Mechanical cleaning without cleaning products
Low-cost procedures can be used for cleaning in your establishment: natural products such as white vinegar and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can be used, along with microfibre cloths and mops. There are also mechanical options: suppliers now offer innovative professional equipment and appliances that use fewer chemicals, little water and reduces cleaning time.
Low-cost solutions include:
- Microfibre cloths
Wet microfibre cloths, used without cleaning products, to remove dust and clean glass surfaces
Microfibre floor mop mats
==> Good mechanical action
==> Satisfactory visual cleanliness
==> Effective on all surfaces
==> Resistance over time
- white vinegar (full strength or mixed with essential oils) as disinfectant and scale remover for surfaces, toilets and bathroom fixtures + window washing, then drying with squeegee
- baking soda mixed with white vinegar as a gentle scouring powder for tiles, grouting, taps
- soda crystals (soda ash) with white vinegar to unclog drains and pipes
- laundry soap (savon de Marseille) or black soap as floor cleaner and all-purpose cleaner
- potpourri mixtures or essential oils as deodorisers
Mechanical solutions are more expensive, but more beneficial in terms of productivity. They typically do a better cleaning job and are more hygienic.
- Floor cleaning machines mop and scrub, and at the same time suck up dirty water.
Before purchasing, check on theoretical capacity and efficiency, machine bulk in relation to the area to be cleaned, tank volume, brushes and power supply (electric or battery).
- Steam cleaners
Pressurised water vapour is a very effective cleaning agent. It acts as a surfactant, dissolving grease and cleaning thoroughly.
These appliances associate two types of action:
- detersive (steam pressure) eliminating soil, residues, biofilms, etc.
- biocidal (thermal action), eliminating micro-organisms, bacteria, viruses, fungi, etc.
The big advantage of a steam cleaner is that it is an all-purpose appliance that can be used on all surfaces, and for different applications:
==> natural air purifier for guest rooms, cleans and refreshes mattresses, cushions, pillows and comforters
==> kills mites and bedbugs in mattress and upholstery, improving comfort for customers with allergies, and for young children
==> the high-temperature steam also kills other micro-organisms (bacteria, viruses, etc.)
==> effectively cleans windows and mirrors without leaving traces
==> steam + vacuum action remove dust from curtains and drapes
==> cleans furniture such as bedside stands, wardrobes and closets, inside and out
==> cleans, disinfects and deodorises bathrooms and toilets
Steam cleaning is non-toxic and friendly to the environment, because no chemical products are used. Surfaces are thoroughly cleaned with just one passage.
These appliances are increasingly economical of water, no longer require detergents, and are less bulky and lighter, making them easier to use, in particular for female employees.
For hotel use you may have to use alternately a dry steam appliance and a wet steam device, depending on the surface to be cleaned. Cleaners with a vacuum system are recommend, allowing you to loosen and suck up soil at the same time when cleaning fabrics.
For alternative solutions (other than electrical devices)
1 - Review all cleaning practices: identify specific needs, list spaces to be considered, surfaces to be cleaned, and assess alternative solutions
2 - Test period for new cleaning procedures, with daily checks and discussion with housekeeping staff
3 - Write up and disseminate technical notes
For alternative solutions (other then electrical devices)
1 - Consult and compare professional cleaning equipment suppliers: catalogue, technical note, tariffs
2 - Supplier training on how to use the equipment
3 - Test period for new cleaning procedures, with daily checks and discussion with housekeeping staff
4 - Investment for electrical equipment can be amortised over several years.
Alternatives are inexpensive, and may even cost less than conventional cleaning products if they are purchased in bulk.
Microfibre cloths cost more than cotton cloths, but microfibre fabrics last longer: approx. €10 (ex VAT) for a flat mop band, €10-15 (ex VAT) for a set of 5 microfibre cloths.
Battery-powered self-propelled cleaning machine: €3,500 - 6,000 (ex VAT)
Mains-powered self-propelled cleaning machine: €2,000 - 5,000 (ex VAT)
Prices vary according to brush width.
Professional steam cleaner: €1,000 - 4,000 (ex VAT)
Time and productivity gains for staff: less product manipulation + cleaning plan
- Less arduous work, health benefits for staff
- Less water used
- Less detergent used
- No cost for microfibre cloths
- Purchase price of appliances
- Anticipate Purchase of new cleaning carts that are better adapted to new practices
- Staff training time
- Employees unwilling to change habits
- Mechanical appliances must be regularly maintained to ensure longevity (frequent scale removal for steam cleaners)