Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Question

I clean a restaurant floor that has VCT floors. They serve fried food from 11am until 8pm. The floor, after just being stripped not two weeks before, had a haze on it. Also, there seems to be some sort of grease or something on the floor. The floors are cleaned only ONCE a day at night.I am pretty sure that part of the problem stems from the store cleaning the floors only ONCE a day and the store owner will NOT clean it more than the once a day. I have no idea of how to clean. So, I guess my questions are: 1) Is there a cleaner that can clean the grease without stripping the finish, 2) What would you recommend for cleaning a floor such as this?


Answer

I suspect your floor problem is residue from detergent and grease left on the tile after the mopping is done. The detergent may be a degreaser of some sort and highly alkaline, capable of damaging the finish.

The first step is to find a detergent compatible with the floor finish you are using. Check your supplier or the manufacturer's website.

Secondly, recognize that the cooking oils and greases are found mainly in the frying area of the kitchen or food prep counter, and if this film is all over the floor, it is the custodial people leaving it there by poor mopping.
The correction to this is to start mopping with clean solution in the part of the floor furthest away from the grease source and do the heaviest grease build-up last.
Additionally, there is a tendency to leave a lot of spent solution on the floor when mopping, and this is the source of films and slippery coatings the cloud the finish and prove a safety risk.
The correction is to do a double pick-up with a well-pressed out mop head. Simply go over the area twice with the goal of leaving as little solution on the floor as possible. Rinse the mop head well as you work and never fail to change greasy solution for fresh when the solution can no longer launder the mop.

You can always resort to the placing and agitation of the solution with a mop and then move to a wet vac for a more complete pickup leaving the floor almost dry and free from film forming residues.

It doesn't matter if you are doing the floor once a day or once a week. Your complete pick-up of the solution used to free the greasy soils will lead to a clean, residue free surface.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor