Maintenance is Key

Entrance matting starts to collect dirt from the moment it’s installed – that’s what it’s there for! But to keep your mat working to its fullest capacity, you need to start maintaining it from the very beginning. The nylon and polypropylene fibres used in our entrance matting grabs dirt and water from incoming foot traffic and traps it within the mat until it is removed by regular maintenance. Until you remove that dirt, it will start to build up and make your entrance mat less effective at stopping dirt at the door – so begin your maintenance program immediately!

We recommend the following guide as a basis for planning your matting maintenance program, but be sure to fine-tune it according to the specific needs of your facility:

It’s also important to make sure that maintaining other areas of your floor doesn’t adversely impact your matting! When waxing/polishing or otherwise using a floor machine on areas near your entrance mat, we recommend removing your entrance mat from the vicinity so that the entire area can be effectively cleaned. Contact between your mat’s vinyl edging and the moving parts of a rotary floor machine will severely damage the mat’s edging over time and can even tear the edging right away from the mat’s backing!

Routine Maintenance


Most maintenance programs employ only a small amount of vacuuming and spend a great deal of time on hot water extractions. Unfortunately, hot water extraction is one of the most expensive maintenance methods – it requires more man-hours, more expensive equipment, and more costly chemicals than vacuuming. Vacuuming with a powerful commercial vacuum cleaner requires fewer man hours and NO chemicals. Done effectively, vacuuming can remove 85% of the soil in your entrance mat. This leaves more time for the maintenance crew to focus on effective spot cleaning, resulting in less chemical usage and less time wasted.

To properly plan for carpet matting maintenance, it is important to know the types of soils one is trying to remove. Proctor and Gamble conducted a carpet soiling study and found the following typical soils found in textile flooring:

  • 79%: Insoluble soils, sand, quartz, clay, carbon
  • 10%: Petroleum, oils, grease, tar, animal and vegetable oil
  • 6%: Sugar, starch, salts
  • 5%: Moisture, unknown residues

It is important to note that 85% of soil is dry and is removed through routine vacuuming. Vacuuming is the most effective way to remove soil! Vacuuming any entrance areas at least once (preferably twice for very high traffic areas) daily will help to reduce the level of soil being tracked into other areas. As a rule, make at least eight to ten vacuum passes over the entire area of the mat. Vacuum with slow, deliberate passes both forward and backward. Slow movement allows time for air to circulate through the carpet and extract the soil. At least eight passes (forward and backward) on the same area is required to effectively extract loose dirt.

Your Sunbear entrance mat is made of polypropylene fibres with a waterproof vinyl backing. Polypropylene is not an inherently-absorbing fibre, so Sunbear mats hold water like a shallow tray, not a sponge. Extremely wet conditions with high traffic can cause the incoming volume of water to exceed the holding capacity of the mat; when that happens, your mat will not be able to do its job as designed. To assist in the drying process and to make your mat effective again, use an extractor or a wet vacuum (Shop Vac) to remove as much water as possible from the mat.

Routine Maintenance

Spot Cleaning

Spot cleaning is vitally important to prevent temporary blemishes from becoming permanent.  Removing stains and foreign contaminants from your mat as soon as possible will help prevent permanent damage.

For solid substances, gently scrape away as much of the contaminant as possible using a soft bristle brush or the edge of a spoon.

Liquid spills should be dabbed using white blotting paper or a terrycloth towel, repeating until the paper/towel is no longer wet.  Do not rub or push down on the spot – always blot gently, moving in a circular motion from the outside of the spot towards the inside and with an upward motion.  Keep blotting until you cease to get transfer from the mat to your paper/towel.

Add a small amount of water to the spot.  (Hot spills should be removed with water the same temperature.)  Do not soak the stain – add just enough water to get transfer of the spot to your paper/towel.  Repeat this process as long as you get transfer of the spot.

For stains that have dried, use a small hand-held extractor for spot cleaning.  Attempt to remove the stain with only water at first; if this is unsuccessful, use a minimal amount of commercially-available spot remover.  Rinse the mat until no suds come back out of it to extract all cleaning products – it’s important that you do not leave any spot remover residue behind!  Allow the area to dry before walking on it.

Warning!  Do not use chlorinated cleaning solutions, quaternary solutions, petroleum distillates, or solvent-based cleaners on your matting!

Routine Maintenance

Pile Lifting

A pile lifter is a “vacuum on steroids.” Pile lifting breaks up packed down dirt and removes 10% more dirt than vacuuming. That means that 95% of the soil in carpet is removed by vacuuming and pile lifting – and without the use of chemicals or wet cleaning methods!

Use a pile lifter that has sufficient suction to lift the pile and enhance the vacuuming process.  Use high efficiency filter media.  Pile lift slowly and deliberately so the pile is lifted to an erect position.  Test the speed of machine travel based on matting pile and density.

Deep Cleaning

Hot Water Extraction

We recommend quarterly deep cleaning of your entrance matting via hot water extraction.  While a thorough vacuuming program can help keep your matting working well, hot water extraction helps to remove the stubborn, ground-in deep dirt that vacuuming just can’t remove.

Heavily soiled areas may require scrubbing with a nylon brush before hot water extraction.  Your hot water extraction machine should also be able to heat the water to between 150° and 180° for the most-effective cleaning.  For your first pass, perform a hot water extraction using water only.  Do not put any cleaning chemicals into the extractor tank.

The secret to cleaning chemicals is not how much, but how long!  Dwelling time in your mat, not the amount of chemical used, is what’s important to be effective.  A few ounces of chemical cleaner dwelling 5-10 minutes in your mat will be much more effective than applying ten times as much chemical cleaner and immediately extracting.

Perform a clear-water rinse following the deep cleaning extraction.  Follow each wet pass with a minimum of three dry passes to extract all the cleaner.  Remember, the purpose of cleaning chemicals is to attract dirt – chemicals left behind in your mat will cause rapid re-soiling!  It’s vital that you remove all cleaning chemicals introduced into your mat during hot water extraction.  Delay your final dry pass by a few minutes to allow final wicking, and run this final dry pass perpendicularly to the other passes.

Allow your mat to fully dry before returning it to service.  Fans or air movers can help accelerate the drying process – most mats can fully dry in approximately 3-4 hours after being properly hot water extracted.

Don’t forget the floor underneath!

No mat is able to trap 100% of the dirt entering a building 100% of the time.  This means that eventually some dirt will accumulate around the edges of the mat and usually end up being swept, brushed, or kicked underneath it.  These dirt particles trapped between your hard floor and the mat backing can act like tiny ball bearings, allowing your mat to ‘walk’ in the same direction as foot traffic over time.

To prevent your mat from ‘walking’, lift and move the mat to vacuum and damp mop underneath it and to remove the dirt accumulation.  This should be done as frequently as you maintain the rest of your hard flooring in this area.  Removing this dirt will also help prevent damage to your hard flooring surface underneath.  Ensure that you allow the floor to completely dry after damp mopping to prevent the potential growth of mold or bacteria.

Storage & Handling

Rolling & Storing Mats for Extended Periods

If you have to store your entrance mat for an extended period of time, please be sure to store it in the correct manner for your mat.  The backing on entrance matting is stiffer and less flexible than other kinds of flooring, so special care must be taken to prevent damage during storage.  Store your entrance mat loosely rolled up, and preferably with a heavy cardboard tube inside to help it retain its shape.  Roll your mat with the traffic side facing out.  Never stand your rolled mat upright on its end, as this can damage the vinyl edging and cause bubbling when the mat is re-laid; lay your rolled mat flat on its side, and ensure that no other objects are stacked on top of it.  Logo mats should NOT be stored rolled up as rolling can break the bond between the logo and the backing and cause the logo to detach.

Logo Mats Need Special Care

You’ve made an investment in the appearance of your facility through the purchase of a logo mat, and these mats require a little special care to keep them looking their best.

Take special care in moving these mats for cleaning.  Remember, the logo present in your mat is made up of individual pieces of matting that have been custom cut and hand-fit into your mat; your mat is not a single, homogenous piece of material.  Never tightly roll up a logo mat to move it, and never store a logo mat in a rolled up state.  To move your logo mat to clean the floor underneath it, loosely curl it into the largest roll practical and unroll it while you are cleaning the area.  Roll your mat with the traffic side facing out.  If you need to store your logo mat, store it lying flat – never leave it rolled up for extended periods of time.  Never bonnet buff your logo mats – you could tear the logo right out!





Blake Lennox
Blake Lennox
I reached out to Source Floor & Specialities to make a custom door mat for my business. The mat arrived last week and it looks fantastic. High quality and customer response has been great!It was fast and easy to organize! Thanks again.
Melissa McComb
Melissa McComb
Working with Crystal has been an absolute pleasure! She has been thorough and helpful beyond all expectations. I would highly recommend using this company!
Daria Laforet
Daria Laforet
Excellent service and quality!
It was such a pleasure doing business with Source Floor. They were super responsive, helpful, reliable, and did a great install of the exact product we needed. They also worked within our budget which is always appreciated as we are a non-profit. Highly recommend!
Claire Helm
Claire Helm
These guys are the best! We ordered two of their custom / branded inlaid commercial doormats. Let me just say these are incredible quality, heavy duty design - I'm 100% confident they'll stand the test of time. Service was top notch, shipping and turnaround were unbelievably fast... I honestly can't recommend them enough! And they're Canadian to boot! Can't wait to get these mats to the new office. Thanks Source Floors 🙂



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