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How to Make Cleaning as Easy as “Pie”

We have all sorts of materials in our homes. Wood, glass, tile, metal, carpet, fabrics, stone, plastics and more. They all have one thing in common. Sooner or later, they all need to be cleaned. Fortunately, even with so many materials, there are only four basic principles you need to know in order to clean any of them. Don’t shout it out… C.H.A.T. it out!

The basic principles of cleaning can be easily remembered by the acronym, C.H.A.T. The four letters stand for Chemical, Heat, Agitation and Time. Proper application of these four principles is important for effective cleaning.


The word chemical doesn’t always mean toxic; technically, even water is a chemical. Everyone uses soap to wash themselves, shampoo to clean their hair and various detergents to clean the dishes they eat on, and the clothes they wear. All of these cleaning agents are chemicals, and properly used, they are harmless.

There are different cleaning agents designed to remove a variety of soils from all kinds of surfaces. A product designed to work on tile and grout floors would likely damage carpet or wood. A wood cleaner would not do an adequate job of cleaning glass. To work well the right chemicals must be matched to the surface and suitable for the soil that you are trying to remove.


Hot water cleans better than cold water. In situations where it is safe to do so, adding heat to your cleaning solution will increase chemical effectiveness, and decrease overall cleaning time. When you are dealing with heavily soiled surfaces, heat is especially helpful. Grease and oil are broken down by heat, so using hot cleaning solution and hot water to rinse will yield excellent results.


Scouring pads, brushes, coarse cloths, and even high pressure water are some methods used to achieve agitation. Agitation helps by distributing your cleaning agent, dislodging soils from surfaces and suspending them in the cleaning solution to be rinsed away.


We all know that the longer you scrub and rinse something, the cleaner it gets. While that is true, it’s not the best use of time. When you are cleaning, dwell time of your cleaning agent is important. Dwell time means that you allow the product time to work, breaking down and dissolving soils. The amount of dwell time will depend on the type and quantity of soiling, the surface being cleaned and the strength and concentration of your cleaning solution.

Easy as Pie

Think of all of the four principles (chemical, heat, agitation, time) as four slices of a pie. If you slice the pie evenly, everyone gets the same amount. But, if someone wants a bigger slice, you will have to decrease the size of one or more of the other pieces of the pie.

Here’s how it works in cleaning: If you have to use a very mild cleaning chemical, you’ll need to increase dwell time, agitation and/ or temperature. If you can’t use hot water, you will have to use more chemical, more dwell time, or scrub more aggressively.

If you can’t use agitation, you will need more time, heat and/ or chemical action. Increasing temperature by using hot water is usually the best way to improve cleaning efficiency and save time. Hot water reduces the amount of chemical you need to clean, suspends more soil, and rinses better. Temperatures over 130ºF begin to kill microbes on surfaces, providing sanitizing benefits. If you apply the four principles of cleaning, you can be more successful cleaning just about anything.

Of course, when it comes to cleaning your carpet, upholstery, rugs and tile, Bluegreen technicians are the experts at applying the four principles of cleaning. That’s why we produce the best results every time, guaranteed.

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