Improving the Cleaning Procedure to Make Kitchen Floors Less Slippery

slippery floor

Slippery floors are one of the major safety hazards that occur when cleaning a home or business.  This is particularly true in the kitchen, where floors may have been exposed to grease or oil.  Once the floors are wet they can become quite dangerous to walk on. 

Janitorial service providers are well aware of the safety hazard created by a slippery floor and take steps to reduce the risk of an accident occurring.  This article will share some of the ways you can reduce the risk of a fall on a slippery floor and the techniques used by professional janitorial services.

Slippery Floors are a Substantial Risk

The United States Department of Labor reports that slips, trips, and falls are responsible for the majority of general industry accidents.  These kinds of accidents are responsible for an astonishing 15% of all work-related deaths.

In an effort to reduce the risk of slips and falls in work environments, scientists have been examining how floor cleaning procedures can be improved.  One research paper looked specifically at kitchens, which are recognized as an environment where falls often occur.

The researchers visited 10 restaurants in London to examine their floor cleaning procedures.  They looked at all aspects of the process including the temperature of water, type of mop, the cleaning chemicals used and so on.

They found that only 3 of the restaurants used degreasing chemicals in their floor cleaning solution.  In all 3 cases, the degreasers were over-diluted and ineffective at cutting through the grease on the floor.  The temperature of the water used varied greatly in the restaurants and ranged from 10 to 72 degrees Celsius.   

The researchers then copied the cleaning techniques and took them into the laboratory to test them further.  They tried each cleaning technique on a variety of materials including new porcelain tiles and older tiles with rough surfaces.  They found that the efficiency of the cleaning process could be improved with simple changes.

The key finding was that older, worn tiles needed stronger applications of cleaning products to cut through the grease and improve the traction of the floor.  Worn floors also required moderately warm water and a two-step mopping technique. 

Two step mopping involves using two buckets — one with the cleaning solution and one with hot water for rinsing the dirty mop.  It is a procedure that many janitorial services use for particularly dirty or oily floors.

Cleaning a Slippery Floor

Slippery floor

Professional janitorial cleaning services have to deal with very oily and slippery surfaces on a regular basis.  They have developed a variety of techniques for cleaning these types of floors safely, efficiently and effectively.  Some tips from janitorial services for cleaning slippery floors safely include:

  • Always use the right cleaning chemicals for the floor
    It is crucial to use the appropriate cleaning chemical for the floor, with the correct dose.  Janitorial services understand the importance of dosage, so always measure the amount of water and cleaning solution they use.
  • Get the temperature of the water right
    Some cleaners are less effective in water that is too cold or too hot.  In some cases, the manufacturer will recommend a specific temperature range for their products, but not always.  Because a professional janitorial cleaning service is regularly cleaning floors, they eventually learn which temperatures are most effective for different cleaners.
  • Use two-step mopping
    Janitorial services often use this technique to improve the results obtained when mopping oily floors.
  • Clean the floor regularly
    If you have a busy kitchen in your home or place of business, grease and oil will build up very quickly.  The best way to prevent a fall is to have a thorough and regular cleaning schedule in place.
  • Dry the floor after cleaning
    Wet substances are more likely to be slippery, so don’t leave the floor wet.  Instead, use a dry mop or towel to wipe it down.
  • Consider commercial kitchen mats
    These are rubber mats with holes in them that are designed to mitigate the risk of walking on an oily floor.  Janitorial cleaning services will clean the mats and the floor beneath them to prevent oil and grease from gathering.  Commercial environments can also use anti-skid tape to prevent slips and falls.
  • Apply a non-slip treatment to the floor
    Janitorial cleaning services can apply a coating to your tiled floor that improves traction and reduces the risk of slipping.