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A sticky problem solved at LGW

Published 24th February, 2015 by Neil Nixon

A sticky problem solved at LGW

London Gatwick Airport is using 'melt and blast' technology to clean hundreds of thousands of pieces of chewing gum from terminal walkways. The UK's second busiest airport wanted to bring its external public areas leading to terminal buildings up to the same world class standard as those inside.

To achieve this, it commissioned CleanSafe Services to use a specialist technique that rapidly heats the chewing gum and removes it from the floor with a jet of water at a pressure of 1250 pounds per square inch.
The response of airport visitors has been highly favourable, as they see floors darkened by sticky grime and tens of thousands of blobs of gum transformed to look brand new again.

London Gatwick Airport incident manager, Nick Henderson, said: "CleanSafe has filled a very niche and specialist function for us, to get our base cleaning standards to a higher and improved level. The CleanSafe team has done a fantastic job of giving the areas a cleaning facelift to enable our core cleaning provider to perform its function. Now CleanSafe has established a good benchmark for external flooring, it helps our core cleaning provider to maintain that standard."

Chewing gum mixes with cigarette ash and other daily grime, including spilt sugary drinks, to set rock hard, making it almost impossible to shift using conventional cleaning techniques. CleanSafe's managing director, Steve Broughton, said: "Chewing gum remains one of the biggest cleaning challenges facing any organisation managing public access spaces. The external walkways at London Gatwick Airport are at the extreme end of this challenge. They have among the highest rates of dropped chewing gum and cigarette ends we've experienced anywhere in the UK. At the North Terminal alone, we cleaned 30,000 square feet, with an estimated 120,000 pieces of chewing gum."

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