Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Vacuum cleaners: Have it your way

September 19, 2010

Workers come in different shapes and sizes: Vacuum cleaners should too.

While vacuums have typically been sold as “one size fits all,” now JanSan pros can customize their choices.

Backpacks are now sized to fit a range of workers and circumstances.

Full-sized backpacks provide maximum power and soil-holding capacity, while mid-capacity and hip-style backpacks provide high-performance in a more compact package for smaller workers or tighter quarters.

Quieter vacuums are now available with adjustable power and sound levels to accommodate daytime, green and Team Cleaning® in occupied or unoccupied areas.

Uprights are also now available in a variety of configurations, including with and without onboard tools — a difference affecting weight and versatility.

Cleaning operations may also now select high-performance two-motor uprights (with one motor to drive the brush and the other for the suction fan) for deeper cleaning and better indoor air quality (IAQ).

Wide-body, tough, lightweight molded polyethylene canisters with big wheels offer large capacity, ease of rolling, and maneuverability coupled with superior airflow and filtration.

Workers who choose not to wear a backpack or push/pull an upright may prefer one of the new smooth-rolling, high-performance canisters.

How do you select the right type and size of vacuum to fit the worker and application?

Questions to ask include:

  • What are you vacuuming?
  • What type of flooring are you cleaning?

For hard floors, use a suction-only backpack or canister with a 15-to 20-inch brush tool.

For thicker, cut-pile carpet, a two-motor upright with a dedicated rotating brush is best.

For commercial looped pile carpet (the most common type in commercial facilities), a backpack vacuum will excel.

Choose the right vacuum for the person
When selecting a backpack, consider the workers’ build, individual preferences, and the cleaning application.

Average-sized workers will fare best with full-sized backpacks.

For smaller workers and maids, or for cleaning obstructed areas, a mid-capacity or hip-style backpack vacuums may be most appropriate.

In short, cleaning professionals now can choose the best type and size of vacuum to fit their individual needs.


Allen P. Rathey is president of InstructionLink/JanTrain Inc., Boise, ID.