Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
January 2013 Cover Story Teaser

Soil Removal Over Time: A True Gauge Of Efficacious Cleaning

October 23, 2012

Soil removal over time (SROT) is a benchmarking concept that examines actual soil removal in a given period to realistically define productivity.

Kaivac KaiMotion Mop School ClassroomAs industry consultant Beth Bittenbender put it, “It’s not the time you put into a job, it’s the effectiveness of the job that makes the difference.”

It sounds simple and straightforward, right? Well, ponder this scenario, a common occurrence in our industry.

When mopping, microfiber or cotton flat mop or string mop notwithstanding, cleaners don’t change the water as often as they should because “it takes too much time.”

But, actual cleaning is only being done for a fraction of the time — usually less than a quarter of any given period; the rest of the time is spent spreading dirt and germs around.

Conventional wisdom says that getting a job done quickly means high productivity.

In actually, however, you’re wasting time; your “cleaning” activity costs twice as much money because all you’ve achieved is an evenly soiled floor.Kaivac KaiMotion Mop School Hallway

Now, someone else will have to go back and mop the same floor again to remove the soil you dispersed to truly get it clean.

Bittenbender went on to state, “If your water is really only clean for 30 minutes, but you clean with it for four hours, you’ve wasted three and one-half hours.”

If custodial supervisors and facilities managers viewed productivity through the SROT lens, they would much rather you pause for a few moments to change the water and truly clean for 30 more minutes.

With an air of frustration, Bittenbender concluded, “There are so many examples of this: Mopping with dirty water, vacuuming with dirty filters and full bags — oh, so many.”

Are You Intrigued?

Be sure to check out the January 2013 issue of Cleaning & Maintenance Management magazine and read a detailed assessment of soil removal over time (SROT) from Allen Rathey, president of InstructionLink/JanTrain Inc. and a champion of true efficacious cleaning.