The entrance to a public library with shadows cast by a bright sunny day.

Contributed by Kaivac, Inc.

Most cleaning professionals know that the best defense we have during the winter months to keep facilities clean and healthy is entry mats.

However, less is known on how to keep mats clean.  

“What we need to remember is what mats are designed to do,” says Matt Morrison, communications manager with Kaivac, manufacturers of the No-Touch Cleaning system.  “They are designed to capture and trap soil, moisture, and contaminants so they don't walk inside. This often makes mats more soiled than they appear.”

With this in mind, Morrison offers the following suggestions on keeping entry mats clean:

1. Before installing, make sure the floor beneath the mat is clean and dry. This protects the mat’s backing and prevents mold and mildew from developing.

2. Mats should be vacuumed throughout the day; frequency is determined by foot traffic and weather conditions. “At the very least, mats should be vacuumed once or twice per day,” says Morrison.

3. If there is heavy debris build-up, take the mat outside and sweep before vacuuming.

4. It’s best to deep-clean mats using the extraction method. This means using a carpet extractor or the carpet cleaning attachment if using a no-touch cleaning system. This attachment turns the no-touch cleaning system into a dual-surface cleaning machine.

5. Clean the bottom of the mat regularly. Take the mat to a clean, dry area, preferably outside the facility. Lay it face down and vacuum or sweep the backing. 

6. Spots should be removed as soon as they are found. This prevents spots from being walked into the facility on people’s shoes. The same is true of gum on the mat.

7. If cleaned mats need to be stored, do not roll or fold them. This can damage or weaken the backing of the mat. Instead, store them flat, one on top of another, until needed.

Morrison adds one more suggestion. “As a rule of thumb, we can never over clean mats, especially when it comes to vacuuming. The more, the better.”

For additional entry mat tips, click here.