It’s pretty common to believe that you need to see some foam before the cleaning detergent is really doing its job. You see it working up a bit of a lather, and it feels like you’ve really done your job properly. It’s undeniably satisfying. In fact, in car washes, they add a foaming agent to the detergents they use just to make people feel like their cars are getting well cleaned. It has nothing to do with the actual cleaning at all, but people see a layer of foam over their windscreen and think it’s doing a great job.
I was working with a very experienced cleaner recently, who had been in the industry for decades, and was now an area manager, looking after 50 sites. He knew what he was talking about. However, he was quite sure that a single dose of a super concentrate floor cleaner would never be enough to clean the floor properly, because after mixing it with the water he couldn’t see any foam in the bucket. He added a second dose, it foamed up a little, and it seemed like he was right. It did clean the floor up nicely. Twenty minutes later though, when it was dry, but felt a little bit tacky underfoot, they tried again on another area with a single dose. No bubbles, clean floor, and it didn’t feel sticky afterwards!
Obviously there are some applications where a foaming cleaner is necessary, particularly in kitchen or washroom areas where a product needs to be sprayed onto a vertical surface. But if your cleaning operatives are adding extra splashes of product when they’re diluting it to make it more foamy in the bucket, they’re probably going to end up with that tacky residue all over their floors and hard surfaces.
Clean doesn’t have to be foamy. You don’t get out of a bubble bath any cleaner than you would any other bath. It might be a little more satisfying, but if that means you’re wasting cash on unnecessary amounts of cleaner, and getting worse results, the satisfaction won’t last so long.