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Cleaning Quiet Areas – 9 Best Practice Recommendations

Cleaning can be a noisy affair and that may be fine in some applications but in others, it’s an absolute no-no. In healthcare settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and medical centres, a certain level of quiet is essential. In other environments such as libraries, hotels and showrooms, noise is an undesirable element and can significantly diminish the user experience.

Your choice of equipment will be determined by the need to reduce noise levels in your cleaning activities.

Appropriate decibel levels
The World Health Organisation has stated that noise levels exceeding 35 decibels may be the cause of additional stress. Interestingly, commercial buildings, noise levels tend to fluctuate at around 90 decibels. Even in so-called ‘quiet’ environments, the din of ambient noise is quite high. Ringing telephones, loud talking, TVs, clanging equipment, trolleys being wheeled around and beeps from medical machines can all increase noise levels dramatically. Yet cleaning machines are often demonised as ‘the’ cause of audial discomfort.

  1. Invest in new, quieter machines - Fortunately, new machines are equipped with quiet-mode settings that can bring down noise emissions to around 60 decibels. The old days of rumbling cleaning machines are gone, replaced by smarter, quieter machines that are even more productive and far less obtrusive. As a result, cleaning can be performed more frequently which improves the health of the environment and the people in it.
  2. Practice preventative cleaning - Since many of the pollutants on the floor are tracked in from outside, cleaning floors near outdoor entrances can play an important role in minimising the spread of dust and dirt inside. That means less frequent cleaning with machines inside the building is required.
  3. Deploy rapid-drying carpet cleaning technology - This type of equipment doesn’t just reduce cleaning time (meaning less time with higher noise levels) but is also quieter anyway. The microfibre technology is quieter and leaves behind around 90 percent less water compared to older methods. Carpets are dry in less than 30 minutes.
  4. Use battery-powered burnishers - Traditionally quite loud and difficult to manoeuvre, the new push-models are easy to use and are fitted with quiet-mode settings that bring noise levels down to as low as 62 decibels. Even the larger rideable burnishers can operate as quietly as 69 decibels. Battery-powered burnishers have become popular in a range of quiet environments because they operate with minimal disturbance.
  5. Discover backpack suction-only vacuums - The bane of the quiet hospital ward and hotel corridor, vacuums are typically one of the loudest cleaning machines. Fortunately, backpack suction-only vacuums are more efficient, lightweight, easier to use and are significantly quieter. They outperform floor models in cleaning results on an array of different surfaces.
  6. Try dual motor vacuums - An alternative to backpack vacuums, the newer dual motor vacuums operate at lower than 70 decibels. While it’s still louder than the backpack style, keeping noise levels to below 70 decibels is usually acceptable to those using the space.
  7. Know your parts - New filters and other parts are constantly being developed to reduce noise. Keep abreast of new product developments, including new machines and accessories that are designed to work more efficiently and run more quietly than previous models.
  8. Replace old machines -Running an old machine will not be worth the replacement savings if you lose or fail to win cleaning contracts because your equipment is too noisy.
  9. Perform regular maintenance - Machines that are not maintained to a regular schedule may become louder over time, even the most advanced and efficient models. Here are some noise-level maintenance check-ups you can perform to keep your equipment in best – quietest – running order:
  • Replace vacuum belts
  • Change the bag frequently
  • Replace or update wheels when they are worn down
  • Oil the wheels on your burnishers to stop them squeaking
  • Replace old filters so that airflow is optimised
The more you can do to reduce the noise created by your cleaning activities, the better the experience for the people who work in, live in or use the building.

Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With a vision to become a global leader in sustainable cleaning innovation that empowers our customers to create a cleaner, safer and healthier world, Tennant creates solutions that are changing the way the world cleans. Tennant products include equipment used to maintain indoor and outdoor surfaces, as well as TennantTrue® financing solutions, equipment parts, service, and maintenance to help ensure superior cleaning performance from your Tennant machines.

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