OrboTech has started to sell a complete cleaning system called OWC (OrboTech Way of Cleaning) to enable environmentally, economically, ergonomically, and efficiency-wise good outcomes for all parties concerned. OrboTech uses the Rekola Motion cleaning trolley as a starting point for the whole system. OrboTech’s OWC is a further development of Rekola’s RFC concept with even more elements working together to produce optimal and efficient results. We at Rekola truly want to change the cleaning industry into something genuinely good for the future.
Over the past year Orbotech has worked on their range of innovative products, Rekola’s RFC – Residue Free Cleaning concept, and, moreover, on how best to exhibit a complete cleaning system to customers. Rather than selling individual products Orbotech, our partner in Sweden and Finland, has started selling a complete cleaning system. Why is this? One reason is to create positive outcomes and good conditions for the cleaner, the object, the client and the supplier as a whole, which are expected and required in the cleaning sector that is much under pressure.
“Cherry-picking” is one approach, but is it really the best? A cleaning system is built around various components in order to create environmentally, economically, ergonomically, and efficiency-wise good outcomes, but also to bring innovation for your customers. To cherry-pick individual elements out of context will not necessarily result in same or similar positive outcomes.
With their long experience of mechanical cleaning, Orbotech now takes the complete cleaning system seriously and uses the cleaning trolley from Rekola as a starting point. The cleaning trolley is supplemented with an i-Mop of the right size to make mechanical cleaning a natural part of daily cleaning. From the heart, a machine is always faster and better than carrying out daily manual floor cleaning regardless of the equipment.
However, the machine cannot get everywhere, and in order to be of any help it is always better to have it on the trolley. After all, who has time to go back and forth to get the machine? The trolley has been supplemented with the Rekola Reflex mopcloth system – a tried and tested mopcloth system that really gets things clean and ensures good access. Follow our lead, and view Rekola Reflex as an effective support to mechanical cleaning in your daily routine.
With its blade fitted with an effective ultra-microfibre cloth, the solution provides superior cleaning with higher pressure against the floor (80 times higher compared to traditional methods). Every time you reposition the blade on the cloth (6-9 times) you get a new mop for the next surface, which means you always have a clean surface against the dirt. Careful testing with our customers exhibits that you cover roughly 50% more square metres of floor. Rekola Reflex weighs approximately half as much as an equivalent, regular mop. There is no Velcro to look after, and it means you have half as much to cart about between the trolley and the laundry room.
Testing has established that the consumption of cloths is halved and cloths only need to be washed half as often which saves chemicals, water, time, and energy. The trolley is also equipped with Rekola’s efficient ultra-microfibre cloths (C or H cloths) for interior cleaning, a handle, and a rack. For floor cleaning and above all for textile surfaces, which are once again an increasingly popular floor material, Whiz has also been added. After a simple installation process, this smart robot vacuum cleaner supports the cleaning staff's otherwise heavy work by vacuuming free surfaces (60-70%). This frees you up to carry out other important cleaning work, providing maximum savings for your health and body!
Orbotech Way of Cleaning is a further development of Rekola’s RFC with even more elements working together to produce optimal and efficient results. We have carried out testing alongside a number of customers during 2021, and now have clear evidence of the effects you can expect by changing your cleaning system. For some time, Rekola has been working to spread this validated knowledge to other partners around Europe as well.
We at Rekola truly want to change the cleaning industry into something genuinely good for the future. To find out more, please contact Rekola Trolley System or our partner Orbotech in Sweden or Finland.
What appears clean is not always clean. Cleaning companies used to get away with that in the past, but that is no longer possible today. Thanks to the Corona pandemic, cleaning has been put under the magnifying glass and thorough cleaning has now become the standard.
This means: away with the biofilm and away with periodic cleaning. But this only works if you do it properly, for example with Residue Free Cleaning.
A good approach starts with a good cleaning process, combined with high-quality products. "Better cleaning with a lower carbon footprint," says Rekola’s senior consultant Stephan Arts via a video connection from Finland. “In fact, the process, Residue Free Cleaning, is nothing more than combining resources in a thoughtful way and using them differently. A lot can be cleaned with only microfibre and water. Where you cannot do without chemistry at all, use new types, such as microbiological cleaners and ozone water. This prevents the build-up of residue (biofilm). This allows you to clean more easily and better and as a result you avoid periodic cleaning. If you look at it that way, it is not even a matter of obtaining just one plus with this process, but of three or four pluses.”
Residue Free Cleaning (RFC) is therefor not a product, but a success formula for good cleaning where quality comes first. “But it can also save time. Through process optimization, reducing traffic times to and from the cleaning trolley or from one cleaning job to the next and less or even no periodic cleaning. However, this time saving aspect is not interesting for some cleaning companies because they sell time. The more time, the higher the bill to the customer. You can't always blame them for that. After all, hours are turnover, but hours have nothing to do with quality ”, says Arts, who states that Rekola puts quality first and thus saves hours. “But in this way you also ensure that cleaners can perform their work better and that you can guarantee a really clean environment. That’s what we call advanced cleaning. ”
Arts continues: “Clean is a subjective concept. It is something someone experiences personally, based on senses. But to determine whether something is really clean, you have to use instruments: an ATP meter, a dust meter and a gloss meter. It is important to agree standards on this with the customer and measure at checkpoints to see whether the previously agreed level is being achieved. In this way you prove the value of cleanliness and you create trust based on objective quality standards. Once you meet the standards, you can further optimize to deliver even more added value. Moreover, you can demonstrate that you can achieve a better result with ultra-microfibre and water than with regular microfibre and chemicals because you don't build up biofilm. ”
According to the senior consultant, chemicals are used far too often. “In my opinion the use of chemicals is often superfluous. If it's not necessary, don't use it. Only if you want to create added value. For example with microbiological cleaners. These deliberately leave a temporary residue with good bacteria that feed on dirt and bad bacteria. As soon as the breeding ground has disappeared, the bacteria die. This is added value. But using chemistry while you can do without it will cause problems. ”
Arts explains: “surfactants like dirt. So I spray surfactants on a cloth and clean the surface. Surfactants pick up the dirt, the cloth retains it, but a certain amount of surfactants remain on the surface and will continue to attract dirt. In other words; in this way I do clean, but at the same time I apply an attractant of dirt to the surface that I’ve just cleaned. That is not what the customer is asking for, is it? Because in the end he has to pay again for periodic cleaning to remove the built-up biofilm. ”
Residue Free Cleaning, five times smarter than traditional cleaning.
Arts states that this traditional method of working is shortsighted and that cleaning companies that use this vision are constantly lagging behind. “You should make it easier for the cleaner to deliver better results,” he says. “And you can do that with Residue Free Cleaning. That means that you have to involve everyone in the process. That goes much further than the trolleys and materials from Rekola. Also look at the machines, for example. At an airport in Norway, the scrubber driers are equipped with a GPS chip. The data that was generated showed that the machines were idle for most of the time, up to 80 percent. It is however possible to reduce the downtime to 20 percent, but in order to do that you are forced to look at the whole process. This can easily be done by taking smaller scrubbing machines on the trolleys instead of using large machines. In this way they can be used immediately and the downtime can be reduced to only 20 percent. Only if you are process-conscious, you will make progress. ”
And if you look at the whole process, RFC turns out to be even more cost efficient. “You can save money with the right process. For example on chemicals, but on many other things too. This is mainly reflected in the Reflex mop system. Because you use ultra-microfibre mopcloths instead of flat mops, you realize a saving on washing costs of 60 to 80 percent. The nice thing about this is that laundry costs are management costs that are invisible to the customer. This directly benefits the profit-loss account of the cleaning company. Moreover, you ensure lower absenteeism, which can be reduced from 6 to 8 percent to 3 to 5 percent. Purely and solely by improving the working conditions by not using chemicals and making the work more ergonomical. ”
Residue Free Cleaning is a cleaning process without method errors. This is due to the correct combination of high-quality ultra-microfibre materials and the correct use of minimal amounts of clean tap water. The RFC method saves on chemicals and plastic packaging and results in more sustainable cleaning. Because the cleaning result is better, there are structurally fewer method errors and there is less rejection and reinspection of work.
In addition, the RFC method ensures:
Finally, according to Arts, it is necessary to place cleaning in a broader perspective. “As a cleaning industry, we are responsible for a clean and hygienic environment. Too often the air is not included in it while this is the fourth dimension of clean. In my opinion, air control in a building should be part of the cleaning. A study in Germany, which we carried out, showed that cleaning was always carried out according to protocol in the evenings, but that in the morning during the inspection a lot of dust was found by the inspector. The reason? The air conditioning was turned off every night and was turned on in the morning, blowing the dust out of the air conditioning channel. It goes without saying that you want to prevent this at all costs. ”
On a management level, RFC means approaching cleaning from a helicopter view, in which all facets are included. In combination with high-quality products and proper training of the cleaner, this results in fewer ergonomic complaints and therefore lower absenteeism. Moreover, an excellent cleaning result is guaranteed, which in turn makes the customer happy. Residue Free Cleaning provides pluses on many fronts and perhaps that's why the Dutch distributor Biofriends is doing well in the sometimes somewhat conservative cleaning world.
This article first appeared in Clean Totaal on 20 April 2021
“Cleaning is like Formula 1: everything needs to be in balance”
In cleaning, we often have fixed systems that are included in contracts and schedules. Daily floor cleaning with a dust mop, mopping every other day with a flat mop and deep cleaning of the floors in high-traffic locations once a year. With the right means, materials and training, an excellent cleaning result can be achieved. But there is always room for improvement, says CEO Petri Rekola of Rekola Trolley Systems and spiritual father of the Reflex floor cleaning system. According to him, we can learn a lot from Scandinavia, where they work from an all-encompassing idea in which everything is connected and in balance. Just like in the premier class of motorsport, Formula 1.
In Scandinavia, there is much more process-based thinking, Rekola opens his speech by telephone from Finland. “In cleaning, if you ask me, we don't look enough at the total concept. Everyone promotes their own products and that makes sense, but too often this brings too little for the customer. While every client has its own specific challenges where a different concept can work. ” Rekola likes to draw the comparison with Formula 1. “Also in the top class of motorsport you don't win all the races just by having the best engine. It is about the combination of the chassis, the fine-tuning, the team and the engine. In other words, all elements have to perform well separately from each other and when it comes together, you can go one step further. ”
When a manufacturer of cleaning equipment and accessories is asked about the state of the cleaning industry, you will often receive product-related answers. That is not the case with Rekola. Again he refers back to the process. “Which is much more than a combination of means and materials. I often hear that it is difficult to do business in cleaning because of the low rates and ditto margins. But let's be honest: we all have to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what added value we all provide and whether the way in which cleaning is now organized is the most optimal. The basic condition is that we have to keep it simple, cleaning is not rocket science, but in the basic philosophy there is still something to be gained in terms of quality, ergonomics and efficiency. ”
As an example, Rekola takes the i-Mop. “A real game changer. These types of machines will increasingly become the standard, but to my surprise it turns out that these machines are not always easily accessible. How did that happen? The storage room is located on the ground floor, while the machine must also be used on the fifth floor. One could walk twice with a vertical scrubber dryer and the other materials, but of course that makes no sense. And the solutions are simple. For example, with our Motion Trolley we offer a variant with which you can always take a compact scrubber dryer with you together with all the other equipment you need. It is the combination of processes that always ensures more efficiency and a better end result. Realistically, working with a scrubber drier is a kind of deep cleaning compared to mops. Cleaning the same space in this way every day is not necessary, but you do want to have the machine at hand when you need it. ”
Petri Rekola dares to speak up and likes to take a stand. He believes that the cleaning industry is one of the few professional groups that does not profit enough from new products and developments. “Even Kentucky mops are still used because they are so cheap. However, the material costs are only a fraction of the total costs. If you can do your job better and faster than your competitor, then you are the winner. ” He therefore calls for the opportunities arising from the corona pandemic to be tackled with both hands. “This can be a huge catalyst because building managers used to be not at all interested in cleaning, but now genuine questions are being asked. We were living in a bubble because our customers really didn't care if the bins were empty and the coffee stains removed. In the new normal, which I think is a very nasty term, cleaning takes on a completely different role than we are used to. And we have to grab that momentum if we want to change something. ”
Pivotal in Rekola's cleaning philosophy is Residue Free Cleaning (RFC). This cleaning method prevents residue build-up caused by the overdose of cleaning chemicals, overuse of water and the use of ineffective cleaning methods and materials. And that is necessary because residue can be an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and viruses, among others. Moreover, this means that you have to clean more deeply and that the mops will experience more friction. The method combines the use of lightweight scrubber driers and manual high-pressure mopping by means of the famous Reflex system. With RFC, weekly cleaning times can be drastically reduced, no cleaning agents are used, less water is needed and it also results in savings on deep cleaning. This is due to the greater mechanical work that the method uses. As we know from the Circle of Sinner, higher mechanical work reduces the factors chemistry, time and temperature.
In Scandinavia, people are even more focused on cost efficiency. The question: "how can the work be carried out in a way that people are willing to pay for it" is often central. There are relatively few immigrants in Scandinavia, so that mainly means that a few years ago the work was carried out by "own people". According to Rekola, this results in this different vision of cleaning.
This is also reflected in the metal trolleys that the company produces. “We try to avoid plastic as much as possible. This has little to do with the production process, but because of the unhygienic nature of the material. After all, plastic has an open structure in which dirt accumulates. ” He is therefore surprised that in many European countries plastic is used in work trolleys in care environments. “The fact is that plastic is difficult to keep clean. That makes no difference to the office, but in critical care environments that is a factor to take into account. ”
This way of thinking also expresses itself in the design of the trolleys. “In central Europe, all trolleys are closed with doors and storage compartments. As the salaries here are relatively high, it is important to work faster and more efficiently, as I have already indicated. The Motion trolleys are therefore open, you can simply work faster. Moreover, a cleaning operator and the products he / she uses may be seen. ” Be proud of the cleaning and the cleaning operator! "And don't forget that every second that an operator gains in time might not seem like a big deal, but if you calculate that over a whole year within a cleaning contract, you will realize that it does save you a lot of money."
Are you curious about what the Rekola Motion trolleys or the Scandinavian vision can mean for your organization? Please contact Karel-Jan Boel using the details below.
Sales Director Rekola
+32 477 787820
The Motion trolleys from Rekola can be set up and customized according to everyone's wishes. A hotel trolley, mop trolley, transport trolley or a trolley for waste management can easily be made from various basic models. Easy-to-use add-ons make it possible to transport floor mopping equipment or even a light weight scrubber dryer. Discover them all: https://www.rekola.com/products/rekola-motion-trolleys
Long gone are the days of boiling water, green block soap, bleach and scrubbing boards. But how far has the laundry industry come in 2020. In this paper I focus on cleaning textiles inclusive of but not limited to multiple use surface cloths, floor cloths, mops and dusters.
With current technology including machines, laundry detergents/solutions and processes are high temperature washes still necessary? The suggestion that 90 degree or boil washes are the best is based on the idea that `hot water cleans better than cold water´. However advances in cleaning cloth material, detergents/solutions and alternative laundry processes means we must challenge the 90 degree wash practice.
There is little evidence regarding laundering of cleaning cloths other than the manufacturers instructions but it must be noted that in order to clean, a cloth must be clean. Cleaning cloths are designed to be used in dirty, wet and infected areas to remove physical dirt, protein matter (including bacteria and viruses) and general dust.
There are no national or international standards on the laundering of cleaning cloths/products other than what manufacturers recommend with their product.
I searched the internet with key words including cleaning cloths, low temperature, laundry, economical, ecological and reduced water and energy consumption. I do not endorse any of the products named in this document as it is solely on the user to decide which laundry system is most appropriate for their use. The results generated hundreds of sites of which I randomly chose 3.
Ecolab laundry offers a low temperature laundry detergent – Eltra, which according to Ecolab is a biocidal detergent for use in the disinfection washing of textiles including cotton, mixed fabrics and synthetics. It is recommended for use in healthcare, hospitality, catering and multiple hygiene sensitive areas for laundering a multitude of materials including cleaning cloths and mops. Eltra is listed for thermo-chemical laundry disinfection at 60 degrees as per the Robert Koch Institute and Ecolab states that Eltra is effective against Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), hepatitis, Norovirus and other pathogenic viral diarrhoeas.
By the same token Kreussler Laundry produce Trebon SI – a chemothermal laundry disinfection powder detergent used with peracetic acid Ottalin Peracet (peroxyacetic acid better known as peracetic acid is an antimicrobial but mild bleaching agent which also prevents biofilm formation). With a reaction time of no more than 10 minutes at 60 degrees it also meets the requirement for a listing in the disinfectant list of the Robert Kock Institute (RKI) according to Type A (bacteria) and Type B (viruses) in washing machines.
Another laundry wash system is the use of ozone, however this is a specialist system which requires specific machine installation. Ozone carries an electrical and chemical charge in the washing solution which dissolves soil and dirt on contact and is achieved in cold water. Ozone also increases the life span of textiles, reduces energy and water costs, offers shorter wash cycles and shorter drying times. This process however can be expensive to purchase and/or install, but highly effective and cost saving during operation as cold water is used throughout.
Whichever laundry solution is preferred by the user there are other things to consider including location, type of machine and use. Domestic laundry is not considered in this paper; hospitality and healthcare are considered.
In my previous job role as an Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist, I had responsibility for both an on site and off site laundry. Both sites had industrial front loading washing and drying machines situated within 1 room. This set up posed several issues including segregation of laundry and laundering both infected and non-infected laundry.
In 2013 Health Technical Memorandum 01/04 included the segregation of laundry within healthcare but the principles of this document can be applied to any and all laundry facilities. Laundry must be sorted and segregated accordingly. Soiled textiles must be segregated from non-soiled, infected laundry must be segregated from non-infected laundry and overall, clean laundry must be segregated from dirty laundry but this can be difficult to achieve in one room.
A one room laundry facility must utilize a pathway system of designated and visibly marked areas working from dirty to clean so there is a reduced risk of contamination from dirty to clean. However it is not just about segregation of laundry, other factors to consider are the type of machine and having a cleaning schedule of not just the area but also the laundry equipment.
One option is the tunnel washer which utilizes an Archimedes screw mechanism to propel the dirty laundry through the machine towards a clean end. The machine in itself is designed that dirty and clean segregation of laundry is possible without the risk of contamination. Although considered to be the best this type of washer is considered quite aggressive for the laundering of cleaning textiles. A “pony barrier washer” also achieves total segregation as it is built into a wall accessible from both a clean and dirty side.
These 2 systems can be costly to purchase, install and the user may not have the space or room design to accommodate such a system.
The majority of professional or industrial laundry users still have front loading washing and drying machines. This system is challenging as dirty laundry is loaded into same machine as clean laundry is removed.
A stringent cleaning schedule must be utilized including the user/operator wearing gloves and apron when loading and unloading the machine. Cleaning laundry equipment must also include the wiping of the washing machine door portal inclusive of the inside of the door and rubber seal with detergent or alcohol hard surface wipes every time the machine is loaded with laundry, this prevents the cleaned laundry touching the dirty portal on removal and reduces the risk of contamination. The control panel of the machine must also be cleaned using a separate detergent or alcohol hard surfaces wipe after every loading of the machine as the operator/user has to touch the panel in order to operate the machine. It is also advisable to run an empty cycle at the end of the day so that all dirty water is removed from the machine.
Retired Registered General Nurse,
Bachelor of Science Honors Degree.
Independent Infection, Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist
Van den Brinks is a contract cleaner that operates predominantly in the very centre of The Netherlands (The Veluwe). The company was founded in 1965 and offers the following services: general cleaning, window cleaning, floor maintenance, house clearances and façade cleaning.
The majority of their customer base consists of offices, schools and appartement blocks (staircases).
Van den Brinks has been an early adopter of our Reflex system and has been using it every since the first generation of Reflex was launched.
Olofsen: “We used to use a traditional double bucket + wringer system with flat mops but this led to too many “methodical” errors and poor cleaning results in general.”
“The moment we switched to the Reflex system we also stopped using cleaning chemicals altogether. This helped our cleaning operators in reducing methodical errors but it is also better for their health in particular and the environment in general.”
“The cleaning results were vastly improving and our operators can work far more efficiently with less water and no chemicals. This means that they can attend to a wider variety of tasks in the foreseen timeframe.”
Olofsen: “The Reflex system is also much lighter in use than the traditional flat mopping systems we used to use. Our cleaning operators no longer have to wring out mops or use heavy mop presses. The mop handle, squeegee and pre-impregnated mop cloths are very light in use and easy to transport.”
Thanks to these ergonomical features of the Reflex system, Van den Brinks saw a significant reduction of their absenteeism numbers as staff no longer suffers from RSI complaints.
Olofsen: we also almost don’t do any mechanical deep cleaning anymore because the Reflex system prevents any build-up of residu on the floors.
In summary, Van den Brinks is very pleased with the Reflex system because it significantly improves the quality of the work which in its turn results in happier customers. Their customer satisfaction scores have been going up every since they started with Reflex! In addition, they also have happier ánd healthier cleaning operators who enjoy working with our system.
In times when cleaning and hygiene seem more important than ever, it is imperative to opt for a robust cleaning system that delivers results time after time. Reflex from Rekola proves that this can also be done in an environmentally friendly and time saving manner. We are now ready for the third generation of this mopping system that proves that residue is a thing of the past.
Why would you improve a product that already provides excellent cleaning results? The answer is as simple as it is logical: to make things even easier for the user. “It is actually a further perfection of the system that is already known for its good cleaning results ”, says Sales Director at Rekola Karel-Jan Boel. “The mop cloths of the Reflex Generation 3 or G3 have a plastic edge that simplifies changing the mopcloth. Nothing has changed in the microfibre as it is already exceptionally good. ”
The Rekola mopcloths are made of UMF, UltraFine Microfibre. This is a super fine split microfibre, which ensures better capillary action. Sometimes with amazing results. “With the Reflex system, dirt is literally removed from surfaces, without the use of any cleaning chemicals. We experienced this at a healthcare institution where we cleaned a shower cubicle in a patient room without chemicals. The original colour of the tile became visible again after removing years of accumulated residue caused by incorrect cleaning methods. ”
The mopcloth already does such an efficient job that it is not necessary to use any cleaning chemicals. The cloths must be pre-moistened in a box and are then ready for use. By eliminating chemicals, environmental gains can be achieved, job related health complaints from staff are prevented and you avoid system errors. After all, there is no question of overdosing, because you do not use any cleaning chemicals in the first place. “Incidentally, the results when used in combination with natural products such as ozone water and osmosis water can be called extra good. An optimal work programme according to the Residue Free Cleaning philosophy is as follows: daily cleaning with Reflex, periodic floor maintenance with machines, in combination with (eg ozone) water. A guaranteed clean result, without chemicals. ”
The strength of the Reflex system is the combination of the Power Squeegee and the mop cloth. The Power Squeegee allows to selectively apply pressure to a limited part of the fabric. This provides an increase in surface pressure that is as much as eighty times higher compared to a traditional flat mop system. Boel: “This ensures more efficient cleaning with less effort in less time. Because the contact with the surface to be cleaned is limited, the user does not have to exert additional force. This offers ergonomic advantages and contributes to the prevention of RSI. It reduces complaints of the back, shoulders and arms. ”
The system saves time because of the large surface area of the mop cloth that can be used. The mop cloth can be used on two sides. By lifting the squeegee and placing it on a clean part of the cloth, you can work with a fresh and clean part. In this way, users can cover a gigantic surface with just one mop cloth. “Because the mop cloth is also very light, without sacrificing dirt absorption, many can be washed at the same time. “This way you can do the laundry 40 to 80 percent more efficiently than with traditional flat mops. After all, you can put a larger volume of cloths in the same washing machine. Research by Weber & Leucht also shows that the Reflex mops score well on the microfibre shedding, ”says Boel. He continues: “Every mop, large or small, leaves behind microplastics during use and washing. Depending on the quality of the mop cloth, that is either a lot or a little. If you care about the environment, choose a high-quality cloth. If you also clean without chemicals, the environmental benefit is double. ”
Research results tell us that the Reflex system cleans very well. Independent tests indicate that 99.9% of the bacteria are removed and 93.8% of all dirt or extremely contaminated floors are removed in only one movement. Ultimately, the practical applicability, the cost and the effectiveness are the main factors that determine why people choose a specific cleaning system. Boel: “It is no coincidence that the Rekola system was developed in Scandinavia and is used a lot there. You could almost see that as a kind of quality label. ” The fact is that hygiene standards in the Nordic countries are considered to be very high. Reflex can contribute to raising the standard across Europe. “That is why Generation 3 was also developed together with our users. We can research and implement it, but if it doesn't work in practice, we will miss our target. ” And with that, Boel says that an excellent cleaning result is always an interaction between man and material.
Taking all of the above into consideration, you could say that Reflex excels in simplicity. That also seems to be the key concept when considering the entire Rekola range. Rekola is already a well known brand for work trolleys for well over 30 years. It is therefor logical that the development in this product group is also not standing still. “The materials remain durable and can take a beating. Nothing changes there. What distinguishes us more and more is the multi-usability of the vehicles, ”says Boel proudly. “We believe that the trolley should be tailored to the customer's cleaning process, not the other way around. The cart is configured on the basis of the work programme. You only want to bring mops and cloths? No problem. You also want to take a compact scrubber drier with you? Even that is possible. ” The modular trolley is the trolley of the future, that much is clear.
Appeared first in Clean Totaal on the 7th of May, 2020:
Coronavirus COVID-19, which is still spreading globally, has been stimulating the discussion on how to stay protected from it. Without belittling the effects of the coronavirus, there is seasonal influenza spreading globally every year and proper hand hygiene should not be forgotten even under normal conditions. In addition, hospital bacteria are a constant problem in Finland and elsewhere. The question for everyone in our industry is what we can do differently so that it would have a positive impact on preventing such pandemics today and in the future. Unfortunately, the quality and processes of cleaning vary greatly from country to country, which means that it is very difficult or even impossible to come up with only one "best practice" solution.
The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person through droplet transmission (coughing and sneezing) in close contact, like many other viruses. The Finnish institute for health and welfare recommends public areas to be disinfected. This kind of activity might involve a risk to service buyers and subsequently producers to respond only to an individual problem and thus the bigger picture may be forgotten. Instead, companies working in the cleaning industry should think about the following questions:
Even now in these struggling times against the COVID-19 virus, cleaning scenarios often tend to revert back to “traditional” chemicals and disinfectants. We do understand the sometimes desperate “let’s play it safe” mentality, but wasn’t that one of the reasons for the emergence of antibiotic-resistance, mutations and cross-contamination? Our products function well with “old” but also with new concepts, which are more focused on the process and the end result as a total, rather than a sum of products.
Nowadays, there are methods, e.g. RFC = residue free cleaning, which simultaneously reduce the physical burden on cleaners as well as the costs for the service provider by facilitating orientation and reducing manual rubbing. The latter in turn can reduce sick leave. All this can be achieved through simple changes in our practises. At the same time, the cleaning result improves and surfaces stay more presentable for a longer time.
Our company's RFC concept is based on the Reflex floor mopping method, which is a combination of a high quality 100% Ultra-microfiber cloth and a squeegee that achieves 80 times higher surface pressure than other manual floor mopping tools. Therefore, this combination obtains the highest level of dirt removal on floor surfaces compared to alternative methods.
Combining the Reflex method with either H2O Ultra clean water or ionized Tersano water, which also acts as disinfectant, results in a very clean residue free surface. As a new product, we are also offering disposable microfiber cloths for floor cleaning. The disposable cloths are also suitable for the RFC process and they work particularly well in the fight against coronavirus, as used and potentially contaminated cloths are disposed of after use. But again, all these products can also be used effectively with traditional chemistry.
The cleaning industry acknowledges the undesired residual deposit of chemicals that remain on hard surfaces and the problems that are caused. However, the reason for this are not the chemicals themselves but the process, how these chemicals are dosed and used. By switching to a RFC process, the actual cleaning work can be simplified, quality level improved, and less or even no residue at all left on the surfaces. It reduces the need for training of the cleaners and increases occupational safety as the chances for error are reduced. The result is more consistent and, above all, more environmentally friendly. From the perspective of cost-cutting for companies, the RFC concept generates significant annual savings already by lowering washing, logistics and training costs.
As it was announced by the Interclean organisation, the show has been rescheduled from spring to autumn. Our company will be there in Amsterdam from the 3 rd until the 6 th of November. At our stand we will introduce the new G3 Reflex product family and an innovative range of cleaning trolleys that enable machine cleaning to be integrated into the daily RFC process. Meanwhile, I encourage everyone in our industry to familiarize themselves with process cleaning and to start discussion on how it enables more hygienic cleaning results.
CEO, Rekola Oy Trolley Systems
Next month, May 2018, the Interclean show in Amsterdam will take place again, which reminds us that another two years have passed by. This is always a good moment to reflect about the changes our industry has undergone and the new directions we have travelled over the last few years.
Personally I feel, that over the last two years more things came into the spotlight that were not so much discussed in the past. To move forward the discussions about these themes, we changed our communication more to the direction of cleaning “process”. The questions about utensils should not only be individual performance related, but related to the whole cleaning process at an object. Much can be said about the cleaning process, but the binding factor is that new utensils and work-operating methods will be needed.
Rekola will also this year again be participating at the Interclean show. Our booth will be at the same location as before hall 1 booth 338 (1.338)
From our Motion trolley department we will show you the new concept trolley, which we named service trolley. The trolley was created for larger projects, where for example trash collection, transport of service goods or sanitary paper and or textiles, require more transport volume.
From our Reflex utensils department we will be launching a generation of disposable wipes. Two different type of wipes will be presented, which will clean larger surfaces than is currently available on the market. Our Duster wipes can dust up to 1000m2 and our Duospeed wipe can damp-mop up to 60m2 without being replaced or touched by hand.
We also invited to our booth our Reflex partners from Sweden and Finland to show their UltraH2O concept. All Reflex hand and floor cloths proved to perform even better with this Ultra H2O, than with normal tap water.
All the new and interesting products we show are developed for a more effective approach to the cleaning process.
You are welcome to visit us at the Interclean Amsterdam show 15.-18. May 2018 booth 1.318 and we look forward to seeing you there.
On 23 February, Benelux distributor Nordic Cleaning from the Netherlands organized the Rekola Business Partner Day. A personal meeting day for dealers from the Netherlands and Belgium. They discussed cooperation, shared knowledge and talked about innovative market and product developments. "The reactions of the dealers were constructive and positive. How can we better cooperate, communicate and strengthen each other. That is already the noticeable result of this day”, says Jan van Triest, Creative Cleaning Consultant at Nordic Cleaning.
As of 1 January 2017, Nordic Cleaning is importer / distributor for the Benelux of the Finnish brand Rekola, which consists of the Reflex Cleaning concept, Rekola Motion Trolleys and Addon Accessories. Nordic Cleaning is a relative new in the market with Rekola, but the person behind the company; Jan van Triest already has extensive experience in and knowledge of the cleaning industry.
Nordic Cleaning wants to start a revolution in the cleaning industry with Rekola, looking at all aspects of the total cleaning process and making their dealers and customers aware of it. Responding to ergonomics, environment, sustainability, quality improvement, efficiency and minimal use of raw materials. Innovation from the human aspect point of view. No hard selling but heart selling.
Physical overload and in particular repetitive strain injury (RSI) is a common and recurring problem with manual cleaning. Handling (flat) mops is physically heavy and with the product line of Rekola, Nordic Cleaning provides more cleaning power against lower physical effort. "Very sensitive, literally feeling, and more consciously cleaning. With Rekola we enable people to get rid of their RSI complaints in most of the cases", according to Jan.
The Rekola system is now practically experienced and well accepted by thousands of users. Nordic Cleaning is expanding successfully and is looking for more partner wholesalers in Belgium and in the Netherlands. Dealers are fully supported with, among other things, introductions and sales support. "We help our dealers search for truly innovative solutions. With calculation tools we can compare the advantages of Rekola with existing product lines or competitors. We offer clear added value by thinking about how to facilitate processes and make employees physically healthier. "We are looking for added value and quality for the customer; personal value instead of price fighting only".
Tekst en foto: Sandra Bonestroo | SB Consaletancy
Op 23 februari jl. organiseerde Benelux distributeur Nordic Cleaning uit Nunspeet de Rekola Business Partnerdag. Een persoonlijke onderlinge kennismakingsdag voor de dealers uit Nederland en België. Daarbij werd gebrainstormd over samenwerking, kennis gedeeld en gesproken over innovatieve markt- en productontwikkelingen. “De reacties van de dealers waren constructief en positief. Hoe kunnen we onderling nog beter samenwerken, communiceren en elkaar versterken. Dat is nu al het merkbare resultaat van deze dag”, aldus Jan van Triest, Creative Cleaning Consultant van Nordic Cleaning.
Nordic Cleaning is per 1 januari 2017 importeur/distributeur voor de Benelux van het Finse merk Rekola dat bestaat uit het Reflex Cleaning concept, Rekola Motion Trolleys en Addon Accessoires. Nordic Cleaning is met Rekola een relatieve nieuwkomer op de markt maar de persoon erachter; Jan van Triest, heeft al meer ervaring in de schoonmaakbranche.
Nordic Cleaning wil met Rekola een ommekeer in de schoonmaakbranche teweeg brengen waarbij ze kijken naar alle facetten van het totale schoonmaakproces en hun dealers en klanten daar ook bewust van willen maken. Inspelend op ergonomie, milieu, duurzaamheid, kwaliteitsverbetering, efficiëntie en minimaal gebruik van grondstoffen. Innovatie vanuit het menselijke aspect. Geen hard selling maar heart selling.
Fysieke overbelasting en met name klachten in het bewegingsapparaat (RSI) is een veelvoorkomend en recidief probleem bij manuele schoonmaak. Het hanteren van (vlak)moppen is fysiek zwaar en met de productlijn van Rekola levert Nordic Cleaning meer schoonmaakkracht tegen lagere fysieke inspanning. “Heel sensitief, letterlijk op gevoel, en bewust(er) schoonmaken. Wij stellen met Rekola mensen in staat om, in vrijwel alle gevallen, van hun RSI klachten af te komen”, aldus Jan.
Het Rekola systeem is inmiddels praktisch ervaren en geaccepteerd door duizenden gebruikers. Nordic Cleaning breidt hierdoor succesvol uit en is op zoek naar meer partnergroothandels in België en Nederland. Dealers worden volledig ondersteund met o.a. introducties en sales support. “Wij helpen onze dealers zoeken naar werkelijk innovatieve oplossingen. Met rekentools kunnen we samen voordelen van Rekola vergelijken met bestaande productlijnen of concurrent(en). Daarin bieden wij een duidelijke meerwaarde door mee te denken hoe processen te vergemakkelijken en medewerkers fysiek gezonder te maken. “Wij zoeken onze toegevoegde waarde in meerwaarde voor de klant; de prijzenslag laten we over aan de rest”.
Tekst en foto: Sandra Bonestroo | SB Consaletancy
We used the Christmas break to get better understanding of some of the key questions related to the production processes of cleaning.
How much are we aware of the optimal relation between cleaning ingredients like water and chemicals, cleaning tools and machines?
Do we use the right products and concentrations of chemicals, or do we use the right mops, and do we impregnate them at the right moisture? Does this have an impact on the fact that floor mopping takes more energy, even though we clean them every day?
Do we wash the dirty cloths and mops without destroying them in the laundry machine?
All these are relevant questions that have consequences on our daily working processes.
We think answers to these questions will put us in the position of controlling and dealing with the cleaning processes in a more efficient, ergonomic and environmentally friendly way.
Suppliers offer their products and cleaning organizations select their purchase products with the expectation and intention to get the level of cleanliness they agreed with their clients, however often without detailed and substantiated knowledge of the on the market available products. This is a bit like buying construction material and start building, without having thorough knowledge if the material suits the construction type. Not the optimal way of doing it right.
Take for example mopping the floor.
Friction is an important element at removing dirt from the surface. Adding liquid is a necessary element at removing sticky dirt and improves the result. This is mostly common knowledge. What most of us do not realize is that in time the friction may increase. The mop or floor cloth starts generating friction, because of the daily build-up layer of residual chemicals, proteins and occasional dirt (biofilm) left behind after the water has evaporated.
It is not the usage of chemicals on itself. An example would be over-dosing of cleaning agents as one of the most often and basic reasons of biofilm build-up. But also the laundry process. If the mop or hand wipes are not thoroughly cleaned, this can cause build-up of dirt and chemicals inside that get irreversibly fixed, reducing performance and increasing contamination.
Indication for not being properly washed, is the familiar bad smell of wipes and mops when stored impregnated on the cleaning trolley.
One of the ways to avoid these problems is the combination of our Reflex floor concept in combination with Ultra H2O (demineralized water). Depending on the project of course, this can create multiple advantages.
In the process above we perform the same cleaning task as with traditional products. Though Reflex and UltraH2O work together, optimize each other and make the job easier and effective.
Risks on mistakes become less and quality of the end result will be better.
A win-win situation for cleaning companies, its employees and clients.
ISSA – is a global cleaning organization which has its roots in the USA. Today the organization is not only covering America and Europe but also extending to South America, the Middle East, Australia and Asia. Regardless of global extensions, the organization’s activities are not very well known in the Nordic region.
Many who visited the ISSA-Interclean conferences in Amsterdam may be aware of the continued cooperation with the exhibition organizer through the years. However, the activities of the ISSA include much more than cooperation with trade fairs around the world only. The ISSA organizes on regular basis activities involving training, research and much more. They provide regional seminars and other events where visitors can access the network with industry influencers from around the world. The total organization has globally 26000 business members.
In the Nordic region, however only 26 members are found: 11 in Denmark, 10 in Sweden, 4 in Finland and 1 in Iceland. Unfortunately few, as Nordic cleaning industry companies may have to offer so much more to this area. Nordic countries are considered to be innovative and pioneering, and that should be reflected to the ISSA Nordic activities. That is why the President of the ISSA European Union, Mr. Michel de Bruin approached me, Petri Rekola as representative for the Nordic countries to complement his team.
I have been in business with Michel de Bruin for years and I possibly would not have thought about actively representing ISSA if the European team would have had been led by someone else other than Michel. I think he is very committed to bringing the European Cleaning perspective to the global organization. Of course it is a long road, but only by being involved we can positively influence the development of this sector in a broader forum.
My personal focus will be on contributing to Nordic Companies by using ISSA services and networks; not only for manufactures but also for those who work daily in this sector. It would be great if more companies would join us in this global organization so that we can create more visibility for our Nordic industry.
Next May 2018 the Interclean fair will again be in Amsterdam the Netherlands and offering the opportunity familiarizing yourself with the ISSA and their networks. You might be interested to spend a few hours at the ISSA evening-event near the exhibition center. Rekola Oy will again participate at the Interclean show this year and also this time we try to bring new and innovative products to the show. In the spring we may be able to tell you more about our developments.
If the contents of this newsletter has raised questions, discussions or if you would like to join the ISSA organization, then please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
Microfiber products are already for years used in the professional cleaning industry. Their superior cleaning performance compared with e.g. cotton goes beyond doubt. But even though Microfiber products have been available for decades, their share in the worldwide cleaning industry is still very marginal
Also the knowledge of Microfibers in our cleaning industry is still limited. We talk about Microfiber mops and cloths even without really knowing what their composition is.
Microfiber is used in combination with words like decitex, denier, ultra, split and blend. Microfiber is a plastic compound, processed to different thickness of yarns. The thickness of the yarn/filament and material define if we have just normal yarn, Microfiber or Ultra-Microfiber (UMF).
Ultra-Microfiber is a two component yarn that is split after weaving, during dyeing process. The filament of UMF is many times thinner than one component Microfiber and therefore cleaning is better and safer.
100% UMF for damp floor cleaning cannot be applied to flat-mops as it would cause too much drag.
For that reason Microfiber mops are often made out of one component microfiber, or made of blended textiles such as Polyester yarn and Microfiber or Polyester and a minor share of Ultra-Microfiber.
All Reflex hand cloths and pads PLUS all Reflex cloths for damp floor cleaning are made from 100% Ultra-Microfiber. This is only possible in combination with the Reflex floor cleaning tool and has a direct impact on the result of floor cleaning.
Our squeegee is 50 cm; however the sharp rubber blade touching the top of the cloth is less than 1 mm thick. The downward pressure “cleaning edge” is 80 to 120 higher but at the same time the generated drag is a. 50 times less compared to flat mops, when used with same damp UMF material.
That makes the two products a winning team when it comes down to removing small dust particles, proteins, bacteria and spores. The woven pockets on our cloths pick up the larger particles; even they are less of a health threat, they are commonly the trigger for the visible experience that the area has to be cleaned.
Our hand cloths are lighter and smaller than floor cloths but made of the same UMF and pocket structure.
Our Reflex Ultra Microfiber cloths carry Swan Nordic Ecolabel, which indicate their sustainability and quality. According independent tests (Weber & Leucht) Ultra Microfiber cloths remove 99,9% of bacteria from a surface.
With our Reflex concept, this excellent quality is also available for cleaning your floors.