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Squeegee Blades 101

Squeegee (n): an implement with rubber edges used to move fluids, usually (dirty) water. 

It’s also a funny word to look at and say. So get it out of your system now… Squeegee, squeegee, squeegee… okay. Moving on.

How Squeegee Blades Work

Tennant uses squeegees from the Linard® or Linatex® range. These attach to the back and/or sides of floor scrubbers and sweeper-scrubbers, funnelling water so a vacuum fan can pick up liquid as the floor cleaning machine passes over it. The combination of the squeegee assembly, squeegee blades, and vacuum fan allows for optimal water pick-up.

The squeegee is a critical component of a machine’s water management system. It leaves floors clean, dry, and safe, helping to reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents.

Of course, this comes with an important caveat: your squeegee blades are only effective if they’re maintained well. Badly maintained squeegee blades may cause your floor scrubber to leave behind streaks, debris, or water, resulting in rework and wasted time, and increasing the cost of cleaning.

Squeegee Blade Materials

Squeegees can be made of several different kinds of materials - each with a different price point and purpose:
Gum rubber squeegee blades are the cheapest option, which means replacing them is also cost-effective. These squeegees are slightly stiffer and are recommended for smooth and even indoor floors. Gum rubber is not chemical-resistant, so these types of blades are not suitable for cleaning chemical spills and may break down sooner.

Urethane squeegees are chemical-resistant, so they’re ideal for cleaning organic and petroleum-based oils. Urethane blades a mid-range product. They tend to be firm and durable, making them suitable for frequent usage.

Linatex® is a premium squeegee blade material and comes standard on most Tennant equipment. The proprietary material offers outstanding strength, resilience, and resistance for long-lasting performance. Linatex is ideal for wet applications when paired with a Linard® squeegee for the front blade.

Squeegee Blade Replacement and Maintenance

Squeegees need regular replacement (compared to other consumable machine parts), but there are three things you can do to maintain optimal condition and minimise your replacement costs. 

1. Rotate squeegees to increase lifespan

By rotating the squeegee, you can get longer use out of a single blade. Normal squeegee wear depends on the material of the squeegee and the type and condition of the floor. Inspect the condition of your squeegee blades daily, and rotate or replace the blade when it is worn halfway through. Rotating the blade so that a different side makes contact with the floor should double the potential lifespan of your squeegee.

2. Replace squeegees before they become ineffective 

When you begin to see wear and tear on an edge of your squeegee blade, it’s time to rotate it. Once you complete the final rotation, make sure you have a replacement blade in stock and ready to go. That way, you’re always cleaning with a highly performing squeegee, and you never risk substandard cleanliness or safety.

3. Purchase OEM squeegees for optimal performance

Lookalike or third party squeegees blades that are not specifically designed for your cleaning machine may not provide the quality of cleaning you expect. While other squeegees blades may look the same but simply cost less, don’t be fooled. You will spend more, in the long run, because you’ll need to replace poorly made squeegees more frequently than OEM squeegees.

The Most Common Squeegee Issues

Squeegee is not picking up water in the centre 

If your squeegee blade is missing water in the centre, you can adjust the amount of pressure to ensure its equal across the entire length. This will ensure the centre of the blade doesn’t sit higher than the tips. Review your operator manual to find out the best way to adjust the squeegees on your machine.

Squeegee is not picking up water on the edges

Similar to the example above, if the squeegee is missing water at the outer edges, you may need to make adjustments to ensure the squeegee drags across the floor at the correct angle. Review your operator manual to understand the best way to adjust the squeegees on your machine.

Streaks are being left on the floor

If you’re getting a streaky finish, it’s likely your squeegee blade has built up dirt or debris on it, which will cause your squeegee to drag across the floor unevenly. To resolve this issue, raise your squeegee assembly and wipe the length of your squeegees with a clean rag or towel to remove the debris.

Save Money with the Right Squeegee Blades

The wrong squeegee blades could add an extra 30 minutes cleaning time every day due to streaks, poor fit, slower drying times, and other issues that slow your cleaning team down. Based on a 7-day cleaning cycle at $22 labour costs per hour, this 30 minutes of extra cleaning will cost you $335 per month, or $4015 per year. And that doesn’t even take into account the increased costs of frequent replacements.
So, it’s safe to say that choosing the right squeegee blade for your environment and ensuring it’s properly maintained will save both money and time, by reducing replacement costs and rework.

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.

To keep updated with Tennant Australia’s products and developments:
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