Corinne Zudonyi Headshot

I have been proudly serving the jan/san industry for two decades and one constant throughout that time has been innovation. I’m not talking about new colors or longer cords. I’m referring to truly innovative products that have changed the commercial cleaning industry.  

During my tenure I’ve seen the growing focus on ergonomics that has resulted in dramatic shifts in hand tools, mopping systems and floor/carpet equipment. I’ve witnessed an awareness of worker/occupant health that drove low-VOC and “green” chemicals and amplified infection prevention processes. And I remember seeing the first truly autonomous equipment running independently at trade shows. Shortly after, everyone kept mentioning this new phenomenon, the Internet of Things, and how technology would impact this industry moving forward 

Innovations like these not only made a splash when they first debuted, but still resonate today. These breakthroughs are also influencing not only existing products, but those of tomorrow. This was evident as I represented the U.S. in evaluating almost 100 product submissions as part of the Interclean Amsterdam Innovation Award Jury, and then reviewed the roughly 70 products submitted for our very own Distributor Choice Award 

Today, the chemistries that make up the soaps, cleaners and disinfectants continue to become more effective against bacteria and threatening viruses, while also less impactful on the workers tasked with using them. Battery-powered equipment emphasizes worker safety and continues to become lighter and more versatile between machines. Technology in the form of software and IoT provides usable data end users can analyze to drive efficiencies. And the rapid-fire evolution of autonomous equipment offers viable solutions to staffing woes and the growing cleanliness demands.  

There has been so much progress in the last decade, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

For a look at what distributors believe to be the top products impacting the industry, click here to review the 2024 Sanitary Maintenance Distributor Choice Award winners. To see what products are making an international impact on the industry, visit 

Corinne Zudonyi is the Editor-in-Chief of Sanitary Maintenance and has been in the cleaning industry for 17 years. She also oversees, Facility Cleaning Decisions magazine and Contracting Profits magazine.