Choosing the right commercial entrance matting to buy is the first step to cleaner, safer flooring in your building – but it’s only half the work to be done! Dirty matting, no matter how high quality, is ineffective matting. But fortunately, it’s not hard to keep your entrance matting clean and working its best! The cleaner you keep your entrance matting, the longer it will last and the more effective it will be at keeping your interior spaces fresh and clean.
Start at the Top, and Work Your Way Down
Start with the simplest of all maintenance: a good vacuuming! Quality entrance matting is designed to hide dirt as well as hold it, so you’d be surprised at just how filthy an entrance mat that looks clean actually can be! Regular vacuuming is the easiest way to keep your entrance matting working well and will extend its service life by a substantial amount. The frequency of vacuuming is determined by how much traffic the mat sees – a primary entrance to a shopping mall or office building should be vacuumed daily (at least!), whereas a secondary or tertiary entrance may only need it once or twice a week. Deep cleaning via hot water extraction should be done quarterly or monthly, depending on traffic volumes; spot cleaning for stains and gum should be done as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.
Once you’ve got the face side of your matting clean, it’s time to work on the underside! Many maintenance staff forget that the underside of entrance matting needs cleaning too. Dirt, moisture, and sand can accumulate underneath the mat over time, which has three harmful consequences:
- These contaminants can act like sandpaper and abrade the finished floor surface, causing premature wear.
- They can act like tiny ball bearings, causing your matting to migrate and potentially become a slipping hazard itself!
- Moisture can turn into mold and mildew, creating air quality problems and general sense of poor housekeeping.
Fortunately, cleaning the underside of your matting is simple and easy! This is how you do it:
- Vacuum the face side of the mat first to remove loose dirt.
- Take the mat to a designated cleaning area — preferably outside the facility — and lay it out flat face down.
- Sweep off loose sand and dirt from the backing, and then vacuum to remove remaining dust and soil.
- Using a vinyl-safe or rubber-safe cleaning solution, wipe down the back of the mat with a clean mop or cleaning cloth.
- Allow the mat to completely dry before flipping it back over! This step is essential – if you put a damp mat back into service, you end up creating the problem you’re trying to avoid! If the mat isn’t too large, hang it up like laundry to help drying.
- Sweep, vacuum, and wet mop the area where the mat is normally installed. Allow the area to completely dry before returning the mat to service!
- Return the mat to its normal location once the floor and the mat backing is fully dry.