Five Questions to Ask Before Buying a Floor/Hard Surface Cleaner
1) What surfaces will I be cleaning?
If you need to clean multiple indoor or outdoor surfaces, consider a hard surface cleaner. The machines combine the pressure and suction of an extractor with self-powered, rotary cleaning heads of different sizes. Some machines clean with hot water or wet steam and come bundled with a pressure washer.
Indoors, self-contained floor and hard surface cleaners are ideal for cleaning porous and non-porous floors, walls, tile and grout, marble, stone, rubber flooring, and uneven surfaces. This equipment can also remove and strip wax buildup on VCT and vinyl flooring. For cleaning carpet, these machines allow you to substitute the cleaning head with a carpet wand.
For additional cleaning power on hard surfaces and outdoor environments, such as concrete, brick or stone, opt for a heated hard surface/spinning cleaning machine. These machines include a tri-mode pressure washer that cleans with cold water, hot water, or steam and offer more extraction power than a self-contained floor and hard surface cleaner. The equipment includes auto fill and auto dump capabilities, which manage the inflow and outflow of water for maximum productivity. (A water line brings water into the unit and a separate hose dumps the water into a drain or other receptacle.) Units with powerful, multi-motor, multi-stage vacuums can also work independently for water damage control systems or sludge extractors.
For residential and small cleaning jobs focused on lighter cleaning of porous floors, balcony concrete, breezeways, and other hard surfaces, consider porous tile floor cleaners. These machines can also function as carpet cleaners, but are inappropriate for grout cleaning because their pressure levels of 150 psi can't lift dirt from grout pores. For cleaning grout, you may want to purchase this system in conjunction with a smaller KleenJet® steam cleaner. Another option for cleaning grout: heated hard/spinning cleaning machines mentioned above with pressure levels between 1000 psi and 1500 psi -- higher pressure levels can damage grout.
2) Do I need to remove difficult substances, like grease or chewing gum, from concrete and other hard surfaces?
If so, consider either non-heated or heated hard surface configurations. For tough jobs, pre-spray the surface with, say, a non-toxic, heavy-duty degreaser or graffiti remover. Keep in mind the heated models include a high-temperature steam pressure washer that can be used independently from the spinning and other wands, and generate steam temperatures up to 330°F. Steam pressure washers remove chewing gum from concrete, graffiti from wall surfaces and grease from dumpsters, industrial equipment, or other surfaces.
3) Which cleaning heads should I buy?
Daimer offers multiple wands beyond those bundled with each machine. Typically, each heated unit includes a 19-inch motorized spinning head as well as squeegee wet extraction wand for the extractor if it is to be used for simply extraction.
For large open spaces both indoors and outdoors, use the 19-inch motorized spinning head. Remember that long water hoses up to and beyond 200 feet are available for users who trailer-mount their systems and want to clean hard surfaces indoors.
For smaller spaces and areas inappropriate for the 19-inch spinner, you'll want a 9-inch motorized spinning head.
For those who need to clean behind and around toilets in restrooms, corners, along sides of walls, and other areas too tight for either the 19-inch or 9-inch heads, a squeegee wand/head is a better choice. Consider a 12-inch, 4-jet model for indoor cleaning or an 18-inch, 6-jet head for outdoor applications, such as along gas station islands, walls, and more. Both squeegees have angled jets to create a contiguous spray pattern that covers the width of squeegee.
Finally, if your machine supports carpet cleaning, consider a standard carpet wand for big jobs or a smaller wand for stairs and upholstery. Carpet cleaning requires pre-spraying the carpet with a cleaning solution, such as Eco-Green® Carpet Care.
4) Do I need sludge extraction?
If you occasionally need to pump water from basement floods, the heated hard surface/spinning cleaning machines includes a dual, three stage industrial sludge extractor. For those who need only heavy duty cleanup of water damage, then consider a dedicated system like theXTreme Power 11000WDR.
5) Will I be working in environments where machine-noise is an issue?
If you'll be cleaning hospitals, at night, or in other situations where noise is an issue, consider a model with a special noise-reducing case. Daimer'sXTreme Power HSC 13000A and HSC 14000A reduce operating noise to a low 58 decibels.
More Information about Hard Surface Cleaners
Floor Cleaning Machines - Overview
How to Clean Tile and Grout
Buyer's guide to floor/hard surface cleaners.