Keeping a clean office through the winter months is more important than you think. Cleaning for flu and knowing how to remove rock salt stains from your hallways keeps your occupants safe and healthy. Let’s explore a few ways to protect your office through the season.
Spring isn’t the only time you should clean the office. With winter comes ice, snow, and an increased risk for sickness. It’s easy to forget how dirty a building can become when workers track road salt into daily entryways. Leaving dirt, slush, and salt residue to build on your laminate flooring is an expensive misstep that could cost you a lot in the long term.
Similarly, allowing flu viruses to pass from worker to worker without sanitizing your building leads to widespread illness and contaminated commercial office space. If you’re unsure how to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers, follow our tips for winter cleaning.
The flu virus can live on a surface for up to 48 hours. The best way to cut down your building’s chances of widespread infection is with routine and exhaustive cleaning. No winter cleaning plan is complete without disinfecting and sanitizing your commercial property. Washing your hands and covering your mouth when coughing are solid ways to slow the spread of the flu virus, but here are a few tips to take things further:
Sanitize surfaces and objects that are touched every day. Using disinfectant wipes and other materials to clean countertops, doorknobs, keyboards, faucet handles, and phones dramatically reduces the chances of infection. Wear gloves and a mask to clean objects covered with bodily fluids to avoid touching the fluid.
Read the label on cleaning products and disinfectants. Household cleaning products that contain chlorine, detergents, hydrogen peroxide, iodophors, and alcohols can kill the flu virus, but they need to be used according to their instructions to be effective. Always read the label to verify that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the product for use against influenza.
Disinfectant wipes are good to use on electronic items like computers. Before cleaning, make sure the object can handle cleaning liquids. If you have a product that can be used as a disinfectant and a cleaner, read the instructions carefully. Disinfection requires the substance to remain on the surface for a certain amount of time.
It’s essential to deep clean your floor if you want to keep your building presentable throughout the winter season. Ice melt and road salt damage floors. If you don’t remove salt stains and other residues, you’ll end up with discoloration, scratches, dry rot, and a dull finish.
Never let ice melt linger on carpet or hardwood flooring. The sooner you deal with residue, the better. Before cleaning entryways and hallways, clear floor mats from the area you plan to clean and vacuum any large ice melt remains.
You’ll also need a floor neutralizer, which is a stain remover designed to remove residues like hard water, scum, and the sodium, calcium, and magnesium chloride found in ice melt. Apply the mixture with a floor scrubber or mop and bucket to remove blemishes without harming the floor. Once finished, be sure to let the floor dry fully and clean your equipment to prevent corrosion.
When cleaning road salt from carpet, it’s essential to remove all salt traces before you begin. Salt particles are trickier to find in carpet fibers than on a hardwood floor. If you start cleaning before you’ve cleared as much salt residue as possible, your carpet could end up looking worse than before. Follow these steps:
- Vacuum the carpet. You have to be thorough here. Particles in the carpet fibers become new salt stains once you add a cleaning solution. Vacuum in multiple directions many times.
- Prepare and spray the floor neutralizer. For carpet, the solution should be one part vinegar and one part water. This solution cuts clear through salt. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray the solution over every salt stain. Let it soak for around half an hour, then blot the area dry with a sponge. Feel free to repeat the process if the stains persist.
- Dry the floor with a drying fan. Be sure you have a carpet-drying air mover. Drying the floor prevents mold and keeps dirt from settling in the carpet.
Cleaning salt from laminate floors is more straightforward than dealing with carpet. The laminate material is tough, and you don’t need to worry about salt sticking to hard-to-reach places. Regardless, it’s a good idea to clean the surface as much as possible before starting this winter cleaning procedure. Follow these steps:
- Vacuum the floors. Clear away all salt residue. Salt that’s left behind can drag across the laminate during the cleaning process and damage the surface.
- Mix and apply the floor neutralizer. Once again, you want one part water and one part white vinegar. Wear gloves to protect your skin and spray the solution on all salt stains.
- Wipe away the solution and rinse the floor. Use a mop or cloth to clear the solution. If your stain remover isn’t cutting it, use dish soap and water to clean the remaining stains. Afterward, rinse the area with a mop or cloth.
- Dry the floor. We recommend hand drying the material. Be careful, because any moisture you don’t catch can seep into the laminate floor and warp the surface.
As a building manager, you already have plenty on your plate. Carrying out winter cleaning for your facility may sound like a nuisance, but it’s a necessary process that keeps you and your occupants safe. The good news is that you don’t have to go at it alone. Pro Squared Janitorial can cater to your building’s needs while you focus on other matters.
We’re commercial cleaning professionals who thoroughly disinfect, sweep, mop, and vacuum your property. We don’t leave until every room in your building is clean and organized. Our commercial cleaning services are at your disposal. Connect with us today if you’re ready to get winter cleaning started for your business.