Why is cleaning a science and an art?

Clean Talk with Rose
By Rose Galera, CEH
Hawaii Hospitality Magazine, Sept/Oct 2013

Aloha Rose,
When visiting the IEHA booth at July’s Hawaii Lodging, Hospitality and Foodservice Expo, the question, “Why Is Cleaning a Science and an Art?” stumped me. As an executive housekeeper, will having a comprehensive understanding help me to be at the leading edge of the cleaning profession?

Aloha Lety,
Knowledge and understanding of the full scope of cleaning as a science and an art will place you at the leading edge as a professional cleaning master. The science and art of cleaning can best be explained through the triad of professional cleaning:

  • Administration — planning, organizing, budgeting, purchasing and legal updates
  • Management — philosophies, styles, leadership, supervisory and frontline training skills
  • Technology & Trends — updated cleaning processes, time and motion studies, and safety in cleaning, equipment, products, cleaning agents and other factors.

As a science, controlling contaminates is one of the most basic ways to manage our built (indoor) environments. Common contaminates that we encounter include dirt, soil, other debris and stains. Agronomy, the study of soil, is important in cleaning. We clean for health, safety, comfort, indoor air quality, appearance and to control replacement and maintenance costs.

Sanitizing, disinfecting and sterilizing surfaces, fixtures and textiles are part of killing germs and odors. Scientific cleaning factors are met with time, chemical action, airflow, temperature, mechanical action, extraction and disposal.

Cleaning as a science and an art ensures placing the environment into a state that will not harm human health. A major product trend that confirms cleaning is a science and an art is the microfiber cleaning cloth and microfiber flat mop. Considered a safe and best cleaning practice, the use of microfiber cloths and flat mops makes cleaning easier, more efficient and effective.

Professional cleaning today is big business. Knowledge, understanding and safety of processes, products and equipment and staying abreast of trends and technology are all reasons cleaning is a science and an art.

Happy learning & cleaning!
Rose Galera, CEH

Posted in Clean Talk Columns.

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