As technology continues to evolve, the cleaning industry can benefit positively. Whether its changes in the environment that are causing a renewed interest in green cleaning or plastic waste reduction technology or WiFi-enabled devices that can monitor cleaning stock and rotas, these are the trends that we predict could change the cleaning industry forever.
As awareness around the climate crisis grows, sustainable cleaning products are becoming more and more popular in domestic settings as well as within the cleaning industry. Not only are they better for the environment, but green cleaning products are also more likely to be hypoallergenic, promoting health and happiness in homes and workplaces.
InnuScience are a company founded in Canada in 1992 that produce professional cleaning products that are ECOLOGO and ECOLABEL certified. This means that the products meet the world’s strictest environmental standards, making InnuScience products biologically and environmentally safe. InnuScience also offer a connected cleaning programme which means that there’s a real-time product monitoring system to manage stock.
Bunzl CHS are also offering a wide range of environmental and green cleaning products.
Reducing plastic waste from cleaning products
52.3 million tonnes of waste is dumped on a landfill in the UK every year and a significant portion of that waste could be related to the cleaning industry (UK Statistics on Waste). Cleaning equipment like microfibre cleaning cloths, plastic refuse sacks, and even mop heads can contain non-biodegradable plastics which, if they enter bodies of water, can soon end up in the food chain (Facilitate, 2017).
Businesses should also be aware of the labelling on bottles. You may be familiar with the recycling symbol – but contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t mean that the item is fully recyclable. Be aware of the labelling on the reverse of plastic waste and be vigilant about unreliable eco-friendly claims.
Robotics in cleaning
Robots may still seem like a distant reality, but in many industries, their use is already cutting costs and making the jobs of workers and operatives easier. Robotic machines will make cleaning a lot less labour intensive, and as they become cheaper, will likely gradually work their way into even the most basic processes.
Currently, one of the only cleaning industry leaders to own and operate robots is Diversey. Diversey TASKI Intellibots are intended for use on large areas of flooring with a simple layout, like auditoriums and warehouses.
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things has been around for years – but how can it benefit the cleaning industry? Cleaning devices connected to the internet are able to manage dosing, air quality, and waste disposal via an app on a smartphone or tablet.
Sensors attached to these devices could capture data regarding peak times or human traffic flow, for example, and upload it to the internet, allowing cleaning staff to correctly plan for busy periods or areas that require cleaning attention. IoT cleaning devices could also send alerts when dispensers are running low on stock, aiding restroom management to create a clean and well-stocked bathroom always ready for customers to use.
WandaNEXT is a computerised washroom monitoring system that informs customers when the toilets were last serviced and allows them to easily send alerts to cleaning staff in the event of an issue with stock or uncleanliness. The system also manages and monitors rotas and allows cleaners to replenish stock and forecast for high-traffic times. It’s a revolutionary approach that will help staff to maintain high standards at all times.
The power of cleaning influencers
The past five years have seen a sea-change across marketing culture, as social media influencers have taken centre stage. Sophie Hinchcliffe, aka Mrs Hinch, has a huge Instagram following with 2.5 million followers at the time of writing. Her reach and influence are so great that after endorsing the Minky M Cloth antibacterial cleaning pad, it sold out for months with a massive increase in sales.
Mrs Hinch, along with other ‘cleanfluencers’ such as Lynsey Crombie and Melissa Maker, are some of the many influencers who are finding their niche on the social platforms. With such a valuable audience, in 2019, we’ll see more and more people becoming aware of the cleaning products available on the market.
Influencers and trend for green cleaning and plastic reduction, if combined could make a very interesting outlook for the cleaning industry in 2019.