SCBA Mask Cleaning

SCBA respirator masks are an important safety device employed in the workplace today. They are used by anyone from fire departments to hazardous industrial applications. Basically, anywhere a person needs a self-contained source of fresh breathable air. SCBA stands for Self Contained Breathing Apparatus and they are used in environments where the air is not suitable to breath and cannot be filtered such as particulate matter like paint spray. The SCBA masks provides the wearer a self contained environment with fresh air delivered to the respirator mask from an air tank. However, one overlooked maintenance item is SCBA mask cleaning. This safety gear is often worn by different people and can become quire dirty and unsanitary. Bacteria, bodily fluids, soot and toxic substances all build up and contaminate your respirator equipment. Cleaning is an extremely important task that must be completed in order to maintain safe equipment.

Cleaning your SCBA mask and gear is a relatively simple process and can prolong the life of your respirator mask. These are generally used in dirty environments that filled with dirt and other contaminants. Your first step is to clean the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the mask, hoses and tank. First remove the filters, cartridges or tanks. Now take apart the respirator mask by removing diaphragms and air hoses. (Remember to inspect and replace any broken or defective parts.) Wash all the parts in warm water with a mild soap or detergent and scrub away any dirt or contaminants that may have collected on the respirator gear. Then rinse with running water.

The next step is to clean the SCBA gear with a disinfecting agent. There are different methods for this. The first and probably easiest is to just use a bleach solution. Just mix 1 milliliter of bleach to 1 liter of water. Iodine also is effective using approximately the same proportions. There are also commercially available cleaners available for sale as well. (It is recommended that you check to see if the manufacturer approves of their use on your particular SCBA mask.) Once the solution is mixed correctly, the equipment needs to be placed in it. Immersion is the best way to sure that all of the SCBA gear is disinfected. Simply submerge the equipment for at least 2 minutes in the disinfecting agent you are using and then rinse thoroughly in running water. Rinsing is very important after this process because the disinfecting agent can cause skin irritation if it is not completely removed from the SCBA mask and equipment. After being thoroughly rinsed, dry all the components and reassemble. Now check and make sure all components are functioning properly and safely.

Ultrasonic cleaning is another method commonly used for cleaning disinfecting SCBA respirator masks and equipment. Ultrasonic cleaning has been around for decades and is used in applications ranging from biomedical to jewelry cleaning. Ultrasonic energy is applied to a cleaning solution causing cavitation. Small bubbles form and implode during this process. This creates a vigorous scrubbing action that cleans the SCBA gear. This process cleans far more effectively than just hand scrubbing with a bleach or iodine solution.

After using either one of the previous methods for disinfecting, the SCBA mask and gear are ready for the next person to use in a hazardous situation. Your workers can safely wear them and equipment free from pathogens and other toxic contaminants. After all, the whole point of wearing an SCBA respirator mask is deliver clean air to the wearer and by not properly cleaning your respirator masks your workers safety is being compromised.

Decorative Car Floor Mats: Get Them In Your Automobile

The beauty is something that is reflected through your eyes. It brings shine and sense of satisfaction in your eyes. It is not the external beauty that always matters. One should give the same importance to internal beauty, which is most of the times not visible. The case is similar in automobiles. Everybody appreciates the external prettiness of the car, but nobody cares or even pays attention towards its internal beauty. There are so many things that contribute to this internal beauty. These objects vary from interior lights, seats, steering wheel and floor mats. People mostly wonder how floor mats can contribute in enhancing the external splendor of any automobile. Let’s understand how the floor mats and car liners are significant for car interior.

Car Mats are designed to protect the floor of the vehicle from dirt, dust, wear and salt corrosion. Manufacturers equip them to keep the vehicles clean for long. These mats are considered as an imperative car accessory that does not always come with the car. You have to buy them from the companies dealing in car parts and accessories. These experts produce this special car accessory by properly following Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines and ensuring manufacturer credibility and quality. Factors that are considered vital during the manufacturing of car floor mats and liners are:

• Durability

• Odor Release

• Performance at various heat levels

• Anti-slip bottom side

• A heel pad for added safety

• Wear and tear proof

Car Mats are available in a range of materials that not only have ample strength but also increase the interior aesthetics. These consist of:

Cloth Mats: Cloth Mats are available in different colors. These are soft and have a rubber back which avoids slipping. These mats are supple, washable and highly absorbent which make them idyllic for rainy and muddy conditions.

Rubber Mats: Rubber mats are recognized for their toughness, but the drawback of these types of mats is that they cannot absorb water and mud like cloth mats.

All-Weather Mats: All-weather mats are porous, and the turned edges put a stop to the water from leaking over the sides. Therefore, these mats are better than basic rubber mats. These are most commonly used floor mat type. Designer all-weather mats contain company logos, advertisements or cartoon characters.

One will find universal and custom fit mat options where the universal mats can fit into multiple cars. On the other hand, custom fit mats are specifically designed for a car brand and model. The features and specifications of these mats remain the same.

These mats are:

• Waterproof

• Mould and mildew resistant

• Stain and fade resistant

• Long-lasting grade of carpet

• Come up non-skid rubber backing

• Easy to customize in the way you want with different custom selection options

• Available in sets of 2 front or 4 front and rear mats

• Accessible with Greek Lettering styles

• Obtainable with the monogram of your initials, name or favorite saying

Make sure that the car mats you are buying are designed to handle the scorching heat and effects of salt.

How to Clean Your Windows Like a Pro

In a thorough search of the web, I have come across a lot of articles advising people to clean their windows with vinegar and crumpled up newspaper, or Windex and a rag, or other ineffective methods. Many of these techniques will give you poor results and are quite laborious and frustrating as well. Even though I am a professional window cleaner, I freely share how to clean windows because I know that there are still plenty of people who don’t have the time and energy to do it themselves. But if you want to do it yourself (whether it is a monetary consideration or you like to do things yourself) here are a few pointers.

Firstly, you need the right equipment. This will entail a squeegee, a strip washer (also called a scrubber), window cleaning solution, a 5 gallon bucket, a couple of lint free cloths i.e. microfibers, and possibly an extension pole. Your squeegee is one of your most important tools, so it is important that you purchase a high quality one with replaceable rubber- avoid the automotive squeegees with the wooden handles (found at gas stations). For your squeegee, you will probably want a 12 to 18 inch one for most windows. You can usually find a decent squeegee (ettore or unger) and a scrubber at most home improvement stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. For you window washing solution you can use a professional detergent made by ettore, unger etc. or you can use liquid dish soap. There is really no need for ammonia, which is unhealthy for humans and can damage a window’s tint.

Once you have all of you equipment, fill up your bucket with water and add a couple of squirts of dish soap; next dip your scrubber in the soapy solution and then squeeze off the excess water back into the bucket. Scrub the entire window with your scrubber; next take your cloth and wipe away the left and top edge of your window. Then, pull your squeegee horizontally across the window – left to right, top to bottom. After each pull wipe the excess moisture from your squeegee rubber (called the blade) For most inside windows horizontal pulling is the easiest.

Then to finish off the window, wipe the right and bottom edges of the window (reverse of the initial wiping).

Something to consider is that cleaning the interior windows will be much easier than the exterior windows for reasons of accessibility and level of debris. Many times the exterior windows will have baked-on bugs and other crusty hard-to-clean-off debris on it’s surface. Professional window cleaners use special razor blades (scrapers) and white scouring pads to get this stuff off. For the home do-it-your-self person, I would recommend that you only use the white scouring pads (available online at windows 101, or at janitorial supply stores) to avoid damaging your windows. Do not under any circumstances use green or brown scouring pads as they will damage your windows.

To use the white scouring pads on a pole, you will need a “doodle-bug” which is a swiveling holder foe these pads. Cleaning second-story outside windows can be somewhat challenging because of accessibility. Some window cleaners use a pole, some cleaners use ladders and some, like myself, use both. If you are using a pole, it is crucial that you get the right angle. For second story windows, you need to stand the right distance away from the window in order to get the right angle. A common mistake is to stand too close to the house.

Also getting a zero-degree squeegee such as Unger’s zero degree swivel lock (a standard squeegee has a forty degree angle) is very helpful because it allows you to stand far enough back from the window without having too much angle on the glass. It should be noted that second story windows, being cleaned with a pole, need to be cleaned top to bottom not horizontally. The Unger zero degree squeegee will be your best friend if you are using a pole. Alternately, you could use a ladder to clean the exterior windows. If you choose this method you may want to duct tape rags to your ladder ends if they are going to rest on glass or maybe ladder a ladder wingspan.

Now what if you have cleaned an exterior window yet it is still cloudy and possibly spotty like a water glass can get after washing it in the dishwasher? Then, you may have hard water deposits. These can form slowly over time if you have hard water (from sprinklers or hosing off your windows). In this case you need to get hard water remover. Winsol makes a product Crystal Clear 550 which will, in most cases, completely remove these deposits. You can get Crystal Clear online and at many janitorial supply stores.

One final word of advice, if you must clean your windows with a spray, use “sprayaway” glass cleaner (It is rubbing alcohol- based not ammonia-based) and a waffle weave microfiber cloth or a leather chamois. Not all microfiber is created equal, many of them shed tiny particles. But whatever you do, do not use crumpled newspaper. If wet newsprint will leave black ink on your hands, what do you think it will do to your windows? I hope this article has helped you, and at the least has given you some starting points.

How to Remove Stains in Leather Seats

You left the car window down or the sunroof open and there’s a water stain in your car’s leather seat….or your girlfriend spilled here red wine in your leather car seat on a night out on the town….or your kids decided they were a soon to be artist and tried their techniques out on your leather car seat with a pen, arrggg. Got kids myself, so feel your pain. Stain removal in leather seats can be tough, here’s a few tricks to help get you going.

As a professional leather repair specialist I’m here to tell you that there are not to many products that can be used on a leather car seat that won’t remove the finish before removing the stain. Most leather in today’s cars is a finished leather with a water borne urethane leather dye applied to it and is pretty susceptible to chemicals and can be removed pretty easily with a solvent cleaner. So when in doubt call a professional.

Water stains in Leather Seat….this is a pretty hard one to get rid of. I recently had reader send me an email on how he could get the water stains out of his car after leaving his sunroof open. This part is kinda for him considering I think I lost his email with pictures, I did get to see them though, so not all was lost. The pictures showed a crease that ran along the middle of the leather seat where the water had puckered the leather. In this type of situation there are two things we could do, one is sand the crease out and with some fillers and dye make the seat new again, this is where a leather professional comes in to play, or replacement of the section that is creased, that’s where an upholstery shop comes in. In these type of situations there aren’t any leather conditioners or cleaners in the world that will remove a creased or puckered leather, what happens is the actual structure of the fibers in the leather have been altered and what you see is what you have.

If the water hasn’t puckered the leather and has just left a stain, a little trick I learned from my good friend Dwain Berlin with Leather Craft Secrets, and you go to your bread box in the kitchen for this one. Take a piece of bread and roll it up into a ball and rub and blot the area with the bread ball, works pretty good. Dwain has a lot of great advice for leather care, and if your interested in some great fun with leather go check out his book, it’s quite impressive and I myself learned a few things.

Most of the time water will just evaporate and with no problems and the stains will disappear. If your car leather gets wet dry it as best you can with a towel and then condition it with your Lexol Conditioner. One way to dry the cars leather is by leaving the windows down and setting it in the sun to dry, or crack the windows and turn your car on with the heat on full blast and let it run for about 30 minutes. I’m not real hip on that one cause it’s a waste of gas but it does work to dry things out better. But always condition, some rain waters are pretty dirty and harsh and the leather needs those extra nutrients to keep it soft.

If the stains are just too bad then new leather dye is the only way to bring it back then call your local leather professional like me to come and make it new again.

Mold Stains in Leather Seat….Or mildew which ever. This one kinda goes along with the water stains. Take and mix a cup of water and a cup of rubbing alcohol and mix them together, take a towel and rub a small amount of the solution onto the stained areas, until the spot is gone, again watch for dye lift, this trick works pretty well and usually removes the mildew pretty quick without dye removal.

Food Stains in Leather Seat….This one can be an easy one if you just don’t eat in your car, but I’m just as guilty as most and eat on the run. A mild dish soap and warm water with a rag or scotch brite pad will do the trick in most cases. Most automotive leather is finished and food stuffs usually will wipe right off. If you run into a stubborn one though try a little all-purpose degreaser on a rag, don’t rub too much or dye may lift. If the stain on your leather car seat from food doesn’t come up with this then the dye from the food has penetrated the fibers of the leather and has dyed it, so it’s time for a professional leather dye job.

Aniline leather or NuBuck leather is a different story though, thats the soft stuff you see as an inserted piece usually in the middle of the seats. You can use the soapy solution but water spots sometimes show up, so a special cleaner works best for this kind of leather. One I suggest is from the guys over at Leather Magic, they have a NuBuck Leather Care Kit that is the answer to all your NuBack needs. This kit includes cleaners and conditioners for the soft stuff, this type of leather is delicate and should be treated as such. Don’t use your usual leather cleaners and conditioners on this type of leather due to fact of the oils in them will damage the look of the leather, then no more soft feeling NuBuck, so definitely check out Leather Magics NuBuck Kit.

Ink, Marker, and Crayon on Leather Seat….Urgent!!! Get to it as soon as you can! If the ink is fresh you have a better chance of removing it from the leather then not. Rubbing alcohol, with a little bit of acetone added will sometimes get it. I’ve heard of hairspray, tried it with not much luck. Usually when an ink pen and leather come together they marry and don’t split to easily. Ink is a dye and is made to penetrate whatever it comes into contact with. Most ink spots I’ve ran into I’ve usually had to dye the leather to cover the spot.

Crayon on a leather seat can be a booger if it’s melted in the seat, you can try this but be careful not to burn or pucker your leather. Take an iron and a paper towel and lay the paper towel over the crayon and with a low heat rub the iron over the paper towel over the crayon. The crayon will melt into the paper towel, move the towel around to clean spots until the crayon is gone, a little of rubbing alcohol should remove the remaining. This trick works on carpet and cloth too. If they’re just marks on the leather seat a little soap and water should do the trick or even a little rubbing alcohol on a towel works good to. If all fails there is a product from Protective Products Corp. that is all natural with no solvents that will remove crayon and lipstick it’s called Solv-It, but just like anything try a spot in an unsuspecting spot to see if it removes dye.

One last trick that I’ve read about around the net and am in the process of testing it, but it the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, they do work around the house, so why not the car too. I’ve removed crayon and marks on my walls before with them, I do notice it take a little paint with it though, but they do work. If you use one, be careful and don’t go ape sh$#, rub it then look, rub it then look, they will remove dye, so when using it take your time and check it as you go.

Sweat Stains in Leather Seat ….Salt stains from sweat can be pretty gross looking, but there is a little trick. Take and make a solution of 3 parts vinegar and one part water and wet a towel and rub the area clean, the vinegar breaks down the and helps to remove the stain.

Paint on Leather Seat….Paint removal on a leather car seat, well that ones a hard one. If it has dried it’s probably there to stay. If it’s a water color, just use soap and water to remove it. Latex house paint, you can try a little Goof Off but keep in mind this is a solvent and can damage the leather seat and remove dye. I have in the past been able to take my pocket knife and scrape it off. Wet the area first with a little water and lightly try to lift the paint off with your knife or even a razor blade, but don’t cut the leather. Mostly though this really doesn’t work without removing the dye underneath, but I have had luck sometimes. If its car paint, try a little paint reducer on a rag, but just wipe lightly and don’t soak the area with the reducer. Solvents and leather seats just don’t mix.

My best advice to all when it come to stains in your leather car seats, and that is to be conscious of what you do, try to keep our little Picasso’s pen free, keep our food out of our cars, roll the windows up and sunroofs closed, and always remember to treat the leather with your Lexol Conditioner on a regular basis, this helps to keep the leather car seats protected and soft and makes it easier to get the spills and accidents from turning into disasters.

But always remember that we leather repair professionals are here to save those leather car seats and bring them back to there original state. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact me for all your leather repair needs.