How To Use a Floor Scrubber: Basics for Beginners

July 13 2023

The floors of your business reflect the overall cleanliness of your establishment. They also take the most abuse from your clients, customers and employees. There are many advantages to using dedicated equipment to clean your floors, but for a cleaning machine to be truly useful, you need to know exactly how to use a floor scrubber properly.

Understand Your Traffic

The type of floor scrubber and cleaning products you need will depend on the traffic your floor gets. Foot traffic can leave scuff marks, and no matter how careful they are, dirt and grime can find their way in on your customers' shoes.

If your establishment sells goods, dirt can build up both underneath and around the edges of your products and displays, making them look shabby. This is particularly true if you sell or frequently move heavy items. Standing lifts, cranes and forklifts mark your floors with their tires and lift apparatus.

Carpeted floors also need the occasional scrubbing. Stains can happen even on most industrial carpets. Stains are never a good look for a business. By understanding the type of traffic your floor is subjected to, you can decide which type of scrubber you need.

Choosing the Right Floor Scrubber

There are a few types of industrial floor scrubbers to consider.

Walk-Behind Floor Scrubbers

Walk-behind models work well for medium to large spaces and are far more efficient than manual cleaning methods. You can choose between:

  • Propane
  • Electric
  • Diesel
  • Battery

Before learning how to use a floor scrubber or purchasing a model, decide on the size you want. Consider your aisle space dimensions and overall square feet. A walk-behind scrubber works best for areas between 1,000 and 150,000 square feet.

The main problem with these scrubbers is that they can miss very small spaces, forcing you to go back and manually mop under furniture and in tight spaces. Walk-behind scrubbers do have the advantage of being able to maneuver better than other types.

Ride-On Scrubbers

Ride-on scrubbers are floor cleaners that are more efficient than manual scrubbing and walk-behind scrubbers. This makes them perfect for large areas and can make floor cleaning easier and faster, freeing up your employees for other tasks.

These scrubbers are designed for areas between 15,000 and 150,000 square feet. Their main drawback is that they cannot get into small areas or corners.

Ride-on floor scrubbers work on the same power sources as their walk-behind counterparts. Except for the fact that you ride them rather than walk, they operate in the same basic ways.

Where To Use Floor Scrubbers

You can use a floor scrubber in almost any area. You frequently see them in:

  • Manufacturing centers like food service companies and industrial workshops
  • Health centers like gyms, clinics and hospitals
  • Retail locations such as malls and large stores, including big box stores
  • Large transport depots such as airports, bus stations, train stations and repair shops
  • Education facilities such as schools, universities and colleges
  • Facility maintenance, including janitorial facilities and construction cleanup

They are extremely useful for any large or medium-sized space.

Understanding Different Parts of the Scrubber

Almost all floor scrubbers work with the same basic apparatus. They each have three main systems.

1. Cleaning Fluid Dispenser

The cleaning fluid dispenser can utilize almost any industrial cleaning fluid, including environmentally safe fluids. It begins the cleaning process by dispensing a measured amount of fluid onto the floor.

2. Scrubbing System

The scrubbing system consists of a pad or brush on the bottom of the scrubber. This can remove grease, grime and scuff marks that would be difficult using manual methods.

3. Vacuuming and Solution Recovery System

This part works very similarly to a regular wet vacuum. It recovers dirty solutions and leaves the floor almost dry. It may have a squeegee to pull the water and the dirt toward the vacuum mechanism. The reservoir needs to be emptied periodically.

Basic Steps For Using a Floor Scrubber

Floor scrubbers come in many shapes and sizes. The different brands and types of scrubbers often have slight differences in how they work and where their reservoirs are. It is important to pay close attention to the manufacturer's operating instructions to avoid damage.

After reading the manual, follow these steps to operate the scrubber.

  1. The first thing to do is block off the area you are cleaning. You can do this with portable fences or wet floor signs. You do not want anyone to slip and fall before the floor is dry.
  2. Remove any obstacles that can be moved, clearing a path for your scrubber. 
  3. Fill the scrubbers reservoir with water and cleaning fluid according to the manufacturer's instructions. Some scrubbers work with no cleaning solution unless there is a lot of grime on the floor that needs to be broken down.
  4. Start your scrubber and move into the area that you need to clean. Again, follow the manufacturer's instructions on the best way to operate the scrubber. 
  5. If your scrubber has an adjustable height scrubbing pad or brush, adjust it to the proper height and begin cleaning.
  6. When you finish your first area, move on to the next one, emptying and refilling the tanks when necessary.

Always barricade your work area so customers and other employees do not slip and fall. These steps allow you to operate your scrubber safely and efficiently without endangering others.

Where To Find The Right Floor Scrubber

You can find a wide variety of different floor scrubbers at the ScrubberShop. We list both new and used industrial floor scrubbers. You can check out the pricing and performance of different types of new and used floor scrubbers. Instantly compare scrubbers that suit your needs and view pricing on various models. Purchasing your own industrial floor scrubber can save you both time and money as long as you know how to use a floor scrubber effectively. Most who use them find that the scrubber pays for itself in speed and efficiency in a matter of months. They free your employees up to complete other tasks too. Use our website today to compare your floor scrubber options.

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