Introduction to Cleaning Machinery

I hope you all enjoyed a fantastic Easter weekend and that you are raring to go.

Clean machines

In this, my second blog, I will be exploring the vast array of machinery you can use for cleaning, from vacuum cleaners to pressure washers and much more.

Tools of the trade

All good cleaning operatives have an armoury of equipment to help them get into every corner of any room and it is vital to choose the right tools for each job to ensure you get the best cleaning results.

Look back at vacs

First up, the humble vacuum cleaner. According to cleaning folklore, the first vacuum cleaner was manufactured in Chicago in 1865 and was christened the Whirlwind.

A Janitor named Murray Spangler of Ohio created the earliest designs and developed the idea after constructing a crude prototype with a desk fan and a pillowcase. He then went on to sell the idea to his cousin who owned the Hoover Harness and Leather Goods Co. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, there are two main types of vacuum cleaner, the upright and the cylinder, which look and work in different ways.

Tub club

Cylinder, or tub machines, employ a bag principle, which means the soil is trapped in a bag that is situated in the main body of the machine between the inlet and the motor.

The walls of the dust bag are designed to let the air flow through while trapping fine dust particles within it. The air then passes through a series of filters, which trap even finer dust and debris. It is imperative to clean the filters regularly to maintain effectiveness.

This type of machine is easy to empty and they are widely used across the industry but it must be noted that as the bag fills the suction power can be reduced.

As an adaptation to the bag principle some tub machines have rigid containers that collect the debris.

Be upstanding for uprights

Upright vacuum cleaners are the perfect choice if a deeper clean of a carpet is required. They contain a special brush roll at the head of the machine, which rotates at high speed to dislodge and collect soil deep within the pile.

The motor, which creates the suction, is situated in the vacuum box on the handle and the air containing the soil is drawn up the machine into a bag or a rigid container. Again, additional filters trap any finer particles.

Added extras

One of the beauties of any vacuum cleaner is the vast array of additional tools and accessories available to suit specific cleaning tasks. These include:

  • Crevice tools for hard to reach awkward spots
  • T-shaped upholstery tools for delicate fabrics
  • Round or oval shaped dusting brushes with soft bristles to dislodge dust particles
  • Combination floor tools for both hard and carpeted floor surfaces
  • Squeegee tools for wet and dry machines to collect excess water

Don’t sweat the wet

Wet pick up machines work on the same principles as tubs with containers and are designed specifically for dealing with liquid.

In addition to the filtering system they incorporate a cut off mechanism to avoid the fluids coming into contact with the motor. This involves a float valve housed in a plastic cage. As the liquid rises, so does the float and when it reaches the set level the float covers the inlet to stop anything else being sucked in.

The choice is yours


Of course, vacuum cleaners aren’t the only type of machinery used by cleaning operatives. Here is a run down of some of the other machines that can be dubbed a cleaner’s best friend.

Rotary cleaning club

Rotary cleaners are known as the real workhorses of the industry and although they all look pretty much the same, the specifications of the different types of the machine will dictate what they can be used for.

As a rule of thumb, machines that rotate at slower speeds are more suited to scrubbing tasks, whereas the faster machines are used for polishing procedures.

Two in one

Scrubber dryers are clever machines that combine the scrubbing function of a rotary with the suction capabilities of a vacuum cleaner, allowing cleaners to carry two jobs at the same time.

Floors that have been cleaned with a scrubber dryer are clean, dry and ready to be used again straight away.

Scrubber dryers come in a whole host of shapes and sizes, the smallest being no bigger than a conventional vacuum cleaner to the largest, which can be sat on and driven down a street.

No matter what size you need, they all perform exactly the same function, which is to dislodge dirt and debris and vacuum it up. 

Under pressure

Pressure washers have become more and more advanced in recent years and come in a wide range of specifications, starting with the ones available to the public that are used to clean drives and patios, to huge, sophisticated industrial models.

Their job is to physically dislodge soil from a surface and they certainly don’t disappoint! Some of the more advanced machines also increase water temperature and apply steam at pressure.

With so many sizes and models available, they are suitable for tackling small problem areas or huge expanses and they can be used on both horizontal and vertical surfaces.

Pressure washers are favoured by cleaners tasked with removing ingrained dirt such as graffiti, traffic films, bird droppings and much more. They are also the tool of choice for car and commercial vehicle cleaning.

I do hope you have enjoyed reading about the wide range of cleaning machinery available. As you can see, it is important to consider every aspect of the job in hand before selecting the most suitable machine.

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