Consider Using A Scrubber To Keep Warehouse Floors Clean

One part of the warehouse you may be ignoring when it comes to forklift safety is the floor. The floor should be clean and free of spills that can cause accidents. You can rely on a co-worker with a mop and bucket of water or you can purchase a floor scrubber to assure that the floor is clean and isn’t an accident waiting to happen.

An example of a hand held industrial floor scrubber. Photo Courtesy of Dublex Cleaning at

Industrial floor scrubbers are supposed to be able to make your warehouse floor as much as 95 percent clean. You really don’t want to clean the floor with a wet mop. The results are certainly not equivalent to the results of the industrial floor scrubber. We’re talking about 60 to 70 percent clean compared to 95 percent clean. Actually, with a mop and bucket, the more you clean, the dirtier the water gets. Industrial floor scrubbers use 100 percent clean water when cleaning an entire floor.

It is obvious that the up front costs are higher when using the scrubber over a mop, but the process pays for itself over time. Consider this. A co-worker with a mop and bucket cleans approximately 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of floor an hour. A small automatic floor scrubber can do nearly 13,000 square feet in the same period of time. There are larger machines that can clean even faster.

Selecting the proper industrial scrubber can be a daunting task. However, a checklist has been created that helps you in making the right selection for your needs.

The Basics

Industrial, automatic floor scrubbers are used today to scrub floors at schools, shopping centers, hospitals, gymnasiums, and more. The cleaning solution is deposited into the machine and is dispensed during the cleaning process. Only clean water is distributed as the machine makes its way along the floor. The machine also includes a scrubbing head that loosens soils and collects oil and grease as well as dirty water. The machine actually sucks up all that stuff.

This type of floor cleaner offers a plethora of benefits including:

• Being more hygienic
• Are 75 percent more efficient than mopping
• Actually saves water and uses environmentally friendly soaps

Floor Scrubber Checklist

When out in the market researching selecting the best industrial floor scrubber for your situation, consider these five things.

• How large is the surface area that needs to be cleaned?
• What type of debris needs to be cleaned?
• Where will the operator empty and refill the machine?
• What’s your budget for such a machine?
• Consider the machine’s costs for a lifetime of ownership.

The Length of The Surface Being Cleaned

Rider Floor Scrubber
A Rider Industrial Floor Scrubber used for shops, warehouses, and many other industrial facilities. Photo Courtesy of Bahrns Equipment, Inc.

Inspect the spaces that need to be cleaned. If there is an overwhelming amount of floor space, you probably want the ride-on scrubber. However, if the amount of floor space is not too large, then you can opt for a walk-behind floor scrubber.

Regardless of what machine you choose, you will need to know the widths of the aisles so that you don’t order a unit with a squeegee that is too large. Narrow squeegee kits are available. It is also important to know the incline of the floor at different ramps where the machine will travel over.

What Type of Debris Needs To Be cleaned?

Knowing the type and volume of the debris the machine will have to suck up is important. It will help you determine if you need a pre-sweep brush head, for example.

Emptying And Refilling The Machine

You will need space as well as a hose to refill the machine and drain out the dirty water after a cleaning job is done. Extra long drain hoses are available from the manufacturer of the floor scrubber. Ask your local dealer about this. You should also inquire into the local regulations concerning the disposing of wastewater.

Your Budget

No one is telling you that buying one of these machines is going to be cheap, especially when being compared to the cost of a mop and bucket. But, it is the cost of labor that you need to be concerned about. Labor costs are higher on the mop and bucket than on the scrubber. Don’t settle on the cheapest machine available. Keep the labor costs in mind. Moreover, machines are sold with timesaving features.

It’s probably best to select the largest machine your space can accommodate. Bigger machines carry more water and that reduces the time needed for the operator to dump and refill.

Lifetime Cost Of Ownership

Costs you will incur during the ownership of your industrial floor scrubber include squeegee blades, brushes, tires, hoses and more. Ask your dealer if these items are quickly available and what are there costs.

Don’t forget to ask the dealer about service and warranty. If your machine needs service and it can’t be performed close by, then find out where the service can be done and consider this when determining a budget.

Toyota material handling actually offers floor scrubbers that have been manufactured by a separate company. You can rent or purchase.