Glenn Rasin

By: Glenn Rasin on August 20th, 2021

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Commercial Cleaning Best Practices: 4 Ways to Boost Your Team’s Productivity

Labor accounts for a large amount of any business's costs. In fact, it’s the greatest cost for most businesses. 

With that being said, finding ways to improve your janitorial team’s efficiency is likely a priority. 

However, identifying ways to streamline cleaning tasks without sacrificing your facility’s cleanliness, health, and safety may seem like a daunting task, especially now. 

You’re likely faced with labor shortages, greater cleaning expectations, tighter budgets, and tougher standards. All of which further emphasize the need for efficient cleaning practices. 

There are several ways to boost your staff’s productivity so they can achieve more during a cleaning shift. 

In this article and video, we’ll offer 4 key ways to increase your janitorial team's efficiency to help you lower labor costs. 

4 Ways to Boost Your Cleaning Team’s Productivity

  1. Integrate Automated Cleaning Tools and Equipment 
  2. Invest in Innovation
  3. Provide Formal Janitorial Training 
  4. Standardize Cleaning Protocols With SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)

1. Integrate Automated Cleaning Tools and Equipment

Many cleaning and maintenance procedures are tedious and can be streamlined with the addition of automated cleaning tools and equipment. 

Automated devices reduce the amount of time or even eliminate the need for your staff to operate equipment or perform certain tasks. Nilfisk SC50 Liberty

By freeing up your janitorial team, you can redeploy them to other, higher value cleaning tasks that cannot be replaced by a machine or device. 

Automated tools and equipment can be added to several different areas of your facility. 

Below are some examples of automated devices that can help optimize your cleaning and maintenance routine: 

  • Automatic Floor Scrubbers

In just one pass, automatic floor scrubbers apply cleaning solution, scrub, and dry floors. Given the ability to clean in one pass, automatic floor scrubbers greatly cut down the amount of time your team spends on floor cleaning. 

In fact, using an automatic floor scrubber could allow your team to clean your floors at least 1.5x faster than if they used a mop and bucket.

When compared to cleaning with a mop and bucket, your staff will enjoy increased ergonomics and less fatigue, which in turn, also helps them to do more during a shift.

There are many different types of auto floor scrubbers, and depending on the type of floor scrubber you choose, you and your staff may not even have to maneuver or propel the machine. You and your staff will simply operate the equipment with hand controls. 

  • Automated Skincare Dispensers

Too often, manual soap dispensers are empty or out of service and require frequent attention from your staff. 

The time your team spends fixing dispensers or checking to make sure dispensers are in working condition can be reduced with automated skincare dispensing systems. 

Automated skincare dispensers eliminate the need for the people in your building to manually press a pump or lever for soap to dispense. As a result, there is one less touchpoint in the area that your staff has to clean. ES8-Features-Banner

Another common issue with skincare dispensers is the need to frequently check soap or sanitizer levels.  

Many automated skincare dispensers have visible alert systems, such as green or red lights. Cartridges can also be translucent, helping your staff to identify the exact level of soap or sanitizer remaining just by looking at the cartridge. These alerts make it easy for staff to see soap or sanitizer levels with just one look, greatly reducing the time spent checking levels in the cartridges. 

Further improving productivity, automated dispensers can increase battery life due to the presence of a sensor, which only dispenses product when a hand is present.

Some dispensers even have battery replacements on their refills so your team won’t have to worry about constant battery changes. Every time that the cartridge is replaced, so is the battery. 

  • Auto-Flush Valves

Unflushed toilets and urinals lead to offensive odors, occupant complaints, and more work for your janitorial team. Rubbermaid AutoFlush

Autoflush valves make sure toilets or urinals are flushed as soon as an occupant leaves the stall. 

Not only does this lower the chance of smelly restrooms, but it also keeps your restroom looking great and in peak condition. 

2. Invest in Innovation

Innovative janitorial products simplify cleaning tasks, allowing your staff to complete them faster and more efficiently.

The time your staff saves by using innovative tools and equipment can be used to complete more intense cleaning that requires a human touch.

Below, we’ll discuss some common ways you can improve the productivity of your staff by choosing the right tools to complete cleaning in your facility. 

Backpack Vacuums

Vacuuming the floors in your facility should be done at least once a day. Depending on how large your facility is, vacuuming can take up a large portion of your cleaning staff’s time.

Switching from an upright to a commercial backpack vacuum can significantly speed up the vacuuming process. ProTeam GoFree Flex Pro II Cordless Backpack Vacuum

For example, many facilities use a standard 12-inch upright vacuum which can clean about 2,200 square feet an hour. A backpack vacuum with a 14-inch orifice carpet tool would be able to clean approximately 7,400 square feet an hour, increasing productivity by 230%.

When compared to upright or canister vacuums, backpack vacuums are more ergonomic, reducing fatigue and helping your team to do more. 

Autonomous Floor Scrubbers

Autonomous floor scrubbers, the most advanced type of floor scrubbers, remove manual labor from floor cleaning.

Unlike walk-behind, stand-on, and ride-on automatic floor scrubbers, autonomous floor scrubbers clean your facility’s floors without needing someone to operate it. 

Autonomous floor scrubbers operate by following preprogrammed or selected cleaning routes. 

Given its ability to map out the most efficient cleaning routes and store them for future cleaning, this machine can achieve greater cleaning outcomes due to the consistency of the route.

And, since there’s no need for your staff to pilot the autoscrubber, your team is free to complete other cleaning tasks that require more precision. 

Dilution Control Systems

If you’re not using RTU (ready-to-use) cleaning chemicals, your staff is likely having to take the time to carefully dilute, or measure out the appropriate amounts of chemicals and water.

Requiring your staff to manually dilute chemicals properly takes time and can often lead to mistakes.

Both under-concentrated and over-concentrated chemical solutions can be dangerous. 

For example, disinfectant solutions that are over-concentrated will not kill germs effectively. Ineffective disinfection can lead to increased illness and infection in your facility.

On the other hand, chemicals which are too strong can also be dangerous. They can be harmful to your staff and the people in your building and damaging to the surfaces on which they are applied.  

Dilution control systems are the most cost-effective way to make sure your cleaning chemicals are accurately diluted. With a dilution system, your staff does not have to free-pour chemicals, which reduces the risk of your staff spilling or splashing themselves.

Using mobile dispensing sprayers and dilution control systems can help your staff cut down on the amount of time they spend preparing solutions to the correct dilution ratio to avoid injury, unnecessary rework, and damages.

  • Mobile Dispensing Systems

Mobile dispensing systems combine the dilution process on the go. They have a chemical reservoir which is paired with either a water reservoir or some source of water and is mixed and diluted as they are used. These sprayers create a seamless cleaning experience for your staff.

Instead of having to manually dilute cleaning products, all your staff has to do is ensure both the water and chemical is connected to the device. When the cleaning product is dispensed, it will already be diluted with the appropriate amount of water. 

Mobile dispensing units are portable and can be used around your facility since they don’t require a fixed water source, like wall-mounted dilution systems.

  • Wall-Mounted Dilution Control System

For high capacity dilution, chemical dilution control systems can be installed on the walls of your facility to produce larger amounts of diluted solutions for larger cleaning projects.

With the use of a dilution control system, your staff will be able to dispense ready-to-use cleaning solutions for various cleaning procedures including floor cleaning, equipment sanitization, or restroom maintenance.

All your staff has to do is ensure the chemicals and water are properly connected to the system. 

Wall-mounted dilution control systems require access to a fixed water source, like a faucet, for dilution. These systems cannot be moved and should be used to fill spray bottles, buckets, and other containers.

Microfiber Cloths

Microfiber cloths provide your janitorial staff with the power to perform cleaning procedures more efficiently and with greater efficacy. 

They are able to provide a deeper clean than other cleaning cloths by removing more soils that cotton cloths and paper towels can’t. Microfiber Colors-1

Microfiber is a blend of synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon which are woven together to create a net-like surface. This makes them extremely effective at absorbing and trapping moisture, dirt, germs, and other particles from surfaces. 

And, microfiber cloths can also hold up to 8 times their weight, allowing them to contain germs as they pass over surfaces, instead of spreading them. 

To lower the risk of cross-contamination and achieve greater productivity, there is disposable microfiber. This means that it is a one-time use cloth or mop that can be disposed of after use.

Without laundering, staff can dispose of used cloths and move onto the next cleaning task.

Electrostatic Disinfection

Disinfection can be a time-consuming process, especially in large areas with a lot of high-touch surfaces or hard-to-reach spaces. 

Normally, each surface would have to be manually disinfected. Clorox T360 Electrostatic Sprayer

However, by utilizing electrostatic technology, your staff can apply disinfectant to hard surfaces from 2-6 feet away. All your staff has to do is point and spray. 

Due to the positively charged nature of the droplets, they are attracted to the negatively charged objects, allowing for full 360-degree coverage.

Without needing to rearrange items or manually apply disinfectant, your staff can disinfect up to 5x more square feet per hour.

Pro Tip: What is electrostatic technology? Electrostatic technology is the process of spraying positively charged liquid onto surfaces, which are negatively charged. The positively charged particles are attracted to the surfaces leading to an even spread and adherence to the surface.

3. Provide Formal Janitorial Training 

Sometimes mistakes can happen, leading to your staff needing to complete reworks. 

When reworks are needed often, it may be a sign that your team could benefit from formal janitorial training.

Introducing formal janitorial training to your cleaning staff can teach them the correct and most efficient ways to clean.

When your staff receives training, they are equipped with the most up-to-date information on how to best use cleaning tools and equipment.

It's important to understand that formal janitorial training is different from in-house training.

Formal Janitorial Training vs. In-house Janitorial Training

It is common practice for veteran staff to teach new employees what to do and how to do it.

However, when your veteran staff teaches your newer employees there’s a possibility that outdated or incorrect practices are being passed on. This is because your staff can only teach what they know or what they were taught. 

With in-house training, there’s a possibility that your veteran staff have acquired bad cleaning or maintenance practices or are using outdated procedures. 

Incorrect practices could lead to:

  • Accidental Injury
  • Mistakes During Cleaning and Maintenance
  • Damage to Equipment, Furniture, And Fixtures 
  • Increased Reworks 
  • Decreased Building Cleanliness

With formal training, your staff will be taught the correct protocols and procedures for cleaning and maintenance tasks like cleaning and disinfecting. And, they’ll get the chance to learn the latest steps for each procedure. 

With an understanding of what to do and how to do it, fewer mistakes will be made. By reducing the number of mistakes your team makes, they are able to achieve more because there are fewer reworks.

4. Standardize Cleaning Protocols with SOPs

Standardized operating procedures (SOPs) are a vital part of ensuring that your staff has all of the necessary tools to clean efficiently. Having established SOPs in your facility can eliminate the guesswork for your team.

SOPs are a written standard for cleaning procedures that outlines the proper steps for cleaning areas within your facility.

Well-written SOPs tell your staff all of the necessary tools, personal protection equipment, commercial cleaning supplies, and protocols that should be used to clean an area. It will also tell your staff the order of actions to ensure that everything is cleaned thoroughly and properly.

Standard operating procedures give your team the benefits of:

  • Reduced reworks caused by mistakes
  • Clarity on how to properly clean each area of your facility
  • Increased confidence due to knowing exactly what is expected of them

With the implementation of SOPs, your staff will have the ability to be more productive because they know the most efficient way to complete cleaning expectations.


Final Thoughts

There are several ways to increase the efficiency of your staff.

Autonomous equipment can help cut down the amount of time spent completing routine cleaning tasks. Including autonomous equipment in your cleaning program alleviates the burden of monotonous cleaning tasks, freeing your staff up for more detailed cleaning.

Another step you can take to get more done is ensuring you are providing your staff with the right equipment to produce the most optimal results. When your staff is equipped with the right tools to complete a job, they can produce the best results.

Additionally, formal janitorial training can give your team the information they need to complete thorough cleaning in less time and with minimal errors.

Establishing SOPs for your cleaning program creates standard routines for your staff to follow in order to achieve a consistent clean every single time.

EBP has been a leading provider of commercial cleaning solutions for over 100 years and we offer a variety of cleaning and janitorial equipment to meet all of your facility’s cleaning needs. 

Contact an EBP specialist today to see how you can optimize your cleaning team’s cleaning protocols to help them achieve more.

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About Glenn Rasin

Glenn Rasin is the Chemical Specialist for EBP Supply Solutions and Lead Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He is an ISSA CMI-certified trainer, with over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.