Right-Sized Auto-Scrubbers


Cleaning large areas with a simple mop and bucket can be time-consuming as well as backbreaking. When floors need to be cleaned in a timely manner and dried quickly for safety purposes, an auto-scrubber is often the best solution. The productivity they provide can greatly outweigh their cost. Ranging from compact to industrial size, they are available in both walk-behind and ride-on; choosing a model depends on your specific application.

An auto-scrubber can be a costly investment and could set you back anywhere from $2,500 to $18,000 depending on the type you choose – but they quickly pay for themselves. On the other hand, selecting the wrong auto-scrubber could be a costly mistake and generate additional labour costs, maintenance costs and operating costs as well as unwanted headaches. There are several variables to be considered when choosing a floor scrubber:

About your Facility:

  • Floor Area:

    Evaluate carefully all the areas where the auto-scrubber will be used. Consider the total square footage, the cleanable square footage, the presence of ramps, aisle and doorways. This will be a good start in determining the size of the auto-scrubber you need.

    Selecting an auto-scrubber based on the largest cleanable square footage could be a mistake. All the areas where the auto-scrubber will be used should be considered in the final decision. While bigger auto-scrubbers can clean large wide open floor areas such as a gymnasium with ease, a smaller auto-scrubber offers more maneuverability in areas with more furniture such as classrooms. Choosing a larger scrubber that is useless in your smaller floor areas might not be the right choice for your business. Selecting an auto-scrubber that will do more for you will be more productive overall in the long run.
  • Doorway Width:

    While most auto-scrubbers are designed to fit through standard doorways, some older buildings have a variety of doorway sizes that must be measured. Take note that the widest section of the scrubber is the squeegee.
  • Type of Floors and Debris:

    Identify the type of floor and dirt you are cleaning. More uneven and abrasive floors will require more power to turn the pads.

    The type of soils you will be tackling is also an important aspect to consider. Soils from a construction site or larger debris may require a large powerful floor scrubber while the usual office dirt may just need a low-impact scrubber. This can determine how suitable an auto-scrubber will be to your needs. Normally an auto-scrubber should be used when the floors have been swept and no debris is present. Nevertheless, when looking for an all in one solution (sweeping and cleaning), cylindrical auto-scrubbers should be considered.
  • Frequency of Cleaning:

    The more you use the machine, the more having a high-quality machine will be important. In order for an auto-scrubber to be worth the investment, you must maximize it’s lifespan while minimizing maintenance/repair cost. Investing in a better machine will be worth the extra dollars.
  • Storage:

    As storage can be limited in some facilities, considering where the auto-scrubber will be stored is an important factor. Even if a larger scrubber is required to save time, the facilities may only have room to store a smaller one.


Auto-Scrubber Features

  • Auto-Scrubber Head Type:

    There are 3 types of heads available on auto-scrubbers.
    • Brush/Disk: A brush or disk head uses one or two brushes/disks to clean the floors. They work best with no debris and on even smooth floor surfaces. They do provide the most pressure when cleaning, however, they are not ideal for porous floors such as concrete.
    • Cylindrical: Cylindrical auto-scrubbers utilizes 2 cylindrical brushes to clean the floor. These rollers work together to trap debris between them, into a debris bin mounted behind the scrub head. These auto-scrubbers have the ability to sweep light debris and clean floors in one single pass. These cylindrical brushes clean porous floors much better.
    • Drive Pad: Drive pads are more versatile as you select different pads according to your cleaning application. From stripping to polishing floors, you can do it all. They off er excellent performance and results while using less water, energy and solution consumption.


  • Solution & Recovery Tank Size:

    Efficiency is key. Make sure your auto-scrubber has ample tank space so time isn’t wasted with refilling and emptying.
  • Traction or No Traction:

    Auto-scrubbers that boast a traction feature (or self-propelled) increase productivity while reducing the operator’s fatigue. As the machine assists the operator moving forward, they allow the operator to get more done in less time.
  • Noise Levels:

    With 24/7 operations becoming increasingly popular, cleaning in off hours is not always an option. In an environment where noise can be problematic, looking for an auto-scrubber that make very little noise will be key.
  • Reduced Water Usage:

    With the rising concern for the environment, finding a solution with a reduced environmental impact has become increasingly popular. An eco-friendly auto-scrubber may not only be more economical; it can also be an environmentally responsible choice. With the reduced water consumption comes a reduced chemical consumption as well. This feature also allows minimizing the number of dump-and-fill cycles required to clean and reduces the floor drying time.


End User Benefits

  • Ergonomic:

    Considering the ergonomic features of the machine is an important factor to look at, especially if your cleaning staff will be using it daily. Ergonomic play an important role now in the workplace to ease repetitive movements that could lead to injuries. Using an auto-scrubber takes the risks out of cleaning. Cleaning can be hazardous for workers but placing emphasis on worker’s safety will go a long way. Auto-scrubbers take away the need to lift heavy mop buckets, strains on the back and any repetitive movements making your staff more efficient while preventing injuries.
  • Operating Convenience:

    Consider the ease of use and the amount of training that is required. In cases where you have a high cleaning staff turnover, having an auto-scrubber that is easy to use and required minimal training will be beneficial in the long run.


There are many features on an auto-scrubber that are designed to save time on cleaning, increase productivity as well as reduce the total cost of cleaning. Reviewing all these variables will ensure you make the wise choice. Minimize your investment while maximizing your productivity. Choose the right size auto-scrubber with efficiency features that meet your exact business needs!

Download the infographic here: Infographic: Right-Sized Auto-Scrubber


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