It can often feel impossible trying to keep your workplace clean and spotless.
It’s not just ensuring that your employee’s desks, the communal kitchen, and breakout areas are all clean. It’s also making sure all your floors are clean, maintained, and looking brand new! Especially, in this case, tiled flooring!
While regular vacuuming and mopping is the best way to maintain the cleanliness and shine of your tiles, it will only get you 90% of the way there - of course, that is if you are cleaning them properly on a regular basis.
What about the other 10% or the leftover dirt?
How do you get rid of this build-up?
Every so often (we recommend at least once a year), your workplace tiles need a professional deep clean. This is where the 10% (build-up) gets addressed.
If you’ve ever taken a good look at your tiles, you may have noticed discoloured grout lines, the tiles original shine beginning to fade, or they are just plain dirty looking. This is what a deep clean of your tiles will fix.
Now you may be sitting at your desk and thinking, “I don’t know what the tile scrubbing process is and why I need it.” But that’s why we’re here! In this article, we’re going to go through all the questions you may have regarding tile deep cleaning so that you’ll know exactly what’s involved.
What is tile scrubbing and what does it achieve?
Wouldn’t you want your tiles looking bright and rejuvenated? Instead of dirty and discoloured?
Take a look at the tiles in your workplace. Were they once white or grey tiles now a completely different colour?
If this is the case, this is when a deep clean of your tiles is needed.
But can’t I, or my cleaner, just mop the floors really hard? That would get most of the dirt off, wouldn’t it?
No matter how thoroughly you or your cleaners mop your tiles, mopping can never remove all the dirt that is deeply ground into your tiles and grout. Because grout is a porous material, it traps any dirt and debris that comes into contact with it. While mopping will remove what we can see to the naked eye, it leaves behind the embedded dirt – this is why your tiles should be deep cleaned at least once a year.
By definition, tile scrubbing is a deep clean of the tiles that remove all germs, dirt, and grease from the tiles and grout, restoring a clean and new tile look (or at least as clean as we can get them).
Although the tile scrubbing process follows similar steps to a strip and seal, it is less complicated as you’ll soon find out.
The 6-step process to deep cleaning tile floors
How do we do what we do?
How will we clean, brighten, and rejuvenate your workplace tiles?
You’re in luck. In this section of the blog, we’re going to walk you through In-Tec Commercial Cleaning’s entire deep cleaning process from start to end.
1. Do a risk assessment
If you’ve had a read of any of our other articles on periodical cleaning, you may have noticed that our cleaners will always conduct a risk assessment of the building before they start doing any major tasks. This can include making sure where all the exits, fire extinguishers, power supply, water supply, bathrooms, etc are in the building.
In other words, they’re doing all the important behind the scenes stuff to get them prepared for the job.
While the cleaners are familiarising themselves with the site, they’re also clearing the area to remove any obstacles that may get in the way of the job at hand such as tables, chairs, etc.
But why do the cleaners need to familiarise themselves with the site? Aren’t they the same as my normal cleaners that visit every week?
To put it simply, the team members who perform tile scrubbing are different from your regular cleaners. Our cleaners who conduct periodicals like tile scrubbing are specifically trained in these tasks – they are best to perform this work.
2. Pre-vacuum the tiles
Just as you vacuum your tiles at home before you mop them, the same can be said for tile scrubbing.
If you mop a floor that has dirt, dust, or residue lying around, all you’ll be doing is pushing it around with the mop – you won’t be picking it up and in turn, you certainly won’t be cleaning the floor.
When cleaning any type of floor, a cleaner should always pre-vacuum the floor to remove any surface dirt or debris. They are also removing any visible marks, stickers, blu tack, or gum off the floor.
Basically, anything that’s either loose or stuck to the floor is taken care of to achieve optimal results later in the process.
Essentially, they are preparing the area for what’s to come.
3. Flood the floor with a cleaning chemical
Flood the floor? You’ve got me puzzled.
What do you mean by that?
Imagine the entire floor being completely wet as if you had a bucket of water and spilled it all over the floor evenly – no spot is missed.
This is done with hot water and a floor chemical that will fit best for the occasion.
Why hot water?
The hot water will generally clean better, penetrate the dirt better, and the three main chemicals In-Tec use will not be deactivated or interfered with by the hot water.
The three floor cleaning chemicals are:
PH neutral floor cleaner
Specific tile cleaning chemical
The chemicals go in order from least harsh to most harsh (don’t worry – they’re all safe on surfaces and to work with).
The reason our cleaners have three different chemicals to choose from is that they all react differently to different types of soiling and tiles.
You may think that a really dirty tiled floor needs a heavy-duty degreaser, yet the neutral chemical will work far better in some cases. This is why our cleaners have options and also why they do test patches of each chemical before they begin flooding the whole floor.
In order to see which chemical will work best for the tiles, a test patch is done with a diluted mixture of the chemicals. Each mixture is poured on 1 tile in an inconspicuous place, left to sit for a few minutes, and then scrubbed by hand.
No matter which job our cleaners are on, they are always getting the best results because of the test patches.
Is there a particular ratio of hot water and chemical used?
Yes, there is, and it all depends on the chemical itself.
For tiles that have heavy soiling (as in, are extremely dirty – typically areas where foot traffic is high), the average ratio is 15-1. This equates to 1 litre of chemical to a mop bucket.
Whereas for light soiling, the average ratio is 30-1. This equates to 500ml of chemical to a mop bucket.
I know we’ve thrown a lot of information at you in this step, so let me summarise things up for you. Once the cleaner has chosen the best chemical for the job after conducting test patches, they mix the chemical and hot water to the correct ratio and then flood the floor.
Just as most of us leave conditioner in our hair for a period of time, the same is done for the tile cleaning chemical. The chemical needs to be left alone to do its job. For tile scrubbing, it should sit and soak on the tiles for 5-15 minutes depending on how dirty the floor is.
4. Use the commercial swing machine
Before we talk about the swing machine process, you’re probably wondering what it is.
You may have seen one being used by a character in a movie or a TV show. Anyway, it is a machine that can be used to scrub floors and, in this case, thoroughly clean and remove ground-in dirt.
After the cleaners have let the tile chemical and hot water mixture sit for enough time, they need to scrub the solution to effectively loosen all the germs, dust, and dirt from the tiles and grout.
This is done via a swing machine or rotary scrubber. At In-Tec, we use a Polivac machine.
As the swing machine sways left to right, it is scrubbing the chemical with a circular pad that spins – a medium roughness pad is used.
To reach all the hard-to-reach areas and tight corners, the cleaner will use a doodlebug or eager beaver floor tool (rectangle scrubbing pads) by hand.
5. Wet and dry vacuum the floor
Hold on, we’re almost there.
Our cleaners have scrubbed the entire tiled floor, and now they need to get rid of the solution off the floor.
This is where a wet and dry vacuum comes in. It’s sucking up and getting rid of all the residue and dirt that has been scrubbed off!
Although this may seem like a simple task for the cleaners, it must be done. Otherwise, everything they’ve aimed to scrub off the tiles (germs, dirt, etc.) is left on the floor and not removed, which isn’t the point of deep cleaning tiles.
6. Mop the floor with clean water – two to three times
To remove any extra residue that may be lying around on the tiles, our cleaners will mop the floor with clean water and a disposable microfibre cover.
As soon as the floor has dried from the first mop, it is then mopped a second time, and a third if needed.
Mopping the floor also allows the cleaner to do a defect check to see if any spots on the floor may have been missed and need to be scrubbed again.
After the floor has dried from the final mop, the cleaner will then move any items back to place.
Is that what you expected from a tile deep clean?
And that’s it. A full complete breakdown of how a commercial cleaner should deep clean tiles.
Did you think it’d be simple to do? Just a quick few steps and that was it?
Deep cleaning tiles is a lot harder than just grabbing a long handle brush and scrubbing the floor.
Our cleaners follow this specific 6-step process as it does the job effectively and efficiently – it makes your tiles look new, clean, and bright.
Why you need professional tile scrubbing done
Keeping your workplace tiles clean can be a challenging task.
After all, they’re subjected to a lot of wear and tear from constantly being walked on by your employees and clients.
Have you had your tiles deep cleaned recently? If not, you may have begun to notice the colour of the grout changing and the tiles have lost their shine.
This is when you need to ask your cleaning company to perform a deep clean on your tiles. At In-Tec, scrubbing your tiled flooring is considered a periodical that needs to be done at least once a year. It is included in your scope of works so you’ll know exactly when it’s booked in!
If you have any other questions regarding tile scrubbing or any other periodical work, schedule a call with Paul or Caitlin. They’ll be able to answer all your questions and queries on the topic.