Brushes vs Pads, Which one will you go with?


So you have decided to buy a floor scrubber and your salesman has gone over the machine and answered all of your questions and you are ready to pull the trigger.  Then, there’s a question out of left field, “Do you want poly brushes or pad holders with your unit?”  You may be thinking, “Huh? I want the floor scrubber, what do you mean by pad holders or brushes?”  The part of the automatic scrubber that comes in contact with the floor and performs the cleaning is the pad holders or brushes. If you don’t know the difference it can be very confusing but let me try to help you when it comes time to make that decision.

The two things that I try to help the customer consider when making the choice between the two is durability versus versatility.

Pad Holders=Versatility: 

Pad holders offer a more versatile way to scrub the floor because there are so many different pads to choose from.  With a set of pads, you can be as passive or aggressive as you want to be with the floor. You can use a white pad to polish the floor, or a green pad to clean the floor, or even a black pad to strip the floor.  Depending on the pad, you can change the way the scrubber scrubs the floor.  This is what I normally recommend if you have several different types of flooring within the same facility (i.e. VCT tile, concrete, marble, ceramic tile) because you have more control in the aggressiveness of your scrubbing.

Poly Brushes=Durability: 

Poly brushes offer a more durable way to scrub.  While pads may be effective for approximately 40,000-60,000 square feet per set (depending on several variables), poly brushes can be used for up to 100-125 hours under normal circumstances.  This can be particularly effective in warehouse settings with a lot of concrete or other facilities where there is only one type of flooring (i.e. concrete).  That being said, a brush can only scrub a certain way, there is no way to change the aggressiveness of a brush without getting a different brush.

Both=Versatility and Durability:

In some circumstances, customers may feel a need to get a set of both poly brushes and a set of pad holders.  Depending on the circumstance, this would give the end user the best of both worlds, the durability of the poly brush; while also being able to remove the brushes and use the pad holders and pads to be more versatile.  One circumstance we see is when a client has a concrete warehouse to clean and they also have a tile showroom to clean. Brushes may be more effective in the concrete warehouse and pad holders may be more efficient in the showroom.  Another circumstance where more than one set of brushes or pad holders may be used is if you are using the equipment in two different environments, such as outside and inside.  You may want to consider ordering 2 sets of brushes or a set of pad holders and a set of brushes so that you do not cross-contaminate the brushes or pads that you are using (i.e. bringing something from the outside in or vice versa).

Another Option

As one of our newest offerings at Southeastern Equipment and Supply, we now offer the EZ Snap Floor Care System.  The EZ Snap Floor Care System is a tool free brush system that is designed with the aggressiveness of specific floor pads.  You can accomplish the same thing that you would be able to with a floor pad while enjoying the added durability of a brush at considerable savings.  


In summary, whether you are cleaning a brand new floor that was just put in or a warehouse floor that has seen its better days; there is a pad or brush that is designed with that specific floor in mind.  With a little bit of research and some help from your friends at Southeastern Equipment, we can work together to make the best decision to keep your floor scrubber operating at its most efficient.

About the Author:

Thomas Mitchell has been part of the sales force for Southeastern since 2006. With his years of experienced selling new and reconditioned equipment Thomas has positioned himself as one of the Nation's top sellers of commercial/industrial floor care equipment and a valuable resource for customers and the company alike.


  1. Now the pad and brushes are constantly making innovative designs and its newer materials make the cleaning process more cost effective and easier. Both of them have their own set of features and significance for your particular floor cleaning requirement and assist you cost effective facilities to maintain your floor. After reading your blog, the people definitely get a clear idea about the difference between pads and brushes and how it is useful for your floor requirement. If your floor type is smooth, then floor pads will be effective because the floor pads have more surface area than a brush.
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  2. Thank you so much for this best knowledge. I really like your work and research about floor scrubber rental . You give us the best knowledge by your blog and I agree with your point of view, keep it up.

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