The greatest damage to finished floors comes from abrasive soils tracked in from the outside on people’s shoes. A little known fact is that one grain of sand has 32 cutting edges. This grit, sand grinds away at the floor finish, causing it to degrade at an accelerated rate. This damage can be greatly reduced by stopping the dirt as it enters the building by removing it from footwear with an entrance matting system. A proper matting system, designed for your facility is an essential part of any Green Cleaning program, preventing this soil and grit from entering the facility and damaging both the hard and soft floor surfaces.


• Exterior/Outdoor matting must be cleaned free of debris on a weekly schedule.

• Vacuum matting daily with CRI certified vacuums, either upright or backpack.

• Maintain both the face and backing of the matting to insure proper wear and performance.

• Inspect all matting for tears, cuts and or any other damage which could result in ‘Risk Management’ issues.

• Routinely remove soil and debris by using pile lifting units on a regular basis, via approved chemical methods according to manufacturer’s recommendations.


• Start with an outside mat, made from recycled rubber known as a “Scraper Mat”.

• Next should be a “Scraper/Dryer” mat manufactured with P.E.T., i.e.: reclaimed plastic drink bottles. These must employ a permanent bi-level, multidirectional type construction.

• Finally, a finishing or drying mat is used to remove fine debris and moisture from shoes. This mat face fiber should be made from P.E.T. as well if possible.

A professional Green Cleaning program starts before an individual ever sets foot in a facility, continuing without anyone taking any immediate action upon a guest entering, but continues until they leave.


David Thompson is a 40-year veteran of the cleaning industry and author of “The New Generation of Cleaning”, a best Practices Guide for Environmental Health Services. Thompson is also president of the Green Clean Institute. His book can be found at while the GCI coursework and certification courses have a home at