Once loose soil is removed from the floor, you can move to wet cleaning.  Wet cleaning is designed to remove soil that has bonded to the surface and needs solvent, chemical and mechanical action to remove it. There are four variables that contribute to the effectiveness of wet cleaning. They are Temperature, Agitation, Concentration, and Time. This is usually denoted by the acronym “T.A.C.T.”  You can adjust your cleaning approach by modifying any one of these four factors.   

The key is to adjust your approach based on the type of wet cleaning you want.  There are five levels of wet cleaning: 1) light regular maintenance, 2) heavy regular maintenance, 3) light periodic maintenance, 4) heavy periodic maintenance, and 5) restorative strip out. These approaches differ in how aggressively they attack the floor service and how much floor finish they are supposed to remove. These will be examined in more detail in later updates.

For starters, let's look at the first two variables of wet cleaning: temperature and agitation. 

Temperature - Generally speaking, the higher the temperature, the more aggressive the cleaning action.  Hot water creates more chemical reaction than cold water.  As you move from light cleaning to heavy cleaning, the temperature should rise so long as hot water does not damage the item/ surface being cleaned.

Agitation - There are two ways to impact the agitation. The type of pad used will impact the agitation.  Generally speaking, the darker the floor pad, the more aggressive (abrasive) it is and the more finish it will take off the floor.  (Consult with your distributor since different manufacturers use different pad color schemes denoting how aggressive a pad may be)  The second factor is the weight of the machine.  The heavier the machine, (all other things being equal) the more aggressive the agitation.  If you are using an auto-scrub machine, it may have a pad adjustment so that weight is not the only way of managing the cleaning process.  Brush systems are another option we will consider later.

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  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.