Whether you are using a low speed “swing machine” or a battery powered auto-scrub unit, the principles are the same.  The floor should be swept/dust mopped and then scrubbed using a neutral detergent and the correct type floor pads based on the desired outcomes.  

For scrubbing, you should never use any cleaning product with a pH of 9 or more unless you understand the consequences.  A higher pH than 9 can soften or even strip the floor finish.  If that is your goal, so be it.  If you goal is to remove the top layer of finish which contains the majority of the soil, simply using a lower pH (7.5 -8.5), a green or blue pad, two to three mop buckets for the swing machine or at least one mop bucket and pick up mop for the autoscrub unit.  

Following are basic steps for using the autoscrub:

1. Move all furniture, trash cans, etc. and tape up or block any filing cabinets or doorways.

2. Completely sweep/dust mop floor taking care to clean corners and edges of any dirt/debris.

3. Place safety wet floor signs and possibly use tape to keep people from walking on the wet floor.

4. Assuming the autoscrub is operational (different article), fill the autoscrub solution tank with clean water and appropriate cleaning solution as described above.

5. Push the autoscrub along one edge using care not to bump/damage the walls or baseboards.

6. If the autoscrub bumps the wall, stop immediately and either repair or replace before proceeding.  This could be a simple wheel out of alignment.

7. Go slow enough to give the unit time to do its job and try to overlap each track by at least one – four inches.

8. Maneuver the squeegee to pick up as much solution as possible. 

9. You or a co worker can then pick up any residue missed by the squeegee.

10. Return equipment, clean and rinse out giving special attention to allowing it to air dry and inspect the squeegee for possible replacement.

11. Remove signs and replace furniture or any items moved.

The more you perform these tasks the better and hopefully faster you will be.  

Your comments and questions are always welcome. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.