Product innovation can sprout from anywhere. It’s goal – being a solution to solve an unmet need. The story behind the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon is no different.
Let’s go back a few years to 1997 when the TyKote system was first developed. Back then, the cleaning process of the TyKote system was done by wrapping towels soaked in cleaning solution around push brooms and tacking the floor. Pretty labor intensive, right?
But, bigger floors needed a bigger, better solution. This is where the idea for the Dirt Dragon was evolved.
Basic Coatings saw an opportunity in markets like gym flooring, where large automatic scrubbers were needed for agitating the cleaning solution and extracting it from the floor. Knowing that scrubbing and extracting cleaning solutions is always better than mopping, the Basic Coatings team got to work to improve the TyKote system for the residential and commercial markets.
The foundation of the TyKote system is to get beautiful floors with less mess, so the first task on the docket was to figure out how to ensure that the majority of the dirt and contaminants are removed from the floor instead of being left behind. This system would need a machine with superior mechanical agitation from the brush to help loosen unwanted dirt. One of the suggested improvements was to use a grout scrubber on wood floors.
Dirt Dragon Numero Uno
The first Dirt Dragon was a grout scrubber that was designed for scrubbing and extracting tile floors. The brush movement from a cylindrical brush is superior to a rotary brush on floors like tile in order to be able to get deep into the grouted joints between tile.
This first machine was successful at cleaning wood floors better than a mop and bucket, but it had some limitations. One of the main issues with this machine was that it was difficult to remove all water from the floor. Nonetheless, Basic Coatings had introduced an entirely new business model to flooring contractors and the system took off. This success led Basic Coatings to develop a scrubber that uniquely met the needs of wood floors.
While the first Dirt Dragon was not the first scrubber to enter the market, it was the only scrubber uniquely designed to be used on wood floors. Every other competitive scrubber marketed to the wood floor industry was first sold as a hard floor scrubber by cleaning companies. This is the key factor that sets the Dirt Dragon apart in the industry.
New and Improved
The development of the second generation Dirt Dragon had wood floors in mind first. The guiding principles for product development were:
- Water and Wood – we were sensitive to the issue that wood is hydroscopic and excessive moisture can cause problems for wood floors.
- Wood is Unique – wood is a unique surface that is different than tile, concrete or other hard surfaces. Wood can dent, splinter and scratch. The finishes can burnish or dull due to different types of abrasion.
Understanding the uniqueness of wood led to all of the machine features that the Dirt Dragon is known for today, like:
- Brush Type – brushes can come in many different specifications and Basic Coatings tested hundreds of different variations on different species of wood. The brush needs to be able to abrade the dirt without abrading the finish or scratching the wood. It needs to be flexible enough to get deep into open wood grain but stiff enough for cleaning performance. Different Brush Bristle Materials were tested. The amount of brush strands inserted into each brush holder hole were varied.
- Brush Pattern – another brush characteristic is the chevron pattern of the bristles. The entire brush needs to be wet for cleaning. Once wet, the chevron design helps funnel the cleaning solution towards the vacuum port. This pattern was chosen due to our desire to remove all solution from the floor.
- Vacuum Power – the vacuum is 2x stronger than what typically would have been specified for a floor scrubber. This ensures all solution is removed.
- Squeegee Design – the machine has forward and reverse squeegee holders and 4 squeegee sides that completely surround the brush. This design really helps to contain the solution.
- Flow Control – Most scrubbers have an on/off feature. The Dirt Dragon also has a flow control knob that allows the user to dial down the solution applied to the floor for sensitive floors.
To learn more about the Basic Coatings Dirt Dragon or the TyKote system, click here!