Choosing the right equipment to clean your floor will depend on a number of factors. The first thing you’ll need to assess is the type of floor you have. You might have one type of flooring running through the premises or a variety of flooring types in different areas and rooms.
Common types of commercial flooring include PVC tiles, wood, tile and grout, marble, granite, vinyl, epoxy resin and concrete.
You’ll need to ensure that whatever equipment you purchase is up to the job of cleaning this material in a thorough, hygienic way and without damage. Many modern machines are suitable for use on a host of flooring materials.
Caring For Different Floor Types
Different floor types require different approaches to cleaning. You need to be careful not to use too abrasive a brush on certain flooring or you will damage it, while it’s also important that you don’t use strong chemicals on certain materials. Below is a brief guide on what to use for each flooring type.
- Use a dust mop to remove debris before cleaning
- Use a scrubber with a low suds solution
VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile)
- Dust mop to remove loose dirt and dust
- Clean the floor with an emulsifier solution diluted to a 4:1 ratio
- Polish with a floorcare machine
- Dust mop or sweep with a broom daily
- Wet mop once a week with an all-purpose cleaner
- Reseal once a quarter with water-based sealant
- Once every one or two years, perform gloss restoration
Ceramic Tile and Grout
- Avoid acidic cleaners as these will eat away at grouting
- Use a wet mop or scrubber machine with disc rotary brushes
- Vacuum daily – dirt and debris can become trapped in matting, so use a suitable attachment
- Seasonally (in winter or early spring) – perform a full clean to remove ice melt residue (you can usually see a white haze when this is present)
- Use dilute all-purpose cleaner and work it into the surface
- Daily/weekly (depending on traffic) – vacuum with a fresh filter bag
Floor Cleaning For Different Industries
It’s also important to consider the type of cleaning you’ll need to undertake. Depending on your industry, you might have dust, dirt, oil, grease, stains, tyre marks and more. Some areas will accumulate more dirt and grime than others, particularly corners, store cupboards or areas with storage units.
Certain industries will have specific requirements, too. For example, a blue chip and technology business may require “clean rooms” – which is more specific than it seems. Due to delicate electronics and the need to have servers that are working at top efficiency, such rooms need to remain completely dust-free and will require specialist equipment for floor cleaning.
You’ll need a machine that offers you versatility in the types of jobs it can handle, or multiple machines to do various jobs. For example, will the machine you’re considering allow you to reach into corners? Most equipment has the option of attachments that will reach into corners and behind storage and desks, but check before you buy.
For heavy-duty commercial use, you’ll probably need to look at specialised equipment and this may mean purchasing a number of separate machines. A high-pressure jet will be useful for removing stains and dirt from exterior walls as well as thorough grease and oil. A buffer will be good for polishing up high-shine flooring, but won’t have much use beyond that.
It’s also worth considering the function of the machine and how it operates. Equipment that needs to be regularly refilled with water may be impractical as you’ll need to factor in the regular dump and fill cycles as well as drying times.
Also think about how fast the equipment is – efficient machines that clean quickly will require fewer staff hours and reduce disruption to other workers, leaving you more time for other tasks.
Types Of Floor Cleaning Equipment
Here are some of the most frequently used floor cleaning machines and equipment, so that you can understand some of the choices you have.
Floor sweepers are a mechanised version of brooms and usually range from small models that are powered by a battery to industrial grade machines that have dust extraction capabilities. Most of these machines work on the same principle, though – circular brushes rotate to sweep the floor, gathering dirt and dust into a hopper in the centre of the unit which can later be emptied.
Ride-on sweepers can be useful if you need to cover a large area in as short a time as possible.
Floor scrubbers and dryers are a more sophisticated, mechanised version of a mop and bucket. They use cleaning products and scrub the floor with brushes, collecting up the liquid residue into a collection tank for disposal. As the machine moves along the floor, it also dries the areas it has cleaned, making this a great option for workplaces where you need minimum disruption.
Buffers and Polishers
For hardwood, stone or lino floors, buffers and floor polisher machines will remove dirt and dust while also polishing the floor. Often used for business where customers or clients will enter, they result in a shiny finish that is professional.
The trusty vacuum cleaner hasn’t changed a great deal over the years and, for carpeted floors, commercial varieties come in a range of sizes. “Wet & Dry” vacuum cleaners are also available for use on floors that can be wet.
Usually used wet, commercial mops are ideal for polished or wooden surfaces. They are used in combination with a bucket full of water, or a dilute cleaning product, and are ideal for getting rid of spillages or stains.
For further information on floor care and choosing the right cleaning equipment for your workplace, speak to one of our team who will provide expert advice on choosing the right products for your business needs. Or alternatively, read our more detailed Floorcare Machines Guide for further info on choosing the best machine to suit your requirements.