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Janitorial Brush Buying Guide

Nothing ruins a dining out experience like messy floors, dusty windows, and dirty bathrooms. When the restaurant, café, or bar is not clean, you start to question the management, the service, and ultimately the food. If that happens, the restaurant starts losing money. Taking the time to clean properly will prevent those issues and keep customers coming back for more. Good sanitation begins with proper cleaning tools and the most important tool is the brush. This guide provides the basics of janitorial cleaning brushes to ensure your business stays in tip-top shape.

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The Essentials

There is a lot more to brushes than meets the eye. There are dozens of different types of brushes, each type has a specific use, and there are different bristles for every type of job. That’s a lot to take in! The easiest place to start is a list of the basic janitorial brushes every foodservice operation needs:

Brush Type
Unger LWDU0 StarDuster Lambswool Duster Sleeve

For use on all surfaces to remove dust particles and boost visual appeal
Carlisle 3619014 10 inch Hi-Lo Floor Scrub Brush with Squeegee
For use on non-carpet floors and walls to remove grease and grime before mopping
Carlisle 4132302 Sparta Spectrum 9 inch Grout Brush with Scraper

For use on tile floors to clear heavy dirt and grime from between tiles
Carlisle 4002100 Sparta Spectrum Hand and Nail Brush with Cord
Placed next to a stainless steel sink to promote proper hygiene when washing hands
Carlisle 3621962414 Sweep Complete 24 inch Push Broom with Blue Unflagged Bristles and 60 inch Handle with Squeegee

For clearing floors of dirt and dust before scrubbing and mopping
Carlisle 363300 Flo-Pac 21 inch Toilet Bowl Brush
Placed in restrooms next to the toilet to promote frequent and thorough cleaning and sanitation

Bristle Types

There are different bristles available for different jobs. When selecting a bristle type, you'll want to keep in mind several factors, including recovery strength and softness. Recovery strength refers to a bristle's ability to retain its original shape and rigidity, even after consistent use. Bristles with good recovery strength will have a longer useful life and not break or splay out from the center of the brush. Bristle softness is a measure of how coarse bristles are to the touch. Soft bristles are ideal for delicate surfaces you wish to protect from scratches, while hard bristles are useful for cutting through tough grease and grime.

It can be overwhelming, but understanding the bristle types and their typical applications will make your decision easier and ensure that you are purchasing the proper brush for any job.

Bristle Type
Bristle Softness
Easy to Clean
Bacteria Resistant
Heat Resistant
Animal hair bristles
Floor sweeps; dusters; brushes for gentle cleaning Very Soft    
Carlisle 3619014 10 inch Hi-Lo Floor Scrub Brush with Squeegee
Floor sweeps; toilet brushes; floor scrubbers; all-purpose scrub brushes Medium Soft
Scrubble by ACS B7728 Black Tampico Counter Dust Brush
Heavy floor scrubbers; all-purpose scrub brushes; counter dusters Hard  
Wire bristles
Grout brushes; removing heavy soil Very Hard  

Caring for Your Brushes

Because janitorial brushes do such heavy cleaning, they require some cleaning of their own. Janitorial brushes are very durable, so cleaning and caring for them is easy. Do remember, however, that some brushes may not necessarily need cleaning. It would be terribly unsanitary to hand-wash a toilet brush, not only because of what it is used for, but also because of the chemicals it may come in contact with. The same can be said for push brooms and floor scrubbers. You don’t want them to be filthy, but these brushes do not require regular cleaning either. Grout brushes, hand and nail brushes, and general scrub brushes, on the other hand, can and should be cleaned periodically.

ACS B125 5 1/2 inch Scrubble Iron Handle Scrub Brush with Poly Bristles
To care for your brushes:

  1. Run your brush under hot water and rub bristles with dish detergent (to avoid contamination, wash janitorial brushes in a sink separate from kitchen sinks).
  2. Keep an eye on the base of your brush, making sure that no grime or grease remains lodged where the bristles meet the handle.
  3. Leave in a clean place to air dry.

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