How to choose a floor scrubber

Cleaning floors is an ongoing requirement in homes, offices, commercial and industrial environments – why? Blame gravity! Whilst we couldn’t live without it, what goes up must come down, so anything that’s dropped, thrown or just floating about in the atmosphere, eventually ends up on the floor.

In factories and commercial premises, there are health & safety and hygiene considerations which mean that not only should floors look clean, they need to be “properly” clean, with no residue, so sweeping / vacuuming or using an old fashioned mop and bucket, probably isn’t good enough, and would take far too long to do.

One of the most useful machines for cleaning hard floors is the floor scrubber, which not only cleans the floor but dries it as well. Floor scrubbing machines use mechanically driven brushes or pads which rotate to agitate a detergent solution into the floor. The resultant dirty residue is then collected by a system of squeegees at the back of the machine and vacuumed up into a storage tank in the machine for later disposal. This process not only cleans the floor but leaves it dry enough to be used normally after cleaning.

Different types of floor scrubber

Floor scrubbers come in a wide variety of sizes and configurations, from a small push along machine for small areas to a powered ride-on version for cleaning large areas, and both purchase costs and ongoing maintenance can vary widely, so here are our tips to help you choose the right machine to clean your hard floors.
How large is your floor area (and how dirty is it?). This will help you to determine whether you need a small, push along floor scrubber like the Karcher BR30/40 for example or a heavy duty ride-on scrubber dryer like the Nilfisk BR850.

Do you have accessible power supplies? Electrically powered scrubber are generally cheaper to buy and maintain, but battery powered machines can cover the floor more quickly and of course you can use them wherever you want to, without any trailing cables.

Using a floor scrubber image

How much noise can your floor scrubber make? If it’s being used in a noisy factory for example, it perhaps doesn’t matter too much, but if you are cleaning floors in a shopping centre during opening hours for example, you need a machine which is quiet in use.

How easy is it to use? This might seem an odd thing to mention as most scrubber dryers are designed to be operator-friendly and easy to use and maintain, and training can be provided if needed, but the larger, ride-on machines in particular need careful handling, particularly if used where people are walking around. If your floor area isn’t too large and your scrubber dryer needs to be operated by several different people, you might be better with a walk-behind machine, which an inexperienced operator would find easier to manage. Alternatively larger machines like the MAC SD1000R, may be packed with safety features and controls such as a reversing buzzer and an emergency stop button – well you just never know! 

What sort of floor area do you have? It is a large open area or does it have lots of obstructions and narrow areas. Scrubber driers come in a wide range of widths (and remember the squeegee width is likely to be wider than the machine itself) and have differing levels of manoeuvrability, e.g. the ability to drive the machine forwards and backwards, essential if you end up in a tight corner!

Are parts and maintenance available for your floor scrubber? It is quite easy to buy a second hand scrubber drier and this might be a good option to save on your initial outlay, but before you buy second-hand, check that it is still possible to get consumables like brushes and pads, as well as major parts and service, as all machines subject to heavy use are going to need maintaining on a regular basis.

Hopefully these pointers are useful and you can find out more about scrubber dryers on our glossary page. 

There are a lot of machines available to choose from and we stock a wide range of the best commercial floor scrubbers all at very competitive prices. You might want to hire a floor scrubber to start with, so you can try it out before you buy, and we have floor scrubbers to hire too

We also have an expert team on hand to advise you about suitable machines for your needs, so why not give us a call?