Sustaining society with professional cleaning solutions

9th of June 2022
Sustaining society with professional cleaning solutions
Sustaining society with professional cleaning solutions

A.I.S.E. is the umbrella organisation representing the European detergents and maintenance products industry. Its professional cleaning and hygiene sector manager Aisling O’Kane tells us more about its work.

A.I.S.E. has been the voice of the European detergents and maintenance products industry for 70 years, representing manufacturers and suppliers of cleaning and maintenance, hygiene and disinfection products for homecare and public spaces. This industry consists of a strong network of 29 national associations across Europe representing over 900 companies from SMEs to multinationals, with an estimated market value of over €41 billion.

A key contributor to public health, hygiene and wellbeing

The professional cleaning sector of the industry is responsible for manufacturing and delivering the cleaning and maintenance products and accompanying services that ensure the cleanliness of public spaces like offices and airports; the safety of the food chain from farms to factories; the hygiene of the healthcare sector in hospitals and medical practices; and clean laundry, linen and uniforms in hospitality sector.

Responsive in an unprecedented crisis

Among the many lessons learned from the pandemic is the critical role of hygiene to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. “There is today a much broader understanding of the importance of hygiene for our health. To a large extent, the benefits of our industry are largely taken for granted until public health is in jeopardy,” says Susanne Zänker, A.I.S.E. director general.

Due to its portfolio of products and services, A.I.S.E. was rapidly recognised as an essential sector in the fight against Covid-19, and our companies took a leadership role in providing crisis-relevant products such as hand disinfectants, surface disinfectants, and other products essential for preventing the spread of infection.

The A.I.S.E. network moved rapidly as the pandemic took hold to ensure the ongoing supply of vital products for cleaning and disinfection across all markets that enabled business to work safely and protect the health of their customers and employees.

Diverse and tailor-made solutions

The industry is characterised not only by its products but by their use in specific processes and applications that are tailor-made for the users. As such, it is more complex than the household cleaning products sector. Manufacturers including many SMEs, deliver niche products for a range of
industrial and institutional uses that are part of a complete delivery system including specialised packaging, dosing and control equipment.

This service is as important as the product itself and can also include environmental safety information, advice on cleaning techniques and training tools for the cleaning personnel. Detergent companies work closely with their customers to develop and document their hygiene routines and procedures, helping them also to conform to applicable regulations. The diversity of customers obliges this industry to be creative and flexible in terms of distribution and sales models and the vast majority of sales are done by tender.

Prioritising product performance and safety

Product safety is an absolute priority and stringent controls and regulations apply to the sector to help to ensure the safety of workers and of the environment (water, soil, etc). Companies in this sector have a vital responsibility to provide accurate, up-to-date safe use information to their customers so they are informed about the precautions required in handling and sorting products.

This is done through a variety of legal tools such as safety data sheets, customer training, and voluntary tools such as AISE’s safe use of mixtures information (SUMI) tools, as well as visual pictograms on labels and in training documentation to optimise correct and efficient application. Pictograms are particularly important in multilingual markets.

Driving sustainable use

The sector has an important sustainability profile - companies prioritise sustainable cleaning solutions through controlled design, concentrated forms and delivery efficiency. Investments in innovation and research mean manufacturers today specialise in formulations and ingredients that require lower quantities of water, lower temperatures, lower dosage and shorter washing cycles for the same high performance cleaning results. For example, concentrated forms of detergent that are diluted to be used require less packaging, less weight to transport, thus leading to a lower greenhouse gas emissions.

As a critical contributor to public health and hygiene, the work of A.I.S.E’.s professional cleaning sector enables society to function each and every day, so that the public spaces in which people work, eat, socialise and travel through are both clean and safe. As such, the cleaning and maintenance products industry will contribute to increasing public resilience for the future.

• To learn more about the work of A.I.S.E. go to


Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited