A clean, hygienic commercial floor is not just a matter of aesthetics, it’s a reflection of your business’s commitment to employee safety, customer satisfaction, and routine maintenance. When it comes to keeping your floor clean, the task is all the more crucial when you have epoxy flooring.
Epoxy flooring is popular for commercial spaces due to its durability and water-tight benefits. However, when sanitary or safety requirements are a priority, they should be cleaned with attention to detail. In this article, you’ll learn why maintaining a clean commercial floor is a must, and how to keep your epoxy floor looking as good as new with our expert tips.
What Are the Cleaning Challenges for Commercial Flooring?
The maintenance and cleaning challenges for commercial flooring can vary based on the type of flooring material used. These are the most common challenges that Feature Flooring clients share with us.
Scuffs, scratches, and stains: Foot traffic, spills, and heavy machinery can all leave marks on commercial flooring, making it difficult to keep the surface looking clean and new. This can also damage the top coat allowing moisture, dirt, and grime to affect the layers below which can cause future problems.
Repeat wear and tear: Over time, commercial flooring in spaces of heavy use like restaurant and bar kitchens, hospital maintenance spaces, and showers in gyms all can experience wear and tear, making it harder to keep clean sections of the floor. This typically happens when a topcoat is worn away and exposes the layers below.
Lack of proper drainage: Often times a commercial floor can have poor drainage that leads to ongoing cleaning challenges, especially in older buildings. Standing water on the floor is due to a lack of drains or drains that are incorrectly placed.
Lack of proper cleaning tools: Using a classic cotton mop and hot or warm water isn’t the most effective or hygienic way to clean. Over time the cotton retains the dirt and germs or the soap residue stays on the floor to attract dirt. The mop can also leave excess water slipping hazards that may cause staff accidents.
Breaking habits to use new cleaning techniques and systems: Throwing out the old mop and bucket and replacing them with more advanced cleaning approaches may sound easy. However, as with any change, it can be challenging for staff. It’s important to communicate the reasons for the new routine.
Flooring Delamination: Flooring delamination occurs when the separation or peeling away of the floor coating or material from its underlying base, known as the sub-floor. Cleaning a delaminated floor can be nearly impossible because of the gaps and exposed subfloor. The spaces between the flooring material and the subfloor can trap dirt, dust, and other debris, making it difficult to clean the surface thoroughly. Additionally, cleaning solutions and equipment may not be able to effectively reach the subfloor, leaving it vulnerable to staining and other forms of long-term damage or loss of warranty.
Are Epoxy Floors Hard to Clean?
No, epoxy floors are not hard to clean.
There is a common misconception that epoxy floors are harder to clean than quarry tile floors. What people are unaware of is this one hidden fact. Since quarry tile floors contain grout lines, this is the perfect place where dirt, grime, and grease can hide and build up over time. Since epoxy floors are seamless, there is no opportunity for dirt or grime to hide. You may even discover in certain commercial environments that nothing can conceal the once-hidden dirt, grime, and grease. You see ALL of it, so you can be confident you’ll clean ALL of it too.
What Is the Best Way to Clean an Epoxy Floor?
The best way to clean an epoxy floor is with a heavy amount of soap and hot water. Using simple techniques that follow an effective process will ensure they remain clean over time. Your staff will also appreciate the benefits of using science and water when they are trained on the best way to clean an epoxy floor below.
6 Easy Steps to Clean an Epoxy Floor
SWEEP using a broom or vacuum to get up loose bits of debris and trash from the entire floor.
MIX an approved non-enzymatic soap in your cleaning bucket with hot water (see top soaps).
POUR the cleaning solution and watermixture generously over the floor.
WAIT for 2-5 minutes to let the soapy water sit on the floor. This process of soaking the floor breaks up and lifts the dirt, grime, grease, and bacteria from the non-slip texture.
SCRUB using a mechanical scrub brush to dislodge dirt from the surface or a bristle deck brush (and some elbow grease) to remove stubborn stains.
RINSE with a 5-gallon bucket of hot or cold water to pour over the floor directing it towards the drain (repeat rinse as needed). Using a neoprene squeegee is also effective at getting that dirty soapy water down the drain.
Pro Tip: Rinsing clear both the dirt and soap is the most important step. As water carries it to the drain, it will ensure the dirt or bacteria won’t stay attached as residue on the flooring.
Watch the demonstration for proper cleaning of a JetRock floor:
Frequently Asked Questions
You can follow these tips to ensure proper cleaning of your epoxy floor.
How do you remove stains from an epoxy floor?
As a business owner, it’s important to keep your epoxy flooring looking its best. While most epoxy flooring systems are prone to staining if spills are not cleaned up quickly, there are steps you can take to minimize the appearance of these stains. For best results, it’s recommended to rinse the floor as soon as you see a spill occur. However, this may not always be possible. In those cases, using a deck brush, steam cleaner, or pressure washer to remove the stain is the best solution.
Can I pressure wash an epoxy floor?
Yes, you can pressure wash epoxy since it is an effective way to remove hard-to-clean stains or build-up of mold. A surface cleaner is recommended for power washing, as it helps contain the mess and redirects water and soap back onto the floor, avoiding water and soap spraying elsewhere in the kitchen. A rotary scrubber can also provide a mechanical advantage to reaching into the floor crevices.
Can I use vinegar to clean an epoxy floor?
The use of vinegar on an epoxy floor is generally not recommended as it can cause damage to the surface. Vinegar is an acidic cleaner, which can erode the surface of the epoxy, causing it to become dull and discolored over time. Additionally, vinegar can react with the chemicals in the epoxy, breaking down the bond between the resin and the floor, leading to delamination and potentially causing the floor to fail.
Can I use ammonia to clean an epoxy floor?
The use of diluted ammonia is not recommended for cleaning epoxy floors since it is a higher PH alkaline and could cause damage to the flooring over time. Additionally, ammonia can react with other disinfectants you work with and can cause harmful fumes for the staff who are cleaning.
Can I use citrus to clean an epoxy floor?
You want to avoid using citrus cleaners also since they erode the surface and cause discoloration, dulling the shine of the floor.
Can I use bleach to clean an epoxy floor?
It is generally not recommended to use bleach to clean an epoxy floor as it can damage the surface and cause discoloration. Bleach is a harsh chemical that can break down the epoxy coating and create a rough, uneven surface. Additionally, the fumes from bleach can be harmful if inhaled.
What is the best cleaner to use on a seamless epoxy floor?
The best cleaner for a seamless epoxy floor is a non-enzymatic, neutral-PH soap, especially if you are concerned about the environmental sustainability of your floor. You should avoid any enzymatic soap because it can cause harm to the flooring system by breaking down the carbon in the epoxy, resulting in long-term damage. This damage will include pitting in the floor and areas that will become hard to keep clean.
Top approved non-enzymatic soap options: ✔ Oasis 133 ✔ EcoLab High-Performance Neutral Cleaner ✔ Ivory or Dawn dish soap (mild, non-abrasive surfactant) ✔ Simple Green ✔ JetRock Cleaning Solution JRCS1000 ✔ Safe Care Concentrate
What not to use on epoxy floors: ✘ Wash N’ Walk ✘ Enzymatic Cleaners
Considerations When Cleaning a Commercial Epoxy Floor
When cleaning a commercial epoxy floor, there are several key considerations to be aware of in these settings:
Commercial kitchens have many unique challenges for cleaning stains and spills, especially where hydrocarbon soils including fats, grease, oils, proteins, and sugars are commonly used. It is also recommended to establish a daily schedule for regular cleaning and a weekly deep clean. Establishing clear expectations for the staff to follow the schedule will also ensure a clean floor.
JetRock in restaurant cook area
Walk-in coolers and freezers will often hold the ugliest stains from spills that go unnoticed or from accidental refrigeration outages. We often times first solve this tough challenge in the walk-in cooler box for our clients since JetRock makes the floor watertight, and much easier to clean out – especially the toughest food build-up.
Service areas are challenged by the lack of drainage available to rinse the floor. Sometimes this can be avoided by using a shop vac to suction the water. The most effective method is the use of a cleaning machine that scrubs with soapy water and suctions up the grime and excess water.
Janitor closets in school or hospital settings are small and serve as storage for cleaning supplies, equipment, and other materials that make them especially hard to access all the surfaces for cleaning. Over time they become cluttered with dirt and debris, so having a durable epoxy floor that can withstand water spills from buckets or sinks is important.
JetRock floor in janitor closet
Pool decks and public bathrooms or shower stalls are critical to cleaning frequently because they are high-traffic areas that are frequently exposed to moisture and wetness, making them breeding grounds for bacteria, fungi, and other harmful pathogens. Cleaning these areas should include a scrub of areas where foot traffic isn’t as prevalent for example in corners and along walls. This is where you would see a buildup of bacteria. Some epoxy floors are easier to clean and keep sanitized so you can avoid health issues and ensure a safe environment for your business or community.
Get Pro Advice on Your Commercial Floors
The best preventative maintenance you can do for your floor is to create a daily cleaning schedule. This schedule when combined with a bi-weekly deep cleaning that uses a mechanical advantage, such as a power washer or rotary scrubber, will be the key to magnificent floors.