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.
Choosing the right floor scrubber is important to get the most from your investment. There are many types of floor scrubber options and selecting the right type depends on the size of the facility, the flooring and types of dirt that need to be removed. If the dirt is oily, fibrous, or wet; and the surface type (bare concrete, ceramic tile, vinyl, epoxy, etc.). Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine the right floor scrubber for you:
1. Do you need to sweep, scrub, or both?
Some facilities require sweeping, some require scrubbing, while many need both. Sweeping may seem like the best option for removing fine dust. In many cases a floor scrubber is actually a better way to go. Sweepers work better for removing larger debris such as metal shavings, wood chips, and granulated materials. Cylindrical Sweeper/Scrubber floor scrubbers are a good choice when the facility is small and has limited operators.
In larger facilities, with a lot of bulk debris, you may need 2 separate machines. A sweeper and a floor scrubber.
2. Is it better to walk or ride?
Walk behind and ride on floor scrubbers have their places. This answer depends upon the area to be cleaned. Ride on machines do increase productivity by as much as 65% so there is an opportunity for a big return on investment from labor savings. But if you need to clean in tight areas, a walk behind may be your best option.
3. What is the space and size of the area to be cleaned?
There are ride on floor scrubbers that can fit in small spaces, but walk behind floor scrubbers will most likely work best for those really small areas. It is important to consider the cleanable area as a whole. Labor savings can potentially determine the right option. Consider modifying the narrow areas to accommodate the ride on floor scrubber.
4. What type of floor are you cleaning?
Scrubbers are intended to work on hard floor surfaces, but the floor type will determine the scrub head type, squeegees, brooms and other options. For example, smooth, sealed surfaces are better cleaned with soft gum rubber squeegees so that excess water can be removed and the floor dried quickly. These floors will also work well with a pad driver head. A ceramic tile floor may be cleaned better with a cylindrical brush to get down into the grout lines.
5. How will you dispose of the dirty cleaning solution?
Not all facilities have a way to dispose of dirty cleaning solution from a floor scrubber. The best options are low mop sinks or an industrial floor drain. If you might be recovering hazardous chemicals from the floor, you will need to look into having the waste water recycled through a hazardous waste company.
There are floor scrubbers that have options for controlling and disposing of dirty cleaning solution. You will need to check with the manufacturer to find which works best for your facility.
6. Do you need off isle cleaning options?
There are areas that a floor scrubber simply will not fit. Under warehouse racking, grocery store shelves, and even stair wells. Many models of floor scrubbers give you the option to add a wand and pressure hose to clean these hard to reach areas. They will cost extra, but will allow your floor scrubber to be used in areas beyond the open floor.
7. Do you need traction drive or brush assist for walk behind scrubbers?
Ride on scrubbers obviously are self propelled. But some walk behind floor scrubbers use a brush assist to move the machine along. This puts more strain on the operator, but on a smooth flat floor, might be a good option. Brush assist floor scrubbers are usually less cost due to the fewer components. These still do a great job cleaning floors, but will not pull themselves along like a traction drive floor scrubber does. If you don’t have ramps to navigate and the floors are vinyl tile or smooth concrete or terrazzo, brush assist could be a great option to save some money.
8. Who is operating the floor scrubber?
In some cases, the operator can be a big factor in choosing a floor scrubber. If the machine doesn’t fit the person using it, the results will suffer. I always suggest having a small group or even an individual that is dedicated to using the floor scrubber. This reduces downtime and installs a sense of ownership for the specified operator/s. Because they become experts in the use of the floor scrubber, it gets the attention it needs and can be used most efficiently.
By asking yourself these questions, you will have better success when choosing the right commercial floor scrubber. Over the years I have seen many facilities invest in the wrong floor scrubber and are stuck trying to adapt to their decision. Finding the best option for your needs will ensure a clean floor for many years.