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The Four Factors of Effective Cleaning

Updated: Jul 12, 2023


When it comes to effective cleaning, several factors come into play to ensure optimal results. Understanding and harnessing these factors can significantly enhance the cleaning process and help achieve the desired cleanliness level. We will explore the four key factors involved in cleaning and their impact on the cleaning process efficacy.

  1. Chemical Action:

Chemical action refers to the selection of the appropriate cleaning chemical and its proper dilution to effectively remove dirt. Different types of dirt may require specific chemicals to break them down and remove them efficiently. It is crucial to choose a chemical compatible with the surface being cleaned and that it has the necessary properties to tackle the specific type of dirt. Dilution ratios should be followed carefully to ensure maximum effectiveness while minimizing consumption.

2. Mechanical Action:

Mechanical action involves physical effort to remove dirt. Light soiling can often be removed with gentle wiping using a commercial cloth. However, more stubborn and heavily soiled areas may require more aggressive mechanical action. For instance, baked-on dirt in a cooking pot may need abrasive synthetic scourers or brushes to provide the necessary scrubbing power. The choice of appropriate tools and techniques for mechanical action is essential to effectively loosen and remove dirt.

3. Time:

The duration of contact between the cleaning chemical and the dirt significantly impacts the cleaning process's effectiveness. Allowing sufficient time for the chemical to work on the soil increases its ability to break down and dissolve dirt particles. This is especially evident when soaking dirty dishes in a sink before washing them. The longer dirt remains in contact with the cleaning solution, the easier it is to remove. However, following manufacturer recommendations and avoiding prolonged exposure that could harm the surface being cleaned is crucial.

4. Temperature:

Temperature has traditionally played a significant role in chemical cleaning processes. Higher temperatures can enhance cleaning solutions' effectiveness. Heating cleaning solutions often dissolve dirt and grime more effectively. This is observed when washing dishes in a hot dishwashing solution. However, it is worthwhile to note that temperature has a lesser influence on floor cleaning. As the cleaning solution is applied to the floor, its temperature rapidly drops, diminishing the impact of temperature on the cleaning process.

Optimizing the Four Factors:

To achieve optimal cleaning results, it is crucial to consider and balance these four factors:

  1. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Select and use cleaning chemicals as per the manufacturer's recommendations. This ensures that the chemical action suits the targeted dirt and surface, optimizing cleaning effectiveness.

  2. Choose appropriate tools: Utilize the right tools and equipment for mechanical action based on the level of soiling. Ensure that they are designed for the specific surface to avoid causing damage during the cleaning process.

  3. Allow sufficient contact time: When applicable, allow the cleaning chemical to remain in contact with the dirt for the recommended time. This gives the chemical sufficient opportunity to break down and loosen the dirt particles, making them easier to remove.

  4. Optimize temperature: When appropriate, consider using warmer water or heated cleaning solutions to enhance cleaning effectiveness. However, remember that temperature's impact may vary depending on the cleaning task and the surface being cleaned.


Cleaning involves multiple factors that contribute to the overall effectiveness of the cleaning process. By understanding and leveraging chemical action, mechanical action, time, and temperature, one can optimize cleaning routines and achieve desired cleanliness levels. Careful consideration of these factors, along with adherence to manufacturer guidelines and appropriate tool selection, will ensure efficient and successful cleaning outcomes.

Contact us to help you to optimize this process: Tel: +27 11 406 4000 or email:

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