Insight 6 September 2022

What is the latest cleaning and hygiene technology?

When you think of how technology can be applied to support your business, cleaning might not be the first thing that springs to mind. But there are many innovations that are making a real difference to how cleaning and hygiene services can be smarter, more cost-effective and thorough, on a daily basis.

In this guide, you’ll discover the best cleaning technology around, the latest trends influencing more efficient and effective cleaning, and how you can access that technology to benefit your business.

Women in a Mitie uniform sitting on and using a yellow floor cleaning machine
Many innovations are making cleaning services smarter, more cost-effective and thorough

What are the advances in cleaning and hygiene technology?

The rapid pace of innovation is helping organisations, large and small, make their cleaning processes easier, quicker and smarter. Four, in particular, stand out:

1. Improved robotics

The technology that has led to little vacuum cleaners whizzing around people’s living rooms has spread at pace and has been adopted for commercial use. Both dry and wet robotic cleaning of workplaces and office environments are now possible, helping businesses save time and money, and maintain high levels of sanitation at all times.

2. Ultraviolet disinfection

UV light has been proven to kill bacteria and viruses and it is recognised by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as a powerful disinfection solution. Mitie developed a UVC air disinfection service, in partnership with global provider Luxibel, to help customers eliminate airborne pathogens in indoor air. It’s a solution that proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic, when concerns about the cleanliness of workplaces and other public spaces were high. UV solutions are cost-effective, easy to install and non-intrusive.

3. Antimicrobial surface protectants

Many businesses are now taking a different approach to keeping surfaces like kitchen worktops and desks clean. Mitie’s solution to protect against microbes, combines Citrox and silicone dioxide (SiO2) and protects surfaces through its hydrophobic properties. Hydrophobic literally means ‘the fear of water’ and, in this case, the treated surfaces repel water and other liquids. Citrox in the SiO2 mixture adds stability and the result creates a barrier that prevents microbes from being absorbed, keeping surfaces water-repellent and easy to clean and maintain for up to six months.

4. Data and IoT technology

Just as data can be used to improve efficiency and productivity in businesses, it can do the same for cleaning operations, too – especially when combined with sensors connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, sensors can monitor when soap dispensers are empty, and automatically notify the cleaning team to refill them straight away. The data on how often the dispenser needs to be refilled can be used to accurately predict how much soap to order.

A man in a Mitie uniform checking his smart watch for upcoming tasks
Smart sensors can automatically notify a cleaning team of jobs that need to be carried out

How will these advances help with workplace hygiene?

At a time when employees and customers are more aware of cleanliness, in the wake of Covid, maintaining a clean environment is vital.

Cleaning technology allows duties to be performed more efficiently. It also enables more cleaning to happen at night when your employees aren’t inconvenienced and without needing cleaners to work at unsociable times.

Using technology to take care of tasks that are repetitive, mundane or time-consuming, can also free up the cleaning team to put more of their efforts into areas where human skills are essential.

What other trends are helping improve workplace cleaning and hygiene?

Alongside the innovation in cleaning technology, there is a general move towards businesses trying to be smarter and greener in their cleaning. Two trends stand out in this area:

1. Data-driven, demand-led cleaning

The amount of information generated by day-to-day use of premises, cleaning operations, and IoT-enabled sensors, mean that it’s now possible to use data to decide how and when cleaning tasks should be carried out.

Instead of a blanket approach to cleaning or checking supplies of everything periodically, a demand-led approach allows cleaning teams to find out exactly what needs doing and when. For example, if a meeting room has sat empty for some time, it may only need a cursory dusting on an occasional basis. This approach can yield major efficiencies in staff time and the money spent on supplies.

2. The move towards fully green cleaning

Sustainability is high on the corporate agenda and how cleaning is carried out can make a major difference to how environmentally friendly an organisation is.

There are two main strands to green cleaning. The first is in products: using cleaning materials and substances that aren’t harmful to the environment or to people. The second is in methods: using technology, like energy-efficient robotics, and finding efficiencies in areas like waste, to reduce energy requirements.

Robot floor cleaner patrolling a corridor
Using robots to clean workplaces can reduce energy usage and material wastage

Mitie’s Cleaning & Hygiene Centre of Excellence

At Mitie, we believe that excellence in cleaning and hygiene is about more than processes and technology. It’s about knowledge, people and a general spirit of innovation. It’s with that in mind that we created our cutting-edge Cleaning & Hygiene Centre of Excellence (CHCoE), in Birmingham.

At the CHCoE, you can understand the science behind modern cleaning and hygiene practices and how they can benefit your business. You can try the latest products and processes before they are rolled out in the wider world, understand how our BICSc*-accredited training improves the skills of our workforce, and learn from industry experts what operational excellence looks like. There are also areas that cover sustainability in cleaning and even offer a fully immersive virtual reality experience.

*British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc)

Revolutionise your approach to cleaning with Mitie

Mitie’s comprehensive range of cleaning and hygiene services makes us the ideal partner for embracing all the possibilities that cleaning technology has to offer. We have decades of experience delivering cleaning services to companies big and small, and in every industry. What’s more, our relationships with all the leading technology and equipment manufacturers mean we can help you innovate with your cleaning and hygiene strategy.

To find out more about how we can help, take a look at our full range of services here, or get in touch with our team.

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