An Introduction to Cleaning and Cleaning Specifications – Part II

The standard of cleaning required within any establishment will depend primarily on the needs of the customer. As you can appreciate, the needs of different customers will differ from building to building. Indeed, the cleaning needs will normally change from area to area within the same building and affect the cleaning specifications.

It is generally accepted throughout the industry that there are five standards used. The following table will give you a better understanding of the standards required and how each is applied, depending on the area cleaned:

In Knowledge Resource, Training, cleaning specifications, a guide to cleaning

Cleaning Standards

The standard of cleaning required within any establishment will depend primarily on the needs of the customer. As you can appreciate, the needs of different customers will differ from building to building. Indeed, the cleaning needs will normally change from area to area within the same building and affect the cleaning specifications.

It is generally accepted throughout the industry that there are five standards used. The following table will give you a better understanding of the standards required and how each is applied, depending on the area cleaned:

Cleaning Categorys

Standards

The standards outlined can be achieved if the following points are considered:

  • • Correct selection of the method of cleaning required.
  • • Correct selection of the equipment and materials required for cleaning individual surfaces.
  • • Ensure that the cleaning is undertaken at the correct time of the day i.e. when there are fewer or no people present.
  • • Ensure that the standards are routinely and rigorously checked.

By far the most important consideration, when considering the standards of cleaning required, is the use of the correct cleaning methods incorporating the appropriate items of equipment and machinery.

These will depend on the following:

Customer Requirements

Before any cleaning can be undertaken, customers should have a clear idea of the standards to be achieved in each of the areas cleaned. Armed with this information, cleaning providers can then set about formulating an effective cleaning regime as well as having a good idea of the standards to work to and monitor against.

Building Usage

As we have already touched on, different buildings are used for different activities. It is also true that within all buildings, different areas have different uses. The usage of these individual areas will determine the cleaning methods, frequencies and standards required.

Materials and Finishes Used

In all buildings, there are a variety of materials used to manufacture fixtures, furniture and fittings. Also, these surfaces, along with the walls and floors are finished using a wide variety of materials. All of these have different physical and chemical properties and, as such, require the use of a variety of cleaning methods, equipment and materials.

Level of Soiling

Soil enters buildings in a variety of ways. Depending on the building type and surrounding environment, the type and level of soiling will alter between buildings. Again, this will directly influence the nature of the cleaning regime and frequencies required.

Level of Traffic

The amount of people using the building will lead to more soil entering the building and increased wear on the floors in particular. Obviously, this will determine the cleaning agents required and the level and type of floor maintenance procedures required.

Furniture Density

This will directly influence the speed at which the cleaning can be effectively carried out as well as the size and type of machinery and equipment that can be used efficiently.

Building Layout

The design of buildings is a major factor when considering cleaning. For instance, if the entrances are not protected with entrance matting, the level of soil entering the building will increase. Also, if the building has no lifts and steep narrow staircases, it may require you to provide additional or specialist equipment on separate floors, increasing your costs as a service provider.

Cleaning Frequencies

frequency-cleaning-scheduleNow that we have outlined the various points to consider in order for you to confidently decide on the methods, equipment and materials to be used through the building, you can now start to think about the frequency of the tasks required.

The principal fact that will dictate the cleaning frequencies is the level of soil present. Generally, the higher the standard of cleaning required and the greater the amount of soil present, the frequency of cleaning required will increase.

Cat Frequency

check-listWhen the cleaning regime is in place and all operatives are fully aware of their individual and collective responsibilities, it is important that the standards achieved are monitored against the prescribed standards. There are numerous ways that this can be done, from straightforward and simple paper tick sheets to complex computer systems that can be used to provide detailed statistical analysis on the performance of cleaners. The important thing to remember is that whatever system is used, any

problems highlighted must be acted upon promptly and a record of defects and actions taken be maintained.

Monitoring Standards

The following frequencies can be incorporated within the overall cleaning regime to provide a consistent standard of cleaning and allow for periodic maintenance of floor coverings:

Routine

This describes any task that is carried out on at least a daily basis. These are usually carried out in areas where hygiene is important, such as toilets and washrooms. In certain, more critical circumstances, these can be cleaned on numerous occasions per day in order to maintain an acceptable standard of cleanliness and hygiene.

Check Clean

This could also be termed “clean as and when necessary” and allows operatives to make a considered judgement on whether a task needs to be carried out. For instance, if a room has not been used since it was last cleaned; it will obviously not require a full clean. In these circumstances, the operative should use the time saved elsewhere in the building. On the other hand, if an area is used extensively, even during cleaning hours, it may be necessary to clean the same area on several occasions over a short period of time.

Weekly

These are tasks that need to be carried out at least once a week. It can also be used to describe tasks that are carried out two or three times a week i.e. scrubbing of floors.

Ad Hoc

These are tasks that are carried out as the need arises that may or may not form part of the routine cleaning regime i.e. cleaning of spillages, cleaning after floods and fires etc.

Periodic

These are tasks that are required on a less than weekly basis and include such tasks as stripping and redressing of floors, resealing of floors and deep-cleaning of carpets. This is usually used to describe tasks that are required to maintain the floor and wall coverings throughout the building.

Monitoring Standards

The questionnaireWhen the cleaning regime is in place and all operatives are fully aware of their individual and collective responsibilities, it is important that the standards achieved are monitored against the prescribed standards.

There are numerous ways that this can be done, from straightforward and simple paper tick sheets to complex computer systems that can be used to provide detailed statistical analysis on the performance of cleaners. The important thing to remember is that whatever system is used, any problems highlighted must be acted upon promptly and a record of defects and actions taken be maintained.

Sys Cleaning Tips

The order in which the cleaning is carried out in each area depends to great extent on the particular work situation. However, the following tips will help staff to ensure that cleaning is tackled systematically and the best use possible is made of their time:

1. Cleaner areas should be cleaned before dirtier areas in order to ensure that soil is not transferred around the building.

2. Cleaning should be carried out from top to bottom in order to avoid lower areas being splashed with dirty cleaning solutions. The notable exception to this is when walls are washed.

3. Cleaners should avoid walking on newly cleaned areas when carrying out leaning. A working position that allows the cleaner to work backwards from the leading edge should be adopted wherever possible.

4. All work should be carefully planned before being undertaken in order to make best use of the operative’s time.

Workflow

 

Common Terms

Before we get too involved with the individual sections, we will cover some of the common terms that are used or referred to throughout the manuals. This is to give you a better understanding of the processes involved, what each can achieve and what each cannot! This will also help you make better sense of the individual sections particularly those dealing with cleaning agents and infection control.

Let us look at the properties of the main chemicals used.

cleaning-productsDetergents are used to remove soil from the surface being cleaned and hold it in suspension within the cleaning solution in such a way that it prevents it from being re-deposited onto the surface. Detergents, by removing the soil on which bacteria lives, will go some way to disinfecting surfaces. However, detergents, in general, have no germ-killing properties.

Disinfection is the destruction of potentially harmful micro-organisms. It does not destroy all of the micro-organisms, but an effective disinfectant solution can remove just over 99% of the harmful bacteria present on a surface. Products that contain disinfectants include:

  • • Bactericidal Cleaners
  • • Sanitisers
  • • Acid Disinfectants
  • • Hypochlorites
  • • Active Chlorine

Sterilisation is the process by which the all microorganisms present on a surface are completely destroyed. Sterilisation can be achieved with the use of a chemical steriliser and heat, usually in the form of steam. More complex systems of sterilisation can also incorporate the use of radiation. Sterilisation is only necessary in a critical medical environment, where the risk of infection is extremely high. For this reason, the use of sterilising techniques and procedures are not normally required and disinfection will suffice.Also, it is important to note that sterilisation must always be preceded by effective cleaning.

Pasteurisation This process sterilises surfaces or equipment by subjecting them to very hot water or steam. The longer the time spent treating the surface, the more effective the process is. Again, prior to pasteurisation, all surfaces or items should be cleaned.

 

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Much of the information contained in this blog is taken from documents commissioned by the Jangro Group