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Adopt green cleaning for a business in the black

30 January 2015

Cleaning Matters asked Karcher to share its insight on where the future of floorcare lies. The company's view was emphatic: sustainable cleaning. Here it explains why

Proving eco-friendly credentials has become a key part of the modern tender process. No longer a 'nice to have', adopting an environmentally sound approach to cleaning can open new doors, save labour costs and reduce operating expenses, culminating in a significant  impact on your bottom line. We’ve all seen those ubiquitous efficiency claim signs adjacent to A-rated hand dryers in shops and restaurants; as an environmental positioning exercise it’s a complete win-win for businesses given the lower operating costs achieved through reduced bills.


While it may seem contradictory, using a more powerful machine can in itself be energy efficient if it means the task is completed faster. For example hot water pressure washers reduce detergent usage, require shorter drying times and clean up to 40% faster than cold water alternatives. Just as traditional hand driers still do the job – eventually, the results from traditional manual cleaning methods can look acceptable. However costs for detergent and labour are often much higher than necessary, and the time to complete a thorough deep clean can be excessive, sometimes even needing to be done at night.  

If over recent years you have simply replaced your cleaning machines with like-for-like technology, or not revisited your processes for some time, chances are you're missing out. Following last year’s minimum wage rise, many businesses are facing increased payroll costs. With pressure to increase this further to a ‘living wage’, now is the prime time to look for ways to increase productivity.  


Solutions to suit all tasks

While the sheer range of cleaning products on the market today can seem daunting, configurable solutions now exist for all manner of tasks and come in a range of sizes, power and capacity options, so can be perfectly scaled to your business and its needs. Where hygiene is an intrinsic part of the daily routine, many still use strong chemicals and labour-intensive methods like manual scrubbing and scraping. Alternatively steam cleaners leave surfaces hygienically clean and – when combined with a vacuum function – instantly dry too. Pressurised steam easily penetrates dirt, significantly improving cleaning results, reducing cleaning time and even eliminating the need for detergent. Where detergent is required, concentrate formulas have less environmental impact through packaging manufacture and waste, while Intelligent Dosing Systems ensure levels can be adjusted to suit the degree of soiling, reducing consumption and cost.  

Kärcher machines including Hot Water Pressure Washers, the Steam Generating Vac (SGV), Scrubber Driers and Vacuums feature eco!efficiency mode. With this setting machines function for optimal efficiency, saving energy, water and cleaning agent. Not only does the lower power consumption reduce operating costs, but at the same time the noise level is decreased making it suitable for use in noise-sensitive areas such as care facilities, canteens and hotels.



Thinking sustainably means not only sourcing equipment that is cheap to run or easy to recycle, choosing equipment that can fulfil more than one role or be used across your business can represent a significant saving. Multitasking machines can, with a change of setting, accessory, detergent or cleaning head, service multiple locations, while lift-friendly compact Scrubber Driers and step-on Vacuums can vastly reduce the machine count in multi-storey buildings.



A helping hand

The UK Government calculates that using natural resources more efficiently could save UK businesses around £23 billion a year as well as bring more resilience to climate change and the rising prices of commodities. To help encourage more efficient use of resources in business, the government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance (ECA) scheme lets businesses write off the purchase cost of certain water efficient technologies against the business’s taxable profits. Due to their efficient use of water, many Kärcher Scrubber Driers and the new SGV qualify for ECAs and feature on the Water Technology List.  

Using modern cleaning technology to conserve resources helps companies to have a clean environmental conscience – and positions them to be more attractive to ethically minded businesses and consumers alike. Efficient cleaning solutions achieve cheaper life-cycle costs through reduced bills, government taxback schemes, less downtime and improved staff productivity.