What is the best way to clean salt off floors?
The winter months and cold weather can mean a lot of things for your building or store. One of them being messy floors due to snow, dirt, and salt brought in by customers, students, employees, or patients. When there is snow or ice on the ground, salt is used to melt ice which protects people and cars from getting into accidents. The salt can travel into the building on the bottoms of people’s shoes, that can cause damage to the floors in the building. Protecting and keeping your floors clean during wintertime is important because it reduces the number of accidents from slipping and keeps your floors looking their best.
Cleaning the salt and moisture off the floor when it gets tracked into the building is a great way to protect people from slipping. When you use ice melt to assist with the melting of ice and snow, it can easily get into the building causing people to slip, and possibly fall to the ground. It’s important that if your building is located in a climate where it snows in the wintertime, that you take extra precaution when using salt to melt the snow. Here are some ways in which you can clean the salt off the floors or prevent extra water from entering the building:
- Have a routine cleaning system. When it’s snowing or when moisture is getting tracked into the building, have the janitor or whoever is in charge of cleaning regularly mop the floors that generate the biggest amount of water. This will help keep everyone safe and maintains the condition of the floors throughout the day.
- Have a durable entry mat that can withstand lots of moisture. Slip-resistant, weatherproof, or quick-dry entry mats will all work well for situations like this. Encourage people to wipe their feet off or try to get excess dirt and snow off their shoes before entering. This can either be communicated with a sign that is placed out front, or you can remind people via email if they are employees or patients.
- Use a floor cleaner depending on the type of floor you have to keep it protected from the salt. Floor cleaners can be used on hardwood, laminate, or vinyl flooring.
What are the best ways to keep the floors clean?
Adding a protective layer of floor finish prior to the seasons changing can help to defend your floors against the elements of winter. Although these finishes aren’t permanent, it will reduce the amount of damage that can be done from heavy footwear, salt, and excess moisture. Some other ways to keep the floors clean are to:
- Floor fans also do a great job of circulating the air and keeping the floors dry. After mopping the excess moisture off the floors, place a floor fan pointed towards the area that needs to be dried and turn it on as high as you need.
- Use signs: Encourage people who are entering the building to wipe off their feet on the entry mat with the use of signs. Using a caution sign can capture the attention of customers, students, employees or whoever else might enter your building right away. The bright yellow color increases the chance of people paying attention to the sign, followed by wiping their feet on the entry mat to ensure they do not slip.
- Use industrial equipment: Invest in an industrial floor scrubber to use on the occasions where your floor might experience a lot of damage from moisture and salt. A floor scrubber shouldn’t be used every day but depending on the amount of traffic your building gets; every few weeks during the winter months should do the trick.
How often should you clean the floors in a place of business?
It’s important to clean and sweep the high-traffic floors at least once per week throughout the year, but when wintertime comes, it may be more. Depending on the amount of traffic your building and entryway gets in the winter months, you may need to clean the floors at least twice per week. To know how often you should clean your floors, keep an eye on the area and observe the amount of moisture, salt, dirt, and mud that gets attracted in and make your decision from that. If you generate a lot of foot traffic, staying on top of drying and cleaning the floor is critical to ensure that no one gets injured. As a place of business, that could be a liability.
Cleaning the floors also comes with the need for supplies and equipment. Be sure that you are stocked up on floor cleaners and other supplies that you might need year-round. Having a stocked supply closet can relieve some of the stress that comes during a big storm. Checking the status of your equipment regularly to make sure it is working properly is also a great practice to get into, especially before the winter months and harsh weather begins. That way, if something is broken or needs maintenance, you can get that taken care of well before the snowy season starts.
Is there anything to do to the floors after the winter season is over?
After the winter season has come to an end and moisture is entering your building less and less, there are a few things you can do to maintain the condition of your floors. Continue cleaning, sweeping, and vacuuming often. Even though the snow, ice, slush, and salt are mostly gone, it can still rain outside, causing moisture and mud to continue coming in. Keep your cleaning schedule consistent can help to manage the level of cleanliness the floors have all year.
Something else you can do after winter is over is to deep clean and add a layer of floor protectant or floor wax. If there is a time where no one is in the building such as school vacation or a long weekend, take that time to apply a floor protectant solution to keep the floor quality at its best. This not only protects the floor and is easier to keep clean come winter, but it can help keep people safe when the snow starts to fall again.
How to Keep Floors Clean in Winter
Keeping the floors clean during the winter months can feel daunting, but with the right supplies and equipment, it doesn’t have to be. Being knowledgeable on different cleaning methods can also help determine what cleaning solution is right for your building and entry way. How often you clean your floors can depend on the amount of foot traffic and the weather you endure during the winter months. All in all, cleaning, protecting, and maintaining your floors is very important to ensure everyone’s safety not just during the wintertime, but all year long.
Allied Facility Care. How Frequently Should You Clean and Sweep Your Floors. (https://alliedfacilitycare.com/how-frequently-should-you-clean-and-sweep-your-floors/) Accessed December 27, 2022.
Clean Link. Preparing Building Floors for Winter Weather. (https://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Preparing-Building-Floors-For-Winter-Weather–24994) Accessed December 23, 2022.
FacilityManagement.com. Effective Floor Care Tips for Winter. (https://facilitymanagement.com/winter-floor-care/) Accessed December 23, 2022.