The Cleaning Industry, Then and Now

How has the cleaning industry changed in commercial terms?

To clean is to clean, right? Incorrect. Cleaning does not just mean cleaning. Sure we ‘re using the same words; dust, mop, scrub, clean windows, even a lot of the same tools, but the commercial cleaning industry has evolved tremendously over the years and continues to grow. Things to Look Out Before Hiring a Clean Up Company has some nice tips on this. The three main factors that contribute to its change are technology, the environment and the need to be sustainable in cleaning companies. It’s no different then going from a push lawn mower to a self-propelled, motorized one. The equipment used today in the commercial cleaning business is far more advanced than it was years ago. For example, the history of commercial floor cleaning has been simply the use of a mop, detergent and water. This method took a lot of time and manpower, yet the relatively small commercial establishments served its purpose. However, the need for a more effective and efficient method of cleaning the floors was needed with commercial buildings, department stores, and supermarkets getting larger. In the 1960s large machines were introduced called auto scrubbers. They were built on the same premise as the mop, bucket and water and were able to accomplish the task in less time and with less manpower, not only more efficiently but also. More efficient and effective machines are being manufactured and made available with the continuous advancement in technology.

Along with technological advances came the need to find more environmentally friendly ways to commercially perform cleaning. Typically used household items such as vinegar, alcohol, baking soda and water solutions for many of their cleaning tasks are our great-grandparent. With the growing understanding of removing all bacteria, the advent and use of cleaning detergents and solvents came with mold and scum promising to eliminate all of these and more. What was not considered was the environmental impact on the outside environment of these cleaners, as well as the toxic effects on humans, plant life and animals. This increased awareness led to the development and introduction of more ‘green’ cleaning solutions and equipment into the business.

Many of the larger commercial cleaning companies recognize the need to expand and change on an ongoing basis and have also opted to upgrade to more effective equipment and use environmentally friendly solvents and cleaners. Cleaning companies that have survived through lean years have incorporated these technological changes, and new, more attractive “Green Solutions.” Customer environmental awareness has made this a must …

It was normal practice years ago to “flip” through the telephone book finding a cleaning company to provide a service. The facilities were smaller, and less significant was the need for professional cleaning. Typically, small cleaning companies specialize in one area of cleaning whether it’s floor care, windows or general cleaning. Larger businesses typically have the ability to manage all sorts of jobs, big or small. Larger businesses usually will remain on top of trends in the industry; have the capital to make the requisite investments in new equipment and innovations. Larger firms also have the staying power to withstand difficult economic times and will be here for the long haul.

Consider this, in addition to staying on top of industry trends, larger companies also have the resources to serve and protect their customer’s in the way the customer deserves. For cleaning contractors it was not unheard of years ago not to have adequate insurance, or insurance at all. However, there is more potential for liability claims with bigger facilities to clean up. It is necessary to protect your customer as well as your business. Despite skyrocketing insurance rates, bigger cleaning companies know the value of this and hence carry enough and even more insurance than required to cover their clients, their facilities and their own company. Every reputable commercial cleaning firm will be pleased to have insurance evidence. Just ask them!