By Jim Flieler, VP of Sales Canada for Charlotte Products Ltd

As facilities are now open across North America, one question is on the top of every business owner’s mind: How do we convince the customers to come back?

Our job as the frontline workers in the cleaning industry will be to prove that our buildings are clean and that we are protecting public health. One way to do this is by measuring or validating our efforts. In this blog, we will discuss the ATP Meter and how it is critical for facilities to measure their cleaning efforts and communicate that data to the public, not only for customer satisfaction, but also for employee morale.

What Is an ATP Meter?

ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate. This is an enzyme that is present in all living cells. Thus, when an ATP meter detects the enzyme on a surface, it indicates that living cells exist on the surface. That is why when you are using an ATP meter after you have cleaned a surface, you want to have the lowest number reading possible. The lower the number, the more likely you are safer and the risk of an outbreak is reduced. Generally, a reading of between 30 and 50 is a passing number. At 93, you’ll need to revisit your cleaning protocol. It doesn’t matter what the number, where you start is ok, as long as the number goes down after cleaning.

One crucial point to note is that while ATP systems are effective at measuring the presence of soil and organisms on a surface, this device does not detect specifically for the presence of a virus. It would not be accurate to say that the device is able to certify whether any virus, including COVID-19, is present on a surface.  

Why You Should Measure/Validate Your Efforts

These are just a few reasons I always recommend that facilities use an ATP Meter to measure or validate their cleaning efforts:

  • It provides the workforce with accountability.
  • It is easily integrated into a Standard Operating Procedures program.
  • It is a data-driven device. 
  • It lowers the chance of an outbreak. 
  • It is an effective morale-boosting tool.

Morale-Boosting Data

We are introducing data to our industry every day, and the ATP meter introduces a benchmark with the goal of buy-in for your occupants and teams. With a high demand for clean buildings, the ATP meter is one tool every facility manager should have on hand. It has the ability to ensure a surface has been cleaned, and that the process being used is effective. Most specifically, the device can be used to verify that high-touch areas in your facility have been cleaned properly. And communicating that information to the public has never been more important.

An ATP Meter is also an important tool in preventing the major cause of infectious outbreak in a building: incorrect cleaning protocol. All too often, during times of COVID-19 and before, I have seen outbreaks in facilities occur because of a breakdown in communication and accountability in staff. The data provided by an ATP meter will help to hold workers accountable for their efforts, and provide you with useful data to reward your workers for a job well done. In fact, an ATP meter is best used to promote cleaning morale. If you can show a lower number through validation and measurement, you can reward your team and validate their work. 

In this ever-changing pandemic atmosphere, those of us in the cleaning industry are first responders. It is our obligation to provide our customers and all frontline workers with the knowledge and tools necessary to stop the spread of infection and create healthy, safe places for people everywhere. Continue to check back on our blog or tune into our weekly COVID-19 webinar series to stay up-to-date on the latest information related to the virus.