Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


I am planning to buy a new auto scrubber and need to know the pros and cons of rotary disk versus cylindrical cleaning heads. I don’t have time to burnish, so I want the scrubber that will keep my floors looking their best. I also need to do the top scrubbing and stripping as quickly as possible, and am not sure which head will do this best.


The cylindrical brush machines are great for uneven surfaces and floors with grout lines. The disc (pad) machines work well on smooth surfaces and will save time in open areas. I would remind you that stripping is messy and the cleanup on an auto scrubber is far more difficult than with a single disc rotary machine and wet vac. I would imagine that a cylindrical brush machine to be a particular nightmare. In fact, I would be surprised if that machine was even recommended for stripping. Since the actual contact area of a brush is far less than the contact area of a pad, logic tells me that a pad will do the job in less time. Several manufacturers have developed newer machines that are compact and can maneuver better than larger units. Additionally, newer technologies are available that cut down on water and detergent use and thus are “green” advances.
I suggest you contact your local Jan-San distributor(s) to see if they can demonstrate the equipment in your facility. You may want to do some Internet research first to learn what various manufacturers have available. A local distributor may want to sell what is in stock and overlook the best machine for your particular application. Be prepared to guide the salesperson to understand and respond to needs and what you wish to purchase.
Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Associate Editor