Improved cleaning productivity is more important than ever. A clean and hygienic workspace always offered a lot benefits including higher employee morale, better work environments, and enhanced health and safety. That last point about health and safety becomes even more vital considering the lingering effects of the pandemic.
Yet maintenance companies, stressed by increased cleaning demand and epic labor shortages, may struggle to keep up. Thankfully, there are ways to improve cleaning productivity, work with greater efficiency, and provide better cleaning outcomes every time.
The first step is getting rid of your mops.
Old Tools Deliver Bad Cleaning Outcomes
String mops have existed for hundreds of years with a few refinements and variations introduced from time to time. The technology has a few advantages. Mops are cheap, familiar, and everyone knows how to use them…or so they think.
But those basic assumptions do not tell the whole story. Mops spread dirt and contaminants around instead of actually removing them. A study in Controlled Environments by Jay Glasel, PhD found that mops remove only about 50% of surface soils and bacteria. The same study showed that inadequate cleaning of grout lines using conventional mopping methods causes high bacteria growth and dispersion.
String mops are also cumbersome to use. Weighing in at between one and two pounds when dry, they swell to three times that weight when wet. Dragging a wet mop across a large area is hard on the wrists, hips, and back. In fact, CleanLink reports that mopping is among the most dangerous tasks janitors perform and the second leading cause of cleaning related injuries.
Microfiber mops offer a bit of improvement. They are lighter and therefore easier on the body. However, a study by the American Society of Microbiology found that even a brand-new microfiber mop removes only about 50% of surface bacteria on a floor and that its effectiveness diminishes with use.
Neither of these options help increase cleaning productivity or efficiency.
Cleaning for Health is The New Normal
Boosting cleaning productivity weighs on the mind of every facility manager and maintenance company owner as expectations shift. The general public is paying closer attention to cleanliness than ever before. They vow to be extra cautious of germs in restaurants, stores, transportation hubs, schools, workplaces, and even their own homes.
This article from Cleaning & Maintenance Management outlines findings from a recent Stratus Building Solutions survey. The telling piece reveals quite a few anxieties and concerns.
The survey finds that among the 521 people sampled:
- 93% said they expect workplaces to be confident about cleaning and sanitizing when they return to work
- 66% expect their workplace to be cleaned every day
- 94% said cleaning and disinfecting should be a standard and a priority for businesses moving forward regardless of current events or flu season
- 88% said they find themselves evaluating the cleanliness of businesses they frequent
- 81% said they would be in favor of a “COVID-19 safety inspection” involving health officials inspecting businesses and schools for hygiene and giving stamps of approval
- 86% said they would like to see proof that a workplace, business, restaurant, gym, or school is cleaned and sanitized regularly.
Meeting these expectations with limited staff will require better tools that deliver higher cleaning productivity.
Better Tools for Improved Cleaning Outcomes
Ditching the mop for more advanced tools is a great way to boost cleaning productivity and efficiency. The AutoVac Stretch™ allows cleaning staff to do more with less. This advanced machine conserves water by 75% or more and reduces chemical usage by 66% yet it leaves floors completely clean, removing over 99% of targeted soils.
Certified by Green Seal®, the AutoVac Stretch delivers the kind of positive environmental and health impacts that the public wants. Bonus points: investing in better technology and equipment like this may help lure Millennials and Gen Z workers to your organization, as suggested by this article.
Looking for more ways to improve cleaning productivity? Check out more floor cleaning tools and tips here.