Customizing A Cleaning Cart

With a plethora of customizable options, facility managers can cater carts to any cleaning need

Cleaning carts are often the unacknowledged workhorse of a cleaning operation. Yet these multitasking units play an active role in boosting efficiencies: They store and organize supplies, save workers multiple trips to and from the supply closet, and safeguard chemicals and valuables.

Unlike the carts of old, today’s cleaning carts and caddies can be customized to suit a wide range of cleaning needs. Manufacturers are answering the call for carts that can be configured multiple ways to accommodate myriad products and equipment: Modular bins, fold-up platforms, and strategically placed hooks and grommets are just some of the options available to facilitate the task at hand.

“Housekeeping carts are now known as mobile workstations, because these units can be assembled in virtually any way,” says Steve Attman, co-CEO and principal of Acme Paper & Supply Co., Savage, Maryland. “Manufacturers are developing features that make it easier for the operator to do what they need to do.”

Many of the latest custodial carts are designed for specific cleaning purposes, and, at the same time, facilities have greater freedom to pick and choose cart accessories that support the custodian’s job function. Distributors are seeing more interest in microfiber carts, for example, especially in healthcare environments. These carts are designed to support a microfiber cleaning system with ample compartments and storage to separate clean and dirty cloths, linens, and equipment to avoid cross contamination.

In facilities where security is a priority, customers favor carts with lockable cabinets. Pete Hammond, senior territory manager for Kelsan Inc., Knoxville, Tennessee, sells a high volume of carts with locking roll-top hoods. 

“A lot of healthcare customers have gone from a basic janitor cart to a healthcare cart that has a locking cabinet,” says Hammond. “There’s less chance of someone accessing those chemicals and ingesting them. Also, it’s more aesthetically pleasing because your supplies aren’t sitting in the open for the public to view.”

Locking cabinets also provide comfort for staff.

“When housekeepers turn over rooms, they can’t see their carts in the hallway,” notes Dan Dillon, president of CleanItSupply, Jeffersonville, Pennsylvania. “Sometimes staff have swipe cards or all-access keys that they like to keep locked up. The security features associated with carts are a big benefit.”

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Maximizing Space On Custodial Carts