In total, Backofen and his staff of 13 housekeepers and three groundskeepers are responsible for 125,220 square feet of building and exhibit space. It is a lot of space, considering the amount of foot traffic they see during normal business hours and night functions after hours.

To clean the indoor floor space, which is mostly carpet, they use vacuums, extractors and shampooers, which are all walk-behinds. The scrubber, which is used only outdoors, is their only ride-on equipment.

“We strive to do all of our cleaning with the equipment before hours. But [the ride-on scrubber] is so safe and quiet, that if we did decide to use it around customers, we could. Plus, the kids love it,” says Backofen, noting children love watching the staff at work.

All in all, Backofen says the ride-on scrubber has made a tremendous difference and has cleaned off years of dirt with its abrasive brushes.

It’s also very versatile. In addition to cleaning, the ride-on scrubber features a hose attachment that can be used to assist with watering plants and gardens surrounding the facility.

To other departments trying to better their floor care program and/or those considering equipment that functions without chemicals, he suggested: “All you have to do is put aside some time and let the salesman demonstrate it for you. Maybe it is not the right piece of equipment for you but what do you have to lose?”

At Mystic Aquarium, Backofen only gained. Not only does the use of this equipment keep entrances clean and looking great, but the department now complies with requests from state environmental agencies and workers have increased productivity.

“It is the green aspect that we really feel strongly about in helping save our ocean planet,” says Backofen. “I didn’t realize all the additional benefits that would come with the ride-on scrubber.” 

REBECCA KANABLE is a freelance writer based in East Troy, Wisconsin.

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Chemical-Free Scrubber Cleans Outdoor Space