Optimizing Floor Care Efforts with Durable Products and Routine Assessments

In the cleaning industry, time is money, and facility managers often feel the pressure to accomplish numerous projects in a short amount of time. To ensure efficiencies in both preparation and execution, it’s important to choose durable products that withstand common cleaning challenges.

  • A cleaning crew is only as good as its tools. Therefore, it’s crucial for facility managers to make sure their staff has the most efficient and effective cleaning products available, while also regularly assessing all tools to determine if they are working properly. 

    Like all cleaning products, a floor pad will eventually reach the end of its lifespan and require replacement. Below are three ways to determine if it’s time to replace your floor pad:

    1. Visual Cues: The easiest way to tell whether your pad needs replacing is in its appearance. For many types of pads, a general rule of thumb is to replace the pad once its thickness reaches 3/8” inch to avoid damaging the floor with the pad driver.  Some pads, such as the Scotch-Brite™ Clean & Shine Pad, have an outer layer that is a different color than the inside. As a result, once the coating has worn away, it provides a visual indication that the pad needs to be replaced. Scrubbing and stripping pads can become clogged with finish during use, which is evident by caking on the pad surface.
    2. Product Performance: Sub-par performance can be a sign that your floor pad has seen better days. For scrubbing and stripping pads, experienced floor crews can often feel when the pad is no longer cutting optimally. Depending on the type of pad and how long it’s been used, it may need to be totally replaced, flipped over, or cleaned. 
    3. Pad Maintenance: General care and cleaning of pads can indicate that they need to be changed. When staff regularly rinse and clean the pads after a job, they can see whether the pad’s effectiveness is being impacted by residual dirt and debris. A dirty floor pad can be counterproductive by making the floor dirtier or causing scratching.

    When replacing a floor pad, it’s crucial to pick the right product to help minimize future labor and materials costs. When selecting new floor pads facility managers should look for products that are:

    • Engineered for a specific task, e.g. floor stripping or burnishing;
    • Made of high-quality materials to promote longevity;
    • Designed for durability (specifically, seek out pads with fibers and resins that withstand the effects of chemicals).

    Facility managers are continually asked to do more with less, especially when it comes to cleaning. Fortunately, by choosing the right tools, conducting regular performance reviews, and replacing underperforming products on an ongoing basis, cleaning efficiency and efficacy can be maximized. Find 3M™ Floor Pads.

  • Productivity and Labor Cost Reduction

    It is the facility manager’s responsibility to ensure that the floors are well maintained and within budget constraints. Selecting a durable, high performing pad that is engineered for a specific maintenance task to deliver optimal results will save money in the long term by reducing labor costs and eliminating the need to use multiple products to achieve the same results. High performance and durability can be achieved by selecting floor pads manufactured with fibers that are coated throughout to last longer and produce the most consistent, high-quality results.

    High performance equates to efficient, more productive cleaning which may help reduce labor costs. For scheduled maintenance, such as scrub and recoats, the Scotch-Brite™ Surface Preparation Pad Plus removes floor finish two times faster than competitive pads – even with multiple uses – so it keeps working longer and doesn’t require a backer pad. For daily maintenance, the Scotch-Brite™ Clean & Shine Pad removes black marks three times faster and lasts longer than traditional cleaning pads. It also creates a dustless polish, further reducing labor time and costs by reducing or even eliminating the need to burnish.

  • Environmental Impact and Sustainability

    Both the Scotch-Brite™ Surface Preparation Pad Plus and the Scotch-Brite™ Clean & Shine Pad are effective with the use of water or a neutral cleaner – removing the need for harsh chemicals. In addition, the products recently received Green Seal® Certification of Environmental Innovation under the GS-20 standard. This certification recognizes products that significantly improve performance and durability while extending the useful life of the floor pad and reducing solid waste generation.

  • Ongoing Assessments to Enhance Durability

    Wear and tear are inevitable, so once a facility manager identifies an effective product, it’s equally important to consistently assess its efficacy. For floor pads specifically, there are three key considerations to determine if a product has reached the end of its life span, including:

    1. Product Performance Indicators – When using floor pads for specific tasks such as stripping and scrubbing, the overall performance of the product can provide insights into whether it is working or not. A pad that needs replacing will often no longer function as intended, resulting in substandard performance on the floor. Depending on the product, this type of visual clue will determine if the pad needs to be replaced in its entirety or can be flipped over.
    2. Visual Inspections – The visual appearance of the pad itself can also be an easy way to confirm its effectiveness. For example, some pads on the market come with a spray-coated outer layer that is a different color than the primary cleaning surface. Once the spray coating is scrubbed down, it provides the cleaning staff with an easy visual indication that it’s time to replace the pad.
    3. Overall Care – General maintenance of floor pads can also help determine if they need to be changed. As the staff goes through the routine process of rinsing and cleaning a pad after a job, they can quickly determine if residual dirt and debris are impacting effectiveness.

    It’s likely that facility managers will continue to face increases in labor and product costs. Luckily, by choosing durable products and replacing at the appropriate time, and recognizing the importance of ongoing maintenance, facility managers can ensure the overall quality of a job while simultaneously maximizing their return on investment.

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