By Chris Quinlan
The art of being a groomer is to make pets look and smell great. But how you’re grooming shop looks and smells are top criteria pet owners use when deciding whether to return for future visits.
Cleaning with the right products every day will create an environment that both pet and owner will be glad to return to, over and over again. Isn’t that the goal; to have healthy, happy customers that come back over and over again? Cleaning is a repetitive process that needs to be done every day to get the best results. Just like brushing our teeth or taking a shower regularly, we need to just do it.
The simpler we make cleaning, the more likely it will end up getting done every day. In an effort to keep it simple, we want to use one cleaner for all of our daily cleaning. The cleaner also should be a disinfectant. Read the label. If the label says Detergent, Disinfectant, Deodorizer then you have the right one.
These cleaner disinfectants come in both ready to use and concentrated formulas. A ready to use cleaner is convenient, but may cost many times more money than using a concentrate that you mix yourself. A concentrate is more environmentally friendly because you have far less post-consumer waste going into the landfill. Basically you’re not buying the bottle over again every time you run out.
Assign one person the responsibility of mixing the cleaner concentrate properly with water or utilize a mixing station that does it for you. A mixing station will insure it’s being mixed properly and will save you lots of time. Get rid of the “glug–glug”, “more is better method”. A mixing station will cut your product consumption in half compared to mixing by hand, and creates a safer, more OSHA compliant work place.
When diluted correctly, your cleaner should cost around 25 cents a gallon. Make sure you have proper labeling on your spray bottles and Safety Data Sheets on file.
The cleaner disinfectant of choice should have these attributes:
- Non–corrosive or destructive to the surfaces or tools needed to be cleaned.
- Safe to use on everything.
- Without fumes or vapors that could be inhaled.
- Stable in solution so that its ability to clean and kill germs doesn’t go away.
- The ability to be effective when mixed with hard water.
- The ability to disinfect in the presence of contamination like poop, pee, vomit, and blood.
- Non–reactive with other cleaners.
- Have a color to be identifiable.
- Smell good but not overpowering
One product prevalent in animal care is really the one we need to avoid most; Bleach.
Here are some bleach facts:
- Not a cleaner.
- Requires pre-cleaning.
- Extremely corrosive & destructive
- Reactive with organic substances like poop and pee as well as other chemicals.
- Has vapors that are very unhealthy to breathe.
- Loses ability to kill germs quickly.
- Has a very short shelf life.
- No drain opening capabilities.
- Most of your Clorox brand surface disinfecting products don’t contain bleach because of these reasons.
Other products are recommended for specific situations. For detail cleaning we would want a stronger cleaner like a degreaser. A citrus based degreaser is safe yet very effective for removing build–up in areas like the bathing tub. Citrus based degreasers work really well for the ring around the tub.
For glass cleaning, an oxy glass cleaner works best. For drain maintenance and odor control the safest and most effective products are bacterial enzyme producing products. The bacteria will liquify organics like food and fecal matter clogging the drain without the hazards that come with acid drain openers.
Bacterial enzyme products are the safest most effective for odor removal and control on all surfaces, especially soft surfaces like carpet, upholstery, clothing, or synthetic turf with no environmental impact. These products are even used as an effective skunk remover, safe enough to use right on the pet.
Be sure to keep your grooming shops looking and smelling as incredible as the pets you groom. Your customers will love you for it! ✂
Chris Quinlan has been an environmental sanitation consultant in the pet care industry for 28 years. He currently serves as President of Health Technology Professional Products Inc., makers of the Got Pee brand of cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing products. Chris and his wife Gia are the owners of the Riverwalk Pet Resort in Riverside California since 2006.