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The Cleaning Industry, Then and Now

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Post The Cleaning Industry, Then and Now   Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:42 am

How has the commercial cleaning industry changed?

Cleaning is cleaning, right? Wrong! Cleaning is not just cleaning. Sure we use the same words; dust, mop, scrub, clean windows, even many of the same tools, but the commercial cleaning industry has evolved tremendously over the years and continues to evolve. The three main contributing factors to its change are technology, the environment, and the need for cleaning companies to be sustainable. It's no different then going from a push lawn mower to a motorized, self-propelled one. In the commercial cleaning business the equipment used today is much more advanced than years ago. For instance, the history of cleaning commercial floors was simply the use of a mop, detergent and water. This method took a lot of time and manpower, yet it served its purpose in the relatively small commercial establishments. However, with commercial buildings, department stores and supermarkets getting larger the need for a more effective and efficient method of cleaning the floors was needed. In the 1960's large machines called auto scrubbers were introduced. They were built on the same premise as the mop, bucket and water and were able to accomplish the task, not only more effectively, but in less time and with less manpower. With the continued advancement in technology more efficient and effective machines are being manufactured and made available.

Along with advancements in technology came the need to find more environmentally friendly ways to perform cleaning commercially. Our great - great grandparent's typically used household items such as vinegar, alcohol, baking soda and water solutions to accomplish many of their cleaning tasks. With the increased awareness of eliminating all bacteria, mold and scum came the introduction and use of cleaning detergents and solvents claiming to remove all of these and more. What wasn't considered was the environmental impact of these cleaners on the outside environment as well as the toxic effects on humans, plant life and animals. This increased awareness led to more "green" cleaning solutions and equipment being developed and introduced into the business.

Many of the larger commercial cleaning companies understand the continuing need to grow and evolve and therefore have chosen to upgrade to more effective, efficient equipment and use environmentally friendly solvents and cleaners. Cleaning companies who have survived through lean years have incorporated these changes to technology and newer, more appealing "Green Solutions." Environmental awareness by customers has made this a must...

Years ago it was common practice to "flip" through the phone book looking for a cleaning company to provide a service. The facilities were smaller, and the need for specialized cleaning was less important. Small cleaning companies typically specialize in one area of cleaning whether it is floor care, windows or general janitorial cleaning. Larger companies usually have the resources to handle all types of jobs whether large or small. Larger companies are typically able to stay on top of industry trends; having the resources to make the necessary investments in new equipment and technologies. Also, larger companies have the staying power to withstand tough economic times and will be here for the long haul.

Consider this, larger companies not only stay on top of industry trends, they also have the resources to service and protect their customer's in the way the customer deserves. Years ago it was not unheard of for cleaning contractors not to carry adequate insurance, or no insurance at all. However, with larger facilities to clean, there is more potential for liability claims. It is important both your customer and your company are protected. Despite skyrocketing insurance premiums, larger cleaning companies know the importance of this and therefore carry enough and sometimes more insurance than necessary to protect their customer, their facility and their own company. Every reputable commercial cleaning company will be happy to provide proof of insurance. Just ask!

As with other industries, the commercial cleaning industry has changed; and changed for the better!

We look forward to what changes are yet to come for this $80 Billion dollar industry.

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