Floor care today seems more complicated than ever. Hotel housekeepers and administrators are faced with dozens of choices when it comes to strippers, sealers, cleaners, restorers, machines, pads, and mops—all of which promise excellent results. But great-looking floors don’t come out of a package. In most cases, it’s the execution of proven techniques and floor-care procedures, along with “job-matched products,” that achieve the desired results.
This applies to all forms of floor care, including spray buffing, a tried-and-true floor care process that, if completed correctly, can remove soils and scuff marks and keep hotel floors looking their best. Because it stretches refinishing cycles, spray buffing saves money, has a less of an impact on the environment, and ensures that areas of the hotel don’t need to be blocked off.
Typically, the tools and equipment needed to clean and spray buff a floor include a dust mop, a single-disk auto-scrubber or burnisher with red or blue pads, and a 175-RPM, 350-RPM, or 1500-RPM floor machine. The floor should be thoroughly cleaned before it can be spray buffed. This should be done using a floor-care solution specifically designed to restore the floor’s gloss and its coefficient of friction, which helps keep the floor slip-resistant.
Cleaning the Floor
1. Install “wet floor” signs around the work area.
2. Remove gum or debris from the floor.
3. With the gloss cleaner diluted according to the manufacturer’s instructions, pour the solution into the “scrubber”.
4. “Walk” the machine over the floor.
5. If any cleaning solution remains after step four, damp mopping the floor with clear water will help remove it along with any chemical residue.
Spray Buffing the Floor
To spray buff the clean floor, it is important to select a product designed for this purpose—one that enhances the gloss of the floor, removes scuff marks, and helps improve traction to prevent slip-and-fall accidents.
1. Using a low-speed floor machine or burnisher, depending on the type of finish on the floor, spray buff a section of the floor at one time.
2. Repeat this process two or three times on the same floor area to help bring out the shine. If the finish is not too old or too worn, the floor should look almost brand-new when finished.
The Importance of the Pad
It is essential to select the right floor pad when performing any floor-care work, including spray buffing. The wrong pad can cause problems including making the task harder or longer, and can even damage the floor.
Some pads come in different colors reflecting how they are to be used. This is based on an industry standard color-coding system. For low-speed floor machines—those 175 to 350 RPM— the lighter the pad, the gentler it is on the floor. In most cases, a light-colored floor pad is best for spray buffing. With burnishers, the choice of pad is less clear-cut due to the different rotating speeds of these machines, the downward pressure of the machine on the floor, and the types of finishes used on the floor; the condition of the floor, too, may be a factor.
When in doubt about the choice of pad or anything related to a multitude of cleaning tasks, it is best to speak to an experienced janitorial distributor. Spray buffing, floor care, and floor-care products are something these specialists deal with every day. Their advice can prove invaluable.
About the Author
James Flieler is the VP of Sales for Canada at Charlotte Products Ltd., a manufacturer of innovative, environmentally responsible cleaning solutions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.