Ideas on How to Clean a Warehouse: Industrial Sweepers and Scrubbers
There are 4 levels of clean in the Materials Handling Industry and warehousing:
- Broom Swept
- Machine Swept
Broom swept explained:
A broom swept floor is an area in which a team of employees manually pushes brooms throughout the warehouse picking up debris and pushing the dust around. Clean Sweep type products assist in removing the dust but are still unable to pick up the fine dust.
- Low initial cost
- Removes debris
- Removes most dirt and some dust
- No maintenance cost
- Labor Intensive
- Fails white glove test
Machine Swept explained:
There are two types of machine sweepers, walk behinds and riders. Walk behind sweepers clean a little better than manual push brooms with clean sweep type products.
- Much faster than hand swept
- Low maintenance machine
- Battery run
- Easy to dump and easy to use
- Only a 26” to 34” sweep path
- If floor is dirty will need dumped regularly
- Not great with fine dust
Why use a riding sweeper?
Warehouse riding sweepers are very powerful and will actually clean most of the fine dust and debris.
Who are the top 4 manufactures of Riding Sweepers?
The 4 top brands are American-Lincoln, Tennant Company, Nilfisk-Advance and Factory Cat. Depending on the cleanliness you require a riding sweeper will keep your facility up to par. One option that you must include for indoor sweeping is dust control. There are two popular types of dust control; water dust suppression or air dust suppression (vacuum). I recommend the water dust suppression but indoors they both do a great job.
- Very powerful main broom will pick up fine dust
- Most have large hoppers that allow extended sweeping between dumps
- A 45”- 55” sweep path which means they are very efficient
- Low maintenance (side brooms, skirts, main broom and oil change)
- Very efficient
- Available in Gas, Diesel, Propane, Electric.
- Regular maintenance required like any motorized vehicle
- Daily cleaning required
Can a mop clean a warehouse?
This cleaning method has worked for many years but it isn’t going to make your floor “POP”. Mopping means a team of warehouse workers pushing a mop and bucket throughout your facility.
- Upfront costs are inexpensive
- Most dust will be removed
- Cleaning the floor with dirty water
- Hazy floor
- Labor intensive
Commercial and Industrial Scrubbers
What is the difference between Commercial and Industrial Scrubbers?
Scrubbing is categorized as either commercial or industrial. Commercial scrubbers are built for cleaning schools and hospital type applications. Industrial scrubbers are built to last in warehouse, manufacturing and production applications.
What is the difference between Cylindrical and Disc floor scrubbers?
In the industrial level of scrubbers there are two types of scrub decks; cylindrical and disc. Both scrub types do a great job of scrubbing and both have their specific applications.
Disc scrubbers work best on tile or on smooth floors, a disc scrubber can be used to clean a tile floor or strip it. Disc scrubbers also work well on a warehouse cement floor but they are unable to pick up pallet chips and debris, so all floors must be swept prior to scrubbing with a disc scrubber. Debris can actually damage the brushes or pad holders.
Cylindrical scrubbers work well on warehouse and production floors because they are able to scrub and sweep at the same time. The two brushes spin in opposite directions shooting all debris into a hopper. This great feature allows the operator to both sweep and scrub at the same time. Cylindrical scrubbers may be used to clean tile but will not strip tile or clean as well as a disc machine.
- Clean floors that pass the white glove test
- Almost everything that is put down is picked up
- Floor dries in a matter of seconds
- Able to clean multiple floor types
- Very efficient
- Walk behind able to scrub 20,000+ sq ft per hour
- Riders able to scrub 70,000+ sq ft per hour
- Upfront cost
- Requires maintenance (some daily)
- Common replacement parts can be expensive
- Most applications require detergent
- Is your facility capable of dumping large quantities of water?
Adam Maxfield has worked in Industrial sweeper and scrubber sales.