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Tips for How to Operate a Floor Scrubber

floor scrubber operator driving ride-on floor scrubber in a machine shop

Proper operation of floor cleaning equipment is the single most important factor that can increase the life of the machine. In addition to operating the equipment, floor scrubber operators should also know how to prepare the machine for use and how to perform some general maintenance on the floor scrubber. These are important steps that will help maximize the industrial floor cleaner performance while saving time and money by reducing equipment downtime.

Adding an industrial floor scrubber to a cleaning program is often a sound investment; the labor savings brought about by using a machine over manual labor can far exceed the cost of the equipment. When making a purchasing decision for an automatic floor scrubber, take ergonomic design details into consideration. Choosing ergonomic features can help ensure operators are able to effectively clean as needed. Features like improved cab forward design, large operator legroom, car like pedals for easy single foot operation, and an integrated operator safety switch help keep floor scrubber operators safe, comfortable, and reduce fatigue. Based on the conditions that the machine will be operated in, our team of floor cleaning experts can recommend a machine with the ideal ergonomic features.

It is also a good idea to have as few employees assigned to floor scrubber operator duties as possible. This will help ensure consistency of operation and reduce the risk that the machine will be mishandled. At Factory Cleaning Equipment we understand that your floor scrubber operators may change as new hires are brought in and that is why we offer free operator training to all of our equipment customers throughout the life of the machine. That means we will come back to retrain new staff, for free.

With an ergonomic machine in your arsenal and trained operators, it is time for operating the floor scrubber.


Tips for Fast, Effective Floor Cleaning with a Floor Scrubber:


  • Remove Debris Prior to Scrubbing. If operating a cylindrical floor scrubber, this step can usually be avoided. Being able skip pre-sweeping is one of the time saving benefits of using a cylindrical machine. When utilizing the force of a disc configured floor scrubber, it is important to first remove excess debris from the area being scrubbed. This will reduce unwanted stress on the machine’s vacuum system and avoid added wear on the scrub pads. It can also cut down on the time it takes to scrub the floors. 

  • When filling the solution tank, add the detergent after you fill the tank with water in order to cut down on excess foam. Be sure to follow the manufacturer recommended ratios when using cleaning chemicals.

  • Operators should scrub in straight, parallel lines with a slight overlap to help ensure that no spots are missed. Starting the scrub path opposite the exit door can save time by allowing the operator to leave without having to go back over previously scrubbed floors.

  • After using the machine, empty and then rinse the recovery tank. Rotate scrubber brushes on a weekly basis. For more on scrubber brushes, check out Scrubber Brushes 101.

  • Operators should return the machine to storage in a dry area. If using a battery operated floor scrubber, charge the battery after use. It is also important to take care of your scrubber battery. Periodically add distilled water to your flooded batteries.

  • Operators should use protective gear as needed. Comfortable, non-slip footwear is suitable. If the machine operates above 85 dB, it is recommended to wear ear protection. Gloves may be used if handling harsh chemicals or pre-treatments, though they are not necessary during normal operation.


To gain the greatest return on investment on your cleaning equipment, we recommend proper training of floor scrubber operators. This step should not be over looked as it will save your cleaning operation budget in the long run. At Factory Cleaning Equipment we want to keep your cleaning program on track. Let us help get your cleaning program as effective as possible: 800-793-3790

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