Keep Floors Looking Good Despite Foot Traffic

Contributed by Kaivac.

Retailers are hoping for a busy holiday sales season, which means store floors will receive a beating over the next few months. It's up to the cleaning crews to make sure floors are looking their very best.

Retailers know the appearance of their floors are crucial to the overall customer experience. Soiled floors invariably give customers a wrong impression of a store, whereas clean and shiny floors convey a positive experience.

Maintaining retail store floors, however, can be more complicated than maintaining similar floors in other types of facilities.

"It's because of all the foot traffic, especially during the holidays," says Matt Morrison, communications manager at Kaivac. "Additionally, the ongoing mopping, scrubbing and burnishing takes a toll on the floor."

The toll Morrison is referring to are hundreds of microscopic canals that cut into the floor's surface from these forms of cleaning.

"Soil and moisture become trapped in these small canals, [along with] dust from merchandise," he says. "As it builds up, it can seriously diminish the appearance of the floor."

To remove the soiling, Morrison suggests the following:

 • Vacuum the floors; do not sweep or dust mop.

 • Avoid using mops. Mop heads become soiled as they are used, then spread soils in the floor canals.

 • Select lighter floor cleaning alternatives such as "auto-vacs."  Automatic scrubbers are heavy and can be the cause of the floor canals.

 • Use a pH-neutral, hydrogen peroxide citrus cleaning solution. These leave little or no residue that can build up in the canals on the floor.

"Once the floor has been thoroughly cleaned, the goal now is prevention," says Morrison. "Consider applying an ultraviolet (UV) floor coating to the floor. These typically are more scratch and scuff resistant and are easier on the environment as well."