Industrial Floor Cleaning – How to Remove Dirt Oil and Grease

Industrial floor cleaning often includes removing dirt, oil, and grease. Choose the right product for the job and your equipment.

You will find a lot of choices when it comes to detergents for your industrial floor cleaning machine. It can be confusing! We get it. But, using the right cleaning solution is critical, both to the health of your floor as well as to the health of your machine. The detergent you choose should match the equipment and the job.

If you own or manage industrial facilities, you already understand the importance of using an industrial floor scrubber. It’s the best option to do the job right and save you money in the long run. An industrial floor cleaning machine efficiently removes dirt, grime, and germs in far less time. a

So, what kind of cleaning solution is best for the work your cleaning machine has to do? Every application, even within one facility, can be very different and require different products. Be sure that you and your operators understand the application protocols of the products you’re using. If the concentrations or combinations of cleaning chemicals are incorrect or too strong, it can cause damage to the machine and potentially costly repairs.

Before we dive in, one critical rule of thumb: use low-foam detergents. If any foam gets into the recovery tank, it can get into the vac motor and cause damage. If this happens in your machine, use de-foamer in the recovery tank.

The differences between cleaning solutions

You don’t use only water to clean your floors with a mop and bucket. Similarly, you need to use an appropriate floor cleaning detergent in an industrial floor scrubber. The solution needs to suit the application, specific to the substance(s) that tend to accumulate on your floors.

Detergents for industrial floor scrubbers are formulated to repel water as they bind with soil to create an emulsion and lift and trap dust, dirt, grime, and grease. BUT they aren’t necessarily all cleaned the same way. You have to use the right chemical solution that will meet your cleaning demands yet will still protect the floor surface finish or coating. You have to consider the kind of machine you have, the type of grime, and the specific flooring you need to clean.

Understanding chemical pH is essential

We look at the chemical pH to categorize commercial floor cleaning detergents:

  • Neutral pH: When a detergent has a neutral pH, it’s safe for most floor surfaces. It’s also more likely to be eco-friendly. You’ll see this type of pH in many detergents used for daily, general-purpose cleaning. It’s not a good choice when you clean floors that get heavily soiled, particularly those prone to oil and grease marks.
  • Alkaline: Choose an alkaline detergent to remove grease and oil. It is especially effective when you need to clean heavy grime build-up and grease. When you use an alkaline product, you need to adhere to all environmental and safety protocols.
  • Acidic: When a detergent is acidic, it is more effective for tougher spills and stains. Never use an acidic solution to clean surfaces made of travertine, marble, or limestone, as it can cause damage. Acidic cleaning solutions are not for daily cleaning and don’t use them in a floor scrubber – it will damage your machine.

Ask these questions before you purchase a detergent:

  • What floor surfaces are you cleaning?
  • How dirty are your floors?
  • What substances do you need to remove?

If you use the wrong product for the floor surface or a product that isn’t suited to what you need to clean?  It can cause damage to the floor surface or leave the job done poorly.

Choose the right industrial floor cleaning detergent

There are a variety of factors to consider when you shop for the right floor scrubber detergent.

If you require a degreaser, look for an acidic solution – oil and grease on concrete, for instance. Depending on the level of grime, you might have to use more aggressive cleaning methods. We repeat, DO NOT use acidic solutions in an industrial floor scrubber.

For porous surfaces such as marble or travertine, a general-purpose, pH-neutral solution is the best fit. Be sure to keep in mind that you should work quickly when cleaning porous floor surfaces such as hardwood or laminate flooring. You risk damage if they’re exposed to water and chemicals for too long. Additionally, opt for a non-abrasive solution for surfaces like this. Always refer to the floor manufacturer guidelines before you purchase a detergent.

Here are some examples of solutions and their applications:

  • Choose a light to medium neutral pH solution for just about any floor type, including porous surfaces such as terrazzo and tile. Schools, hospitals, retail and light industrial or distribution facilities.
  • Opt for a medium duty cleaning detergent if your facility is a heavy commercial environment or involves light manufacturing. You can use this on many floor types other than the more porous, terrazzo and tile.
  • Solvent degreaser. Jobs that require more aggressive cleaning applications with a neutral pH. Use them for the cleaning demands of manufacturing & industrial environments – medium to heavy soils on concrete floors. This aggressive cleaning can include cleaning with metal shavings for greasy mark removal.
  • Stong, or super-strength, solvent degreaser. Especially aggressive to severe cleaning. Required in manufacturing & industrial environments and for cleaning challenging stains such as tire marks.
  • High-alkaline degreaser. Use this for heavy-duty cleaning, including grease and petroleum in heavy industrial or manufacturing environments.

Industrial floor scrubbers for sale or lease in Ontario

When you choose an industrial floor cleaning machine you get the most efficient and effective, environmentally friendly, cost-saving solution. And, in these times, it’s the very best way to keep your facility floors their very cleanest and safest.

We want to help you find the industrial cleaning machine, floor scrubber or floor sweeper, that’s best for your business! New, refurbished, and for lease, explore what will serve you best.

KwikFix Depot can save your business time and money. Find the industrial floor machine that’s right for your business. CONTACT US to find out more!