Analysing the changes in commercial cleaning from COVID, a year since restrictions ended

From early 2020 up until March 2022 PSS Group were required to undertake multiple additional cleaning works daily, to clean and then disinfect premises following a positive case of COVID. We used different methods for this, including electrostatic spraying, ULV fogging, traditional cleaning and disinfecting, along with spraying disinfectants using an atomiser. Each of these methods had pros and cons; for example when swab testing and checking the air quality, following ULV fogging, the results often indicated a significant improvement in the removal of bacteria from surfaces and overall air quality within a building. However these works required specialist equipment, additional PPE, had to be done out of hours and also operatives needed additional training which meant the cost was higher. This method was usually the preference, perhaps due to media coverage, as in conversation most people seemed sceptical whether it worked or not despite still using it as the ‘go-to’ method following a reported case.

Although COVID still exists and we’ve just come through one of the worst flu and sickness seasons I can remember (excluding the pandemic), which seems to have affected just about everyone you speak to, it can’t be far off a year (that I’m aware of) since we were required to undertake a “specialist” disinfectant clean on behalf of one of our clients. In fact, when analysing a difference in product usage from 2021 to 2022, it’s quite fascinating to see the changes as a result of this, including:

DescriptionQty 2022Qty 2021
Alcohol Hand Gel Rub 500ml2311456
Premium Bactericidal Soap 500ml295680
Virucidal Cleaner 750ml2531363

The most striking change to me, would be that of hand gel, as I personally still can’t leave the house without a bottle, every desk in our offices has one and I know a lot of people are the same. So, to see a reduction by over 1200 bottles in a year despite a growth in our client base, pandemic or not, seems a massive reduction…

Other changes, including that of the reduction of virucidal cleaner / hand soap purchases doesn’t surprise me as much, as rightfully so, many clients are looking for the most environmentally friendly method of cleaning. Also manufacturers have got a lot better at publishing which virus and bacteria their products are effective against.

The final point that I think is worth analysing is the change to daily contractual cleaning, which practically stopped during the pandemic due to the changes to home and hybrid working. This now seems to be back on the rise, as perhaps the novelty of home working for many has worn off and employees want to visibly see their teams and people want to get out of the house.

In short, for a time it looked like the cleaning industry / world would be changed for good once COVID hit and now analysing the data, looking at purchasing habits and reviewing client cleaning preferences, it would be difficult to quantify that there was ever a pandemic.

Angus Pearce
Operational Support Manager

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