Tool hacks to save time and money cleaning

The right tool for the job is important. You would not use a hammer to put in a screw

Cleaning the garbage room is important for controling odours and reducing bacteria. Just like you would not use a hammer to put in a screw, it is important to have the correct tools to match the building size, super preferences and time constraints. There are hundreds of tools out there so finding the ones that will save time and money matters. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, some tools are proven. How do good tools help? They save time, effort and also money by measuring products accurately and protecting assets. While you could clean using vinegar and bleach, you’d need a lot of extra time to scrub.

Tool Hack #1: Brooms shovels and picks

Brooms and shovels remove debris from the floor. A pick is very helpful if your building has a chute.

There are many stories about what’s been in chutes….bicycles, toddler beds, suitcases, giant boxes. All of these things block the chute. A blocked chute piles up quickly preventing residents from throwing out garbage. This can lead to many complaints – particularly from residents with units adjoining the chute.

A pick gets the large items out (after turning off the compactor). Once the blocked item is removed, the contents will fall and a good quality push broom is needed. This is also used around overfull bins and particularly recycling ones where glass breaks on impact and falls around the bins.  What is a high quality push broom in this context? It should have a strong handle and stiff bristles to makes this job quick and easy.  Shovels with a wide and shallow blade at the bottom work best because fewer bends pick up a pile

Tool Hack #2: degreaser applicators

Pour it everywhere by hand

Without an applicator, degreaser is poured by hand over bins and floors. This is the least effective and most time consuming way to clean.  Product is full strength and, because it is not distributed evenly, it will pool in lower areas.  Consequently, this is the best way to waste degreaser. (For more information about degreasers read: Evaluating degreasers: what you need to know).  

An applicator ensures the correct concentration of degreaser is used and spreads it evenly to get good coverage. There are two categories of these and the key factor is preference.

Use a foaming dispenser
Foam on concrete

A foamer automatically mixes the degreaser and water in the correct ratio and produces a foam. This has several benefits. Measuring is automatic so one step is removed and accuracy is ensured. Also, it quickly covers a larger space. In addition,  the foam clearly indicates which areas are treated, thereby eliminating the need to go over some areas again after rinsing. This is the most efficient method for a larger area. The applicator is push-to-connect with the hose nozzle so there is no need to take the nozzle on and off.

Work with a pressure pump

A pressure sprayer requires mixing by hand before using and, since the product does not foam, it is harder to see if parts are missed. However, if a room is smaller and well lighted it works very well. Look for a sprayer with viton seals for longer life as degreaser can break down the plastic parts.

Tool Hack #3: hoses, water pressure and nozzles

Larger buildings have sufficient water pressure that standard hoses pop.  Also, the ends on domestic models fall off fall off or bend in a compactor room and then a nozzle cannot be attached. It is really hard to clean with a finger in the end of a hose, yet it is done quite often. This is really cold in the winter because water sprays on people as well as the cleaning areas.


A professional hose is more expensive than a low pressure one. To avoid pin holes, use a hose hanger tp protect against bin wheels driving over the hose. Finally, check the ends of the hose to make sure they are sturdy enough to withstand falling on hard surfaces and to prevent warping if nozzles are removed. 


A good quality nozzle can push water towards the drain, making clean up faster and protecting the floor surface.

Tool Hack #4: Squeegees keep the floor dry.

Protect the investment in your floor.  Compactor rooms often have a coated floor to prevent leakage to lower parking levels. These are expensive so anything that can be done to protect this will save money. Keeping them dry is one of the best ways to do this.  There are many types of squeegees available on the market, and we find the best type for compactor room floors are the double foam style.  These work better at drying off the floors because they are able to get into the little nooks and crannies and cracks in the floor, as opposed to the more rigid plastic types that skip over those same spots.  Generally a twist-in handle is better than a screwed in one as it does not slip out. It’s a good idea to request one made from acid-resistant materials since they last much longer than the standard foam ones.

The squeegee protects the floor

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