Cleaning Electronics with CRDN

A couple of years ago, CRDN (Certified Restoration Drycleaning Network) decided to expand their services to include electronics cleaning. Previously, this group of specialty dry cleaners, located throughout the US, Canada and the U.K., focused solely on restoration cleaning of textiles. When there is a fire in someone’s home, they are among the first to be called to the scene. Their job is to remove clothing, bedding, curtains, area carpets and other textiles for cleaning. For 16 years, as they provided this service, they noticed that the electronics and electric appliances in homes were growing. Items such as soot covered computers, televisions, game consoles, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, curling irons, lamps, ceiling fans and more were being left behind, and ultimately, thrown out. The insurance companies were paying out quite a bit of money to replace them. This seemed like a great niche market for them as they were already in the home after the fire, with trained staff to remove and clean items quickly. CRDN set to work to offer this new service. Two years later, the electronics cleaning business is in demand…and growing.

Ross Kollenberg, Executive Vice President of CRDN, learning how to clean a flat screen TV with the Morantz SM-200 System.

This February, Morantz was excited to be asked to attend the CRDN Super Regional Meeting in Michigan. The goal was to show the franchises our method of ultrasonic cleaning electronics and electric items. The Berkley, Michigan location had already been using our ultrasonic window blind cleaning machine to clean various types of blinds and curtains, so it was great when we had the opportunity to show off the new M-115 machine they installed for electronics cleaning. Over the course of two days, the

equipment was used to clean a wide variety of items including computers, bundles of electric cords, irons, fans, toaster ovens, scanners and more to demonstrate how quickly, easily and effectively our process is. Groups of franchises were brought in to watch the live demonstrations and ask lots of great questions. Here are some photos (best viewed on a desktop computer) from the event:

Bob Fearon, President of CRDN, told us “When we launched our Electronics Cleaning Service at CRDN, our approach from the start was to clean items from the least aggressive method to a more aggressive one, incrementally, as needed. We always want to apply the method that will give us the best chance for complete restoration of any item.

The Morantz Ultrasonic Cleaning Method and Equipment has given CRDN the ability to safely clean most electronic items in a fraction of the time of our previously used approach. It has increased our productivity and quality, while allowing us to restore items that were considered non-restorable in the past. Our Berkley, MI facility processes multiple jobs daily and the Morantz System for Cleaning Electronics has made the work more efficient.”       

The staff at the Berkley, Michigan CRDN with their new Morantz M-115 Ultrasonic machine

Since the event, we have been happy to have several CRDN franchises from around the country visit with us in Philadelphia, for a closer and more in depth look at our equipment. Many will be installing systems of their own in the near future.

We are very excited to have had the opportunity to meet with so many of the CRDN franchises, and show them how to diversify services to offer a better finished product, increase productivity and add profit to their businesses.

How to clean Electronics with Morantz Ultrasonics

Electronics Cleaning is an industry in its infancy, but Morantz has been cleaning electronics with ultrasonics for over 30 years. Our customers are way ahead of the curve when it comes to this niche market, and have been cashing in. If you are still surprised that you can clean electronics and electrical appliances with ultrasonics (yes, in water!), and want to learn more about how to clean Electronics with Morantz Ultrasonics, read on.

On site electronics cleaning with Morantz equipment

The Market: Today, nearly every aspect of cleaning brings us in contact with electronics. Homes, offices and facilities contain some combination of desktop computers, laptops, tablets, game consoles, music players and equipment, electronic musical instruments, printers, telephones, toys and more. These items cannot be ignored, especially when it comes to serious and deep cleaning for smoke, soot, water, mold and disinfection. Many cleaning services will shy away from electronics and give the job (and all the profit) to subcontractors. The reality is that if you have an ultrasonic machine, a proper drying room/drying cabinet, and instruction from Morantz, you can clean electronics.

Cleaning a flat screen television with the Morantz Ultrasonics SM-200 machine

Our customers using their machines to clean electronics are doing very well. This niche market goes well beyond restoration work and has opened the way to cleaning set top cable boxes, maintaining expensive industrial coffee and food dispensing machines, cleaning headsets for phones, cleaning power tools, cleaning electrical musical instruments, disinfection of medical equipment in hospitals, and so much more.

Before Ultrasonic Cleaning

After Ultrasonic Cleaning

The Process*: Remove the electronic item’s cover and any batteries, if applicable. For computers, remove the hard drive. Pre-wash if needed. Ultrasonic clean for 1-2 minutes. Rinse with deionized water. Dry immediately and thoroughly with the Morantz Blow Dry Gun. Spray with Morantz Miracle Chemical to displace any extra moisture. Place in the Morantz Drying Cabinet (or equivalent drying room with proper temperature, relative humidity and air flow) for a minimum of four hours.

For Disinfection: If you have Morantz equipment, you already know our equipment has been tested and proven for disinfection if used properly. Ultrasonic clean for a minimum of 3 minutes in your Morantz machine (results not proven for other manufacturers). Check your cleaning work with an ATP meter. This will let you know if there is still anything “live” on the electronic item that could be viral, bacterial or otherwise problematic. Then follow all other steps above.

For On Site Cleaning: Customers with sensitive information may not allow for their computers and other electronic equipment to leave their site.  All Morantz ultrasonic machines are built on wheels and can be taken to the job site. However, the most portable and least costly machine is the Z-56. For drying, we recommend building a temporary drying room using a dehumidifier, space heater (if necessary) and an air mover. Be sure the drying room still meets proper parameters for temperature and relative humidity. To see photos from one of our on site computer cleaning jobs on our Facebook page, click here. For this job we used plastic sheeting to build a temporary drying space in one corner and it worked very well.

Equipment: Every Morantz model of machine can be used for electronics cleaning, but our most popular models are the SM-200 and M-115. These machines have electric lifts that make cleaning electronics easier for the operator. There’s no heavy lifting or awkward handling of items involved. For drying, our Drye-Rite drying cabinet with ozone is ideal.

Cleaning desktop computer with the Morantz Ultrasonics M-115 line

Cleaning chandelier with Morantz Ultrasonics

The Morantz Drye Rite drying & ozone cabinet: Drying air movers

Cleaned electric guitar with the SM-200. Drying with Morantz Blow Dry Gun

*There are additional steps for specific types of electronics. This article does not take the place of training. Training is free of charge to all Morantz customers. If you want to learn more, be sure to click through all the links and contact your Morantz representative at 215-969-0266.

More photos:

    

Window Blinds=Big Business Around the World!

R&T BLINDS EXPO IN EUROPE Stuttgart, Germany March 2018

The B-160 “Princess” Ultrasonic Machine at the R&T Expo

The world’s largest window blind manufacturers gathered in Germany for five days to show off the latest and greatest advances in the window blind industry. From the moment you entered any of the eight halls, it was clear that the trend continues for sales of fabric blinds and roller shades.

This is great news for ultrasonic blind cleaners! These beautiful, higher end blinds require a bigger investment for consumers. To protect this investment, they are willing to pay for cleaning and maintenance rather than having to purchase new blinds.

Our stand received visitors from over 50 countries! Most are blind manufacturers and/or sell new blinds. During live cleaning demonstrations, it was amazing to see the recognition in their eyes of how easily blinds can be cleaned, and how much profit there is in the service. Most told us they had been asked if they clean blinds. Many discussed that by offering cleaning, it would be easier to get their customers to invest in more expensive blinds.

This was not news to Michele Lazzarotto from Elle Emme and Lavarretutto of Milan, Italy. Michele spent all five days at our stand speaking with interested customers about his personal experiences with ultrasonic cleaning. During the past eight years, Michele has expanded his business tremendously with ultrasonics. His investment in four Morantz machines has allowed him to take on all types of cleaning jobs, although cleaning blinds remains his largest market. Most recently Michele has been on the job at Versace keeping their blinds looking good!

Our live demonstrations included cleaning several blinds that people from all over Europe brought to our stand. We had one company bring us an extremely dirty, twenty year old Venetian Blind, from the exterior of a building.

Within minutes, the slats were clean, the cords and ladders were clean, and it was ready to be rehung and used for years to come.

Overall, the show was a great experience. We look forward to working with our new customers all over the world.

Musical Instrument Cleaning with Morantz Ultrasonics

 Musical instrument cleaning is an in-demand business.  Whether you are an instrument repair technician, an instrument retailer, or a cleaning company, this is a great add-on service.
Many of our ultrasonic machine owners find that although they did not intend to clean musical instruments,  they encounter them during the course of their business.
Cleaning a French Horn in the Morantz Z-56 Ultrasonic Machine
If you are offering soot and smoke damage contents cleaning , it is inevitable that you will need to clean musical instruments in homes and commercial facilities. If you deal with antiques and/or electronics, at some time you will be asked to clean these types of instruments. Most recently, our customers who focus on medical disinfection are being called on to clean instruments for schools that are demanding instrument infection control. For all of these reasons, it is worthwhile exploring this market and learning the proper cleaning techniques.
Tuba cleaning in the Morantz Z-56 Ultrasonic Machine
Here are some general tips for ultrasonic cleaning of musical instruments*:
Brass and other metals:
Most instruments that are brass will need to be inspected to determine if lacquer is already starting to peel off. The older the instrument is, the more likely you will see this.  If it is peeling, temperature and intensity need to be kept low to avoid further damage. For other metal instruments, the temperature of cleaning should usually remain at room temperature.Before cleaning, instruments should be disassembled as much as possible. Remove all slides and buttons. If you find these parts are stuck, go ahead and clean the whole instrument in the machine for a minute, pull it out, and see if you can then loosen these parts enough to disassemble them. Then place all parts back in the machine for another 2-3 minutes. Note that you do not have to remove the felt or leather pads prior to cleaning, but if these need replacing, it’s best to go ahead and remove them at this time.Clean in stages: Pre-wash, Ultrasonic Wash, Rinse and Dry
For best results, pre-wash your instruments in a high alkaline cleaning solution such as Morantz Synergizer. This will remove oil, dirt and other build up. For the Ultrasonic Wash, you should use an acidic, descaling solution to work on the build up (from saliva) frequently seen on brass instruments. One of our favorite products is Tesch Classic Brass Cleaner. Click through for information and ordering information and view a video here on Tesch products.

Clean scale off instruments with the proper cleaning solution

Rinse the instrument with deionized water.
Dry with the Morantz Blow Dry Gun or other appropriate drying tool.

The Morantz Blow Dry Gun used to quickly dry a trombone

To watch a video of ultrasonic cleaning the above pictured trombone, click here.

To watch a video of a cleaned trumpet being dried with the Morantz Blow Dry Gun, click here.

Woodwind and String Instruments: Yes, you can clean these too if you keep the temperature and intensity low and dwell time to seconds. Only an alkaline solution should be used on these instruments (no descaler!). They also need to be dried quickly and completely as soon as they are cleaned. We recommend you use the Morantz Blow Dry Gun.

Clarinet cleaned with Ultrasonics

Electric and Electronic Instruments: Yes, you can clean these instruments too, but be sure to use only alkaline solution (no descaler!). As with all types of electronics cleaning, these instruments must be rinsed with deionized water, dried immediately and thoroughly with the Morantz Blow Dry Gun, sprayed with Morantz Miracle Chemical to displace any extra moisture, and placed in the Morantz Drying Cabinet (or equivalent drying room) for a minimum of four hours.

Electric Guitar cleaned with Ultrasonics

For Disinfection: Schools usually clean all of their instruments over the Summer, so it’s a great time to start discussing your service with them.  If you have Morantz equipment, you may already know how our equipment has been tested and proven for disinfection. In the field, you can check your cleaning work with an ATP meter. This will let you know if there still anything “live” on the instrument that could be viral, bacterial or otherwise problematic.

ATP Meter displaying test results

Take before and after photos. When you are given an instrument to clean, take a good, high definition photo prior to cleaning. Take another when the job is complete. Not only will your customer appreciate seeing what a great job you did for them, but you can use these for marketing your service. Post on social media, your website, as well as taking them with you on prospective jobs.  Remember that a picture is worth 1000 words.

Before Ultrasonic Cleaning
After Ultrasonic Cleaning
Morantz manufactures a wide variety of models of machines that can be used for instrument cleaning, but our most popular models are the Z-56 “Bubba” and the Z-97 “Brother” models.  Mouthpieces on brass instruments can also be cleaned in our line of SZ table top size cleaners. Click here to download our catalog and learn more.
*This article does not take the place of training. Training is free of charge to all Morantz customers. If you want to learn more, be sure to contact your Morantz representative at 215-969-0266..

We’re Featured in R&R Magazine

Morantz Ultrasonics  has been featured in R&R (Restoration and Remediation) Magazine.  If you’re considering starting or growing a Contents Cleaning division, this article contains words of wisdom on where you should start.  Click here to read the original article (even if crossed out you can click through) or read below.

Ultrasonic Cleaning: Is It Right For You? by Lisa Morantz

If you are considering ways to improve your current contents restoration business or the possibility of entering into the realm of contents cleaning for the first time, there are many questions to be explored. One option to think about: ultrasonic cleaning technology.

Ask around, there’s a lot of good news about ultrasonics. You’ll find it’s a thoroughly tried and tested technology around for about 40 years. Industry experts discuss its meticulous and efficient cleaning capabilities. Business owners tout ultrasonic cleaners as highly valued tools for increasing profitability. Insurance companies recognize the cost savings of ultrasonics, and some even insist restoration companies use ultrasonics in order to receive new contents jobs.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and some guidance on how to consider and answer: Is ultrasonic cleaning right for you?

1) Is my company big enough?

This question usually refers to the number of content jobs a company is currently handling. In other words, are there enough jobs each month to justify the investment?  Consider this another way:  Are you satisfied with the number of jobs you are bringing in or would you like more work? And, are you profitable enough with the work you are doing?

If you’re looking to expand your contents business, this should be planned growth. Set goals, and determine what you need to achieve those goals, including equipment. The reality is insurance companies give contents jobs to companies they know can handle them.  If you can show adjusters you can perform these jobs with efficiency, handle multiple jobs at once, take on contents that were previously considered a loss, reduce secondary damages and residual issues, and also save them money… you will get more work!

This is one of those, “if you build it they will come” scenarios. Successful businesses make targeted investments in the proper ultrasonic cleaning systems, and then market it well. It’s a proven formula for success in contents restoration.

If you’re only looking for improved speed and quality, there is ultrasonic equipment for this too. No one will argue hand cleaning contents is difficult. For items with crevices and other hard-to-reach areas, it is even more problematic. As a result, there are frequently odor and corrosion issues where items need to be re-cleaned. Hand wiping is also tedious and time consuming work. Because it is so labor intensive, with labor being the biggest cost for any company, it is expensive work. This means many companies are currently doing a lot of work for little profit. It’s frustrating.

Fortunately, there are ultrasonic tools for these companies, too. These machines are typically smaller, but just as powerful as well as portable and can serve as a launching point for growth once owners begin to realize more profit.

2) Do I have enough employees?

In many cases, individual ultrasonic machines can be operated by a single employee, but that doesn’t mean you’re working efficiently. Employees are also needed to unpack boxes of contents, inventory them, prep, wash, dry, and repack. With a single employee, you can get the job done, but that employee becomes a bottleneck. However, you don’t necessarily need a single employee for each step. Many profitable ultrasonic cleaning businesses can work effectively with two to four employees. This keeps overhead low, but doesn’t depend on one person to do everything.

3) Do I have enough space?

Ultrasonic cleaning and contents restoration does not require a tremendous amount of space. While some companies with expansion plans may want to relocate to a larger facility, most only need to use their current space more efficiently. Sometimes all it takes is a little reorganization, better lighting, a fresh coat of paint and some creativity.

There are more ultrasonic equipment options available today than ever. One size does not fit all. Guidance should be provided by your contents equipment manufacturer or supplier to help you choose the right equipment for your space, electrical capacity, drainage, etc.  Many will even help you design your space and provide you with floor planning.

If you are a company with a goal to diversify services and grow ultrasonic cleaning as a major division or department, keep in mind more equipment may be necessary as well as space.

If you are a newer or smaller company, it may be necessary to minimize the space you use. A smaller ultrasonic machine may be the answer to help in being nimble, flexible, helping with cash flow and allowing you to maximize your profits. Your strategy should include some planning for future growth and deciding if you want to reinvest your new-found profits towards additional space or future equipment.

In most cases, you should plan on a minimum of 500 square feet. This space will not only be for equipment, but for storage of both dirty and cleaned items, racks for drying, tables for packing/unpacking, etc. With a little extra attention to detail, you can easily turn your cleaning area into a “show room” to bring adjusters and other customers through for demonstrations and classes. This is terrific marketing that will grab their attention and brings the “wow” factor.

Don’t let the perception that you can’t start offering the ultrasonic cleaning service until your space is perfectly planned out stop you from moving forward. Start simple and see what works best.

4) Should I just sub out contents work?

Some companies are currently sub-contracting their contents work because they don’t want to deal with these questions or invest in equipment. Companies taking on this contents work are profiting tremendously! The question is: would you like to re-capture this profit? Take a look at how many dollars are going out the door and think about what that would mean for your company. Better yet, maybe you would like to become THE contents company to which everyone else subs their work.

5) What about training and support?

Ultrasonic equipment utilizes sophisticated technology. Accordingly, it is critical the machinery you work with is designed for ease of use and is supported by the manufacturer or supplier. While training is available from most manufacturers and some industry experts, “hands-on” training is critical and truly the best way to learn.

Additionally, many restoration companies prefer to have an instructor come to them so employees receive individualized training and attention on their own equipment. When these employees become comfortable using the equipment, they’ll look forward to using it and use it more effectively.

Finally, no single training program or class can account for all the different items and scenarios that occur in contents cleaning. Be sure your manufacturer/supplier offers on-going, expedient, and ideally, free-of-cost answers to all of your questions.

6) Can I afford it?

We’ve already discussed the labor savings, the efficiencies, the marketing capabilities, etc., but there is one more factor to consider: additional markets.

One of the great things about ultrasonics is its ability to clean so many different types of items. When not busy with fire restoration and you have some down time, why not diversify? Clean sports equipment, electronics, industrial parts, window blinds, medical equipment and more. If you haven’t explored and marketed these other options, you are leaving the proverbial money on the table.

An investment in ultrasonic equipment can run anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 (your manufacturer/supplier should work with you to determine your budget and needs). Most companies are reporting return on investment within the first quarter of ownership.

With profit margins averaging over 50 percent, ultrasonics is a serious tool for business and worthy of serious consideration.

 

Want to learn more about how Morantz Ultrasonics works for Soft Contents Cleaning?  Click here (even if it shows as crossed out you can click through) to read another great R&R magazine article.

Ultrasonic Cleaning Shown To Reduce Infectious Contaminants

by
Michael A. Pinto, CSP, CMP

Bacteria

A growing consideration when evaluating the quality of indoor environments is the role that building finishes, furnishings, and cleaning practices have on the transmission of infectious agents. This is especially true in medical facilities where health care acquired infections (HCAI) are having a growing impact on patient survival rates and health care costs. Anywhere from 48,000 to 100,000 fatalities annually can be tracked back to the development of infections in patients that did not have an infection upon admission.(1) Beyond the loss of life, these infections are expensive. Various researchers estimate that the extra days spent in the hospital lead to $8.1 billion in added costs.(2)

The move to address such problems has intensified since Medicare and Medicaid implemented a policy of refusing to reimburse health care facilities for certain preventable infections. Private insurance is now following their lead. This push toward recognizing infectious contaminants as part of the indoor environment has also grown as the European concept of “baubiology” has caught hold in North America.(3)

The move to new types of cleaning chemicals, including botanicals and “natural” cleaners from plant oils is one response to this deadly and expensive problem. But this change toward stronger and stronger chemicals for cleaning purposes generally only provides short-term relief as the side effects of harsh chemicals and the natural ability of bacteria and other infectious agents to develop a resistance to antimicrobial agents limits their effectiveness, especially in health care facilities.

Ultrasonic Cleaning to Control Infections?

Wheelchair on Machine

Fortunately, there is an option that has been proven to dramatically enhance normal cleaning procedures in health care facilities: Ultrasonics. Ultrasonic cleaning kills bacteria and other pathogens through physical means rather than by a chemical reaction, eliminating the need for harsh compounds and the possibility of instigating resistant organisms.

After more than two years of testing in both the United States and Great Britain, the results showed conclusively that Morantz ultrasonic cleaning equipment was capable of removing bacterial contamination from items typically used in both institutional and residential settings. Over the course of three carefully controlled studies it was discovered that the Morantz ultrasonic machines were effective in:

  1. Removing both gross contamination and microscopic bacterial pathogens that are found on items after they have been involved in a black water loss (sewage).
  2. Destroying bacterial that pose the greatest concern to health professionals, with a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) chosen to serve as a surrogate for such serious strains of microbial contamination.
  3. Supplementing normal cleaning procedures in hospitals to significantly improve infection control without being burdensome or overly expensive.

The fact that the testing progressed from cleaning in controlled environments to utilization of the Morantz Ultrasonics equipment in two different hospitals in England verified that the results represent a real-world application rather than just theoretical data. It should also be noted that the field testing in the hospitals was sponsored by the National Health Service in the United Kingdom as a demonstration project that was part of the Technology Innovation Program, which focuses specifically on reducing health care facility acquired infections.

A History of Effective Cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners use sound waves produced at frequencies higher than our ears can perceive. The process involves the use of a generator, called a transducer, in a water tank, which creates high-frequency sound waves. As the sound waves move through the liquid they create compression waves that “tear” the liquid apart, leaving behind many millions of microscopic voids or partial vacuum bubbles. (The technical name for this effect is cavitation.) These small bubbles expand and eventually implode when they strike an object, and this energy dislodges contaminants even from intricately shaped surfaces.

Ultrasonic cleaning came into vogue for various types of industrial cleaning processes in the early 1950s. Small, table-top units quickly became common in jewelry and watch repair facilities, as well as in dental laboratories for cleaning surgical equipment. Many hospitals utilize ultrasonic cleaners for de-contaminating surgical instruments.  The attraction of the ultrasonic cleaning process is that it minimizes the need for chemicals while allowing cleaning to occur in the smallest and hardest to reach places.

Large portable ultrasonic cleaning equipment was utilized in the 1970s for the cleaning of Venetian blinds, developed by Stan Morantz, one of the founders of Morantz Ultrasonics. From there, Morantz introduced the process to the developing restoration industry where it was found to be very effective at gently removing soot and fire residue from even the most fragile of items. Ultrasonic cleaning and Morantz took another leap forward at the end of the 20th century when it was shown to be effective at cleaning intricate electronic components, such as computer keyboards, without damage.

The usefulness of ultrasonic cleaning in regards to biological pathogens like bacteria and virus has been known for some time. However, until recently most of these efforts have been limited to small equipment such as clamps and dental molds. The testing done on the Morantz units for efficacy on large items such as wheelchairs, commodes, I.V. stands, bedside tables and other common hospital items is truly groundbreaking in the ultrasonic industry.

Wheelchair Prepped for Cleaning and Testing.
Wheelchair Prepped for Cleaning and Testing.

Not All Ultrasonic Equipment Is the Same

While all ultrasonic cleaners work on the same principle of cavitation, there are critical differences in the design and function of the various machines. Manufacturers generate sonic waves inside the tank of an ultrasonic cleaner in a variety of ways and in varying powers and frequencies. The testing showing the effectiveness of ultrasonic cleaning for controlling the spread of bacteria was done with equipment with specifications that included immersible transducer packs and a 40kHz frequency. Other manufactured machines have not been tested or proven to produce the same results.

Highlights of the Three Tests

In all three tests a common sense approach was followed. The ability of the Morantz ultrasonic equipment to kill microbial contaminants was measured by collecting samples from items prior to and after being cleaned. Immediate feedback was provided in all three studies by collecting samples on swabs that were analyzed by field equipment using adenosine triphosphate (ATP) technology. ATP instruments have a long history of use in food service and health care settings to determine the cleanliness of surfaces related to biological contaminants. Such instruments provide numerical results known as relative light units (RLU). In two of the studies, side-by-side surface samples were also analyzed by an independent laboratory to determine concentrations of specific types of bacteria.

Pre-Clean RLU Count for Wheelchair
Pre-Clean RLU Count for Wheelchair.

The first independent test was conducted in order to determine if the cavitation process was as effective at removing bacteria as it was at dislodging dirt, grease, and other non-hazardous materials. A variety of residential and commercial items were tested, including toys, a wheelchair, and electronic components. The sampling data generated during the initial study revealed that:

  • The Morantz ultrasonic cleaning system was extremely effective in removing bacteria from items with heavy contamination. Bacterial reduction of nearly 100% (99.86% and 99.98%, respectively) was achieved for items that started with more than 1 million and 259,900 colonies of bacteria, respectively.
  • There was no evidence of cross-contamination even after the water in the ultrasonic tank had been used to clean items with extreme bacterial counts. In fact, one of the items cleaned immediately following contamination of the tank water by items with highly elevated bacterial concentrations had test results below the laboratory’s detection limit.

Wheelchair Being Cleaned in a Morantz Ultrasonic Machine.
Wheelchair Being Cleaned in a Morantz Ultrasonic Machine.

A follow-up study was authorized in an attempt to determine whether difficult-to-clean items from a hazardous environment could also be effectively decontaminated using a Morantz ultrasonic cleaner.

Since the testing of the Morantz ultrasonic equipment involved cleaning items that would be inoculated with dangerous bacteria (raw sewage and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)), appropriate precautions had to be taken. A small (~10′×10′×8′) enclosure was constructed with stud walls and double layers of six-mil plastic. A one-stage decontamination unit was attached to this enclosure to minimize the possibility of hazardous contaminants escaping from the test area. A HEPA-filtered negative air machine was utilized to keep the test area under negative pressure throughout the process.

Air Filtration

On each item that was to be tested and cleaned, five squares were marked and numbered with indelible marker. All five areas on each item were contaminated in a uniform manner with either MRSA bacteria or raw sewage. Field samples were collected from each of the five test squares: three for analysis using a portable ATP tester (square 1, pre-cleaning; square 3, post-cleaning; square 5, post-cleaning and drying) and two for comparative laboratory analysis (square 2, pre-cleaning; square 4, post-cleaning and drying).

All items to be cleaned in the ultrasonic tank were intentionally contaminated prior to cleaning in order to ensure that the contents represented a worst-case scenario. Contamination of test items was conducted with commercially cultured methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria or sewage obtained (post-screening) from the local wastewater treatment plant. As a further challenge, both porous and non-porous items were intentionally contaminated and then cleaned in the ultrasonic tank. Standard cleaning times (two to four minutes, depending on the object’s size, type, and material) were used so that results useful in real-world applications could be obtained.

Microfiber Cloth Prior to Ultrasonic Cleaning.
Microfiber Cloth Prior to Ultrasonic Cleaning.

 

Microfiber Cloth After Ultrasonic Cleaning.
Microfiber Cloth After Ultrasonic Cleaning.

The sampling data generated during the second study showed that:

  • Pernicious bacteria types, such as those resistant to antibiotics, can be effectively cleaned from surfaces using Morantz ultrasonic equipment, since MRSA bacteria were completely eliminated from contaminated surfaces by the ultrasonic cleaning.
  • The laboratory results for Enterococcus and Escherichia coli bacteria contamination showed a 100% reduction for every non-porous item tested. The system also showed impressive results cleaning a microfiber cloth, with 100% reduction of E. coli bacteria and 97.7% reduction of colony forming units of Enterococcus.
  • Laboratory testing revealed that live bacteria counts in the water when the ultrasonic machine was operating stayed close to zero even after intentional contamination with gallons of raw sewage.

MRSA bacteria was applied to the plastic tray of a walker using a swab.

MRSA Bacteria Applied to Walker Tray

Initial test results showed that the tray of the walker had been successfully contaminated as indicated by a reading of 925 relative light units (RLU).

MRSA Applied to Walker-2

As a comparison, the manufacturer of the ATP tester indicates that a clean surface would have less than 10 RLU’s.

Washing Walker

Following a two-minute cleaning in the Morantz ultrasonic unit a sample was collected from square 3 and subjected to the same field analysis as the initial sample. Relative light units had been reduced from 925 to 10, indicating that the cleaning process was successful.

MRSA Reduced from 925 to 10

The two earlier studies garnered interest from the National Health Service in England as they aggressively attack the problem of HCAI. In this case a three-month trial was extended to six months because of the impressive results that were obtained. However, it is important to note that in the hospital study the “ultrasonics technology cleaning system was not intended to, and did not, replace standard cleaning. All equipment continued to be cleaned in the usual way”.(4) In other words, the infection control experts understand that ultrasonic cleaning is a supplement to existing infection control efforts, not a process that supplants it.

The British study was prompted by their understanding of the ultrasonic cleaning process:

Ultrasonic technology is good at accessing inaccessible areas that normal cleaning cannot reach, for example screw threads and hinges. It is good at cleaning hard substrates. It has been found by researchers to be even more effective than thorough hand scrubbing, often observed in busy work areas. It involves less exposure to cleaning agents and, therefore, contributes to a reduction in skin damage.(5)

1,025 measurements were collected from items before and after cleaning during the course of the study at the two hospitals. A careful analysis of the data showed “an average of a 98% change in the RLU reading when the average Pre-Clean reading is compared with the average Post-Clean 2 reading”.(6)

Before and After_IV Pole

The results were so consistent and impressive that the researchers were able to draw a stronger correlation than expected. The stated goal was to measure the cleanliness of particular items with the expectation that better cleaning would, indeed, have a positive effect on the number of health care acquired infections. At the conclusion of the trial period the study authors noted, “The evaluation was not designed to assess the effectiveness of ultrasonics in reducing infection, but was it more effective than normal routine cleaning”.

As part of the study in England, hospital personnel were asked to evaluate the ultrasonic cleaning process. When those individuals who had knowledge of the trial were asked, “Would you recommend the system to other colleagues?” 100% of the responses were positive.(7)

Cleaning in Hospitals

At the conclusion of the study hospital personnel had some specific recommendations and conclusions.(8) They noted that the ultrasonic cleaning was especially useful for:

Ultrasonic Cleaning Useful For

Overall, the study authors were enthusiastic about the Morantz ultrasonic cleaning equipment as a new weapon in the war on HCAI as they stated:

The…ultrasonic system can be used without disruption to staff or patients so long as there is a plan in place to ensure equipment that may be required frequently through the day is cleaned at an appropriate time to allow it to be returned before being required again. The clean appearance of the medical equipment returned had a lot of support from staff and the RLU values post pre clean proves equipment was less contaminated.(9)

An Ultrasonic Answer to Controlling Infections

Both controlled testing and field demonstrations have confirmed that Morantz ultrasonic cleaning equipment is an important tool that should be utilized to improve cleaning performance in health care settings and other critical use facilities. This improved cleaning is one of the keys to reducing health care acquired infections and limiting the personal suffering and financial loss that comes from these preventable diseases.

 


 

END NOTES

  1. Monina Klevens, DDS, MPH et. al., “Estimating Health Care-Associated Infections and Deaths in U.S. Hospitals 2002,” Public Health Reports, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March–April 2007, Volume 122.
  2. Douglas Scott II, “The Direct Medical Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention,” Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases; Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, March 2009.
  3. Baubiology is the study of how buildings impact the people who occupy them. It is not limited only to the practice of reducing toxicity of building materials, but represents a total approach to a healthy living environment. The approach of baubiology examines lessons from the past, but is future focused. It emphasizes that a particular combination of building materials, furnishings, and cleaning can create positive or negative synergies.
  4. “Showcase Hospitals Local Technology Review Report number 5: Bio-Cav40 Ultrasonic Cleaning,” Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, p. 10.
  5. Ibid., p. 8.
  6. Ibid., p. 12.
  7. Ibid., p. 16.
  8. Ibid., p. 7.
  9. Ibid., p. 18.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Pinto Presenting at the FIME International Medical Conference, August 2010.
Michael Pinto Presenting at the FIME International Medical Conference, August 2010.

Michael A. Pinto, CSP, CMP, is chief executive officer of Wonder Makers Environmental, Inc. He focuses on common sense practices that work when health professionals are faced with threats from swine or avian flu, MRSA outbreaks, norovirus exposures, and nosocomial infection problems in healthcare facilities.

Mr. Pinto is the author of over 150 published articles and several books including, Fungal Contamination: A Comprehensive Guide for Remediation. He completed doctoral course work in environmental engineering and holds numerous certifications in the environmental and safety areas including Certified Safety Professional and Certified Mold Professional. He conducted most of the testing described in this article but has no ownership connection to Morantz or other manufacturers of mentioned products.

Training in Session: A Behind the Scenes Look at Training at Morantz Ultrasonics

At Morantz, we take a different approach to training than what’s typical for the industry. We prefer to keep it a little “old school,” with an emphasis on hands-on, individualized attention. Over the years we’ve found that this approach results in students who are far better trained and ready to be productive. You can see this on display in this post. Below, we feature just a few of our clients who have either visited us at our headquarters in Philadelphia or had us visit with them at their location for on-site training.

Now, that’s not to say we don’t keep up with the times. We’ve recently held several, very successful online webinars and are planning more, but there’s something about spending that quality, face-to-face time with our customers that sitting in front of a computer just can’t duplicate. That’s one of the reasons we built a new, state-of-the-art training center at Morantz HQ, and we’re ready to start filling those seats (learn more about our new training center below)!

In the meantime, scroll down to learn more about our training (or click here), and meet some of our successful students. There’s a reason why they’re smiling. Can you guess why?

Puroclean Ohio Completes Training
On-Site at Puroclean in Ohio (the team is proud of their Training Certificate and gives their Morantz Contents Restoration equipment the “Thumbs Up”).

Did you know that training is free of charge at Morantz Ultrasonics? This has been the Morantz policy for over 55 years, and it’s not changing. According to Lisa Morantz, President of Morantz Ultrasonics, “Our customers invest in equipment to make their businesses profitable, but owning the equipment is only one half of a winning formula. Equally important is having personnel that “buy in” and are excited to use the machines. They need to know how to properly operate the equipment, and know who to ask for assistance when questions arise. This is why training and support is always free of charge, and I encourage every one of our customers to take advantage of it.

Servpro Fayette County
Servpro of Fayette County Learning how to Clean Electronics at Morantz HQ.

The free training we offer at our Philadelphia World Headquarters has long been one of our most popular services. Now, with the opening of our new training center (affectionately known as Morantz University, or “Morantz U“), we’re looking forward to seeing our clients come for a full day of hands-on training where they learn things like how to properly set-up, use and maintain their Morantz Ultrasonic Cleaning Systems. “It’s a fun, interactive day,” said Lisa Morantz. “We work one-on-one with our customers to make sure they have our undivided attention, that their questions are answered,and that they leave with a tremendous feeling of confidence and the skills they need to use their machines.

While we certainly want to fill those seats, we know that a trip to Philly isn’t always possible. For those who can’t make the trip, who can’t send their entire staffs or who have specific and specialized needs, the best alternative is to have a Morantz Certified Trainer come right to their facility (for a reasonable fee – call (215) 969-0266 for details). This was the case for one of our long-time clients, York Caskets, a division of Matthews International.

York Caskets_sm
York Caskets

York purchased their Z-97 in 2007 to clean very specific parts used in the manufacture of caskets. Morantz had worked with York to develop specialized cleaning procedures and York sent staff to Philadelphia for training. However, just a few years later, York had a lot of new employees who were struggling with the machine. After a quick call to Morantz, we visited them at their facility and held a comprehensive training session for 10 of their new employees.

When the trainees see the amazing results and understand how easy their work can be when the process is done properly, they begin to relax and have fun with it,” says Robby Zeaman, a Morantz Ultrasonics Certified Trainer.

Training On Site at York Casket with Z-97 Brother
On-Site Training at York Casket.
Cleaning Specialized Parts in Their Z-97 “Brother.”

If the people you’re training feel comfortable with you, they will feel comfortable reaching out to you again with their questions,” added Zeaman. “It’s so important that they know they have someone to answer these questions. The machines aren’t hard to use, but there are some specific things the operators need to know to get good results. If they get frustrated, they’ll give up and go back to whatever outdated and inefficient method they were using. It defeats the purpose.

York Casket Graduates
Proud York Casket “Graduates” with Their Training Certificate

In addition to training equipment operators, Morantz also provides Business and Marketing Training. For example, at a recent on-site training at Servpro of West Kirkwood in Missouri, Lisa Morantz not only spent much of the day training the Contents Restoration staff, she also took time to work with their marketing department to review advertising tactics and to discuss how to pursue some new opportunities that have opened up.

Finally, Morantz made a presentation to the Continuing Education class being held at Servpro that same day. Jeff Chestnas (Servpro owner) told Morantz that he was thrilled that she incorporated a live demonstration, plus a fun and dynamic question and answer session. He believes Lisa’s presentation had an immediate benefit to his business.

CE Class Visits Servpro of West Kirkwood MO
The CE Class visits the Contents Restoration room at Servpro of West Kirkwood, MO to see a hands-on demonstration and explanation of the advantages of Ultrasonic Restoration.

Morantz has also worked directly with customers helping them clean their very first jobs. What a great way to train!

Lisa Morantz tells us, “There’s nothing like having your staff jump right in with their first job and see immediate results. They get excited and it goes a long way in building their confidence.”

ServiceMaster Team in Training
ServiceMaster Hands-On Training on Their First Job.

Finally, for those who don’t have the budget to either visit with Morantz or have an on-site trainer visit them, Morantz is now offering a training session on Facetime through the iPhone/iPad. Clients can schedule a time for Morantz to call, and a Certified Trainer will talk the staff through the use of the equipment. This service is also provided free of charge.

If you would like to learn more about Morantz Ultrasonics training, call us at (215) 969-0266. We look forward to hearing from you.

FEATURED SUCCESS STORY: Cleaning up in Italy!

Buongiorno and welcome to Milan, Italy! We bring you all the way around the globe to meet Michele Lazzarotto, owner of Elle Emme custom window treatments and LavareTutto (literally translated from Italian to mean “Wash All“).

Michele Lazzarotto with his Morantz B-136 "Baby" Blind Cleaning Machine.
Michele Lazzarotto with his Morantz B-136 “Baby” Blind Cleaning Machine.

Michele and his family operate several businesses all over Italy that custom manufacture window treatments of all types including blinds and curtains. He has owned and operated his famous shop in Milan for nearly 25 years.

How He Got His Start

Michele first learned about Morantz’s blind cleaning equipment in 2008 while researching on the internet ways to properly clean blinds for his clients. Amazed with what he saw, Michele booked his flight to Philadelphia to see the machines in action. He even brought samples of fabrics and blinds to test clean. Excited by the results, Michele placed his order for equipment.

I could not believe the opportunity I had come across when I saw the Morantz blind cleaning machine working, exclaims Michele. “No one in Italy was offering to clean blinds. The market was wide open and desperately in need of this type of cleaning“.

One of the many micro-mini blinds Michele has cleaned.
One of the many micro-mini blinds Michele has cleaned.

Michele let all of his long-time customers know that he can now service all the window blinds he had sold them. He also created a separate company and website, Lavarre Tutto, to start promoting everything he could clean. Soon he had jobs not only cleaning blinds, but items such as hubcaps, wood stools, metal parts (including engine parts), light diffusers and much more.  Here are some photos he sent us to share with our readers, Prima (Before) and Dopo (After):

Hub Cap Before Hub Cap After

A Machine Called “Money!

Michele lovingly named his blind cleaning machine “Money,” and the name has stuck to this day. “It is unbelievable how much money this machine continues to make, so the name fits,” Michele said. “My staff is constantly busy with cleaning blinds of all types: Roller shades, mini blinds, vertical blinds and more.”

How He “Sells” It

One of the many ways Michele promotes ultrasonic cleaning to his clients is by hooking them on the technology when they visit his shop. Next to his coffee machine proudly sits his Morantz SZ-400 Table-Top System. During offers to clean his clients jewelry and eyeglasses. While cleaning, he explains that this is the same technology that he uses to clean blinds. “It works beautifully and demonstrates my capabilities for cleaning,” says Michele.

The Morantz SZ-400 table top system, a great demonstration model.
The Morantz SZ-400 table top system, a great demonstration model.

Success, and More Success

Michele was doing so much ultrasonic cleaning that in 2011 he purchased a second machine, the Morantz SM-200-XL. “With the XL machine, I am able to clean a wide variety of items including curtains and even multiple blinds at once. This all-purpose system has really opened up Ultrasonic Cleaning to my company. We have diversified in ways we never dreamed of.

Cleaning vertical blind tracks with the Morantz SM-200-XL.
Cleaning vertical blind tracks with the Morantz SM-200-XL.

The SM-200-XL (foreground) ready to clean a batch of Roller Shades.
The SM-200-XL (foreground) ready to clean a batch of Roller Shades.

The Lavare Tutto staff prepping roller binds for cleaning.
The Lavare Tutto staff prepping roller binds for cleaning.

Cleaning Engine Parts in the SM-200-XL.
Cleaning Engine Parts in the SM-200-XL.

Cleaning light diffusers. This diffuser is half cleaned to show the difference.
Cleaning light diffusers. This diffuser is half cleaned to show the difference.

Cleaning a photocopier in the SM-200-XL.
Cleaning a photocopier in the SM-200-XL.

Photocopier after cleaning with Morantz Ultrasonics for 1 minute!
Photocopier after cleaning with Morantz Ultrasonics for 1 minute!

Cleaning Wooden Stools.
Cleaning Wooden Stools.

Watch Michele clean those wood stools in his SM-200-XL
Note: The video is in Italian, but the results are Universal!
(click here to watch on YouTube)

Expanding his Business

To procure commercial cleaning jobs, Michele takes his machines to tradeshows in Italy including the largest exhibition for window blinds as well as the largest for general cleaning. In this way, he is constantly in front of decision makers showcasing his company’s technology and capabilities. “When I show potential clients how Morantz Ultrasonics works, they can’t believe what they are seeing  I create a lot of excitement at these trade fairs, and have taken on many large commercial jobs as a result of these exhibitions.”

Lavare Tutto showcasing their cleaning capabilities.
Lavare Tutto showcasing their cleaning capabilities.

Michele recently completed a large commercial blind cleaning job for one of the many buildings on the campus of ENI Petrol Company. They were so pleased with the outcome that they have now hired Michele’s company to clean another 5000 blinds this Spring!

One of the many buildings on the ENI Petrol campus, now with clean blinds!
One of the many buildings on the ENI Petrol campus, now with clean blinds!

I Get Calls Every Day

Michele tells us that he is constantly receiving calls for his service. “I get calls everyday,” He says, and with the economy in a major slump in Italy, and with local banks not loaning money, he is glad he invested in the equipment. “Small businesses are closing everywhere in Italy. Companies like mine who manufacture and sells blinds are very slow, so they’re looking to maintain what they own,” He said. “The timing could not be better for me to offer this service for blinds and other items. Ultrasonic cleaning is not only keeping my doors open for business, it’s growing my business.

The Success Keeps Coming

Michele has sent us even more photos including those for the job above. You can see them on our Facebook Page. All of our best wishes for continued success to Michele Lazzarotto and the entire Elle Emme and Lavare Tutto team.

Keep cleaning up in Italy!

Ciao!

Morantz Renews Its Approved Vendor Status with DKI for 2014

DKI-Bronze-Sponsor-Badge-2014_x200Morantz Ultrasonics is proud to announce that we have again renewed our Approved Vendor Status with DKI for 2014.  DKI members will continue to enjoy discounted pricing from Morantz on all equipment and supplies. “We have a terrific relationship with DKI and look forward to a stellar 2014,” said Lisa Morantz, President of Morantz Ultrasonics. “DKI is a great partner and it’s a pleasure to continue offering their franchises the best pricing and service.”

For information on the best pricing, or if you have any questions, please call us at 215.969.0266, or submit the form to the right.

Come Visit Us at ISSA Interclean in Las Vegas!

ISSA BoothFrom November 19 -21, we’ll be exhibiting at the ISSA Interclean North America show in Las Vegas, Nevada (Booth: 3805).

We’re really excited to be back in Vegas for this year’s show where we will be demonstrating the ultrasonic machine that started it all, “The Baby.”

If you would like to visit us in the exhibit hall, please contact Lisa Morantz at (215) 969-0266 (or send me a message using the form on the right).

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Schedule

-Tuesday, November 19: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
-Wednesday, November 20: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
-Thursday, November 21: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

 

 

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