Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online
November 2013 Feature 5
renewable cleaning

A New Concept In Clean

The Renewable Cleaning process utilizes safe sanitization methods, ergonomic equipment and measured results.

November 13, 2013

Can you think of a cleaning process or philosophy that:

  • Cleans to a higher standard?
  • Is based on simple principles?
  • Is not difficult to implement?
  • Protects and improves the indoor and outdoor environment?
  • Promotes health, comfort and safety?
  • Improves the productivity of occupants and workers?
  • Can document its results?

Well, there is one, and it is called Renewable Cleaning™ (RC).

Defining Renewable Cleaning

Founded by Ruben Rives, RC is a non-profit concept based on a simple trilogy:

  1. Clean and sanitize with tap water and related interventions where possible, but using other methods as needed to help ensure public health.
  2. Use ergonomic equipment, specialist or process cleaning and time and motion analysis to reduce worker stress and save time.
  3. Measure and document results — using Integrated Cleaning and Measurement™ (ICM) tools ­­— and manage for continuous improvement.

This process is made possible by recent technological advances not readily available just a decade ago but that are supported with scientific and credible research.

These tools and processes will be explored in future article installments.

Advances in “process cleaning for health” make the cleaning task more effective, more efficient and less stressful to workers.

The physical processes of RC will be revealed in future installments as well.

Modern, affordable measurement devices make it possible to measure the degree to which surfaces are actually clean, beyond what can be seen, including the presence or absence of bio-contaminants.

There is more information on this concept also coming soon.

Finding RC Results

Combining these three features into a single process provides the following results.

By using only water, where possible, harmful and sometimes hazardous chemical contaminants are not left on surfaces and do not pollute the indoor air or the waste stream outdoors.

Due to the sanitizing effect of the tools and processes, mold, bacteria and viruses are deactivated and/or removed from surfaces, along with particles and dirt, thereby inhibiting the transmission of disease.

By measuring microscopically the dust, dirt and microbiological agents on surfaces, one can clean to standards of health as well as appearance and build that into a continuous improvement process.

Other Implications

Consider the following implications for health and the environment.

Indoor environmental pollution is a significant concern for occupant health, comfort and productivity.

Traditional cleaning agents — used unnecessarily or to excess — can be toxic while mold, bacteria and viruses are a major cause of illness and infectious diseases.

Cleaning indoor environments using traditional methods can be hazardous, as evidenced by high workers’ compensation claims, often because of improperly storing, mixing and applying chemical cleaning agents.

Finally, traditional cleaning products and processes (even “green” ones) often result in waste streams, including chemical, packaging and container waste, that add significantly to outdoor environmental burdens and cleanup costs.

With RC, these negative impacts are eliminated or significantly reduced and are easier to manage.

So the benefits to health, safety and the environment are substantial.


David Mudarri, Ph.D., is a native of Boston, Massachusetts, devoted to advancing public health through indoor air quality education and state-of-the-art processes. He is recognized as a national indoor air quality expert and was a senior advisor within the EPA on indoor air quality. He authored a number of EPA studies.He currently consults for public and private sector organizations on a variety of healthy indoor environment matters. He can be contacted at Find more at

Renewable Cleaning And Sustainability

Renewable Cleaning™ is also in keeping with the global movement toward sustainability.

For example, in 1987, a World Commission on Environment and Development report (UN, 1987) entitled, Our Common Future called for the global adoption of [Sustainability] principles and presented the classic and most quoted definition of sustainable development: “...development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Consistent with that definition, Renewable Cleaning is the process of cleaning that reduces the introduction of, and actively removes, inactivates and/or properly disposes of pollutants, including soil and other harmful chemical, biological and particle substances in the air or on surfaces.

Renewable Cleaning connects with renewable energy and the concept of recycle, reuse and renew because it minimizes resource waste and fosters a greener, more sustainable approach.

Renewable Cleaning describes a process, concept or philosophy rather than a technology, brand or product.

Facilities, professional cleaners and end-consumers can embrace the concept of renewable cleaning without necessarily embracing a product, manufacturer or brand.

Sustainability is the continued protection of human health and the environment while fostering economic prosperity and societal well-being.

As the name implies, renewable cleaning focuses on green and sustainable cleaning processes with special emphasis on a “clean for health” philosophy.