The FOUR elements of cleaning

FOUR Elements of Cleaning 

Often known as ‘The Four Fundamentals of Soil Suspension’, for any cleaning task there are four critical components.

The task is irrelevant. You can be doing the dishes, cleaning a carpet or mopping a floor. These elements are necessary to ensure the following occurs:

  1. Lift the soil from the surface which you are trying to clean
  2. Suspending it so it can be rinse away or collected

If one of the fundamentals is decreased, one of the others must increase to ensure good results.

The big FOUR exmplained

1. Time

Time is required for the cleaning agents to perform their function of releasing the soils from the fibers.

2. Energy (manual or mechanical action)

Scrubbing helps distribution and penetration of the cleaning compound. It also helps suspend the soil ready for rinsing or collection.

3. Chemical (or compound)

The choice of chemical is very important. It has to have the correct ingredients to combat the type of soil that is removed from that specific type of surface.

4. Temperature

A recognized law of physics, Arrhenius’ Law, states: For every 18 degrees over 118 degrees (Fahrenheit) that the temperature of a cleaning solution is increased, the effectiveness of that solution will increase by a factor of 2.

Get your thermometers out!

Using these four components as a checklist for your cleaning assessments can help identify what could be done better to achieve better results.

4 Elements of Cleaning

Best Results

To achieve the best results, all four of these components need to be applied in the correct ratio.

Examples of troubleshooting

‘Chemical not performing’

  • Enough contact time? (1)
  • Correct chemical for task? Correct amount/dose? (3)
  • Enough action being applied by cleaner? (2)
  • Chemical at room temperature? Environment at ‘regular’ temperature? (4)

It’s not rocket science but it is science and is definitely worth applying this theory wherever possible in order to get best results.

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