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Transport for London; a look inside the biggest cleaning job in Europe

A TFL worker closing up an unknown London Underground station by pulling metal gates across the entrance

Every business needs to invest in high quality and affordable cleaning products to create a safe, healthy work environment. Whether its hand soap or bleach, keeping the health of your employees in mind is vitally important.

The bigger the company the more they need to worry about such things. For Transport for London then, this is a very big concern.

And it’s not just their employees that they have to worry about, but the 20 plus million people who use their services around London every day.

In winter, platforms need to be deiced, train tracks, roads and bridges have to be kept clear. Seats have to be routinely cleaned, floors have to be mopped, and buses have to be washed.

Nobody is going to want to use a transport system that is dangerous, looks old, dirty or worn down, smells funky or simply doesn’t work. On top of this, there are numerous environmental implications that have to be considered.

We are proud to say that we have teamed up with TFL to make sure that the transport system continues to run as smoothly as possible.



Winter can be a beast. Ice frequently settles in over night meaning without proper care the transport system would be unable to get people to their morning meetings on time.

Platforms can be slippery and dangerous and we haven’t even gotten started on the problems that the first snows bring.


Buses, as we are all aware are pretty big, and in London there are over 8,000 buses running along over 700 different bus routes.

Maintaining the cleanliness for professional appearances as well as elongating the lifecycle of each vehicle is of paramount importance, not just to TFL, but to the estimated 1.8 billion passengers they carry every year.


Graffiti is a problem that can be a true nightmare to deal with. The transport system, open to so many of the public and used daily by millions, is unsurprisingly, one of the biggest victims of vandalism anywhere.

Being prepared and having the tools to prevent and remove graffiti is vital to maintaining a good service.

Chela Guard

Problems to Overcome

Environmentally Friendly

This is a big one for us. And we are proud to have come up with various solutions to the problem. Chemicals are notorious for being bad for the environment. Which logically makes sense. Often you are attempting to get rid of potentially harmful (micro)organisms.

However, run-off from things like deicers can easily find their ways into our waterways and quickly build up to dangerous, toxic levels. In London, that means, above all, the River Thames.

It wasn’t that long ago that the only people swimming in the Thames were the dead. In recent years the Thames has begun to become the flourishing ecosystem that it once was with seals, fish, seahorses and even dolphins.

Protecting that ecosystem is of great importance, not just to TFL, but to us.

Keeping an iconic London landmark open as temperatures freeze


Nobody likes it when TFL hike up the prices on their network. Which is why elongating the life of every bit of kit and equipment they have is important. The more money they have to spend replacing bits that have been worn out or trashed, the more money they are going to need from the public.


You can’t just sloosh down a few seats with soapy water, brush vomit off the platform, or de-ice tracks with WD40. The products used have to be tested up to the highest standards to ensure the health, wellness and safety of everybody who comes into contact with it.

Take a look at our aviation grade de-icing products for example:

Cost Efficiency

Transport for London need a lot of products to keep the transport system running, and they need it to be cost efficient to purchase as well as everything else.

Energy Efficiency

Energy is one of the last things that people consider when they tally up their monthly bills. And one of the last things they consider when they start trying to trim down costs. The reason being for a small business is that turning the lights off will save a few pennies.

The savings are negligible. But for something as vast as TFL making sure everything, including cleaning is done in the most energy efficient fashion saves a surprisingly large amount of money.

A Few Products Mentioned in the Article

Chela Guard
Aviation Grade Deicers
Graffiti cleaners
Seat Cleaners

Browse our Product Range

Image: Wikimedia Commons