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Show Highlights

There are so many tiny particular things that go into keeping a float center clean that are really specific to this industry.  For example, mopping at the end of the night can be a chore because using a typical mop bucket will just mean spreading salt water everywhere.

Graham and Ashkahn share some of their favorite convenient products that they have found helpful running Float On that they totally recommend for everyone else as well.

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Listen to Just the Audio

Transcription of this episode… (in case you prefer reading)

Graham: Today’s question is, “Do you have any special, floaty tools for cleaning your float center?”

Ashkahn: Floaty tools?

Graham: So I think things lighter than water is what they are actually asking about. And we do, yeah. Not just because everything floats in a float tank, but … No, I assume it’s like do we have special tools that are float centric, as opposed to like, a broom.

Ashkahn: Oh okay.

Graham: Which might be something you clean any shop.  

Ashkahn: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I gotcha.

Graham: Right.

Ashkahn: We have brooms though.

Graham: Oh man, we have floaty brooms, too so …

Ashkahn: Just so people know, we have brooms. So yeah, special little, fun little, cleaning stuff that we use.

Graham: We mentioned it before, but a simple one actually is … I like the aprons that we have around, that people have started wearing.

Ashkahn: Yeah, yeah.

Graham: Which again, was a staff suggestion, and a great one. And it is totally non-mandatory, but we find it just is so useful that almost everyone has kind of little half-aprons they wear around, both to protect them from salt and have little pockets to carry your phone and stuff like that.

Ashkahn: Yeah, we have little cleaning caddies that people take from room to room, so that holds their various bottles of cleaning solutions and rags and that sort of stuff, so it is a little easier to just grab one thing and carry it to the room with you.

Graham: I have seen people use an entire cleaning cart before. Like some kind of roll around, double-decker.

Ashkahn: Like three feet, I guess, so … But our hallway’s only like five feet long, like … There’d be very little space to roll.

Graham: But no, it’s like they can roll it into the entire room, and you can just have everything you need. It’s like having three cleaning caddies or something.

Ashkahn: Yeah, that would be cool. I guess I mean big in square footage.

Graham: Oh, I see, not like …

Ashkahn: Big in number of float tanks.

Graham: Yeah, yeah.

Ashkahn: Cause that, just like, it wouldn’t even fit in our float center. We couldn’t roll a big caddy thing around. But if you had the space, that would be fricking sweet.

Graham: Yeah. Have fun. Get a little ride from it too.

Ashkahn: Yeah. Take a customer back to the bathroom.

Graham: So the little hand-held caddies are good.

Ashkahn: Yeah, we have hand-held caddies … We’re not as impressive as those big rolly caddy people out there. For taking our samples from the float tanks in the morning to do our various chemistry tests, we have little bottles that you can take a sample from each float tank. The best thing we’ve found actually happened to be like a children’s chemistry set. It’s like a literally like a plastic, colorful little set, with like … It conveniently came with six different tubes, for our six different float tanks, and each one had a different color cap on it, cause it’s made for children. But for us it was perfect, like it was really easy to remember that like yellow is Tank Three, we’d like write it on the cap.

Graham: Yeah, that helped with the memory. Memorization too. And definitely having the number right there was nice.

Ashkahn: The number helped. But it helped you not screw it up once you got everything settled. And then … So we’d take a scoop out of each float tank, and then you could just go sit, in the morning as you’re opening, and you could have enough solution in each of these tubes to like pour into your various test kits and do all the stuff that you needed to do every morning. So, it just made it so you didn’t have to like constantly go from room to room, multiple times to get samples for multiple tests.

Graham: And if you set up an easy bake oven next to you when you’re doing it, then it really looks very official to the customers coming in, which is nice.

Ashkahn: It’s … Yep … We got the old aqua broom.

Graham: Uh huh … Yep … Which is for sucking things out of the bottom of your float tank when you … Like sediment …

Ashkahn: Yeah, sometimes like little pebbles.

Graham: The stuff that actually doesn’t float. That actually is a floaty cleaning tool.

Ashkahn: Yeah, yeah, that one really is. Yeah, ya know, like sometimes there just is, like a small pebble or something like that. I noticed that especially if, for some reason, someone wears a bathing suit in there. Then it’s like … But, yeah every once in while there’s a little bit of sediment and it’s easy to get out of the bottom if you have some sort of aqua vac. They make …

Graham: Go back a little bit, how do you know if someone wears a bathing suit in there.

Ashkahn: Well, so mostly it’s from … Like, a few times we’ve had the news people come in …

Graham: Oh, yeah.

Ashkahn: And they always hop in there with a bathing suit because, ya know, it’s like morning news.

Graham: Sure, sure.

Ashkahn: And then every time afterwards, I’m like “Okay, there’s a little bit of like, something sand in there, something like that.”

Graham: I’m just trying say like … Could I ever … I don’t think I’ve had anyone come out and like brag about like “I went in in a bathing suit,” like how are you finding these people, or how are you finding this out. Okay, go on, go on.

Ashkahn: So, like, the aqua room … You can get battery powered ones, which is what we have, but then the batteries all the time like have trouble handling …

Graham: Yeah, you would think that something that was meant to be like submerged in liquid would do an okay job of it, but, once again, the salt finds a way to like destroy everything.

Ashkahn: Yeah, luckily, like we rinse it off – usually the batteries go pretty fast – but with enough cleaning and rinsing like we’ve only had to go through like two of them … Maybe three of them … In our entire time of being around. Which is, in case you don’t know, pretty good for like float tank standards. Like, only having to buy something three times is on the list of pretty sturdy devices.

Graham: As opposed to our reference thermometers, which we have to send back in for repairs like twice a year or something, you know.

Ashkahn: So, yeah. But they’re also just hand powered ones that you can get that you like … kinda like one of those squirt guns …

Graham: They can’t see the motion that you’re making, you know.

Ashkahn: I know. Just trying to describe it. Like one of those squirt guns that you like suck up, you like pull the tube out and it sucks up all the water inside the other tube. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Graham: It’s really … The motions make it very clear what he’s talking about here, he’s doing a very good tube sucking motion here.

Ashkahn: We’ll take some photos and we’ll post it up with this.

Graham: I thought of another one too, our remote door buzzer.

Ashkahn: Oh yeah.

Graham: Which is really nice. So they can put them in the pockets of their aprons, which almost everyone wears. Just kinda throw it in there, wander around the space.

Ashkahn: So this is, yeah … There’s like a sensor on our front door.

Graham: He’s gesturing up towards the top of the door to you right now.

Ashkahn: And the door opens like this.

Graham: So there’s a little sensor on top of the door and people can throw this little remote in their pocket, and it just serves the same function that a doorbell would, but by vibrating, right. So someone opens the door, and then you get this little buzz in your pocket, and it’s really useful for our staff. We don’t have like a designated front desk person and a designated back cleaning person for our transitions, so both people are kind of filling both roles, which mean there might be a point where both people are not right there, at the front desk, kinda ready to check people in and … So it’s really nice to be able to respond within a few seconds, or ya know, thirty seconds of someone coming in the door when they get that little vibration notice.

Ashkahn: We also … I guess just like cleaning off salt water off of things has always been a interesting challenge we’ve had to innovate our way around. It started with our nightly cleaning to like spray down the walls and everything. Our first attempt at a solution was buying a Super Soaker.

Graham: Which I still love. I think it worked great. It was delightful going back to the rooms with the kind of like people in the lobby, and you just like …

Ashkahn: Yeah, like the last customers are coming out of the tanks.

Graham: Yeah, holding a giant … Like a big Super Soaker and going back there. Like “What are you doing?” It’s like “Cleaning.”

Ashkahn: So we had that for a little bit, and …

Graham: Bumblebee model?

Ashkahn: Yeah, we had the Bumblebee Transformer model Super Soaker, specifically.

Graham: It’s a collectors item now, you’ll have to pay a good fifty dollars now, if you want it.

Ashkahn: It actually was a really good one. Cause it had like a nozzle that made like a really nice, like horizontal line. I’m describing it with words. I’m describing it with words. Like it was like a horizontal line of spray, so you could actually like spray an entire like section of wall and it would do a nice job.

Graham: Yeah they also had a little sneaky side-shot action, so …

Ashkahn: That’s right.

Graham: So, if you need to look like you’re about to spray the wall in front of you, you can actually shoot Ashkahn standing next to you, which is a nice little trick, yeah.

Ashkahn: Yeah it would shoot off at a ninety degree angle, which made for really good times.

Graham: So that got upgraded to … We now use basically like a full, Ghostbuster-style, backpack-style sprayer. Not for the rooms themselves but for, kind of …

Ashkahn: We use it sometimes in the rooms too. Like, it’s good for getting places … What we did in the interim, between these two solutions, actually was we installed shower heads, the shower heads in each of our rooms, we got like really long nozzles for the neck, really long tubes..

Graham: Cords.

Ashkahn: Pipes? Flexible piping? We got really long, flexible piping pieces from the shower heads to the wall, so that we could use the shower head itself to spray a bunch of stuff off. But you could still only reach so far with that.

Graham: Mostly down to where they would hit the ground. Because, it turns out, if you get cords that are longer than the distance from the holder to the ground, then you immediately break them.

Ashkahn: Yeah, someone drops it, and it just smashes.

Graham: Yeah, so ours go right down to dangling a couple inches off the ground, if someone were to drop the handle. And that’s kinda how they stretch out.

Ashkhan: But yeah, so the Ghostbuster backpacks, which really, I guess, are like what you put like pesticides in as you’re spraying, like it’s that sort of style.

Graham: You mean they don’t actually use them to capture ghosts?

Ashkahn: I mean, maybe.

Graham: You sold them to me under a totally different like then we ended up implementing them.

Ashkahn: Those are good for the rooms though. One of the reasons we actually first thought about getting those was … Our mopping … When we would mop at the end of the night.

Graham: We had these beige jumpsuits and we just didn’t know what would go with them.

Ashkahn: Our float center was haunted. We had to mop at the end of the night, and we would notice that it would take us like multiple rounds of mopping to really get the floor looking good, like we’d have to do a whole pass with a mop, and then we’d have to do like a whole nother pass with like rags or something like that.

Graham: Cause the salt will start to come up. Like its not … It’s so just like everywhere that like even after a little round of mopping, you picked up so much salt, and that’s gotten into the mop bucket, then now you’re kind of like spreading around little salt crystals on the top of things, ya know.

Ashkahn: You’re basically like dipping your mop into salt water, and then like wiping the rest of your floor with it. And so, what we did was instead of the mop bucket, we put like the cleaning solution like the water and whatever cleaning solution mixed into it, into the Ghostbuster backpack, and then people will walk and spray that on the ground to get things wet, and then wipe it up with actual like big kinda like floor towels that we have. And that only ended up needing a single pass, because you weren’t … Every time you were spraying with the water it was fresh water, it didn’t have the salt water in it, and so it made everything a lot easier.

Graham: Yeah, that’s where the infamous Shamee Shuffle was developed.

Ashkahn: The Shamee Shuffle, yeah.

Graham: That’s where you have a Shamee under each foot, as you’re doing the spray action.

Ashkahn: I think they get it. I think they get it.

Graham: They can’t see what I’m doing here.

Ashkahn: What else do we use? Those are …

Graham: Yeah

Ashkahn: Those are pretty good.

Graham: There’s at least a smattering of cool tools that we make use of on a regular basis.

Ashkahn: We have a giant utility sink. I mean, that’s worth mentioning. Three bay, giant, stainless steel utility sink. Like I remember the day we got it, it was like one of the greatest days of my life.

Graham: I’m still like drooling a little bit, thinking about it. Yeah I don’t have kids so this is the kind of thing that I show to people at parties.

Ashkahn: Yeah, like if you just have a small, single bay utility sink, you should really consider upgrading, because its a nice world out there, with that many bays and that big of a sink. Basically everything has salt in it, and you have to get salt off of things, and your utility sink is like your main battle station for like de-saltifying things.

Graham: I think this is like the tenth episode that we’ve mentioned our utility sink. Maybe we should just have like a –

Ashkahn: It’s really important.

Graham: In praise of utility sink one of these days. Really get it out. Yeah, that’s all I …

Ashkahn: Yeah. That’s pretty good for right now.

Graham: That’s all I got immediately for right now.

Ashkahn: Oh!

Graham: Maybe we’ll do another – oh. Oh.

Ashkahn: I got one more.

Graham: Oh.

Ashkahn: We have nice little protection case for our hydrometer.

Graham: Oh, yep. And that we … It’s kinda a do it yourself sort of case, but we did buy it from a company that sells hydrometer cases.

Ashkahn: Yeah, we bought it and they sent us basically like a piece of PVC pipe with foam inside it, for like fifty bucks. I’m like “Okay.”

Graham: I thought of another one too.

Ashkahn: Oh, alright.

Graham: We have an eyewash station that actually attaches to our utility sink, just in case you end up getting chemicals in your eyes or …

Ashkahn: We’ve never had to use it, which is nice.

Graham: I’ve, personally, never had to use it.

Ashkahn: It’s nice to have it there.

Graham: Yeah.

Ashkahn: And … good. That feels good.

Graham: I feel great.

Ashkahn: Yeah.

Graham: That was a good episode.

Ashkahn: Alright, well, yeah. If you guys have other questions you want to ask us, you can hop over to floattanksolutions.com/podcast and hopefully we’ll give answers, just as informative as this one.

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