(800) 645-3475 questions@nilfisk.com

The Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Advantage of Industrial Vacuum Cleaners

Posted on October 20, 2016

The sticker price for an industrial vacuum cleaner is considerably higher than the sticker price of a mop or a broom. That’s a pretty obvious statement — while the vacuum may cost a couple thousand dollars, you can pick up a mop or a broom for a couple hundred, or even less.

But the sticker price doesn’t tell the whole story. It doesn’t even tell half the story.

When you look beyond the sticker price to the total cost of ownership (TCO), the industrial vacuum cleaner not only costs less than the broom, but can actually save your company a lot of money. Let’s look at five ways industrial vacuum cleaners have a TCO advantage over traditional cleaning equipment.

Vacuum cleaners last much longer than mops and brooms

Mops and brooms aren’t expensive, but they also don’t last very long. Depending on the size of your facility, the type of material you process, and how often you clean, you may have to replace your mops and brooms every couple of months.

In contrast, an industrial vacuum cleaner can last 15 to 20 years or longer.

Vacuuming takes less time than sweeping

Vacuum cleaners also work faster than mops and brooms. This makes your cleaning cycles shorter, which in turn means your production cycles can be longer.

Less downtime = more product = higher revenue.

Vacuuming provides a higher level of safety from cross-contamination

Sweeping just stirs up particles, distributing them into the air. This can cause cross-contamination, for example, of bacteria, allergens, or active pharmaceutical ingredients. Cross-contamination can mean you have to throw away batches of product. In the worst case scenario, it can lead to a recall, which will cost you dearly.

A vacuum cleaner with a multi-stage filtration system helps you keep contaminants contained.

Vacuuming provides better insurance against combustible dust incidents

Sweeping can also exacerbate the problem of combustible dust, creating a dust cloud just waiting to be ignited by a spark. Industrial vacuums, on the other hand, collect and retain combustible dust so it doesn’t cause an explosion.

Vacuuming will help you avoid non-compliance penalties

Finally, in many cases vacuuming is required for compliance. For example, under OSHA’s new silica dust rule, dry sweeping and other traditional cleaning methods are only allowed when vacuuming and wet methods aren’t feasible.


As you can see from this list, an industrial vacuum cleaner is much more than a housekeeping tool. It’s a revenue generator, a safety precaution, and a compliance program all in one. Looked at this way, a vacuum cleaner doesn’t just have a low TCO — it generates an ROI!

Contact a Nilfisk expert today to find the right vacuum cleaner for your application.