Auto Scrubbers vs. Burnishers: Choosing the Right Cleaning Equipment for Your Business

Auto Scrubbers vs. Burnishers: Choosing the Right Cleaning Equipment for Your Business

Floors are one of the hardest working surfaces in any business, enduring the constant ebb and flow of foot traffic. Maintaining pristine floors goes beyond aesthetics and first impressions—it’s also crucial for hygiene and safety. Whether in residential spaces or commercial establishments, proper floor cleaning is a fundamental necessity—and it requires having the right equipment for the job.

Among the various types of floor machines available, there are two primary types of equipment that are indispensable for commercial spaces: low-speed scrubbers and high-speed burnishes. To help you choose the best one for your business, here’s a look at how they compare.

Auto Scrubbers: Deep Cleaning for Multiple Floor Types

Auto scrubbers run at a low speed and are essentially an all-in-one cleaning tool. They come with a scrubbing head and a vacuum component; many of them are also capable of dispensing cleaning or stripping solutions. They’re available in a variety of sizes, and feature a unique design comprised of an axis and a set of wheels. When you tilt the machine backward on its axis, it begins to operate.

Auto scrubbers are extremely versatile as they can buff floors, scrub away dirt, and clean carpets; this multi-purpose capability makes them a popular choice for businesses with multiple types of flooring. They’re ideal for a wide range of floor types, including tile, concrete, and vinyl, and excel in extensive areas of flooring, high-traffic zones, or spaces that require deep cleaning, such as:

  • Retail Spaces: Supermarkets and shopping malls
  • Warehouses and Industrial Facilities: Distribution centers and manufacturing plants
  • Healthcare Settings: Hospitals and clinics
  • Educational Institutions: Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Hospitality Sector: Hotels and resorts
  • Office Buildings: Corporate spaces and commercial offices

It’s important not to use auto scrubbers for extended periods of time and to choose the right type (upright, ride-on, or walk-behind) for the area you’ll be cleaning.

Burnishers: Polishing Floors with High-Speed Precision

Burnishers are designed to polish and enhance the shine of already clean floors. They use high-speed rotary action and burnishing pads to buff and create a glossy finish on hard floor surfaces like vinyl, terrazzo, and polished concrete. Like auto scrubbers, burnishers come in different sizes and feature two sets of wheels and an axis.

High-speed burnishers are commonly electric or battery-powered, but there are propane models available as well; if you’re interested in a propane model, keep in mind that they should not be used in enclosed areas due to toxic emissions. Although they’re slower than propane burnishers, battery-powered burnishers can operate for hours on a single charge and polish a significant amount of space in that time.

Burnishers are ideal for businesses with hard, shiny surfaces, such as:

  • Retail Outlets: Stores, showrooms.
  • Commercial Spaces: Office buildings, business centers.
  • Educational Institutions: Schools, universities (for gymnasiums, hallways).
  • Hospitality Industry: Hotels, banquet halls.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Medical centers (in non-patient areas).
  • Government Buildings: Civic centers, municipal buildings.

Breaking it Down: Auto-Scrubbers vs. Burnishers

Here’s a quick comparison of these two floor machines:

  1. Functionality:
    • Auto scrubbers focus on deep cleaning and removing dirt
    • Burnishers are designed to enhance the shine on already clean floors.
  2. Operation:
    • Auto scrubbers use water, cleaning solutions, and brushes/pads to clean and vacuum dirty water.
    • Burnishers utilize high-speed rotary action and burnishing pads to polish floors.
  3. Floor Types:
    • Auto scrubbers are versatile and suitable for various floor types.
    • Burnishers are best for hard floor surfaces and create a glossy finish.
  4. Best Uses:
    • Auto scrubbers are best suited for spaces requiring deep cleaning and maintenance.
    • Burnishers are used to maintain a polished appearance after cleaning.

Choosing the Right Machine Matters

Choosing between low-speed scrubbers and high-speed burnishers depends on your floor cleaning needs. To avoid damaging your flooring, make sure to review the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning procedures; this can help you select the right machine to use.

If you’re not sure which type of equipment is best for your business, Bay Area Floor Machine is happy to help provide expert recommendations. We offer a wide variety of high-quality auto scrubbers, burnishers, and more—as well as accessories and commercial-grade disinfectants and cleaning solutions. Call us today at (408) 971-1230 or stop by our shop!

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