If one takes floors, walls, ceilings, racks, aisles and exteriors into account, the effective area to be cleaned in even a medium-sized warehouse will easily cross over one lakh square feet. Kiran Rao, Business Director, Building Care, Diversey India Hygiene Pvt Ltd writes about how to assess a warehouse’s cleaning needs, the challenges therein, and what equipment and chemicals should be used to overcome them.
Warehouse audit methodology is used to survey site specifications such as interiors, exterior, washroom, food court, periphery and high-touch point locations. Based on the area specifics, we assess further details such as:
- Surface type: Hard or soft floors
- Soil level: Low, medium or high category
- Cleanable area: Percentage of the area accessible for cleaning
- Cleaning Task: Wet mopping/auto scrubbing/spray & wipe application with recommended Taski/Suma Products or mechanised sweeping/vacuuming/high pressure jet application. All the above tasks are defined based on site operations, with daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly rotation.
- Current understanding and skill level of the janitor to perform the job.
- Current infrastructure of cleaning equipment, chemicals and accessories.
Mechanisation of cleaning is the way forward
Selection of compatible and right cleaning agents based on floor type is important to ensure floors are safe after usage, without damaging them. E.g Taski Spiral is a scientifically blended liquid detergent for cleaning floors and oily/greasy work areas.
Amongst cleaning equipment, auto scrubber-driers ensure powerful cleaning and drying results with no streak marks and prevent slippage after usage. Taski’s patented Intelliflow system always ensures the right amount of cleaning solution on the floor and leads to significant water savings.
Spray & wipe application: Microfibre dusters absorb five times their own weight, and can be used in both dry & wet application. E.g For high touch point area disinfection.
Manual or mechanised sweeper machines: Work on overthrow principle, and ensure there is no residual dust flying. Bulk waste flap installed in front of the brush helps pick up bulkier debris.
Warehouse aisle cleaning
Manoeuvrability between the racks and stacks poses a challenge during cleaning operations. It can be addressed through mechanised cleaning with micro ride-on scrubber-driers, mini walk-behind auto scrubber-driers, and sweeping application with walk-behind machines.
Taski Swingo 2100 Micro Ride-on Scrubber Driers can manoeuvre through narrow lanes. They are an excellent option in congested areas due to their speed, small footprint, agility and large tank size. Taski Swingo 455 E is a Walk-behind Auto Scrubber for narrow alleys and small areas.
Kobra is an efficient walk-behind sweeper ideal for medium sized areas, with greater manoeuvrability and ergonomics.
This is challenging because of the placement and array of SKUs. It can be addressed by vacuuming with a backpack vacuum cleaner (e.g Taski Aero BP – Battery Operated), which gives excellent dry cleaning performance, crevice nozzle, and dusting brush which can be carried with machines to complete multiple jobs at the same time. It meets EHS compliance and the backpack weighs less than 6 kg.
In case the area to be cleaned is not accessible with these machines, microfibre-based dusters with damp or dry application are recommended.
Wall and ceiling cleaning
Clean any high surface area first as the debris will fall to a lower level. Dust levels are usually high in lower areas. High areas that require cleaning in warehouses include heating and cooling ducts, tops of pallets, racks, windows and frames. Diversey Telescopic Poles can be used upto an 11 meter height with required accessories.
Goods stored vs choice of equipment/chemicals
Machine recommendations may not vary much based on the type of warehouse. The cleaning agent shall vary, depending upon the type of soil/floors. e.g Pharma warehouses need a different medical-grade cleaning reagent, while agro-based warehouses should use food-grade agents without any fragrance. E-commerce sites use neutral cleaner or alkaline agents.
Mechanised sweepers Rider 1201 Battery Operated Sweeper or Picobello Manual Sweeper are recommended where soils are dry/loose, when wet application is not preferred. For peripheral areas, normal sweeping with manual or mechanical sweeper is feasible. High pressure jets like Danubio 150 Bar High Pressure Water Jet Machine are also used to remove stubborn stains.
|Warehouse area vs cleaning equipment|
|Warehouse area (sq ft)||Washroom||Floor sweeping||Floor scrubbing||Periphery cleaning|
|<2000||Wet Cleaning & Steam Cleaning||Dry Mopping||Spray Mopping||NA|
|2000-15,000||Wet Cleaning & Steam Cleaning||Semi-mechanised sweeping||Walk-behind machine scrubbing||Manual sweeper|
|15,000-50,000||Wet Cleaning & Steam Cleaning||Walk-behind machine sweeping||Ride-on machine scribbing||High pressure jet|
|>50,000||Wet Cleaning & Steam Cleaning||Ride-on machine sweeping||Ride-on machine scribbing||High pressure jet|