What’s That Smell Coming From the Kitchen?

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • October 24, 2016
Gorilla plugging there nose

Here is the scenario, You return to your office after a long weekend only to discover a foul odor coming from the kitchen. The garbage was emptied but that trash can is really foul. Or scenario two, you walk in after a long weekend and there is a very pleasant smell in the office and you think, “Wow, its really clean in here this morning”. Or scenario three, you return and smell nothing, no foul odor and no pleasant scent, nothing. Question, which one is clean? If you are like most people you would choose number two. However, you might be surprised by the truth.

Does a pleasant smell indicate the building is clean?

Most cleaning products on the market today in their raw state have no odor at all. Most of us have been conditioned to believe that certain smells imply certain things. Why do we believe its not clean if we don’t smell something? Because somewhere during the march of technology and business a clever marketing person decided that they could distinguish their product from others by adding a scent which would then forevermore remind people of that product and the buying public would associate it with clean. Smells like pine, lemon or even a slightly medicinal scent trigger our response mechanism and we immediately think clean. But is it really?

Can something that has no smell really be clean?

Over the years technology has allowed us to develop newer, more powerful and safer products, but we are still ruled by our smell. Its what we know. Its what we believe even in the face of empirical evidence to the contrary. Does this mean that everything that has a smell is bad or is unsafe or doesn’t work? Of course not. But sometimes our noses can fool us. Scents and smells are added to induce us to buy, they don’t improve the cleaning.

Many of the more cutting edge technologies now being used in janitorial applications such as Ionized or Ozonated water leave no smell at all and yet they are proving to be the technology of the future. Again, it is perception that drives our thinking, not facts. The first time someone showed me the Ionized water system I thought, ‘Water? Really?”. But then you read the studies and see that EPA, OSHA and others including major corporations are moving to it and you begin to move out of your comfort zone and realize that there are other factors at play. Unfortunately, commercial cleaning companies are having to take the defense because the public doesn’t think its clean unless it smells clean.

What is the ultimate objective for having your office cleaned by a professional cleaning company?

The bottom line here is does it work and is it safe, not does it smell good. So, lets define what it means to have a cleaning product that ‘works’ and is ‘safe’. First, it needs to quickly and effectively emulsify dirt, food, grease, oil and, most importantly, residual bacteria from the surface being cleaned. Residual bacteria is what causes odors. Remove the bacteria and its clean and odor free.

Second, the cleaning products also need to be safe. By this I mean the end user, your cleaning crew, cannot be at risk while using the product and the client cannot be at risk from surface residue and lingering VOC’s given off by the product.

Notice what is missing? I didn’t say it had to smell nice. And actually the smell may even be counterproductive. Since many of these cleaning products have a perfume or scent added to evoke the belief that the building is clean there can be residual VOC’s that can cause allergic reactions from janitorial workers and from office workers alike. Also, topical residue can cause rashes in some people.

So What

My hope is that you will see that cleaning technology is changing and janitorial service companies are beginning to adopt technologies that will provide you as a customer with better service but you will have to be open to the possibility of a clean building with out artificial smells and scents.

To find out more about a Janitorial Service that uses the newest technologies contact Compass Cleaning Solutions today.