The permanent power of RTU
Many cleaning contractors and building owners / managers have limited or stopped selecting ready-to-use (RTU) cleaning products over the years. However, most manufacturers of cleaning chemicals continue to make these products. In fact, since the start of the pandemic, some manufacturers and distributors report that sales of RTU products have increased significantly.
Why are ready-made products still popular?
Why stay in power? How much value do RTU cleaning products bring to the table compared to cleaning solutions stored in one and five gallon containers that must be diluted with water before use? And another question, why have sales actually increased since the pandemic?
Before we answer these questions, let’s see why many installations have stopped using RTU products. Cost is probably at the top of the list.
While products that need to be diluted before use will generally cost more initially, with use they will likely cost less than selecting the same product in an RTU formula.
RTU products, in general, are even more expensive to use than concentrated cleaning solutions.
However, the other reason concerns the environment. For example, as the professional cleaning industry has become more environmentally friendly, manufacturers have developed more concentrated green cleaning solutions. A gallon of a green cleaning solution can last for months, while a box of an RTU product can last only a few days or a few weeks.
Due to the longer life of the concentrated green cleaning solution, the entire process – from its manufacture and delivery to cleaning professionals, to its use and disposal of the container – has a reduced impact. on the environment, that’s what green cleaning is about.
Additionally, although there have been improvements, the aerosol propellants in some RTU products are still potentially hazardous to human health.
To remedy this, many RTU cleaning products are available in refillable trigger sprayers. This eliminates the propellant and the refillable containers help reduce waste.
So, with these reasons explained, we can come back to our questions: why do RTU products remain popular; why do manufacturers keep making them? and why have their sales increased since the pandemic?
Answers to questions
Michael Wilson, vice president of AFFLINK, a national distribution organization that markets bulk cleaning solutions and RTUs, provides us with the following answers to these questions:
No mixing—“Ready to use means exactly that. The product is ready to use right out of the box. It does not require mixing or dilution. “
No language problem –Instructions on how to mix concentrated cleaning solutions can be complicated. “In some cases the manufacturer will offer one set of instructions for certain types of cleaning and another set for other types of cleaning. This can be confusing, amplified if the cleaner is not fluent in English. “
Time saving-“RTU products also save time, which can improve worker productivity. With no mixing of chemicals and water, just aim and spray. In all forms of commercial cleaning, time is money. RTU products tend to reduce cleaning times and improve work productivity. Together, this can lead to significant cost savings. “
No rinsing –“Some cleaning solutions and concentrated disinfectants must be rinsed off a surface after use. If they are not rinsed properly, they will leave a chemical residue which can cause rapid re-fouling. Most RTU products are designed so that after use rinsing is not necessary. “
Consistent performance—“Especially when mixed manually, the user can add too much or too little water to the concentrate. Both can impact product performance. RTU products are already mixed by the manufacturer to provide a [cleaning] performance.”
Reduction of chemical waste—“There is often a ‘more is better’ mentality when it comes to cleaning. Many people believe that more cleaning solution means more efficient cleaning. The truth is invariably the opposite. No more cleaning solution do not improve cleaning performance. This means that using more concentrate is wasteful, which also ends up being costly. “
Safe to use –“When cleaning solutions, green or traditional, are highly concentrated, they can be more dangerous to use. If the concentrate splashes in the user’s eyes, on their skin, or even on inhaled vapors, this can potentially cause serious damage. These problems are usually eliminated with RTU cleaners. “
Reduced risk—“Speaking of safety, having access to large amounts of highly concentrated cleaning solutions in any facility can pose a risk to building users. Intentional or unintentional misuse of these concentrates could harm others. In addition, concentrates can give off fumes, especially in hot weather, which can have a negative impact on indoor air quality. “
RTU Disinfectant Wipes—“Thanks to COVID-19, many facilities are now using RTU wipes, and they are proving to be very effective. The manufacturer dilutes RTU wipes properly to work effectively. The disinfectant is not absorbed by the wipe as it might with a cleaning cloth. This absorption is called quat binding and reduces the effectiveness of the wipe. “
As to why RTU product sales increased during the pandemic, Wilson believes it is for all of the reasons mentioned. “Due to the pandemic, cleaning companies were in a hurry to find ways to prevent the spread of this disease and to do so safely. In most cases, RTU cleaning solutions helped them achieve this. “
However, Wilson says be sure to select RTU cleaning products that are specific to your cleaning needs. Consult with a nifty concierge distributor who can advise you on what’s available in the market and which RTU products will work best in each situation. “Especially when it comes to COVID, we don’t have the time to buy trial and error,” he says.