Dan Carr

By: Dan Carr on November 1st, 2021

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How to Clean Commercial Entry Mats in 6 Easy Steps

Did you know you can save between $600-$1200 per pound of soil removal by using a properly maintained entryway matting system?

Removing dirt from your facility’s floors through sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping is time-consuming and costly, but using entry mats can dramatically reduce the presence of tracked dirt on your floors helping to save you money on removal costs.

Entry mats can stop up to 90% of dirt from getting into your facility by removing dirt and soil from guests’ shoes when they enter your facility.

However, in order to be effective, your entry mats must be clean.

Clean commercial entry mats ensure that your floors are thoroughly protected against the presence of any dirt and debris.

When mats get too full of moisture, dirt, and debris, they can be ineffective in removing dirt from shoes. Cleaning your mats regularly can guarantee that you’re preventing as many soils from being tracked into your facility as possible.

By preventing dirt from entering your facility your floors can remain unscratched and the life of your floors is extended by the lack of abrasive soils being dragged across your floor finish. Eliminating scratched and dull floors reduces the need for more frequent floor maintenance, which saves you money on labor.

In this article and video, we’ll give you the steps to clean your commercial entryway matting system to keep your facility’s floors as clean as possible.

How to Clean Commercial Entry Mats: 6 Steps

Your mats should be cleaned at least once a day to make sure that the debris and moisture collected over the course of the day are removed.

Depending on the amount of foot traffic that an area receives, you may need to clean your entry mats more than once a day. If you’re noticing that your mats appear soiled or your floors are wet from shoes tracking in moisture, it’s probably a sign that your mats should be cleaned more frequently.

Cleaning your commercial entry mats requires a combination of cleaning practices to make sure that mats are cleaned properly.

Preparing to Clean

It’s important to have all of the needed tools, supplies, and PPE before beginning any cleaning procedures.

Tools:

  • Wet/Dry Vacuum or Upright Vacuum
  • Carpet Extractor or Wet/Dry Vacuum 
  • Pump Up/Trigger Sprayer

Supplies:

  • Heavy Duty Cleaner or Floor Neutralizer
  • Carpet Extractor Rinse

PPE:

  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles

To clean your commercial entry mats, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Remove Mats

Your mats should be removed from the floor before they are cleaned. Lifting from the borders, roll your mat inward with the edges pointed up to contain dirt.

If your entry mats are large or heavy, have two people remove the mat to avoid injury.

In the event that your mats are attached to your floors, skip to step 4.

Step 2: Sweep or Vacuum Under Your Mats

CERTO HEPA Dual Motor Upright VacuumWhile your mats are being cleaned, you should clean the floor where your mats are usually placed. 

Sometimes dirt can get under the backing of your mats. If this dirt isn’t cleaned, it could lead to your commercial floor mats shifting when people walk on them. Dirt can build up and create a layer that shifts and moves your entry mats when they’re walked over.

Unclean floors can also lead to damage from crushed dirt and debris being ground into your floors.

Using a broom or a vacuum, make sure that you are removing all of the dirt and debris from the floor in your facility’s entryway.

Step 3: Shake Out Mats

Commercial entry mats can have dirt and debris trapped in the fibers or water dams (the protective border of your matting).

Loosening and removing the trapped dirt ensures that mats can continue to trap and contain dirt.

To shake out mats, ensure that there are at least 25 feet between the mat you’re shaking out and the entrance to your facility to avoid soils being reentering the facility with foot traffic.

Shaking out your mats redeposits dirt into the air and onto the ground outside of your facility. 

If you shake your mats out too close to the entrance of your building or in the direct line of the entryway, dirt can re-enter the facility when occupants walk through the soils that have been removed from your mats.

Once you’ve shaken your mats out, bring them back into your facility to vacuum them.

Step 4: Vacuum Mats

Vacuuming your entry mats can remove any dirt that has been embedded into them.

In dry conditions, you can use an upright vacuum with a brush roller to complete routine vacuuming.

If it’s raining, snowing, or generally wet outside, you should use a wet/dry vacuum to avoid damaging your upright vacuum. Upright vacuums are not designed to handle picking up moisture and can be damaged if they’re used to remove wet soils.

Step 5: Use A Carpet Extractor to Clean Entry Mats, As Necessary

Clarke EX40™ 18LX Carpet ExtractorDepending on the type and level of soils, your mats will need to be extracted as necessary to remove deeply embedded soils. You will likely not need to extract your mats every time you clean them. 

If you’ve noticed that your mats have embedded soils and stains that aren’t being removed during daily cleaning, it may be time to clean your mats using a carpet extractor.

Before cleaning your mats using a carpet extractor, make sure that mats have been thoroughly vacuumed to remove any excess dirt and debris from the surface of the mat.

Below, we will outline the steps to using a carpet extractor to clean your entry mats. 

Part 1: Use a Pump-up Sprayer to Apply Carpet Cleaner

To extract your mats, you should use a pump-up sprayer to apply heavy-duty carpet cleaner at the proper dilution. In general, the correct dilution for a carpet cleaner is 1 oz of solution per gallon of water but always check the product label before use.

During the winter months, salt and ice melt can leave your mats with white salt swirls that are unsightly. Removing these swirls from your entry mats can reduce their dirty appearance.

In the event that you need to remove salt and ice melt stains from your entry mats, you should use a floor neutralizer in place of a heavy-duty carpet cleaner.

Part 2: Allow Solution to Dwell

Once the mat has been sprayed with the appropriate cleaning chemical, it’s important to let the solution sit for the required dwell time. This is typically several minutes. 

To find the appropriate dwell time, check the product label.

Part 3: Use the Carpet Extractor to Rinse Your Mats

After allowing the solution to sit, use a carpet extractor that has been filled with water and extraction rinse. 

You should never apply floor neutralizer with a carpet extractor. Doing so will not allow the neutralizer to dwell, leading to an ineffective cleaning procedure. 

For more in-depth steps on removing ice melt from your mats, read our full article: How to Remove Ice Melt and Salt Stains From Carpet in 6 Steps 

Step 6: Allow The Entryway To Dry

Clarke AM2400D™ 3-Speed Air MoverBefore putting your mats back down on the floor, make sure that both your mats and your floors are fully dried.

If you put mats down before the floor and mats are dry, you increase the risk of slip and fall accidents in your facility. 

Mats can shift or move when they are placed on wet floors. Additionally, wet mat fibers can cause the bottoms of shoes to track moisture onto your floors and create a slip hazard. 

If you are looking for a way to speed up your floor drying process, you can use an air mover.

Pro Tip: Air movers can be used to speed up dry time. Place air movers in a position to blow across the entry mat. 

 

Putting wet mats down too early can also lead to an increase in stains and soil build-up. Wet mats are more likely to attract dirt and create an environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria growth can increase the risk of mold, mildew, and odors that will require your mats to be cleaned more frequently.


Final Thoughts

Your entryways receive the most traffic in your building. Making sure that your entry matting system is properly maintained will save you money, time, and increase the safety of the people in your building.

The right mat care can extend the life of your commercial entry mats and can keep your mats functioning properly.

Commercial entry mats should be cleaned and maintained at least once a day, however, the frequency will ultimately depend on the level of traffic and level of soil buildup. Mats in entryways with a lot of traffic or in areas with excess soil build up will require cleaning more than once a day. 

Cleaning your commercial entry mats is key to reducing soil removal costs and keeping your entryways clean and safe for everyone who enters your building.

Whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean, EBP and other Imperial Dade locations have a wide range of commercial cleaning products and janitorial equipment to support your facility’s entryway cleaning routine.

Reach out to an EBP Specialist today to determine the best cleaning program to maintain your commercial entryway mats.

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About Dan Carr

Dan Carr is the Equipment Program Manager for EBP Supply Solutions and a Trainer for the EBP Training Academy, which offers CMI-certified and other training courses for supervisory and front-line cleaning professionals throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. He holds the ISSA CMI Basic certification and has over 35 years of experience in the janitorial and sanitation industry.