Thankfully, for facilities where these hurdles are too hard to overcome, there are additional options for mechanizing restroom care beyond the combo machine. For example, a steam cleaner boils water to release a dry steam that loosens debris. The operator then uses a wiper cloth to remove dirt.

This system uses less water than a pressure-washing system and also requires no chemicals, which is attractive to anyone focused on green cleaning.

Although it’s not ideal for floor-to-ceiling cleaning, a steam cleaner is perfect for detail work. For example, it can be used to release the calcification that can occur around showerheads or faucets.

“They are a great complement to a cleaning program,” says Schneringer. “It allows you to get high-level results for spots that are more challenging.”

Also, equipment that uses orbital technology for cleaning floors is gaining favor. Again, this is a specialist (not generalist) piece of equipment, designed to mechanize restorative floor care and deliver far superior results on grout lines.

“We had a school district use orbital technology and the custodial crew got big props from the superintendent who said the schools looked 500 percent cleaner,” Schneringer says. “People didn’t know the grout lines were supposed to be white.”

Finally, in the last decade, manufacturers have started offering more scaled-down versions of restroom machines, including battery-operated high-pressure washers and cordless microscrubbers. This less-expensive equipment has a smaller footprint that’s ideal for smaller restrooms where cleaning workers are unlikely to use a bulky machine.

“What facility cleaning managers began to find was that staffs were hardly utilizing the larger machines because they were cumbersome and electric,” says Bill Allen, territory manager for Fagan Sanitary Supply in West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. “After seeing their workers using the smaller machines comfortably on a daily basis, it created a shift.”

Smaller equipment can simplify cleaning processes and improve productivity by allowing janitors to more quickly and easily get into tight areas, such as behind toilets. Allen says using a small machine, rather than a mop or rag, can cut cleaning times in half, if not more.

Even better, specialized restroom machines tend to be favored by operators.

“It has made cleaning staff feel more specialized, like they aren’t just a mop and rag slinger,” says Allen. “It’s given them more satisfaction with their jobs.”

For a decidedly lower-tech solution, particularly for smaller facilities with one- to three-stall restrooms, microfiber is a more effective method of capturing and removing dirt than their cotton mop counterparts. Microfiber conserves water, reduces cross-contamination, improves effectiveness and increases productivity.

“In most situations, I’ve found a microfiber system turns out to be the best and the fastest solution,” Keller says. “It’s half the time to learn it and half the time to use it. I’m 64 and I can whip out a two- or three-stall bathroom in under five minutes with microfiber and a bowl brush.”

previous page of this article:
Restroom Cleaning That Saves Time And Money
next page of this article:
Cleaning Tools With Productivity Gains