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Winter brings with it snow, ice and new cleaning and maintenance challenges, especially when it comes to facility floors. Tackle these challenges head on by following these tips to keep your floors, carpets and entrance ways looking their best this winter.
Cleaning Ice Melt
While ice melt is one of the best ways to keep your facility’s walkways safe, it can be difficult to properly remove from carpets and floors. Ice melt is water soluble, so the key to removing it is to use a mix of water and cleaning solution.
Follow these simple steps to effectively remove ice melt from floors and carpets:
1. Choose a cleaning solution based on pH balance
In order to clean ice melt, you will need to use a cleaner that neutralizes the ice melt. Choose a cleaner that has the appropriate acidity to 'cancel out' ice melt's alkalinity. Most ice melts have a pH of between 10 to 11. To properly neutralize and clean them you will need a cleaner with a pH balance of 3 to 4.
2. Apply cleaning solution to floor
While ice melt is water soluble, it requires a liberal amount of cleaning solution to effectively remove it. Mix cleaning solution with water based on the cleaner's recommendations and apply it to the soiled area. Let stand for 5-10 minutes.
3. If cleaning a carpet, use a carpet rake
Once the solution has had a chance to soak, use a carpet rake to agitate the area. The nylon tines of the rake will help loosen the ice melt from the carpet.
4. Remove ice melt from surface
Depending on the flooring type, use a carpet extractor or mop to remove the ice melt residue from the surface. This may have to be done more than once. If cleaning a carpet, allow carpet to fully dry after wet cleaning.
Listen to Avmor’s Ice Melters – Winter Wrath podcast for more tips to help clean ice melt.
Minimize Safety Concerns
Wet floors due to ice and snow can post a safety risk to employees and customers. In Canada, close to 42,000 workers get injured annually due to slips and falls accidents. To prevent these injuries, place wet floor signs around your facility, use ice melt outdoors and mop up water indoors as soon as possible.
Ramp up Facility Maintenance Plan
Ramping up your facility maintenance can help reduce cleaning time, decrease labour costs and keep your floors looking their best. Revisit your floor care program to ensure there’s a plan to deep clean floors to remove salt and calcium build-up that occurs during the winter. By increasing floor maintenance, you can prevent damage and staining to your floors.
Change Cleaning Solution Regularly
When cleaning floors this winter, it’s important to change your bucket of floor cleaning solution regularly to prevent spreading dirt and effectively clean the floor.
Focus on Entrances and Carpets
Cleaning entrance ways is essential to making a positive first impression on your customers. The winter months can cause additional wear and tear to carpets and matting due to snow and inclement weather. By focusing your efforts on entrance ways and investing in matting, you can eliminate the main source of dirt from being tracked into your business and prevent further damage.
Additionally, carpets not only hold dirt and debris, but they can also collect airborne pollutants. Keeping carpets clean can also help maintain good air quality in your facility.