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Cleanliness is top of mind for many of us these days, and that’s especially true when visiting a restaurant. Feeling safe enough to enjoy your meal without worry is a critical part of the dining experience. But how do you know if your favorite restaurant is really clean? There are some clues, and both customers and restaurant owners should know what they are and how to address them.
A top concern of customers is dirty grout, especially in the restrooms. It raises the question, “If they don’t care enough to keep the floors clean, what’s happening in the kitchen?” But before you cross a restaurant off your list for good, remember that dirty grout doesn’t necessarily mean that the restroom has poor overall cleaning practices. If the grout isn’t sealed properly — or if its original seal breaks down due to improper cleaners — it could be almost impossible to get it looking clean again. Dirt works its way into the grout, and mold can take up residence in the tiny pores. The grout can darken to dull gray or nearly black. The most common situation we encounter is the destruction of the floor grout’s protective seal with an acid-containing cleaner. Acids can remove grout seals — lemon-fresh, citric-scented, vinegar-infused cleaners or vinegar alone (because it’s green) are the primary culprits. Once deployed, the seal is removed, and the very act of cleaning accelerates grout staining. Is the floor clean? No. Are they cleaning? Likely, yes. Over 20% of MARBLELIFE’s floor work is correcting such problems. No amount of cleaning, and no magic cleaner will reverse this problem, until the root cause is repaired and ideally replaced with a seal that is no longer susceptible to such attack. The good news is MARBLELIFE can resolve this problem in less than a day, without replacement, resulting in a better-than-new appearance and restoring the “cleanability” of the floor. So, there is still hope for your favorite restaurant.
This same thing can happen in your home bath or kitchen. If you have struggled to keep your grout clean or have given up completely, we’ve got you covered. Once properly addressed/repaired, it becomes easy again. For both homeowners and restauranteurs, the solution is to clean the grout and reseal it. MARBLELIFE® MaxOut Tile & Grout Cleaner emulsifies dirt and grime for easier removal. Once the dirt is gone, MARBLELIFE® Grout Sealer protects the grout, so dirt and germs stay on top. This is a successful treatment designed to restore the grout to its original condition; however, this does not prevent a re-occurrence, as this sealer remains acid sensitive. It’s important to never use acidic cleaners.
One step further is MARBLELIFE COLORSEAL which offers a better-than-new solution that replaces the existing acid-sensitive seal with a colorizable acid-resistant sealer that can be deployed without replacing existing surfaces. It takes less than a day to install and can be used within 10 minutes of completion. By addressing the grout seal, COLORSEAL allows the use of all forms of cleaners, reducing the possibility of re-damaging the problem. Once installed, the grout will have been restored to a consistent stain-free color, but most importantly, you’ve now created a clean — and cleanable — surface!
If you can slide across the floor without picking up your shoes, you have a greasy floor. This is a clear indicator that while they are going through the motions of mopping the floors, they do not understand why and what they are doing. These floors are created when the same mop is used to clean the kitchen floors as the dining room floors. It is accentuated by a failure to swap out the mop head for a clean one periodically, and further accentuated by the infrequent change of the mop water. If you’re a restaurant owner, check the products and processes being used by your crew. Make sure they’re appropriate for your floor and that cleaners are diluted appropriately according to the product instructions.
If your shoes make that pulling-tape-off-a-floor sound on the way to your table, that doesn’t exactly instill confidence in a cleaning protocol. What is the cause? A spilt milkshake? Errant drops of marinara sauce? Gravy-soaked mashed potatoes? Actually, the culprit is too much cleaner involved in the efforts to remove this gunk.
To achieve a high shine, some businesses polish floors with wax products. Wax may look great when it’s first applied, but it can deteriorate or build up dirt over time. An appropriate sealer will keep dirt and contaminants on top. So, when that bowl of pasta sauce hits the deck, it won’t soak in — and it can be removed easily with an appropriate cleaning solution. But first you may have to remove all that waxy buildup. Today, waxed properties employ MARBLELIFE Vinylguard, a durable wax alternative offering a year of durability without scuffing, requiring buffing or needing to be stripped. Most importantly it is disinfectant compatible.
Clean Air Ducts
Look up at the ceiling. Locate the air supply and return ducts and see whether they’re clean. A rim of dirt or collection of dust bunnies on the edges of the duct could be caused by an HVAC system that needs to be serviced, or it could be from inadequate surface cleaning. Either way, you may want to select an alternative dining location if you see a problem, especially if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
We’re Here to Help
If the chemistry and conflicting claims about floor cleaning products confuse you, MARBLELIFE® can help. If you’re a restaurant owner, our trained technicians can perform a “building health check” on your establishment, evaluate the current maintenance products and processes, and recommend steps to ensure all surfaces are “cleanable,” and make sure your premises not only look clean, but actually are clean. Generally, the difference is more about the condition of the surface and the cleaning methodology than the products. Starting with those two concepts will bring about the change you need. And if you’re a homeowner, we can offer similar guidance and advice. Call your local MARBLELIFE® pro today to set up your complimentary consultation.
Marblelife Tile & Grout Cleaner is an “InterCare” based cleaner and is a safe, easy to use and highly effective way to clean your tile and grout surfaces.