Sweep Floors First

Many cringe when seeing warehouse employees repeat a common mistake: forgetting to sweep before you scrub. It sounds simple enough—and most of us already know the value in this from cleaning our own homes—but this is still a widely overlooked step when it comes time to clean facility floors at the end of the day, week or month.

“In a warehouse or DC, about 80% of the soils infiltrating the environment are dry particulate soils,” says Bodo, director of training for Karcher North America. That soil not only wreaks havoc in “high appearance” areas (such as a Class A office building), but it also damages surfaces and creates a dirty appearance on warehouse and DC floors.

To clean that dirt up, most companies regularly run a scrubber up and down the floors to pick up the gritty materials. In reality, what they should be doing is sweeping first. Doing so ensures that the dry particulate doesn’t get caught in the scrubber pads and basically become “one large sanding disc,” says Bodo.

“Scrubbing first will remove any gloss that’s on the floor,” says Bodo. “Plus, any soil that’s not picked up ahead of time has a tendency to accumulate along the scrubber’s squeegee blade and inhibit the machine’s performance.” And that, says Bodo, is why getting dry soil up before scrubbing is so important, “and yet it is one of the most overlooked parts of any floor maintenance program.”