Environmentally Friendly Cleaning – Floor Care
When switching to green or environmentally friendly processes for maintaining hard floors, many professional cleaning contractors are pleasantly surprised to find that they are already performing these procedures or that they only need to make a few changes.
Remember, green cleaning is basically good cleaning. The end result is to achieve a high level of appearance, leave as little waste as possible, minimize labor time, and reduce overall costs.
Keep these tips in mind when cleaning and maintaining hard floors:
- Establish a written plan for routine, interim, and restorative maintenance on all hard floors. This plan should include detailed schedules for when surfaces are cleaned, top-scrubbed, and refinished. Products and supplies to be used should also be included in this plan write-up.
- Utilize appropriate entryway cleaning systems and maintenance procedures. This may include placing entryway mats at all entrances to reduce the amount of dirt that is tracked into the building (roughly 80% of the dirt in a building is tracked in through the entrance). Be sure to clean these mats frequently. If entryway mats are not available or cannot be used, be sure to clean entryways more often to control the amount of soiling that is tracked into the property.
- Hard floors should be vacuumed daily using a high-quality backpack vacuum. Backpack vacuums remove more dirt, improve air quality, stir up less dirt and dust into the air, and are generally more effective at removing dirt from grout, corners, edges, and under furniture.
- Hard floors should also be damp mopped or cleaned with an automatic scrubber to remove dirt not picked up by the vacuum. Microfiber mops are more effective at removing dirt than traditional yarn mops. Use an environmentally friendly floor cleaner. Look for products marked with the Green Seal, USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) or DfE (Design for the Environment) logo.
- Choose the right floor finish. Encourage the use of zinc-free floor finishes and environmentally preferable strippers. Always keep a base of 6-8 coats of finish on floors.
- Encourage the use of a top scrub and recoat procedure versus a total strip-out. This will limit the amount of highly alkaline strippers poured down the drain. It will also reduce labor expenses as total strip-outs are more labor intensive than periodic top scrub and recoat procedures.
- If the building is currently open and occupied, arrange to have the ventilating system operating in the occupied cycle during and after stripping and refinishing operations. This will speed the drying/curing process, disburse any fumes, and help return the area to usable condition sooner. This step is not necessary if refinishing procedures are taking place while the building is closed.
For more assistance in selecting the right products or creating a plan for your property/building, please contact a Hard Floor Care Specialist at 800-556-6366.