Stop Splatter! - How to Manage Cleaning Solution When Using a Drillbrush
Posted by John Cittadino on
Using a cordless drill to scrub surfaces makes cleaning around the house quick and easy! However, there’s a side effect to all that power; splatter.
For some first-time Drillbrush users, the speed of the spinning brush can take cleaning material, water, and even the mess itself and fling it, causing another mess to clean. This can catch you off guard and may dampen your excitement for drill-powered scrubbing.
But how do the pros in the videos do it without making a mess? Do they have special shields to block residue? Maybe there’s some trickery afoot?
None of the above! With the proper techniques and a little bit of practice, you can go from an accidental Jackson Pollock to a pristine Drillbrush cleaner!
Here are some ways you can keep splatter under control.
Wear Protective Eyewear
The goggles, they do something!
Before we go into ways to reduce your splatter when scrubbing, it’s important that whenever you’re working with cleaning materials and power tools you should wear proper eye protection.
We recommend eyewear with an ANSI z87.1 rating when using a Drillbrush. This will keep your eyes safe from any foreign substances in the air, like dirt, grain, and cleaning solution.
While our goal today is to manage splatter, nothing is ever 100% and accidents can always happen, especially if you’re working with caustic cleaning chemicals or are doing an industrial-grade cleaning task.
Wearing proper eye protection and using the following techniques will make sure both your eyes and your surfaces are splatter-free.
Use Less Cleaner
No need to always flood the surface (left.) Use a manageable amount (right.)
An extremely simple solution, especially if you’re using viscous, highly concentrated substances, is to use less cleaner when you’re scrubbing. With these cleaners, you might not need to completely coat the entire surface to get the job done.
By using a little less, you become less likely to hurl cleaner around and you have more for future tasks.
We also recommend using the brush without powering up the drill to spread the cleaner around the surface. This keeps the cleaning solution from staying in one big gob and makes the chances of excessive splatter lower.
However, some messes truly need a lot of solution to scrub clean, so another method you can try is:
Create a Cleaning Paste
Copy and paste!
A common cause for splatter is cleaner being too loose or too thick. Liquidy cleaners don't hold together very well and are more likely to go flying. High concentrated cleaning solutions can glob together and go flying in large droplets. Hitting a middle ground helps keep the cleaner grounded.
To make a paste, take a thicker, more concentrated cleaning solution and put it on the surface you want to scrub. Add a little water to it and mix the two together. Ideally, the paste should not be too runny and have a paint-like consistency.
Then you’re ready to clean. We recommend using the solution-spreading method we outlined in the last section. This will get some cleaner on the brush and spread out your cleaner even more.
We’ve found that cleaning pastes yield far less splatter than other types of cleaner, and when used with the next tip can near guarantee you’ll have spot-free surrounding.
Go at a Slower Speed
Hold your horses, Speed Racer!
Cordless drills can spin fast. It’s why Drillbrush products can scrub surfaces so well! But you don’t need to be full bore on the trigger to get messes cleaned. In fact, it can clean just as effective at a slightly slower speed!
Going too fast can send globs of cleaning material and dirt flying, which can mess up other surfaces.
To go a bit slower, use less pressure when squeezing the trigger. Much like the gas pedal in a car, it speeds up more as you press on it. Lightly squeezing the trigger will result in a slower spin. Practice scrubbing at different pressure levels to see what feels comfortable while still cleaning the surface effectively.
You can also adjust the settings on your drill to make it run slower. Try switching to gear 1 or cranking the dial down to a lower number and see if that helps.
Obviously, you don’t need to go turtle speed to prevent splatter, but make sure you’re running your drill at a manageable pace. Hitting the sweet spot between power and control will help keep your cleaner on the surface you intend for it to be on!
Sequence of brush splatter being used to coat fish tank walls with soap.
Despite all of this splatter slander, you might be surprised to find that there are some cases where splatter can be a good thing.
Splatter can be a good way to spread cleaner over a large surface area. We did this in our fish tank restoration video, where we dunked the brush in a bucket of suds, put it in the center of the emptied fish tank, and hit the trigger, quickly coating the walls of the tank in seconds, saving some time and getting us scrubbing sooner.
The method for causing splatter is also a good way to dry off the brush. In our article on cleaning the brushes themselves, we recommend that after washing the brush, you can put it in a drill and spin it at full speed in a tub, sink, or outside to help dry it off. The speed will help water particles escape the bristles of the brush and allow it to dry sooner. Naturally, we still recommend eye protection when doing this. You should also make sure you’re clear of any structures you don’t want to get wet. Otherwise, it’s a great way to speed up the drying process!
Solving the Splatter Matter
With the tips in this article, splatter should be a thing of the past! If you want to see a video of splatter being managed, check out our Tips and Trick video on the subject. and see all of our video guides here.