In today’s tough regulatory and reimbursement climate, there is more and more pressure on maintenance and operations professionals to find savings creatively, on an already tight budget. The vast majority of any community’s costs related to cleaning are staff-based, specifically related to the time required to clean. When it comes to hallways and common spaces, there are a few easy tips and tricks available to better utilize your staff and reduce your cost to clean.

Invest in your staff

In the past, a wide dust mop or sweeper would be used to remove surface-level debris before a traditional cotton mop provided a deeper clean. For large spaces, this often required filling and emptying several buckets, placing a large amount of water on the ground, and waiting a long time for floors to dry and be safe for walking. Consider these product solutions for your staff that will help cut down on the time and effort required for these larger cleaning tasks.

Improve Cleaning Ability by 125%

Replace your old, worn-out dust mops with a wide-area sweeper to more effectively remove surface-level debris with less labor required. Specifically swapping out your 18” dry mop for a 26” wide-area sweeper improves your square foot per hour cleaning ability by 125%!

438% Coverage Gain

Trade in your mop and bucket for a properly sized autoscrubber for a 438% gain in coverage, moving from 1,724 sq. ft. per hour (16 oz. mop) to 9,274 sq. ft. per hour (20”W autoscrubber). A single pass with an autoscrubber will apply water, scrub and agitate to loosen dirt and soil from the floor, while also sucking up the water and soil back into the machine’s recovery tank. This leaves minimal water on the floor, making it safe to walk on in just a few minutes, rather than hours.

Improve Staff Efficiency by 139%

If an autoscrubber is out of your budget, consider switching to microfiber. This small change can make a huge difference in the amount of time spent on easy tasks. Moving from a 16 oz. wet mop to an 18”W microfiber pad improves staff efficiency by 139%!

Optimize your investment by properly sizing equipment

When making the investment in new cleaning technology, your first consideration should always be equipment sizing. A properly sized unit not only makes it easy for your staff to operate, but more importantly it has the potential to reduce the number of paths required. For example, the average hallway in today’s communities is 84” wide. Investing in a 24”W autoscrubber will only require four passes whereas a 20” unit will require five. The reduction of that single pass equates to a 20% reduction in staff time required. It’s important to also consider your staff’s ability to handle larger equipment. If you’re investing in larger equipment due to more open common spaces, you may want to research self-propelled or ride-on equipment as a crucial component of your investment. This assists with reducing operator fatigue.

Optimize your processes

Daily cleaning of hard floors still remains a two-step process, but for hallways and common spaces we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeves that can help.

Step 1 – Dry Cleaning
It’s important to continue dry cleaning via a dry mop, broom or sweeper. If this step is skipped, you’ll lose efficacy when it comes time for damp or wet cleaning. Common thinking is that every inch of your hallways and common areas needs to be swept or dry mopped daily. The reality is you can focus daily attention on the heavily trafficked areas and hit the sides and corners every other day. In other words, it may be sufficient to get to the middle 48” of hallways daily and leave the two 24” side paths for every other.

Step 2 – Wet Cleaning
There is much to be said about the number of buckets required to clean a hallway and how far a single mop-bucket can go, but hopefully by now you’re looking to microfiber or an autoscrubber for efficiency’s sake! Unlike dry cleaning where the focus is on heavily trafficked areas, damp mopping or scrubbing should cover the entire space. Make slightly overlapping paths with your autoscrubber and operate in a figure-eight pattern with microfiber to ensure complete pickup and removal. Follow your equipment manufacturer guidelines on water-to-chemical ratios as too much chemical just stays on the floor, making for sticky and dirtier floors requiring more frequent cleanings.

When it comes to taking the cost out of healthcare, Direct Supply is your source for efficient equipment and best practice expertise.  Contact us for more information on product selection advice, and floor care support, or shop our full selection of housekeeping and floor care equipment online.