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Overcoming Three Tough Cleaning Challenges: Strategies for Facility Managers

Three tough challenges – High-traffic buildings, cleaning tight spaces, and labor shortages

Facility managers are responsible for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene but often encounter tough cleaning challenges. This article will explore three significant hurdles facility managers face: cleaning high-traffic areas, tackling small and tight spaces, and coping with janitorial labor shortages. We will also explore effective solutions and strategies to overcome these challenges.

busy building

Cleaning High-Traffic Areas

High-traffic areas are prone to dirt, dust, and debris accumulation, demanding regular cleaning to uphold cleanliness standards. Here are two practical approaches for tackling this challenge:

Strategy #1: Improve Entry Matting

High-quality clean-in-place entry matting traps dirt before it enters the facility. Studies show that fifteen feet of entry matting can trap up to 85% of the soil entering a facility. Place entry mats in the high-traffic facility to reduce the soil load and minimize dust mopping, making the floor easier to scrub. Clean-in-place matting can be vacuumed when traffic permits or by limiting pedestrian access to the entryway during daily vacuuming.

Strategy #2: Use Compact Ride-On Scrubbers

compact ride-on scrubber

To address the cleaning needs of larger high-traffic areas, facility managers can consider utilizing compact ride-on scrubbers. These machines offer several advantages, including:

  • Increased Efficiency: Compact ride-on scrubbers cover more surface area in less time than mopping or walk-behind scrubbers, boosting productivity and minimizing labor requirements.
  • Enhanced Maneuverability: With their smaller size, these scrubbers can easily navigate through congested areas and around obstacles, ensuring a thorough cleaning.
  • Safer For Pedestrians: Compact ride-on scrubbers play a vital role in ensuring the safety of pedestrians by leaving the floor dry. Their powerful suction capabilities effectively remove water and moisture, leaving the surface dry and ready for use.

Cleaning Small, Tight Areas

Cleaning small, tight spaces, such as narrow hallways or cramped restrooms, presents unique challenges. To address these issues, facility managers should consider using micro-scrubbers. Micro-scrubbers are compact floor-cleaning machines specifically designed to tackle small areas efficiently. These machines offer the following benefits:

micro scrubber
  • Maneuverability: Micro-scrubbers are lightweight and agile, allowing them to navigate effortlessly through narrow spaces, corners, and tight turns.
  • Versatility: They are designed to handle various floor types, including tile, concrete, and hardwood, providing flexibility for different cleaning requirements.
  • Time and Labor Savings: By streamlining the cleaning process, micro-scrubbers help reduce the time and effort required to clean small areas, optimizing overall operational efficiency.

Managing During a Custodial Labor Shortage

Janitorial labor shortages can significantly impact facility operations, making adopting strategies that maximize productivity despite reduced cleaning staff crucial. Here are two fundamental approaches:

Strategy #1: Process Improvement

By leveraging labor-saving equipment and products, facility managers can streamline cleaning processes. Examples include:

  • Upgrading Cleaning Equipment: Facility managers have many options to improve productivity through equipment selection. Eliminating mopping in favor of walk-behind, or even better, ride-on floor scrubbers, can help offset labor shortages. Using backpack vacuums instead of upright vacuums can also make a big difference.
  • Automatic Chemical Dispensing Systems: These systems deliver precise amounts of cleaning solutions, reducing waste, ensuring optimal product usage, and saving labor when refilling buckets and floor scrubbers.
  • Time-Saving Tools: Implementing tools like microfiber cleaning cloths and ergonomic cleaning equipment can enhance efficiency and reduce the strain on the cleaning staff.

Strategy #2: Custodial Employee Retention

Retaining skilled cleaning personnel is crucial to maintaining consistent cleaning standards. Here are two tips to help foster employee retention:

  • Recognition and Rewards: Acknowledging and appreciating custodial staff's hard work and dedication through rewards and recognition programs can boost morale and job satisfaction.
  • Training and Development: Investing in ongoing training and skill development opportunities demonstrates a commitment to employee growth and fosters loyalty.
janitorial training

Hillyard Can Help

Hillyard can help you tackle tough cleaning challenges with expert advice and trusted products. Contact us using the form below, and we can:

  • Audit your entry mat program and make recommendations.
  • Audit your cleaning program and recommend cleaning machines to help clean high-traffic areas or tight spaces.
  • Audit your cleaning program to identify time-saving tools, like microfiber cleaning cloths and dilution control systems, that help you clean at the lowest total cost.
  • Train your custodial staff on best practices to elevate your workers and improve employee retention.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are common cleaning problems for facility managers?

There are three tough cleaning challenges faced by facility managers: cleaning high-traffic areas, tackling small and tight spaces, and coping with janitorial labor shortages.

What strategies are recommended for cleaning high-traffic areas?

Consider these two strategies for cleaning high-traffic areas. The first strategy is to improve entry matting by using high-quality clean-in-place mats that trap dirt before it enters the facility. The second strategy is to utilize compact ride-on scrubbers, which offer increased efficiency, enhanced maneuverability, and safer cleaning for pedestrians.

How can facility managers address the challenge of cleaning small, tight areas?

Facility managers can consider using micro-scrubbers to address cleaning small, tight spaces. These compact floor-cleaning machines are designed to maneuver through narrow spaces and corners, offering benefits such as maneuverability, versatility, and time and labor savings.

What strategies are suggested for managing janitorial labor shortages?

Consider these two fundamental approaches to managing janitorial labor shortages. The first strategy is process improvement, which includes upgrading cleaning equipment, implementing automatic chemical dispensing systems, and using time-saving tools. The second strategy is custodial employee retention, which involves recognizing and rewarding staff and investing in training and development opportunities.

How can I get help with tough cleaning challenges?

Hillyard can provide expert advice and trusted products to assist with cleaning challenges. They offer services such as auditing entry mat programs and cleaning programs, recommending cleaning machines and time-saving tools, and providing custodial training to improve employee retention.

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