The State Of The Cleaning Industry 40 Years Later

By Scott Jarden, President of The Bullen Companies

Scott Jarden

Congratulations to Maintenance Sales News for their 40 years in business! We have come a long way from the early 1980s to now. There have been so many changes and improvements in the last 40 years it is hard to decide where to start.

Driven by technological advancements, increased environmental consciousness, and a global pandemic, companies and consumers alike have had to adapt to a rapidly evolving landscape.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 brought about an unprecedented emphasis on cleaning and disinfection. If we think about the pre-COVID era, it’s pretty apparent that many people had no idea how to properly use disinfectant products. Homes, offices, and public spaces intensified their cleaning routines to prevent virus spread. Products that could guarantee the elimination of the coronavirus became highly sought after, leading to a surge in demand for disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and professional cleaning services. The cleaning industry, once viewed as low-skilled, has seen a shift toward professionalism. With specialized equipment and products becoming the norm, and with the increased emphasis on health and safety, training and certifications for cleaning professionals have become more crucial than ever. Industry associations and organizations are offering courses, webinars, and certifications, raising the standard and perception of cleaning as a profession.

While that has gone on, we’ve had a revolution in artificial intelligence take place with Chat GTB, DOLI and other new technologies. Now Chat GTB can write a more effective sales pitch for your products or SOP’s for operating your business. Things are changing day-to-day as to what is possible. Robotic vacuum cleaners, once a novelty, have become household staples. In commercial spaces, automated floor scrubbers and drones for window cleaning have indicated a trend toward reducing human labor for repetitive or risky tasks.

With increasing consumer awareness and demand for convenience, the market has seen a rise in multi-functional cleaning products. These products, designed to serve more than one purpose such as cleaning and disinfecting or acting as both a floor cleaner and an air freshener, have become popular. Such innovations not only have offered consumers better value for their money, but have also reduced the clutter of cleaning supplies in households.

Platforms like Uber and Airbnb have revolutionized their respective industries, and a similar shift is observed in cleaning services. Platforms like Handy and TaskRabbit democratize access to cleaning professionals for the average consumer. These platforms have made it convenient for consumers to book, rate, and pay for cleaning services, all through a user-friendly app, while giving freelance cleaners more control over their schedules and income.

In conclusion, the cleaning industry of today is vastly different from that of a decade ago. Technological advancements, environmental consciousness, and a heightened public health awareness have reshaped the industry’s trajectory. As we look toward the future, it is evident that these changes have set a foundation for an even more innovative and responsive cleaning industry. The focus will continue to be on sustainability, technological integration, and the health and well-being of the public and the planet.

The Bullen Companies is a manufacturer and industry leader in the floor care, carpet care, and odor control market and has been serving the Janitorial Supply Industry with pride since 1939. Its line of branded products include: Airx, Truekleen, Clausen, e-clean and One Up, along with hundreds of private label programs worldwide. To learn more about The Bullen Companies, send an email to or visit

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