Written by Paige Daley, Associate Marketing Manager for Optisolve
According to Market Watch, precision cleaning is set to be a multi-million dollar industry by 2029. It’s an essential part of many industries to meet safety and performance standards, so this market growth isn’t surprising.
But what is precision cleaning, why is it important, and how is it done? Here we’ll answer these questions to make sense of the technical process. We’ll begin with how precision cleaning needs and systems are planned: with cleaning validation studies.
What Cleaning Validation Studies Tell Us About Precision Cleaning
Cleaning is done to support the health and safety of people using an indoor environment or product. Cleaning validation studies allow you to identify where contamination risks exist. By being aware of these high-risk areas, you can make informed decisions about a proper cleaning strategy and set of cleaning standards to address these risks.
For example, take the transmission of viruses in high-traffic areas. Various studies show that viruses like influenza A, norovirus, and many others can live on indoor surfaces. When left without proper cleaning, these surfaces can pass along viruses making people sick.
For industries where the transfer of infections is of concern (like health care or educational institutions), cleaning validation ensures that you can properly identify which surfaces are at the highest risk for transferring contaminants. This helps to reduce health and safety risks with targeted cleaning.
Cleaning validation also ensures that the cleaning standards developed are properly executed and maintained. It even addresses key challenges and concerns related to precision cleaning systems including:
- The level of film, contaminant, or particles acceptable on each surface after the cleaning process is completed
- The frequency with which the cleaning processes need to take place for optimal safety and performance
- Where productivity can be increased without sacrificing the quality of the clean
- Where cleaning costs can be reduced (90% of which can be attributed to labor)
Used effectively, cleaning validation can help to save both time and money for organizations in a wide range of industries.
Regular cleaning allows us to keep surfaces clean but it doesn’t specify to what level surfaces need to be cleaned. When it comes to industries where the micro level can have harmful impacts if cleaning needs aren’t met, more precise and targeted cleaning systems are needed. This is when precision cleaning enters the picture.
Precision cleaning refers to the cleaning process required to reach set cleanliness requirements. It’s cleaning at the micro level to remove contaminants to ensure the safe use of high-traffic spaces and high contamination-risk surfaces.
Rather than require more time and resource, precision cleaning is about working smarter. With precision cleaning, surfaces are regularly tested to determine the efficacy of cleaning methods, allowing you to calibrate the most efficient cleaning regimen.
The cleanliness requirements set out for precision cleaning services only allow a small number of particles, volatile residue, film, or contamination to exist on the surfaces being cleaned.
The standards are either set out with the help of validation studies as industry standards or an organization’s standards. For example, the standards set out by Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) for various industries. GBAC offers gold-standard accreditation to facilities that can meet their rigorous standards.
Precision Cleaning Methods & Tools
With an understanding of what precision cleaning is, we can take a closer look at the processes used for it.
There are several methods used and, in some cases, more than one method will be used to achieve the cleaning goals. Cleaning methods include:
This method of cleaning primarily uses water as a base for cleaning and involves submerging surfaces to be cleaned in a cleaning solution.
This method of cleaning uses high frequency sound, in other words, sound waves, alongside a chemical solution to remove contaminates from surfaces and achieve a satisfactory level of cleanliness.
This method involves using chemicals to clean surfaces and product parts. This method is particularly useful for complex surfaces that include part rotation or holes and crevices in the surface.
High Pressure Spray Cleaning
With this method of cleaning, kinetic energy is produced through water jets with high pressures to remove contaminates from surfaces.
This cleaning method is for internal workings, like pipes, that can not be easily cleaned. It involves forcing a cleaning solution through the pipe to clear the surface of contaminants.
This method is used for delicate surfaces that require a gentler approach. The surface is wiped by hand using particle-free wipes which are either dipped in deionized water or a cleaning solution.
This cleaning method uses a vacuum baking machine to remove and eliminate hydrocarbon contaminants.
Testing, Cleaning Verification, and Cleaning Validation
In addition to these methodologies, having cleaning validation tools like surface imaging and tracking systems can aid in streamlining your cleaning systems and looking more deeply at their effectiveness. These let you monitor and maintain high standards. Here are just a few of the methods commonly used to determine the effectiveness of cleaning methods:
ATP testing uses a light sensor to detect a reaction with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a chemical in all living things. With ATP testing, a chemical reagent is applied to a 4×4 inch square area, and a device called a luminometer is used to detect the presence of ATP.
With glo germ, a UV reactive contamination simulation gel is applied to an area to be cleaned. After a standard cleaning, the area is swept with a UV light to determine how effective the cleaning procedure was.
Pathfinder is a new contaminant visualization system from Optisolve. Pathfinder uses a chemical spray that reacts with DNA and a special camera that enables you to see where the germs are.
Empower Your Precision Cleaning Efforts with Optisolve
Ensure your precision cleaning systems are running as smoothly and effectively as possible with the support of Optisolve’s Pathfinder and SAVI cleaning validation systems.
- Pathfinder allows you to make the invisible visible with bio-tracking so you can see areas of high contamination risk. This system also allows you to plan out and check the results of your cleaning efforts.
- SAVI is a cloud-based software that allows your cleaning team to plan, track, record, and report all aspects of the cleaning process. Unlike the checklists and sheets of paper used in the past, everything is digitized, so you can get cleaning insights like you’ve never seen before.
These cleaning validation tools help identify where you can reduce costs and time spent on your cleaning service and enable you to maintain the high standards you’ve set for your organization.
Book a demo to see how Optisolve can fit into your organization’s cleaning services framework.