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How to Extend Cleaning Machine's Life

July 23, 2020 8:00 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Cleaning Solutions Staffing & Personnel Productivity Cleaning Challenges

janitor cleaning schools during summer season

Every single time you turn on your cleaning machine, you’re presented with a new opportunity to extend its life.

Actually, you’re presented with three opportunities. What you do before, during, and after using your cleaning machine makes a difference in the life of the machine and how much service will be required.

Let’s go a little deeper into each of these three opportunities.


Before you even put your floor cleaning machine to work, there are some things you can look for to help extend its life.

A heavily soiled floor, for instance, might need to be swept and dust-mopped before you break out the cleaning machine. Think about it: All of the dirt you remove before using the cleaning machine never touches the pads, the squeegees, the hoses, the filter, or ends up in the recovery tank. A great way to extend cleaning machine life is to not make it do more work than necessary.

Another important thing to keep in mind before use is if the equipment is functioning properly or if it’s in need of repair. In a perfect world, we’d all have someone on staff who could bring our equipment back to life when it’s not working just right. In reality, it ends up that the team member who is most comfortable with a particular piece of equipment spends a few hours trying to get it to work properly.

But a machine with service from factory-trained service technicians can be kept in top-notch shape all year round. Service technicians can track down warranty savings on equipment, use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts to extend life. You can detect problems with operation and avoid costly repairs simply by knowing your machine.


Some car experts suggest that you spend time each week driving with the radio off and the fan low so you can hear how your car is running.

That advice is also useful for your cleaning machines. One of the best ways to ensure your machines are running well is by paying close attention while they’re actually running. 

If you know your machine, you’ll know when the vacuum is running more loudly than usual. You’ll know when the machine is leaving streaks because the squeegees are in need of replacing. You’ll know what to look for when things just don’t seem quite right.

And it’s not just detecting problems. By paying close attention during operation, you can ensure you’re not overworking the machine. A heavier water flow during the winter will help take care of salt and sand deposits, and a lower flow during hot and humid times can still get the job done without forcing the machine to do too much or increasing drying times.


When it comes to extending cleaning machine life, what you do after cleaning may be the most important of all.

Maintained and cared for correctly, cleaning machines will function for much longer. Much of that maintenance can happen after day-to-day cleaning. It can be helpful to have a checklist in your head for (post-cleaning) cleaning — take the hoses off and clean them out and rinse the squeegees, and pads.

The recovery tank hose and the filter are particularly important to clean. It’s not hard to find someone who has a horror story about washing what appears to be a small animal out of uncleaned hoses.

Back to knowing your machine: The solution tank may not need much maintenance, but don’t ignore it unless you know that’s true. Either way, water will always need to be drained out of both the clean water and recovery tanks for a couple of reasons. Any sediment in either tank will settle over time and could become problematic, and also to eliminate the risk of mold.

custodian checking machine after using

Following your cleaning machine’s recommended service schedule is a good thing. On top of that, regular maintenance on your machine can be one of the best things you can do for it. By paying attention during these three phases of cleaning, you can make sure you’re not seeking out service unless it’s absolutely necessary.


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