A Small Solution for a Big Cleaning Problem

Planes today that seat as many as 200 passengers have just two to four lavatories, which means they can get pretty dirty, pretty fast. But fuel-conscious airlines sharply restrict the weight, size and balance of equipment carried on board, and lavatories and galleys on planes are small. Regular cleaning tools just don’t fit.

When Vaughan Payne, president of Calgary-based Dakota Supplies, watched flight attendants cleaning airplane lavatories with nothing more than spray bottles and paper towels, he was sure there must be a better, more sanitary way. So, Payne and his partner Deborah Humphries got to work on what would become Moppitt™, an all-in-one inflight cleaning system.

In 2015, they brought their idea to Red Deer College’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing and worked with its expert product designers and fabricators to create a prototype for product trials.

Just over one year later, Dakota Supplies had partnered with Celeste Industries Corporation, global leader in cleaning products for the airline industry, to distribute Moppitt™ worldwide. It promises to revolutionize how aircrafts are cleaned.

Essentially an expandable mini-mop, Moppitt™ can be a hand-tool for cleaning counters, tray tables or around toilets, or its hidden handle can expand to allow floor spills to be mopped up. A new cleaning cartridge, filled with biodegradable cleaning fluid and a small mop head, clicks into place for each job. But its biggest selling point is its size: retracted, it tucks easily into an overhead bin or a small cupboard.

Moppitt™ offers many benefits: a cleaner, healthier environment for airlines’ customers and staff and reduced turn-around time because planes can be kept cleaner during flights. Airlines may even spend less on outsourced cleaning services.

Industry: Manufacturing
Funded by: Alberta Innovates, Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), National Research Council Canada

About Red Deer Polytechnic

Red Deer Polytechnic is central Alberta’s largest post-secondary institution, serving more than 10,000 credit, non-credit and apprenticeship students. Since becoming a polytechnic institute in 2021,... Learn more