Many facilities need a commercial floor scrubber to keep their floors clean. When floors are clean, there is a reduced chance of accidents and property damage. Keeping floors clean while maintaining a safe working surface is possible with a floor scrubber. Because floors scrubbers dispense cleaning solution and recover it with a vacuum and squeegee system, floors are left clean and dry in a matter of seconds. Read more
Do you need a garage floor scrubber? If you use your garage like I do, then the answer is probably ‘yes’. The home garage has evolved into a place for a lot more than just a place to park a car. I know mine is a work shop, entertainment center, gardening hub, storage and even a 2nd kitchen at times. Because we do a lot more with and spend a lot more time in our garages, they need to be cleaned more often. Read more
A walk behind floor scrubber is easily the best tool you can have if you have to clean hard surface floors. These very useful machines all but eliminate the back breaking work of mopping floors. The best part is, they clean floor better than any mop could!
Walk Behind Floor Scrubber and Back Pain
Anyone who has spent time mopping floors knows that it is a physically draining job. In fact, mopping a floor is one of the worst actions for your back. The twisting and lifting put unusual strain on the lower back. I know I have had more than my share of back aches from mopping.
Luckily, using a walk behind floor scrubber can take all of that away. These amazing cleaning machines make floor cleaning so much easier and productive.
How Walk Behind Floor Scrubber Works
Unlike mopping, many of the motions that you have to make during cleaning are automatically done by the scrubber. There are 3 main tasks that a walk behind floor scrubber perform.
Walk behind floor scrubbers have a clean solution tank that feeds the scrub head. Always applying clean solution to the floor, this task allows you to use a specific amount of liquid to clean the floor. Since it is always clean water, you are never cleaning with dirty water, as you would when mopping.
The scrub head works with the cleaning solution to agitate the soils on the floor. This suspends them in the solution making them easier to remove. Using a mechanical scrubbing action makes for more consistent cleaning and keeps the operator from manually scrubbing.
Using a squeegee behind the scrub head, a vacuum system sucks up the dirty liquid. The floor is left clean and dry.
How Much Dirt Does A Walk Behind Floor Scrubber Recover?
The 3 actions of a walk behind floor scrubber make it possible to recover as much as 95% of the dirt on a floor. The constancy of the solution application and floor agitation make it far superior to mopping. And since the dirty solution is pretty much completely recovered, there is very little dirt left behind.
There is no question that a walk behind floor scrubber is much more efficient than mopping. The only issue is that you are not using one to clean your floors!
At the heart of most floor scrubbers is a battery. This is what makes a floor scrubber so versatile. With the ability to continuously clean open spaces without worrying about where the next outlet is, lets you focus on the getting the floor clean. The traditional type of battery used in these machines is the deep cycle, lead acid battery. These allow for relatively long run time. But there is some maintenance required to ensure that you get the the most from your floor scrubber batteries.
Understanding Floor Scrubber Batteries
The process of charging lead acid batteries heats up the fluid inside the battery. This returns the electrons to the plates. Batteries have a limited number of times the components can go through this process. When a battery is discharged and then connected to the charger, it is referred to as a Charging Cycle. Every time floor scrubber batteries are connected to the charger, it uses 1 charging cycle. This counts whether the battery is fully discharged when connected or not fully charged when it is disconnected.
Getting the Most From Your Batteries
To get the most life from your floor scrubber batteries, it is best to run the scrubber until it indicates that it needs to be charged. Then, allowed to fully recharge before using again. Many try to opportunity charge their scrubbers over a break to “top them off” expecting to get more run time from them. This uses the same “1 cycle” that charging the scrubber over night would use. While short cycle charging is some times required, it should be avoided when ever possible.
The most important thing to extend the life of a floor scrubber battery is remembering to check and add water on a regular basis. It’s best to check daily, but never more than once per week. Using distilled water, add enough to cover the plates. These are visible through the fill opening on top of the battery. Do not check the water level right before or during the charging cycle. Heating will cause the water to expand and can over flow. It is best to top off the battery before using.
If the water level in a battery goes too low, it can cause shorter run time or even require replacement. Even brand new batteries can be permanently damaged if the allowed to run dry. This is why it is important to stay on top of checking them often.
How Long Should Floor Scrubber Battery Run?
Floor Scrubber battery run time can vary, depending on many things. Different brands, sizes and configurations of batteries as well as types and models of floor scrubbers can add to or reduce the run time. Most floor scrubbers can be expected to run 2-4 hours on a full charge. The amount of down pressure, floor surface and type of pad or brush can also have an effect on this, though. Rougher floors such as concrete will use battery charge much faster than a smooth tile floor.
Over time, you may also notice that batteries don’t last as long before need to be charged. This can indicate they are nearing the end of the usable life.
When it comes to charging, most floor scrubber batteries will require double the run time to fully recharge. In other words, if a scrubber runs for 4 hours, it will take 8 hours for the charging cycle to complete the process.
The world of floor care has completely changed with the evolution of the square floor scrubbers. Over the last decade, this technology has made stripping floors with harsh chemicals a almost a thing of the past. There are a few things you need to understand before you make the switch though.
How Square Floor Scrubbers Strip Floors
When a floor is stripped using a square floor scrubber, the floor finish is mechanically removed using an abrasive pad. The scrub head uses high speed orbital motion, rather than circular as with traditional machines. Because of this additional movement and a specialized floor pad, removing floor finish from a floor is fast and easy.
One thing to keep in mind is that only the surface floor finish is removed in this process. When floor finish is applied to a completely stripped floor, the first few coats of finish are absorbed into the floor. After those initial coats are down, the additional layers reside on top of the floors surface. These are what the square floor scrubber removes with the abrasive pad.
Types of Square Floor Scrubbers
There are 2 types of square floor scrubbers. Upright square scrubbers and automatic floor scrubbers with a square head.
Upright square scrubbers are similar to single disk, rotary machines. They are usually cord electric although some manufacturers have a battery version. These are typically more portable than than automatic scrubbers. They can also be used both with wet stripping as well as dry. Although, when used dry, it is a good idea to adapt the machine to connect to a vacuum system. The fine dust that comes from the floor can be difficult to control and dangerous for the operator.
The second type is an automatic scrubbers with a square scrub head. These machines have an on-board solution delivery system as well as a vacuum system. Because of this, they can remove floor finish very quickly. Another benefit is that they are battery powered. Water is continuously delivered to the scrub head with eliminates dust. The scrub head and abrasive pad produces a light slurry which is vacuumed up by the recovery system. This means that stripping the floor is as easy as operating a floor scrubber.
What Else You Need To Know
Not all floors can be stripped with a square floor scrubber. If the finish is very dirty or damaged, chemical stripping may still be required to restore the floor. That being said, the square scrubber used with a maroon prep pad, can be used to remove the majority of the finish before a chemical stripper is used. This speeds up the process greatly.
Over the years, the automatic floor scrubber head types have evolved. The scrub head is where the work really gets done. The most common scrubber head types are disk, cylindrical, and square oscillating. Each can be very useful when it comes to getting a floor clean, but depending on what type of floor you need to clean, selecting the right one can make the task much easier.
Disk Automatic Scrubber
The disk scrub head is the most common type. This traditional style consists of either a single or double rotating disk that uses a floor pad or brush to agitate the dirt on the floor. Because of the wide variety of pads and brushes available, disk floor scrubbers can be used for general cleaning, deep scrubbing and even stripping floors. Floor pads can be easily replaced and are relatively inexpensive.
Brushes are also an option and have many different uses. A brush is a good option when cleaning uneven surfaces such as ceramic tile or concrete. The bristles can get down into the dynamic surface better than a flat pad. Brushes do tend to be more pricey up front, but last a lot longer than pads.
Cylindrical Automatic Scrubbers
A cylindrical floor scrubber head is another option on for your automatic scrubber. These usually have a cylindrical brush that sits horizontally under the machine. Because the brush rotates down toward the floor rather than across the surface, as with the disk, these make a good option for uneven surfaces. Many of these have 2 brushes that counter rotate so that they can get into grout lines from multiple directions. Because the brushes are usually very durable, they tend to last.
Multiple brush types make it possible for cylindrical floor scrubbers to clean many types of rough surface floors. Stiff brushes are a good option for rough concrete and grouted floors. Softer brushes work well to clean rubber floors, textured tile and even synthetic rubber athletic floors.
Square Oscillating Scrubbers
These fairly new type of square scrubbers are making a big impact on the floor care industry. When used with a special stripping pad, square scrubber heads are able to strip floor finish from a floor with out using a chemical floor stripper.
They also work great for cleaning vinyl tile floors regularly. The standard types of floor pads, such as red, white, blue and black are available in the square format. Because these scrubber heads oscillate very quickly, they apply more agitation to the floor and thus more cleaning power. There are square pad-like brushes available that can make cleaning grouted tile and other dynamic surfaces possible.
Like any tool, choosing the right floor scrubber head depends on the job that needs to be done. Evaluating the types of floors to be cleaned will help with making the best decision for your facility.
In the floor care world, one of the most important tools are floor scrubbers. These essential floor care tools not only make the the work easier, but they allow for all types of hard surface floors to last longer and be much cleaner.
What is a Floor Scrubber?
The term “floor scrubber” can be applied to a couple of different types of machines. Technically, any machine that uses movement to loosen soils from a floors surface, can be called a floor machine, but there are some standards in the cleaning world.
Single-Disk Rotary Floor Scrubbers
Single-disk rotary floor scrubbers are very useful tools. They have been a staple in the industry since the early 1900’s. These consist of a motor that spins a circular disk that can be either a floor pad or a brush. The pad speed is usually 170 rpm, but they can be as much as 500 rpm. They have a handle that extends from the base that has a switch build in to turn the machine on and off. The majority of these machines are corded, but there are some that use batteries.
Single disk rotary floor machines have many uses. Beyond just scrubbing the floor, they have many other uses.
- Stripping vinyl floors
- Polishing or Buffing VCT floor finish
- Sanding wood floors
- Carpet cleaning with a bonnet
It is also possible to scarify concrete using a specialized attachment.
Automatic Floor Scrubbers
Automatic floor scrubbers are used specifically for cleaning floors. More than the single disk rotary scrubbers, they have an on-board cleaning solution tank that dispenses the cleaning chemical and/or water to a scrub head. A key feature is that auto-scrubbers have a dirty water recovery system. A squeegee and vacuum system removes the dirty water immediately from the floor.
Using an automatic scrubber makes cleaning floors easier. By simply walking behind or riding the machine, the floor is scrubbed, the cleaning solution is dispensed and recovered all in one single pass.
Clean water is always being applied and the dirty water is removed. This makes cleaning floors with an automatic floor scrubber much more efficient than using a mop and bucket.
Floor scrubbers are amazing tools for maintaining floors. Finding the right one for your facility can make a huge difference in the life and appearance of floors.