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Backpack – A must-use cleaning tool

Strong resistance came to light when backpack vacuum cleaning equipment was introduced as a commercial machine 20 years back. Over the period, tens of thousands of them have turned to this machine the world over. The day-to-day realities of large scale cleaning call for an analysis of the preferences and how backpack scores over other options of vacuum cleaning.

Productivity and effectiveness are always on the top of the mind, especially where cleaning time and quality are important. In the cleaning of a call centre, a multiplex or an auditorium or for that matter an aircraft, the time factor is of utmost importance. Working with a machine on the back has definitely proved much faster, as it sets the mind free from handling a machine like the canister vacuum cleaner. Harness system, as used in the mountaineering backpacks, distributes the weight of the machine evenly across the hips, so that the legs and not the back alone, carry the weight of the machine. This way, one can cover approximately 900sqm an hour as compared to 275sqm with a canister or the upright vacuum cleaner.

Even the way backpack vacuuming covers the ground differs from other options. Certain muscles in the human body, like the leg muscles, are better suited for extended use. The arms, on the other hand, get easily fatigued. When using canister or upright vacuum, people tend to use a front-and-back motion, putting a major strain on the arms. However, while using backpack appropriately, the worker holds the wand in a place with least movement of hands and walks around to cover the surface by dividing the strain on the arms and legs. This decreases the strain on the body by half.

Studies show that backpack vacuum allow workers to clean more areas in a shorter span of time with natural walking motion, avoiding repetitive motion and hunching associated with upright or canister vacuum.

In a good backpack, the design of the tools also adds to the applicability and efficiency. The tools should have features to make them more adaptable to the hard and carpeted floors to avoid frequent changing while working on different floors. The floor tool, which is the most used, should have universal joints to make it easy to reach all areas and move flat on the floor without much effort. The flow of air should be maintained high through special design, allowing the flow to carry away the dust while still maintaining a contact with floor. Wheels provided on the floor tool add to the ease of operation. A good backpack removes more dust in the same time, as compared to a canister or upright.

Other important features added to the machine could improve the efficiency, productivity and ensure trouble-free operations. These include strong long cable, nicely secured to the machine, right hand-left hand changeable hose connection, easy monitoring of status of dirt collected in the bin through transparent lid, easily removable & replaceable paper bags and cleanable efficient filters.

Finally, an efficient machine should enhance the appearance as well as the health of the indoor environment. Importance of proper vacuuming for indoor air quality and the health of operating staff and occupants cannot be ignored.

Microscopic dust contains dirt, textile filters, pollen, hair flakes and residues from cleaning chemical, decaying organic matter, dust mites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and a variety of other contaminants. Many viruses also use dust particles as rafts to ride the air. People can inhale particles less than 10 microns in size and vacuum cleaning without proper filtration is one of the main causes for the reintroduction of allergens and harmful particulates into the air. A backpack with three to four levels of filtration is very effective in controlling the indoor air quality while cleaning faster.

Backpack is moving from being a misunderstood high cost product to a must-use cleaning tool, and in the process, cleaning efficiency and productivity can expect to get a boost.

Arun Thapar, Managing Director,
Inventa Cleantec Pvt Ltd, Noida

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