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Did you know that your floor cleaner can impact the slip safety of your floors?

Slippery Floor Sign

As a floor service provider, slip safety is a consideration on each of our services and products. Slip safety is one of the most mis-understood and myth filled subjects. For example, the notion that a glossy floor is by definition slippery is indeed a misnomer. It is true that a wet or oil covered floor may appear glossy and WILL be more slippery than a dry floor. However, spill a little flour or talc on a matte finish floor, and you can slide across it like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. In each case, whether liquid or dust a moveable medium is present that separates your foot from the floor and allows it to move freely. Add a little speed, and you really have a slip condition. Ever seen a car hydroplane across a rough but wet road surface? The road has a rough surface, but given enough speed and a little water it can become slippery. Conversely, by modifying the surface itself to a mirror finish, or applying a reactive treatment that chemically bonds to the surface while providing a mirror finish can still provide a safe surface even though glossy, assuming the coefficient of friction is sufficiently high. That said, a clean floor is generally safer than a dusty, wet or dirty floor, making housekeeping a factor both in cleaner used, frequency and procedure.

For this reason, many of our offices provide floor slip testing, in which we can show property owners and managers the state of their floor safety, and more to the point how their housekeeping can impact floor safety. Ever walk into a restaurant and have to slide your feet across the floor because it’s so slippery? You know what happened, after cleaning the kitchen where grease is present and used, they either brought a contaminated mop, or failed to change the mop bucket water before cleaning the restaurant floor. We also know they are not using a surfactant based cleaner or following the recommended instructions. This situation can be quickly resolved using a surfactant based emulsifying cleaner such as MARBLELIFE’s MARBLE & TRAVERTINE, TILE & GROUT or GRANITE & QUARTZ cleaners.

That said, there are a variety of snake oil systems in the market that claim to enhance floor safety. One can burn micro-holes into the surface and indeed improve traction – that is right up to when those holes are filled with dirt and oil and are once again level to the surface, making this solution both temporary and more expensive since you know need to powerwash to get the traction control holes free of dirt.

So what works. Turns out that one of the biggest culprits to floor safety is the same cause as to what makes it look dirty. Oils. Whether coming from human body contact of hands or feet, or cooking grease, these oils serve to capture and hold onto to dust and dirt. Think of dust and dirt as little ball bearings. When we walk on them we provide enough energy to dislodge from the oil that held them creating a slip condition. Sufficient oil on the surface will move on its one. The answer is to clean with an oil emulsifying surfactant based cleaner …. Like MARBLELIFE Stone & Travertine Cleaner.

When testing a variety of anti-slip coatings, acidic treatments and other options, floors were tested in natural state, then cleaned with MARBLELIFE cleaner, re-measured, and finally treated with the anti-slip solution and tested again. Surprise 90% of the improvement was derived from simply cleaning the floor. By eliminating the bonding oils it was easier to maintain contact with the floors. Coefficient of friction figures were higher. This corresponds with historic reports from housekeepers, home owners and craftsman regarding the fact that MARBLELIFE cleaners leave the floor “squeaky” clean.

MARBLELIFE’s line of cleaners are all designed to emulsify oil in order to more easily and effectively remove them from the floor surface. Other non-surfactant cleaners suffer from the fact that their waterbase-non-surfactant nature will not mix with oil, and therefore skims across the top, or worse yet deposits a micro-wax which is just as bad as it traps dirt and provides a low coefficient of friction.

So not only do MARBLELIFE cleaners provide an easy-to-clean surface they can also enhance floor safety.

Want to be amazed, try using these cleaners the next time your husband needs to clean up an oily part, or to clean the garage floor, he’ll be amazed how effectively and quickly the job gets done, but this is a message for another day.

For more information or to hire a MARBLELIFE® Stone Care Professional visit For professional grade products go to MARBLELIFE®… Helping Make Your Life Easier.

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