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Floor pads - finding the right match15th of May 2015
Just how important is the role of the floor pad in effective and productive floor care, and how to choose the correct pad for each application? Derik Landman from pads specialist Wecovi offers guidance and looks at the most significant technological developments in recent years.
Over the past decade, there have been huge developments in the field of floor pads. Naturally we closely follow every change, in order to provide the best to our end users and to have the most sustainable solutions at our disposal. As a specialist, you are constantly looking beyond the traditional methods. Continuing with the same thing means you fall behind. You need to keep up with and apply the latest innovations to guarantee the continuation of your business. It is about making the right choices, in this case it’s choosing the right floor pad.
A major innovation in the past decade has been the so-called diamond pad, which caused a breakthrough in the maintenance of natural stone floors. The surface of the floor pad contains billions of microscopically small diamonds that not only effectively clean the floor during daily cleaning, but polish it as well. The use of chemical cleaning agents is no longer necessary as this method only requires water to be added.
This is a big step forward in serious corporate social responsibility and a conscious increase in efficiency. The use of diamond pads ties in very well with a microfibre cleaning regimen - here too only water is sufficient for optimal results. Within the cleaning world, the well-known microfibre is seen as the ultimate innovation of the
past 25 years.
An innovation that benefits the environment even more than it does us, the chemical-free stripping procedure gives great results, and as the name suggests, it does this without using chemicals. Again, only water is needed to strip the floor. Due to the special material, chemical-free stripping pads can even be used dry.
The method is not only safe, it is very fast as there is no waiting time. This means lower material costs (no chemicals) and a reduction in working hours. Factors that every company in our industry has to take into account, more than ever before. It is hugely important to keep up to date with the latest innovations and to make them a part of daily work procedures.
The melamine pad is also a very special type of pad. Designed and first marketed in the late 90s, the product was relaunched in 2011 in compressed form. Melamine pads have a sponge-like structure and are particularly suited to micro-porous floor surfaces. Again for this product, water is often the only required addition.
Where other pads excel mainly due to their strong surface and long service life, the purpose of melamine pads is to release small particles which allow them to get closer to the dirt in the floor. These loose nano particles flow into the floor with water and remove the dirt that is deep down in the porous floor. An invention that quickly yields an exceptionally clean floor, has little impact on the environment, and as such meets the requirements of our current era and market.
The Sinner Circle
All these innovations have brought the cleaning industry the innovations it so desperately needed. Indeed, more than ever before, the sector has been under pressure due to the requirements of clients and, among other things, due to environmental laws and regulations. There is much pressure on contracts, on time and on corporate social responsibility. This means among other things, working with fewer and less harmful chemicals.
Mainly, all these changes require a more effective and efficient way of working. Nowadays mechanical action plays the most important part in the result of cleaning jobs. Within the cleaning industry there is one well-known method that can be used to map this information, the Sinner Circle.
Sinner Circle (also known as TACT) is a combination of factors that are applied during the implementation of successful cleaning actions. The idea, or rather the cleaning philosophy, was conceived in the late fifties and researched by Dr Herbert Sinner. From 1932 to 1965 he was an employee of the German company Henkel, known for brands such as Persil, Pritt and Sellotape.
His ‘circle’ describes four factors that make up the cleaning process: temperature, chemicals, time and mechanical action. The circle shows the mutual relationship between the four factors, which work relative to each other as communicating vessels. They have a direct influence upon each other. If the factors of ‘time’ and ‘chemicals’ have a smaller share of the circle, the role - ie, the ‘slice’ - of the mechanical action becomes larger, and thus more important to the result. This is exactly what is currently happening in the industry.
Therefore it is especially important for cleaning companies to introduce innovations, keep up with developments and, very specifically, to choose the right product. In other words, the floor pad that does exactly what the cleaning action demands.
Power of innovation
The Sinner Circle stresses that in today’s cleaning business everything revolves around the power of innovative products. After all, we want to work as socially responsibly as possible. This is also expected of the cleaning industry. In addition, the client’s budget is smaller, so a lot more has to happen is less time. This means hard work and extra pressure on cleaners, the heroes who are doing the actual work. Never before was choosing the right cleaning product as important to the way we work and, in fact, for the right to exist within the cleaning industry.
If as a cleaning company, you use the wrong pad, the result will not be optimal and the customer will not be satisfied. This could mean that your contract is not renewed.
But how can you be sure to make the right choice with such a wide range of floor pads? The range is as large as it is diverse. Each has features and functions suitable for different floor surfaces and specific dirt and situations. Naturally, the kind and type of machine affects the way we work, but above all, the result depends on the right match between the floor and the floor pad. This is an important step in the cleaning process. If you take an objective and smart look at a cleaning job, then the choice is not very hard. In fact, it is all about describing the treatment. There are four simple questions that will help to identify the right pad for the best results.
1. Start by assessing the floor. What kind or type of floor will you be cleaning? This is a fixed factor and already determined when the building was constructed. In nearly all cases the choice will have been made based on appearance and status, not on functionality and maintenance. A challenge for the cleaner. So, should it be linoleum, glazed or unglazed tiles or do you want to stand on wood or a carpet? A professional will be able to give you the answer immediately.
2. How dirty is the floor? Is it mildly dirty or will it be a huge job involving heavy dirt and stubborn stains. It could also be that the floor simply looks clean. In that case, it may only need a mild treatment, or just maintenance.
After these two questions, the selection has already been narrowed down substantially, and we are closer to finding the right floor pad.
3. We need to describe the desired result. It makes a huge difference if the floor needs to be given an attractive shine or whether it is necessary to strip the protective layer. Will it be a light cleaning job or more rigorous maintenance. An essential step in the selection process.
4. We must determine what type of machine to work with. The right pad will work most effectively if coupled with the right machine. And the other way around applies too, a machine can only do the best job if the correct pad is used.