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Old 07-30-2010, 06:46 PM
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Does sweeping compound really work?

I remember the janitors in elementary school sprinkling green powder on the floor and then sweeping it up. The general consensus of us kids was that they were doing it to look busy. It seemed pointless. In fact, it still does.

Does sweeping compound really help get the floors clean? Or do you just sprinkle it around so you can see where you've already swept?
Old 07-30-2010, 07:11 PM
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Sweeping compund isn't necessarily to get the floor cleaner. It contains grit to soak up oil and other liquids, and it also can have additives which prevent dust from kicking up while you sweep.
Old 07-30-2010, 07:19 PM
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I haven't used it for years, but I recall it being very effective, especially for picking up small particulates/dust.
Old 07-30-2010, 11:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyjoe View Post
Sweeping compund isn't necessarily to get the floor cleaner. It contains grit to soak up oil and other liquids, and it also can have additives which prevent dust from kicking up while you sweep.
But it contains oil, so how would it pick up oil?
Old 07-30-2010, 11:38 PM
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Sweeping compound is not intended for soaking up oil. You might be thinking of products like "oil dry."
Old 07-31-2010, 12:16 AM
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When I worked on a loading dock, we'd use it to keep dust down when sweeping up debris from broken pallets and stuff. Definitely works.
Old 07-31-2010, 12:22 AM
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I've swept floors and used that green sawdust. It's very effective at keeping the dust down so that the sweeping action actually removes it, not just kicks it up into the air to settle down once you're done.
Old 07-31-2010, 01:29 AM
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In 1957 it used to be red and since I got paid to push a broom a gazillion miles I can attest it is great on wood or smooth cement surfaces like aircraft hangers. On carpet.... Not so much....
Old 07-31-2010, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hansel View Post
I've swept floors and used that green sawdust. It's very effective at keeping the dust down so that the sweeping action actually removes it, not just kicks it up into the air to settle down once you're done.
That's cool to know. I used to sweep floors at a retail establishment at closing time and we didn't use the stuff. The dust just kept leaping out of the way (kinda like the cat hair does on the linoleum at home).

GusNSpot, it comes in red and green. At my school, they used green.
Old 07-31-2010, 06:52 PM
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I once worked in a pottery factory. Clay dust on the floor everywhere. Green sweeping compound was a must, otherwise, the clay dust would billow up and settle on everything.
Old 07-31-2010, 06:59 PM
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I imagine if it didn't work nobody would use it. Although I would use it for the smell alone.
Old 07-31-2010, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BrotherCadfael View Post
I once worked in a pottery factory. Clay dust on the floor everywhere. Green sweeping compound was a must, otherwise, the clay dust would billow up and settle on everything.
That must by why they put oil in the compound: to grab the dust.
Old 12-27-2016, 04:01 PM
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Apperntly green is wax. Just found this info on another site



The main two colors, red and green, for floor sweeping compounds were
originally established to quickly be able to distinguish the type of floor sweep, oil or wax, which was to be put down on certain type floors. Red could be identified as an oil base and green could be identified as a wax base. Or visa-versa.

I wonder if I took my fine sawdust shavings and mixed in used motor oil. If that would do a decent job on keeping dust down. But i dont want oil all over the place obviously
Old 12-27-2016, 04:32 PM
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Ever see a big box store cleaning its floors?

Yep - sweeping compound.

Of course, those concrete floors are sealed with real concrete sealer (not the crap sold in big box stores), applied multiple times.

You DIY patio made with stuff from BB stores will probably not benefit as much as those floors.


(for those of certain ages: ever think you'd be shopping in stores with bare "cement" floors? If you had bare concrete in your basement "rec room", you'd be ashamed to invite friends into it)
Old 12-27-2016, 08:54 PM
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Not to flog a zombie too much....
I've used sweeping compound for years. Just bought a new bag of it a month ago. It's great for picking up very fine dust.
Old 12-27-2016, 09:01 PM
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Thank you, all! I used that stuff when I was in college and had a job in a factory. Every night we would scatter it all over the place, and the maintenance staff (and sometimes the rest of us) swept it up in the morning. I never knew whether it actually picked up any dirt, but it was a fantastic way of telling where you swept and where you didn't. (I also wondered if it was a security measure, as no intruders could easily walk around after we spread the stuff.)

Anyway, I've been looking for it for years, to help sweep the wood floors in my dining room and living room. Despite all the search functions in Google and Amazon, I was never able to find it. But now that I know what it is called, I found it very easily. Thanks!
Old 12-28-2016, 02:34 PM
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In construction, it's very effective to use after you sheetrock, tape and texture.
Old 12-29-2016, 12:00 AM
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Is there a perfume/air freshening component to it too? In a similar vein, I recall in the PBS "1900 House" documentary the maid using something like salt crystals and maybe rosemary when brushing the carpets (before vacuum cleaners of course) to help draw out grime and also liven up the colors. They still make scented baking soda-based vacuum compounds for carpets to help draw out odors and perk them up.
Old 12-29-2016, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
In construction, it's very effective to use after you sheetrock, tape and texture.
Many years ago, I worked on a new building construction site. One of my jobs was to clean up construction debris after the ceilings and wall had been finished and painted and before the carpets were laid. There was fine dust everywhere. We always used sweeping compound and I agree it was very effective.
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