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Restorative Cleaning vs. Maintenance Cleaning, or Why Autoscrubbers Don’t Cut It
Legend Brands visited the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Canada, and studied the floor cleaning procedures used. With over 570,000 m2 of space and 800 stores, it is the largest mall in North America. Cleaning staff used an “autoscrubber” floor cleaning machine featuring 150 psi water pressure, a counter-rotational brush and a vacuum squeegee, and a neutral cleaner detergent in the fresh water tank.
The staff told us that this procedure seemed to be satisfactory for daily cleaning and light duty cleaning. However, because daily cleaning can only remove a small amount of soil, staff noticed that the soils began to accumulate and become more difficult to remove. At some point, this level of cleaning was no longer able to keep up with the task. Even though the floors were cleaned routinely, they were actually getting dirtier. Soils that were not properly removed in previous cleanings simply accumulated, making subsequent cleanings increasingly useless.
What Edmonton Mall needed was a regular restorative cleaning process, one that removes all the soils, even soils deeply imbedded in grout and other porous and textured surfaces. This is achieved by using equipment that utilizes greater mechanical forces and higher heat. These mechanical forces include higher water pressures and higher water temperatures, stronger agitation and high vacuum air flows.
High volume extraction is a key component of a truly restorative cleaning process. Any liquids not removed will leave behind chemical residues and small particles of soil which will redeposit on the floor – not to mention creating slippery conditions and delaying reoccupancy of the cleaned areas.
As the staff at the Edmonton West Mall discovered, deep cleaning is all but impossible with standard 150 PSI autoscrubber equipment. Using autoscrubbers and related maintenance procedures can be compared to washing a car with a toothbrush. You’ll get it clean eventually, but how clean will it be, and how long did it take you to clean it? For true restorative cleaning, we advise every cleaner to look to the power, heat, and productivity of truckmount extraction equipment.