The Relationship Between
Water, Cleaning, and Sustainability
The professional cleaning industry is far larger than most people realize, with more than $50 billion estimated in annual sales, and as such its impact on the environment and sustainability is considerable as well. For instance, an estimated 6 billion pounds of cleaning chemicals are used each year, many of which are manufactured using nonrenewable petroleum products.
Frank believes that to minimize water use, cylindrical brush technology, available in Europe for almost two decades but introduced in the United States only about six or seven years ago, will become increasingly popular in the United States.
Large amounts of paper products—somewhere around 450 billion pounds—are also used annually; some of these are recycled after use, but a large amount is simply discarded as waste. In addition, an estimated 25 million pounds of cleaning machinery and equipment winds up in landfills each year.
However, the cleaning industry is now making significant strides in becoming Greener, more environmentally responsible, and more sustainable—and this applies to water consumption as well. One such advance has come in the form of new floor stripping and cleaning technologies.
Currently, when floors are stripped, a rotary pad machine is generally used. Although these machines work well and have been effective tools in the past, they tend to be effective only at removing soils and contaminants from the top of a floor’s surface--while at the same time requiring the use of large amounts of water and chemical. Even more of these resources must be used when cleaning grouted areas, uneven floors, or porous flooring.
But there is now an alternative to the rotary pad machine available--a new type of floor machine technology offered by Tornado Industries called cylindrical brush scrubbing technology. Cylindrical brush scrubbing delivers low-moisture cleaning technology through the use of counter-rotating cylindrical brushes instead of flat, disc brushes or pads. Cylidrical brush delivers as much as six times the floor contact pressure as conventional rotary disc machines, improving cleaning effectiveness, increasing worker productivity, and making the job easier for cleaning professionals in general.
In addition, the bristles on cylindrical brushes have the ability to reach far deeper into floor surfaces, removing more soils and contaminants and help to improve cleaning performance. As a result, these machines use an estimated 30 percent less chemical and water, making them far Greener and more sustainable than conventional rotary pad models. These machines use less water because greater emphasis is put on the machines’ brushes and agitation to loosen and remove soils from surfaces. According to David Frank, president of the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS), “the less water used, the better. You don’t want to use more chemical and water than you have to when cleaning.”