In professional, domestic or industrial cleaning, use of brushes is unavoidable and also essential for effective cleaning results. In manual as well as in mechanized cleaning, brushes are used to perform multiple tasks including sweeping, scrubbing, dusting, burnishing, buffing, waxing, rubbing, scouring, vegetable cleaning and many more.
Brushes are made in different shapes and sizes to suit different applications. Brush making techniques have evolved over the years, involving sophisticated equipment and processes. Some of the newer techniques include bristle filling process. The recent thermal technology is widely accepted. There is more attention given to aesthetics and life of the product. Sweeping brushes can be attached to sweeping machines for external cleaning or can be used for picking up fine dust from internal floor surfaces. Scrubbing brushes can be used as degreasers too in kitchens or food processing units.
The newest members of the cleaning brush family are the cordless scrubbers with multiple brush attachments and scrub pad attachments. These are useful for heavy duty cleaning tasks in the bathroom and kitchen, spot cleaning of carpets, vehicle grills, bumpers, tires, pool surfaces and outdoor furniture.
Says Sanket Gala, Sales Manager, Freudenberg Gala Household Products Pvt Ltd, “The design of the brush changes with its application, work area and the requirement. Today, washroom cleaning has three to four brush options for the same application. Similarly, hard bristles in scrubbing brushes determine the intensity of scrubbing required depending on the surface.”
“We have come a long way from using natural raw materials like wood, fibres or nylon enhancing the overall features in brushes. And for effective cleaning and application of brushes, the end user needs to consult a brush-maker and explain his points for better solutions.” – Sanket Gala
Sunil Puri, Partner, Galileo Associates, Mumbai, adds, “For scrubbing brushes, the bristles either have to be hard or in a bunch of thinner bristles in a single brush hole. A bunch of bristles per hole gives better strength and durability to the brush.”
For example, road cleaning requires brushes with longer bristles. Handle forms an important part in these kind of brushes. While the sweeping brush handle should be light weight, the scrubbing brush handle has to be very strong. The length of the handle also plays an important part. Handles should ideally be 4.5 feet in length for sweeping with road brushes.
“Handle forms an important part in brushes. While sweeping brush handle should be light weight, scrubbing brush handle has to be very strong. The length of the handle is equally important and should not be more than four feet in scrubbing brushes.”– Sunil Puri
Besides the above factors, brushes also vary with colour coding. According to Kingston Kamalesan, Managing Director, Sara Brushware Pvt Ltd, Chennai, “Brushes are generally colour-coded to prevent cross contamination in cleaning and the quality & strength differ as per the requirement. Colour coded brushes find much use in non-traffic areas like domestic kitchens and washrooms. Brushes used in high traffic areas come with strong bristles.”
Strong or soft nature of the brushes depends on the material of the bristles. Depending on the nature of the surface that needs to be cleaned, there are brushes made of plastic bristles, iron bristles and so on. While plastic bristle brushes are commonly suitable for varied cleaning applications, iron bristles are much better in clearing the mud on the surface. Hard bristle brushes are suitable for scrubbing the floor and soft bristled one for soft tiles.
Lob Gupta, CEO, Funclean, Kolkata, adds, “Brushes made of polypropylene bristles are ideal for hard surfaces and floors. The hard bristles can remove any stubborn residue from the floor by virtue of electrostatic energy. Besides this, it is noncorrosive and can be used on any kind of surface.
“Sink brushes for the basins come with soft bristles to ensure they are not hard for such surfaces. There are variations to these kinds of brushes like Non-Woven Abrasive (NWA) hard and soft scrubber for floors and long hand scrub brush. Non-woven brushes at our end are made from 100 percent polyester equipped with 1.35 metre polypropylene coated long handle.”
Domestic and Institutional segment
Funclean is coming up with long handle polypropylene bristle brushes to replace the conventional grass broom. These brushes will have greater utility value for high traffic areas, where there is a lot of footfall requiring dry mopping to remove heavy dust. This brush will be launched at the forthcoming Clean India Show at KTPO complex, Bangalore.
Talking about catering to the domestic and institutional segment Chhavi Vij, Associate Director, Kibble Enterprises, says, “We offer brushes for outdoor cleaning like the PVC plastic brush, which is a replacement for a compound broom. These brushes considerably reduce running costs. The compound broom usually gets wet and loses life fast unlike PVC brushes. Plastic Streak brushes can be substituted for compound broom meant for outside cleaning.”
“There are brushes made of plastic bristles, iron bristles and so on. While plastic bristle brushes are commonly suitable for varied cleaning applications, iron bristles are much better in clearing stubborn dirt from the surface.”– Kingston Kamalesan
Nylon brushes are also used for cleaning outer areas. Based on the customization of the size and type of bristles, they can be used in kitchens too. Long handle polypropylene coated brushes with nylon bristles are ideally used in washroom cleaning, as they provide user-comfort enabling cleaning without having to bend too much. Nylon bristles are also capable of extracting dirt from inside the crevices; thus breaking away the practice of scrubbing floors manually. Kibble imports brushes from IPC Ready System Italy.
“Kibble Sweeper finds its applications in both indoor and outdoor cleaning. The bristles in these brushes do not damage the inside floor and removes dust efficiently,” adds Vij.