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What is a Push Broom?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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A push broom is a large, sturdy broom which is designed to cover a large area of ground while being pushed from a standing position. Push brooms are often used in the maintenance of large buildings, sidewalks, and large public terraces or patios; many people associate them with janitors as a result. Most hardware stores sell push brooms, along with replacement handles and broom heads, and push brooms come in a range of sizes, from small to quite large.

As with other brooms, there are two basic parts to a push broom: the head and the handle. The head of a push broom is typically made from a block of material into which bristles have been inserted. Depending on the manufacturer, the head can be made from wood, plastic, rubber, or metal, and the bristles may be made from natural fibers, plastic, or wire. The handle typically screws into the head, which can be extremely convenient when a broom head or handle breaks, as you can replace the broken section rather than the whole broom.

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Many people use wire push brooms for scrubbing tile and cement floors. This is much more comfortable than kneeling to scrub the floor, and it can be very effective; such brooms are often used in food facilities to scrub down the floors at night, with the aid of high quality soaps, hoses, and a drain in the middle of the floor into which the water can be pushed. Push brooms can also be used to scrub sidewalks and patios.

When a push broom is used for wet cleaning jobs like scrubbing floors and removing detritus from wet sidewalks, it is a good idea to spray out the broom after use to remove collected debris, and to hang the broom, allowing it to drain fully. This ensures that the broom doesn't rust, rot, or mold, depending on what it has been made from, and it helps keep odors down when the broom is used to clean floors which have been covered in food or sidewalks with things like dog feces, cigarette butts, and other detritus of civilization.

A push broom is also a useful tool for quickly sweeping a large section of floor, whether the floor is wet or dry. The bristles tend to miss things like dust and small particles of material, but they can pick up large objects including garbage. Push brooms are often used on public streets and in supermarkets and warehouses to keep walking spaces clear and relatively clean; you may have seen a push broom in action in one of these locations.

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