Clean and simple: a series of blogs from Cleanline expert Rod Hale.
We asked our Cleanline expert ‘how can caterers get the best performance from their regular cleaning products?’
And here’s what he told us…
Even with high quality cleaning products, results can still be poor if the products aren’t used properly. Often the quality of cleaning will depend on knowledge of which cleaning product to use for each task and how to use them correctly.
Here’s a few tips on how to achieve the best results:
Good practical training is a major factor in getting the best out of cleaning products. If new starters are not shown exactly what to do as soon as they start, then they will simply do what they think is best and quickly establish a routine of bad practices. On the first day, new employees would benefit from a visit to the chemical store with an explanation of what each product is for, followed by an overview of the daily cleaning regime.
For the instruction on how to use each of the products to stick firmly in the mind, it’s a good idea to keep the number of chemicals in use to the barest minimum. You can achieve this by sourcing products that do more than one job; a food prep surface cleaner that also polishes, a floor cleaner that also degreases and a bathroom cleaner that also sanitises for example. Your staff are more likely remember how to do things properly if they are shown, rather than told, and instead of drowning them with too much information at once it works a lot better if practical training is broken up into small, easily digestible chunks.
In the catering industry there’s another sort of training too, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) training. Ideally completed as part of an induction and topped up annually, everyone using cleaning chemicals in a commercial operation must be COSHH trained, and recorded. Much of COSHH training is common sense but it not only helps get the best out of your products by giving advice such as never to mix chemicals together, it also makes you and the team a lot safer. COSHH training your employees can easily be completed online with the Cleanline e-learning website. On the website, Cleanline COSHH training is issued via a selection of videos and multiple choice questions and can be completed online in under 15 minutes. Your employees will use an allocated code to complete their training, and you can use the admin page to keep a record of who has been trained.
Many mistakes and accidents are the results of muddled communication and with well over one hundred different languages spoken in the British workplace, it isn’t really surprising. That’s why Cleanline products are colour coded – liquid cleaning products that are the same colour as their labels, dispensers and wall chart references are universally understood and help ensure that the right products are used for the right jobs.
Regular maintenance of cleaning equipment goes a long way to ensure you get the best out of your products. Dosing equipment is usually looked after by your chemical company, but if dishwashers or laundries are not maintained it won’t be long before problems occur and they stop working as expected. Maintenance contractors undertake the in-depth regular services but, particularly with dishwashers, there’s a lot you can do yourself. Simple steps, like keeping the wash and rinse jets clear, monitoring the temperatures and cleaning the inside of the machine every time it is drained, are easily performed in-house and make a huge difference to the quality of your equipment. For Cleanline we’ve created a selection of ‘how to’ videos to make it even easier for you to look after your equipment – view them here.
There’s one particular item that causes more problems than all the rest put together – the water softener. It easy to forget to maintain this vital piece of equipment. Make sure that replenishing it with salt is part of the routine and get it serviced regularly. Hard water leads to tannin staining, poor results and damages expensive dishwashers. Most manufacturers can supply a hard water dishwasher detergent and an acid based descaler but these aren’t really a substitute to getting it right in the first place and can increase labour and costs.
Make sure that products are used at their correct strength. It’s a common myth that a stronger product does a better job, but with an alkali based floor cleaner for example, too strong a solution will leave an unsightly white deposit. Use the right items to apply the products with; if you use a damp cloth to apply glass polish it will result in visible smudges – clean, dry disposable paper is best.
And finally, allocate routine cleaning tasks to individuals. If individuals have ownership of specific tasks, personal pride and accountability increase the likelihood of a good job being completed.