Four Types of Cleaning Energy


Exposure to the West Texas sun and sand had left a hazy film across all surfaces of the family ride. Its typical red luster was noticeably lessened, necessitating the urgent address of this unsightly situation.

In pondering how best to tackle the issue, I had four options:

1.) Time. If I waited long enough, a thunderstorm would come up and wash the car for me. Theoretically, all I'd have to do is park the car outside the garage. (Of course, this being West Texas, the concept of a rain is "theoretical.")

2.) Action. I could grab the sponge, bucket and hose and manually scrub the surface.

3.) Chemistry. There are some great products on the market that you spray on and let sit for a while. The bugs and grime get loosened up, then you simply rinse it all away.

4.) Temperature. If I used the heated water at the car wash, the heat could dissolve much of the gunk, speeding the cleaning process.

In the end, I opted for #2. The kids needed something to do on their weekend.


When it comes to cleaning your business, your employees have these same options available to them -- Time, Action, Chemistry and Temperature. Every cleaning job is going to make use of these four types of energy to some degree. You get to choose where to apply the bulk of your workers' attention -- and your business’ money.

Soak. For silverware, tools, pots and pans, a little time can save a lot of washing. Soaking items in specialty products like our Liquid Silverware Presoak or Beacon solid presoak helps to loosen stubborn grime and baked-on, caked-on, stuck-on food.

If you’re cleaning floors, you can use the same principle. Throw your bucket full of cleaning solution onto the floor, slosh it around, then let it sit for a few minutes before mopping. A good degreaser like our Score All-Purpose Degreaser will then have time to work into the nooks and crannies, pulling the grease and dirt into solution so that you can more easily mop it away.

For restrooms, parking lots, sidewalks, dumpsters and other hard-to-clean surfaces, consider using foam. By foaming on your cleaning product, you get a better distribution of the cleaner. You also get a built-in “clock” for your cleaning: Once the foam dissipates, it’s time to rinse.

Scrub. Elbow grease is always an option, but it can lead to sore elbows. The actual amount of scrubbing that needs to be done will be lessened in proportion to your soaking time. If you are going to rely on mechanical energy, do yourself a favor: Use clean tools. Any degreaser worth its salt will not only pull grease from the cleaning surface but off the tool you’re using as well. Be sure to clean your brushes and sponges, and change your mop heads regularly.

Soap & Degreasers. All detergents are surfactants – chemical compounds that separate oils and grease from whatever their attached to. Part of the molecule connects with water, and part with oil. The surfactant, then, separates the chemical bond between the surface you’re cleaning and the gunk sticking to it. This pulls the gunk into your wash water so that it can be rinsed away.

Heat. Grandma said that you can get more sugar into your sweet tea if you mix in the sugar while the tea is hot. By the same principle, stuck-on grime can often be pulled into solution simply by turning up the heat. If you let your stuff soak in hot, soapy water, you can wipe instead of scrub. Or, you can use cold, soap-less water and scrub like crazy.


Scrubbing takes extra time, which means higher labor costs. Hot water means a higher utility bill and could present a hazard to your workers. If you’re looking for more efficiency in your cleaning program, focus on the lower costs of chemicals and time. Use one of our effective products from Sunburst Chemicals and add a little soaking time to your routine.

This will help to brighten up your work environment – and your bottom line.

Read more about the products discussed here:

Score Grease Release Delite Pot & Pan Detergent