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How to Remove Stains from Hard Floors

While hard floors are more stain resistant than carpet, upholstery, and other soft surfaces, they are still susceptible to the occasional stain or discoloration. Some flooring systems, such as concrete, are porous in nature, so it’s easy for stains to become deeply set in the surface.


Here are some handy tips for stain removal on hard floors:

  • Clean spills immediately. Wipe up any spills right away to prevent staining. The longer a stain goes untreated, the more difficult removal becomes. 
  • Use walk-off mats at building entrances. This will help reduce the dirt and staining substances (such as oil and ice melt) that gets tracked into the facility.
  • Be prepared to treat odors. Sometimes it’s not necessarily the stain that causes the most concern for the client, but the odor. Nicotine stains are often accompanied by an unpleasant odor that requires professional treatment.
  • Develop a routine, interim, and restorative maintenance program. Keep stains at bay and promote the floor’s best appearance by instituting a schedule of regular cleaning and maintenance.


Ice Melt and Salt Removal from Hard Floors

Though ice melt is useful in reducing slippery ice hazards outside in winter, it can cause a lot of damage to the hard floors inside your building.

Tracked-in ice melt tends to present as a milky white haze on the floor. Not only is it tricky to remove, but as more foot traffic grinds the salt residue onto the floor, it can cause a lot of damage. Salt can eat through protective coatings and the abrasive texture of the crystals produces small scratches that leaves floors looking old, dull, and dingy—even after they’ve been cleaned.

To keep ice melt damage at bay this winter, make mopping with Unitex® Ready an essential part of your daily maintenance routine.


Procedure—Finished Floors, Concrete, Stone, Tile, & Wood:


  1. Sweep or dust mop the entryway to remove dirt, dust, salt crystals, and other debris. This should be performed at least daily or more often in high-traffic entrances.
  2. Set out wet floor signs around the area being cleaned.
  3. Dilute 4 ounces of Unitex® Ready per gallon of water into a mop bucket.
  4. Damp mop the floor with solution.
  5. Speed dry the floor with an air mover.



Battery Acid Cleanup on Hard Surfaces

Battery acid is very caustic and care should be taken when handling this kind of cleanup. Always wear appropriate protective gear. Battery acid on hard surfaces is generally caused from a battery that has “exploded.”



  1. Apply baking soda to the spot to neutralize the acid. (If the acid has had time to dry, you must add water to the area before you add the baking soda.) Leave the baking soda on the spot for approximately one hour to ensure that the acid had been completely neutralized. The baking soda will have formed a paste.
  2. Wipe up the baking soda paste.
  3. With a sponge, clean the affected area using Unitex Daily Clean diluted at 2 oz per gallon of water.


Oil Stain Removal from Stone Floors

Oil stains can settle deep into stone flooring, making it difficult to clean up. The following products and procedures will aid in the removal of the deep oil stains. Before following this procedure, always test in a small inconspicuous area to determine that the desired results will be achieved. Make sure surface is clean, dry, and free of waxes and coatings.



  1. Using a plastic or wood spatula, stir thoroughly to mix the poultice (available at home improvement stores).
  2. Apply a 1/4" think layer of poultice to the stain. Ensure that the paste extends at least 1"-2" beyond the edge of the stain.
  3. Do not cover.
  4. Allow 48-72 hours for paste to completely dry to a powder.
  5. Remove poultice and discard.
  6. Allow solvent to completely dry from the stone.
  7. If stain is not completely gone after drying, repeat process.
  8. Clean up residue and tools with mineral spirits.
  9. Reseal cleaned area.


Jon-Don has a wide selection of mops and buckets, neutral cleaners, and even odor removal products that can help you remove a wide variety of stains from hard floors. For assistance in choosing the right product or in developing a maintenance program for your facility, please contact one of our Building Service Experts at 800-556-6366.

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