Entry mats, which should be installed at all commercial facilities, are typically vacuumed on a regular basis. The cleaner a mat is, the more effective it will be at preventing dust, grit and soils from entering your facility, keeping interior spaces fresh and clean.
However, cleaning professionals often overlook the need to clean the bottom or backing of matting, which are typically made of a vinyl or rubber material.
"Soils and moisture can accumulate under the mat," says JoAnne Boston, business development head at Crown Mats and Matting. "This can harm the floor below [the mat]; what's more, if the backing is damp, mold and mildew can develop, which can harm the mat as well as indoor air quality."
Boston suggests that the bottoms of mats for both indoor and outdoor use should be cleaned at least once per week, more frequently in busy locations or during incremental weather conditions.
Here are some steps that should be taking to clean the bottoms of floor mats:
• Vacuum the top of the mat first to remove dust and loose soiling.
• Take the mat to a clean, designated area — preferably outside the facility — and lay it out flat face down.
• Vacuum or sweep the backing.
• Using a damp mop or cleaning wipe and a mild cleaning solution, mop/clean the back of the mat.
• Allow it to dry completely.
• Sweep/vacuum and clean the area where the mat was installed
• Return the mat to its normal location.

"In the process, take a few minutes to examine the mat," adds Boston. "High-performance mats can last for years, but in time they might start to tear, fray, or develop worn areas. When this happens, it's time to start thinking about selecting a new mat."