The biggest cost element in any cleaning operation in care homes and hospitals is the labour cost and this cost can only be reduced through an increase in productivity. With regard to vacuum cleaning, this requires moving away from cylinder vacuums and using upright machines which can clean a much greater area in any given time due to their wider floor heads and efficient operation. Also, they are likely to improve the quality of the cleaning, removing much more from the floor per pass of the floor head. The choice between carpet and hard wood floors can sometimes be tough but you need to think of the hygiene and cleanliness behind them. Carpeted floors give a feeling of luxury and comfort and reduce sound levels by absorbing noise. They also trap dust and dirt and need a tailored cleaning regime to keep them clean and of good appearance. At least, daily vacuuming is required with a rotating brush to agitate the pile and remove dust and fibre, with periodic deep cleaning with either a wet or dry system. There are many advances in floor cleaning technology and we want to use these advances to help prevent and control infection. The use of water-free polishing systems removes the moisture microbes need to multiply. The latest micro-fibre vacuum bags are excellent for retaining even fine material, preventing harmful particles escaping into the air. People often forget that floor cleaning machines also need maintenance and cleaning. With regard to vacuum cleaners, they should be regularly checked over, paying particular attention to cable damage, as well as inspecting filters and replacing if necessary. The floor heads should be checked for damage and cleanliness, and worn parts such as brushes replaced.