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Floor Care

Finishing Touches – Hair and Dust Removal

By Mary Colvin

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When cleaning hotel rooms, offices and public restrooms, professionals typically think about removing soils and disinfecting. That’s the definition of “clean” in our heads.

But there are other measures of clean. How the air in a room smells is one that I discussed in a previous blog post. Another measure can be whether “non-soils” are also removed. Two of the most common non-soils are hair and dust. 

Hair is a bigger deal than you think. Multiple market research studies confirm that finding other people’s hair in places you don’t expect or want it – a public bathroom sink, a hotel guest bathroom floor, a kitchen counter, your desk – has a high “gross out” factor. Even if everything else about the surface is clean, even if it has been disinfected, sterilized and certified by NASA, the presence of an unwanted hair triggers a disproportional “ick” reaction in many people. 

Fortunately, hair is relatively easy to control. Vacuuming as part of the cleaning procedure on a regular basis is a big help. I also recommend specific duster/ sweeper products that can electrostatically lock on to hairs and literally pull them up. These products can trap hair that is left behind, blown around by vacuuming or deposited between vacuuming. The trick is to employ both of these techniques regularly. Vacuuming once a week is not enough because hair is constantly falling out on to surfaces as part of daily life. Once a day is better, and for very heavily trafficked areas you might think about twice a day. 

Dust is similar to hair in that it’s constantly forming and being deposited. The presence of dust can also trigger allergies in some people who are sensitive.  Vacuuming should again be part of the regimen and should also include fabric surfaces. 

But vacuums can’t always get to all the places where dust is hiding, like ceiling fans, the tops of furniture, or blinds. For that, I again recommend duster/sweeper products such as Swiffer®. They “pull” dust through electric attraction and trap it, just as with hair, and get as much as two times the dust versus a standard dry dust cloth. There are various sizes for use on large areas (hardwood floors) and small and hard to reach areas. Some products even include a flexible handle to get into all the nooks and crannies where dust can gather. And just like hair control, dusting is best done regularly. 

Integrate these tips into your professional cleaning regimen, and you’ll make sure that you’ve covered all the definitions of “clean.”

About Mary Colvin

Mary Colvin is a Principal Researcher and a 28-year veteran at Procter & Gamble, with 16 of those years working on the Procter & Gamble Professional business. She lends her expertise and consumer understanding in developing products to better meet the needs of customers in industries such as janitorial/sanitation, health care, food service and hospitality. Mary is an alumna of University of Cincinnati, College of Engineering & Applied Science.

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