In a prior article we discussed the importance of selecting equipment that matches the job at hand. The best way you can do this is first, take inventory of what you already have; then determine how best to use it maximize your investment. I have visited many custodial storage areas with an entire room full of equipment that wasn’t being used due to break down, poor maintenance or simply ignorance of how to use it. If you decide that you are not going to use an item, use an Internet source to sell or donate it to someone who can use it. Perhaps your focus has changed and you simply do not need a particular item (example propane burnisher) that still has some life in it. Perhaps you could trade it in for a piece of equipment that you need or get your distributor to sell it for you. Just don’t let it sit idle and lose its value due to neglect.

Make sure that your staff know how to use the equipment safely and correctly since it may be that the one who knew how to operate it has moved on without sharing with the current crew how to use it. A great example is that I recently encountered a building supervisor who was proud of having stripped several rest room floors using a high speed (2,000 RPM) burnisher with a natural fiber pad. The ceramic tile floors still looked dingy and there was splatter everywhere that was difficult to remove once it dried. Upon closer inspection, the building had two low speed (175 RPM) machines with scrub brushes and more appropriate pads sitting in their storage area. It really didn’t take long to train the supervisor and his current crew on more effective processes once they understood the difference and the desired outcomes.

Remember: "Ignorance is like garlic; a little bit goes a long ways."

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or