July 3, 2023
5 Steps to Achieving a Thoroughly Clean Floor
There’s nothing more off-putting than a dirty floor on entering a facility. Achieving a thoroughly clean floor is essential if you want to present a good image to people visiting your facility.
A recent retail survey saw that 91% of shoppers select a store to shop in because of its appearance. And when asked “What’s the first thing you look at when judging cleanliness?” The majority first response from customers was “floors”.
So how do you effectively clean the floors and make sure they are truly clean? In this blog, we’ll take you through the 5 steps with tips that will ensure your floors are thoroughly clean.
Step 1: Prevention & Protection For Your Floors
Dirt and bacteria are mostly brought into a facility from outside. When visitors enter a building, they carry soils from outside onto the floors.
Did you know that it takes just 1,000 people to bring into the building 11kg of dirt? Entrance mats are the standard line of defence at the front door, but the International Sanitary Supply Association estimates only 30% of dirt is trapped in the first 91cm of the standard entrance mat.
Cleaning and maintaining the entrance and placing down mats will help to reduce the amount of dirt from entering a facility. It will keep floors throughout the building looking cleaner and with less need for periodic cleaning.
If a large amount of dirt does enter the facility, or a liquid is spilled, this should be attended to as soon as possible to avoid permanent stains or damage.
Step 2: Prepping the Floor for Cleaning
Prepping before cleaning is a simple task that is often overlooked by many cleaning operatives to the detriment of the floors.
Sweeping or vacuuming preps the floor before cleaning takes place. It ensures the removal of dust, dirt and debris for a deeper level of clean.
If you jump straight to mopping without first sweeping or vacuuming, all the dirt and dust stays on the floor and will only get pushed around, which can leave scratches!
Step 3: Cleaning the Floor
After you have prepared your floor for mopping, it’s time to get your water and cleaning solution ready.
There are many different products available, suited to different types of flooring. Choosing the right product for your floor is essential. It may be a good idea to speak to your supplier and discuss your existing floor types, equipment and processes to ensure the best suited cleaner or chemical is being used.
At this stage, it is crucial to make sure you are dosing your detergent correctly. Too much detergent and your floors will have a tacky finish to them. This will feel unpleasant for anyone walking over the floors. It also attracts more dirt which increases the number of times your floor will require cleaning.
You should mix your detergent with warm water (If using an auto scrubber machine, check your dosage amount and whether the machine is adequate for warm water).
And remember! The mop should not be dripping wet, but damp. If there is too much water, then the floor can get damaged and the time it takes for the floor to dry increases significantly.
Once you start mopping, it is best practise to clean in small sections as this makes getting rid of grime build-up and debris easier. Mopping in a figure of 8 pattern will ensure that every area is covered and brings the dirt in from the very edges of the floor you are cleaning.
If you are mopping a large area of flooring, the water from the bucket will become dirty. Changing the water often is important as it ensures you are always removing dirt from the surface and not putting it back on.
Step 4: After Care
There are 7.5x times as many hospital admissions from slips and falls as from road traffic accidents. 95% of those cause broken bones, which requires over 1.5m NHS bed days in the UK, and over £1.5 billion in claims every year.
So, it’s important that once you have thoroughly cleaned your floor, you take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of others. Placing ‘wet floor’ signs will alert people to the hazard and prevent an accident occurring.
Using a damp mop instead of one that is dripping wet will reduce the drying time and the risk of slips and trips. Cleaning and rinsing equipment after use will also ensure all bacteria is removed before it is put away into storage. If this isn’t carried out, bacteria from the day’s cleaning will grow and spread in the damp environment. When used next, the bacteria ends up back on your surfaces and each day thereafter.
Or, consider floor cleaning with the i-mop. A scrubber dryer that reduces the risk of slipping risk by ensuring all chemical residues are removed and floors are dry within seconds.
Step 5: Measuring Cleanliness
Measuring cleanliness can be challenging. More often than not, cleanliness is defined using two of our senses: sight and smell. However, that isn’t enough. Just because something looks clean or smells pleasant, doesn’t mean to say it is.
For example, let’s take door handles. As they are touched frequently throughout the day, they’re a hot spot for bacteria. However, you wouldn’t necessarily know this just by looking at them. Now this is where ATP testing comes in handy.
ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) is a molecule that is present in all organic material. By using swabs and testing, we’re able to measure ATP on a surface, which helps us identify the cleanliness.
Testing kits present ATP levels as a numerical reading. The lower the organic matter on the surface, the cleaner it is. A reading of anywhere between 0 -10 is required for food preparation surfaces. Anything over 80 is classed as unclean and at risk of contamination. Anything over and above 500 is a cause for concern, and the facility should be considered as a risk.
By measuring surfaces on a regular basis, you can manage the number as opposed to just relying on scent or sight. It’s a fantastic tool that can be used during operative training and when changing your detergents, or cleaning equipment to monitor they’re effectiveness.
Following these 5 steps will help you achieve thoroughly clean floors in your facility, ensuring a better experience for visitors, incentivising them to return.
To maintain clean and presentable floors, remember to prep before mopping, select the correct product, measure detergents accurately, and clean equipment afterwards.
Finally, measure your results with ATP testing to determine how effective your methods are and that your floors are thoroughly clean.