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By Frank Necela • July 12, 2018

9 Quick Floor Cleaning Tips For the Serious Cleaning Professional

These 9 Floor Care Tips will help you apply Floor Finish easily and ensure its longevity.  When maintained correctly, a VCT floor will have a brilliant luster, slip-resistant properties, and offer the facility a long-term durable flooring solution.

Tip #1 • Breaking in a Floor Pad

For a new floor pad to be secured properly on the floor machine’s pad driver, it must be broken in.

  • Remove the center circle cutout from the floor pad.
  • Place the pad on the floor.
  • Using the heel of your shoe, apply pressure and release 2-3 times on each section of the center circle. You will want it to go in about an inch or two.
  • Softening and compressing the center of the pad will make it easier for the pad clip to affix the pad to the pad driver.

 Breaking in pad

Tip #2 • How to test if Floor Finish is Dry

How do you know when it’s time to allow people to walk on that fresh coat of finish you just applied, or is the floor dry enough for another coat?

  • Perform this test on an area of the floor where finish was last applied.
  • Place one piece of ink-free and crease-free copy paper on the floor in this area.
  • Put all your weight on one foot. Without applying pressure, put the ball of your other foot on the paper. Gently move the paper forward and back.
  • If the paper moves without resistance, the floor is ready for traffic or re-coating.
  • If the paper meets any resistance, the floor is not ready for traffic or re-coating.
  • Never re-use the same piece of paper for more than one test.
  • It is recommended that you keep 12 pieces of ink free copy paper in an envelope. The 9” x 12” envelope will keep the papers crease-free, clean, and dry.

 Testing Dryness

Tip #3 • Trap Dirt at the Door!

The building’s entrance is considered a “Dirt Leak.” 85% of loose dirt gets into the building through the entrance.

  • To put in place an effective “Dirt Leak” program at the entrance to the building, you will need a minimum of 2 mats.
  • The 1st mat is an outside scraper mat and the 2nd is a carpet mat large enough to collect loose dirt and absorb moisture.
  • Once the dirt is trapped, it is important to have a consistent schedule for cleaning the mats and the area around the mats.

 Proper Matting

Tip #4 • Apply Floor Finish with a Microfiber Flat Mop

Applying finish with a microfiber flat mop will ensure the floor finish is applied evenly.

  • For best results, consider a flat mop that automatically distributes Floor Finish with a touch of a trigger from a connected backpack unit.
  • It is not recommended to use a string mop (Also known as a Kentucky Mop). This type of mop starts out saturated with floor finish, and through use, the floor receives less and less finish. As the mop begins to dry, the strands may separate leaving mop strand streaks. It is almost impossible to create streaks with a microfiber flat mop.

 Apply Floor Finish

Tip #5 • Apply Floor Finish Easily and Effectively

To receive all the benefits of floor finish, it is essential that the finish be applied evenly.  To achieve an even finish, you will start with a microfiber flat mop that is specifically designed for applying floor finish. A two-person team is ideal but not essential.

  • Starting at the far end of the room and staying 3 feet from the edge, walk backward while applying a straight line of floor finish until you reach the end of the area.
  • Stand to the left of the floor finish line at the far end. Apply the finish as you walk backwards in a figure “8” motion, applying to the edge at the same time.
  • Be sure to overlap each section, so not to miss any floor area.

 

Tip #6 • Stop Dust & Powdering when Burnishing

The presence of dust and powdering when burnishing indicates that the floor finish is being removed during the process. This is not healthy for the operator or the environment.  It is detrimental to the floor care program.

  • When dry-burnishing, the heat and friction from the rotation of the machine, weight of the machine, and aggressiveness of the floor pad will almost always create powder and remove floor finish that is intended to protect the floor.
  • Dust and powdering will become airborne and add to poor indoor air quality. In a retail location, this powdering will settle on merchandise intended for sale.
  • Using a product designed for burnishing will lubricate the floor pad and should help protect and enhance the base of finish that is on the floor.

 

Tip #7 • The Best Results When Cleaning Floor Edges

  • Use an oversized floor pad driver attached to a low speed, side to side machine.
  • Consider a low speed machine with a 1.5 horsepower dual capacitor motor and a 4.5-gallon solution tank. The 1.5 horsepower motor adds extra weight, the dual capacitor helps reduce blown circuit breakers, and the 4.5-gallon solution tank maintains a consistently wet floor during the process.

 

Tip #8 • Operating a Low Speed, Side to Side Floor Machine

When teaching others how to operate a low speed, side to side swing machine, follow these steps.

  • Explain the concept of LL and RR.
    • LL: Lower Left - Lower the handle and the machine goes to the left.
    • RR: Raise Right - Raise the handle and the machine will go to the right.
  • While the machine is moving left to right, it will also push back toward you.
  • Adjust the handle so it is below the operator’s belt, with the handle locked in place.
  • If instructing, stand to the right and step your feet on 4 feet of the cord while holding the right edge of the handle as the machine is turned on. This will control the machine from doing any damage if the operator lets go of the handle when turning on the machine.
  • Raise and lower the handle in small up and down motions while running the machine.

 Proper Buffing

Tip #9 • The Purpose of Treating a Microfiber Dust Mop

Typically, microfiber does not require treatment. However, if the microfiber dust mop is treated with a water based flocculating loose dirt remover, 20% more loose dirt will be picked up.

  • It is important to remove loose dirt. Loose dirt left behind on the floor when using an untreated microfiber dust mop will cause the removal of the floors finish, resulting in the need for more frequent re-coating.

 

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About the Author:

Frank Necela started in the floor care industry in 1956. In his long career in the cleaning industry he has successfully owned and operated a contract cleaning business, a chemical manufacturing business, a distribution business, and a consulting business.  Frank has devoted his life to the development of floor care systems and educational programs for training floor care specialists.