By Anne Baley

How to Clean Scuff Marks From Commercial Floors

Figuring out how to clean scuff marks can be one of the biggest challenges of commercial floor care. The blemishes can be caused by black rubber shoe soles, rubber furniture leg covers, and even rubber wheels from carts and strollers.


These black smears or streaks won't come up with regular mopping, so they have to be treated separately. While there are multiple methods, you have to keep the type of floor you're cleaning in mind before proceeding with the job.


Wood Flooring


Many school gyms have wood flooring, and scuff marks from shoes are common. Deciding how to clean scuff marks from wood isn't so easy because many cleaning solutions can damage the finish. In addition, cleaning tools with rough surfaces can scratch wooden floors. The answer is to keep the cleaning technique as gentle as possible.


Begin with the old janitor's trick of cutting an X into a tennis ball and pushing it onto the end of a broomstick. Use this ball as a giant scuff mark eraser. Often, this is all you need to do, but if it doesn't work, try pouring orange oil cleaner on the scuff mark. Allow it to soak in, then wipe it up with a paper towel. The cleaner can leave the floor slippery, so clean your floor as usual directly afterward. The key to successfully cleaning scuff marks from a wooden floor is to sweep the floor thoroughly first, so that you don't end up rubbing any dirt or sand into the floor while you're scrubbing.


Tile Flooring


Commercial tile flooring is pretty tough, but it can be especially vulnerable to black scuff marks. Luckily, you can try a greater variety of solutions on vinyl tile floors. Use the tennis ball tool for the lightest scuff marks. For more significant scuffs, spray WD-40 on the mark and allow it to soak in for about 10 minutes. You should be able to wipe away the mark directly afterward. After using this method, it's wise to clean your flooring in the normal manner to prevent slips and falls. Use a cleaning machine that vacuums soil and moisture from the floor for the best results.


Concrete Flooring


Commercial garages typically have concrete flooring, but high-end office buildings are moving toward glossy cement floor finishes, too. Black marks seem to gravitate to concrete flooring, but, luckily, there are tools that work extremely well on these surfaces. The best for smaller marks is a scrub pad holder with a long handle and a swivel head. For larger scuffs, orange oil cleaner works well on concrete floors, but it's important to clean the floor afterward, as it can become slippery after this treatment.


For more information on keeping commercial floors clean, click here.

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