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Knowing how to use an auto floor scrubber is key to cleaning commercial hard floors safely and more efficiently.

With an automatic floor scrubber, cleaning your commercial hard floors can be done with just one pass. An auto scrubber can be used in place of a mop and bucket to achieve clean, sanitary floors in your facility.

You and your cleaning staff should know how to use the machine correctly to get the best cleaning outcomes and avoid any damage to your floor and equipment.

If your cleaning team uses your floor cleaning equipment incorrectly, you may notice that your floors are still dirty after cleaning. This can lead to costly reworks.

In this article and video, we’ll explain how to use an auto scrubber to clean your facility’s hard floors.

What Is An Auto Scrubber?

An auto scrubber uses three main systems to clean your floors in just one pass.

Auto scrubbers are equipped with a solution dispensing, scrubbing, and recovery system that leaves your floors clean and dry in one pass.

An automatic floor scrubber eliminates the need for a mop and bucket and makes the process of cleaning your floors as simple as guiding an auto scrubber across your floors.

Manual cleaning can take longer than when cleaning is done with an auto scrubber.

How to Use an Auto Floor Scrubber

Though there are many different types of auto scrubbers, the steps for using this piece of equipment will be the same.

Before we begin, it’s important that you have everything you need to complete your cleaning task.

To thoroughly clean your facility’s hard floors, you will need:


  • Eye Protection
  • Face Masks
  • Gloves


  • Wet Floor/Caution Signs

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Neutral Floor Cleaner


  • Dust Mop/Vacuum
  • Automatic Floor Scrubber

To clean your facility’s hard floors with an auto scrubber, follow the following steps:

  1. Prep the Area
  2. Dust Mop or Vacuum Floors
  3. Prep the Machine
  4. Scrub the Floors
  5. Drain the Auto Scrubber Tanks
  6. Rinse the Auto Scrubber Tanks
  7. Leave the Tanks Open to Dry
  8. Clean the Squeegee
  9. Rinse the Pad/Brush
  10. Charge the Battery

1. Prep the Area

Before you use an automatic floor scrubber to clean your hard floors, you should prepare the area being cleaned.

First, you should move any objects that may obstruct the path of the auto scrubber.

Next, place wet floor signs so that your building occupants know that your floors are going to be wet and they should avoid the area.

2. Dust Mop or Vacuum Floors

You will need to dust mop or vacuum your floor in order to remove any dirt, debris, and soil.

Run the dust mop over the entire surface of the floor. Be sure not to lift or shake the dust mop to avoid releasing dust and debris into the air.

In facilities that have guests that are sensitive to the presence of dust, using a vacuum that’s equipped with a HEPA filter will be a better option.

Dust mopping or vacuuming before cleaning your floor with an auto scrubber will also reduce the wear and tear on your auto scrubber.

3. Prep the Auto Scrubber

After your floors have been thoroughly prepped for cleaning, you should prepare your commercial floor scrubber.

Fill the Solution Tank

First, you should fill the solution tank with water and the appropriate cleaning solution. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for proper dilution.

Attach the Correct Floor Pad

Once your cleaning solution is loaded into your floor scrubber, attach the correct floor pad to complete cleaning on your facility’s hard floor.

Auto scrubbers can perform several different cleaning and maintenance procedures, like daily cleaning, scrubbing, and finish removal.

Each different procedure will require a unique floor pad.

There are a variety of floor pads that you can use to clean your facility’s hard floors.

If you’re preparing for daily cleaning, you need to make sure that you choose the best floor pad to clean your floors without removing layers of floor finish. We recommend using a red floor pad for everyday cleaning.

Attach the Squeegee Blade

Next, you should also attach the squeegee blade to the auto scrubber. First, attach the squeegee blade to the suction tube. Then, screw the blade attachment onto the yoke.

Before you begin to scrub your floors, you want to make sure that your squeegee blade is properly aligned to your floors. Your squeegee blade should have some deflection.

This can be checked by turning on your machine and moving it across the floor with the squeegee down.Troubleshooting AutoScrubber Issues

Adjust Auto Scrubber Controls

Finally, you should adjust the controls on your autoscrubber. Check that the speed, water, and vacuum controls are all set to the appropriate setting for the cleaning job you’re preparing to complete.

4. Scrub the Floors

When you’ve made sure that your auto scrubber is ready to go, you can start to clean your floors. Best of stand on and ride on autoscrubbers-1

With the squeegee blade lowered to the ground, power on your auto floor scrubber machine.

Starting from the innermost side of the floor, move across the area being cleaned in single passes.

As you make passes across the surface of your floors, you should make slow, wide sweeping turns with the machine so that the squeegee is able to recover all of the cleaning solution from the floor.

If your floors are dirtier than normal, or you want to achieve a thorough clean, you can perform a double scrub. This is done by cleaning your floors once without having the squeegee down, and then doing another pass with the squeegee and vacuum engaged.

5. Drain the Auto Scrubber Tanks

After cleaning your facility’s hard floors, your auto scrubber tanks will need to be emptied.

If your automatic floor scrubber has a drain hose, use the hose to empty the recovery tank into a sink, floor drain, or mop bucket. You may be able to manually dump your recovery tank if there’s no drain hose.

You should make sure that both your recovery tank and your clean solution tank have been fully emptied.

Your recovery tank should be emptied to reduce the chance of a sludge-like mixture forming on the bottom of the tank. Dirt and debris left in the auto scrubber recovery tank can lead to a mixture that can harden and make cleaning your auto scrubber tank more difficult.

Emptying the solution tank will help avoid any soap or solution from gelling up and blocking the solution/water flow.

Leftover moisture in your auto scrubber tanks can also lead to bacteria that can cause odors to form in your machine.

Everything you need to know about auto scrubbers including types, sizes, specs, & more!

6. Rinse the Auto Scrubber Tanks

Once you have fully emptied the solution and recovery tank, rinse the tanks of your auto scrubber using a hose. Recovery Tank. jpg

Rinsing your recovery tank will help to remove odor-causing bacteria and additional debris.

7. Leave the Tanks Open to Dry

After you’ve rinsed the auto scrubber tanks, you should make sure you leave the lid of your recovery tank open to avoid any foul odors, mold, or mildew from forming.

8. Clean the Squeegee Blade

Next, you should remove the squeegee from the auto scrubber and rinse the blade to remove any dirt or debris. You can also wipe the side of the squeegee blade dry with a cloth or wiper.

9. Rinse the Pad/Brush

Remove the auto scrubber floor pad or brush from the machine. 

You should never store the auto scrubber with the pad or brush still attached to the machine.

Once you’ve removed the floor pad, rinse the pad with water to remove any soil. Then, set the pad aside to dry until you’re ready to use it again.

If you cleaned your floors using a floor brush, you should make sure to rinse the brush and set it aside to dry for the next use.

10. Charge the Machine

CA60 battery charger-1

Finally, you should charge the batteries in your auto scrubber once you are finished cleaning your floors.

Allow the auto scrubber to remain plugged in until the next day so the batteries have adequate time to charge and cool down.

It is important that you do not opportunity charge your machine. Opportunity charging will shorten the life of your batteries due to overheating.

Final Thoughts

Automatic floor scrubbers make the process of cleaning easier and boost the productivity of your cleaning team.

Knowing the best way to use your janitorial equipment is important to helping your janitorial staff achieve clean floors in your facility.

If you’re interested in learning more about how an auto scrubber can enhance your facility’s floor cleaning program, Imperial Dade has a wide variety of janitorial cleaning equipment, including automatic floor scrubbers.

Whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada, contact a Specialist for help deciding if an automatic floor scrubber can help you achieve cleaner, more sanitary floors.

Everything you need to know about auto scrubbers including types, sizes, specs, & more!

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