Walk off mats play a very important role in keeping soil, grit and oily dirt out of a building. Although there are many different types and styles, most experts agree that 20 to 25 linear feet are necessary to effectively catch the soils brought in by foot traffic. Most also recommend that the outside mats should be the large loop or fiber type designed to scrape the large grit and soils from a person’s feet. Inside can be an olefin or other fiber designed to capture the finer grit and also dry the feet reducing the chance of slip/falls.


Inside mats should be vacuumed on a regular basis and cleaned thoroughly often enough to keep them clean. Dirty mats promote soiling rather than preventing it. A neglected walk off mat can actually contribute to inside soiling since a person could walk on a mat with relatively clean feet and pick up soils as they walk into the building. The outside mats should be shaken or hosed to remove the dirt for the very same reason.


In some situations, alternative processes may need to be implemented to accommodate a customer’s requirements. For instance, how would you deal with a customer who directs you not to have walk-off mats due to possible trip/fall incidents. They should first be advised that the first 25-50 feet of the building floor will suffer from the abrasion and soiling that would have been stopped by the walk off mats. 


If they still insist on not having walk-off mats it is imperative that the cleaning service go to extraordinary efforts to keep the first 40-50 feet on the entrance as clean as possible. This can be accomplished through sweeping, blowing and hosing the hard surfaces to remove as much grit and oily soils as possible. By following this procedure, at least a portion of the soils will be walked off before entering the building. 


Correct matting can keep a building cleaner and reduce labor costs.


Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.