The Activeion ionator EXP™, Europe’s first handheld ionised water cleaning tool, recently trialled at several hotels of the Thistle Group in Britain, has emerged triumphant, with several highly experienced hotel housekeepers endorsing the remarkable chemical-free cleaning powers of the ionator’s ionised water. The ionator uses only temporarily ionised tap water to clean surfaces like marble, laminates, glass and ceramics, plus fabrics and carpets, with no added chemicals or detergents.

Kajo Bayo-Kanyi, head of housekeeping at Thistle’s The Kingsley hotel, was quickly taken by the ionator. Bayo-Kanyi is responsible for a team of 15 housekeepers at the popular hotel in Bloomsbury, located close to London’s Covent Garden. The Kingsley’s 129 luxury bedrooms were recently transformed as part of a £10m restoration and refurbishment programme of the hotel, fully completed in July 2009. The hotel also boasts the Kingsley Two restaurant, bar, seven meeting rooms and conference facilities. Kajo’s team uses the ionator actively across the hotel’s facilities and rooms.

“The ionator is extremely versatile; our housekeeping team have been putting it to good use all around the hotel,” said Bayo-Kanyi. “We use it to clean the baths, sinks, all our public areas where we have lots of glass windows and mirrors, the lobby, the elevators… When we do spot cleaning, our floors are shiny, and we also use the ionator to get out stains in our carpets and big window curtains. One guest unfortunately stained the heavy curtains in one room with food, and we got all traces off with the ionator.”

Bayo-Kanyi speaks of a common challenge for hotels – black luggage marks on the painted walls. “The ionator got all the scratchy black marks off without damaging the paint and the wall. When we use the ionator in front of guests, our colleagues enjoy explaining what the unusual-looking device is to the audience. Our colleagues are now so used to telling guests about how we can clean so effectively with only tap water!” reports Bayo-Kanyi.

A simple spray of ionised water

The ionator looks like, and is slightly larger than, a conventional trigger-spray bottle. You simply fill it with half a litre of tap water, with no added chemicals. When the trigger is pressed, a 12V diaphragm pump starts a continuous flow of water. The tap water passes through a water cell that applies a small electrical charge, activating the water, after which it goes through an ion-exchange membrane and is separated into an oxygen-rich mixture of positively and negatively charged nano-bubbles. The ionised water breaks down dirt from most surfaces including glass, stainless steel, wood, carpet, natural stone, marble and clothing. In fact, it can replace many general-purpose chemical cleaners commonly used for these types of surfaces throughout the hotel and catering trade.

Environment vital

Simon Farr, regional operations director of Thistle in London, is enthusiastic.

“Our corporate social responsibility statement strongly focuses on the environment, amongst other key areas. As a group, we are continually committed to reducing any negative impact we may have on the environment, so when we heard about chemical-free cleaning using Activeion technology, we were keen to test this environmentally friendly cleaning method for ourselves,” said Farr.

The Thistle portfolio consists of 11 properties in London, an additional 14 in England, six in Scotland and one in Wales. “Wherever you stay, in any of our UK-wide properties, our friendly, professional colleagues are on hand to provide the best, most comfortable, home-from-home experience. We strive for professionalism in all our departments and operations – from front to back of house. Our Thistle Marble Arch head of housekeeping, Barbara Sheridan, recently scooped the Housekeeper of the Year Award at the prestigious Hotel Cateys 2010 awards, which demonstrates our devotion to quality; in both our people and the products we use. Looking after guests’ needs with a dedicated, passionate approach is a top priority at Thistle. Clearly, within such operational excellence, cleanliness is key. We have tested and used the ionator in our hotel, and are more than convinced this is the right product for us,” concluded Farr.