When it comes to floor care, there are different kinds of equipment used. From brushes, dustpans and brooms, to yarn and microfibre mops, they each have their target purpose. However, there are situations where even these conventional cleaning tools become inconvenient to use. For instance, when you want to move large volumes of water, debris, sludge and even snow, you want tools that will get the task done in minimal time. Spending hours soaking up the fluids from the floor with a mop, wringing out the contents into a bucket, and repeating these processes over the expansive floor space can be exasperating. In areas like meat departments of supermarkets, within army barracks, frequent spills in hospitals and patient rooms, loading docks, food processing venues – the amounts of fluid that need to be cleared up are high, and this is done on a regular basis. Instead of expending loads of time and energy with the standard tools, turn to floor squeegees for the task.
With a floor squeegee, the approach is simple: simply push the water to the floor drain. This tool comes with a long handle like a push broom, and it has a blade that is used to push or pull the water in the desired direction. As such, even in situations where there have been flooding incidents in the building, they get to be resolved quickly, allowing normalcy to resume in the establishment much sooner. It’s not just limited to water. Chemicals in factories, debris and waste clean-up in agricultural zones and commercial areas, and even cleaning up the area around large drains – they are up to the task. With a quick setup time, where you only need to fix the handle to the squeegee frame, you’ll be good to go.
Floor Squeegee Buying Guide
First thing’s first – ensuring that you get a right squeegee that will be suited to the job at hand. This will depend on different factors, such as the amount of cleaning involved, the establishment being worked on, and the type of surface. You may be in management and looking for the appropriate equipment for the janitorial team of your establishment, or a cleaning company tasked with providing the services to commercial and residential clients – thus requiring a host of gear that will enable you to deliver on your mandate and meet your client’s needs, or even a homeowner looking to incorporate the floor squeegeeing to your cleaning arsenal. Restoration companies also use the gear, such as during floods when one needs to quickly clear out the water from the premises. Your performance will be directly tied to the tools you acquire. You want tools that will be ergonomic to use, and reduce the amounts of energy expended in the process.
Costs also factor in. You want equipment that will last for long, not low-quality goods that will keep requiring to be replaced. The intensity of the work will weigh in as well, since the tough cleaning jobs will call for heavy duty tools. Even a high-quality light duty squeegee will wear out fast when used for the tough applications. As such the amount of usage you get from the product will depend on the kind of purchase you make. Let’s delve into factors that you should consider in order to end up with the units that suit your particular needs.
We’ll start off with the basic structure. The floor squeegee consists of two main parts: the blade which comes into contact with the surface being worked on; and the frame, which holds the blade. The handle is then fitted onto the frame for you to manoeuvre the squeegee.
Given that this is the point of contact with the liquids being cleaned off the surface, you want a blade that will withstand the chemical solutions involved, while also allowing easy cleaning on the type of flooring. You will be relying on it to push or pull the liquids – depending on the direction you’re taking, and it should retain its structural integrity for long, so as to reduce the expenses that go into the product purchases. The type of blade will also determine whether it’s restricted to smooth surfaces, or whether you can also use it on irregular floors.
For the blade, three key factors are considered:
- Blade Material
What is it constructed of? There are different kinds of materials here, with the main being:
- Natural rubber
The single blade rubber floor squeegees are usually used for the daily clean-up tasks, removing the water, mud, waste and debris from the smooth and even surfaces like concrete, tile floors and linoleum surfaces. There are red gum rubber units as well, which are particularly intended for when one is dealing with strong solvents and chemicals on the smooth surfaces. One benefit of the single blade rubber squeegees is that they are easy to clean and maintain, and they reduce chances of bacterial growth.
- Double Foam
With double foam rubber blades, you have units that have a synthetic rubber material. This increases their versatility, allowing you to carry out the cleaning on uneven surfaces such as for non-slip flooring, and when you’re working on grouted tile surfaces. Double foam blades have higher absorbency compared to the single rubber units.
This is synthetic rubber as well. These kinds of floor squeegees are designed for the heavy-duty cleaning tasks on both smooth and uneven surfaces. Neoprene can withstand the tougher working conditions, from getting rid of the fats and oils that are on kitchen floors, to cleaning chemicals off industrial floors.
- Blade Length
Here, your focus is on the convenience and manoeuvrability that you get from the blade length. Larger is not always better. Having the longest blade will be an inconvenience when you’re working on small and tight spaces. On the other hand, a short blade will slow you down when you have a massive floor area to cover. The key is to achieve the right fit for your particular cleaning needs.
For the small areas, working with floor squeegee blades that are around 13 to 18 inches long should suffice. With these units, you will also be able to clean sections like tight corners and between toilets. The medium sized 22 to 24-inch squeegee blades can be used for most general cleaning tasks in residential and commercial spaces, including directing the liquids on the open floor towards the drain. For the blades that are 30 inches and longer, they will come in handy when working on the large floor spaces, be it warehouses or commercial food facilities where you have lots of surface to cover.
- Blade design
This can be broken down into two: straight and curved. The straight squeegee blades allow you to quickly move the liquids across the floor, while the curved blades are particularly beneficial for controlling the direction of the water and directing it towards the drains.
Floor Squeegee Frame
The frame holds the rubber blade. Here the selection made will take into account different factors as well. First is the durability. How long can the frame last? This is tied to the particular material, and the target purpose for which the floor squeegee is being acquired. The tools used for routine cleaning in residential establishments will be different from the equipment required for the heavy-duty cleaning tasks in industrial floors. How will the material hold out to the fluids involved – especially when dealing with caustic chemicals? Even the interaction with water itself matters. After all, it will be the main fluid being cleared off the various surfaces. The last thing you want is getting a frame that ends up rusting, since this will need to be replaced much sooner, and end up costing you more in the long run. What about the weight? This will affect how much energy is spent hauling around the squeegee. Again, lighter is not always better, since those tough cleaning situations will require gear that packs a punch, and this is not always featherweight. It’s all about achieving the optimal balance for your particular cleaning needs. Basically, you want floor squeegees that will give you higher efficiency, withstand the rigours of the job, and be easy to use. Let’s dig deeper into this.
There are different kinds of frame material used, each with their advantage to the floor cleaning process. Take the plastic squeegee frames for instance. You won’t have to worry about them rusting, and they give you more flexibility especially for those hard-to-reach areas compared to metal frames. They are also particularly suitable for working on areas with hazardous chemical spills, such as clearing flammable liquids from the surface. With the metal floor squeegee frames on the other hand, there are usually steel units and powder coated-steel variations, that can take on heavy duty applications. They feature a high durability, and the powder-coated units are able to withstand corrosion. You can also opt for the aluminium floor squeegee frames, which are suited to those light-duty tasks, and the light nature of the material additionally enables them to be easily manoeuvrable. Aluminium is also naturally resistant to rusting.
Note that it is imperative that you choose a handle that is compatible with the floor squeegee head, otherwise the setup will simply not work. Taking note of aspects such as whether the handle socket is threaded or tapered will enable you to ensure that you get the compatible units.
Extra tip: When looking for the different products, be it the floor squeegees or the handles that come with them, check out if the brand has tools that have multiple compatibility. For instance, you can get handles that work with the floor and window squeegees. That way, you’ll simply need to switch to the required tool as you work on the different sections of the building, and save on costs in the process. This is as opposed to purchasing handles for each of the squeegee heads. This is especially important if you’re dealing with multiple kinds of surfaces, with each requiring its particular type of squeegee blade and frame. Costs would rack up fast if you needed a different handle for each particular tool.
Availability of replacement parts also comes into focus. Take the squeegee blade for instance. Given that it will come under loads of wear, you want to work with a floor squeegee whose replacement blades can easily be sourced. Note that the blade itself should have a high quality, in order for each unit to give you prolonged usage. This is what you get with units such as the Ettore Replacement Neoprene Rubber for Industrial Steel Floor Squeegees which comes in 24″ and 36″ sizes, and the Replacement Rubber for Straight and Curved Aluminium Floor Squeegees, where the models range between 18″ and 36″. These units from Ettore come in 6 per case, meaning that you get to save on costs with each purchase, as the batch will get to serve you for long.
Neoprene and Industrial Floor Squeegees
Just what is it about this particular material that makes it tick? Neoprene is synthetic rubber, and you will see it featuring many industrial applications. This is because of its wide range of attributes that makes it suitable for the task, from being chemical- and abrasion-resistant, waterproof, stretchable and buoyant. It is used in everything from protective gloves, wet suits, all through to the industrial floor squeegees, with slight tweaks to suit the target equipment. Let’s expound on this further.
In industries, there are lots of oils and chemicals being handled. Many of this are highly reactive, and they can attack the material being used for the janitorial products. However, cleaning is imperative, and cannot be skimped out on. Focus shifts to having suitable equipment that will get the task done while resisting the effects of the chemicals that are in the facility, which is why neoprene industrial floor squeegees have become popular.
You’ll find the neoprene floor squeegees being used in different kinds of industries, from food processing plants to pharmaceutical companies. Note that these blades tend to be bigger than conventional units due to the larger floor areas that are to be covered.
Get Quality Floor Squeegees From A Renowned Brand
Now for actual products that you can find in the market. Ettore has a wide range of floor squeegees in its offing. These target everything from the routine clean-up jobs at home, working in commercial establishments and factory floors, all through to dealing with floods. The choice of unit you acquire depends on your particular needs. Let’s take a look at the products.
- Wipe ’n Dry Floor Squeegee
With this unit, you’re working with a dual, closed-cell foam rubber blade. This allows you to use the Ettore Wipe ’n Dry Floor Squeegee on a wide range of surfaces, including tiled floors, grout, brick and other floors that are uneven. The usage of the squeegee extends to applying coatings and sealants onto the floor, making the treatment process a breeze. You can obtain the Wipe ’n Dry unit with or without the handle. For the sizes, this squeegee is available in 18”, 22” and 30” options.
Within this line of products, you have additional options, including:
- Wipe ’n Dry Floor Squeegee – with Splash Guards and Brush
This particular floor squeegee has been developed for use on tough surfaces like decks and patios. It comes with a natural, dense and closed-cell DURA-FLEX™ rubber blade. You can also use it on the uneven surfaces like brick floors, or when you want to scrub the tile and grout installations. The nylon bristle brush on the unit has been welded in place, adding to the durability of the structure. This Ettore floor squeegee comes with a steel handle that’s 56” long.
- Wipe ’n Dry Floor Squeegee – with Splash Guards
In case you don’t need the brush, you can still get the efficiency of the splash guards with these 18” and 22” floor squeegees. That way you’ll be in a position to remove the fluids from the surface and dry it with quick strokes, without splashes messing up the task.
- Ettore Industrial Duty Steel Floor Squeegee
With this floor squeegee you get heavy duty cleaning action, capable of removing large quantities of water and harsh solvents from surfaces. The chemical-resistant neoprene blade, coupled with the galvanized steel construction that protects the unit from corrosion, allows the floor squeegee to be used even for the tough caustic stations. The unit comes in straight and curved alternatives. The straight squeegee blade can additionally be used to remove the sludge and debris from floors, and even snow and ice during those winter months.
- Ettore Heavy Duty Aluminium Floor Squeegee
The light weight of this floor squeegee makes manoeuvring it across the floor surface a breeze. Its rust-free nature means you won’t have to worry about it corroding. Design attributes like the pivoting head add to its efficiency, where you get to work with both push and pull movements. The straight Aluminium Floor Squeegee comes in 18, 24, 30 and 36-inch sizes, while the curved alternative is available in 24 and 30-inch options.
The complete setup will need to include the handle. Here, you basically want a tool that will be durable enough to withstand the demand of the job, especially since the floor squeegeeing is usually a frequent task. It should also be light, since you don’t want to be sweating it out as you haul around heavy gear on the property. Ettore has also provided Utility Poles for use with its range of floor squeegees. The 60” poles are available with threaded or tapered tips, allowing you to obtain the unit that matches your particular squeegee frame. Given that they can also be used for the window squeegees, they make for an economical addition to your cleaning arsenal. That way, as you switch between working on the windows and working on the floors, you can use the same poles for the different squeegee heads. This is especially beneficial for professional cleaning companies looking for ways to cut on operational expenses to protect their profit margins, and management looking to optimise the budget for their establishment’s janitorial team.
Additional Applications Of The Floor Squeegees
The squeegees are not limited to the floors. That action of pushing fluids across the surface can be replicated in various situations. What’s more, it’s not a difficult concept to grasp, hence even newbies will quickly get used to working with the tools. With a little tweaking, you can repurpose them to other sections of the house. These include:
- Squeegeeing the bathroom walls and shower door
The goal here is to keep these surfaces free of hard water stains and soap scum. This is as opposed to having to use a towel or cloth. The squeegee will cut down the amount of time needed, and the tool will not get saturated with water. All that is needed is running the squeegee from the top to the bottom of the surface, or from left to right, and the contents will be cleared off. When this is done after each shower, it will keep the surface free of the soap scum deposits and hard water spots, reducing your workload when it comes to the general cleaning. What’s more, with the towels and clothes getting bogged down with loads of moisture and body wash as you wipe the surface, this can end up getting smeared all over the shower door and bathroom wall, which is not how you want things going. On the other hand, with the squeegee, you will simply whisk away anything that is on the surface with ease. Positioning it close to the door will remind the family members to use it after they are done with the shower. Given that the squeegees are also easy to clean, the maintenance process will become a breeze.
There’s just one point of note here. The floor squeegees typically have long handles, since during their application you don’t want to keep bending as you work on the floor. When using these squeegees on the bathroom walls and the shower door, it is recommended that you switch to a shorter handle that will be easier to manoeuvre.
- Setting up a “wet weather kit”
During those seasons of heavy downpours, plus the snowy winter months, there will be higher risks of people tracking grime into the household. Sludge, ice and snow, mud – these will end up soiling the interior floors, and the slipperiness that results also increases the risks of accidents, which is not what you want to happen in your space. That’s why a wet weather kit comes in handy. This set of equipment enables you to quickly clean up the entrances into the building, and reduce the amount of residue getting into the premises. These are the likes of an absorbent doormat that soaks up the moisture from people’s shoes, a mud scraper so that they can remove the mud on their shoes instead of tracking it into the premises, and a floor squeegee to quickly clear out the contents before they spread further into the rooms. Having such a setup near the doors that people frequently use to enter and exit the premises will make the general cleaning to be done later on much easier.
What About Using The Floor Squeegees On Windows?
All squeegees have the same basic working principle: A smooth material (like the rubber blade), being used to push water off a surface. There are squeegees for building windows, car cleaning, and the units used on floors. But can you use them interchangeably? Well, it’s not that straightforward.
For starters, it is always ideal to stick to the tools that have been particularly designed for the specific task. This is because it is safer and more convenient to do so. What’s more, they tend to come with additional features that optimise the process. For instance, you will find window squeegees with quick release mechanisms, rubberized grips, and even angled heads for working on the overhead windows and around corners. That way, you will be able to get the work done faster.
Nevertheless, should you be in a situation where the window cleaning tools are not available, the rubber floor squeegees can come in handy. Due to the size variations between the floors and windows, the small floor squeegees will be effective on most windows – actually covering a wide area. In such a situation, you also want to use the squeegees that have lighter constructions, in order not to expend loads of energy working on the windows.
This is one brand that has a rich history. The founder, Ettore Steccone, was an entrepreneur who chased the American dream. After his time in the Italian Army during the first world war, he moved to the US and began working in the window cleaning industry. While he enjoyed the work and freedom, he was dissatisfied with the tools he used. Back then, the window cleaning was done with a heavy steel squeegee, complete with the double rubber blade plus the 12 screws holding it in place. The squeegee was quite cumbersome to use, and the results of the window cleaning weren’t exactly pleasant. So Ettore developed the new, lighter squeegee – which was ironically rejected by one of the industry leading suppliers in New York, J. Racenstein Company. They say change is not readily accepted, right? Well, he didn’t give up. In fact, he made a bet with the owner of the company, telling him that in just a month, the company would beg to buy the new squeegee.
So Steccone began giving the revolutionary new squeegee to his window cleaning colleagues. The goal was to have them try working with it for a day, and see how it fared when compared to the other tools that they were currently using, and it was the more superior choice. That was a master stroke in marketing, given that soon the cleaners were going around asking where they could buy the new squeegee – and Steccone didn’t miss the opportunity to tell them to call up the J. Racenstein Company.
Ettore Steccone forged on. With his five employees, he continued manufacturing and shipping out the squeegee from his garage. In the 1950s, the operations were moved into an actual factory, and there has been no turning back. Ettore – the company, has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming a world-renowned brand in window care.
Over the decades that followed, Ettore delivered a wide range of cleaning products, used for windows, dusting, floor care, all through to automotive cleaning. Solutions like the Squeegee-Off Window Cleaning Soap that enables ammonia-free window care while cutting through the dirt and grime on the glass surfaces, the Mighty Window Washer that features a fine microfibre sleeve construction and a high impact plastic handle that is ergonomic to use, the MicroSwipe Ceiling Fan Duster with its contoured shape that is used when cleaning the ceiling fan blades and has soft microfibre bristles that increase the efficiency of the process, the heavy duty Ettore Super Compact Bucket that is used with washers and squeegees during window care – and comes complete with a sturdy handle for better transport, all through to the Ettore floor squeegees that we’re looking at here. The squeegee that started it all, the famous Ettore Master Squeegee, proceeded to become an iconic product in the industry, and is still widely used today.
As you can see, when you turn to the Ettore products, you’re relying on a brand that has a proven track record of result delivery. The products and solutions that are provided by the brand are used in building care for commercial and residential establishments around the world, by end-consumers and professional cleaning companies alike. Incorporating the Ettore floor squeegees into your cleaning kit will translate into you having high quality tools that will speed up your tasks and reduce the amount of resources that go into the process, all whilst ensuring that the job is done appropriately.