Blog: The importance of not cutting corners when using scrubber dryers

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I can recall quite a number of occasions in the past where, thinking I know better than conventional wisdom, I have attempted to cut corners for the sake of speed and perceived simplicity in my domestic life. However, whilst standing amongst the ruins of some DIY or culinary disaster, speed and simplicity are quite the opposite of what is ultimately achieved and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that doing it the “right way” from the beginning will always prove to be more time and results efficient.

Never is this truer than in the world of professional cleaning and where the application of scrubber dryers is concerned.

In fact, there are five golden rules when it comes to not cutting corners and doing things the right way, which we constantly refer when training on scrubber dryer machines.

  1. Thoroughly check machine before use

Any item of cleaning equipment should be thoroughly checked before use so that the operative responsible for using it is certain it is clean, safe and fit for purpose. Where scrubber dryers are specifically concerned the clean solution and recovery tanks should be checked for cleanliness, any filters should be unclogged and squeegee blades should be checked for cleanliness and correct operation. Any machine tasked with removing moisture from hard surfaces is only going to perform whilst its blades are in good condition. Once they begin to wear they will leave streaking and moisture on the floor. Operatives should be trained to identify this wear and subsequently how to change or turn the blades.

  1. Pre-sweep

Regardless of the cleaning task at hand, we always advise removing dry dust and particulate soil before wet cleaning. After all what is the point in adding moisture to dirt and creating a more difficult to remove sludge? Where scrubber dryer cleaning is concerned, pre-sweeping has the added advantage of preventing the machine’s squeegee blades from clogging and causing streaking across the floor. Additionally, in industrial areas, string and shrink wrap from palletised packaging are anathema to scrubber dryers and can cause damage and long periods out of service. We recommend the use of the Masslinn sweeping system prior to wet cleaning.

  1. Dilute cleaning chemical accurately

There are a considerable number of reasons why it is very important to dilute cleaning chemical concentrates accurately, including waste and surface damage. However, amongst the most frequently cited is the impact that the residue from under-diluted cleaning chemicals can have. On occasion this residue can be slippery which is not good where floor care is concerned. More often than not though, it will dry to be sticky. This means that the floor will re-soil quickly, making daily cleaning more difficult in the long term. Additionally, under-diluted chemical residue can clog up the internal componentry on scrubber dryers causing further unnecessary downtime.

  1. Consider pace

Whether we are using pedestrian scrubber dryers which are manually propelled or larger pedestrian or ride-on machines which are traction driven, the pace at which the machine moves across the floor will have a significant impact on how effectively the machine cleans. Clearly the slower the machine moves (within reason) the more effectively it will clean. This needs to be balanced against the period of time available to complete the job in hand but it is all too common an occurrence that speed will win out over cleaning results for busy cleaning staff with lots to do.

  1. Clean equipment after use

It is a physical and practical impossibility to clean using dirty equipment and therefore removing a scrubber dryer’s brush(es) and squeegee assembly for cleaning, emptying the recovery tank for rinsing through and drying are critical post-clean tasks. If undertaken from the installation of a new machine, these tasks are anything but onerous. However, it is when they have been overlooked for a few weeks that the dirt begins to harden and the clean down of the machine becomes hard work.

I remember the importance of these tasks being brought into sharp perspective for me fairly early in my career while working for another machine supplier. At the time we loaned a demonstration machine to a contractor to cover their regular machine being out of service for repair.

The contract in question was with a chain of supermarkets and when we received the demonstration machine back after only a week, it was clear it had been used to “clean” within the produce section of the supermarket. Not only was the recovery tank full of dirty water there was also evidence of rotting vegetables floating around, the whole thing was infested with Black Fly and the smell was dreadful. While on the one hand, one can spend time wondering why anyone would return a machine full of dirty cleaning solution, the bigger question for me is why they would use the machine such a condition in a retail setting while the store was open?

When dirty solution is vacuumed from the floor during the use of a scrubber dryer, the machine picks up a certain amount of air along with the dirty solution. In order to prevent the machine from blowing up, this air needs to be vented during the machine’s operating process and so the air would have passed through the recovery tank, picked up the general odour of dirt and rotting vegetation only to be blown out into the store while customers were shopping.

In summary, short cuts are often attractive but misleading. We think we’re going to save time but only end up making things much more difficult in the long term.

Matt Baines
Learning and development manager
Jigsaw Cleaning Systems

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