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Monday, August 17, 2009

New challenges in professional cleaning: hygiene quality and monitoring of surfaces in private domestic homes

In many countries, changes in the pattern of working lives and ageing of the population increases the need for professional cleaning in private domestic homes. The objective of this study was to obtain basic knowledge concerning professional home cleaning. The study consisted of two parts. First, cleanability of surfaces contaminated with microbiological and organic soils was examined in the laboratory using cleaning cloths, detergents and rapid detection methods with potential for use in conjunction with professional cleaning in private homes. Second, hygienic conditions in three households were screened using the same rapid detection methods as in the laboratory experiments. According to the laboratory study, the cleaning efficiency of the non-woven cloth was clearly poorer than that of the cleaning cloths containing microfibers. There were differences between the efficacy of the cleaning agents in removal of protein and microbiological soils. Despite the differences between surface topography observed with scanning electron microscopy, differences between the cleanability of the three examined surface materials (steel and two plastic surfaces) were small. In hygiene monitoring, the highest levels of total aerobic bacterial counts were detected in the plughole of the sink, on the eating table in kitchens and along the edge of the toilet washbowl and the cover of toilet seats. Low amounts of Enterobacteriaceae indicating faecal contamination were detected in the toilet and bathroom after cleaning. Moulds were not detected in any of the three households, and the amounts of yeasts were low. Detection methods, microbiological dipslides and the protein test, were well suited to the laboratory study. Furthermore, they complemented each other in the hygiene monitoring. The information obtained will be used for development of better practices in professional home cleaning. Good quality management in professional home cleaning and the cleanliness of surfaces in homes are important factors affecting comfort and safety.

Article note:

Hanna-Riitta Kymalainen, Department of Agrotechnology, P.O. Box 28 (Koetilantie 3), FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland., E-mail:

Source Citation:Toiviainen-Laine, Erja, Risto Kuisma, Hanna-Riitta Kymalainen, and Anna-Maija Sjoberg. "New challenges in professional cleaning: hygiene quality and monitoring of surfaces in private domestic homes.(Report)." International Journal of Consumer Studies 33.4 (July 2009): 396(11). Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 17 Aug. 2009

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