Georgia-Griffin, who has been researching electrolyzed water for more than a decade. "And it's safe."





There are drawbacks. Electrolyzed water loses its potency fairly quickly, so it can't be stored long. Machines are pricey and geared mainly for industrial use. The process also needs to be monitored frequently for the right strength. Then there's the "magic water" hype that has accompanied electrolyzed drinking water. A number of companies sell so-called ionizers for home use that can range from about $600 to more than $3,000. The alkaline water, proponents say, provides health benefits.
But Richard Wullaert, a Santa Barbara consultant, said consumers should be careful. "Some of these people are making claims that will get everybody in trouble," said Wullaert, whose nonprofit Functional Water Society is spreading the word about electrolyzed water. "It's time for some serious conferences with serious scientists to give this credibility." Most of the growth has happened outside the United States.
Russians are putting electrolyzed water down oil wells to kill pesky microbes. Europeans use it to treat burn victims. Electrolyzing equipment is helping to sanitize drinking water in parts of Latin American and Africa. It's big in Japan. People there spray it on sushi to kill bacteria and fill their swimming pools with it, eliminating the need for harsh chlorine. Doctors use it to sterilize equipment and treat foot fungus and bedsores. It's the secret weapon in Sanyo Electric Corp.'s "soap-less" washing machine. Now Sanyo is bent on cleaning up Japan's taxis with a tiny air purifier that fits into a car's cup holder. The device uses electrolyzed water to shield passengers from an unwelcome byproduct of Japan's binge-drinking business culture: vomit.

Sanyo's taxi air washer isn't yet available in the U.S.; commuters will have to hold their noses for now. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have approved electrolyzed water for a variety of uses.
PuriCore of Malvern, Pa., and Oculus Innovative Sciences of Petaluma, Calif., have developed treatments for chronic wounds. Albuquerque, N.M.-based MIOX Corp. sells municipal water-purifying systems. EAU Technologies Inc. of Kennesaw, Ga., caters to both ends of a dairy cow, with alkaline water to aid the animal's digestion and acid water to clean up its manure. Integrated Environmental Technologies Inc. of Little River, S.C., is working with oil companies to keep wells free of bacteria and with high schools to sanitize sweaty wrestling mats and grungy football equipment that spread skin infections.
Electrolyzer Corp. of Woburn, Mass., is going after the hospitality market. The Sheraton Delfina purchased one of its machines. So has the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the Trump International Beach Resort near Miami. Patrick Lucci, Electrolyzer's vice president of marketing, likes to bombard prospects with scientific studies, then give 'em the old razzle-dazzle. He'll swig the processed salt water before he mops the floor with it. "Try that with bleach," he said.
The unit in Santa Monica looks a little like an oversized water heater, with two tanks side by side -- one for making the hypochlorous acid sanitizer, the other for the sodium hydroxide cleanser.
Rebecca Jimenez, director of housekeeping, heard grumbling from the cleaning staff when the hotel brought the machine in last fall. Housekeepers doubted that the flat, virtually odorless liquids were really doing the job. Some poured the guest shampoos into their bottles to work up a lather.
"If it doesn't suds up, it doesn't work," Jimenez said. "That's the mentality."
Still, she said, most have come around and are enjoying working without fumes and peeling skin.
Minnesota food scientist Joellen Feirtag said she was similarly skeptical. So she installed an electrolysis unit in her laboratory and began researching the technology. She found that the acid water killed E. coli, salmonella, listeria and other nasty pathogens. Yet it was gentle enough to soothe her children's sunburns and acne.
She's now encouraging food processors to take a look at electrolyzed water to help combat the disease outbreaks that have roiled the industry. Most are dubious.
"This sounds too good to be true, which is really the biggest problem," said Feirtag, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota. "But it's only a matter of time before this becomes mainstream."

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Pimping the Unger 0° Swivel Lock Handle



Mark Strange from Toronto, Canada & of "Beautiful View"has come up with the solution for interchanging your Unger 0° channel to make it a quick release. Mark adds,"many folks who have tried the Unger 0° swivel handle love the versatility of it but the most common complaint comes from having to loosen the two nuts and bolts to change out the channels/rubber." "If you have an Ettore Super System handle lying around, you can remove the quick-release mechanism from it and use it on the Unger." "The screw holes are the same distance apart. You will still be using the Unger plate as this will keep it a clipless system." "Remember to use the springs in between the nuts and the holding plate." He adds, "I had to drill out the screw holes a bit on the Unger because the Ettore screws were too tight; you need play."
Above you can see the Unger swivel-lock 0° handle & below with the modified handle interchanged with the Ettore Super System locking system.
See here on how to utilise the system for fanning with a pole. And see here on modifying your Ettore Contour-Pro handle.
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Saturday, 21 February 2009

The Window Cleaning Show UK



As the Canadian & U.S. convention comes to an end, the UK cleaning show makes its appearance in just a couple of weeks. The Cleaning Show is the biggest event in the UK cleaning industry’s calendar and is the only place to see the whole spectrum of products and services available from over 200 specialist companies. The Cleaning Show is a dynamic meeting place for the commercial and support services sector to find out about the latest equipment, services, suppliers and legislation, designed to encourage, stimulate and inform all cleaning professionals. Download the floorplan here or just browse the suppliers that will be attending here.

Mark Henderson of Window Cleaning Resources is giving away a free CD ROM packed with a whole bunch of stuff to help window cleaners develop their business at the Cleaning Show this year. The popularity of this internet based company has rapidly grown since it went live online in October 2006. This is no doubt thanks to the amount of useful links and information of interest to window cleaners available there. According to site statistics, in the month of January alone 11,349 different window cleaners referred to http://www.windowcleaningresources.co.uk/ with 1,382 keywords being used to find it! In a niche market of UK window cleaners, this makes it the most obvious place to be advertising your products and services to the trade.
When asked why he believes the site has been so successful, Mark Henderson, the founder and director of the company says, “Especially since the introduction of water fed pole systems, window cleaners are taking their trade more seriously and are actively looking for ways to improve their business and get a good return on their investment. We do our best to keep the site useful and up to date with all the latest developments within the industry. New suppliers and manufacturers are added regularly and we even have a site dedicated to buying and selling window cleaning rounds which has proved to be extremely popular. Then we have also created some of our own digital products and a range of DVD’s which have helped a lot of window cleaners become more efficient and confident about what they are doing. I guess we’re popular because we go out of our way to help window cleaners.”
Mark will be on hand at the show demonstrating the latest round scheduling system, Round Tracker v4 on stand A4.


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A prize draw will take place every day during the show, where each day one lucky visitor will win four tickets to any event of their choice, and enjoy full hospitality for the day. Visitors can choose from such world famous sports events as the F1 Grand Prix or Wimbledon, or perhaps a Premiership or England football match, a cricket test match, rugby international or golf Open. You can even win the chance to play a round of golf at any of the UK’s top courses! Just click the picture below & register.
Exhibition Opening Times:
March 10th - 10.00am – 5.00pm
March 11th – 10.00am – 5.00pm
March 12th – 10.00am – 4.00pm

Friday, 20 February 2009

Embarrased to Clean Windows in China



GUANGZHOU, China - She majored in English and loved her job as an office worker in China's once-booming export industry. But now Xiong Xuhua is jobless and in training to be a housekeeper, a fate she is too embarrassed to tell even her husband about. Wearing a blue apron with a white Hawaiian floral print, Xiong spent a recent day at a school for domestic workers practicing how to use a squeegee to clean a window without leaving streaks across the glass.
"I haven't told anyone in my family, not even my husband, that I'm going to do this kind of work," the petite 24-year-old woman said in a hushed voice as she looked down at the ground with a blank face. China's economic slump has sidetracked the careers of thousands of university graduates who studied computers, management and other fields. Now, many professional women are scrambling for jobs as nannies and housekeepers — work they never would have considered before.
It's a jarring change for an educated elite in a society where university students are called "Proud Children of Heaven." Parents warn kids they will wind up as nannies or cleaners if they fail to study. Many are getting their first taste of domestic work after spending their childhoods being pampered by their own nannies. The job search will only get tougher this year when 6.1 million college graduates enter the market. They will compete with 1.8 million graduates who finished school last year but have yet to find work. More than 23,000 graduates flooded into Beijing's first job fair after the Lunar New Year holiday earlier this month to apply for only 4,000 positions.
China has no statistics how many female professionals are now working as domestic help, but anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers are growing. Cong Shan, general manager of Guangzhou Home EZ Services in Guangzhou, China's southern business center, said that until last year, she had never had a university graduate apply to her company, which trains and places domestic workers. But since August, 90 percent of the 500 to 600 women who have applied have higher-education degrees. The popular job-search Web site 51job.com is seeing more university graduates and white-collar workers looking for lower-status jobs, said Feng Lijuan, the company's chief career adviser. While female professionals are turning to domestic work, China's legions of unemployed male graduates don't have that option and either remain out of work or settle for other less-desirable jobs, such as restaurant or retail work. Cong said her agency has yet to receive an application from a man.
Xiong, the former office worker, was trying to be upbeat while she trained at Cong's agency, where maids practiced their skills in a large kitchen and a model luxury apartment with a bedroom and bathroom. Xiong tried to clean the window with the squeegee three times with little success. "I told a former classmate what I'm doing, and she said I shouldn't look at it as housekeeping. She said what I'm really doing is managing a household and educating children," said Xiong, who graduated from Central South University of Technology in the southern city of Changsha.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, arrives for talks in Beijing today: China now owns more than $600 billion (£420 billion) of US government debt, and will be called on to buy more as President Obama's stimulus package inflates the budget deficit.
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It's Friday Night.............

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Thursday, 19 February 2009

Johnny Depp Cleans Windows & Other News

Is Kent the Bogus Window Cleaner Capital? Elderly homeowners in the Bay have been warned to be on their guard against a bogus window cleaner. Reports of the conman have been released by the police in a bid to catch him after he tried to get money out of pensioners and the disabled.
Window cleaner Pete Gallacher of Aqua Clean said some of his customers had been targeted, too, and warned others to be wary. He said: "This is a despicable thing to do and causes a lot of distress. "And it gives genuine window cleaners a bad name and affects business at a time when we really need it.
"This isn't the first incident I've heard of and I'm sure it won't be the last. "I've had customers in South Road, Fitzgerald Avenue and even as far out as Reculver tell me they have refused to pay a man pretending he had cleaned their windows. "Someone out there obviously thinks they can make easy money by targeting vulnerable people and ripping them off." One of his customers, Emma Gill, said her disabled sister Sally was left distressed after she was targeted by a conman at her home in Sea Street, Herne Bay. She said: "My mum pays for her windows to be done but a man came round demanding £20 from her. I had locked her in the house when I went out but the man shouted through the letterbox. "My mum is sometimes late paying our window cleaner so my sister thought that might have been the case and ended up giving him the money. "She's usually spot on when it comes to things like this but she was quite ill at the time. "The incident left her in a bad way and pretty distressed. She just wants to forget about the whole thing now."
Civil engineer Yiannis Petridis of Reculver Road, Beltinge, was one of those who refused to part with his cash. He said: "I know who cleans my windows and it certainly wasn't this bloke. He wanted a tenner off me but I only pay my cleaner £8.
"As soon as I pointed that out he said he must have the wrong house and walked off." A leaflet was circulated this week warning homeowners to be vigilant of the short-haired bogus cleaner said to be in his 30s. Police Community Support Officer Mike Keam warned: "This man has even lied that he jumped over locked back gates to wash windows at the rear of people's houses. If he calls at your house you should close the door and call us straight away on 01227 762055."

Window cleaner Billy O'Neill is used to polishing panes on his rounds….but it was a round of a different kind which had the Heath and Reach man polishing silverware. Billy teamed up with building company boss Dan Herron to compete in Leighton Buzzard Golf Club's Rosebery Trophy. The duo mopped up the top prize as they took the scalp of the more experienced Mick Myatt and Fintan Donohue in the final. Billy (pictured far right) and Dan are pictured with immediate past captain Andrew Wright after collecting their trophy at a club presentation evening.

Knocked down Quinton lollipop lady out of hospital: BIRMINGHAM’S oldest lollipop lady is out of hospital and on the mend more than two months after she was knocked down helping children across the road. Maureen Floody, 74, was hit by a car in December outside Four Dwellings Primary School, in Quinton, and needed surgery to pin broken bones in her arms. She also broke her pelvis in two places which has left her unable to walk until recently. And even now she has to use a frame to help get around. Maureen is still undecided about whether to return to work as a lollipop lady when she is fully recovered. “I’ll have to make that decision when I’m better,” she added. Husband Jim, 77, who has been by Maureen’s side throughout the traumatic experience, said he is looking to go back to work as a window cleaner when she is better. “But I’m not going to do anything until she’s 100 per cent,” he said.” No charges have been brought against the elderly male driver of the car.

Homeless in Hounslow 2 - The 'ghosts' who walk the streets: Postmen see them daily as they walk their morning rounds. Window cleaners and shopkeepers wake them as they open up before the shoppers descend. Sikhs and Christians feed them breakfast and dinner. It seems the only people who cannot see Hounslow's rough sleepers are the councillors and officers at the Civic Centre because, officially, there are just three 'street homeless' in the entire borough.

Walker of the Texas Range: Skip Potts is homeless and unemployed. In the past he’s been an English teacher in Prague, a high-rise window washer and a lingerie salesman. For the next month or so, he’ll be walking across the Lone Star State in his quest to traverse the entire country in the name of improving education. He’s created a registered charity called People for Educational Equality and through this organization is attempting to raise money and awareness for his cause. "I started on September 1st, so I’ve already been going for about five and a half months. I haven’t been moving as fast as I could, but moving into the Southwest I expect to speed up a lot, because there’s not as much to stop for. I think I’ll finish in about three months which will make a grand total of eight and a half months." Where is Skip today? Skip has made it to Texas and will walk into Houston today.


Small businesses, squeezed for cash and unable to get loans, are turning to an ancient payment system: barter. As small businesses find it impossible to borrow money and customers are slower to pay bills, the barter economy is becoming a crucial way for many companies to find the cash they need to keep operating. "It's really of value to small businesses because it helps them to survive through the recession," says Carmen Bianchi, director of the Entrepreneurial Management Center Business Forum and adjunct professor of family business management at San Diego State University. Atlanta Refrigeration Service Co. worked out a deal with a local sandwich shop that was 90 days overdue on a $1,500 bill: The sandwich shop paid $500 and agreed to cater lunch to Atlanta Refrigeration's office five times over the next six months.
Bartering is "critical to us in this recession," says Dave Brautigan, chief operating officer of the Atlanta-based refrigeration company. "As more and more of our clients find themselves in positions where they cannot pay the bill in full, it becomes our responsibility to figure out how to get that money in." Although companies do bartering one on one, many deals are conducted via membership networks in barter companies, where technology and tracking software have modernized the centuries-old system. Typically, a small business sets up an account at a barter company, similar to a checking account at a bank, for a one-time fee. "Trade dollars" earned for services rendered are deposited into the account and can be spent on any product or service in the network. Companies regularly find others willing to barter via the barter site's online directory of services, email newsletters, referrals or by contacting a firm's account manager.
On top of the setup fee, both parties pay the barter company a transaction fee of about 5% to 6% on each deal. Also see Nubarter.

US environmental Group Earthjustice has filed a lawsuit in New York, in an attempt to force cleaning chemicals manufacturers to make public both the chemical contents of their products and the results of their research into the adverse effects the products may have on users. The lawsuit is based on a 1976 New York law designed to stop the use of phosphates in detergent and is likely to impact on both commercial/professional and consumer products. The Soap & Detergent Association, which represents the $30 billion US cleaning products market and whose members include the formulators of soaps, detergents, and general cleaning products used in household, commercial, industrial and institutional settings; companies that supply ingredients and finished packaging for these products; and oleochemical producers, is fighting the challenge. It says that it is unfounded, lacks legal standing and will promote fear rather than facts. It also says that it ignores efforts by the industry to offer more information than ever before about cleaning products and their ingredients.
The Association expressed disappointment that activist groups led by Earthjustice are using an arcane New York State regulation as a way to disparage cleaning product formulators whose products are used safely and effectively by millions of people every single day.
"The cleaning product industry is committed to providing more information than ever before on cleaning product ingredients," confirms Michelle Radecki, SDA's General Counsel. "We have already unveiled a voluntary programme that will provide more meaningful information on ingredients, in a more consistent, easy-to-understand format, that will help consumers make informed decisions about the products they use in and around their homes." The Consumer Product Ingredient Communication Initiative was unveiled in November 2008 by SDA, the Consumer Specialty Products Association and the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association. This initiative provides different means to inform users about the ingredients in products: on the product label; on the manufacturers', distributors', or importers' website; through a toll-free telephone number; or through some other non-electronic means.


Is this who I think it is?...



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