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Floor Pads Vs. Brushes which do I use?

We get this question a lot.  The answer is --- Not surprising, it depends on what you are cleaning.

Here is what I tell people.

Brushes start with Nylon as a basic filament in the brush.  These are the brushes typically shipped with a new machine.  Polypropylene is a less expensive version of the basic brush.  Polypropylene brushes typically take a set in the direction of rotation and do not "bounce" back to their normal shape in a short period of time and become less effective as a result.  To improve the effectiveness of brushes, manufacturers add carbide crystals into the nylon fibers and call them various names like Stratgrit.  These nylon carbide fibers come in various grits like sandpaper grades.  The lower the number the more aggressive on the floor surface.  What makes them more effective is the constantly new carbide crystal cutting edge exposed as the filament wears on the floor.  The tip of the fiber stays sharp and has a better cutting edge.  These brushes, if left rotating in the same spot, will leave a doughnut hole on the floor in a short period of time.  I've got lots of stories about them doing that.  They must be kept moving.  They also are much more expensive.  If you have a heavy buildup of difficult soils constantly on your floors (IE manufacturing, automotive dealerships, etc) then these brushes are for you.  There are a few natural fibers like union mix and bassine that are available.  These brushes are basically technology left over from 40 years ago, and rarely have a place in cleaning today, but are popular with the occasional user.

Pads will almost always provide a better cleaning experience.  Why?  The amount of surface contact a pad has with the floor is many times greater than all the tips of the bristles.  The increased contact area makes the cleaning process faster and more effective.  Pads must be thought of like sand paper.  They wear out and need to be flipped/replaced on regular intervals.   You don't use the same piece of sandpaper, and neither do you use the same floor pad forever.  You change them when they wear our physically, make the cleaning process longer, or get plugged up and become less effective.  There isn't a fixed amount of use time, you'll just learn when to do it, just like when you figure out the sandpaper isn't being effective anymore.  Unlike brushes, you can quickly change the aggressiveness of the pad.  The color of the pad determines the level of "grit" or aggressiveness of the pad.  They are in order from softest to most aggressive --> White, Red, Green, Black, High Productive black (typically 1/2" thick), and finally Purple/Dark Blue.  Pads have a few drawbacks.  Most notably if you hit anything while using the machine the pads can be destroyed instantly, and for that reason brushes may be your only option.  They also require you to change them frequently which for some machines is not an easy task.  They typically require a pad centering device to hold them in place properly.  And do not work well on grouted floors since they skim over the surface and not into grout lines.

It should be pointed out, that a brush typically has bristle lengths of about 1.5", and very flexible fibers; whereas, a pad driver has short 0.5" fibers and very stiff bristles cut unevenly to dig into the pad.  You cannot use a brush as a pad driver, it will not work no matter how determined you are.

Michco offers OEM brushes and brushes from dedicated manufacturers like Malish Brush.

Please visit our Rotary Brush Replacement Center if you want to locate brushes for your machine.
Visit our Floor Pad Center for a complete selection of Mighty Mac Floor Pads

If you need assistance, please call our office.