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Controlled Contamination Services

Is Triple Bucket Cleaning the Right Procedure for Your Critical Environment?

When it comes to maintaining your cleanroom or controlled environment, contamination control is essential. Disinfection, sanitization, and decontamination require specific tools and solutions in order to effectively maintain proper contamination control. The selection of these supplies is a crucial part of this program. When it comes down to the choice of buckets for use within the controlled spaces, there are single, double, and triple bucket systems as the options. Two bucket systems are more effective than a single bucket at controlling the level of contamination within a cleanroom or controlled environment due to the cross-contamination of the cleaning solution as well as the inability to rinse the mop in-between areas.

What is triple bucket cleaning?

A triple bucket cleaning method consists of three buckets, one dedicated bucket for sanitation, a second bucket for clean rinsing, and a third bucket for dirty rinsing. The sanitation bucket provides a clean disinfectant to use for mopping, the clean rinsing bucket contains a rinse disinfectant solution to assist in removing dirt and residual contaminants, and the dirty rinsing bucket serves as a waste bucket to wring out either excess cleanser or wastewater in-between steps.

The proper steps for using a triple bucket system are as follows:

  1. Clean Solution Bucket – Prepare your bucket by adding the appropriate level of water and adding the recommended amount of disinfectant per SOP. Saturate your mop in the solution.
  2. Waste Bucket – Wring the excess disinfectant solution from your mop into the second bucket – the waste bucket. Ensuring that the level of pressure is appropriate to not remove too much or too little of the solution from the mop head.
  3. Mop the Surfaces – Apply the disinfectant to the surface with even and overlapping strokes ensuring that the appropriate amount of solution is applied to the surface.
  4. Waste Bucket – Once completed with the mop per the SOP or the solution is not appropriate, wring the mop into the waste bucket.
  5. Rinse Bucket – Rinse the mop in the third bucket, filled with the same disinfectant solution as in the clean solution bucket with the same ratio.
  6. Waste Bucket – wring the mop head into the waste bucket again.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6 again every time until all surfaces are mopped.

For effective disinfection, it is important to start with the cleanest possible water with your disinfection or sporicidal solution. Tap water should be avoided due to the heavy metal contaminants and other organisms within the water that should not be introduced into controlled environments.

When is triple bucket cleaning required?

Triple bucket cleaning is appropriate for sterile cleanroom environments, controlled environments, or other critical environments that need to maintain contamination control. While double bucket systems are also effective in maintaining appropriate environment monitoring levels, the choice between these two systems should be evaluated during the validation of the cleaning SOP. Single bucket cleaning, or traditional mopping, may be sufficient for office facilities, retail environments, or other environments where removing surface debris is sufficient. To learn what cleaning method is appropriate for your environment, contact the experts at CCS.


Controlled Contamination Services provides a clearly defined strategy to clean and disinfect environments through being at the fore front of implementing industry standards of cleaning and trends and ISO 9001:2015 compliance. Keeping health, safety, and sustainability at the forefront of our processes, the experts at CCS develop the most effective contamination control program to suit your environment's needs. Our contamination expertise ranges from micro-cleaning ISO 3/Grade A through ISO 9/Grade D along with other controlled and non-controlled environments.

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Dallas - Corporate Office

14901 Quorum Drive
Suite 510
Dallas, TX 75254
(888) 263-9886

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