OmniClean New!By ISSA Today Staff | October 25, 2021 << Back to Articles
Are you still cleaning floors using a pail filled with dirty water and an old germ-infested mop? Now there is a more sanitary way to do this. Introducing the Unger OmniClean floor care system.
Unger OmniClean is a breakthrough dual-chamber bucket and microfiber mop floor-cleaning system. This revolutionary innovation in cleaning technology eliminates more than 90% of dirt from the floor, separating it into the waste-water chamber and providing clean water in the other, assisting you in truly leaving your floors cleaner. It has been tested and confirmed to eliminate more bio-residue from flooring than the traditional bucket and mop. In fact, with OmniClean, the clean water side of the bucket remains dirt-free 13 times longer, allowing you to clean 13 times more floor space before you have to change the water.
Why not get rid of that old mop and bucket and quit using filthy water to “clean” your floors? But first, let’s see how this innovation came about and why it is worthy of your consideration.
Unger’s history and heritage
Unger’s roots were founded in 1964 when Henry Unger, a professional window cleaner, started designing cleaning products for professional use, launching his business in Hamburg, Germany. For more than 50 years, Unger’s quest of looking for better ways to clean made his company what it is now, an international market leader in the professional cleaning industry.
For over 20 years, Unger’s three sons Dane, Jan, and Mark, have continued to drive their father’s same ideals, producing innovative products that keep improving the cleaning experience.
“At Unger, our promise is to innovate with purpose, and that purpose is to deliver quality tools designed to make the cleaning experience cleaner, faster, and safer,” says Patrick Kane, senior marketing director at Unger. “It is a promise that was important to Henry Unger and remains at the core of our business.”
Promise leads to innovation
That promise led to the innovation of the OmniClean floor cleaning system, with its breakthrough dual-chamber bucket and microfiber mop. How did this idea come about?
“The idea started when we interviewed end users about their frustration with their current mopping systems,” reveals Kane. “They told us their cotton string mops were heavy, left too much water on the floor, and the single chamber meant they were trying to clean floors with dirty water. It was an impossible task and ripe for improvement.”
The people of Unger got to work and soon presented OmniClean to the world. Taking their users’ opinions into consideration, they produced a patented dual-bucket system that kept clean and dirty water separate, ensuring an extended supply of fresh cleaning water solution. With its advanced design, OmniClean’s impressive scrub board separates dirt from the microfiber mop pad, and then the exceptional horizontal wringer removes the remaining grime. Their end users would never have to clean with filthy water again.
Challenges of COVID-19 and hesitancy
Because the improved performance is readily apparent, it seemed that this product would sell itself when demonstrated. But then COVID-19 happened, and Unger was having a hard time finding the opportunity to show it off. Due to pandemic restrictions, in-person demos became impossible at a time when end users were actively looking for better cleaning tools. Thankfully, virtual demos (either live or through pre-produced videos) helped provide visibility to the product performance.
Another hurdle Unger had to overcome was, and is, inertia. “People are so used to their current mop and bucket configuration that even when they see the benefits firsthand, there is some hesitancy to make the change,” explains Kane. “Thankfully, our regional sales managers and rep agency partners have been active in providing on-site training and follow-ups to ensure conversion to the new and improved process.”
The end-user reaction
The end-user reaction has been incredibly positive. As businesses and institutions have reopened their doors, Unger is finding it somewhat difficult keeping the OmniClean floor care system in stock due to the popularity of the product.
When it comes to cleaning and the act of cleaning, customers are finding several immediate wins. “The mop pole is adjustable and more ergonomically friendly, making the process feel less like a chore. The mop pad leaves less water on the floor, so the improved dry time results in a safer surface for end users and those using the facilities,” says Kane. “They are also finding that it takes less time to clean floors because they don’t have to constantly empty and refill a single bucket to ensure they have clean water. Finally, they sometimes find themselves in shock, looking at the dirty water chamber and noting, ‘We used to try to clean the floor with that water.’”
As a member of ISSA, Unger sees the partnership as a win. Kane says this is especially so in two ways. “First, we have easy access to industry-leading knowledge, insights, and reports. Those assets help us design better products and market to end users more effectively. Second, we take a lot of pride in the partnership because we’ve heard firsthand the positive impact that ISSA had in the last year. We’ve conducted numerous interviews over the past six months, and we’ve heard how our end users relied on ISSA as a trusted source during the COVID-19 pandemic. You really can’t overstate the active role the organization played in providing clean and safe environments for so many end users, students, and office workers.”
And then there is the ISSA Show North America. In 2020, Unger was named the winner of the ISSA Innovation Award in the Supplies and Accessories category for its newest floor care innovation, OmniClean.
How did it feel to win an ISSA Innovation of the Year award? “It’s exhilarating,” Kane reveals. “A great deal of time and energy goes into designing, developing, manufacturing, and distributing a new product. It’s remarkably complex and involves so many people along the way. Winning this award provides validation and some excitement to everyone involved in the process,” he continues. “They all made a meaningful difference by bringing real innovation to market, and ISSA’s recognition of this effort carries tremendous weight in our organization.”
It is clear to see that Unger’s OmniClean is truly changing the way that floors are being cleaned, now and into the future.
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