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eClean Issue 50

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Many of you work outside with water which, in the cold temperatures, can freeze into ice. So at some point you could face the issue of having ice in and around your work areas, even when using hot water machines. Safety of workers and the general public are always important, but particularly when ice can create slipping hazards. In cold weather the first way to avoid this is to limit where and the amount of water that will run out onto walkways and into vehicle areas. Of course, if that is what you are cleaning, water cannot be avoided. However, what you do after the cleaning can help avoid trouble. Do not allow water to stand in an area. You may need to brush out or blow out puddles. Leave the surface as dry as possible right after cleaning. To counter the water freezing, you most likely will want to use a deicing product, like ice melt, to keep things safe in pedestrian traffic areas. But there is a right and wrong way to use these products. There are many different types of ice melts to choose from so let's go over them now. Nearly all deicers are made from one, or a blend of, five chemical materials: calcium chloride, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and urea. What makes these products different will be how quickly they work and at what temperatures. This is determined by whether the deicer releases or absorbs heat upon contact with snow and ice. The fastest acting are the exothermic by Linda Chambers, Soap Warehouse, GCE 9 eClean Magazine Understanding Deicers

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