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How to Select the Best Floor Scrubber for Your School District

March 23, 2022 3:00 PM by Tennant Company

Posted in Staffing & Personnel Best Practices Cleaning Challenges

Between the growing adoption of “school choice” models at the district and state levels, and increasing competition to retain faculty and staff, just about every school is looking for smart ways to create big first impressions and lasting confidence in their learning environments. More and more schools are focusing on stepping up their floor cleaning as a practical and powerful way to create a foundation for those outstanding first impressions and exceptional learning environments. 

If your school or district is looking to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your floor care program, here are seven key questions you should consider to get started: 

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1. How many schools will your floor cleaning program cover?

The first thing to consider when selecting a floor cleaning machine is the scope of your floor cleaning needs. This goes beyond how many students your school or district serves. You should also consider how many schools you will be covering, and whether any of those schools operate as connected facilities that could share equipment. This will help determine the number of floor cleaning machines you will need.

2. What types of flooring are in your school buildings?

Flooring is often purpose-specific — and that’s especially the case in education facilities. Carpeting in elementary school classrooms, wood gym floors and polished concrete entryways all have different cleaning and maintenance needs. Tennant Company offers a range of solutions to clean every surface in your school — and designed to deliver multi-surface cleaning whenever possible. Sweepers and vacuums are important parts of your school district’s floor-cleaning arsenal, while mechanical mops and auto-scrubbers perform the heavy lifting in removing ground-in dirt (and reducing cleaning chemical use).

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3. Which is right for your schools:  walk-behind, ride-on or robotic floor cleaning machines?

This question goes hand-in-hand with the first question about the quantity and size of your district’s school buildings. Smaller spaces can typically be cost-effectively cleaned with a walk-behind floor cleaning machine. Larger spaces can more efficiently be cleaned with ride-on floor cleaning machines that greatly reduce the time needed to complete the larger-scale task. For the ultimate in efficiency, fully autonomous robotic floor cleaning machines eliminate the need for a human operator. Tennant Company’s AI-powered robotic scrubbers, for example, can easily navigate school hallways and automatically see and adjust to people and obstacles in their path. This frees up your staff to focus on other cleaning and maintenance tasks — and it shows students, staff and faculty, and all visitors that your school is embracing smart, sustainable innovations.

4. What are your floor cleaning requirements during school hours?

Noisy machines running up and down hallways during instruction time will spark the ire of educators — and potentially distract students and detract from your school’s educational mission. Most cleaning can be done after hours, but that can’t always be avoided — particularly after wet or snowy arrival periods, for instance.

Fortunately, most Tennant Company floor cleaning machines can carry out effective cleaning at a low 73 decibels. To put that into perspective, that’s equivalent to the operating noise of a residential dishwasher.

5. How can you reduce chemical use when cleaning floors in your school?

Chemical use in the cleaning of school facilities is a hot topic — especially with rise in asthma and other sensitivities among students, staff and faculty. Even more concerningly, one out of every three cleaning products contains a chemical that’s known to be harmful to human health.

Choosing the right floor cleaning machine can help you significantly reduce — or even eliminate — the use of floor cleaning chemicals. As an added sustainability bonus, Tennant floor cleaning machines can also help you dramatically reduce the amount of water you use during regular floor cleaning.

6. Are staffing issues hindering facility cleaning success?

Unprecedented cleaning labor shortages are pinching every sector — but schools are unique in that they can’t just tweak their hours to make do. Between concerns about noise level during instruction time and student foot traffic, most of your deep cleaning needs to be done after-hours — but there’s only so much time between the dismissal bell and the trickle of staff early the next morning.

The solution is to work smarter — not harder. Today’s high-performance floor cleaning machines can significantly reduce the amount of time required to  complete cleaning tasks — and can give you the confident efficiency of one-pass floor cleaning. 

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Choosing autonomous robotic floor cleaning machines can take those labor efficiencies to an entirely new level, allowing your cleaning robots to automatically navigate and reliably clean your hallways and floors — and freeing up your limited janitorial staff to dedicate their time to high touch areas like bathrooms and windows.

7. What are the cleaning expectations held by administration, staff, parents and students?

The importance of cleanliness in schools remains in the spotlight as never before. Students, parents, faculty and staff are all more aware and sensitive to school cleanliness issues. And school administrators are acutely aware of how perceptions of cleanliness can impact key school outcomes — from attracting students in areas with school choice models, to attracting and retaining faculty, to mitigating the negative impacts of student and staff absenteeism from sickness. Yet these heightened expectations don’t automatically bring a bigger cleaning budget. Schools need to look for smart new tools and technologies — from basic mechanized mops to intelligent, autonomous robotic floor scrubbers — that help them consistently and cost-effectively meet a higher standard of clean.

Now that you’re armed with information, take the next step toward elevating the floor cleaning strategy for your schools. Learn more about the family of floor scrubbers from Tennant Company.


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