Corinne Zudonyi

Growing up, my grandparents always had a gold bottle of Lysol, original scent, in their powder room. And my grandmother used lemon-scented floor cleaner every week in her kitchen. These fragrances remind me of being a kid. To me, the smells blend family, comfort and clean all into one aroma.

Today, I know that the smell of clean should really be no smell at all. If I walk into a facility where fragrance is overpowering, it raises a red flag and I can’t help wondering what they are trying to cover up. But it’s all about perception and striking a balance, especially now as building occupants start to reemerge in facilities.

As hard as building service contractors and their facility customers are working to create safe environments, occupants are skeptical and nervous. As they enter facilities for the first time in months, they’ll be looking for reassurances.

Fragrances might be one way to start. Remember that a little goes a long way, but building occupants who enter a facility and get a waft of citrus will be reassured that cleaning has occurred in their absence. The familiar scents will add comfort that procedures are in place to keep them safe.

In addition to scent, occupants will rely on sight. Simple offerings BSCs can add include more accessible hand sanitizer throughout a facility. Proper hand hygiene will help minimize cross-contamination and reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria.

Some more progressive BSCs are providing signage to their customers. Handwashing signs offer a static message that stands the test of time, but also consider double-sided cards that identify clean spaces versus those that need attention. These are currently being used in many foodservice areas, but could easily apply to schools, hospitality and healthcare settings.

A move that is more difficult to accommodate, but one that might work wonders is a shift to day cleaning. Occupants will no longer question whether cleaning is happening if they see it taking place throughout the day. In the end, BSCs are very focused on health, but the perception of clean can not be overlooked.