CLEAN Is More Than a Word – It’s a Mindset

 

A CLEAN approach can help in every aspect of your work

 

 

At WET, we often use “CLEAN” in our conversations, emails, social media and other places. While keeping equipment, machinery and other surfaces clean is obviously a primary goal for many people using pressure washers, detergents and other gear, when we speak of CLEAN, we’re not just talking about how something looks or how sanitary a surface is.

 

CLEAN is a comprehensive approach and looks at your operation from start to finishing, helping you optimize performance and uptime while reducing costs and repair expenses. Working toward CLEAN should be a goal for your business, so let’s take an in-depth look at what CLEAN means and how you can work more efficiently, effectively and safely more of the time.

 

What Is CLEAN?

 

CLEAN is a whole philosophy that’s dedicated to helping your operations work smarter, not harder. There are many steps along the path to achieving CLEAN, but it revolves around three central points: Efficiency, Effectiveness and Safety.

 

Efficiency: Working to be at maximum productivity with a minimum of wasted time, effort or materials to keep costs managed.

 

Effectiveness: Making sure that your equipment and staff are working to achieve the best results on every job.

 

Safety: Ensuring that all your work is performed in a safe and practical manner, preventing harm to equipment or surfaces and injuries to workers.

 

What Stands in the Way of CLEAN?

 

So what’s stopping you and your operation from being CLEAN? Every day, equipment is assailed by a slew of potential problems – dirt, grime, grease, misuse, operator error, excessive wear and much more. These are the obstacles standing between you and improved operations, and most of them can be addressed with a more conscientious approach to your routine cleaning and preventative maintenance.

 

Dirt, Grime & Grease

 

Every day, you use your pressure washer to remove gunk and soils from your machinery, equipment, fleet vehicles and more. This helps keep everything looking great, but serves several additional purposes, too.

 

A CLEAN piece of equipment is not subject to the wear that dirt and grime can cause, as soiled surfaces can more quickly corrode or wear than regularly cleaned surfaces. In addition, by keeping your gear free of grime and grease, you can also have a clear look at your machinery or surfaces, allowing you to more easily identify any potential faults or failures like oil leaks or worn hoses, letting you make repairs or replace components before you have a critical failure.

 

Equipment Misuse & Operator Error

 

Many equipment failures or damages and employee injuries can be traced to improper use of equipment. This can mean either using the equipment in a way in wasn’t intended to operate or being used incorrectly or unsafely by the operator. Fortunately, training can help with this.

 

By enrolling in a regular training program or including refresher training at set intervals as part of your operations, you can make sure that every member of your team knows the correct ways to operate your equipment. This can help set the standards for use, including setup, usage, cleanup, storage and transportation, ensuring that equipment is properly handled whenever it is being used.

 

Having routine trainings also provides an opportunity to remind everyone about safe operation practices, including being aware of surroundings, the safety features built into the equipment and the proper procedures to follow before, during and after operating cleaning machinery.

 

CLEAN Results

 

When you adopt a CLEAN approach in your work, you’ll quickly see how this philosophy can improve your overall operations. CLEAN equipment looks nicer, which helps you and your team take away a greater sense of pride in your operations. It also can help with employee recruitment and retention, making your facilities and equipment more attractive and appealing.

 

A CLEAN facility also helps promote a safe working environment. Regularly cleaning machinery and surfaces removes grease and grime that can cause slippages or accidents. Routine cleaning also helps eliminate bacteria and other potentially hazardous materials, helping your team and any products you produce stay healthy and free of any contamination.

 

Keeping CLEAN also helps with promoting your business and your brand. If your operating facility, fleet vehicles and equipment are all well-maintained and kept free of dirt and grime, you’ll present a CLEAN image outward to current and prospective customers. In this way, CLEAN serves as an investment in your business, helping to keep everything looking and running great while also working as a form of marketing to promote your company to others.

 

‘If You Have Time to Lean, You Have Time to Clean’

 

We all have heard the old line from a boss that “if you have time to lean, you have time to clean.” With a CLEAN approach, you can work to eliminate that downtime entirely by always keeping your equipment maintained and running well.

 

The CLEAN approach allows you to more easily see issues on your equipment that might otherwise be obscured by dirt and grime caked on your machinery or working surfaces. This allows you to get ahead of repairs and downtime by seeing some issues early and working to correct them before failures occur.

 

Another major aspect of CLEAN is keeping up on your regular maintenance and upkeep. This means evaluating your equipment and setting a routine schedule to perform any necessary filter replacements, check hoses, fittings and other connections, and complete any needed tune-ups or system flushes to keep your gear in great operating condition. At WET, this is all part of what we look at when developing our CLEAN Accountability Plan.

 

The CLEAN Accountability Plan

 

The CLEAN Accountability Plan is put together by a WET technician during an on-site visit to see your operations. During this consultation, we’ll take a look at all of your current machinery and equipment that makes up your cleaning system and work to complete a comprehensive profile of your work. This includes:

 

• Reviewing how well your equipment is working for your applications and identifying tune-up needs

• Identifying the current accessories you use and identifying new accessories that could help improve work on your different types of jobs

• Examining your level of machine usage and compare to recommended service intervals for your machines

• Exploring the types of detergents you use, noting any implications that the chemicals may have for your hoses and accessories, and identifying alternate options or bulk pricing that may be more beneficial

• Looking at the water used in your regular cleaning jobs and examining how the pH of your supply may impact your cleaning

• Discussing operator and safety training practices and identifying any needs for new or ongoing education and support

 

Get Lean, Get CLEAN, Get Going

 

You want to optimize your facilities, equipment and operations and maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of your work. WET can help. Let our team visit your site and perform a comprehensive evaluation of your cleaning systems and equipment and put together your own CLEAN Accountability Plan to help streamline operations.

 

Call us today at 865.525.1515 to get started on the road to CLEAN by scheduling your complimentary on-site review.




Waving a Magic Wand to Clean

Using the right wand can make cleaning a breeze

Caked-on mud stuck beneath a truck. Engine grease and oil on the shop floor. Clogged gutters choked with leaves and dirt. These are just a few of the common sights for experienced pressure washers, and all of these cleaning situations can benefit from adding a little bit of magic to your cleaning arsenal – a magic wand.

OK, well, maybe there’s no real magic, but the improvement to cleaning power and performance when using the right wand with your pressure washer might make you think there is. There’s a lot to know about wands, so let’s take a look at how different wands can help with your operations.

Standard Wands

Most people are familiar with the standard hot-water or cold-water pressure washing wands. These are differentiated for an important reason – wand integrity. Hot-water wands use special seals that can withstand the heated water, ensuring the water ends up spraying out of the nozzle. If you use a cold-water wand with a hot-water washer, you could end up melting these seals, resulting in potentially dangerous leaks or damage.

There are also differences between wands used with electric washers and those used with gas or other combustion washers. Gas washers typically operate with higher pressures than electric washers, and as a result, the wands need to be stronger. Electric wands will often be made of plastic for that reason, while combustion-powered wands tend to use steel or heavy-duty aluminum instead.

Specialty Wands

Specialty wands is where the magic happens – so to speak. These wands are purpose-built to offer unique functionality for use in different working situations, helping make the cleaning process faster, more efficient and safer.

Push-Pull Wands

Ever wish you could spray around a corner to blast dirt and grime in tough to reach spots? With a push and pull wand, your wish is granted. These wands offer a unique design that allows you to push out the wand and change the angle at which water sprays. This allows you to turn the stream of water up to 90 degrees, great for cleaning the underside of vehicles or wheelwells.

Grip Handle Wands

Grip handle wands give users more control while spraying, which can be exceptionally important for precision jobs or when using extreme high pressures. This style of wand allows for easier two-handed control, making washing more comfortable and controlled. These wands are also often available with trigger handles, allowing for simple control of spraying.

Dual Lance Wands

If your washing jobs frequently require the use of detergents, the dual lance wand is perfect. This style of wand is literally two in one – both a detergent nozzle for applying soaps and chemical treatments and a spray wand for prewashing and rinsing. There’s no need to stop and swap connections – just connect and clean.

Telescoping Wands

Looking for some extra reach? A telescoping wand is the perfect choice. These wands can slide out and extend, with some wands capable of extending to 24 feet in length. This can give you more direct control of your wash, and allow you to reach hard-to-reach locations like beneath the eaves of a building or into a large containment vessel.

Gutter Attachments

Gutters are always a pain to clean, and all the more so if you can’t easily access the rooftop. Gutter wand attachments help by attaching to the wand and curving the stream of water so that you can stand below the gutters and spray directly down into the channels, making quick work of decaying leaves and dirt.  

Custom Wands

While these specialized wands can help in a variety of situations, there are also many instances where a custom solution may be needed. That’s where WET comes in. Our team specializes in crafting custom wands to meet specific needs for our customers. Need a wand that combines the reach of a telescoping wand with the combined function of a dual lance? No problem. Want a trigger grip paired with a gutter attachment? We can make it.

Using the right wand for your jobs can help you work CLEAN – efficiently, effectively and safely. Learn more by calling WET today at 865.525.1515.




Steamers vs. Pressure Washers: Which Is Best?

Choose the right option for your cleaning needs

When attacking a new cleaning job, you need to plan out the equipment and supplies needed to get the job done. Part of that is deciding whether you should use a steamer or a pressure washer to clean. Each of these tools offers different advantages in different situations, so let’s breakdown the benefits of each to help you choose the right tool for the job.

Advantages of Steamers

Steamers simply heat water past the boiling point, allowing you to focus the jet of steam on whatever surface needs to be cleaned. Steam is an incredibly effective sanitizer, with the extreme heat killing nearly all organic waste and bacteria. This all-natural solution is safe to use on surfaces where children will play or in animal enclosures.

In addition to the sanitization, steamers are also cost-efficient to operate. They have a reduced water usage – as low as 0.08 gallons per minute – meaning that you’ll need less water on site. It also means you can practically eliminate concerns about wastewater and runoff during cleaning jobs that use a steamer.

Plus, since you can rely on the power of steam to sanitize, you can eliminate the cost of detergents on jobs performed with a steamer. And, because it sanitizes without detergents or chemical solutions, there’s no risk of allergic reactions or exposure.

Click here to watch this great video of a steamer detailing a car from “Jay Leno’s Garage.”

Advantages of Pressure Washers

Pressure washers, on the other hand, offer far more brute force to the cleaning arsenal, which can be incredibly beneficial on some jobs. Caked-on mud, grease and grime can be difficult to remove, but a pressure washer delivers a concentrated stream of high-velocity water, applying force and moisture to loosen and remove the most persistent dirt.

Detergent use is another advantage for pressure washers. Some cleaning jobs require specialized formulas to help ensure a complete clean. This can range from degreasers or asphalt removers to sanitizing solutions and paint removers.

Finally, pressure washers also provide additional reach, making it easier to clean in hard-to-reach places. This can be incredibly beneficial on a variety of projects, whether it’s pressure washing a tall semi trailer, spraying grime off the eaves of a roof, or cleaning the underside of a tractor. That reach also extends to penetrating power, as pressure washers can be used to break up stains and grime on concrete and other porous surfaces.

Pick the Right Tool for the Job

The type of cleaning project you have will often serve as the guide for whether steamers or pressure washers are the best option. For jobs where water access is limited or runoff is a concern, steamers offer an ideal solution. They are also great in areas where detergent use isn’t possible or where children or animals may be at risk from the use of chemicals.

Pressure washers, on the other hand, are great at handling heavily soiled surfaces, and can put powerful detergents to use to deliver a specialized clean. They can help to clean in hard-to-reach areas and can cover large areas quickly, as well, giving them an advantage on the largest cleaning jobs.

Get the Equipment You Need at WET

Whether you need a steamer or a pressure washer, you’ll find everything you need at WET. We carry Hotsy pressure washers and Optima steam cleaners, as well as a full line of detergents and accessories to help you get your cleaning jobs done quickly and efficiently. Learn more and get what you need by calling us at 865.525.1515 or stop in and see us today.




Personnel Safety: Working Smart and Staying Safe

Safety Month Highlight – Prevent Accidents with Training

Your pressure washing and cleaning equipment is powerful, and when used safely can make removing dirt and grime a breeze. However, unsafe handling and improper use by employees can lead to accidents and injuries – some severe or life-threatening. As we continue to recognize National Safety Month, an annual campaign of the National Safety Council, let’s take a closer look at some of the worst case scenarios that a bit of training and practicing proper safety could have prevented.

Approach Jobs with a Safety Focus

Before you start any project, it’s important to be mindful of your surroundings. Buried utility lines and overhead power lines are hazards of course, but sometimes a difficult setting can lead to unsafe decisions. For example, extra high ceilings can be difficult to reach, but there are right and wrong ways to approach the job – as one employee learned the hard way.

In one story from the archives, a young service tech volunteered to take care of replacing a worn hose connected to an overhead boom in a large factory setting. Since this was quite high up, and out of the reach of a man lift, the technician worked with another employee to lift the basket system with a forklift. However, this unstable setting led to the basket tipping, slamming into the wall and pinching the man’s arm between the basket and wall.

After-accident reporting found much of what you might expect – the forklift driver was untrained and the lift system was definitely not OSHA-approved. Plus, the whole plan had not been approved by either employees’ supervisor. No one involved had paid attention to safety protocols, and the costs were real – the company had an expensive workman’s compensation claim and the employee was left with permanent nerve damage.

Respect the Equipment

As we’ve often stated, the power of a pressure washer is intense. It can blast away dirt and grime, wash away oil and grease, and loosen asphalt and tar from industrial equipment. This high power is great at cleaning, but it’s important to also know the limitations of what surfaces it should be used on.

In one case, a new employee at a drilling company was working to clean up tools and the worksite at the end of a day on the job. The 5-gallon-per-minute, 5,000 PSI hot-water unit he was using was making fast work of all the mud, grime and oil, so it seemed like it would be a great idea to use the equipment to wash off his soiled work boots. The problem is he was still wearing them.

As the worker turned the nozzle toward his boot, the mud and dirt quickly washed away – as did the leather boot protecting his foot. In seconds, the worker learned a lesson about the power of his equipment, paying the steep price of three of his toes.

Know Your Equipment

Knowing your equipment is critical. That means more than simply knowing its capabilities or what kind of fuel it uses. It means being aware of how it operates, as well.

For example, pressure washers that are powered by a fuel source instead of electricity must combust the fuel to operate. This leads to the emission of noxious fumes, which are often a non-issue when used outdoors. It’s also why these units should never be used inside, as one employee learned.

While using a gas-powered pressure washer to remove paint from the floor of car painting bay, a worker began to feel faint. As he had been washing in the confined space, the fumes from the washer had begun to build, making the air in the room toxic. The worker continued washing, and minutes later passed out from a lack of oxygen. Fortunately, his coworker heard the sound of the man collapsing and came to his rescue, but it served as a hard-learned reminder about the importance of working in a well-ventilated space.

Other Personnel Safety Concerns

Every employee has a responsibility to themselves and their coworkers to work safely while cleaning. While the employees above learned lessons the hard way, a bit of training and refresher meetings can keep your team working wisely. These are a few of the worst-case situations, but there are many other concerns for you and your personnel to keep in mind, including:
• Power lines and overhead fixtures
• Detergent and chemical use
• Maintained safety equipment
• Connections and fittings
• Improper nozzle use
• Modifying equipment or wands
• Spraying near live electrical outlets

Safety + Efficiency + Efficacy = CLEAN

At WET, we know the importance of cleaning efficiently, effectively and – of course – safely. It’s why we believe in the power of CLEAN, a comprehensive approach to training, maintenance and safety to maximize uptime for your equipment and your operations. Learn more about CLEAN and get the help you need to stay on top of maintenance and safe operations by calling WET today at 865.525.1515.