August 03, 2022

9 Reasons to Stop Using a Mop and Bucket to Clean Floors

cleaning staff using a mop to clean floors in a public bathroom

1-Mop Water and Bucket Are Easily Contaminated

Unfortunately, as soon as a mop touches a floor and is rinsed in the bucket, the water becomes contaminated and, in most cases, the now dirty water is used to “clean” the floor.

Floors are one of the largest high-touch surfaces in any space. Tracked in dirt, grease, bacteria, toxic substances and more all land on floors. Not to mention the viruses and germs that are transmitted through air that settle on flooring.

According to “Whether we realize it or not, pathogens like norovirus can easily attach themselves to surfaces during a cleanup. They can survive on surfaces like mop handles or buckets for days or weeks.”

Unless cleaning practices in your facility require the mop water to be dumped after each mop rinse, the water is likely contaminated. Even then, the bucket would have to be sanitized and disinfected after each dump to keep germs and bacteria at bay.

This is a highly unlikely scenario to consider for many reasons and not a logical solution to dirty mop water as it requires excess time and water use.

2-Mop and Bucket Cleaning Can Lead to Cross-Contamination

Just as the mop water and bucket are easily contaminated, floors can quickly become contaminated because dirty water is transferred from the mop to the floor.

Since the dirty mop is dipped in the dirty water repeatedly, the mop is not actually clean and the contaminates on the mop and in the water are transferred back to the floor and pushed around the floor.

This can lead to cross-contamination.

“It is estimated we have as many as 50 direct and indirect contacts with floor surfaces every day. If the floor is contaminated, we can then spread this contamination onto other surfaces or, if we touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, ingest the contaminants, potentially causing infection.”

Depending on the facility, this can have extremely adverse effects. In a medical facility for example, inadvertently spreading contaminates can lead to higher infection rates in patients or HAI’s (hospital acquired infections).

3-Slip and Fall Accidents

According to Unger Global “Slips and falls are the leading cause of workers’ compensation claims and are the leading cause of occupational injury for people aged 55 years and older.” Unger also reports that “85% of worker’s compensation claims are attributed to employees slipping on slick floors.”

While not all slip and fall accidents are related to floor cleaning processes, using a mop and bucket means leaving floors to air-dry once mopping is complete. This can take time and is potentially hazardous.

Using floor cleaning machines that are equipped with a squeegee and dry mop, like Cobi 18, an autonomous floor cleaning machine by ICE Cobotics, can significantly reduce the amount of time floors need to dry after being scrubbed because the squeegee helps clean excess water off the floor.

Using equipment that leaves floors dry helps to make any facility safer for employees and building occupants and can help companies reduce expenses related to accidental injuries.

4-Risk of Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI’s)

person holding elbow to symbolize pain and injury

Repetitive stress injuries, or repetitive motion injuries (RMI’s), are caused by work that requires a person to engage in the same motion over and over. This results in stress and damage to bones, muscles, tendons, and nerves due to overuse.

Floor cleaning is attributed as one of the most time-consuming cleaning tasks for staff.

According to Action Unlimited Resources “Mopping is the second-leading cause of cleaning-related injuries: These types of injuries result in significant financial loss to organizations in time, production efficiency, and worker’s compensation.”

Reducing the time staff are engaged in repetitive motion tasks is not only better for your staff but it can also be better for the company's finances.

5-Staff Are Pulled Away from Other High-Priority Tasks

Some sources estimate that floor cleaning can make up to 80% of cleaning staff’s time. While cleaning floors is an incredibly important task, the time spent focused on floors can mean other important tasks fall by the wayside.

For janitorial staff, that can include things like making sure bathrooms are clean and high-touch surfaces are wiped down regularly.

Bringing on autonomous floor cleaning equipment can help solve this problem. Autonomous floor cleaners can be deployed to take on the repetitive work of floor cleaning so staff can focus on other important tasks.

Not only that, but because of advanced navigation technology, cobots (collaborative robots), are more efficient. They follow the same route each time they are deployed and learn to clean the route better over time. This takes human error out of the equation, making efficient and consistent cleaning the norm.

6- Customer Experience Can Be Impacted

No matter the type of facility, the customer or guest experience has a profound impact on the overall success of the business.

For retailers, creating an atmosphere that is welcoming and customer-centric is key.

According to a survey done by Chain Store Age, “91% of respondents said employees with product/service knowledge increase the likelihood of purchase.”

When staff feel overwhelmed by heavy workloads or are directed to focus solely on tasks—because these too are important—they can be distracted from helping customers.

Floor cleaning is a labor and time-intensive task that needs to be done, so finding a solution that frees up staff and still gets the cleaning done is a win-win.

Beyond that, deploying a cobot in your facility elevates your space. It positions you as a leader in technology and sends a message to both staff and customers that their experience and comfort level are important to you.

The visual message can speak volumes.

7- Cobots Make a Better Co-Worker

Let’s face it! Cobots bring more to the table than a mop and bucket.

For one, if a co-worker leaves the mop and bucket in an undisclosed location, there can be a lot of time spent trying to find it.

Cobots, like Cobi 18, start the job at their home base and return to the home base—there is no hunting it down.

In all seriousness though, Cobots are designed to work alongside and support staff. The advanced AI and navigation software system in Cobi 18 for example can detect any object in its path whether stationary or moving.

The cobot will simply move around the obstacle and navigate the real-world environment with ease, including around glass, mirrors, escalators, and through bright light.

Aside from that, the cobot is built with safety features such as noise and light indicators to alert anyone of its presence. Can a mop and bucket do that?

ICE Cobotics Cobi 18 working alongside a coworker in a convenience store

8- Cobots Are More Cost-Effective Than You Think

While it may seem that investing in technology is more expensive than simply buying a mop and bucket, that is not necessarily the case.

For one, the time saved by freeing up staff to focus on other tasks can increase overall productivity.

A case study cited by NAI Group found “that using cobots led to ten times the production yield and a 16% increase in staff.”

Additionally, when staff are more available to focus on guests and to create positive experiences, the chances of gaining loyal customers increase.

And finally, there are many financing options available that make bringing on automation simple and hassle-free.

ICE Cobotics offers Cobi 18 through an all-inclusive subscription starting at less than $20 a day.

The subscription includes repairs and replacement parts, consumables, fleet management technology (including software updates at no extra charge), data analytics, customer support, and access to their virtual resource center.

So, not only are you bringing on a co-worker for less than $20 a day, but that co-worker comes with its own support system.

9-Cobots Elevate the Role of Staff

Some of the biggest labor challenges come from keeping staff engaged and invested in the work. Employees want challenges, they want responsibility and more training. The chance to improve and learn is one of the most cited reasons for staying with an employer by today’s workers—that and being treated well by management and customers.

Additionally, according to Imaginovation, “90% of employees feel burdened with repetitive and boring tasks that can be easily automated.”

What better way to offer your staff more responsibility while also removing repetitive work from their plate than by bringing on a cobot.

Deploying a cobot allows your staff to work with advanced technology, receive additional training, and manage the operation of the cobot daily.

These benefits can improve staff morale and satisfaction and gain you long-standing employees. The long-term benefits of this can have profound impacts on any business.

Whether you’re just starting your journey into the world of autonomous cleaning solutions or you’re ready to make the change, we’re here to help explore all the options.

Feel free to reach out to our Automation Experts at any time!

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