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If money was no object there would be no need to invent anything as we would be able to supply the industry with well

paid, well trained, well-motivated cleaning operatives that would ensure that all cleaning tasks are effectively carried out on time in full.

To revolutionise the cleaning industry we would fi rst need to change the very fabric of how we build and how we design the interior of buildings with cleaning considerations put fi rst and not, as generally happens, a diffi cult afterthought. That idea doesn’t need a revolutionary invention, just a consultation prior to fi nalising building plans.

In the spirit of the question, I would suppose some sort of robotic

machine that is programmed to enter a building, detect which areas are ready to be cleaned, fi nd where the dirt and assorted litter are situated and through either a pre-programmed circuit route or remotely controlled, clean, bag and dispose of all the general debris, fi nishing off with a spray and polish. This sounds very fanciful and it still would not do as good a job as a professional cleaner.

Cleaning tools and equipment have been revolutionised over the past 30 years. Tools and equipment that make the task of cleaning more effective and less labour intensive.

We already have, and have always had, the most revolutionary invention at our disposal that no amount of money spent could match – something that we have evolved ourselves: sight, smell and touch.

We can see that something is clean; we can smell that something is clean and with the sense of touch, we can feel that it is clean.

No invention will ever replace our senses (including common) as a benchmark, they’re the best invention the cleaning industry could wish for and costs nothing.

Brian Boll, Systems Director, Jigsaw Cleaning

New ideas and innovations are, of course, what keeps our industry moving ahead, and it’s an industry that is constantly

revolutionising itself. But the truly game-changing inventions have been few and far between.

So an all-encompassing invention that could revolutionise our industry is rather tricky. I think your imagination can be limited when it’s a sector you know well, and probably dismiss most things as unfeasible, or unworkable.

But I toyed with the question a while, and I thought of a couple of things. My fi rst would be to invent a chewing gum that simply turns to dust when it’s thrown away.

Most chewing gum never biodegrades, and the estimated cost of removal from our streets is around £60 million a year. It’s a huge blight on our streets and I read recently that there were 300,000 wads of gum along London’s Oxford Street alone.


So gum that turns to dust would be an incredible benefi t to us all.

Of course, we could just try and educate people from an early age to dispose of gum properly but thinking about it, evaporating gum seems a more realistic solution!

Another ‘invention’ that came to mind would be some sort of giant vacuum that could hover over towns and cities and suck up harmful pollutants and even litter. I must admit I haven’t worked out the exact details here but I’m presuming airspace could be cleared for the time it takes for this ‘giant vacuum’ to move across the skyline. A giant mass pollutant extractor would be quite revolutionary – perhaps we’ll see one at the next Cleaning Show!

With both inventions a simpler solution would be for us all to live in a more sustainable manner, and I think a serious point is that we do need to educate people about not dropping litter, about recycling, and thinking more about the environment we live in.

This month we ask... If m and you could come up revolutionise the cleani it be and why?

Whether these ideas ever see the light of day is debateable but there’s no doubt there are huge technological advancements on the way. And let’s not forget that if anyone out there does have a great invention or idea that could benefi t the cleaning industry, then the British Cleaning Council has grant funds available right now to help get it off the ground.

Douglas Cooke, Co-Founder of Principle Cleaning Services

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