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Reaping the rewards

10 December 2013

Practicing sustainability while performing everyday cleaning – by using fewer chemicals, generating less waste, using less water and conserving energy – is an increasingly important goal that brings a number of benefits to companies and their workforces, explains Tennant

Recent developments in sustainability now offer cleaning solutions that save natural resources by reducing energy consumption and water usage and by diminishing the need for detergents, thus also reducing the waste stream. In addition to enhancing sustainability, these technologies also offer many benefits, including reduced costs, improved indoor air quality and enhanced safety.


Chemical free cleaning

Innovations in chemical free cleaning include orbital scrubbers with the power and performance to provide greater down pressure to remove acrylic floor finish without the risks of chemical strippers. The rectangular scrub head easily reaches into corners and hard-to-reach areas for even floor finish removal across the entire cleaning path to provide a chemical-free floor finish removal alternative for VCT floors.

Chemical free floor cleaning offers cost savings and, by reducing chemical purchases, these scrubbers often can pay for themselves over time. Other savings include reducing the need to order, transport and store chemicals in multiple locations throughout a facility, and the potential for reduced expense for sewage and packaging waste disposal. 

Advanced low volatile organic compound (VOC) floor coating systems can also enhance sustainability by replacing floor strippers and finishes that contain heavy metal. These coatings are not susceptible to hand sanitizer spills, and reduce labour expense by eliminating the need to burnish floors.


Shining examples

A universal challenge facing cleaning staff is how to keep facilities sparkling clean at all times without devoting all resources to this pursuit. Key criteria to look for when choosing products that truly make a facility shine are: 

  • Battery sweepers that capture debris in a single pass. As an example, Tennant’s TwinMax technology allows two sweepers to efficiently clear away dirt in one pass;
  • Ergonomic canister carpet extractors with the wide-reaching high-airflow titanium wand to optimize water flow and reduce drying time; 
  • Rapid drying carpet cleaning equipment featuring micro fibre technology to enable more frequent interim carpet cleaning with minimal disruption; 
  • Quieter machines and carpet dry times of 30 minutes or less allow cleaning to be performed while employees and visitors are present – making the perception of a clean facility a reality.

Be safe and sustainable

It’s wise to implement solutions that help to reduce cleaning-related hazards – including slippery floors, poor indoor air quality, along with handling and mixing chemicals. Recent advancements in products that address these risks include:

  • Small, high performance walk-behind scrubbers or new powerful burnishers with active 4-stage HEPA filtration dust control systems to protect indoor air quality;
  • Orbital scrubbers help minimise airborne chemicals, and reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents when using ec-H2O technology which electrically converts water and eliminates chemicals;
  • Easy-to-clean solution and recovery tanks can reduce scrubber tank mould, bacteria and odours, further improving the facility’s air quality and cleanliness. 

Improperly diluted chemicals used in floor scrubbing machines can leave a slippery residue, increasing the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. Newer, chemical-

free technologies leave no residue and actually remove built up chemical residue. This reduces the risk of slip-and-fall accidents and enables daytime cleaning while maintaining a safe environment.

A new cleaning solution on the market can replace many daily-use conventional cleaning chemicals. This multi-surface solution is created on site using tap 

water, a small amount of salt and electricity, and can be used in floor scrubbing machines, automated carpet cleaning equipment, spray-and-wipe cleaning, 

touchless cleaners and more. On-site generated multi-surface cleaning solution can provide environmental advantages by reducing the need to transport, store 

and dispose of conventional cleaning chemicals and packaging. 

Although faced with a multitude of challenges in hard floor cleaning, facility managers nowadays can choose from a wide range of flexible solutions tailored to their specific cleaning applications. These allow them to still live up to rigorous expectations of cleanliness, effectiveness and budget constraints all while enhancing sustainability without sacrificing image and safety.