Pop quiz! Do you know these industry terms?

Pop quiz! Do you know these industry terms?

Veritiv Facility Solutions | October 26, 2020

Each industry has its jargon, the industry-focused terminology that peppers conversations and serves as shorthand. The facility management (FM) industry is no exception. Here are some of the FM industry’s cleaning terms—some you likely know and, perhaps, some that will be new to you:

  • Antimicrobial soap – Cleaning detergent with antiseptic properties.
  • Bio-enzymatic – Cleaning products that use non-pathogenic “good” bacteria to digest wastes, soils, stains and bad odors.
  • Cleaning – Physically removes germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces and a process that doesn’t necessarily kill germs.
  • Defoamer – Chemical additive that reduces and hinders the formation of foam in liquids (also known as anti-foaming).
  • Disinfecting – Kills or destroys germs on surfaces with chemicals, which lowers the risk of spreading infection as it destroys pathogens.
  • Disinfection levels – Low-level disinfectants are EPA-registered hospital disinfectants effective for vegetative bacteria, most fungi and most viruses. Intermediate-level products are EPA-registered hospital disinfectants effective against tuberculosis, vegetative bacteria, fungi and viruses, and some may have spore claims. High-level disinfectants fall under EPA jurisdiction and are effective against tuberculosis, bacteria, fungi, viruses and some spores.
  • Green cleaning – Cleaning methods and products with environmentally friendly ingredients and procedures designed to preserve human health and environmental quality.
  • Hand sanitizer – Used to disinfect but not clean hands.
  • High-touch areas – Surfaces in breakrooms, restrooms and other commonly used areas that receive high traffic and touches.
  • LEAN cleaning – Cleaning processes that incorporate the same LEAN principles that minimized waste in manufacturing and nearly all industries for decades.
  • LEAN’s 5s’s – Sort (get rid of junk); Set in order (make products and equipment easy to find, get and return); Shine (keep up the cleanliness to show your employees and customers you care); Standardize (eliminate the guesswork around how to clean); and Sustain (keep your eyes open, and act when things slide backward).
  • Pathogen – Microorganism that can cause disease.
  • Sanitizing – Lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level following public health standards or other requirements.
  • Touchless or touch-free equipment – Requires no contact to use, such as automatic soap dispensers, sinks and toilets, which helps reduce cross-contamination, waste and refill maintenance.


Easy-to-read, actionable guide
We captured much of this terminology in a new guide, Cleanliness at work—How to protect your people and your profits with LEAN cleaning, along with timely tips and industry-centered advice. Veritiv knows that creating a safe, healthy workplace is a growing priority for our customers, especially as they continue to battle the implications of COVID-19 and the upcoming cold and flu season.

Our Facility Solutions team focuses on serving the FM industry’s needs, offering products and services that support organizations of all sizes and types across North America.

We believe that educating our customers on LEAN cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting and health- and productivity-focused best practices will make a positive impact on their bottom line, and we encourage you to read and share Cleanliness at work.