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Trends and innovations driving growth

24 May 2023

With the uncertainties of the economy and sustainability concerns it's vital that businesses consider what may be on the horizon. Daniel Groves says it’s time for industrial cleaning leaders to make plans for their ventures in the coming months.

THE PAST couple of years have seen the cleaning industry thrust into the spotlight by the Covid-19 pandemic, and as people return to office environments, it’s essential for cleaning professionals of all stripes to maintain raised standards and continue to delight clients with a high level of service.

In this article we’ll take a look at four of the biggest trends that are shaping the future of the industry, and what they could mean for your business.


Eco-friendly cleaning 

One of the most significant trends that’s shaping the modern cleaning industry is the widespread adoption of sustainable cleaning products. Looking at green household products alone, the industry was estimated at $279billion last year, up from $260bn in 2021.

Greener products in general have been on the rise across all consumer spaces for some time now, and with the huge surge in demand for cleaning materials that’s come off the back of the pandemic, suppliers have the means and the motive to develop their green credentials through forward-thinking cleaning materials.

Some of the biggest changes will come from supplier R&D, with the most significant projected developments including:

  • Manufacturing popular surfactants without the use of synthetic chemicals
  • Finding green replacements for acrylic polymers
  • Optimising supply chain efficiencies for fermented plant-based ingredients in cleaning products
  • Developing an economically-viable green alternative to linear alkyl benzene sulfonate (LAS)

Although giants like Unilever are making impressive strides in the industry-wide drive to develop greener cleaning products, there’s still a long way to go. 

By keeping your finger on the pulse and building effective networks with suppliers who are taking the lead, business owners can enjoy more favourable pricing and more efficient working relationships as green cleaning agents become standard.

Increased focus on health and safety

Though health and safety has been an increasingly important part of the cleaning industry for some time now, there’s still shortcomings that need to be addressed and improvements to be made. In fact, in 2021, the most common cause of dermatitis at work was working with wet hands and having contact with soaps and cleaning materials.


As cleaning professionals demand higher standards of health and safety from their employers, cleaning industry leaders must review their approach to health and safety standards, and take steps to ensure they’re able to attract and retain the best talent.


One of the most accessible ways to optimise your health and safety standards is to take stock of the cleaning agents used by your staff, and find safer alternatives to any materials that might aggravate allergies or cause skin conditions. This goes back to our previous point about the development of green cleaning materials, as eco-friendly agents are often made without harsh chemicals, and are less likely to have negative health impacts.


Business leaders should also consider their training and development plans to ensure that all staff are aware of SOPs and their responsibilities, while also looking into precision tech like ATP meters to get ahead of the HSE curve and ensure more efficient and thorough cleans.


Technology and automation

Although cleaning isn’t the most tech-dependent industry on earth, there have always been technological advancements that have helped cleaning firms unlock new efficiencies and ensure high standards of service for their clients. 


From a portable card machine that allows an independent cleaner to settle bills on the fly all the way up to advanced 3D models that allow large firms to plan a cleaning contract in the most efficient way possible, the impact of emerging commercial tech has always been felt in the cleaning sector, and affected the way cleaning entrepreneurs direct their business.


Today, AI is making waves in every business niche, and though widely-available industrial cleaning robots are still some way off, there’s still several ways that artificial intelligence can be used to optimise cleaning operations:


Predictive Maintenance: AI algorithms can be used to predict when heavy-duty cleaning equipment is likely to break down, allowing companies to get ahead of maintenance and avoid costly downtime.


Quality Control: AI can be used to analyse inventory data, reports on cleaning work, and more, helping to provide feedback to human cleaners and improve their quality of work. 


Scheduling and Resource Management: AI algorithms can be used to optimise cleaning schedules and allocate resources, ensuring that the right number of cleaners and cleaning supplies are available for each job, and cutting down on wasted resources.

Expansions into new markets

Finally, proactive cleaning professionals will find new opportunities to expand and tap into new markets in 2023, thanks to increasing demands and a shift in B2B consumption trends.


Despite concerns about inflation and the cost of living across the developed world, the demand for professional cleaning services has been on the up for several years now. Across the pond, the US Department of Commerce has projected that around 80% of dual-income households will employ house cleaning services by 2024.


In terms of new markets, industrial cleaners should be considering the rise of green cleaning services before anything else. Green cleaning services set out to meet the demand for eco-friendly cleaning methods are becoming increasingly popular with companies that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. By expanding into this niche, companies can offer a valuable service to environmentally conscious clients and help to reduce the impact of cleaning on the environment.


With the public’s new concern for health and hygiene standards in the post-pandemic world, cleaning companies might also find new markets in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, which may need trustworthy cleaning services to meet high regulatory standards or clean specialised equipment.

Looking ahead

The industrial cleaning industry has been shaken up by the turbulence of the last few years, and now business leaders should be looking ahead to seize on emerging opportunities and discover new avenues of growth.


We hope this look at the year ahead has helped you better understand your firm’s place in the new market, and inform a plan of action that will ensure a bright and prosperous future!


Daniel Groves is a business growth consultant

For more information visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/danielgroves90/