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Floor Scrubber Color System Decoded

When floors need some TLC, maintenance crews pull out some serious equipment to get the job done. And while the machine does most of the work, is it doing the most
efficient work for the intended job? According to our service techs, a common mistake they see is the wrong floor pad being used for the job.

There are a large variety of scrubbing pads cleaning professionals can choose from but with different brands and a color systems involved, how can you be certain you're using the right pad for the job? To help with this problem, the Powell Company broke down what the color system means and which pad is right for the job.

The Color System

There's an industry standard color-coding system that is meant to help users decide on the pad that's best for their needs. But a system can be confusing if you don’t know what each color/level represents:

  •  The color ranks the grit of the pad.
  •  The darker the color, the more aggressive the pad.
  • Burnishing pads are an exception as they don’t follow this industry standard. Typically, burnishing pads are more aggressive as they're used to buff at high speeds.             
   daily cleaning floor pad         

Daily Cleaning/Shining

Polishing pads are the softest pads to choose from and are used on low-speed machines with a light water mist to bring shine and polish back to the floors appearance. These pads are not meant for textured floors or to be used on high speed machines.


Solv White Super Polish (Powell # 14204)

beige ultra hi floor pad

red buff floor pad

flamingo floor pad

Remove Light Scuff Marks

Buffing pads are capable of removing light amounts of dirt and scuff marks from floors while adding a revitalized look to the floor. Designed for low speed machines, buffing pads are good for daily to almost daily cleaning tasks as they won’t damage most floors.


Solv Beige Ultra Hi Speed
Solv Red Buff
Solv Flamingo Auto Scrub
                (13” Powell #15286)
                (15” Powell #15287)
                (20” Powell #14746)    

     surface prep floor pad       

Surface Preparation

On wood or VCT surfaces, conditioning and surface preparation pads are good for preparing the floor for recoating. There are considered aggressive pads.


Solv Maroon EcoPrep “EPP” (Powell #14750)

green scrub floor pad

blue cleaner floor pad

Remove Inground Dirt

These scrubbing pads are designed to be aggressive enough to remove heavy dirt and scuff marks when used wet in high traffic areas on low speed machines.


Solv Green Scrub
Solv Blue Cleaner (Powell #14808)

black strip floor pad

dominator floor pad

turf scrub floor pad

Remove Finish, Sealer, Waxes

The most aggressive pads available, stripping pads are intended to remove any top coats to prepare the floor to be refinished. Color of the pad depends on what type of floor is being stripped of its finish.


Solv Black Strip
Solv Dominator Extra Heavy Duty Strip
Solv TurfScrub (Powell #13907)

burnishing 1 floor pad

burnishing 2 floor pad

burnishing 3 floor pad


Burnishing machines run around 1,000 to 3,000 RPMs and apply heat and pressure to remove floor wax. Different waxes require a different pad. They can range from natural to synthetic material and deciding which pad to use depends on the condition of the floor and the level of shine desired without removing the floor finish.


Lite Blue Burnishing (Powell #14794)
Champagne Burnishing
Aqua Burnishing (Powell #14747)
Remover Burnishing (Powell #14748)
Combo Burnishing
Natural Hair Blend Plus

Have questions about the right floor pad to use? Give us a call at 1-800-472-0039.

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