Sweeping vs. Scrubbing: Things to Consider

When investing in a new or used commercial ride-on or walk-behind sweeper or scrubber, there are many things to consider. Gas or electric? Ride-on or walk-behind? Sweeper or scrubber? How clean do the floors need to be? In this overview, we’ll present you with helpful information that can assist you with your decision.


Low cost of ownership
Low maintenance
Good for light to heavy debris
Floor doesn’t appear as clean
Less light reflection
Safety issues if silica present

In some cases it may be necessary to choose scrubbing over sweeping due to the current floor conditions and the amount of debris that accumulates during a normal day. To what extent does the dust and dirt affect the manufacturing process and the finished product? What type of appearance do you wish to present to employees and also to prospective customers? Both Sweepers and Scrubbers are valuable tools to have at your facility. Consider also that Sweepers are not generally cheaper than Scrubbers. Every Sweeper and Scrubber will require maintenance. Your existing floor conditions will help you arrive at a decision. Consider all factors before you purchase. Look at the ultimate outcome after the purchase. And by all means make sure that the product is utilized!


Floors appear very clean
Eliminates dust and grit
Lighting is better
Safe for silica reduction in the air
Somewhat more complex to operate
Slightly higher cost to maintain
Not optimal for medium to heavy debris
Requires water supply

As covered in the above portion, Scrubbing provides many more benefits than sweeping. Practically speaking, how do you clean the floors in your house? Do you sweep or scrub your garage floor? Do you sweep or clean your basement floor? Each area has distinct characteristics. Each area has a desired cleanliness and appearance outcome, and each area is prone to getting dirty again. What impact will it have on those present and those who visit?

Power Types: Battery vs. Propane/LPG


Battery is more expensive initially because you are paying for all the fuel in the beginning, however, over time battery power is less expensive to use. Battery operated units are cleaner, quieter, and can be used both indoor and outdoor. Batteries have a limited run time depending on the size allocated in the compartment for the battery and the amp hours of the battery. Battery powered units will provide a 3 to 5 hour run time. This is followed by a 6 to 10 hour charge time. There are opportunity charging options for these units but that can be discussed during your initial job survey. For simplicity, a battery operated unit can run for up to 50% of a
24 hour day.


Engine powered equipment gives you the ability to operate all day long. Engine powered equipment is usually larger in its size due to the fact that the engine takes more space than a battery. Engine powered equipment is louder and requires more maintenance than battery. Health considerations should also be considered when running gasoline units.

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