While the mop-and-bucket mentality still prevails in many custodial departments, more facilities are investing in small, compact microscrubbers to improve efficiency and elevate the level of cleanliness.

Ranging in size from 13 to 17 inches, these compact floor machines often serve dual functions, such as sweeping and scrubbing, thereby reducing the need for multiple tools.

Keith Schneringer, director of channel marketing and sustainability for Waxie Sanitary Supply, San Diego, is seeing an increase in the use of microscrubbers in place of conventional mopping.

“As labor rates continue to rise, the challenge is, doing more with less,” he notes. “Anytime you add a machine to the cleaning equation, you have the ability to do more effective cleaning.”

According to distributors, using a mop and bucket for daily maintenance is “old school.” They also explain that improper mopping can be counterproductive and prone to human shortcomings.

“The problem with mopping is people are lazy,” says Glenn Rothstein, president of Bio-Shine, Spotswood, New Jersey. “Theoretically, they should change their solution every few minutes, but they don’t. The second they mop, they’re transferring that dirt into the bucket and contaminating their solution.”

There is also a common misperception that a wet floor is a clean floor.

“With mopping, custodians only apply the pressure that a human body can exert, and they’re going over the area one time,” says David Bryan, owner of DG Bryan Commercial Cleaning Equipment, Fort Worth, Texas. “The mentality is, if it’s wet then it must be clean.”

But, in fact, this just pushes dirt around and can leave floors dirtier than they were before they were cleaned.

“Look at grout lines and new flooring technology with decorative designs,” suggests Bryan. “When a mop is used, dirt builds up in these areas over time.”

By contrast, a floor machine’s mechanical scrubbing action reaches upward of 150 rpm, providing a more thorough cleaning.

“This is the first time agitation is introduced, so you’re able to pull out dirt and scrub more deeply than mopping,” says Eric Cadell, vice president of operations for Dutch Hollow Janitorial Supply, Belleville, Illinois. “At the same time, you’re recovering water off the floor, so you leave a drier floor behind.”

next page of this article:
Choosing The Right Floor Machine