As more and more end users learn the benefits of stripping floors without chemicals, distributors are seeing an increase in sales of orbital floor machines. Houle sells a lot of orbital machines to customers who need to deep scrub floors with a surface prep pad — and most of them use the machine without chemicals or water, he says.

Tipton notes that within the first six months of stocking orbital floor machines, he sold more than 200 units.

“My whole customer base bought into the value of the machine and made
multiple unit purchases,” says Tipton. “It really is a game-changing, restorative piece of equipment.”

Although jan/san distributors agree that orbital floor cleaning machines do an excellent job of stripping floors without chemicals, they also point out that chemicals are in fact necessary to strip a floor completely.

“Without chemicals you can scrub off several coats of finish, but you won’t get deep into the floor,” says Tipton. “You can take three to five coats off the floor by physically abrading them off, but there’s always going to be one to three coats in the tile that you have to remove chemically.”

As such, orbital machines can be used without chemicals to remove damaged finish on an interim basis between regular stripping cycles.

Given their versatility, orbital floor machines are a simple sell, say distributors. Not only are they easy to use, but they can successfully clean a variety of hard flooring as well as carpeting — a bonus for contractors saddled with cleaning and maintaining a wide range of hard and soft flooring surfaces in a variety of markets.

“The machine identifies itself as a multi-floor tool,” says Tipton. “So it can do everything from cleaning and restoring structure tiles and abrading and top-scrubbing VCT tiles to screening hardwood floors.”

Schneringer also sees the machine being used for stone polishing and to clean grout lines in restrooms.

“It’s a very versatile piece of equipment that could be used in any market,” he says. “Schools, hospitality, healthcare, office buildings … any place that needs a good cleaning result quickly and safely.”

End users are frequently sold on the machine’s versatility, but for those who are still on the fence distributors prefer to let the machine do the talking.
“The best way to sell the machines is to demonstrate them,” says Schneringer. “We recently went to a school district and brought in one of our orbital cleaning machines. We cleaned an area of their restroom with a focus on tile and grout. It was one of those demos where our contact got people from admin to come and see how clean we were able to get the bathroom. They see how easy it is to get results in a short amount of time, and seeing is believing.” 

Kassandra Kania is a freelancer based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She is a frequent contributor to Sanitary Maintenance.

previous page of this article:
Stripping Floors Without Chemicals