Whether we are talking about commercial or residential facilities, everyone can agree that the entrance of a building is crucial for several reasons. Other than, obviously, serving as the main entry point, it also serves an important aesthetic purpose. How neat and organized an entrance is speaks volumes about the home (or commercial facility), so naturally, equipping it with must-haves such as an entrance floor mat is paramount. However, just putting it there and never thinking about it ever again won’t cut it.
Just like everything else, floor mats also require regular cleaning. Should you neglect this fact, your door mat might not only accumulate too much dirt to be cleaned effectively, but it might even pose a health hazard with all the potential pathogens that could be hiding in there. So, if you find yourself with a dirty floor mat you need to clean, knowing how to do it effectively is important. To help you out, here are some useful tips on cleaning entrance floor mats.
The importance of entrance floor mats
First and foremost, the importance of door mats and their cleanliness should be discussed. Everyone knows about entrance floor mats but few people actually think about them and their importance carefully. As we mentioned in the beginning, they have an aesthetic role and can contribute to your curb appeal as a whole. In commercial settings, entrance door mats also serve as a layer of branding – branded mats lend the establishment a more professional image, so stores and other businesses often utilize them. Besides branding, door mats can also send a message in a literal sense. Printed door mats can put a smile on people’s faces or even communicate important information, for instance, regarding social distancing and other safety measures.
But other than their visual function, door mats have important practical purposes as well. They are in charge of trapping as much of the incoming moisture as possible, rendering the indoor spaces dry and safe to walk on. Without a floor mat, slipping and falling can be a real hazard, which is especially dangerous in commercial spaces that get a lot of foot traffic. By trapping dirt and moisture, door mats also contribute to keeping the indoor spaces cleaner, eliminating a huge portion of the necessary labor for cleaning them later on. They also protect the flooring underneath, extending its lifespan and saving money in the long term. Finally, as said, door mats also prevent some of the germs from entering the building and being further spread by foot traffic. With that said, the importance of maintaining entrance door mats becomes quite clear.
Vacuuming – the most straightforward method
Entrance floor mats are generally like carpets, so it’s safe to assume that you can clean them in the same way you would do with your carpet or rug. Vacuum cleaning is possible in the case of rubber mats, coir mats, and any other type of mat. Buy the best cordless vacuum cleaner for clean entrance floor mats. All you need to do is make sure that the mat is dry if you are using a dry vacuum cleaner. In commercial spaces, a backpack vacuum would be the most convenient to use. At home, you should also shake out your mats outdoors to remove any bigger particles of debris.
Take it a step further
Sure, vacuuming removes most of the loose dust and debris from your mat, however, you can take this a step further by including some cleaning powder in the process. Dry carpet cleaning powder can remove a wide range of stains, so when wet cleaning is not an option, you can try this method. All you have to do is sprinkle the powder over your mat, leave it for at least 30 minutes, and then vacuum the mat thoroughly. Alternatively, if you don’t have carpet cleaning powder, you can simply use baking soda instead. Baking soda is a widely used DIY cleaning agent and sprinkling it on your carpet in power form will help eliminate odors. Use it in the same way as carpet powder. If you so wish, you can add some essential oil to your baking soda to bring a pleasant fragrance into your home.
Use a wet vacuum cleaner
If you have a powerful wet vacuum cleaner, then it might do a better job at cleaning your entrance floor mat than a regular one. Commercial spaces generally have these, so dirty commercial mats can be easily cleaned with them. The advantage of using this method is that your mat does not need to be entirely dry to be cleaned.
Washing your mats
Vacuuming might not be able to deal with heavily soiled mats. In this case, you have several options. Before you resort to any of them, what you need to do is check whether your door mat is a washable one. This might not be apparent immediately and you might need to check with the store or manufacturer. However, if your mat is indeed washable, then you can probably give it a good deep cleaning by yourself at home. Take your mat outside and hose it down generously. If it is necessary, you can use some mild dish soap to deal with problematic areas. Then, you will need to leave your mat to dry, which can take a long time if the weather is not ideal. This is why you should do this when the weather is warm. During the winter months, consider swapping your door mats to more heavy-duty ones.
Is machine washing possible?
Door mats are often not good candidates for machine washing, both because of their material and their size. While some smaller indoor mats may be machine washable (again, check this with the manufacturer), commercial mats are simply too big while certain materials, such as coir, can get extremely heavy in your washing machine and might end up damaging it. If your mat is machine washable, follow the instructions of the manufacturer.
Use a carpet cleaner
There are also dedicated carpet cleaning machines that do a good job deep cleaning these floor surfaces. If you have one, by all means, you can use it to clean your door mat. However, these also use wet methods so be sure that your mat can indeed be cleaned this way.
Every carpet owner knows that removing dry debris is much easier than removing stains. However, you don’t have to let stains ruin the look of your mat. Before you use any kind of cleaning solution, though, make sure you test it on a small section of the mat to make sure it does not cause damage or discoloration. Coir is particularly sensitive. First, identify what caused the stain, if possible. If you know what kind of stain you are dealing with, you can easily look up the particular removal method that will work for it. If you cannot identify the offender, try using a universal carpet cleaner.
Dealing with salt in the winter
In snowy regions, roads are often salted in the winter to prevent them from being slippery. However, these salts also stick to the shoes of pedestrians and can end up embedded in your entrance floor mats in what might seem like an unremovable way. Dried salt as well as other dried debris might not come out when you are simply vacuuming your mats. Salt is especially stubborn. You can try removing it in multiple ways. If only a small area is affected, mix some white vinegar with hot water in a spray bottle and spray it on the mat. Then, use a brush to scrub off the dirt.
Now that you know the most suitable ways to remove dirt from your floor mats, all you need is just a few more additional tips that will make your life easier. Make sure you clean your mats regularly. The longer you wait with cleaning, the dirtier the mat will become, and the harder it will be to actually clean it. Needless to say, the optimum frequency highly depends on the outdoor weather conditions and the amount of foot traffic the building gets. In high-traffic commercial areas, daily vacuuming is recommended to keep dirt at bay. At home, you can simply shake out the door mat weekly and vacuum it on a monthly basis. Doing a deep cleaning seasonally or when needed is also a good idea. Finally, it’s a good idea to swap your mats after a few years of use.
Keeping entrance floor mats clean is more important than one would initially think. Hopefully, the aforementioned tips will help you maintain high hygiene standards, whether in your home or in a commercial space!