As a profession, cleaning is a pretty straightforward one. Ultimately, the goal boils down to “clean a space and ensure that it’s germ-free so that its users are safe, comfortable, and healthy.” What sets a commercial cleaning company apart from its competitors would be the methods they use to achieve this goal.
As such, if you’re a cleaning industry professional, it’s crucial to keep up with the latest news about cleaning technologies and solutions. This helps you make smart business decisions that result in efficiency and effectiveness.
Here are some examples of innovations that you may want to invest in today, as well as those that hold a lot of potential in the future:
To be fair, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection is not a new technology. In fact, the first UV disinfection lamps were invented in the 1930’s and UV disinfection systems saw widespread use as early as the 1950’s. Some common uses include water treatment, as well as reducing the spread of bacteria that causes diseases like tuberculosis.
That said, UV disinfection experienced a surge in popularity during the COVID in pandemic. This is likely driven by the fact that UVC radiation can inactivate the SARS-Coronavirus. However, this is a different virus than what causes COVID.
This means that, while effective against some viruses and bacteria, UVC disinfection isn’t an end-all, be-all solution. Further study must be conducted to know exactly which pathogens it’s effective against; research should also be put into making UVC disinfection systems more affordable.
All in all, this cleaning technology has plenty of promise and worth investing into. The key is to use them under the right circumstances. It may also prove to be even more useful and more powerful after a few more years.
Robot Custodians and Drones
While some people are still wary of “robots taking over their jobs,” the truth is that there are many benefits to using robot custodians or cleaners. For example, using large-scale robot vacuums and polishers is more efficient than having humans vacuum and polish large expanses of floors (e.g., airports, sports stadiums).
What’s even better is that robots aren’t at risk of contracting diseases, so there’s no big worry about contamination. After the job is done, human custodians can simply perform maintenance procedures to clean and disinfect the machines.
In addition, humans can also monitor the progress of the cleaning machines and step in to troubleshoot in case anything goes wrong. In short, robots won’t take over human jobs but rather complement them.
Another kind of robot can be helpful in terms of disinfection: drones. In particular, drone sprayers are able to cover larger areas much faster. Again, similar to cleaning robots, human workers can guide or troubleshoot the robots when necessary and then perform maintenance procedures afterwards.
Some manufacturers have recently come up with antimicrobial coatings, which have proven to be effective both when manufactured into the material or added to a surface later on. It works through light exposure, converting humidity and oxygen into free radicals that then break down the cells of bacteria and viruses.
What’s even better is that the light can be from any source: the sun, LED bulbs, and even spotlights will work. The most important thing is that the coating gets exposed for about 8 hours for proper activation.
At the moment, researchers and manufacturers are working on making antimicrobial coatings more long-lasting. As it is, the product’s benchmark is about a year of effectiveness given that it can receive the recommended time of light exposure.
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data
Some people believe that robots and artificial intelligence (AI) are one and the same. However, AI is focused on machine learning rather than hardware. As such, you can incorporate AI into just about any machine.
In the cleaning industry, AI can be used to keep track of data, such as the time spent cleaning specific premises. These details help streamline operations and open up more time for other facets of a cleaning business such as market research, product development, and customer service.
AI can also be incorporated into janitorial management software for a variety of purposes. Some uses include inventory tracking, streamlining communications, scheduling and deployment, as well as managing work orders.
There are other technological solutions that, while not centred on cleaning, can still be used to great effect by cleaning companies and professionals. Some examples include:
- QR code. A QR or quick response code isn’t exactly new, but it has continued to find practical and effective use up to this day. In particular, clients can use QR codes to share and update cleaning checklists. Meanwhile, cleaning companies can incorporate QR codes in their marketing efforts. For example, customers can scan a QR code that will then activate an augmented reality website that conducts a virtual demonstration of cleaning processes.
- Social media. With strategic utilisation, social media can bolster marketing efforts. Thanks to the interactive and multimedia nature of these platforms, cleaning businesses can more easily inform and engage their current and potential customers.
What’s important to note is that not every cleaning technology that comes up is a must-adopt. Make sure to evaluate your company’s needs first, as well as your budget, before you invest. You should also follow the latest industry news so that you can make informed choices.