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Hard Floor Care

Wednesday's Ask the Experts: Mysterious black residue

October 12, 2011
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Wednesday''s Ask the Experts question from a cleaning professional on the International Custodial Advisors Network (ICAN) "Ask the Experts" page: We recently did a strip and refinish on a daycare floor of about 10,000 sq. ft. We used Johnson’s Premia floor finish. Now, about two months later, the teachers are using a Swiffer wet cloth to wipe the floor daily and the cloth turns black. We dustmop and mop the floors daily with a neutral cleaner, and buff twice a month. The other day they called and said that they used a cloth diaper to wipe the floor and it turned black. So we went in, after the crew had cleaned, and used a cotton towel on the floor and it did not turn black. We followed with one of the Swiffers and it turned black. What do you think the black is?

The answer:

While everyone would be very impressed if I answered that the Polypropylene Glycol N-Butyl Ether and the Ethyl Alcohol solvents in the wet cloths are reacting with the Diethylene glycol monoethyl ether in the Premia to cause the black residue the cloths are picking up, I’m not a chemist and have no idea whether or not that is true. It could be the fragrance reacting with ... — Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX editor

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October 13, 2011
Thank you for your remarks. I have been saying the same thing for years. I have dealt with preschool who think they know everything about cleaning and insists that it is not the Swifter. It leaves a film that cannot be removed and a sticky residue with normal wet mopping. They would also wipe the floor and claimed I never wet mopped it, even though I did it every night. I wish P&G would man up and say what is happening. It is very frustrating. Richard Wacker