A Word With Luigi Geddes; Cleaner In Sydney

Luigi is the cleaner at one of Sydney’s leading independent supermarkets. They have an ASC Eureka E 51 floor scrubber which they purchased 7 years ago.

ASC Eureka E 51
ASC Eureka E 51

Luigi is responsible for maintaining hundreds of square meters of vinyl, tiled and concrete flooring. As a senior staff member, he takes pride in his work—and wants others to do the same. He is professional in his approach but admits he is sometimes personally offended by a dirty floor.

While very happy with the machine, Luigi was increasingly agitated by the machines lack of water pick up. He booked an appointment with the local ASC representative to call in and show him how he could improve the drying action of his floor scrubber.

It was found that Luigi was ordering an aftermarket gum rubber from a local supplier but was not satisfied with its performance.

During the meeting, it was discovered that some companies sell gum rubber squeegees that have been dyed red to look like Linatex.

Luigi was advised that the colour while similar-looking has no effect on cleaning, and economy rubber squeegees do not have the same properties as Linatex. 

We came up with the idea to test the two squeegee materials under the same circumstances.

Luigi inspects the squeegees before each shift, adjusts them for optimal angle and down pressure, and removes them for cleaning when the shift ends.

In his note pad, he notes the date on which he installs a new squeegee, when he reverses it to make use of another edge, and how many hours each squeegee is used. He was surprisingly well versed to accurately test the performance of a different squeegee material on his floor as somewhat of an expert in this field.

Testing parameters were as follows:

  • the scrubber is in use 2 to 2.5 hours per day, 7 days of the week.
  • It picks up dirt & vegetable oil from food spillage, grease from moving pallet jacks and general grime bought into the grocery store from foot traffic tracked in on customers’ shoes.

Operating conditions at the store are perfect for testing. The floors are smooth and even, and the soil types are common and easy to handle, especially because Luigi insists on sweeping before scrubbing.

Product comparison: GUM RUBBER vs. LINATEX 

Linatex Rubber

Rafael Rodriguez, ASC’s field representative provided samples of genuine Linatex so that Luigi could compare it to the red rubber he was using.

Linatex is a premium-grade rubber product designed for use in floor squeegees. Linatex floor squeegees usually cost more than those made from commodity gum rubber—but they provide superior performance in most applications, require fewer adjustments, and last longer.

Linatex Rubber Squeegee
Linatex Rubber Squeegee

The total cost of ownership over time makes Linatex a more economical choice for many customers

After testing Luigi noticed that Linatex squeegees created a better seal against the floor, resulting in a perfectly dry floor compared to a streaky & wet floor using the gum rubber material.

Luigi commented immediately after the trial “I could tell a difference as soon as I put them on,” he said.

He found he spent far less time adjusting squeegees during use, which meant more effective time cleaning. The savings in labour expenses were even greater than those in material costs.

Linatex on Tile

Linatex Rubber Squeegee On Tiles
Linatex Rubber Squeegee On Tiles

Now, instead of losing productive time to adjusting and replacing gum rubber squeegees, or going back over areas that were poorly cleaned, everyone now sees a streak-free and shiny floor that was otherwise dull using a gum rubber.

The Net Effect

The squeegees made from Linatex cost 50% more than those made from commodity gum rubber, but last two to three times as long. The real saving is in a perfectly clean floor that needs to be cleaned once rather that 3 or 4 times going over the same spot using inferior squeegees.