| In Practice | Flooring
Mechanical floor cleaning
Correct use of bristle products
and cleaning pads
Building cleaners can choose from many products to help them mechanically clean, sand and
polish floors. In addition to selecting the right machine, suitable brushes and pads are essential
for success because they establish direct contact with the floor surface.
Especially when using brushes or pads containing abrasives,
professional expertise is required to find the right balance between
effectiveness and efficiency without damaging the surface being
The first question to clarify is whether a brush or a pad is better
for the job. While brushes can be used on smooth and structured
surfaces, conventional pads are particularly suited for unstructured
Structured surfaces such as those with rubber nubs or safety
flooring tiles with displacement space can generally be cleaned
better by roller brushes than with disc brushes. Oscillating or
eccentric scrubbers together with scrubber brushes or bristle pads
achieve the best results on structured surfaces and mortar joints.
If only a one-disc machine or scrubber dryer with disc brush(es)
for structured surfaces, the use of softer or so-called
high-low brushes is recommended.
Brushes for maintenance cleaning on smooth surfaces coated with
gloss dispersion are less suitable. In this case, scrubber brushes
can easily scratch the protective film, especially if the brush is
started on the dry surface. Roller brushes are very critical because
their small contact area and usually much higher velocity exerts a
great mechanical effect that can polish streaks or even clouds into
the protective film if they are driven at uneven speeds.
Ground stone floors or fine stoneware tiles with certain requirements
for slip resistance cannot be cleaned with abrasive brushes
(gritty and/or Sica or SC brushes, diamond brushes) or pads (red to
black cleaning pads, diamond pads) because these would gradually
smoothen the floor surface and reduce its anti-slip properties.
Although the exclusive use of pads is popular for removing coatings
(basic cleaning), scrub brushes with basic cleaner solution
for the first round of scrubbing. In contrast to pads,
brushes do not clog as rapidly with protective film residue or
clumps, and thus retain their greater mechanical
effect. The final
step for removing the last bits of protective coatings
should be to
scrub the surface with a basic cleaning pad coordinated with the
surface. If the surface has very stubborn coatings, it is advisable
that the protective film be intensively scrubbed with a stripping
or basic cleaning pad and clear water before a basic cleaning solution
is used. The prerequisite for this is that the protective film
has not yet started to be dissolved or softened by a basic cleaner.
After vacuuming the dissolved or abraded protective film, the
protective film residues can usually be easily removed
with a suitable
basic cleaning solution.
Brushes are used for carpet cleaning and to wet-scrub or even polish
non-textile floor coverings. They are made of many materials:
plant-based (e.g. bassine, fiber, union fiber bristles (40 percent
Oscillating floor scrubber with rectangular brush pad (Tomcat).
38 GLOBAL CLEANING | ISSUE 2018