The Dusty Road To Efficiency
The ideas you present in “A True Gauge Of Efficacious Cleaning” sound good, Allen.
After reading it and discussing with some colleagues, I was inspired to add my input.
A measurement of soil removal from the surface — taking into account the level of soiling on the surface and the proper removal thereof — is the necessary metric needed to evaluate true efficiency.
And, I assume this is already being taken into consideration by many.
With environments changing constantly, and the introduction of new surfaces, soils, pathogens and overall challenges in the soil removal process, it is essential to consider new technologies and new methods to achieve and maintain effective efficiency.
Without this type of evaluation, we limit the possibility of evolving and adopting new procedures that add value to and enhance the effectiveness of the products and services we provide.
In order to gauge the effectiveness of these new tools, chemicals and procedures, we must be able to measure what they do.
The purpose of these devices is to remove soils from or kill pathogens on surfaces.
Because of the variables related to application, soil loads on the surfaces, surface types, ages of surfaces, water hardness, etc., it is nearly impossible to establish the effectiveness by measuring just the amount of soil removed.
The general challenge in measuring the level of soil removed by mop-and-bucket cleaning or with a dustmop is hard enough already.
But, while the measurement of the soil removed between different tools, chemicals, process, etc., could be evaluated, it does not assess whether these things were effective at removing all or a majority of the soils or pathogens present — the purpose of cleaning and/or disinfecting any surface.
There are ways to measure pathogen removal effectiveness, such as before-and-after culture testing of surfaces.
As you mentioned in your article, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) meters measure the amount of protein on surfaces before and then after cleaning to determine the amount of “food” left over for pathogens to consume; black lights are another good tool and provide visual evidence of soils that fluoresce on surfaces.
My boss, Bruce Heller, president of Cavalier Inc. had this to say, “Just as important as adopting new technologies and processes to achieve higher levels of efficiency is the need to measure these same things to determine effectiveness. While the idea is novel to measure how much soil each chemical, tool or process removes, it is more important to measure how much soil is removed from the surface after a cleaning event.”
If we can evaluate and measure soil removal from surfaces and adopt best practices to do this on a repeatable basis, then we can begin to have and measure true efficiency and effectiveness. – Jason Jones, vice president of business development for Cavalier Inc.