Reasons for cleaning floors
The principal reasons for floor cleaning are:
- To prevent injuries due to tripping or slipping. Injuries due to slips and trips on level floors are a major cause of accidental injury or death. Bad practice in floor cleaning is itself a major cause of accidents.
- To beautify the floor.
- To remove stains, dirt, litter and obstructions.
- To remove grit and sand which scratch and wear down the surface.
- To remove allergens, in particular dust.
- To prevent wear to the surface e.g. by using a floor wax or protective sealant.
- To make the environment sanitary e.g. in kitchens.
- To maintain an optimum traction e.g. for dance floors.
Methods of floor cleaning
Sawdust is used on some floors to absorb any liquids that fall rather than trying to prevent them being spilt. The sawdust is swept up and replaced each day. This was common in the past in pubs and is still used in some butchers and fishmongers.
It used to be common to use tea leaves to collect dirt from carpets and remove odours. Nowadays it is sill quite common to use diatomaceous earth, or in fact any cat litter type material, to remove infestations from floors.
There are also a wide variety of floor cleaning machines available today such as floor buffers,automatic floor scrubbers and sweepers, and carpet extractors that can deep clean almost any type of hard floor or carpeted flooring surface in much less time than it would take using a traditional cleaning method.
Wood flooring should be treated completely differently depending on whether it waxed or oiled, or whether it has a polyurethane coating. It is important to determine the type of finish of a wood floor and always treat it the appropriate way, for instance it is difficult to clear wood floor wax from a polyurethane floor.
Tile floor cleaning
Nowadays many modern kitchens, stairs and bathrooms have tile flooring. Dirt or dust should first be removed with a vacuum cleaner or a broom. Then, a dry cloth duster or dust mop should be run over the floors after they have been swept. In the end, washing tiles with warm water will cleanse tiles easily.
Reducing the need for cleaning
Good well-maintained entrance matting can dramatically reduce the need for cleaning. For public and office buildings about 80 to 90% of the dirt is tracked in from outside. Installing a total of 15 feet of matting consisting of both indoor and outdoor sections will remove about 80% of this. Thus about two-thirds of the dirt can be removed at the entrance. BS 7953 'Entrance flooring systems. Selection, installation and maintenance' has standards relating to barrier matting.
- Carpet cleaning
- Floor buffer
- Floor scrubbers
- Spray-and-Vac Cleaning
- Terminal cleaning
- http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/web/slips02.pdf HSE information sheet: Slips and trips: The importance of floor cleaning
- http://home.howstuffworks.com/floor-cleaning-tips.htm howstffworks: Home cleaning: Floor-cleaning Tips
- http://www.hse.gov.uk/slips/kitchens/floorcleaning.pdf HSE: Stop slips in kitchens
- http://www.leg.state.nv.us/nrs/NRS-446.html#NRS446Sec841 NRS 446.841: Use of sawdust on floors in retail meat, poultry and fish markets
- http://www.burrows.com/carpetcleaning/index.html Historic Carpet Cleaning Methods in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
- http://www.floorscrubbers.com/floor_scrubbers_buying_guide.htm Floor Machines Buying Guide
- "Wood Floor Maintenance".
- http://www.carpet-rug.org/pdf_word_docs/040504_CM_Guidelines.pdf The Carpet and rug Institute: Carpet Maintenance Guidelines
- http://www.hughescustomat.com/dirty-facts.html Hughes Customat Inc: Dirty Facts