So… When IS It Clean?

by EnvirOx
So… When IS It Clean?

Have you ever been visiting someone's house, and everything is so spotless and immaculate that you feel guilty about your own home? Or, conversely, have you gone to someone's house who said they just cleaned and there are still piles of stuff everywhere and cobwebs in the corner? Everyone has their standards of what "clean" means. And in your own home, this is perfectly fine. People have different experiences, schedules, skills, and economic means that all play into this. But when you're cleaning for a facility, having different cleaning standards can become an issue.  

Whether you're part of an in-house custodial team or a building service contractor, it's useful to have a standardized, measurable meaning of the word "cleaning." This way, you can have an initial discussion about what is expected of your team. Your client or administration, cleaning managers, and cleaning staff can all be on the same page. Now you can work toward the same goal. And you have a way of knowing when you don't meet this expectation and how to fix it.

Previously, we covered the APPA's system of measuring cleanliness. Today, we'll look at the ISSA Clean Standard. There are currently two different standards. The first one they developed is for K-12 schools. The other one was created based on this primary tool, but adapted for Institutional and Commercial facilities.  

You have to be a member of ISSA to download the tools, which include the standard and audit form. The ISSA board developed this in conjunction with facility managers and other key personnel in the organizations involved. Here's a breakdown of what the standard provides: 

  • The desired levels of cleanliness that can reasonably be achieved; 
  • Recommended monitoring and inspection procedures to measure the effectiveness of cleaning; 
  • How to use the measurement and inspection results to assess and improve cleaning processes and products, ultimately resulting in a clean, healthy, and safe learning environment.1 

This system, and the APPA system, are great places to start when setting a standard for cleaning. Having some standardized method of measuring cleanliness can be especially helpful when you're starting up (or revamping) a training program. If you'd like more help setting up a training program, we have a free E-book for that.

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1 ISSA, (n.d.). Clean Standard: K-12. ISSA. Retrieved from 

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