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Types of Cleaning Equipment and Their Purposes

March 31, 2021 9:50 AM by Tennant Company

Posted in Cleaning Solutions Staffing & Personnel Productivity Best Practices Cleaning Challenges

There are many names and descriptors for floor cleaning equipment and sometimes it feels like every manufacturer uses a different naming convention, making it confusing for people looking to purchase a machine. Let us help clear up any confusion so you can confidently select the type of equipment that’s best for your facility and floor type.

Sweepers: From battery-powered walk-behind machines to industrial ride-on equipment, floor sweepers will help keep your facility free of debris and dust. These powerful pieces of equipment can be used indoors to keep carpet and hard floors clean, and outdoors to sweep sidewalks, walkways and even parking lots.


Quick facts on Tennant floor sweepers:

  • Applications: Indoor and outdoor
  • Styles: Walk-behind or ride-on
  • Main functionality: Sweeping up dirt and debris
Small sweepers are ideal for office spaces, cafeterias or other smaller spaces.
Ride-on sweepers can clean large carpeted spaces, like convention centers, or hard-floored facilities like parking ramps and airports.

Scrubbers: Similar to sweepers, there are many different sizes and capacities when it comes to floor scrubbers. Walk-behind scrubbers can be small enough to clean bathroom stalls, while ride-on scrubbers can clean tens of thousands of square feet on a single charge. Where sweepers can be used indoors and outdoors, floor scrubbers are primarily used indoors, and on hard floor surfaces only.


Quick facts on Tennant floor scrubbers:

  • Applications: Indoor
  • Styles: Walk-behind or ride-on
  • Main functionality: Using water or cleaning solution to scrub dirt and other grime from hard floors
Small walk-behind scrubbers can clean in tight spaces like bathrooms, small retail stores, or narrow hallways.
Mid-sized floor scrubbers are very versatile in the spaces they can clean. These walk-behind scrubbers are used in retail, healthcare, education, and even some small manufacturing or industrial settings.

Sweeper Scrubbers: The perfect combo for facilities that need sweeping and scrubbing power, sweeper scrubbers are generally larger, ride-on machines that offer the versatility to sweep, scrub, or do both at the same time.


Quick facts on Tennant floor sweeper-scrubbers:

  • Applications: Indoor and outdoor
  • Styles: Ride-on
  • Main functionality: Sweeping dust and debris, scrubbing dust, dirt and grime
Sweeper scrubbers offer versatility and efficiency with their multi-purpose operation.

Burnishers: Burnishers and floor buffers are designed to bring out the luster in hard surface floors. They come in a variety of sizes and power system configurations for your facility type.


Quick facts on Tennant floor burnishers:

  • Applications: Indoor
  • Styles: Walk-behind and ride-on
  • Main functionality: Achieve gloss-like results on hard floors
Burnishers help buff and shine your hard floors to keep them shining.

Carpet Extractors: Keeping your carpet clean and dry is the main job for walk-behind or ride-on industrial carpet extractors. These powerful soft-floor cleaning machines give you fast-drying interim cleaning in high-traffic areas and spot cleaning capabilities.


Quick facts on Tennant floor scrubbers:

  • Applications: Indoor
  • Styles: Walk-behind and ride-on
  • Main functionality: Cleaning, stain removal and drying carpeted spaces
Small, portable extractors are excellent for cleaning tight carpeted spaces.
Ride-on extractors are ideal for quickly cleaning and drying larger carpeted areas.

Whatever type of floor you have in your facility, there’s a cleaning machine that will not only keep it clean, but will also help keep your facility floor’s safe, dry and visually appealing. 


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