Frequently asked questions

Can I use any type of cleaner in my industrial floor scrubber?
In your industrial floor scrubber, you will only want to use chemicals that are “auto scrubber friendly” and recommended by one of our chemical specialists. Our recommendations are based on floor type as well as the type of debris that will be cleaned off of your industrial floor. Feel free to CONTACT US with additional questions.
Do you have Silica Dust Solutions for sweeping?
Workers who are exposed to respirable crystalline silica dust are at increased risk of developing serious silica-related diseases. Therefore, OSHA has reduced the permissible exposure limit of respirable crystalline silica dust, requiring employers to use engineering and housekeeping controls to limit workers’ exposure when feasible.

If you’re in the market for a new industrial floor scrubber or sweeper, and you know it has to comply with OSHA’s new silica dust ruling, we can help. The brands we sell at Midwest Sweepers & Scrubbers offers three types of OSHA-compliant dust control models. These are engineered to provide safe and effective cleaning for your business.

Our Wet Sweepers, Water Flooding/Scrubbers and Dry Sweepers with HEPA Filtration meet or exceed OSHA’s standards for filtration of carcinogenic dusts, allowing you to stay compliant with current regulation while maintaining excellent standards with our industrial floor scrubber. Feel free to CONTACT US with additional questions.
Can an industrial sweeper work in wet conditions?
If you are looking to buy an industrial floor scrubber or sweeper and are concerned with how it performs under wet conditions, you may be shopping for the wrong machine. Sweepers are specifically built to run dry, not wet. When the manufacturer says they can be run in some wet applications, you should envision a parking lot after rain, with some occasional low spots holding water. The ground is obviously damp, but your intentions are not to sweep up mud with 100% effectiveness. Mud and large dirt chunks will obviously smear on pavement, with the majority of mud and wet debris going into the hopper.

If this sounds too limiting, you would be better off with an industrial floor scrubber and sweeper unit for the best of both worlds. You will be able to use our industrial floor scrubber/sweeper combination unit in dry or wet conditions! Typically, the desire to purchase a sweeper over a sweeper and scrubber unit is simply the volume of dry sweeping that needs to be done. Feel free to CONTACT US with additional questions.
What's the difference between disk scrubbing, cylindrical scrubbing, and orbital scrubbing?
Let's discuss the differences between disk floor scrubbing heads (which include floor pads, pad drivers, and brushes), cylindrical brushes, and orbital scrubbing heads.

Disk brushes are flat and are best used on scrubbers to clean facilities with pre-swept floors. These clean best on smooth floors and do a great job of cleaning tough soils or stains. You can get soft brushes up to an “abrasive” grade, and these units can also be equipped with a pad driver!

A cylindrical brush is long and tubular. They have a small hopper that catches solid debris and holds it while the cleaning solution can be sucked up through the vacuum system. These are good to clean floors featuring grout or cracks. Pads are not applicable with cylindrical machines.

Use multi-functional orbital scrubbing technology for daily cleaning, deep grout cleaning, and to remove commercial floor finish without chemicals. Orbital scrubbing technology uses a rectangular scrub head that easily reaches into corners, along edges, and into other hard-to-reach areas while leaving a clearly defined cut line. Combine the high down pressure of orbital scrubbing technology with the best pad for the job to maximize productivity and save on labor costs. Feel free to CONTACT US with additional questions.
What's the difference between floor pads and disk brushes in an industrial floor scrubber?
If you are curious on whether or not a brush or a pad would work best in your industrial floor scrubber or sweeper application, we can help. First thing’s first: pads are less expensive than brushes, but don’t last as long.

If the floor is smooth, then pads will probably do a better job.

If the floor is anything other than smooth, then brushes will be your best bet, as pads will be torn up quickly with an uneven floor type.

Floor pads come in a rainbow of different colors. White will always be the softest, followed usually by red, which is a very common pad for general daily cleaning. Blue and green are usually next, and these are often used in top scrubbing of floor finishes. Black stripping pads are at the rough end of the scale; and then there are specialty stripping pads that are very abrasive for use in removing very stubborn floor finishes or sealers.

Still wondering which to use for your industrial floor scrubber or sweeper? Floor brushes have some advantages over pads, too! They have been tested to outlast pads 200 to 1. You won’t have to “re-center” the brush as you would with a pad. Pads are good on all floor types and will allow for more continuous use. If you have any additional questions about industrial floor scrubbers, feel free to CONTACT US.
Should I rent or buy an Industrial Floor Scrubber?
Renting can be beneficial and serve a specific purpose for your business’s goals. Maybe you own a sweeper and need to scrub on a quarterly basis. Maybe you are a contract cleaner and only need an auto scrubber on certain jobs. Maybe you are construction company and have enough equipment to take care of, and like the option of renting a sweeper or scrubber on a “as needed basis”. With short-term and long-term rental rates for industrial floor scrubbers and sweepers, plus having the largest rental fleet in town, we will have any size to fit the needs of your application. Overall, purchasing your own floor cleaning equipment assures you'll be prepared for the job before you have it, and then when you do have it, you can be confident with the tools you brought. If you have any additional questions about renting versus purchasing an industrial floor scrubber or sweeper, feel free to CONTACT US.
What fuel type or power supply should I choose for my industrial floor cleaning equipment?
There are several options to choose from when it comes to powering your equipment, including your industrial floor scrubber or sweeper. The key? It is all about productivity. The point of having proper commercial cleaning equipment is to assist in reducing labor costs, as well as improving the outcome and the time it takes to achieve that outcome. Let’s further discuss your various options for powering your future industrial floor scrubber or sweeper:

Electric power cords: The main benefit of opting for cord-electric is having access to a limitless supply of power so that you can keep working until the job is complete. The downside of power cords with cleaning equipment, however, is that they can sometimes be in the way of your cleaning job. If you're stripping floors or have a lot of solution on the floor, the cord can become covered in solution, which then has to be cleaned off. The cord is also a tripping hazard for healthcare facilities like hospitals or nursing homes. Electrical cords can also limit the operator to how far he can clean before having to stop, relocate the cord to a new outlet, and then start back up. This greatly reduces productivity, which is a primary reason for purchasing industrial cleaning equipment in the first place. The bottom line on choosing corded, electric-powered industrial cleaning equipment is that if the machine can do the job efficiently and safely, then it might make sense to choose this power supply.

Battery powered: The next step up from cord-electric is battery power. This is the most common fuel source in walk-behind floor cleaning equipment and small riding scrubbers and sweepers (also called micro-riders). Typically, the batteries are lead acid, since these are the cheapest route to go. There are also maintenance-free gel batteries that can be a good choice if you know your operators aren't going to maintain the water levels and care for the batteries properly. However, replacing batteries is a very expensive cost, and if you're not careful, you might find yourself without the use of your cleaning equipment, especially if your budget doesn't allow for replacing $1,000 worth of batteries. Average run times for battery-powered cleaning equipment are around 2.5 hours.

Propane power: Propane is by far the most popular engine source available for industrial floor cleaning equipment (industrial floor scrubbers). The major reason is that this type of equipment is used in facilities where there are also lots of forklifts. Forklifts commonly run on propane, so the fuel source is already readily available on site. Propane is also popular because, in theory, it's an endless supply. There will be propane refilling tanks on site, or at least spare tanks on site. The engines are made by major suppliers like GM, so the quality is good and consistent. Properly maintained, these engines can run for 10,000 hours or more! The key there is "properly maintained." A poorly maintained "anything" can be ruined in 100 hours by a negligent operator, whether it's an auto-scrubber or a toothbrush. Some estimations of the prevalence of propane power in the floor cleaning equipment industry suggest that up to 80 to 90% of all engine powered cleaning equipment is propane powered.

Gasoline power: Gasoline power uses the exact same engine, but with different fuel feeding equipment. Gas powered floor cleaning equipment does exist, albeit at a much smaller rate. If you have several pieces of outdoor equipment or vehicles, then you probably have a gasoline fuel source nearby to draw from. In that case, gas powered engines would make sense for you. Indoor facilities with lots of forklifts usually don't have access to gasoline easily. In this case, you may want to consider a different option.

Diesel power: Diesel power is slightly more common than gas in industrial floor scrubbers & sweepers, but certainly nowhere near as common as propane. But diesel has its obvious advantages! These engines are usually different than the propane or gas engines. They're typically built to hold up in harsher environments and to take a little more use before wearing out.

Feel free to CONTACT MIDWEST SWEEPERS & SCRUBBERS with additional questions.
What is the difference in squeegee blade material?
GUM: Gum rubber squeegee blades are primarily used in industrial floor scrubbers for public spaces such as shopping malls, offices, etc. Gum rubber squeegees are best used on tiled floors, leaving them dry and safe for foot traffic. The team at Midwest Sweepers & Scrubbers do not recommend gum rubber squeegee blades for oily environments. That’s because gum rubber absorbs oil, and will eventually make the blades wavy. The best surfaces for gum rubber squeegee blades for your industrial floor scrubber would be smooth, even floors with light traffic. They are an inexpensive combination of natural material and fillers, usable on smooth, even indoor floors.

RUBBER: Premium Rubber/Linatex squeegee blades are the all-around best-performing and longest-lasting squeegee blades for industrial floor scrubbers. Premium Rubber works well with chemicals and, unlike gum rubber, won’t swell. Premium Rubber squeegee blades have excellent flexibility for better durability and pickup. These blades would be the best choice in applications where the floor is not smooth. Rubber/Linatex squeegee blades are multi-purpose, provide consistent performance, and are excellent for floor conformance and super results on a broad range of conditions. They are made of high performing, long lasting material, and deliver superior performance in wet-abrasion applications.

URETHANE: Oil-resistant urethane squeegees are the best option for industrial floor scrubbers that treat oily or rough surfaces. For example, we recommend these urethane squeegee blades for car shops and very rough concrete. Urethane squeegee blades are easy to identify by their typically opaque color. They work best for applications that require a machine to stand up to oil and chemicals, very rough surfaces, or organic and petroleum-based oils. They have a long-service life and are chemical resistant.

Feel free to CONTACT MIDWEST SWEEPERS & SCRUBBERS with additional questions.
Should I buy new or used industrial floor scrubbers, sweepers, and cleaning equipment?
When purchasing an item of value on the internet, the buyer is assuming a certain amount of risk. Do you buy locally and pay list price in order to get: perceived less risk, less anxiety, increased reassurance of warranty because you can get your hands on the guy that sold it to you? Or do you buy online and get the savings you know you deserve?

Midwest Sweepers & Scrubbers is a locally owned and operated company that takes pride in the products we sell. To do this, we can't afford to cut corners or "go cheap" on any part of our reconditioning process. We have trained technicians who know what to look for and where to look for common breakdowns in cleaning equipment. We have computer software that reads engine and machine codes to diagnose recurring problems. And we even have a 90 day warranty on our refurbished equipment. Additionally, most of our manufacturers’ warranties on new units is 3 to 4 years on parts.

When deciding between a floor sweeper and an industrial floor scrubber, there are several factors to consider.

First, what level of cleanliness is necessary? Is your company involved in food manufacturing or distribution, medical, or high tech? Do customers visit your facility? Are you a manufacturing facility that uses cutting oil’s that gets on the floor? These are fairly typical scrubber customers. Are you a warehouse that handles non-food products? Is dust on the floor and on the products stored causing a problem? Does your manufacturing process create debris that winds up on the floor? If so, you are probably a floor sweeper customer. We tell potential customers that the difference between using a scrubber or a sweeper is like sweeping or scrubbing your kitchen floor. The end result is two different levels of cleanliness.

Customers usually assume they need to scrub, but if you have never scrubbed your facility before, it is a lot of work to start using a scrubber. Using a floor scrubber is much more time consuming and labor intensive. You need to fill the floor scrubber with water, and clean it out when you are done. In most cases, you need to keep floor cleaning chemicals in stock. Floor scrubbers need more upkeep including brush and squeegee maintenance. Using a floor sweeper is faster and easier than using a scrubber. You typically can grab it and go. They are easier and less costly to maintain. We usually recommend that customers who have never cleaned before start with a floor sweeper. It is easier to use, and the results usually make a significant difference in cleanliness. Often, new customers who start with a floor scrubber find the process cumbersome, and the new scrubber quickly finds a home in corner, only to be dragged out when things get slow or a customer visit is scheduled.

Feel free to CONTACT MIDWEST SWEEPERS & SCRUBBERS with additional questions.