For school administrators, janitorial carts may not be the highest item on the priority list in mid-August, but for custodial workers, carts are used all throughout the day, and necessary to perform just about any cleaning task.
A well-organized and designed janitorial cart, or “mobile workstation” as some custodians are now calling it, can store all the tools and equipment needed to clean a school, office building, or almost any other commercial facility. This kind of cart helps workers to perform their jobs efficiently and effectively, and prevents them from having to visit the janitorial closet every time they need something.
What to look for in a janitorial cart:
Quiet: Look for carts with rubber wheels because they are quieter, more durable and perfect for day cleaning strategies.
Textured, rounded front end: The front of the cart should be rounded so that it can securely hold a trash can or mop bucket.
Zippered vinyl refuse bag: This is something relatively new. A zippered refuse bag hides trash and it allows the worker to remove the trash from the side, rather than lift it up and over the cart, reducing physical stress.
Moisture block: Look for a cart that clearly separates wet and dry areas of the cart. This protects cleaning chemicals and electrical items, such as vacuum cleaners.
Pockets: Think about selecting a cart where the pockets are moulded into the cart. This securely stores items, such as chemicals, brooms and other supplies. Also, ensure there are utility hooks and spaces for warning signs to drop where you mop.
Designated space for a vacuum cleaner: Many carts do not have provisions for carrying an upright vacuum cleaner. Because vacuum cleaners are the second most important tool a cleaning worker will need – right after the janitorial cart – this is something to look for.
Handles away from trash: Make sure the handles are as far away from the collected trash as possible. It’s more sanitary.
Aesthetically pleasing: For some manufacturers, yellow, the traditional colour used for janitorial carts, is slowly disappearing. Apparently, the change is part of the goal to make janitorial carts more aesthetically pleasing. Darker colors, specifically a deep blue, appear to be the colour of choice for today’s nifty cleaning worker. Aesthetically pleasing janitorial carts are moral boosters and make the cleaning worker feel more professional.
Ergonomics: Ergonomically-designed janitorial carts are light-weight, compact and easier to maneuver. In turn, they reduce physical stress and prevent work-related strain and injuries. Compact carts not only make it easier on the worker, but protect walls and doors.
Dennis Knapp is director of product development at Impact Products, LLC, manufacturers of a wide range of safety and cleaning related products, including janitorial carts.