Published 01.15.24

Cleaner, Safer Winter for Your Business

When floors are clean, well-maintained and free of clutter or debris, they help welcome employees and customers every day.

Quick: What’s the largest surface in your building? If floors were the first thing that came to mind, you’re right. More importantly, floors serve a bigger purpose than just being functional. When they’re clean, well-maintained and free of clutter or debris, they help welcome employees and customers every day. They may not notice a sparkling clean floor, but they certainly notice a dirty and dingy one. 

A report from the International Council of Shopping Centers found that 66% of consumers ranked cleaning and sanitizing measures as the top measure that makes them feel comfortable shopping in person. It's not just customers who are impacted by a business that looks or feels dirty. A recent study from the Staples Corporation found that 94% of respondents reported feeling more productive in a clean workspace.

Dirt and debris may not be the only uninvited guest that enters your store. Germs and bacteria that cause colds, the flu and even stomach viruses are also plentiful this time of year. 

You might not think about germs on the floor being a major contributor to illness, but do you know what exactly you’re tracking in with your shoes? A researcher with the University of Arizona found that there are about 420,000 units of bacteria on the outside of your shoe and 2,887 bacteria on the inside. The most common bacteria found on shoes can cause a wide range of illnesses – from pneumonia to diarrhea, urinary tract infections to meningitis. 

“As the largest horizontal surface in a building, the floor is a breeding ground for all types of germs and contaminants. Appropriate cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting guidelines and regular floor maintenance are key components to successful infection-risk mitigation,” states Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, senior director at Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). 

Get your business readyTM for whatever the new season brings by making sure you have the right tools on hand to keep your floors shiny, clean and safe.

A floor mat: Your first defense against dirt, debris and germs
Floor mats are designed to capture and remove water, sand, dirt, salt, leaves and other debris from shoes. There are many options for floor mats, so it’s important to spend time getting to know the benefits each mat offers. The most common mats include:

  • Scraper mats. As the name implies, a scraper mat scrapes mud, salt, leaves and other debris off shoes. Best placed at entrances, these mats can help defend against messy footprints tracked across your floors. The Cintas Active Scraper® mat captures three times more dirt and debris than a standard scraper mat.
  • Carpet and microfiber mats. Standard mats help remove and hold water and debris, helping to keep your floors clean. Mats made with advanced fibers maximize the surface area – as much as 10 times the surface area of a standard carpet mat – to capture more water and offer faster drying times. 

Floor mats can also be customized with your brand’s colors, logo and even photos. Learn more about the right floor mat option for your company. 

The right cleaners, the right cleaning tools for a job well done
It’s inevitable that dirt, snow, salt, sand and debris will make their way into your business. Be prepared to quickly clean messes when they do occur. Having access to the right tools for spills and messes can help you deal with unsightly stains and spots before customers can take notice. Here are a few options to consider when stocking your supply closet with task-specific floor and surface cleaners this winter:

Cleaner and degreaser.
Most businesses need a heavy-duty cleaner and degreaser to remove messes from high-traffic areas. Be sure to have a cleaner specific to what your team may encounter – and where they’ve occurred. Select a cleaner that’s safe for your business’ floors, whether it’s unfinished vinyl and linoleum, tile, concrete, rubber and many others. Based on your business needs, you may also need to consider an industrial floor cleaner and degreaser that can remove heavy petroleum and other solvent-based solutions.

All mops aren’t created equal. It’s important to consider the types of floors in your business and the types of spills, dirt, grime and germs you may need to clean. Common mop options include microfiber and heavy-duty cotton wet mops. Microfiber mops quickly clean spills and messes between deep cleanings. A heavy-duty mop effectively (and efficiently) gets floors sparkling clean. 

Once you know the mop you need, spend time thinking about how it will be cleaned. Dirty mops can spread more dirt, germs and bacteria on your floors. A mop service can take the hassle out of cleaning mop heads. Cintas offers several mop rental services that clean and replace mop heads every week. 

Dual chamber mop buckets.
A dual-chamber mop bucket makes it easy to separate dirty water from cleaning solution. Not only does this reduce the chances of contaminating clean water with germs and dirt, but it also helps get the job done faster, with fewer trips to empty dirty water. 

To learn more about services to keep your business floor clean all winter, contact Cintas Facility Services today.