Dirt and Grime Begone: How Does a Floor Scrubber Work?

There are a lot of reasons that poor floor hygiene can hurt your business. From damaging your professional image to causing long-term deterioration, dirty floors are more trouble than you may realize.

The reality is that unless you’re practicing perfect mop etiquette, the old mop and bucket method probably isn’t making much of a difference. Fortunately for homeowners and commercial building owners, alike, the floor scrubber is now a popular cleaning item that is easy to find and easy to use.

What is a floor scrubber and how does it work? What should you expect when you purchase your first floor scrubber?

Read on for our complete guide to using a floor scrubber for your home or business.

What Is a Floor Scrubber? 

In this day and age, a floor scrubber is an essential piece of cleaning equipment for any commercial or warehouse space. Floor scrubbers vary in size, although the large, standard-sized floor scrubber is ideal for commercial settings. 

Floor scrubbers are designed to clean large amounts of floor space, tackling even the toughest grime and grease, in a fraction of the time it would take to mop. They are ideal for tile, concrete, and even wood surfaces as long as you pair them with the proper cleaning solutions. 

How Do Floor Scrubbers Work?

The base of a floor scrubber consists of brushes or circular scrubbing pads that provide a deep clean as they pass over a surface. The body of a floor scrubber holds the tank of cleaning solution that distributes evenly along the floor when in use. The cleaning solution is sprayed onto the floor and the brushes or scrubbing pads then scrub the solution into the floor to lift grease and grime.

On the back edge of a floor scrubber, you’ll find a long squeegee attachment. The squeegee attachment contains the cleaning solution and water coming out of the bottom of the floor scrubber. A vacuum system then sucks up all liquids, depositing them in a recovery tank alongside the cleaning solution tank.

All floor scrubbers differ slightly and you will need to read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that you’re using your floor scrubber the right way. For example, it is important that you get the ratio of cleaning solution to water right. 

Floor Scrubbers

Some floor scrubbers come with a pre-sweep attachment that will remove excess dirt from the floors before you start scrubbing. If yours does not come with this attachment, you may want to sweep the floors before using your floor scrubber. That way, you won’t risk any dirt or other solid particles scratching your floors under the pressure of the brush or scrubbing pads.

Because floor scrubbers provide such a thorough cleaning on the first pass, you don’t need to move them back and forth over the same space. 

Different Types of Floor Scrubbers

Not all floor scrubbers are the same. There are three distinct types of floor scrubbers that work better in different environments. Let’s take a look at these different types of floor scrubbers so you can decide which one is best for your cleaning needs.

Ride-On Floor Scrubbers

Ride-on floor scrubbers are the largest option. As the name entails, ride-on floor scrubbers have a standing or seated platform on the back. Whoever is operating the floor scrubber will sit or stand on the back of it and steer it using the handle.

Ride-on floor scrubbers are only necessary for large, open spaces. For example, a large warehouse may benefit from a ride-on floor scrubber. A store, restaurant, or residential space would not. 

Walk-Behind Floor Scrubbers

The standard floor scrubber is a walk-behind floor scrubber. It is smaller than the ride-on floor scrubber but still large enough to clean a large commercial space in a small amount of time.


Walk-behind floor scrubbers do require a little extra manual power than a ride-on floor scrubber. However, a floor scrubber in good condition will not create too much resistance for the operator. This type of floor scrubber also has a handle on the back that allows the operator to steer the floor scrubber with ease.

Automatic Floor Scrubbers

Automatic floor scrubbers are usually on the smaller side. Like automatic vacuums, automatic floor scrubbers are designed to sense things like dirt and grime and move in those directions. In theory, all you need to do is turn them on and let them run on their own.

Automatic floor scrubbers may work for small commercial spaces. However, we tend to recommend these floor scrubbers for home-use, only.

Floor Scrubber Power Sources

Many modern floor scrubbers operate on rechargeable batteries so that you are not tied to a power chord when using them. If possible, we recommend replacing the stock batteries with deep cycle batteries. Deep cycle batteries have the longest lifespan of any rechargeable battery.

You can also purchase plug-in floor scrubbers that require a power outlet. The upside of a plug-in floor scrubber is that as long as you have an outlet handy, your floor scrubber is ready for use. You won’t have to worry about the sometimes lengthy recharge time.

Buying a Floor Scrubber

You can purchase floor scrubbers from any janitorial supply company. If you’re concerned about investing in a new piece of cleaning equipment, consider looking into used floor scrubbers. With a little know-how, you can purchase top-of-the-line floor scrubbers at a fraction of the price when purchasing used models.

Ditch the Mop and Get a Floor Scrubber

When you’re in charge of a large space, you can’t underestimate the importance of a clean floor. However, it’s time to leave the mop in the past and get a floor scrubber. Using a floor scrubber will keep your floors twice as clean in a fraction of the time it takes to mop.

Looking for more ways to make the most of your property? Take a look around for more cleaning tips, renovation advice, and more.

Sudarsan Chakraborty
Sudarsan Chakraborty

Sudarsan Chakraborty, an adept blogger and writer, navigates the digital realm with finesse. His passion for storytelling drives him to explore diverse topics from Home Improvement to Business. With clarity and authenticity, Sudarsan captivates audiences, offering unique insights and fostering a community of engaged readers on his blog.

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