How to Care for Cleaning Equipment

As a cleaning business owner, how many times do you walk into a janitor closet and find dirty equipment, filthy mop buckets, vacuum cleaners that haven’t been emptied, and spray bottles that no longer spray properly? Have you or your supervisors taken the time to train your employees on how to properly care for your equipment? Use this checklist to keep your supplies and equipment in top working condition.

Plastic Spray Bottles

  • Wipe bottles as necessary to avoid residue and buildup
  • Replace label when needed
  • Periodically take apart trigger and clean to avoid clogging

Brute & Caddy

  • Wipe down inside and out as needed


  • Do not leave lying around – they are a disease and safety hazard. Keep in a bag for dirty rags
  • Discard greasy or oily rags

Dust Pans

  • Disinfect and wipe front edge as needed


  • Rinse in clear, cold water, shake out excess. If brush is dirty, wash it out in lukewarm cleaning solution and rinse with clear water. Let dry with bristles straight.
  • Storage – hang brush – do not put the brush weight on the bristles.


  • Do not use when wet, do not stand on its straws. Do not use broom for scrubbing. Rotate frequently so it will wear evenly.

Putty Knife

  • After each days use, wipe knife to remove moisture and debris.
  • Store in clean, dry place.
  • Edge the blade as needed to keep it sharp

Measuring Cups

  • Rinse with water immediately after use.

Dust Mops

  • Do not use dry mops to pick up liquids. Do not use dust mops on oily floors.
  • Remove loose soil frequently, using a vacuum cleaner if possible; otherwise shake into large waste receptacle.
  • Never store a mop on the floor. Hang the mop so air can circulate.

Wet Mops

  • Before using a new mop, soak for several minutes to remove sizing and toughen the fibers.
  • Rinse after use.
  • Do not twist the mop in the wringer. If it is twisted or squeezed too hard it can be destroyed because the actions will break the fibers.
  • Use your fingers to straighten the strands.
  • Cut off loose or uneven strands.
  • Hang mops to dry in a light, airy place. Never store on the floor or in the mop bucket.

Floor Finish Mops

  • After using, wash out all floor finish or wax with clean water.
  • Wring out as much water as possible, shake to fluff strands.
  • Never use detergent or soap on a mop intended for floor finish.
  • Put mop in a clean plastic bag after use.

Buckets & Wringers

  • Do not use force on a wringer lever – use only enough hand pressure on the lever to wring out the mop.
  • Remove any loose mop head yarn, string or foreign matter that becomes tangled in the wringer.
  • Wash and scrub all surfaces of the bucket with disinfectant. Rinse with warm water and wipe dry.
    Keep wringer oiled and tight.
  • Keep wringer in “release” position when it is not being used.
  • Rinse blade in clean water after use.
  • Wipe dry, do not store with blade down or bent.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

  • Empty bag regularly.
  • Wipe outside of vacuum after emptying.
  • Check for strings, carpet yarns, etc. wrapped around beater bar.
  • Check belt for cuts and change when needed.
  • Empty magnet bar after each use.


  • Wipe down entire surface after each day’s use. Also wipe cord.
  • Check pad for replacement.
  • Blow out motor approximately every 2 weeks.
  • Once per month check screws and bolts to ensure they are tight.

Slow Speeds

  • Wipe down entire surface after each day’s use. Also wipe cord.
  • Rinse tank after each use.
  • Check drive unit for cracks on wear.

Synthetic Floor Pads

  • Floor pads can be used on both sides. Once both sides have been used, the pad should be set aside for cleaning or soaking.
  • Floor pads can be cleaned by rubbing one against the surface of another. Or you can use a hand scratcher. Follow by rinsing with a sharp stream of hot water and giving a final rinse of cold water. Pads that do not respond to this method should be soaked overnight in a concentration of synthetic detergent or stripping solution. After soaking, each pad should be rinsed under a sharp stream of hot water. After a final rinse of cold water, the pads should be shaken and placed on a flat, non-rusting surface for drying. Pads are not ready for re-use until they are completely dry.
  • Tip: When pads become excessively worn, they can be cut into small sections that can be used as hand or foot scratch pads.

Wet/Dry Vacs

  • Rinse out inside, wipe inside and out after each use.
  • Rinse and wipe hoses and attachments.

Carpet Machines

  • Rinse out inside of tank, filters, hoses and attachments.
  • Wipe down outside.

Pump-Up Sprayers

  • Release pressure.
  • Wipe outside.
  • When empty, rinse out, spray water through sprayer to keep from getting plugged up.