Let’s admit for a minute that most of us don’t notice the floors in a business we visit unless they are truly filthy or unmaintained. In fact, one of the best testimonials a commercial cleaner can get is, “I didn’t even notice!”
Why is that? Because a high standard of cleanliness allows people visiting a business to focus on the reason they are there, not considering if they should go elsewhere for a more comfortable environment.
Tile floors can present a unique challenge to businesses occupying large spaces with them. Grout can easily become dingy and unappealing to look at, and individual broken tiles can really spoil the look of a large area.
So, what is the best way to clean tile floors in a commercial space? Here are several techniques that are tried and true for commercial cleaning companies:
1. Determine the finish on the tile first.
Shiny finishes on smooth tiles need very gentle cleaning solutions, whereas matte, or unglazed finishes can usually support a harsher chemical. Some businesses prefer to use cleaning products that are kind to the environment.
If grease of any kind is used in these kinds of businesses, be sure that you have a good soap and some vinegar on hand to cut through stubborn spots.
2. Try to estimate the age of both grout and tile.
Grout tends to discolor over time, and depending on what chemicals have been used before now, can even begin to wear down and streak onto the tile surface. So, an old grout may require a more careful treatment both chemically and with whatever tool you are using to do the scrubbing.
3. Weigh how much time you want to spend on the floor against whether hand tools or a machine would be best.
If the tiles are at all fragile, be sure that any machine being used is not too heavy for the tile Keep in mind, hand tools can often be quicker in medium sized and small spaces, because there is no doubling back to be sure the edges and corners weren’t missed.
4. Have a variety of scrubbing tools available for spills and spots.
Flat head mops are usually best to avoid pools of dirty water accumulating in thicker or deeper grout lines. Having a small scrub brush with soft bristles, and one with stiff bristles, on hand will make a sticky mess easier to deal with any day.
5. In high traffic areas, be sure to clean the corners and untraveled areas every time.
The heavily-travelled tiles will eventually show wear anyways, but if things are always cleaned with the same solution, the difference will not be noticeable for longer.
6. Invest in a steam mop.
There is almost no tile surface that will not look better for a steam cleaning. Most steam mops are light enough that they will not damage tile, and have a variety of mop heads for different finishes.
Also, it will cut down the amount of soap you need to use, and keep those tiles looking sparkly new for longer!