Mother’s Day – Are you cleaning your flower operation correctly?

Mother’s Day is around the corner which means increased flower volumes going through your operation as well as increased traffic. Having a clean operation is not only vital to the well-being of your flowers but also to you and your customers. But are you cleaning your flower operation, floral shop or floral department correctly?

Cleanliness is usually underestimated in terms of its importance concerning postharvest vase life. If we are starting with a dirty and microbe infested bucket, cooler or anything else that might come in contact with the flowers, all other attempts at postharvest care will be less effective (fresh flower food, hydration etc.). For example, if a flower is properly treated and then put into a dirty bucket, the flower may prematurely die from the microbes, regardless of the treatment. So, make sure that everything that may come in contact with the flower is cleaned with a floral industry approved disinfectant cleaner, such as Floralife® D.C.D.® or MicroBLOC®, including buckets, cutters, coolers, benches, etc.

Research has shown that buckets left dirty for four days can reduce the vase life of a rose by up to 20%.

Why use Floralife® D.C.D.® or MicroBLOC®? The products are specifically designed to kill microbes over a long period of time. If you clean your buckets today, tomorrow the buckets will still be protected. Many use a chlorine bleach to clean their buckets. Chlorine is an extremely effective biocide, but does not have any residual effect, leaving no protection past the actual application (see chart below).

For every bacteria found in the bucket cleaned with Floralife® D.C.D.® or MicroBLOC®, there were 389 bacteria found in the bucket cleaned with bleach.

This checklist will help you plan your daily cleaning routine through the holiday and beyond and includes steps to prevent COVID-19 infections:

  1. Sweep cooler and work area floors daily to rid them of leaves, petals or stems that may carry disease spores.
  2. Clean and disinfect cooler, work area, floors, walls, and shelves daily.
  3. Clean and disinfect sinks, design tables, knives, and clippers several times per day. Due to the novel Coronavirus outbreak, if these tools and work areas are shared by more than one person, we recommend cleaning before every use.
  4. Clean and disinfect buckets with clean water and professional cleaners with a residual effect.
  5. Use only clean and cool water for flower hydration, holding solutions and vase solutions.
  6. Use ONLY commercial hydration and flower food solutions as these include the proper ingredients.
  7. Mix fresh solution: start with clean, freshly made hydration and holding solutions at grower, wholesale and bouquet operations and properly mixed commercial flower foods at retail stores.
  8. Clean and disinfect your delivery vehicles several times a day to protect your employees as well as the recipients of the floral arrangements. Don’t forget door handles, steering wheels, etc.
  9. Be sure you and your team are sanitation fanatics! For best results there is no substitute for due diligence!

During the sanitary crisis that we are all facing, your cleaning efforts should not be exclusive to flowers. It is important to remind everyone of the importance of cleaning and disinfecting all environments properly and often, whether at home or in the workplace! Did you know that the FloraLife® Cleaner Products meet the EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel Coronavirus? See EPA list N. For more information, check Have a clean and successful Mother’s Day!