One obstacle or concern that many cleaning professionals face is developing cleaning methods and making these methods as efficient as possible. A newer methodology that is replacing more traditional methods is process cleaning.
Process cleaning, including programs such as Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools (PC4HS), combines zone cleaning – where each employee is responsible for a specific area of a facility – with team or group cleaning. In process cleaning, workers work as a team, with each worker having specific duties, be it trash collection, restroom cleaning, etc.
The driving force behind the development of process cleaning methods is to improve worker productivity. Process cleaning begins with the worker entering an area and locking the door or closing off access. By doing this, the worker is preventing interruptions, allowing themselves to get the work done more quickly, and ultimately improving productivity.
The next aspect of process cleaning is where the method gets its name: developing a specific process for cleaning. Many traditional methods begin cleaning wherever the worker happens to be: near the door, in the center of the room, etc. Process cleaning assigns tasks to be completed in a specific pre-determined order, designed for maximum productivity.
One example of a process cleaning schedule could be:
- Clean/sanitize desks and counters.
- Collect trash.
- Vacuum any carpeted areas.
- Clean restrooms.
- Specialized cleaning tasks (instead of doing these special tasks “when there is time,” work them into the regular schedule to ensure they get done)
Process cleaning can also be applied to restroom cleaning, with some minor tweaks to the methodology.
Process cleaning in restrooms begins with a top-down approach. High areas should be cleaned first, including ceilings partitions, and stall doors. Then move on to high-touch areas, like light switches, door knobs, etc. Next should be trash collection and cleaning restroom fixtures, and finish off with floor cleaning and deep cleaning on a set schedule.
When it comes to deep cleaning in the restroom, different areas can be color-coded or otherwise separated and cycled through on a set schedule. For example, one area could be color-coded as a blue area and be deep-cleaned on Monday. Another area could be a green area and be deep-cleaned on Friday. Cycling deep cleaning or specialized cleaning tasks provides consistency to the cleaning approach and ensures that all areas are cleaned as needed.
The process cleaning method also embraces the use of certain machines in the process of restroom cleaning. Replacing the traditional mop-and-bucket method of cleaning with the use of a “spray-and-vac” or similar cleaning system can prove to be far more efficient as well as more hygienic.
Spray-and-vac cleaning, or no-touch cleaning, uses cleaning chemical and water spray to provide a more effective way to clean restrooms without the worker physically touching the surface. These methods can clean up to one-third faster and better prevent the spread of germs and soils compared to traditional methods.
The goal of process cleaning is to make cleaning more efficient, and instituting a process cleaning method can greatly improve productivity and overall facility hygiene.
For more information on process cleaning, visit the Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools website.