The Anatomy of a Scrubber Dryer
Scrubber dryers are amazing pieces of equipment, allowing industrial-scale, thorough cleaning of hard surfaces to high levels of hygiene in very little time. By marrying the thorough cleaning action of a rotary cleaner with the powerful suction of the best industrial vacuum cleaners, they thoroughly cleanse floors, removing debris as they go and ensuring the floor is immediately dry and ready for use.
Scrubber dryers work by feeding water and cleaning formulae onto the floor in measured doses from a “clean” tank at the front of the machine before the machine passes over that patch of floor with strong rotating brushes. Once the patch of floor has been thoroughly scrubbed, the waste water along with dislodged dirt and other particles is then vacuumed into a waste water tank at the rear of the machine. A float valve ensures that this system cuts off if it becomes too full, preventing spills or damage to the machine.
A squeegee attachment at the back of the machine ensures that all waste water is funnelled into the area of suction as the machine moves. It’s therefore important that the machine is kept on the move at a steady pace during cleaning to achieve best effects.
In 1956, Clarke Floor Equipment produced the first battery-powered walk-behind scrubber dryer. Several other companies in the 1950s were already producing single-disk scrubbing and polishing machines, an electrified development of basic manual cleaning practices. However, the ability to reclaim used water and cleaning fluid in the same motion, saving a second pass with a dry mop, proved invaluable, and scrubber dryers began to take off.
The basic machine developed in several ways after this, including the production of several ride-on models for large areas. In common with ride-on mowers, these vehicles are often less maneuverable and efficient than walk-behind machines, but they do allow the operator to cover a larger area without becoming tired. Improvements in brush shape and vacuum technology to allow more thorough cleaning of hard-to-reach areas mitigated these drawbacks somewhat, though modern machines are now more likely to be smaller and therefore to be of the walk-behind type, though it is still possible to get ride-on versions for larger areas.
Many newer floor scrubbers now have a pre-sweep function so the floor does not have to be swept before cleaning. A pre-sweep brush head collects dust and debris before it can pass into the vacuum system, preventing clogs in the vacuum hose and making sure there is no buildup of dirt that can impair performance in the vacuum motor. The addition of side brushes to many models also means that less manual touch-up work has to be done after the main pass, as these can clean skirting boards and uneven flooring much more efficiently.
Improved battery technology means that smaller, lighter and more efficient models are possible, and as the weight of other components reduces, water tanks have been enlarged to provide even more cleaning on a single tank. Some models now also feature the ability to supply additional water or cleaning fluid to particularly soiled areas, allowing the operator to fine-tune the cleaning operation, while others use automated feedback systems to carefully control water use and decrease the amount of chemicals and water used in each pass.
Here at Alpha Power Cleaners, we are proud to stock and supply floor scrubber dryers from the world’s leading manufacturers. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.