An essential step when implementing a facility-wide sustainable cleaning strategy is to select the proper cleaning equipment. When evaluating floor cleaning equipment, such as automatic scrubbers, carpet extractors and vacuums, facility managers should select machines that meet their cleaning requirements, maximize their labor force, and help them to achieve their green initiatives.
Facilities looking to increase employee productivity while lowering or maintaining their labor costs will benefit significantly from the use of an automatic floor scrubber. Automatic scrubbers maximize cleaning efficiency and effectiveness. While typically used for daily scrubbing, enhanced scrubber platforms offer the flexibility to be used for deep scrubbing and chemical-free floor finish removal. Certain models of automatic scrubbers equipped with a unique rectangular scrubbing head provide straight edge cleaning along baseboards without having to use a separate piece of equipment for detailing. These machines should be available in both walk-behind and rider models to address specific budget and space requirements of all facilities. Additionally, these automatic scrubbers are designed so that the rear squeegee moves in line with the cleaning path to ensure complete water pick-up while scrubbing.
As more facilities face cuts in their operations and maintenance budgets, managers are looking for multi-purpose cleaning solutions that give them enhanced flexibility. Utilizing an automatic scrubber that has also been designed for single pass, chemical-free floor finish removal— as well as daily scrubbing—will result in decreased labor and chemical costs to the department. Facility managers are able to perform floor finishing project work without costly chemicals, excess labor costs, and slippery floors and odors associated with traditional strip out projects.
Education and healthcare facilities often have a mix of hard and soft floor surfaces that they must clean. A proper soft floor surface cleaning program must also achieve maximum soil removal to prevent deterioration of indoor air quality and associated health consequences. A carpet extractor must be able to effectively eliminate ground-in soil while simultaneously leaving the carpet to dry as rapidly as possible in order to prevent the formation of mold and to allow the area to be used faster. Extractors that offer low moisture cleaning, a process that requires less water, can leave a carpeted room with a good level of clean and also be ready to be utilized in 30 minutes or less. To tackle more intense carpet cleaning tasks, extractors with restorative capabilities provide deep cleaning, effectively removing soils from deep in the fibers.
To minimize chemical usage and residue remaining in carpets, carpet extractors should provide the flexibility of high-quality soil removal without excessive detergent use. For example, extractors with the ability to reach and maintain extreme water temperatures, some as high as 212-degree Fahrenheit, can remove stains without detergents. The hot water improves cleaning results by as much as 40 percent over cold water alternatives and prevents any exposure to chemicals, while also eliminating the added expense of cleaning solution.
For maintaining the life and cleanliness of carpet, vacuums are the key to daily carpet cleaning. When selecting a commercial vacuum cleaner, facility managers should choose options that have received the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval. The CRI Seal of Approval certifies that a product has passed a battery of tests verifying its ability to remove soil and minimize dust, while operating quietly—promoting cleanliness and increased indoor air quality. Vacuum cleaners should employ a multi-stage filter system, including H.E.P.A. filters that capture up to 99.97 percent of dust particulates down to .3 microns. Vacuums should also meet the sound requirements set forth by green cleaning requirements, which are ideal for daytime cleaning, saving labor costs of cleaning after hours.
Next week, we will discuss applications in the field.