Floor Scrubbers versus Floor Buffers

If you’re not familiar with janitorial equipment, you may not be aware of the differences between floor scrubbers and floor buffers. The two are like cousins in the janitorial family: built from the same genes but slightly different looking with different personalities.

A floor scrubber such as a Tennant scrubber, for example, automates the process of cleaning floors by hand. Propane, electric, and battery-powered scrubbers use jets to push a mixture of water and cleaning chemicals onto the surface, then engage a set of rotary brushes to provide the muscle. The brushes lift away dirt, leaving the floor clean and enabling it to dry in less time than hand scrubbing, since less water gets sloshed onto the floor.

The floor buffer, on the other hand, is in some senses the evolution of the floor scrubber. Floor buffers not only clean, but also they use soft brushes to leave surfaces shiny and neat. Combination floor buffers/floor strippers apply increased pressure and speed to lift off old floor wax, nicks, and stains as well.

Today, the lines between scrubbers and buffers (as well as floor strippers) have become less defined as manufacturers have focused on creating comprehensive units that clean, buff, and more. The most advanced machines also work on a variety of floor types.

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