1. Too Many Products
If you’re using 4+ cleaning products, you’re using too many. The key is to do more with less. Specialty cleaners add up quickly, especially if you’re using multiple ready-to-use products. Look for products that can do all your multi-purpose cleaning– glass, grout, tile, floors, stainless steel, carpet and general surfaces.
2. Difficult Training Systems
Quick– how much time do you spend training each new custodian? If you’re having to develop your training program from scratch, or if the training materials provided are difficult to use, you’re investing more time and money into training your staff. A good training system is simple and crosses language barriers to get your custodians up to speed quickly.
3. “Whoops!” Surface Damage Costs
If you’ve ever received a surprise bill from a customer because their carpet has bleach spots on it, you’ve overpaid on your cleaning chemicals. You can reduce your risk by using safer cleaning products. Look for products that are safe on any water-safe surface. If you must use products that could potentially damage surfaces, make sure the training is clear (see above!) and custodians know proper handling procedures per the product’s instructions.
4. Worker's Comp Claims
6 out of 100 custodial workers have chemical-related Worker's Comp claims per year. No one wants to see their staff injured, and no one wants to have a Worker’s Comp claim. If you have reoccurring issues with chemical-related Worker’s Comp, it probably ties back to the safety profile of the products. How do you pick safer cleaning products?
5. Using RTUs
Ready-to-use products seem convenient, but are far more costly than concentrated chemicals. You always want to look at in-use cost per gallon. A ready-to-use carpet spotter could run you 4 or 5 dollars per quart, whereas a concentrate chemical could be less than a dollar per quart. Plus, you get the added sustainability bonus of not having to dispose of all those plastic bottles.
6. High Residue = Sticky Surfaces = More Cleaning Time
Some cleaning products work by adding more and more detergent to the formula. Products like these can leave behind a lot of sticky chemical residue– this stickiness means surfaces get dirty faster. Ever stuck to a bathroom floor? Your staff cleans it with the same chemical and just leaves more and more residue. It’s a vicious cycle.
7. Customer Complaints
If you have to go back and redo a cleaning task because of customer complaints, you’ve spent extra time and money. This issue comes back to product effectiveness and good, simple training.
8. Not Green
A lot of people think that green is more expensive, but when you think about it, green is all about resource reduction. Green cleaners are typically in concentrate form, reducing cost over ready-to-use products. They’re safer alternatives to traditional chemistry, so you’ll see less damage and less worker’s comp. Add greener cleaners on top of other green practices, like entry mats and high-efficiency equipment, and you address most of the issues we’ve listed here.