Cleaning appearance is what we are judged on. But is that the reason we clean? There is a lot of attention paid to teaching a cleaning staff how to clean. This is usually centered around the proper use of tools and products. While knowing the best ways to use cleaning chemicals and equipment is important, it has little effect on the end results if there is not at least a basic understanding of the reasons for using them. To know how to clean, you must first understand why to clean.
Reasons For Cleaning
Every business has some type of cleaning program. It is just a part of doing business. While millions of dollars are spent on cleaning every month, few take time to realize the reasons so much is dedicated to cleaning and how important it really is. That being said there are many reasons we clean, but here are 4 of the major reasons we clean:
- To Improve Sanitary Conditions and Maintain Health
- To Improve Appearance
- To Maintain and Prolong the Life Surfaces
- To Stay Organized
As you think about these reasons for cleaning, ask yourself “Which of these is the main focus of our cleaning program?” For most, if you are honest with yourself, appearance will be at the top of the list. It would only make sense. If something looks dirty, then it is. But if a surface does not look dirty does that mean it is clean?
Cleaning Appearance Isn’t Enough
Anyone who has been in the cleaning industry knows that it doesn’t. There are countless examples of how a seemingly clean surface is, in fact, anything but clean. One example I will always think of is the that of a soda spill on a tile floor. Early in my career, I worked at an amusement park where I am pretty sure there was a requirement for all children under the age of 13 to have a soda. They seemed to spill 2/3 of it before they left for the day.
When we would clean a soda spill with a mop and bucket, the floor would look clean. But as the day went on, the area where we had cleaned up the spill would get dirty again very quickly because the stickiness of the sugar in the soda would still be on the floor. I learned that if I took the time to clean up the majority of the soda, and then clean out my mop and bucket and then mop the floor again, it would not re-soil.
Not only would the cleaning appearance be better, I wouldn’t have to go back and re-clean it later.
Yes it seemed like double work at the time, but it saved time in the long run and also kept the floor finish looking good much longer. When the spill was just mopped up to appear clean, there was going to be more problems down the road.
Cleaning For Health
This applies to cleaning for health too. There are many ways to improve the appearance of a surface, but there are only a few that actually make the surface sanitary, these being sanitizing or disinfecting. Killing germs and bacteria does not result from cleaning appearance, but from knowledge of what it takes to kill bacteria and the proper procedures to do so.
When it comes to cleaning, if you do not understand germ killing, you are probably not doing it at all.
These are just a few of the “Whys” of cleaning. When you understand why we clean, learning how to clean is much easier, making your efforts more productive, safer and will produce better results, including appearance.