We are no Longer in the Cleaning Business.

To understand what we are talking about, let’s step back for a second and review what has happened since March 20202, starting with the following clichés:
· “Nothing will be the same”
· “Everything has changed”
· “We are in a ‘new normal'”
· “We should expect more ‘new normals’ in the future”

While these are all clichés, they have all come true. Everything has changed, and that includes the professional cleaning industry.
We notice it when we meet with prospects to discuss their cleaning needs. A year ago, whether a bank on the corner or a major corporation, invariably, the facility manager told us they were looking for a new cleaning contractor to do all the “usual” things:

· Collect the trash.
· Clean and sanitize restrooms.
· Make sure the lunch and break rooms are clean.
· Dust mop/damp mop hard surface floors; vacuum all carpeted areas.

Today, the first thing that comes up when meeting with a prospect is infection control. In fact, disinfecting and disinfectants will be the only thing they want to discuss.

A year ago, infection control discussions were not even on the radar. I am sure many cleaning contractors around the country and the world are experiencing the same thing.

We are fortunate at Aquaox LLC because we have had infection control strategies in place for several years. More than a decade ago, the ISSA, the worldwide cleaning association, wanted to change people’s impression of professional cleaning. Their goal was to impress upon building owners and facility managers that cleaning was not a commodity – meaning anyone could perform cleaning tasks, so accept the lowest bidder – but that cleaning was an investment in human health and building assets.

To accomplish this, they produced a very respected white paper, The Value of Clean. In it, they outlined several important benefits effective, professional cleaning can bring to a facility.

Professional cleaning:
· Protects the health of building users using state-of-the-art infection control tools, equipment, and strategies
· In schools, it improves student performance
· Reduces absenteeism
· Improves worker productivity
· Helps eliminate “presenteeism,” which is when someone is compelled to go to work even though they do not feel well
· Protects and extends the life of building assets such as carpet and hard surface floors,
· Helps facilities make a great first impression for building users and visitors
· Results in greater customer satisfaction and fosters customer loyalty
· Saves money.

This white paper had a significant impact on our company. It made clear what we have believed for decades that effective, professional cleaning does have great value. Further, that value is even greater today than a decade ago when the white paper was published, all because of the pandemic.

In a nutshell, it proved beyond any reasonable doubt that proper cleaning, performed using EPA-registered disinfectants, smart-applicators such as electrostatic spraying equipment, along with effective infection control procedures, is an investment with a huge return on the investment for your company.

This being the case, we encourage you to ask your current cleaning service provider to answer these questions:

· How specifically are they cleaning and disinfecting your facility?
· What products are being used?

Then, follow up on their responses by taking these steps yourself:

  1. Google these products and evaluate for yourself how effective, how safe an how environmental these products are.
  2. Check the supply room to ensure the products the contractor says they are using are being used.
  3. Look at their equipment to see if they are using the most advanced disinfecting technologies such as electrostatic sprayers?
  4. And finally, take the time to observe your cleaning contractor’s crew in action as they go about their duties.
    Professional cleaning is a skill that must be learned. Even if they are using all the recommended products, if they do not know how to use them, your building users’ health could be at risk.

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