Types of Floor Cleaning Machines

There are a variety of ways to scrub floors. Whether you’re using the old-fashioned method of getting down on your hands and knees with a bucket of soapy water and a rag, or operating an advanced piece of machinery, there are different ways to get the job done.

While some applications may work for smaller jobs, larger industrial jobs require a set of tools that cover larger areas in a faster amount of time. With so many options out there, it might be difficult to ascertain what piece of equipment is right for you. Let’s take a look at all of the different types of floor scrubbers available, starting with an explanation of where it falls under the floor cleaner / scrubber category.

Floor cleaning machines, including scrubbers, are most often used in commercial and industrial applications. These machines are used to help protect and preserve a large surface area. You’ll often find them in office buildings, school gymnasiums, shopping centers, warehouses, manufacturing plants, airports, and more.

There are many different types of floor cleaning machines, and depending on your specific needs, different models work best for specific applications. Some models also come with accessories that allow them to do different types of jobs.

Floor cleaning machines encompass everything from scrubbers to cleaners to industrial vacuums and extractors. They are typically able to deep clean almost any floor or carpet faster than traditional equipment. These machines are used to preserve and protect floors, assuring they last longer and look more professional.

Some examples of floor cleaning machines are:

scrubberScrubbers: Floor scrubbers use high-speed motor powered brushes to clean a variety of floor surfaces. They dispense water and chemical cleaning solution, agitate it with a powered scrub brush, then vacuum up the dirt and liquid into a recovery tank, leaving the floor clean and dry.
sweeperSweepers: You may see sweepers in use in parking lots, manufacturing plants, and stadiums. These use brooms, often in combination with a vacuum system, to collect dust and debris into a contained hopper for easy emptying.
sweeperBuffers & Burnishers: If there’s a scuff or scratch that needs fixing, a buffer can provide a glossy finish to floors. Industrial-sized jobs can be handled by large buffers that run on propane fuel.
sweeperStone and marble polishers: When you’re dealing with high-grade floors like granite, limestone, and marble, these are the machines to use.
sweeperSanders:When a floor is imperfect, uneven, or splintering, sanders can smooth it out before the refinishing job begins.
sweeperFloor strippers: These machines are good at removing old layers of floor finish prior to refinishing.
sweeperCarpet cleaners & extractors: You’ll most often see these machines in use in large convention centers or other vast carpeted spaces. They break down dirt and grime using a power wash, and then suck up the dirty fluids.
sweeperCarpet dryers: These machines efficiently dry carpets and ventilate rooms.

Whether it’s a dedicated cleaning company or a large business handling their own cleaning in-house, floor scrubbers are indispensable. From taking care of routine cleanings to more in-depth comprehensive jobs, these are the business cleaning workhorses. Now let’s take a look at floor scrubbers specifically.

Types of Floor Scrubbers by Operation

Floor scrubbers can be grouped generally by their size and method of operation:

Walk-behind floor scrubbers

Factory Cat Mini-HD Walk-Behind Floor Scrubber
Walk-behind machines allow the operator to guide the machine without having to actually push it. They are ideal for smaller facilities or areas with narrow aisles. A walk-behind machine can generally clean anywhere from 19,000 to 42,000 square feet per hour.

Ride-on floor scrubbers

Powerboss Admiral 28
These industrial floor scrubbers allow operators to clean large amounts of floor in a much shorter span of time. Ride-on scrubbers often also boast several different sweeping, scrubbing, and drying capabilities. Thanks to their size, rider scrubbers tend to have larger recovery and solution tanks, which means they can be used for longer without needing to empty or refill. Ride-on floor scrubbers have a cleaning range of 33,000 to 83,000 square feet per hour.

Types of Floor Scrubbers by Scrub Deck Style

We can further narrow down floor scrubbers according to their type of scrub deck. Most models of scrubbers have options for either brush type, so you can pick exactly the style that suits your needs.

Disc Brush Scrubbers

Factory Cat GTR Disc Scrub Deck
Disc brushes are capable of scrubbing smooth floor surfaces with high pressure. The maintenance cost of disc brushes is comparatively low, and it is often possible to swap between brushes of varying abrasiveness, or to add specialized brush pads. On the other hand, floors must be swept free of small debris before using a disc scrubber. It’s recommended to use a sweeper for pre-sweeping, then use a disc scrubber for a thorough deep cleaning of the floor surface.

Cylindrical Brush Scrubbers

Cylindrical Scrub Deck
Unlike disc brushes, cylindrical brushes are able to handle small bits of debris and dust. In many cases, pre-sweeping won’t be necessary at all with a cylindrical scrubber.

Scrubber-Sweepers and Sweeper-Scrubbers

Scrubbers generally clean dirt and deep soils, while sweepers pick up debris. Scrubber-Sweepers and Sweeper-Scrubbers do both at once. These machines can be confusing to identify for the average consumer because they are not labeled consistently within the cleaning equipment industry. On Sweeperland, we differentiate the according to their primary function; Scrubber-Sweepers primarily scrub (but also sweep), and Sweeper-Scrubbers sweep first, then scrub. To put it simply, a scrubber with a cylindrical scrub deck may be considered a scrubber-sweeper because it is also able to sweep up dust and small debris while scrubbing. On the other hand, a sweeper-scrubber would have totally separate sweeping and scrubbing components in the same machine.
PowerBoss Scrubmaster Warehouse Cleaning
While sweeper-scrubbers sound like the best of both worlds, they do come with the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket. Due to their complexity, if there is ever a failure in either the sweeping or scrubbing components, you could find yourself unable to do either scrubbing or sweeping. To circumvent this issue, we now have a scrubber from PowerBoss called the Scrubmaster, which has an optional sweeper module that can attach to the front. Check it out here.

Used Floor Scrubbers

You may be reading all of this and think that these machines sound great, but what if you’re working with a budget that doesn’t allow for the purchase of a large, brand-new floor scrubber? Buying pre-owned or reconditioned floor scrubbers often offers the kind of affordability you’re looking for while still providing the same levels of durability and operational stability that you’ve come to expect.

Floor scrubbers are large and complicated pieces of machinery, and buying them brand new is not in everyone’s budget. Pre-owned floor scrubbers offer a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality.

Most of the reconditioned equipment you’ll find at Sweeperland has been used by us in our own rental fleet. As these machines have operated through their life cycles, they have been expertly serviced by our own qualified and meticulous technicians.

We take extra care to make sure that all of our machines are reconditioned or overhauled to the highest possible standards. Our expert technicians know how important your time is, so the quality of their work is always number one. When dealing with the different types of floor scrubbers used, our technicians know what they’re doing.

As a matter of fact, Bortek Industries will routinely scrap scrubbers that others would not. We work very hard to make sure we always have an extensive list of used floor scrubbers in stock and ready to go. Each of our machines delivers the quality and strength of commitment that our customers deserve.

Click to see our used floor scrubbers

Why Sweeperland?

Here at Sweeperland, we rely on the quality and reliability of Bortek Industries equipment. Whether you are working in a massive warehouse or a small store, we have the floor scrubber to suit your needs, whether it is a walk-behind or ride-on model.

Bortek Industries has been in business for over 50 years. If you’re looking for a product that’s proven to deliver years of reliable consistent service, these are the machines for you.

Our machines are powerful, durable and ready to be put to work. We know you’ll be satisfied with the exceptional cleaning results that await you. Whether you need a high level of maneuverability or larger scrub paths, we’ve got the equipment that will fit your needs without breaking your bank.

If you’re looking for a piece of industrial cleaning equipment that is backed by top-notch service, excellent technicians, and a commitment to quality, contact us today!