Biotechnology is revolutionising various industries, and the facilities management (FM) industry is no exception. Powered by bacteria and complimentary plant extracts, biotech cleaning products provide industrial-level cleaning action but with far more financial, human and environmental benefits.
Biotech cleaning products work by breaking down and absorbing organic matter at a molecular level, leaving environments cleaning, healthier and odour-free. Made from natural ingredients, biotech formulas are less-toxic and biodegradeable, ensuring the safety of both cleaning personnel and building occupants while helping to protect our natural resources and reducing carbon emissions.
With its ability to deliver superior cleaning results while being eco-friendly, it’s no wonder that biotech cleaning is becoming increasingly popular in the FM industry.
In this article, Biohygiene explores the benefits of biotech-powered cleaning and why so many FM companies are choosing to make the switch.
Keep reading, or jump to a specific section to find out more:
- Reducing carbon emissions
- Enhancing cleaning efficiency
- Reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals
- Providing long-term residual protection
- Eliminating odours at the source
- Providing significant financial savings
- Enhancing brand reputation
Using Biology to Enhance Cleaning Efficiency
The bacteria used in biotech cleaning products are present in the spore form. Once they are introduced to suitable conditions, the spores germinate and the bacteria begins to grow, colonising the surface by creating biofilms. Biofilms make it easy to penetrate deep into cracks, crevices and porous surfaces where traditional cleaning technology can’t reach, providing a deeper and more thorough clean.
Bacteria produce enzymes that break down complex waste molecules into smaller compounds that bacteria can take up into their cells and use for energy and growth. This ‘feeding’ process is what removes organic soiling and odours and provides long-term cleaning action.
Of course, not all bacteria are the same. The number of bacteria species on Earth is enormous; each has unique characteristics and capabilities. Recognising these differences is critical when assembling a bank of strains for biotech product development, like the ones used for BioHygiene.
By unravelling the different types and their roles, we can better understand how these microorganisms interact with their environment and other organisms and harness that power to create sustainable, high-performing products.
At BioHygiene, we’ve analysed hundreds of strains to identify those that produce the most effective enzymes for the degradation of fats, starch, cellulose and protein:
- Lipase breaks down fats, oils and greases
- Amylase breaks down starch e.g potatoes, pasta
- Cellulase breaks down cellulose e.g vegetable matter
- Protease breaks down proteinaceous matter e.g meats, cheeses.
- Uricase breaks down uric acid
Reducing Carbon Emissions
In the ongoing battle against climate change, finding innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to safeguarding the planet’s future.
One of the most significant advantages of biotech cleaning products is their minimal environmental impact. Unlike traditional products that rely on ingreedients derived from the petrochemical industry, biotech products use naturally-derived ingredients such as organic acids and plant extracts. These plant extracts, including Yucca, Citrus, Aloe Vera, and Lavender, not only enhance the effectiveness of the cleaning process but also reduce the carbon fotprint associated with the product and use of harsh chemicals. Savings can be as high as 1.3kg CO2e / L, equivalent of 475ml of crude oil.
Additionally, because biotech formulas are so effective, users are able to reduce the amount of product they use per clean. Less product means fewer deliveries, reducing transport related CO2e.
Reducing Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
Facility managers and suppliers have a responsibility to provide cleaning products that do not compromise the health and well-being of the users.
An alarming study by The European Community Respiratory Health Survey (ECRHS) published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine found that people who worked as professional cleaners over a 20-year period had reduced lung functionality, equivalent to smoking 20 cigarettes a day. They study also showed that cleaners have a 40% higher risk of developing asthma than others.
This evidence highlights the urgent need for safer products, and biotech cleaning solutions provide a promising alternative.
By utilising naturally-derived ingredients,
biotech cleaning products are gentler on the skin and lungs of users, with much lower hazard-classifications. Once diluted, some formulas become completely non-hazardous, such as BioHygiene Complete Washroom Cleaner. Not only does this ensure the health and safety of users, but also supports HSE Managers by making COSHH training and risk assessments easier to complete.
Cleaning products often find their way into water systems, and products with highly-corrosive ingredients can cause detrimental harm to aquatic life and ecosystems. In contrast, biotech powered sustainable cleaning products provide a much lower risk, helping to protect our planets biodiversity.
It is important to note that not all biotech cleaning products are the same. Users should always check the hazard classification on the label and within the Safety Data Sheet for full information.
Long-term Residual Cleaning
Some of the most challenging cleaning tasks result from a continuous build-up of organic matter over time. For example, removing organic scale from washrooms and appliances, soap scum from shower doors, or dust and discolouration in carpet and rug fibres.
While traditional cleaning technology only tends to cleans the surface on an immediate basis, biotech cleaning solutions offer a unique and sustainable advantage known as “residual cleaning”.
The bacteria within biological cleaning products live and grow by colonising areas and forming a biofilm on the surface. Where there is a suitable food source, the bacteria will produce enzymes to break down the organic matter into smaller, simpler compounds that they can use for energy and growth. This process not only helps with the cleaning process, but also eliminates odours at the source. Once the organic matter is completely degraded, the bacteria will revert to spore form and remain dormant until reactivated by a new food source – at which point the process starts again.
Continuous use of biotech cleaning products ensures a thriving and active biofilm is maintained, helping to prevent the build-up of organic scale and odours and their associated cleaning challenges. The result? Reduced labour costs, improved odour control, less product use, and an extended lifespan of equipment, fixtures and surfaces.
Eliminating Odours at the Source
Biotech cleaning products excel in odour control, unlike many conventional products that simply mask unpleasant smells with fragrances.
Most unpleasant odours are caused by organic soiling or dirt. When biotech cleaning products are applied to an area, the bacteria in these products break down the organic material responsible for the foul smell. Rather than masking the odour, the bacteria absorb the organic matter, completely eliminating the source of the unpleasant odour.
This approach is particularly effective in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, where grouting and microscopic cracks can harbour odour-generating molecules. The size of the bacteria in biotech cleaning products enables them to penetrate small cracks and ensure a thorough and comprehensive clean. They can even reach deep into carpet fibres and fabrics, leaving a fresh and odour-free environment.
How Biotech Cleaning Products Reduce Financial Savings
Because of the powerful cleaning ability of bacteria, biotech cleaning products come with higher dilution ratios than most traditional and eco-friendly cleaning products in the market. Higher dilution rates mean less product is used per-clean, resulting in a lower cost-per-use and substantial financial savings.
For example, BioHygiene All Surface and Floor Cleaner Concentrate is diluted at 1:200. Just 4ml of product is effective enough to make up 1 x 750ml trigger bottle. Therefore, 5L of concentrate will make 1,250 trigger bottles, costing under 5p per bottle.
By combining biotech formulas with smart dosing equipment that accurately dispenses the required amount of product, FM companies are able to significantly reduce chemical usage and product waste, helping to promote a greener approach to cleaning whilst minimising spend.
Other financial savings can be experienced due to lower healthcare costs and reduced absenteeism rates as a result of using less-hazardous formulas, as well as enhancing customer satisfaction leading to higher tenant rates and increased life time value.
Enhancing Brand Reputation with Biotech Cleaning
The world needs to become more sustainable, and debating whether to embrace environmental sustainability into business strategies is no longer an option.
Biotech cleaning products provide the FM industry with an innovative solution that proactively contributes to sustainability goals and supports eco-conscious management practices. By opting for eco-friendly cleaning products, facilities managers can ensure they are meeting green building certifications and standards, whilst showing their commitment to addressing local and global environmental issues and enhancing their reputation in the industry.
BioHygiene is the UK’s leading brand of Biotech cleaning products manufactured by Environmental Biotechnology leader, Biological Preparations, in South Wales.
Our range of innovative, sustainable biotech cleaning products help tackle the toughest FM challenges and improve the quality of life of customers, whilst enhancing the productivity of your core business and significantly reducing your impact on the planet.
Efficiency is at the forefront of everything we do and what we achieve for our customers. Our environmental biotechnology integrates performance, processes and people to help shape your facilities management team whilst supporting your ESG initiatives.
Find out more about BioHygiene and Bunzl’s partnership below