Disc brush v. cylinder brush – what works best?

The long standing question of what method of mechanical cleaning system is best for scrubbing floors remains as unanswered today as it has always been.

So what are the key differences between disc brush and cylinder brush methods? And which one is THE BEST?

Cylinder v rotary brush

Rotary floor scrubbers, utilising the rotating disc brush system, are ideal for wet stripping, scrubbing and buffing floors.


Scrubber driers using disc brushes work well on smooth surfaces and large walk behind and ride-on machines will save time in open areas whereas smaller compact machines such as the Comac Vispa 35B are better suited to more congested areas such as restaurants, school classrooms etc, where they effectively wash and dry floors and can even be used to strip wax from the floor.

innova55_aVispa at Akeman

Disc brush machines offer easy to change, variably aggressive, pads or brushes.

These features make disc scrubber driers ideal for retail applications where pads are not only inexpensive, but offer a great deal of surface contact for scuff mark control and floor shine. For industrial applications, disc brushes often make sense because they deliver greater down pressure than cylindrical brooms, and heavily soiled floors benefit from heavy down pressure.

Cylindrical brush machines are great for uneven surfaces and floors with grout lines.

Cylinder brush machines such as the Multiwash and Nilfisk CA340 allow you to wet the floor, scrub and dry in a single pass and are particularly effective on non-slip safety floors and also for cleaning the grouting between tiles.

Mutliwash range -high resNilfisk-CA340-Scrubber-219x300[1]MW brushes

Cylindrical brush scrubber driers, such as the Fimap Genie BS, will (wet) sweep small amounts of solid debris into a removable tray whilst also washing, and drying, the floor.


In this event it is possible to eliminate the manual pre-sweeping of floors for greater productivity with less potential blockages in the squeegee section of the scrubber drier. In addition, there is often no need for a separate sweeper when a cylindrical brush scrubber drier will do the job.

Cylindrical scrub brushes keep less bristle surface in contact with the floor than disc brushes but they usually turn their brushes up to three times the rotation speed of a disc brush. This will often offset the greater surface area advantage that disc brush scrub decks offer.

Which is better? Both versions have a good rating on cleaning performance and both will clean your floor!

Disc scrub brushes have the advantage of lower initial cost and simplicity of maintenance. A disc brush will last longer and a replacement brush usually will cost less than a cylindrical brush. Cylindrical brush decks (as an option) will typically increase scrubber drier cost by £500 to £1000.

Cylindrical scrub decks eliminate the need to pre sweep your floor and may save the expense of true combination scrubber/ sweeper machines or separate dry sweepers.

It is fair to conclude that both systems have advantages over each other and both will deliver good cleaning performance, so ultimately it is the type of floor surface, the level and nature of soiling, and of course the budget that will influence the final decision.


Stop slips in kitchens through effective floor cleaning

Cleaning floors in kitchens is a routine procedure but, if not done correctly, can lead to surfaces that are slippery and dangerous to walk on. This information provides tips on floor cleaning techniques that can reduce the risk of slips, useful if you are a chef, manager or business owner managing a floor cleaning system.

 Some facts:

  • A clean and dry smooth floor is rarely slippery.
  • A well-wrung mop will not leave a floor dry. Clean, well maintained squeegees and dry mops will speed up drying time on many floors.
  • Dirty or greasy dry mops and squeegees spread contamination over clean floors.
  • Mopping alone will not be effective on rough or profile floors, a manual or mechanical brush can improve cleaning.
  • Warning cones will not stop people entering a wet area.

 Small spills: Spot cleaning

Even a small spill can be a slip risk.

  • Clean up spills immediately.
  • Avoid wet mopping, as it increases the size of the spill and the slip risk area.
  • Use absorbent material to soak up the spill (e.g. paper towel, cloth).
  • For greasy spills, use a cleaning solution.
  • Dry the floor well.
  • Remove warning signs as soon as the spill is gone.

 Wet cleaning

  • Sweep the floor and ensure equipment is clean.
  • Prevent people from walking on wet smooth floors until they are totally dry.
  • Close area, use barriers, clean in sections, as last resort use cones.
  • Warn that wet cleaning is in progress, remove signs as soon as floor is dry.
  • Use the right balance of cleaning solution to water.
  • Keep an eye on the bucket solution and change when dirty.
  • After use, rinse cleaning equipment thoroughly.
  • Do not dispose of dirty fluid in food and hand sinks.

 For quick/middle of the day cleans

  • Wring out as much liquid as possible before use.
  • Mop a small section of floor at a time, rinse and repeat.
  • Dry off floor with dry mop/squeegee.

 For end of the day/end of shift cleans

  • Wet the mop well and mop the area.
  • Leave solution on the floor for a few minutes to loosen dirt and grease.
  • Gently scrub the wet floor (and grout if tiled) with a brush.
  • Use a squeegee to push the dirty water residue to drain, or soak up using a mop.
  • Give cleaned area a final mop over.
  • Dry off floor with dry mop/squeegee.

Machine cleaning: Suitable for larger kitchen floor areas and for periodic floor maintenance

 Some points to consider

  • For best results, follow the manufacturers’ instructions on how to use the equipment.
  • Ensure staff are fully trained in how to use, set up and maintain the equipment.
  • Power cables can create trip risks; cleaning may leave floors wet.

 Steam cleaning

  • Steam penetrates deep into flooring; heat and pressure mobilise grease.
  • Some machines recover the dirty water, others have flat head mops which soak it up.
  • Leaves floors almost dry.

Mechanical brush (scrubber) methods

  • Can clean into the grain of a slip-resistant floor.
  • Important that settings and cleaning concentrations are correct and accessories maintained.
  • Different brush systems are available, suitable for small, awkward and large floors.
  • Scrubber drier machines leave the floor dry.

Whilst it is perfectly reasonable to clean smaller and more congested areas with mops, the effective cleaning of larger commercial kitchens in schools, hospitals, hotels, catering establishments etc is better achieved through the use of mechanical cleaning methods using steam cleaners or scrubber driers.

One of the best machines for cleaning non-slip safety flooring often found in commercial kitchens is the Multiwash, a twin brush scrubbing machine that can wash, scrub and dry floors in a single pass.


Another excellent machine is the Comac Vispa 35B, an extremely compact scrubber drier that has the added advantage of being battery powered and therefore cable-free thus eliminating the trip hazard often associated with mains powered machines.


For more information on these and other cleaning machines, contact IFM (UK).

Slip resistant flooring – why do we need it and how best to clean it?

What is slip resistant flooring?

Slip resistant, or safety, flooring is a type of flooring that remains slip free, when both wet and dry. It allows for a safer workplace by preventing slips, trips and falls, and is often used in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, GP practices and veterinary surgeries.

What is ‘floor slip’ resistance testing?

Floor slip resistance testing is the science of measuring the coefficient of friction of flooring surfaces, either in a laboratory before installation or on floors after installation. Slip resistance testing (or floor friction testing) is usually desired by a building’s owner or manager when there has been a report of a slip and fall accident, or before the flooring is installed in the property in order to prevent slips from occurring once installed. Floor slip resistance testing can be carried out dry, wet with water, or lubricated with oils and other contaminants, in order to replicate the conditions the floor will be under when in use. If the floor is likely to be lubricated with water or grease whilst being used, it must be slip resistant.

Why do we need safety flooring?

More than 30% of major injuries in the health sector are caused by slips and trips, 95% of these resulting in broken bones. This makes them the most common cause of injury in the workplace, with a slip or trip accident being recorded every 3 minutes. The Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 states that floor surfaces should not be uneven or slippery, and should be kept free from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall. This is echoed by the Department of Health, who state that floors used in healthcare facilities must prevent pedestrians from slipping both in areas deemed as dry and those that become wet or contaminated in usage. The easiest way to adhere to these rules is to provide flooring that prevents slipping when both wet and dry i.e. slip resistant (safety) flooring.

How should we clean safety flooring?

Safety floors have surfaces that are a little rougher than standard surfaces. This has two effects on the cleaning; firstly it can take a little extra time or effort to get the dirt off the floor and into the cleaning solution, and secondly, they tend to hold a little bit more cleaning solution when you take off the excess with a wrung mop. This can mean that when the water from the cleaning solution evaporates, it leaves a little bit of dirt behind, which you might notice if there are low spots on the floor where the residue tends to accumulate. One way to avoid this is to remove as much of the cleaning solution as possible, perhaps by using a dry mop or a wet vacuum to leave the floor really dry.

Another way, and arguably the most effective method of cleaning non slip floors, is to use a twin brush multi-purpose floor cleaning machine, such as the Multiwash. These machines wash, mop, scrub and dry floor surfaces in just one single pass. Although being an all-round machine capable of cleaning most types of flooring including tiles, polished vinyl floors, wooden floors and even entrance matting and commercial carpet, it works particularly well on ‘difficult’ surfaces such as slip resistant flooring.

For more information on the Multiwash range of machines check out www.multiwash.co.uk or contact Industrial Floorcare Machines.MW340