Why We Clean
Cleaning gets a bum rap. Just try googling quotes about cleaning and you’ll find that most of them portray cleaning—specifically, house cleaning— negatively.
“I hate housework. You make the beds, you wash the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again. – Joan Rivers
“Housework can’t kill you, but why take the chance?” – Phyllis Diller
“We dream of having a clean house—but who dreams of actually doing the cleaning?” -Marcus Buckingham
While a couple of these quotes hopefully made you laugh (just a little?), they still highlight the negative association of cleaning. It’s an association that follows cleaning wherever it goes—at home, in the office, on vacation… This is largely why the profession also gets swallowed in a negative stigma.
But for those of us who have made a career cleaning up, it’s important to remember why we clean. Sure, it’s a job, but the work performed has many benefits that extend beyond a paycheck. Cleaning is a service that benefits anyone and everyone who steps into the building.
Why We Clean
We recently ran across a list from Dr. Michael Berry, an evangelist of the critical importance of cleaning. In a presentation to the Simon Institute, he shared the following list of the tangible and intangible benefits of facility cleaning:
- Reduces environmental risks
- Creates a healthy condition
- Prevents Illness
- Provides living space
- Breaks the transmission chain of infectious agents
- Protects valuable materials
- Maintains the value of real estate
- Encourages “topophilia” or the love of place
- Instills ownership
- Promotes human dignity
- Shows you care
- Projects a professional image and promotes business success
- Enhances human productivity and reduces direct costs
- Prevents crisis and reduces the full range of costs
- Accents aesthetics
- Manages wastes and contributes to environmental protection
Dr. Berry’s assertions aren’t arbitrary claims. Several studies support his statements, also highlighting the health and business benefit effective cleaning:
- In restaurants, clean restrooms encourage patrons to spend more money
- In hotels, cleanliness is the single most important thing to guests
- Clean schools help students perform better
- Issues such as odors, dirty restrooms and dirty surfaces are shown to keep people from returning to a business
Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily routine of cleaning, that we forget to step back at the bigger picture of WHY we clean. And as the data shows, cleaning has big implications for not only people’s health, but also business.
So the next time someone asks you what you do for a living, tell them proudly that you’re in the professional cleaning industry. And keep our list handy so you’re always mindful of why what you do is so important.