When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, it left no industry untouched. The pandemic undeniably reshaped our world, and the cleaning industry was no exception. The once-familiar routine of maintaining a clean environment was catapulted to the forefront, with hygiene and disinfection taking center stage. At SourceONE, we embraced this change as an opportunity to adapt and evolve, becoming better equipped to meet the heightened cleaning demands of our clients.

Like many others in industries across the country, we made significant changes to our cleaning protocols to meet the heightened demands of what has since become known as the “new normal”.

As one article noted,

“Office janitorial services were widely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, as healthcare officials raised cleaning protocols and standards to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which was originally believed to be spread via surfaces, countertops, tabletops, chairs and other high-touch areas commonly found in office space settings.

The need for office building cleaning was severely limited during the shutdown, as employers were encouraged to close their doors… But as workspaces slowly reopened their doors and invited workers into the office for full-time and hybrid work models, demand for janitorial services increased, as did the cleaning standards.

Even though heightened cleaning standards went into effect during the pandemic, now that the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, many contractors are still expected to meet those demands to remain in business.”

Changes in Cleaning Protocols: A New Era of Clean

The core principles of cleaning – removing dirt, dust, and contaminants – remained the same. However, the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning processes were drastically amplified. High-touch surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and elevator buttons became the battlegrounds against viral transmission. Frequent disinfection of these areas became an essential part of our cleaning procedures.

Deep cleaning also took center stage. Previously reserved for periodic maintenance, deep cleaning became a regular occurrence, ensuring a more comprehensive removal of contaminants from carpets, upholstery, and hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, we incorporated the use of specialized cleaning equipment and technologies like electrostatic sprayers and fogging machines to enhance disinfection efficacy.

Electrostatic sprayers, for example, offer a fast and efficient way to apply disinfectants across large areas, while fogging machines provide a targeted approach to high-risk zones. These new protocols, alongside traditional cleaning methods, formed a multi-layered approach to disinfection. Beyond manual cleaning, the specialized equipment and technologies became invaluable tools.

A Shift in Cleaning Practices: Frequency, Thoroughness, and Technology

The central principle guiding our response to the pandemic was simple: increased frequency and thoroughness of cleaning. Surfaces previously cleaned daily were now disinfected multiple times a day, with a particular focus on high-touch points such as:

  • doorknobs
  • light switches
  • elevator buttons
  • drawer pulls
  • bathroom fixtures

In addition, staying informed was critical.

We actively collaborated with health authorities and industry associations to ensure our cleaning protocols adhered to the latest guidelines and best practices. This continuous learning ensured the effectiveness of our efforts and helped us navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 protocols.

Collaboration with health authorities and industry guidelines formed the backbone of our approach. We meticulously followed recommendations from the CDC, EPA, and other related health and safety agencies to ensure our cleaning protocols aligned with the latest scientific understanding of the virus.

Challenges and Opportunities: A Catalyst for Innovation

Adapting to new protocols and regulations wasn’t without its challenges. Sourcing appropriate disinfectants during supply chain disruptions and ensuring staff were trained on the proper use of new equipment were initial hurdles. In addition, the new cleaning protocols required additional training for our cleaning staff, and sourcing the additional supplies and equipment needed also presented logistical challenges.

However, challenges often breed innovation.

The pandemic accelerated the development and adoption of new cleaning approaches. For example, microfiber cloths with superior trapping capabilities and long-lasting disinfectants with residual protection became commonplace tools in our cleaning arsenal. We also explored new cleaning solutions, some with sterilizing properties, and investigated emerging technologies with the potential to revolutionize cleaning practices.

The pandemic also altered our clients’ needs. Gone were the days of a simple “once-a-week” cleaning routine. Businesses are now prioritizing visible cleaning for increased reassurance. Transparency and communication around cleaning procedures have become paramount. They wanted to understand the cleaning procedures being used and have the option for more frequent cleanings. This shift presented an opportunity to build stronger relationships with our clients by addressing their evolving needs.

Perhaps the most lasting impact of COVID-19 today is the heightened awareness of hygiene.

People are now more conscious of the role cleanliness plays in preventing the spread of illness. This shift in perspective has the potential to create long-term demand for comprehensive cleaning practices, leading to a healthier future for workplaces and communities.

This was underscored in an article from one BioSolutions website,

“The heightened attention to hygiene and wellness during the COVID-19 era has led to an increased demand for disinfecting products. ‘A year of innovation in fabric care’ from Mintel reported that consumers are increasing their understanding of hygiene and seeking products that can accompany their new cleaning and health routines. They want products to be productive and efficient. The less laborious, the better. They also want to ensure that the products they choose to use are safe for both their families and the environment.”

Preparing for the Future: Education, Technology and Adaptability

The pandemic has fundamentally changed the commercial cleaning landscape. At SourceONE, we recognize the need to continuously adapt and evolve. Ongoing training and education for our cleaning staff remain central to our approach. Equipping them with the latest knowledge about pathogens, disinfection techniques, and safety protocols ensures they remain at the forefront of effective cleaning practices.

The future of cleaning technology is bright. We are excited about the possibilities that automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence (AI) hold for the industry. Emerging trends like eco-friendly cleaning practices, touchless entry systems, self-cleaning surfaces, and UV disinfection technology have the potential to revolutionize how we approach hygiene in commercial settings.

Emerging trends like the Internet of Things (IoT) are also shaping the future of commercial cleaning. Smart sensors can monitor environmental factors like air quality and humidity, allowing for proactive cleaning efforts before potential issues arise. By embracing these innovations, we can create a future where cleaning is not just reactive, but preventative and data driven.

 

Post-Pandemic Cleaning Services: Resilience and the Power of Clean

The commercial cleaning industry has proven its resilience and adaptability in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have learned, innovated, and emerged stronger, playing a critical role in safeguarding public health. Looking forward, we are confident that the cleaning industry will continue to be at the forefront of disease prevention, utilizing advanced technology and best practices to create cleaner and healthier environments for everyone

By embracing change, prioritizing innovation, and remaining committed to the highest standards of hygiene, we continue to play a vital role in public health.

At SourceONE, we believe that effective cleaning practices are not just an expense, but an investment in the health and well-being of your employees and visitors. Let us help you create a safer, healthier, and more productive work environment. 

SourceONE is committed to providing our clients with the most effective cleaning solutions available. We believe in the power of a clean and healthy workplace, and we encourage you to prioritize effective cleaning practices for a safer and healthier future. 

Together, we can ensure the integrity of your facility’s clean standards. Contact us today at 669-209-3463 or use our convenient contact form.

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