The Evolution Of Autoscrubbers

This article was originally published in Cleaning & Maintenance Management.

Before the invention of autoscrubbers, floors in airports, train stations and other large facilities were dust mopped and then cleaned using mops and buckets. It was slow, tedious work, and the results were often less than satisfactory.

Automatic scrubbers were first introduced during the mid-1950s. They looked like push lawn mowers containing a well for water and detergent, which the machine sprayed on the floor using jets. A set of rotary pads or brushes worked the combination into the floor, effectively removing soils.

While the equipment certainly did not clean and dry the floors all in one pass, as autoscrubbers do today, these early machines were a very big advance in floorcare technology. They used less water and less detergent and were overall more effective at cleaning floors than the old manual method. Floors also dried faster after cleaning. And, best of all, these machines improved worker productivity and morale tremendously.

Today’s Machines

By the 1970s, cleaning professionals had widely accepted these machines as a far more efficient and effective way to clean floors, and manufacturers had made significant advances in automatic scrubber technology.

In time, virtually all autoscrubbers shared the following three basic features:

  • A solution tank and water delivery system
  • A scrubbing system, which could be either rotary pads or, in recent years, cylindrical brushes
  • A moisture recovery system to vacuum up water/solution and soils into a recovery tank.

Most of today’s machines now offer a fourth feature: A drive system that propels the autoscrubber forward, backward, left and right. When it comes to floor machines, greater mobility and maneuverability are typically high on the “want list” of floorcare technicians.

However, greater mobility is not the only advance in automatic scrubber technology. Check back next week to learn what other key features automatic scrubbers offer.

Cyclone Technology LLC

1845 W 1st Street, Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone. 800-335-9695
Phone. 480-345-7733

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