Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Learning The Best Way To Clean Floors

June 20, 2013

Clean and clear are attributes that people are attracted to in all facets of everyday life, and especially so when it comes to commercial floors.

While a clean floor’s sparkle and shine create a good first impression every time, scuffed, dirty and cloudy floors often give customers and clients an immediate impression of unclean and unsafe.

That said proper hard floor care is about more than simply appearance; learning the best ways to clean floors can actually protect flooring and prevent daily damage.

Today, cleaning methods, machines and maintenance are all essential parts of a high-performance hard floor care program.

The Best Way To Clean Floors Tip #1 — Clean It Green

Some of the most significant “green” advances in the professional cleaning industry have involved cleaning equipment, according to Doug Berjer, product manager for both CFR and Tornado Industries.

Berjer says manufacturers are now making floorcare equipment that uses less water and fewer chemicals to polish, strip and refinish hard-surface floors.

In some cases, this equipment uses new, more advanced technologies to improve performance, such as replacing rotary pads with brushes.

These cleaning brushes can now be found on cylindrical floorcare machines.

“Brushes can essentially dig deeper into grout and floor pores, removing soils without the need for more water and chemicals,” Berjer states.

The Best Way To Clean Floors Tip #2 — Proper Concrete Care

As concrete floors have become more popular, many workers have had to learn the proper steps for maintaining this type of flooring.

Today, polished concrete floors offer five to 10 times the life expectancy of tile due to their strength and abrasion resistance.

Additionally, the surface abrasion resistance ensures that the dry, polished floors meet and often exceed the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard for slip resistance.

An important care guideline with polished floor care is matching the cleaning and maintenance solution to the substrate.

According to Mike Trotta, national sales manager of Niagara Machine Inc., “Concrete is a reactive material. People often use a highly alkaline or highly acidic cleaner that can actually damage the surface. Periodically cleaning the floor with the correct detergent preserves the finish for years.”

The Best Way To Clean Floors Tip #3 — Learn About Modern Floor Materials

In addition to concrete, a number of other flooring materials have recently reappeared in the market.

William R. Griffin, president of Cleaning Consultant Services Inc., says floors are now commonly:

  • Natural wood
  • Stone
  • Rubber materials
  • Terracotta tiles
  • Clay and ceramic tiles.

Yet, clay tile has actually changed with color and patterns being applied using inkjet printing technology.

Also, where there used to be a mineral glaze on most tiles, today there is a urethane or aluminum oxide coating, Griffin notes.

The urethane coating will not wear and resist scratching like the older heat-bonded glazes, and the processes and products used to clean these tiles must keep pace to ensure proper cleaning.

The Best Way To Clean Floors Tip #4 — Find The Latest Features

Berjer notes that there have been a number of advances in floorcare machines.

More machines include built-in vacuum systems to help collect the dust and contaminants that can become airborne when performing floorcare work; this helps protect indoor air quality.

Some newer machines are noticeably quieter than older floor machines; this helps reduce worker fatigue “and helps protect the health of the cleaning worker,” says Berjer.

Finally, some of the more advanced systems now use AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries that require little or no maintenance.

These batteries are considered safer and more environmentally responsible than conventional solutions.