The Science of Clean

Categories: Cleaning Applications, Cleaning for Health

By Paul Goldin | April 29, 2019 << Back to Articles

Each year, we make new discoveries that help advance the cleaning industry.

As innovations come to market, our options for cleaning and maintenance grow, and the choices sometimes seem endless. Although the “science of clean” provides many answers, it will only improve the quality of the end result if we keep in mind certain basic questions about the task at hand before recommending a cleaning program or product. 

Regardless of whether you are a manufacturer, distributor, or cleaning service provider, there are key questions that are essential building blocks in determining the right cleaning solution and making sure that you approach your clients’ needs in a ‘scientific’ manner. I have identified some of these questions for you to keep in mind:

What is the surface that must be cleaned and maintained?

This first question is really many questions rolled into one key point. Consideration must be given to the potential wear and tear of a surface and the differences in application between various areas of a facility. In addition, before proceeding, learn the composition of the surface.  Different floor types require very different approaches and technologies.

How much time is available for the task?

While ideally each task would be given as much time as possible to ensure the ultimate level of clean, in the real world, schedules must be respected, and time must be maximized. Budgetary pressures force cleaning operations to work more efficiently than ever before.

Where is the custodial closet and what amount of available space does it have?

This is another real-world consideration. Recommending large or bulky equipment that will not fit in the custodial closet, or one that requires a water source if the closet is far from a usable sink, will not lead to the desired result. The location and size of the closet will impact the strategy for maintaining that area of the facility.

What is the desired level of clean?

Considering the end user, as well as the industry, and use of a particular surface, is key to determining the right solution. For example, healthcare and food plants may have different requirements than other environments. Also, the level of disinfection required may vary depending on the facility type, industry, and placement of a particular surface.

How important is sustainability to the client?

Advantages to a sustainable program include increasing energy-efficiency and high appearance levels. However, not all clients prioritize this when choosing their cleaning program. Sometimes it is important to switch the focus from environmental benefit to a health benefit. For example, demonstrating the benefits of lower levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a building can increase productivity and reduce absenteeism. This may strike a chord more deeply to a decision maker than as a pure environmental benefit. The overall benefit is that often the solutions providing health and safety benefits are the ones that provide environmental benefits. Choosing products with UL/Ecologo certification, Green Seal certification, Safer Choice certification, and Greenguard certification will benefit the health and safety of the tenants and custodial staff, while having less impact on the environment, compared to many conventional products.

Advancing clean, driving innovation

With advances in science, we are even more aware of the importance of cleanliness in our lives, as well as the innovative ways in which we can help our clients maintain a clean environment.

The choices we make can have an impact on the environment, the health, and safety of the custodian and tenants of the building. It is our responsibility to make sure that the solution we are recommending is the best one for our client.

As members of ISSA, we are very well positioned to take advantage of the innovations in our industry.

ISSA provides us all with resources needed for guidance, as the training and education portfolio of ISSA continues to grow and offer benefits to each of our member classes.

Enjoy, and use, those benefits!

About the Author.

ISSA 2019 President Paul Goldin is vice president of Canada-based Avmor Ltd. He can be reached via email at [email protected]