The Past And Future Of Cleaning

By Mark Julo, Golden Star Vice President of Sales & Marketing 

Mark Julo

After recently experiencing a worldwide health crisis, and still dealing with the lingering effects of a global pandemic, properly defining the word “clean” has never been more important. The responsibility to not only determine how to define the word but also how to maintain a necessary level of “clean” has fallen onto the shoulders of those who work in the cleaning industry. Scientists around the world, as well as health care facilities and everyone else in our society who desires a safe and healthy environment, also share this responsibility.

Much like the cleaning tools and methods we use to clean have evolved, it can be argued the definition of the word “clean” has also been an evolution. After all, cleaning is hardly a new concept. Ancient civilizations were concerned about hygiene and cleanliness. Many of the cleaning tools we use today — such as soaps, detergents, and brooms — have evolved from the earliest cleaning products dating back hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. As our human population has increased over time, we’ve also become keenly aware of the negative impact of not cleaning. We’ve learned cleaning is the removal of unwanted substances from our environment at a level that keeps us safe and that human beings cannot survive amid waste. Now, more than ever, we know there are adverse effects to not cleaning, such as sickness and even death.

With increasing populations and a broader understanding of the negative effects associated with a lack of cleaning, companies in our industry have focused on manufacturing cleaning tools specifically designed to improve cleanliness. In the last few decades, there have been advancements in more deep-cleaning tools like microfiber products. However, we’ve also seen an emphasis on further developing data-driven cleaning technologies such as ATP meter testing and the use of ultraviolet disinfection technology.

All indications point to a continuation of this trend and a positive future in the cleaning industry; driven by greater technology in things like sensors that monitor cleanliness levels and more innovation around “smart cleaning.” These technologies will include more automation and robotics with an emphasis on disinfection and hygiene that prioritize health and safety. Our recent advancements in technology allow us to better imagine robots capable of performing a wider range of cleaning tasks and reducing the need for manual labor. We’ll also see the use of data analytics continuing and the collection of data to achieve better cleaning effectiveness in all types of applications.

These innovations will include more sustainable practices including energy-efficient equipment and waste-reduction strategies as the focus on improving our environment grows. With these advancements we’ll also experience more regulatory standards for cleanliness and new guidelines for cleaning practices established that will impact various industries. With many of these advancements, there will also be a need for new and updated training skill development to operate and maintain these technologies effectively and meet the new standards for “clean.”

The famous Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, famously stated: “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.” There is no doubt the cleaning industry will be moving forward in the coming years just as it always has, even since ancient times. The future will be filled with new and thoughtful innovations specifically designed to keep each of us safe, and healthy.

That’s exciting, not only for us but for future generations! It’s also a positive testament to all the companies and individuals who have worked so many years to bring us to this point in time in an industry that has only recently been deemed “essential.”

Mark Julo has spent his entire professional career with Golden Star in the cleaning industry. Throughout the past 38 years, Julo has held various positions with the company, in various states, primarily focused on both manufacturing and sales management roles. Golden Star, based in Lenexa, KS, is a global manufacturer of hard surface cleaning tools. Founded in 1908, Golden Star operates out of seven facilities worldwide, and the company offers a complete line of traditional dust mops, wet mops, microfiber products and systems, dusters, bonnets, corn brooms, push brooms, hardware, and other accessory products. Visit

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