With the ability to move large numbers of people quickly, escalators are essential tools for high traffic buildings. Airports, shopping malls, department stores, train stations, universities, convention centers, hotels and arenas use escalators to move patrons from floor to floor and with continuous use, escalators become dirty from liquids, dirt, debris, and dust. Regular cleaning of the steps restores the appearance of the escalator and projects a clean and professional image.
Escalator Cleaning with Scrubbing Machines
Many janitorial companies and escalator cleaning contractors use specialized machines to clean escalator steps. The machines use abrasive bristle brushes, a vacuum system, and chemicals to remove dirt and debris.
During the escalator cleaning process, the machine sprays a chemical solution on the steps and uses rotating bristle brushes to dislodge and remove debris from the step. The integrated vacuum system collects removed material during operation.
Escalator cleaning machines have some difficulty removing chewing gum, grease and oil and may leave brush streaks on the steps. If the machine sprays too much chemical solution, then the liquid will drain between the steps and deposit in the grease pit located below the steps. This situation can reduce escalator lubrication and potentially damage the escalator system.
Escalator Cleaning during Maintenance Operations
During maintenance operations, a service crew takes the escalator out of operation, removes the escalator steps, and cleans each step in a wash bay. After cleaning, the maintenance crew re-installs the escalator steps and returns the escalator to normal operation. This cleaning method is time consuming and expensive.
Escalator Cleaning with Dry Ice Blasting
Dry ice blasting is a unique, non-abrasive cleaning process that uses dry ice pellets to remove surface contaminants. As the pellets impact the surface, the dry ice sublimes and lifts the undesired residue without generating secondary waste. (For more information regarding the dry ice cleaning process, please read “What is dry ice blasting?”)
For escalator and moving walkway cleaning applications, dry ice blasting cleans the escalator steps without disassembly and avoids the use of liquid chemicals and solvents. The dry ice blasting process efficiently cleans escalator steps in place and removes a range of unwanted materials including chewing gum, grease, oil, dirt, trash, compacted materials, food debris, and liquid stains. As a chemical free process, dry ice blasting does not impact the escalator grease trap and mechanicals and reduces cleaning and waste disposal costs.
Typically, dry ice cleaning services occur in the evening and the clean escalator is ready for service the following morning.