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A Commercial Floor Scrubber Buyer's Guide: Costs, Types and Purchasing Advice

Whether you manage a large facility or a commercial cleaning company, if your job involves caring for floors, you want a commercial floor scrubber. These machines help reduce the labor-intensive process of cleaning, polishing, and even stripping floors and then applying a fresh sealant, wax, or finish. Pricing and features vary widely on commercial floor scrubbers. Do your research and determine your organization's requirements to help choose the right machine for your needs and budget.

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What are Commercial Scrubber Uses?

People typically use a commercial scrubber to clean large floor areas, as they are capable of cleaning over 30,000 square feet per hour. At most, you'll clean around 10,000 square feet in the same amount of time using a standard model.

The machines typically include sweeping capabilities, and use cleaning solutions and brushes to scrub flooring and strip old wax buildup. Most industrial models are battery-powered, though you also find plug-in and fuel-powered models.

Unlike standard models, most commercial scrubbers include a tank that holds the cleaning solution and water mixture, as well as a squeegee to recapture this liquid and quickly dry the floor.

What Size Scrubber Do You Need?

The best way to determine your size needs is to consider the size of the area you need to clean – not only complete square footage, but the width. If you buy a machine that's too large to fit down aisles and hallways, it won't do much good. At the same time, a machine that's too small fails to meet your needs and takes longer to complete the job.

Measure the width of doorways, hallways, and aisles. Look also at tight spaces, such as kitchens and restrooms, where maneuverability is important. Look closely at the machine specifications, which should include the width. The scrubber size is not the best indicator of width. In fact, if the scrubber has a squeegee, that is likely the widest part of the unit.

How Much Does a Commercial Floor Scrubber Cost?

Again, prices vary widely, depending on size, features, and even your geographic location.

A manual push scrubber is the most economical model, and averages between $500 and $2,500. Next up is a walk-behind self-propelled model, which costs between $4,000 and $12,000 on average. Finally, you can find riding commercial floor scrubbers. These cost between $10,000 and $50,000.

In addition to the cost of the machine, a maintenance plan that includes routine servicing typically carries an additional cost. This varies as well, but averages around $750 per year.

What's the Best Power Source for a Commercial Scrubber?

Another factor determining cost is the unit's power source. Power options include battery, plug-in, gasoline, propane, and diesel. Obviously, fuel-powered floor scrubbers are the most powerful models and carry a higher cost.

Corded machines require the operator to keep the unit plugged in when in use. They typically cost less than their rechargeable, battery-operated counterparts. In exchange for the lower cost, the operator must ensure he or she has access to outlets, consider the cord length, and how to maneuver around obstacles without tangling the cord.

Battery-operated commercial scrubbers run on rechargeable batteries. They typically cost more than corded machines do, but less than fuel-powered equipment and without the exhaust problems. They are more convenient, as there is no need to worry about cords or outlet proximity, or keeping a supply of fuel. Most battery-powered machines allow you to charge them at any standard outlet, though charge time depends on battery size. The main worry with these units is the battery's run-life. You want to ensure it's enough to allow the scrubber to clean the entire facility on a single charge. If yours is a large facility, consider a machine with a higher amp rating, as these hold a charge better than low amp models.

Fuel-powered floor scrubbers typically run on propane, though gasoline- and diesel-powered machines are available. Most people only choose a gas or diesel model if they use their scrubber in cold, harsh environments.

What is the Cost for Maintenance and Warranty?

All equipment with moving parts requires some level of maintenance. Many vendors include maintenance agreements in their warranties, thought typically for a price.

Regular maintenance lowers risk of serious, more expensive repairs, just like getting your vehicle's oil changed and tires rotated helps extend its life. With regular maintenance, you discover potential issues while they're still easy – and inexpensive – to repair.

Before buying any commercial floor scrubber, check the warranty and maintenance options included, as well as anything that requires an extra payment. Both help protect your investment.

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