Seven Expert Tips For Improving Commercial Cleaning Productivity

When it comes to commercial cleaning, the highest cost of the cleaning process is labour. Labour can actually be over 90% of a business’ annual cleaning cost, which is a staggering figure. So, if you have a business or commercial enterprise, any efforts to reduce labour cost through faster and more effective cleaning equipment will be well worth the effort.

Take a look at just some of the things you can do to improve your cleaning productivity.

1. Cut out mopping

If you’re still mopping in 2021, it’s time to explore new avenues. Mopping is not an effective means of cleaning, as most dirt stays behind - repeat studies show that it’s only 30 to 40% effective.

Mopping is also a phenomenal water waster, making it far from environmentally friendly, labour-intensive, and very slow. A better alternative is to invest in a commercial floor cleaning machine: a floor scrubber that can clean much more effectively and 4-6 times faster.

If you don’t have the budget for a floor scrubber, make the change to microfibre. Microfibre offers better mechanical cleaning due to the composition, so it’s more effective and requires less chemical cleaner. It is also more environmentally friendly as it uses less water and can be laundered hundreds of times.

2. Use trolleys for cleaning

A trolley keeps everything at a cleaners’ disposal, eliminating all that wasteful time walking back and forth to much-needed tools and products. Some trolleys, for example the i-land commercial cleaning station, house the floor scrubber – plus all the washroom consumables, including accessories.

With a trolley, the cleaner can keep everything they need at their fingertips. Problem solved.

3. Use rechargeable batteries rather than electric cleaning equipment

Battery-generated floor scrubbers and vacuum cleaners generally cost more. However, they are significantly more productive, so you’ll earn the money back quickly. With electric power cord machines, you continuously have to change power points, and as most electric devices only have a 15 to 20 m cable, staff spend considerable time switching between power points - not to mention bending over.

So, take some time to calculate how much time this costs over a year and you’ll quickly see the savings you could obtain

f you’re worried about battery downtime, there’s no need. The machines have interchangeable batteries, allowing you to charge one battery while using the other.

4. Eliminate OHS & manual handling risk

Suppose your staff are using equipment with poor ergonomic design, or it’s merely inefficient. In that case, you’re setting yourself up for danger and avoidable expense. Injuries can have a massive impact on your cleaning organisation's productivity. What’s more, they can also tarnish the business’ reputation, increasing staff turnover rates and compensation costs and requiring training additional staff and more.

Optimal, ergonomically designed equipment is paramount, so invest well and invest wisely. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Use lightweight equipment - Heavy equipment can be dangerous, putting unnecessary stress on the back, ligaments, muscles, tendons and joints. Switch to lightweight equipment wherever possible, and you’ll see improvement in work productivity and a decrease in injury claims.
  • Incorporate innovative support equipment - The i-suit is i-team’s revolutionary support equipment designed to improve safety and efficiency in window cleaning It dramatically reduces manual handling risk in window cleaning and high dusting or cobwebbing areas.
  • Eliminate mopping - Eliminating mops and buckets is important, especially in commercial settings, as they pose a terrible OHS risk.
  • Always supply staff with appropriate PPE – Adequate PPE should be mandatory. Always.
  • Educate staff – Thoroughly educate staff on appropriate PPE use and chemical handling.

5. Invest in intelligently designed equipment

Your cleaning staff should be respected for their work and given the appropriate equipment to do the job without risk to their bodies properly.

There are plenty of options available, from smarter equipment to smarter accessories, power stations and workstations. Here are just some examples where intelligent design can make a huge difference:

Floor scrubbers: Our game-changing i-mop completely takes the drudgery out of cleaning. Packed with ergonomic benefits, it’s battery-operated. Plus, it has a uniquely designed head that can easily access tricky corners and under obstacles, virtually eliminating the previous need for manual mopping in difficult areas that electric industrial scrubbing machines couldn’t reach. It uses a minimal amount of water, making it fast-drying and eco-friendly. Put simply, it’s a joy to use.

Foaming guns: Foaming guns are ideal for cleaning bathrooms and commercial washrooms. But remember, not all foaming guns are the same. When it comes to foam cleaning, it’s imperative the foam stays on the vertical surface for as long as possible and doesn’t run down the drain in seconds.

The i-spray wash foaming gun saves 48% labour time with no pre-mixing. Place a (completely biodegradable) i-spray wash tablet into the gun, connect with water and off you go. And there’s more to love: it also features an innovative foam cleaning system, which uses ‘active foam’. This ‘active foam’ is smaller and lighter, enabling it to cling longer to vertical surfaces. The foaming gun is also ergonomically friendly, lightweight, and environmentally friendly, as it cleans with less water and chemicals.

Orbital floor scrubbing technology: These heavy-duty cleaners can dramatically improve cleaning results and save hours of elbow grease. See the Orbot or i-scrub for more information.

Gum removal equipment: Specialised tools, such as a gum removal machine like the i-gum, make the torturous task of gum removal painless.

Ride-on scrubbers: These little powerhouses are designed for time economy and for the user. We’ve gone one step further with the i-drive, which incorporates a small scrubber, allowing the user to clean large areas such as a school gymnasium. For example, on the return commute, stop at the washrooms and clean the floor using the i-mop lite. This way, you can clean small, medium and large areas in the one trip. It even has a second set of batteries and a solution reservoir, allowing you to top up your i-mop on the go.

Optimal chemical solutions: Even choosing the right chemical solutions can make a difference. Think carefully about the chemicals you use and check that they are appropriate for each task at hand. The correct chemical for the job can save a significant amount of effort, time and expense.

6. Say goodbye to loose matting

Cleaning a commercial facility with loose mats on a hard floor is no fun. It means wasting time and energy removing them before work can start. These wasted minutes each day can add up to thousands over the year. If you have this problem, talk to the facility manager/building owner to consider other options.

An excellent alternative is i-team’s nonslip i-matt which dramatically speeds up your cleaning time and is a more cost-effective solution than rental mats. The i-matt can be easily cleaned in place, using the i-mop. That’s a huge advantage right there. It’s a no-trip mat and has an extended duration floor matting system which vastly improves floor safety. To work out how much money you could save from an improved commercial matting system, check out our i-matt savings calculator.

7. Consider commercial robotic cleaners

There’s no doubt that robotic cleaning will be a part of our future. However, this type of technology may not be for every business, as robotics are not cheap. For businesses to reap the rewards from such an investment, you need to be reasonably sized with a substantial area to clean.

Robotics are an exciting trend to watch, though. Not only do they save on labour expenses, they cut down issues concerning occupational health & safety. Initially, robotic cleaners were created to clean hard floors.

More recently, though, we’ve seen robotic vacuum cleaners introduced for cleaning soft and carpeted surfaces. There is also a growing trend towards smaller and more compact robotic cleaning machines which are simple to set up and use.

It comes back to assessing your cleaning costs, calculating the sums, and deciding if such an investment could give you any tangible advantages.