Dan Carr

By: Dan Carr on November 15th, 2021

Print/Save as PDF

What is an Orbital Scrubber? 3 Key Benefits

If you’ve been looking for a way to make your cleaning program safer, more efficient, and more sustainable, an orbital floor scrubber may be a good investment for your facility.

Orbital scrubbers use advanced technology to make the process of cleaning your facility’s floors easier than with a mop and bucket or a traditional disc automatic floor scrubber.

By integrating an orbital floor scrubber your staff can take the time-consuming task of cleaning your facility’s floor and make it easier, safer, and faster.

In this article and video, we’ll review what an orbital floor scrubber is and the major benefits of adding one into your hard floor maintenance program.

What is an Orbital Scrubber?

An orbital scrubber is an autoscrubber that oscillates in tight, fast vibrations instead of rotations. Orbital scrubbers usually have a rectangular scrub head but can also have a circular one.

The movement of an orbital scrubber can achieve speeds of 2,250 RPMs, which is about 10-20 times the speed of traditional disk autoscrubbers that rotate at between 175-300 RPMs.

Orbital floor scrubbers can be used with different floor pads to complete different floor maintenance jobs, like daily scrubbing, deep cleaning, and the removal of floor finish.

Benefits of Orbital Floor Scrubbers

Integrating an orbital scrubber can offer your facility three main benefits:

  1. Boost in Productivity And Lower Labor Costs
  2. Increased Sustainability
  3. Improved Worker And Occupant Safety

1. Boost in Productivity & Lower Labor Costs 

Orbital floor scrubbers simplify cleaning tasks and allow your staff to complete cleaning faster and more efficiently.

An orbital scrubber can boost your janitorial team’s productivity in a few ways, including:

  • Shorter Cleaning Times
  • Less Downtime
  • Reduced Frequency of Dump and Fills

Shorter Cleaning Times

Boost Scrub Head w_arrowsThe vibrational movements of the orbital pad increase the agitation of the soils on the floors. 

As previously mentioned, orbital scrubbers can reach speeds of 2,250 RPMs compared to speeds of 175-300 RPMs.

Orbital floor scrubbers can speed up the process of your restorative floor cleaning procedures like removal of finish. They do this by removing layers of finish without chemicals and using less water, which results in fewer dumps and fills. 

If you use an orbital floor scrubber to eliminate floor strippers when removing floor finish from your floors, you can also reduce the amount of time your staff spends on floor restoration.

The process of stripping your facility’s floors can be long and require intense labor from your team. If you’re using a floor stripper, your staff will need to dilute, apply, and allow the stripper to dwell on your floors. 

You would also be able to eliminate the time needed to scrub and wet/vac the slurry from the floors and then follow up with rinsing the chemicals from the floors.

Since an orbital floor scrubber eliminates the need for a floor stripping chemical, your janitorial team can skip the steps that call for dilution, application, and dwelling. In turn, they can remove layers of finish quicker and with less manual labor.

Less Downtime

Rubbermaid Floor Sign with 'Caution Wet Floor' imprint, 2 sidedOrbital scrubbers shorten the drying time for floors around your facility.

In some facilities, like hospitals, schools, and foodservice businesses, this is important because when floors are wet, the people in your building can’t walk across your floors.

During normal cleaning, your floors can remain wet and need to be closed until your floors are fully dried. Opening your floors too early can create a slip hazard in your facility.

Having areas in your facility closed for extended periods of time could lead to an inconvenience to your staff and guests.

This also means that areas with wet floors are closed to your staff for more detailed cleaning. If your staff attempts to walk on your floors before they dry, they can injure themselves which can cause increased worker’s compensation and insurance costs.

Shortened downtimes in areas of your facility that are being cleaned means that not only can your guests walk freely through your building, your cleaning team doesn’t experience long disruptions to their cleaning routines.

Reduced Frequency of Dump and Fills

Orbital scrubbers use vibrational agitation to keep the cleaning solution under the pad for longer which allows cleaning to remain effective even while using up to 70% less water and chemicals.

Water is delivered directly in front of the pad, which allows the pad to retain the water for more time through its orbital movement. Because of this, orbital scrubbers require less dumping and filling.

Reducing the amount of dump and refills that your floor scrubber needs can also allow your team to spend more of their cleaning shift actively cleaning without needing to stop. 

2. Increased Sustainability

Green building 1As we’ve already mentioned, using an orbital floor scrubber reduces the amount of water and chemicals used to clean your floors by up to 70%.

When you reduce the amount of water that you need to complete floor cleaning practices in your facility, you can lower your overall water usage. Using less water in your facility can contribute to the environmental efforts to preserve water resources.

Reduced or eliminated chemical use in your orbital autoscrubber can also lower your company’s negative impact on the environment. As you use less chemicals in your floor cleaning machine, you are also able to lower the amount of chemical waste that you produce.

An orbital floor scrubber can help you lower your chemical usage in two ways:

  • Reduced Chemical Use During Daily Cleaning
  • Eliminated Chemical Use During Finish Removal

Reduced Chemical Use During Daily Cleaning

Orbital floor scrubbers use increased, multi-directional agitation to loosen and remove dirt and soils from your floors. The advanced orbital technology allows for cleaning chemicals and water to be kept under the pad as it scrubs your floors clean so you can use significantly less. 

Eliminated Chemical Use During Floor Finish Removal

Finish removal can be made completely chemical-free with the use of an orbital scrubber.

When you use an orbital floor scrubber and surface preparation pad, you only need a small amount of water to remove layers of floor finish from your floors. 

Using an SPP (Surface Preparation Pad) and water you abrade (sand) several coats of finish off the floor.

3. Improved Worker and Occupant Safety

Toxic Symbol-1During cleaning, wet floors can increase the risk of slip and fall incidents for your staff and guests. And, the use of chemicals can cause your staff and guests discomfort because of potential volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. 

An orbital scrubber can increase worker and occupant safety in your facility by offering you two main safety benefits:

  • Reduced Water Usage By Up To 70% For Quicker Dry Times
  • Eliminated or Reduced Chemical VOC’s

Reduced Water Usage By Up to 70% For Quicker Dry Times

Orbital floor scrubbers use up to 70% less water to complete floor cleaning procedures. To do this, orbital scrubbers use a fast orbital scrubbing action. The fast vibrations use aggressive speeds and agitation to remove dirt and soils.

After your floors are scrubbed by the orbital scrub head, the machine’s squeegee and vacuum system remove the dirty solution, or slurry, from your floors, leaving your floors clean and dry in one pass.

The unique one-pass cleaning and solution recovery system paired with significantly reduced water usage on these machines leave your floors drier than...only applies to mop and bucket 

With less water to remove and excellent recovery, orbital floor scrubbers significantly reduce the time it takes floors to dry. This not only allows your floors to be reopened to the public faster but also reduces the amount of downtime for your cleaning staff. 

Finally, drier floors can help lower the risk of slip and fall accidents that could otherwise increase injury lawsuits, worker compensation costs, and liability claims.

Reduced Chemical VOC’s

Some cleaning products can emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can negatively affect your facility’s indoor air quality (IAQ) and the health of the people in your building. These chemical emissions can cause discomfort and, in some cases, short-term illness

Using fewer cleaning chemicals to complete daily and periodic cleaning procedures can make your building safer for everyone in it.

Orbital floor scrubbers also make it possible to perform restorative cleaning procedures with little to no chemicals. In fact, you and your staff will be able to remove layers of finish from your floors with no chemicals at all. 

During the traditional stripping process, a floor stripper must be applied and then removed which can have a potent malodor. Floor stripper is a harsh chemical that can have a risk of irritation or other injuries when used by your staff. It is also extremely slippery when stepped on which can be hazardous to your janitorial staff. 

An orbital scrubber eliminates these risks entirely. With an orbital scrubber, the aggressive vibration and increased speed are powerful enough to remove layers of floor finish from your floors without the need for stripping chemicals.

The fast vibrations with an SPP (Surface Preparation Pad) sand away the finish instead of requiring a floor stripper to liquify it for removal. 


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to decrease your janitorial staff’s cleaning times, save on cleaning costs, and support your company’s sustainability efforts, an orbital floor scrubber may be beneficial for your facility.

Cleaning your floors with an orbital floor scrubber can increase the safety of your facility for your staff, guests, and occupants. The squeegee and vacuum system of the machine can lead to faster drying times and with orbital agitation, your machine can achieve clean floors using less chemicals.

The orbital agitation of an orbital floor scrubber can also help your business reduce labor costs. The speed of the autoscrubber’s pad makes the process of cleaning faster.

As cleaning is made quicker, the amount of cleaning that your team can complete in a shift is increased.

The increased speed of the orbital pad also reduces the need for cleaning chemicals when completing daily cleaning and removing the finish from your floors.

By reducing the amount of water and chemicals needed to clean and remove layers of finish from your floors, your business can also increase its sustainability efforts.

Want to know more about which orbital floor scrubber would be best for your facility? EBP and other Imperial Dade locations can provide you with more information about orbital floor scrubbers and how they can help your business save money and reach its sustainability goals.

 

Check Out These Related Articles: 

About Dan Carr

Dan Carr is the Equipment Program Manager for EBP Supply Solutions and a Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified and other training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He holds the ISSA CMI Basic certification and has over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.