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What Should a Cleaning Inspection Be?

July 18, 2011

Let me ask you a question: how do you know your home is clean?

Well, I guess answering that question depends on what you consider “clean”.

If “looks clean” is all you’re after, then probably the old standard “white glove” test will do. You know the one where you run your gloved hand over everything—dressers and tables, bathtub and sink, kitchen counters—and if the glove is still clean, then the house is clean. Right?

If “sanitized” or “disinfected” is your objective, then you have attempted to go beyond cleaning (removing dirt) and into the realm of killing and removing invisible germs and bacteria and micro-organisms. So if they are invisible, how can anyone tell if the disinfecting process worked?

Clearly, the white glove test won’t work here. If you can’t see “it” on the counter, then you won’t be able to see “it” on the white glove.

All hail science and technology! We’ve seen so many technologies advance the field of home, commercial, and industrial cleaning, but this goes far beyond…and into science!

The ATP Hygiene Monitor Device is starting to be used more and more often by home cleaning companies as part of the inspection process, especially by those whose main claims are related to health and hygiene.

Whether in a restaurant, school, office building, food processing facility or hospital, ATP testing makes it possible to show just how clean surfaces are by detecting the level of microbial contamination on surfaces in just seconds.

How, you ask? The ATP meter measures Adenosine Triphosphate, the universal energy molecule found in all animal, plant, bacterial, yeast, and mold cells.

By testing a cleaned surface with the ATP meter and then comparing the results against a standard contamination expectation, you can know immediately if your cleaner (whether that’s you or someone you’ve hired) is really doing the job you expect.

Another level of comfort comes from knowing that in the US we have the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC) which certifies professionals to perform industry-standard inspections of flooring; these are often necessary to determine if damage to your flooring is covered under a warranty or if you’ll have to pay out of pocket to have damage repaired.

The bottom line is that if your cleaning company isn’t inspecting the work of the cleaning technicians (or you aren’t if you do it yourself), then you’ll never really know if your home is as clean as you want it to be.

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