How to Clean Rubber Floors

How to Clean Rubber Floors
Resource Page: How to Clean Rubber Floors

Rubber flooring has become an increasingly popular choice in homes, hospitals, gyms and other buildings, in part because it's low-maintenance and durable. Rubber floor sheets and tiles are resistant to staining from most liquids, doesn't allow mold or mildew growth, and is slip-resistant. But like any floor, it still requires periodic work in order to look its best.
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Note: No cleaning should be done on rubber flooring for the first 72 hours after installation, to allow the adhesive holding the tiles in place time to firm up. Once this period has passed, the following cleaning and maintenance tips will give you great-looking rubber flooring that lasts.

Rubber flooring maintenance

Dirt and small debris that are tracked onto rubber floors can be very abrasive and wear down the finish of the floor unless they're promptly removed. Fortunately, cleaning them off can be done with a simple broom or dry vacuum. Do this weekly or even daily, depending on how often the floor is used, for maximum floor longevity. You should also damp mop on a weekly basis. For routine cases, using straight water is enough for most messes.

Rubber floor cleaning

To clean your rubber floor, use a neutral, non-acidic rubber floor cleaner by Diversey or Hillyard. Rubber can be sensitive, so you need to use a pH-neutral cleaner with a soft bristle hand brush. If you're using a machine to clean your floors, use a non-abrasive scrub pad such as the 3M Doodlebug Pad. Avoid any home remedies on rubber floors. When you start adding dish soap, detergent and other solutions, you'll likely experience left-behind residue and difficultly mixing the proper ratios.

Big jobs

For periodic heavy cleaning jobs on rubber sheeting dry vacuum the floor thoroughly before scrubbing with a neutral rubber floor cleaner and either an auto-scrubber or buffer at low speeds. Let the solution sit on the floor for at least five minutes before wet vacuuming it up and rinsing with a damp mop. If you want to add a shiny post-cleaning finish, add a towel to a mop head and go over the floor with it to remove any soap residue. For pet urine, use a task-specific product that's designed to remove animal urine, following the directions provided.

Things to avoid

There are a few things that can cause your rubber floor more harm than good. When cleaning rubber flooring, don't use cleaners containing acids, acetone, turpentine or other strong solvents. All of these substances can permanently stain a rubber floor. Rough cleaning materials such as scouring pads and steel wool sponges will scar the surface and can even slice off pieces. Don't allow standing water to sit on the floor either. It can cause the adhesive to weaken, and If your rubber floor is installed on top of a plywood subfloor, moisture can leak down through the seams and cause the subfloor to mold or rot.