When you need to clean an extensive floor area, particularly ones that receive a lot of footfall, a regular domestic vacuum cleaner or a simple mop and bucket is unlikely to be up to the task. In this case it is more efficient and effective to use an industrial floor cleaner, but as there are so many different types on the market, choosing which one to purchase for your location can (metaphorically speaking) leave you floored.
To help you navigate the world of industrial floor cleaners we’ll discuss the different types of floorcare machinery available, and their possible advantages and disadvantages for your cleaning needs.
An essential tool in every cleaner’s arsenal, the humble vacuum cleaner is actually a superstar when it comes to keeping your environment in tip-top shape. From removing the tiniest crumbs from floors and carpets to de-cobwebbing corners and dusting the tops of high cupboards, you’ll always find a task for a vacuum cleaner, so it makes sense to invest in a high-quality industrial model like a friendly-faced Numatic Henry, a power-packed Vax Commercial or a TASKI Vento 8 by Diversey.
Not all industrial vacuum cleaners are created equal however, so look at the specifications to find out more about the model. Check its capacity, weight, ease of mobility and power source – for example, if you have to clean areas with lots of furniture or where people are walking throughout the day, a cordless battery-operated vacuum cleaner might be the better choice.
Then there are the details like whether the vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, which helps to purify the air and reduce allergic reactions to irritants like dust. If your environment is particularly dusty or enclosed, this feature is a must.
The downsides to vacuum cleaners however is that they can only pick up dry dirt and debris, and unless your entire space is carpeted, you will still need an item of machinery to wash the un-carpeted floors. Then there’s the issue of deep cleaning carpets using water and detergents, which again may require yet another product.
Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaners
The more versatile ‘big brother’ of the industrial vacuum cleaner is the wet and dry vacuum cleaner, which does everything that its sibling can do with the handy capability of picking up liquid or wet spillages that would damage other types of vacuum cleaners.
If these pose a particular hazard in your building, an industrial wet and dry vacuum cleaner such as the Numatic Charles could be the best choice as not only do they remove the puddles, but they leave the floor completely dry too. They will even suck up snow from paths or entrance halls!
A wet and dry vacuum cleaner can also be used to dry floors after they have been mopped, which cuts down on slip risks for those passing through the area. Unfortunately even with the addition of wet cleaning you will still need to manually mop the floors using water and chemicals, requiring another piece of machinery or extra manpower.
Deep cleaning carpets is an arduous task made easier by carpet washers, such as the Vax VCW-05. Most carpet washer models will have water and solution spray functionality to moisten and break down stubborn dirt and stains, in addition to a powerful extraction nozzle to draw the liquid and dirt out of the material and leave it dry to the touch.
The benefits of a carpet washer are that they can be used on upholstery too, such as curtains, sofas and mattresses, so they’re a great choice for hotels or other locations where the upholstery needs to be kept in great shape. However, carpet washers do not offer any other functions than simply wet washing, so they don’t eliminate the need for a vacuum cleaner.
Where hygiene is of upmost importance, a steam cleaner could be a perfect cleaning solution. Steam cleaners like the Vax Commercial VCST-01 not only lift and remove dirt and grease from hard floors, but also deep clean carpets, all whilst sanitising and deodorising too.
That’s using only hot water steam and absolutely no chemicals, so if you’re looking for new ways to make your business or building more environmentally-conscious, a steam cleaner will be another step towards your goal. Not to mention that you’ll save money on purchasing chemicals!
In addition to floors, steam cleaners can tackle countless other surfaces, provided that the model you choose has suitable attachments and manoeuvrability. Another benefit of steam is that it leaves hard surfaces dry within seconds, cutting down on the need to have ‘wet floor’ signs littered around.
What steam cleaners cannot do though is vacuum floors, so to get the most out of your steam cleaner it’s usually necessary to use a vacuum cleaner first. Rough or heavily textured surfaces may also not receive the full benefit of steam cleaning.
Aside from vacuum cleaners, rotary floor cleaners are the machines you’ll find used most often in industrial settings. But there are so many different types of rotary machines that it’s even trickier to decide which one you need!
Rotary machines can be mains or battery operated, as well as ‘pedestrian’, meaning they are pushed along the floor by the operator, or ‘ride-on’, which as the name suggests, are rode on by the operator and suitable for heavy or large industrial environments. Then there are various types of rotary machines, which are designed for tackling specific floor cleaning tasks. These include:
- Scrubbing – when a cleaning solution and water is used in conjunction with an abrasive pad or brushes at low speeds to remove impacted dirt from floor surfaces
- Sweeping – the rotary floor sweeper removes loose and moderately impacted dirt and debris from the surface of floors, and is ideal for workshops, factories and warehouses
- Buffing – a suitable detergent is applied to the floor surface and then buffed with a high speed rotary floor cleaner fitted with a soft-grade abrasive pad, to bring the floor to a high-gloss shine
- Burnishing – the pads on rotary burnisher abrade the floor surface at high speeds to produce a high-gloss shine, without leaving the floor slippery as is often the case with a floor buffer
- Scarifying – when a floor surface has a large amount of impacted dirt or soil, a rotary floor cleaner with a scarifying attachment will use sharp cutting tools to break up and remove the dirt
- Bonnet mopping – rotary floor cleaners can be used to clean carpets too, with the assistance of an appropriate bonnet mop attachment
- Vacuuming – many models of rotary floor cleaners can also vacuum the floor as well as scrubbing, buffing or mopping the surface, meaning that you’ll eliminate the need for a vacuum cleaner too
Some rotary floor cleaning machines will only be able to perform one task, whereas others, such as the Comac Innova scrubber-dryer, may be multi-purpose with interchangeable attachments and variable speeds. There are also different sizes and capacities of floor cleaners; choose one that’s too compact and it won’t be up to the task, or choose one that’s too big and you’ll be wasting money.
What you will need to consider is what type and volume of dirt, floor materials and area sizes that you will need to clean using your rotary cleaner, and make your decision accordingly. User-friendliness is also an important factor to consider; rotary floor cleaners can be complicated pieces of machinery, so select one that’s less likely to leave you baffled!
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