It’s the beginning of a new year, and that has us thinking about the beginnings of our profession. What are the clean facts about cleaning?
Around 2200 BC, the ancient Babylonians found a way to improve water’s cleaning power, and like so many great discoveries, it was by accident. Water had been used to clean cooking utensils that were covered in animal fat and wood ash. By combining the three substances, they inadvertently created the world’s first soap.
The history of cleaning products began to slowly evolve, until the mid 1900’s, when modern soap products began to emerge. Over the past fifty years, soaps and detergents expanded to include automatic dishwasher products, liquid soaps, laundry fabric softener, enzyme products, cold water detergents, concentrated powders, and most recently super-concentrated detergents, gels, and refills.
Why we use cleaning products is obvious, for personal cleanliness and health. From the very beginnings of washing off dirt and mud, to the start of the Middle Ages, most cleaning compounds were made from mixes of ashes, animal or plant fats, and oils.
The clean facts are, the fall of the Roman Empire prior to the Middle Ages led to reduced cleanliness and catastrophic diseases. But by the 17th Century, bathing and cleanliness experienced a renewal.
Over later centuries, soap was considered to be a luxury item, and was taxed. When it became affordable, the general public began to benefit again from the use of soaps. During the early to middle 1800’s, soap chemistry was studied and improved. Costs were reduced, soaps were even more affordable to all, and usage spread.
Clean Facts Since 1900
The availability of washing machines in the early 1900’s helped increase the use and popularity of soaps, and led to modern developments in soap chemistry. Following World War II, detergents gained in popularity over soaps, and are now used liberally. The importance of soaps, hand soap and cleanliness for disease prevention is another reason for getting the clean facts about using soap products.
Today’s cleaning products not only are safer for public use, but also for the natural environment. Up to date chemical research has led to the development of modern detergents and cleaners used in janitorial and cleaning services worldwide.
There is an abundance of new cleaning products for every purpose at home or in commercial use. Soaps and cleaners are used in bathrooms, kitchens, and public businesses to help assure safety and disease control. People are aware of the dangers of germs every time a major disease occurs, or an epidemic is threatening a population.
Medical advisers recommend frequent hand washing as the first step in preventing flu, colds, and other commonly found diseases. Hand washing is the number one step taken in the medical community to avoid spreading germs around hospitals, clinics, and industrial locations.
Today the CDC recommends the following hand washing guidelines:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your mask
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean Facts About Safety
Safer chemical products are available that have less impact on the environment and that are eco-friendly. Low suds, cold water, and fragrance-free products help and address some allergenic problems people may have.
Obtaining the vast array of new cleaning products has never been easier, thanks to the Internet and easy access to large cleaning and janitorial product service and supply companies. Delivery is fast and affordable, saving time and money for all who order online.
Today is the best time in history to be able to use and enjoy safer, healthier cleaning products. Research continues to bring improvements to the marketplace, and new uses for cleaning products are found every day, everywhere.