use and care of housekeeping equipments

Do Your Cleaners Know How to Care for Tools/Equipment?

As a cleaning business owner, how many times have you walked into a janitor closet and found dirty tools and equipment, filthy mop buckets, vacuum cleaners that haven’t been emptied, and spray bottles that no longer spray properly?  Sure, we understand that cleaning is hard work. And after a long shift, cleaners just want to get home for some rest and relaxation. But one of the most important parts of their job is to keep the janitor closet clean, organized, and free of safety hazards.

It’s also their job to make sure all cleaning tools and equipment are maintained and ready for use for the next shift. Ensuring that company tools and equipment are cared for and maintained correctly, makes for happy and safe cleaning technicians.

Caring for cleaning tools and equipment

We train our cleaning technicians to be efficient cleaners. We provide them with the processes, procedures, tools, and equipment to achieve this. Unfortunately, caring for tools and equipment can sometimes take a back seat.

Have you or your supervisors taken the time to train your employees on how to properly care for your tools and equipment? If not, it’s time to initiate a program to keep tools and equipment operating at their peak performance and ready for the next cleaning crew.

Here is a checklist I developed for my employees to keep tools and equipment in top working condition:

Plastic Spray Bottles

  • Wipe bottles as necessary to avoid residue and buildup.
  • Replace label if any part becomes smeared or unreadable.
  • Periodically take apart trigger and clean to avoid clogging.

Brute & Caddy

  • Wipe down inside and out as needed.


  • Do not leave lying around – they are a disease and safety hazard. Keep in a bag labeled dirty rags and do not mix with microfiber cloths.
  • Discard greasy or oily rags.

Microfiber cloths

  • Gather soiled microfiber cloths for laundering. Heavily soiled micro-fibers can scratch and damage surfaces.
  • Do not wash microfiber cloths with other rags or fabrics; they can actually attract the dirt from other soiled materials if washed together.

 Dust Pans

  • Disinfect and wipe front edge as needed.


  • Rinse in clear, cold water, shake out excess. If brush is dirty, wash it out in lukewarm cleaning solution and rinse with clear water. Let dry with bristles straight.
  • Storage – hang brush – do not put the brush weight on the bristles.


  • Do not use when wet, do not stand on its straws. Do not use brooms for scrubbing. Rotate frequently so they wear evenly.

 Putty Knife         

  • After each day’s use, wipe putty knife to remove moisture and debris.
  • Store in clean, dry place.
  • Edge the blade as needed to keep it sharp.

 Measuring Cups

  • Rinse with water immediately after use and wipe dry.

 Dust Mops

  • Do not use dry mops to pick up liquids. Do not use dust mops on oily floors.
  • Remove loose soil frequently, using a vacuum cleaner if possible; otherwise shake into large waste receptacle.
  • Never store a mop on the floor. Hang the mop so air can circulate.

Wet Mops

  • Before using a new cotton mop, soak for several minutes to remove sizing and toughen the fibers.
  • Rinse after use.
  • Do not twist the mop in the wringer. If it is twisted or squeezed too hard it can be destroyed because the actions will break the fibers.
  • Use your fingers to straighten the strands.
  • Cut off loose or uneven strands.
  • Hang mops to dry in a light, airy place. Never store on the floor or in the mop bucket.

 Microfiber Mops

  • Microfiber flat mops should be collected for laundering after each use.
  • Microfiber dry mops should be shaken or vacuumed first to remove any loose soil/dust before laundering.

 Floor Finish Mops

  • After using, wash out all floor finish or wax with clean water.
  • Wring out as much water as possible, shake to fluff strands.
  • Never use detergent or soap on a mop intended for floor finish.
  • Put mop in a clean plastic bag after use.

 Buckets & Wringers

  • Do not use force on a wringer lever – use only enough hand pressure on the lever to wring out the mop.
  • Remove any loose mop head yarn, string or foreign matter that becomes tangled in the wringer.
  • Wash and scrub all surfaces of the bucket with disinfectant. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry.
  • Keep wringer oiled and tight.
  • Keep wringer in “release” position when it is not being used.
  • Rinse blade in clean water after use.
  • Wipe dry, do not store with blade down or bent.

 Upright Vacuum

  • Empty bag regularly.
  • Wipe outside of vacuum after emptying.
  • Check for strings, carpet yarns, etc. wrapped around beater bar.
  • Check belt for cuts and change when needed.
  • Empty magnet bar after each use.

 Backpack Vacuum

  • Empty bag regularly.
  • Check and clean micro-filters as needed.
  • Clean dome filter as needed.
  • Clean exhaust diffuser filter (this can be done weekly or as required).
  • Clean outside of vacuum.

 High-Speed Buffers

  • Wipe down entire surface after each day’s use. Also wipe cord.
  • Check pad for replacement.
  • Blow out motor approximately every 2 weeks.
  • Once per month check screws and bolts to ensure they are tight.

Slow Speed Machines

  • Wipe down entire surface after each day’s use. Also wipe cord.
  • Rinse tank after each use.
  • Check drive unit for cracks and wear.

Synthetic Floor Pads

  • Floor pads can be used on both sides. Once both sides have been used, the pad should be set aside for cleaning or soaking.
  • Floor pads can be cleaned by rubbing one against the surface of another. Or you can use a hand scratcher. Follow by rinsing with a sharp stream of hot water and giving a final rinse of cold water. Pads that do not respond to this method should be soaked overnight in a concentration of synthetic detergent or stripping solution. After soaking, each pad should be rinsed under a sharp stream of hot water. After a final rinse of cold water, the pads should be shaken and placed on a flat, non-rusting surface for drying. Pads are not ready for re-use until they are completely dry.
  • Tip:When pads become excessively worn, they can be cut into small pieces or sections that can be used as hand or foot scratch pads.

 Wet/Dry Vacs

  • Rinse out inside, wipe inside and out after each use.
  • Rinse and wipe hoses and attachments.

Carpet Machines

  • Rinse out inside of tank, filters, hoses and attachments.
  • Wipe down outside.

Pump-Up Sprayers

  • Release pressure.
  • Wipe outside.
  • When empty, rinse out; spray water through sprayer to keep from getting plugged up.

Don’t forget to inform your cleaning technicians how importance it is to properly care and maintain the company’s cleaning tools and equipment. If done correctly and as required, production rates will increase and maintenance costs will go down and so will your expenses. It’s a win-win all around.

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