Over the years, technology has become app-savvy. The dual-compartment buckets and flat mops have resulted in less fatigue and bending. The ergonomic design of the latest mops has made it easier to lift and manoeuvre. Similarly, the open/closed spray stair tools that come in different sizes can do staircase cleaning efficiently. These latest tools have enabled companies/FM service providers save time & manpower and more importantly significant improvement in cleaning and hygiene level. Still, many of the end consumers continue to be traditional owing to the following reasons:
Cost-effectiveness – The latest tools that provide the desired solutions are far costlier than those of their traditional replacements. Suryanarayna adds: “Of the total revenue, we attribute 4% to the cleaning and around 0.5% to the cleaning tools and accessories. We are using Diversey products, which are equipped with the latest technologies, but are much more expensive. Many a time, in the case of some products, a small damage leads to getting almost all the parts changed. For example, in the case of glass or floor wiper, when there was damage in the blade, we were asked to change even the blade holder and other parts causing unnecessary environmental load and expense.”
Not all paper towels are created equally. If used inappropriately, they disintegrate, fall apart and leave fibres around. This increases the task rather than finishing it.
Lack of awareness – Tools is generally associated with mops, brushes, wipes… But tools have also come to include aids or gadgets used to enhance cleaning performance. A pest detector K9 is a tool which enables identifying the exact spot of pest infestation; thus saving time and energy in taking appropriate pest control measures.
Similarly, in industries, air-ducts once contaminated damage the air-flow. Air duct cleaning is a tedious process, whereby in many places, the entire duct is removed and manually cleaned before being set up again. Latest innovations include video detection tools which are introduced into the duct for inspection. This computer aided device sends images of the entire duct – the dust levels, the contamination levels and sources of airflow problems– that needs to be repaired; thus simplifying the process of cleaning.
While using the floor cleaning tools that come with pre-installed chemicals, one must be aware of the nature of the tiles. If a floor finishing leaves a yellow coating, it is due to chemical reactions and/or poor maintenance techniques. However, the yellow coating on the floor could also be a result of trapped soils between layers reacting with the chemicals. This can be avoided by dislodging the soils from the floor using suitable brush and the dry mopping before applying any chemical to the surface or running any equipment. This also reduces chemical consumption and run time of the equipment.
Tools and accessories are the opening of mechanised cleaning. For an overall effective cleaning result, one should begin with tools.
Added Competitive Market Value
Torsten Deutzmann, Managing Director, Unger’s European Division writes in his very first blog, “By investing in the best tools and equipment, professional cleaners can improve the way they work, passing on benefits to their clients. Product design has moved swiftly over the years, and tools now make cleaning less of a strain on the body, allowing operatives to finish their work more quickly, and preventing any break in service due to injuries or sick leave.”
Proper auditing considering the parameters – operational lifetime, time & manpower savings can compensate the high investment. By doing this, the aim of cleaning standard can be set to a higher point ensuring that everyone can determine whether the concerned premise is sufficiently clean or not. This requires some form of measurement or audit of cleanliness to retain the economic viability. The main objectives of undertaking cleaning audits must be for quality improvement, and the audit results should be made available to relevant staff as soon as possible after the audit has been completed so that corrective measures by using right tools, accessories and methodologies could be deployed accordingly.
“Cleaning tools have now also become more adaptable. Systems, such as window cleaning poles, can reach further thanks to the addition of extensions, and clean specific surfaces or shapes by using changeable brush heads. Additional savings can be made by choosing more ‘eco-friendly’ equipment, such as machines that use less energy, or do not require chemicals to clean. The challenge for cleaning tool manufacturers is to ‘keep it real’. They must not be remote from the market and their customers; instead, they should strive to ensure they have regular contact with the cleaners ‘on the ground’. Working in partnership with cleaning operatives is the only way to ensure that the equipment of the future continue to deliver the right results at the right price – which is a win-win situation for all involved,” writes Torsten.
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