Let's face it, cleaning a commercial kitchen floor is one of the most difficult jobs in the professional cleaning industry. The reason for this is you really can never get on top of the soiling. You may have done a terrific job last night, the floor looks great, but come tonight it’s a total disaster once again.
Here are some tips that can make this job a bit easier:
- Have a system. When cleaning commercial kitchen floors it is very important to have a systematic procedure. This saves time and ensures all areas are cleaned properly.
- Before you begin cleaning a commercial kitchen floor, make sure the floor drains are operating properly. Most likely, you'll be using a lot of water – and dealing with a lot of soiled water that you want removed from the floor as quickly as possible.
- Remove all floor mats from the floor.
- Sweep the floor clean. Sometimes cleaning professionals try to skip this step. But here's the problem. If you hose down a commercial kitchen floor and it has not been swept, you'll soon be hosing down soil which will gather under counters, stoves, refrigerators, etc. Health inspectors always check these areas. If you mop it, it just spreads the soils.
- If using a properly diluted degreaser, be sure and give the degreaser a few minutes to work. A degreaser needs time to emulsify (dissolve) grease, soils, and oil to be effective. However, be careful. The floor will likely be very slippery at this point.
- You have a couple of ways to apply the degreaser or a cleaning solution to a commercial kitchen floor. Either it can be poured (diluted with water) into a mop bucket and then mopped on to the floor, or it can be applied to the floor using a self-dispensing trolley bucket.
The first option is the most common, but is the least effective, and is potentially dangerous. The problem is that the mop water and the mop become saturated with grease, oil, soap, and soil. Cleaning effectiveness drops significantly.
With a self-dispensing bucket, fresh cleaning solution is dispensed directly to the floor through a spigot at the bottom of the bucket. It never gets soiled. A deck brush can be used for agitation to loosen soils.
- If using a mop and bucket, typically the next step is to allow the floor to air dry. However, if the mop and mop bucket have collected grease, soil, and chemical residue in the cleaning process, those soils are now drying to the floor. These dried soils can coat the floor and soak into grout lines, making the floor slippery and unsanitary.
A more effective option when cleaning a commercial kitchen floor is to vacuum the floor, removing all soil, moisture, and residual cleaning chemical. This is recommended especially when floor drains are not functioning properly. This can be accomplished using a suitable wet/vac or a dispense-and-vac cleaning system. This is also an effective way to reach and remove oil, debris and liquid underneath stoves, refrigerators, counters, etc. See it in action.
- Once floors have dried, examine the floor for any remaining soil and make sure there are no slippery areas. Some commercial kitchen floors have inclines and declines; it is these areas that can become slippery and where a slip-and-fall accident is possible.
For more information on cleaning commercial floors and other types of floor, contact the company.
Robert Kravitz is a former building service contractor, having owned, operated, and then sold three contract cleaning companies in Northern California.
He is the author of two books about the industry and continues to be a frequent writer for the industry.
Robert is now president of AlturaSolutions Communications, which provides communications and marketing services for organizations in the professional cleaning and building industries.