My Floors look Better Dirty than Clean

On many occasions, after professionally cleaning a customer’s floors they will say, “my floors looked better dirty than clean.” To be honest, it happens more often than most would like to admit. So what just happened? The fact is, most floors have the same problem. They have been maintained the same way for decades creating the illusion of clean when they really are polluted.

Most floors are mopped so many times that just the “putting water on the floor” and allowing it to evaporate leaves behind a very damaging calcium build up. Then we add chemicals to the mix and who knows what the floor will look like when it is deep cleaned. For a great visual of this damage, get a rag, wet it, ring it out, wipe over a window and let air dry. Give it a few minutes and look at it, a film will clearly be present. Multiply that by a hundred or even a thousand and imagine what you will have. In fact, if you mop the floor 3 times a day, 362 days a year you have put water, chemicals, dirt, grease, etc. on your floor 1,086 times in one year leaving behind significant calcium buildup that is covered by the black haze. So when the black haze is removed it usually uncovers a floor that is chalky and inconsistent in appearance leaving customers scratching their heads, saying “my floor looks better dirty than clean.”

Recently, I documented 6 new or newly remodeled restaurants that opened the doors for business and within four months all 6 location’s grout had turn from the original color to jet black (Fig A.). Now, imagine a period of a year or five years, not only will the grout be black but there will be a haze covering the entire floor which gives it a consistent look making it appear clean. This, of course, could not be further from the truth. Usually, by this point, most people in the organization don’t even know what color the floor or grout actually was. When asked, most if not all, will say black was the original color of their grout.

Just look down, what color is your grout, what color is your used mop water? A great rule of thumb to remember is used mop water is a window into your floor condition. Dark or black mop water equals a dirty floor where as relatively clean mop water means you have a clean floor. The only way to offset the damage done by mopping is to effectively scrub the floor on a regular basis.

Learn very simple rules and tools needed to maintain a clean, safe floor condition for your customer and employees by visiting It is easier to maintain a clean floor than it is to clean a dirt floor.

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