Types of Cleaning
What type of cleaning do you do? Read a description of the various cleaning fields the lab works in. Follow the links to our on-line testing database for a list of cleaning products that were designed to be used in each field. Many products can be used in more than one cleaning field.
Parts cleaning generally refers to those processes involved with the preparation of surfaces and the cleaning of parts during and after the manufacturing of products in industries such as metal working and tooling. This type of cleaning may also address maintenance issues, including the upkeep of automotive parts and machinery. These processes are often referred to as gross cleaning applications.
In parts cleaning, the identity and the source of surface debris (for example, metal fines) or films (lubricating oils) are often known, and their presence is detectable by visual or tactile means. The gram-weight of a contaminant/soil on the part may be measurable.
All aspects of a company's personnel may be involved in the decisions affecting parts cleaning, for instance, purchasing agents, quality control staff, production managers, equipment operators, vendors and suppliers. Parts cleaning protocols are typically performed on the plant floor with specialized cleaning equipment and chemicals requiring proper ventilation and protective gear (i.e., eye goggles and gloves) for practitioners.
Precision cleaning generally refers to those processes involved with the preparation of surfaces and the cleaning of parts during and after the manufacture of products in industries such as the semi-conductor and medical sectors. This type of cleaning may also address maintenance issues, including the calibration of precision instruments and aerospace-related devices.
In precision cleaning, the identity and the source of surface debris (for example, dust) or films (fingerprints) may or may not be known. The presence of a contaminant is most often not detectable by visual means without magnification and its gram-weight on the part is almost never measurable. Sensitive analytical methods are needed to measure the soil on a case-by-case basis.
In addition to the personnel mentioned under parts cleaning, engineering professionals may play a larger role in the decisions affecting precision cleaning for product design or re-design. Like parts cleaning, precision cleaning uses cleaning chemicals and equipment such as ultrasonics, but may also require clean-rooms of varying classes, specialized supplies (wipes) and clean-room attire (gowns, masks, etc.) for practitioners.
Facility Cleaning (Janitorial)
Facility or janitorial cleaning does not refer to processes involved with the manufacture of parts or products, but to those functions generally performed as janitorial or housekeeping chores in public institutions such as schools and hospitals. This type of cleaning may also include the disinfecting of lavatories. Here, the term maintenance may be applied broadly to include building and grounds keeping services.
In facility cleaning, (1) the identity and the source of surface contaminants is almost never known, including the microbial growth that may be present in bathrooms and (2) surface soils are almost always a mixture of contaminants. This is due to the public nature of a facility's usage. The field can be categorized by four major cleaning types: all-purpose (hard surfaces such as walls), bathroom (fixtures), glass (windows) and floor (linoleum and carpet) protocols, performed as manual operations (paper towels, brushes, etc.) and with commercial-grade housekeeping machines (floor strippers, for example). Inspection of surfaces for the determination of cleanliness is not standardized throughout the industry.
With the exception of vendor testing in the development of cleaning products, personnel involved in the decisions affecting institutional/facility cleaning almost never include engineers, scientists or health professionals. Of all cleaning classifications, practitioners of institutional/facility cleaning have the least formal education, are paid the least, and are usually provided with minimal protective gear. A number of these workers are immigrants and may not use English as their first language.