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Streamlined carpet cleaning in Stowe School

Sector: Education

Stowe is an independent school housed in a former ducal palace and set within 750 acres of landscaped gardens and parkland in Buckinghamshire.

The school’s founders saved the magnificent 18th century buildings – the former seat of the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos – from demolition in 1922. Since its opening the following year, Stowe School has expanded – through restoration of the old and construction of new buildings, including art and music schools, a sports hall and indoor swimming pool.

Today the site’s neo-classical and contemporary facilities are used intensively by some 800 students – boys and girls, boarders and day pupils.

Stowe has a variety of floor types, with safety flooring and short-pile carpeting making up much of the floor space within the school that requires daily cleaning. Keeping these floors clean and safe in such a busy environment is a considerable challenge.

“Our pupils play numerous field sports, so muddy footwear makes for an awful amount of dirty carpets in need of constant cleaning,” Helen Bagby, Head of Support Services, explains.

“In such historic buildings with quirky stair cases and corded carpets there are also access issues and time constraints.”

The previous cleaning regime relied mainly on hand mopping for hard floors and bulky extraction machines, which “were heavy to use on carpets, and unsuitable for the numerous stairways”.

When the Support Services team reviewed their floor cleaning arrangements and examined the many equipment options available, Stowe School decided to order four Multiwash 240 scrubber dryers. The school has since taken delivery of four more units – which have a 24cm cleaning width – taking the fleet to eight.

Three main factors guided Stowe’s choice, according to the Support Services Manager. The new machines were compact and highly manoeuvrable, so now cleaning in and around confined spaces, fixtures and furniture is no longer challenging.

The other decisive factor was the Multiwash’s versatile productivity. “They can clean hard floors and carpets in virtually one operation,” Helen Bagby emphasises.

Clean solution is sprayed on the floor and then the brushes work this into the surface and scrub, before the soiled liquid is recovered. In this way, the Multiwash can mop, scrub and dry floors in one pass. Hard floors are left practically dry and safe to walk on, while the low-moisture process means even carpets can be walked on in minutes.

Meanwhile, the cylindrical brushes of the Multiwash ensure that the same high standard of cleaning is achieved on safety flooring and even in the grout lines of tiled floors.

The speed and ease of floor cleaning in Stowe School now is the most notable change since the switch to Multiwash scrubber dryers. This view is endorsed by the cleaning team, Helen Bagby confirms. “They think they are great machines. Cleaning is so much easier than before. We would have to wait for when the students weren’t here to clean carpets. Now we can do them anytime we need to within our normal shift times.”

Their new scrubber dryer fleet has tilted the playing field in favour of the Stowe cleaning team as they tackle the daily onslaught of mud and dirt. Thanks to the versatility and efficiency of Multiwash technology, they have streamlined floor cleaning in this historic school.

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