Many people erroneously think that bleach and other potent disinfectants are cleaners when they usually are not.

A reader asks: "Our manager has dictated that we convert to a strong disinfectant for the veterinary clinic we service. Now he is complaining the floors are not shiny as they used to be.
Any ideas?"

This is a continuation from a prior article. From the information this reader provided it appears that he has converted to a disinfectant that is not combined with any detergency.

Disinfectants can have a serious impact on the shine/gloss/durability of many floor finishes. Once you determine the pH of the chemical in question you can better decide how to proceed. For instance, if the product has a pH of 10-13 it is a relatively hot chemical that will seriously damage most conventional floor finishes. Remember that strippers have a pH of 10-13 in most cases and cannot be used on a floor unless the finish is actually being removed.

If the product has a pH or 6.5-8 then there may be other issues since it should be usable in most cases. If the product has pH less than 6 then it is acidic and can seriously damage the shine/durability of many water based floor finishes in its own way.

If the customer insists on using this product with clear evidence that it is damaging the floor finish, ask them to allow you to strip the floor and maintain it to a matte finish using brushes and perhaps diamond pads if appropriate.

I suggest you calculate the total costs in maintaining a high gloss shine while using the disinfectant in question. Try to get the customer to understand that your suggestion is a trade off for a win/win outcome. 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