Outdoor shopping mall stores have the luxury of enjoying the bright sunlight and fresh air during the pleasant spring and fall weather, but when it comes to the winter season, they're at a definite disadvantage. Snow, sleet and other bad weather combine to create a sloppy mess on floors that's a challenge to keep clean. Add to that the increased crowds of holiday shoppers, and a busy week becomes a mixed blessing for these establishments. It's crucial to stay on top of cleaning chores throughout the day. Fall behind and you can spend hours trying to play catch-up. If you have the right tools and procedures in place, you can sail through the winter season without letting the mess overwhelm you.
Stop It Before It Starts
It's much easier to prevent a mess than to clean one up. The best time-saver you can use when it comes to winter cleaning is a set of floor mats. Buy mats large enough to cover your entire store entrance area. This will catch most of the moisture from customers' shoes and boots as they walk in. Check the mats frequently to find out when they get saturated. Having three or four sets of mats should allow you to always have a dry mat for customers to wipe their feet on. Switch out the wet mats for a dry set and hang the wet ones to dry in a back room.
A Little at a Time
Your big cleaning job at the end of the night won't be quite so exhausting if you have your team doing touch-up jobs throughout the day. A 10-minute walk-through each hour can prevent a long period of heavy cleaning when you're all tired and ready to go home. Cleaning throughout the day will also leave the store looking more impressive to all your customers, not just the ones who come in first thing in the morning.
The Right Tools
Traditional mops leave floors streaky and still wet. That's why those who mop have to put out "WET FLOOR" signs to warn customers that it's not safe to walk where they just cleaned. To clean up weather debris and salt, skip the old-fashioned tools and get a modern floor cleaning system. Professional cleaning tools will remove virtually all the soil and moisture on your floor, and will do it in less time than it takes to fill a bucket and wheel it out to the dirty floor.
Having an outdoor mall store means getting the sunshine in your windows, but it also means those windows and displays will get dirty much faster. The key to keeping your store looking good during the winter months is doing small, frequent cleaning jobs. Clean your windows daily, and more often if they need it. Add a touch of alcohol to the cleaning solution to keep the glass from icing up. Keep a snow shovel near the door and use it during any snowfall. Adding a festive bow to the shovel handle is a nice touch and turns a plain tool into a part of your winter display. Shoveling early and often is the best way to keep your walkways clear and safe. Make sure any outside displays are waterproof, and use a broom to brush snow off them as needed.
For more information on keeping the floor of your outdoor shopping mall store free of dirt and salt, click here.