Review – Drillbrush Power Scrubber System for Your Cordless Electric Drill

Cleaning might not be everyone’s idea of an enjoyable way to spend an evening, but the promise of faster, easier, and more thorough cleaning is a universal goal. Most people want to roll up their sleeves, get the cleaning job done, and then move on to the pursuit of more fun ways to spend leisure time. The Drillbrush Power Scrubber, a handy set of brushes that work with your cordless drill, make quick work of many cleaning jobs. It’s also a uniquely American small business story.

If you have ever tried to thoroughly clean an old bathtub, you know there is no substitute for a scrub brush or pad, a strong cleaning product, and lots of elbow grease. Years ago, Black + Decker marketed the ScumBuster, a cordless power scrubber. We tried one in a turn-of-the-century bathroom, and found it disappointing. It was adequate for light jobs, but ran out of juice quickly, and didn’t have the torque to really get hard-to-clean areas spotless.

Earlier this year, we were interested in cleaning a porcelain bathtub using our cordless electric drill so off we went to Home Depot to see about picking up a brush attachment. I knew that I’d seen them in the past, as well as videos on the net about making your own with a palm brush so I was disappointed to learn that Home Depot didn't carry them, nor did Bed, Bath, and Beyond, or any other retailer in the area. A quick search revealed the website of a company marketing a wide-range of brushes, logically named Drillbrush, located in upstate New York.

The company sent us a review kit with samples of their most popular products. The brushes are color-coded for their intended use. Yellow brushes are designated for normal everyday use on sinks, grout, bathtubs, counters; heavy duty red brushes with stiff bristles are intended for outdoor use on concrete, stone, driveways, fireplace bricks, and other heavy duty applications. Both kits included a rotary brush for flat surfaces as well as the round tipped power scrub brush, which is great for sinks, grout, and curved surfaces such as bathtubs. They were new models that have a quick-change shaft for use with newer drives that attach to a drill.

Drillbrush also offers similar sets that use scrubbing pads, which is great for bathroom cleaning and other flat surfaces. They are non-scratch, yet cut through scum and soap build-up. Which one to use? We didn’t discover applications where a pad was necessarily better than a brush; instead, we think it’s a case of individual style and preference for each job at hand.

How did they work? The bathtub and tile floor we tackled were installed in the late 1950’s, and although they are cleaned regularly, certain surfaces seemed to have an unremoveable dullness that made the tiles look dingy. First we attached the yellow brushes onto a powerful Dewalt Cordless Drill, and got to work. Initially we sprayed on a few shots of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles, and while it did clean the surfaces, we needed a more aggressive cleaner, so we switched to Soft Scrub, and here is where we must offer a warning to users.

The efficiently powerful Drillbrush Power Scrubber tends to spray cleanser beyond the surface being worked on, so if you’re working on a bathtub, we recommend closing the glass door or shower curtain, to limit the spray of the cleaning product. With a little practice you can vary the drill speed to keep splatter down, but make sure to keep the brush loaded with enough cleanser so that the surfaces are wet. The round-tip brush works great as a multi-use attachment, while the round rotary is better suited to flat surfaces. Cleaning the entire bathroom required two fully charged batteries, so the more powerful the drill, the better the results. The shift toward Quick Change Shafts is one of the choices to pay attention to.

Another aspect of the Drillbrush Power Scrubber line is the extensive product matrix. I needed some help deciphering the wide range of choices so I talked at length with founder Anthony J. LaPolla. As a small family-run business, Drill Brush is big on customer service and happy to answer any questions.

LaPolla started the company after a career as an electrician. With the help of a small business loan, he decided to open a car wash and automotive detail shop. Necessity is the mother of invention, and to aid in cleaning the vehicles in his shop, Anthony created a prototype brush. Soon he realized an entirely new business was possible, and the Drillbrush Power Scrubber line was born. Most of their products are made in the USA, and the company stands behind them with a money back guarantee. They use a direct to consumer sales model, so if you want the brushes you need to order directly from them.

Although their designs are patented, they face the challenges of any US-based business working overseas, which includes constant vigilance against counterfeit and copycat products from China. We liked the Drillbrush Power Scrubber line, the company’s philosophy, and the high build quality. We can honestly say that the bathroom and bathtub we cleaned using the Drillbrush Power Scrubber have never looked cleaner, the little nooks and crannies that could only be previously deep-cleaned using a toothbrush were spic and span. The Drillbrush Power Scrubber System comes highly recommended for serious cleaner in your life.

Nancy Burlan & Harris Fogel posted 3/25/2018

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