Best Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber

February 21 2023

For restaurants, shopping centers, stores, hospitals, and other businesses, clean and shiny floors are essential for a good reputation. Floor scrubbers are a great investment, helping you make an amazing impression on customers from the moment they set foot inside the building. While many choices exist for floor cleaning, including walk-behind floor scrubber models, rider scrubbers, and sweeper-scrubber combos, this guide focuses on walk-behind options to help you find the right fit for your business.

What Is a Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber?

Walk-behind floor machines are designed to clean uncarpeted areas quickly and efficiently. These scrubbers have a motor that drives the machine forward, so pushing isn’t necessary. Operators walk-behind the scrubber to maneuver it around obstacles, stopping and starting cleaning as needed.

Auto scrubbers take care of a variety of floor cleaning tasks, such as applying cleaning solutions and scrubbing simultaneously, recovering dirty water, rinsing surfaces, and drying floors. They’re one of the most versatile tools for cleaning personnel. Some industry pros believe scrubbers are the future of sustainable facility maintenance.

Which Businesses Benefit From a Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber?

Offering incredible versatility, walk-behind scrubbers are popular with a variety of businesses. Any company with large areas of flooring to clean can take advantage of an automatic scrubber to clean floors effectively, including these industries:

  • Retail: Shopping centers, grocery stores, big-box retailers, home improvement stores, and wholesalers
  • Manufacturing: Industrial businesses, food service companies, R&D facilities, oil rigs, and electronic parts makers
  • Health: Hospitals, clinics, large spas, and gyms
  • Transportation: Airports, train stations, auto dealerships, gas stations, and repair shops
  • Education: Schools, universities, and stadiums
  • Janitorial: Facility maintenance, floor stripping, and construction cleanup

Many sizes of walk-behind scrubbers are available, from smaller versions for cleaning individual offices to large floor machines that can clean mall walkways quickly.

Where Can Your Business Use a Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber?

The beauty of having a walk-behind scrubber includes the flexibility to clean any floor area, including large, open spaces and narrow strips of flooring:

  • Aisles
  • Showrooms
  • Foyers and entryways
  • Walkways
  • Production lines
  • Warehouse areas

By swapping scrub pads, you can get the level of cleaning needed to maintain a huge variety of floor surfaces, including bare concrete, sealed flooring, commercial tile, ceramic tile, terrazzo, marble, granite, rubber, and epoxy flooring. This adaptability makes investing in an auto scrubber a smart decision for businesses of any size.

What Are the Benefits of Walk-Behind Scrubbers?

A walk-behind floor machine is a huge upgrade compared to manually cleaning floors. Here are some of the benefits of investing in one for your business:

  • Employee efficiency: With assistance from a floor scrubber, you can get the job done with fewer employees. This helps janitorial businesses manage several jobs at the same time.
  • Cost savings: Labor is one of the main costs of floor maintenance. Purchasing a new or used walk-behind floor scrubber can potentially save your business thousands of dollars in labor costs every year, thanks to fewer personnel and faster job completion.
  • Time savings: Floor cleaning is much faster with an automatic scrubber compared to doing the work by hand. With a medium-sized walk-behind scrubber, one person can clean as much as 24,000 square feet an hour.
  • Cleaning quality: Settings on floor machines allow operators to apply significant pressure to scrub pads, getting rid of ground-in dirt and grime with minimal effort.

A clean facility is also good for employee health and productivity, improving indoor air quality and letting your team breathe comfortably.

How Do Walk-Behind Scrubbers Compare to Ride-On Floor Machines?

Ride-on scrubbers let maintenance personnel clean floors while seated. These models typically have a larger size and cleaning capacity than walk-behind scrubbers, which makes it easy to clean huge areas of flooring without refilling or emptying tanks. Some rider scrubbers can clean up to 100,000 square feet with a single tank and offer 60 inches of cleaning in every pass. Sitting down is also more comfortable for operators than walking.

That said, there are several reasons why your business may choose a walk-behind floor scrubber instead of a ride-on model:

  • Greater maneuverability: It’s easier to navigate around obstacles and through narrow aisles with a walk-behind floor machine.
  • Increased versatility: If you’re looking for an all-around workhorse that can adapt to different room sizes, floor materials, and job surroundings, it’s hard to beat the usefulness of an auto scrubber.
  • More comfortable purchase price: Walk-behind scrubbers are affordable for many businesses, including small businesses.
  • Lower weight: Cleaning businesses can transport walk-behind scrubbers more easily from one job to the next.

Put simply, if your business has different flooring types, tight room layouts, narrow doors, or many obstacles that can’t be moved for cleaning, a walk-behind scrubber is usually a smarter choice.

How Can You Choose the Right Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber?

The best floor scrubber for your needs depends on your business requirements, industry, and building. Consider the following factors to make an appropriate decision:

  • Floor size: Larger floor machines can tackle more square feet per hour.
  • Machine width: Find a balance of width that lets you clean faster but also allows your floor scrubber to fit through aisles easily.
  • Budget: Check out a range of prices to choose the best value for your business.
  • Indoor or outdoor areas: If you need both indoor and outdoor cleaning, you may want to consider rider scrubbers that handle sweeping and cleaning in one.
  • Industrial facilities: For harsh work areas with the potential for impacts, choose a heavy-duty floor machine that can take some punishment.
  • Recovery tank size: Upgraded tank sizes generally cost more, but they also let your team avoid excessive emptying and refilling.

Which Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber Brands Are the Best?

The best floor scrubber depends on your needs, budget, and cleaning goals. Some brands excel in heavy-duty scrubbers for industrial areas, and others produce easy-to-use equipment that simplifies the job for in-house janitorial staff. At ScrubberShop, we make it easy to find high-quality new and used walk-behind floor scrubber models, complete with pictures and specs.

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*50% savings claims based on used scrubber and sweeper inventory compared to the cost of comparable new comparable machines. Savings is not guaranteed.