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Industrial Floor Cleaners: Which Ones Are Best for My Needs?

which floor cleaner is best for my needs?

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.

Vacuum Cleaners

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 Numatic Vet & Dry or a TASKI AERO PLUS 15 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.

Carpet Washers

Deep cleaning carpets is an arduous task made easier by carpet washers, such as the Karcher Carpet Cleaner. 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.

Steam Cleaners

Where hygiene is of upmost importance, a steam cleaner could be a perfect cleaning solution. Steam cleaners like the Karcher Steam Cleaner 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.

Rotary Machines

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 Karcher 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!

73 thoughts on “Industrial Floor Cleaners: Which Ones Are Best for My Needs?

  1. Nicki Simpson

    I don’t really have a floor cleaning tip other than do not let your 2 year old help as the floor then ends up dirtier than it was and you will have been hit on the head with the sweeping brush during the event

  2. Megan Adams

    Invest in a steam cleaner for wooden floors. It helps keep the floors clean and some don’t use any chemicals.

  3. Tracy Nixon

    When buying a vacuum cleaner for polished wood floors, make sure the wheels on the vacuum and floor tool are hard rubber as plastic wheels can scratch the floor.

  4. Gill Thomas

    Use a pop sock an elastic babe over the nozzle if picking up dropped small items eg earrings

  5. M.R Amin

    Usually brush the area up with a broom incase there’s sharp objects that could damage a vacuum cleaner. Also sprinkle some scented vacuum powder before vacuuming the house. Freshens the house up.

  6. Gill Thomas

    Use a pop sock and an elastic band over the nozzle if picking up dropped small items eg earrings
    Band not babe hahaha !

  7. glenn hutton

    I always do the edges first, very ocd, but I have two big dogs and it really mounts up!

  8. Wendy Brown

    if you have a cleaner with a clear dust compartment, clean it after each use, please.

  9. hannonle

    A quick whizz round with a lightweight electric sweeper saves you from having to lug around a heavy vacuum cleaner every day! You don’t get a deep clean but it certainly picks up the crumbs and is great if you have kids.

  10. Ann Gwillim

    I always dust first then start at one end of the room & finish at the bottom by the sofa so I can collapse.

  11. Fiona S

    I hoover twice a day and it although it sounds a lot it makes the whole process quicker as it’s never that dirty

  12. Mrs Rachel Heap

    I am a little obsessive about cleaning my carpet, its a light colour, so i hoover with my Henry every day I think if you look after your carpet and hoover every day then it keeps the carpet in good condition

  13. Stephanie Coals

    Make sure you do the dusting before you hoover otherwise you’ll mess up your freshly hoovered floor!


    Spray some perfume on a tissue, tear it up and then vacuum it up it. Makes the house smell lovely

  15. Stephanie Whitehouse

    I think vacuum first ,then dust – vacuuming makes a draught that stirs stuff up

  16. Sue Harrison

    Remove cat and husband first.. and expect it to be dirty again as soon as they return 😉

  17. Jenny R

    Dust and tidy up before you vacuum. Nothing worse than getting dust everywhere afterwards, or having to keep stopping to move things.

  18. Sarah Franks

    Keep your vacuum in good condition, otherwise it’s just really frustrating to spend ages vacuuming with poor results – nothing puts you off keeping on top of things like feeling you’re not getting decent results for your efforts, so don’t shoot yourself in the foot with that!

    (Plus, if you did shoot yourself in the foot with that, just think of the bloodstains it’d leave on your carpet, lol)

  19. Ellie Jacobs

    When you spill anything on your carpet, deal with it straight away. leaving it to dry will make it more likely to leave a permanent reminder

  20. christy spencer

    A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Slow and steady does the trick.
    When vacuuming, don’t ignore those corners and crevices where dust builds, enjoy a cuppa after all your hard work and tell the kids shoes off at the door x

  21. Andrew W

    Do down the sides of settee’s and armchairs regularly. You’ll be amazed sometimes how much dirt gets down them (crumbs, pens etc)

  22. Maddy

    Never vac up food, or if you must, empty it straight away. Our daughter takes no heed of this and we call her vac the “Halitosis Hoover!”

  23. Vicky Robinson

    Wash your carpets regularly and it will prolong their life and always pull out the furniture and vacuum properly behind everything – I know a lot of people who only do the bit that they can see!

  24. Jacqueline Roberts

    Pick up first before you hoover saves blocking the pipe with unexpected nasties.

  25. Lisa King

    If we have really stubborn bits of dirt on the lino that wont come straight off with a mop we leave antibacterial wipes over the bits of dirt for a while then they come off straight away when mopping 🙂

  26. Sam Bresnahan

    I dust and clean everything down before hoovering.
    I also pop a drop of zoflora in the vacuum filter so my room smells lovely and fresh. Saves using a spray that sits on everything and leaves a film of spray.

  27. Jamie Millard

    I prefer to vacuum and dust with the windows open. I find the air flow gets things moving a little better when dusting and helps me pick up the dust easier.

  28. Heather Jenkinson

    I notice that pet hairs get embedded in carpets, so I get a clean pair of trainers on and scrape along the carpet, this really gets the hairs up, then I vacum as normal!

  29. Natalie Crossan

    Give your carpet a deep clean at least twice a year to keep it fresh and looking newer for longer x

  30. Oscar O'Malley

    I really like that you mentioned looking for a vacuum with a HEPA filter to purify the air and reduce allergic reactions to dust. I’ve been looking for a vacuum for the office that will work well, but don’t really know what to look for. Thanks for the information-I’ll be sure to look for something with a HEPA filter.

  31. JohnDoe

    This is a good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.

    A must read article!