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Best Practices for Cleaning in Quiet Areas

December 07, 2017 8:31 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in

Clean Quietly and Efficiently

Reducing the noise level while cleaning is beneficial to everyone, and sometimes it’s necessary to use a quieter method of cleaning depending on the environment.

Hospitals, nursing homes, and offices may require cleaning to be as quiet as possible which can impact your choice of equipment. Luckily, there are a number of modern options available that clean both efficiently and quietly. These machines are built to reduce noise levels while still cleaning with the quality you expect. Read more for ideas on ways you can clean with less noise without sacrificing quality or time.

Ideal Decibel Levels

Most commercial buildings have noise levels averaging around 90 decibels, yet the World Health Organization states that noise exceeding 35 decibels may lead to more stress, among other ailments. The most common affecting sounds come from loud talking, telephones, televisions, and carts or objects being moved around the building. In addition, noise from the street can often bleed into the building as well. 

Despite the many culprits of high decibel levels, cleaning machines are often singled out as being the sole source of disruption. However, many new machines feature quiet-mode settings that can drastically reduce the noise emission to nearly 60 decibels. This is a tremendous improvement over the rumbling machines of the past, and these newer models can help create an environment where cleaning is more frequent, productive, and unobtrusive.


While certain machines will always be necessary, it’s also important to take preventative measures to reduce the cleaning time inside. Sweeping outside near entryways can prevent dirt from coming in, which will minimize the time that burnishers and vacuums need to be used. Frequently cleaning with a machine inside of entryways can also help to stop the spread of dirt and dust further inside the building.

Rapid-Drying Carpet Cleaning

Newer rapid-drying carpet cleaning equipment can lower noise levels considerably while also reducing cleaning time. Many of these machines use a quieter microfiber technology which leaves almost 90% less water on the carpet compared to older methods and allows carpets to dry in under 30 minutes.

Use Tennant equipment to clean quietly

Backpack Suction-Only Vacuums

Vacuums are traditionally some of the loudest cleaning machines, but there are better variations available that can significantly reduce noise while also removing more dust. Backpack suction-only vacuums are some of the best options for efficient and quiet cleaning. These backpack vacuums are generally lightweight and can effectively clean as well as traditional vacuums on a variety of surfaces.

If backpack vacuums are not an option for you, newer dual motor vacuums are available that feature noise levels lower than 70 decibels. While slightly louder than a backpack vacuum, they are still quieter than older models, which can help to reduce the impact of vacuuming in a commercial space. As a general rule of thumb: if you can keep the decibel level below 70, it’s unlikely that others will be disturbed by the noise. 

Battery-Powered Burnishers

Burnishers don’t have to be loud or unwieldy, and many new push-models come with quiet modes that reduce the noise level to 62 decibels. Even larger rideable burnishers can have noise levels as low as 69 decibels. With the drastic reduction in decibel levels, battery-powered burnishers can be used in a variety of places without disturbing the peace.

Regular Maintenance

Even the most advanced and efficient machine can become significantly louder without regular maintenance. Some of the most common methods of noise-level maintenance include:

  • Oiling the wheels on burnishers to prevent squeaking
  • Updating or replacing wheels when they become too worn
  • Replacing vacuum belts
  • Changing the vacuum’s bag regularly
  • Replacing old filters to ensure effortless airflow 

All of these simple check-ups can help to keep your machine running smoothly and quietly for years to come. Along with this, you can stay up-to-date on any newer filters or parts that work solely to reduce noise. Every year, there are new machines and accessories being released that clean better and quieter than before. By keeping up with the latest news, replacing old machines, and maintaining your current machines, you can significantly reduce noise while cleaning in any building. 

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