Office cleaning may seem like a relatively simple task, but like almost everything else, there is often more than meets than eye when it comes to clean office floors! Ensuring tiles are not only clean, but also sanitized and germ-free, is a science. In this article, we will take a look at the science behind clean tile floors. For more information about cleaner office spaces and commercial cleaning services, contact the experts at Kitchener Clean now!
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Office Cleaning - Are My Office Tiles Dirty?
Many offices choose tiles over carpeting due to the idea that tiles are easier to keep clean. And in a sense, that is true! Unlike carpeting, which can quickly absorb and hide liquids, food, mold, dirt, and dust, ceramic tiles are not absorbent. Because of this, tiles do not support the same level of microbial growth as carpeting. But that doesn't mean your office floors are safe from germs.
Fungi (such as mold) need a food source, usually carbohydrates, to continue growing and spreading. Since ceramic tile is not organic and not very absorbent, mold on your tiles generally will not be able to find a food source, and therefore will not last very long. You will usually not see mold on tiles unless it is in a very wet place where food sources are available, such as your shower.
Bacteria also have a difficult time spreading on tiles. Typically, bacteria will remain on the surface until the tiles dry. Once the tiles are dry, the bacteria will usually die. Though tiles themselves are not generally hospitable places for mold and bacteria, that doesn't mean your tiles aren't dirty - or full of germs!
Some bacteria can remain on your floors, especially in rainy or snowy winter weather. Employees and clients may continuously track in moisture on their boots or shoes. This can bring in not only bacteria, but food sources for the bacteria. Though tile may not be absorbent, some grout, membranes, backer boards, and other assembly materials may be just right to support microbial growth.
Source - tcnatile.com
Challenges When Cleaning Tile Floors
Though tiles themselves are relatively easy to clean and sanitize, the cleaning challenges arise from the grout. Unlike tile, grout is porous and can absorb and become home to germs, bacteria, and mold. The lines of grout are also typically lower than the tiles themselves - making it easy for liquids and dirt to slip into the grout and become forgotten.
Offices with small tiles are especially at risk for bacterial growth in the grout. This is because of a significantly higher ratio of grout to tile. Roughness on both the tile and the grout can also great more challenges for cleaners. Rough tiles with even the smallest grooves can hide dirt and make it difficult to fully sanitize - especially if someone spills something on the ground!
Some studies have found that with greater surface irregularities (such as small holes, grooves, etc) comes greater bacterial retention even after cleaning.
How To Clean Office Tile Floors - A Scientific Analysis
There are many ways to clean tile floors. However, some methods help sanitize floors better than others. In the article Cleaning Methods For Ceramic Tile Floors, researchers conducted a study to see which cleaning methods were best. Two common cleaning methods were analyzed for how well they removed bacteria from tiles.
The first method involved simply cleaning floors with a mop and bucket. The second method tested was the spray-and-vac method. With the mop and bucket method, fresh tap water was added to clean buckets. Researchers then used a clean mop to wash the floors. With the spray-and-vac method, sanitizing fluid is applied to the tiles using a spray gun. After that, a specialized vacuum extracts the fluid from the floors.
Researchers tested the different methods on grouted ceramic tiles, which are commonly found in many office spaces. After the two separate selection of tiles were cleaned with the two different methods, researchers waited 10 minutes for the floors to dry. Once dry, they collected bacterial samples.
These tests showed that the spray-and-vac method sanitized the area much more thoroughly than the mop and bucket method. The samples showed that the mop removed 50% of the initial bacterial counts, while the spray-and-vac method removed nearly 90%. Even with hospital grade disinfectant applied to the mop, the mop still left behind significant amounts of bacteria.
When the disinfectant was used with the spray-and-vac method, the bacterial count showed only 0.8% at the grout line - this means that the spray-and-vac method was almost 60x more effective than the mop and bucket method! They study also showed that although the grout typically presents the most challenges for disinfecting tile, the spray-and-vac method did not show significant difficulty removing bacteria from the grout.
Source - cemag.com
How Do I keep My Office Floors Clean?
If you have been cleaning your tile floors with just a mop and bucket, you may be leaving behind significant levels of dirt and bacteria. However, keep in mind that mopping itself is not a problem! Mopping, when done correctly and while using the right materials, is a great way to maintain floors and help stop the spreading of germs. Here are some tips to help you keep your floors cleaner and more sanitary:
- Vacuum Regularly - This will help remove dirt and grit that may become lodged in the grout and aid bacterial growth
- Use Grout Cleaner - Consider using a specialized grout cleaner to keep your floors like better and stop grout from absorbing germs
- Avoid Using Sponge Mops - Sponge mops can actually push dirt and grime further into your grout, so it's best to use a string mop instead
- Change Water Bucket Often - Don't mop large areas of tile without changing your water bucket! Make sure you use clean water, even if that means changing the water frequently
Mopping can help keep your floors cleaner. However, as we saw in the study above, mopping does not provide a deeper clean that really gets into the grout. When you work with a professional, experienced commercial cleaning company, you can be sure that your floors are receiving proper care, maintenance, and sanitation when necessary.
At Kitchener Clean we offer a Total Office Care Program. As part of our Total Office Care Program, your tile floors will be cared for and maintained on a regular basis with regular vacuuming and mopping. We also work with our clients to schedule regular deep cleaning of your tile floor, as well an interim Auto Scrubbing of your tile floors.
Kitchener Clean also provides office floor tile deep cleaning as a one time service. Over time, even if you are diligent with your vacuuming and daily mopping, dirt, salt and other materials become embedded in your tile and grout.
A tile floor deep cleaning can greatly help with the appearance and longevity of your tile floor. Our experts can clean your tile and grout flooring, using a combination of equipment and cleaning solutions to bring them back to a “nearly new” state.
Working with commercial cleaners helps ensure that your office not only looks clean, but is clean. Commercial cleaners know the difference between a "clean-looking" floor and truly clean, sanitized, and sparkling tile.
Looking For Commercial Cleaners In Kitchener?
Kitchener Clean is a locally owned and operated family business, so we treat our customers like we would treat our own family - with respect. We value integrity, consistency, and thoroughness with all of our clients. We also use non-toxic cleaning methods to keep you, your staff, and your clients breathing cleaner!
Did you know that Kitchener Clean started out as a home cleaning company? Today we are still firmly committed to cleaning your office as thoroughly as we would our own home. We are also dedicated to great customer service, honesty, and integrity.
At Kitchener Clean, we believe that our Office Care Technicians are a key reason we are so successful. We strive to hire the best Office Care Professionals in the business. We take security seriously so all of our staff are bonded and have undergone police checks.
Our reputation is important to us, so we guarantee all of our services. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, simply contact us and we will return within 24 hours to address your concern at no additional cost.
We even guarantee our response time. If we haven’t responded to any client communication within 24 hours of receiving it, we will offer you a free week of Office Care. That is how strongly we feel about the importance of communication and customer satisfaction. We will always stand behind our work. We guarantee it.
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