Tuway American Group recently conducted a focus group to interview a wide variety of floors in facilities (that’s right, the floors were interviewed). The objective was to better understand the complaint from the floors that they aren’t staying as clean as the day they were installed.

“We had flooring around the world telling us they weren’t clean so we decided to find out why,” said Doug Koester, President at Tuway. “We hit the streets to interview floors in foodservice, hospitality, healthcare, education and offices to ask what was causing soil buildup and slippery floors, thus requiring more time, cost and effort from cleaners.”

Tuway’s investigative team made sure to spend time with a wide variety of floor types including quarry tile, ceramic, marble, granite, and concrete. The goal was to uncover ways to reduce the time and cost to maintain a clean floor as well as the annual $6+ billion cost of slips and falls.

After some prodding the floors opened up and revealed 5 key things they want you to know about mopping:

1. Wet mop to clean a floor. One of the biggest problems Tuway heard from floors is that there isn’t enough cleaning solution being used. “I get mopped daily by a cleaner who is damp mopping me,” said a Quarry Tile floor in a restaurant. “I need to be wet mopped daily. Damp mopping is for spot cleaning. Dunk that mop into the cleaning solution, get it soaked, and don’t wring it out before cleaning me. Without enough solution there isn’t enough chemical to clean me properly.”

2. Change out the mop heads. “Change the mop heads more frequently or think about what areas you clean with one mop head,” said a Ceramic Tile floor in a hotel lobby. “I am either cleaned for a month with the same mop or they bring the dirty mop from that Quarry Tile in the kitchen that spreads grease out here on me.” In the first scenario, Tuway found that cleaners use the same mop until the soil load is so great that the mop isn’t cleaning anymore but just spreading the soil equally over the floor. In the second scenario, Tuway found that facilities either don’t have enough mops to clean the different types of areas and soils or don’t have a good process for keeping soils from transitioning to other areas.

3. Agitation is a key part of the cleaning process. “I always feel very dirty after a Friday night,” said Quarry tile. “Our restaurant is very busy and our kitchen is controlled chaos. We have deck brushes but due to the effort and time required to effectively deck brush and because bristles wear out quickly I do not get the agitation I need.” In response to this complaint Tuway recently launched Dual ToolTM whose One Step SimplicityTM lets you deck brush while you mop. With Dual ToolTM the floors dry faster, cleaning gets done faster, labor costs go down, and traction increases.

4. Chemical in a bucket shouldn’t be black. “I am always excited when I see them filling a mop bucket with clean solution. I don’t know why anybody mopping a floor thinks that a bucket full of black water is going to work,” said Granite floor in an office building. “They wouldn’t bathe in that water so why do they think it’s going to work on me?” Granite floor identified two simple solutions. First, have a good process defining when to add or change cleaning solution. Second, use a two-sided mop bucket that separates the clean solution from the dirty solution to minimize spreading soils.

5. Some mops don’t make the cut. “I don’t understand why I get mopped with a cut end versus looped end mop. They could even use a microfiber mop. Anything but a cut end,” states a Concrete floor in a retail store. “Loop end mops absorb more liquid, are virtually lint-free, and cover a wider area. Tuway realizes not everyone knows about the different types of mops so we created a short tutorial on our website,” said Doug Koester.