A wide range of cleaning techniques and methods are utilized in day-to-day commercial cleaning. The “Sinner Circle” is one of the most important foundations of cleaning and should be a part of every professional cleaner’s repertoire. If you wish to achieve the best results in commercial cleaning, precise planning is absolutely essential, and cleaning success primarily depends on four fundamental factors: chemistry, mechanics, time, and temperature. Only those who understand the interrelationship of these four factors will be able to master commercial cleaning without major difficulties.
What is the Sinner Circle?
The Sinner Circle explains the mechanisms of action for cleaning. That is why people frequently refer to the “cleaning circle.” The model was invented by Herbert Sinner, a chemist who studied a wide range of cleaning techniques and methods over the course of his life. It is possible to apply the cleaning circle to all types of cleaning—from washing dishes and cleaning laundry to mopping floors.
The Sinner Circle comprises four parameters that combine to form a complete circle. The only thing that varies is the proportion of each factor according to the area of application. The four factors are:
Factors that play a bigger role in a particular case take up more of the circle, while the remaining factors are smaller—and vice-versa: if one of the factors plays a smaller role, the others automatically take up more of the circle.
The four factors comprising the Sinner Circle
- Time: This factor encompasses both the application time and the working time. For example, a longer application time for a cleaning agent can loosen dried soiling, such as in a dishwasher. As a result, both the working time and the use of mechanical and chemical agents are reduced.
- Mechanics: Should it be necessary to loosen soiling, the use of some level of mechanical force will be required. Here, the determining factors are the scrubbing effect (abrasive force), the motion frequency, and the applied pressure.
- Temperature: Greasy or oily soling is dissolved significantly more easily in hot water than it is when using cold water. Using hot water also makes it possible to reduce other factors like time, mechanics, and chemistry. Here, it is important to remember that not all objects are equally able to withstand heat. When cleaning delicates in a washing machine, for example, it is necessary to be careful.
- Chemistry: The choice of cleaning agent is frequently decisive for the success of cleaning. Here, the quality, dosage, and concentration of the cleaning agent are key.
The Sinner Circle in actual practice
The cleaning circle may look different depending on what is to be cleaned and the type of soiling. That is because the factors are not all equally significant—in fact, it is the interaction of these factors that determines the results. Depending on the cleaning task at hand, certain factors will be more important, and others automatically less so:
If it is necessary to use a mild cleaning agent because the materials being cleaned are especially sensitive, other factors will have to “take up more space” than the chemistry factor in order to achieve equally satisfactory results.
Two rules generally apply:
- Mechanics and chemistry influence one another.
- Temperature and time influence chemistry and mechanics.
Water is practically indispensable as an auxiliary agent for cleaning processes. Water dissolves the cleaning agent, achieves the designed temperature, and acts mechanically on the soiling by softening/loosening it.
Examples of the Sinner Circle in everyday life
- High-pressure cleaners have a high level of mechanical impact. Even when little scope is given to other factors, they achieve good cleaning results.
- Steam cleaners work primarily with the temperature factor. Thanks to the use of water vapor, there is very little need for mechanical or chemical support.
- Eco cycles on washing machines work with low temperatures. They use longer washing cycles to compensate. As a result, it is possible to achieve the same cleaning effects while using less energy.
- Washing dishes by hand requires a high level of mechanical effort, such as when scrubbing with a sponge or a brush. Dishwashers, on the other hand, distribute the cleaning effort relatively evenly across all four cleaning factors.
- Disinfection often requires a particular dosage and a relatively long application time for the cleaning agents in order to be able to effectively remove the pathogens. The application time, on the other hand, can be used to reduce the mechanical effort required.
Cleaning techniques: achieving the right balance is the key
The four cleaning factors—chemistry, mechanics, time, and temperature—must be used in the right balance to achieve the best results. Also, resources like water, cleaning agent, and application time have to be utilized as efficiently as possible.
The Sinner Circle makes it possible to plan cleaning processes for various tasks involved in professional commercial cleaning. The model can optimize economic efficiency while reducing profitability pressures in the industry. The continued advance of digitization also has the potential to further improve/simplify planning.
Even so, a great deal of experience and extensive knowledge of cleaning agents, materials, and possible cleaning techniques is required to ensure the best and most cost-efficient cleaning possible. The human factor is therefore a worthwhile addition to the existing cleaning circle. After all, errors can do more than simply result in poor cleaning results—they can also cause damage.
That is why it is important that cleaning personnel are able to fully concentrate on challenging tasks when engaged in commercial cleaning. It is already possible today to assist cleaning staff with monotonous tasks in their daily work by using robots employing a cobotic approach. The important thing is to achieve the perfect balance.