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How To Make Sure You’re Getting The Right Hygiene and Cleaning Products

31 January 2022

Jennie Hollingsworth

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for hygiene and cleaning products has skyrocketed. However, as organisations get to grips with new infection control measures so they can open their doors safely, too many have been caught out by rogue claims and unregulated products leaving themselves – and their customers – at risk.

The issue has arisen due to the urgency with which businesses have tried to respond to the pandemic by upweighting cleaning regimes and increasing hygiene provisions to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection while trying to keep their staff and customers safe and reassured. However, the demand has surged for what were everyday items such as hand sanitiser, soap, PPE including face masks and gloves, wipes and cleaning products. Globally, we’re all using more of these products and all want to procure them at the same time, often in bulk, at a time when supply chains have also experienced disruption.

In response, the internet has been flooded with adverts for these ‘essential’ products which are both in high demand and short supply; even social channels such as LinkedIn have become a trading platform. And because businesses are so desperate for these products to enable them to open safely, the checks they’d usually perform on new suppliers are lower and there has been more willingness to get hold of these products from any source as long as it can be done quickly.

Unfortunately, the scope for fraud is high and there are many fraudsters out there taking advantage of the situation. There have already been instances where millions of litres of hand sanitiser and tens of thousands of gloves have been held up at UK borders as they have failed to reach quality standards. There have been reports of people posing as traders and there are also substantial claims being made over new products and technology which have not been proven and may therefore not be as effective as promised. These are just some examples which have been detected but, unfortunately, many substandard products are already being delivered to unwitting businesses who think they’re doing the right thing. Others receive nothing at all.

The combination of unprecedented demand, low resource and time limitation has created a high-pressure scenario for businesses. However, the key warning to heed is to never fail to perform your due diligence. Think before you buy.

The first step is to ensure you’re buying compliant products to the required BSI and EN Standards, otherwise there’s a danger they will not be effective, and you’ll end up putting people at risk. Track compliance papers back to their source and choose a reliable, reputable supply chain. It’s important to be wary of companies or products which have only cropped up since the pandemic struck. Talk to your supplier and, where possible, order early and place forward orders for further down the line.

Question any documentation; unfortunately, there are a lot of fake documents out there. Read them carefully, ask where they are from and who is substantiating the claims within them. Choose tried-and-tested products and methods to guarantee their effectiveness. There are a lot of claims being made but many just have not yet been proven – and it’s not worth the risk. Dubious product claims include those for products which keep surfaces clean for up to 30 days. However, while in some cases this may be true in a lab environment, it is not the case in real-world settings. And some cleaning products have been found to be corrosive, creating toxic fumes and chemicals which will put staff and visitors at risk.

When it comes to cleaning protocols, it’s crucial you adhere to the correct method of application and it’s easy to overlook this. It’s often not a case of simply spraying and wiping. Some products must be left for 30 seconds or even up to five minutes to be effective – otherwise they will not be doing their intended job. Keep monitoring for guidelines and advice which will necessarily change as scientists learn more about the virus. In response, you need to have strict implementation protocols in place for after-use cleans, periodic cleans and deep cleans – all with the correct, certified PPE and chemicals.

Sourcing the right products and applying them correctly is a real concern. Hygiene and infection control are the most important aspects of opening premises safely. Now is not the time to rush in and fall down on what should be simple and essential checks. The message is clear; be aware of what you’re buying and where you’re buying it from. Only then will you get things right and keep your business safe.

As part of phs Group which has more than five decades of experience, phs Direct is a trusted and reliable source for all your janitorial, cleaning and ancillary supplies. Our chemical ranges exceed the needs of the most stringent industry standards and we work with long-established, best-in-class global supply chain partners, providing the right products which do the right job, when you need them.


But that’s not all. At phs, we go one step further. We recognise that our by-products such as packaging and product waste need to do right by the environment. That’s why we’re prioritising products which either have a tangible recycling proposition or some other means to utilise waste. Our UK-sourced consumable range includes class-leading ‘paper wrapped in paper’ to eliminate plastic use and focus on recycled, FSC accredited and sustainable material sources. We offer paper products which utilise bamboo or sugar cane materials, delivering cost-effective solutions which don’t cost the earth. Meanwhile, our enzyme-based concentrated cleaning products are fully biodegradable while still maintaining quality cleaning standards.

No matter what cleaning products or janitorial supplies you need, from hand soap, paper towels, floor cleaning solutions, mops and disinfecting wipes to window cleaner, gloves, polish, brooms and bin bags, you can be sure to rely on phs Direct.


For more details on our range and commitment to you, visit the janitorial and ancillary supplies pages of the phs Direct website.