gym floor cleaning

Gym Floor Cleaning Made Easy

I get of questions about gym floor cleaning. The main question is “why are the gym floors are slippery?” These floors serve many roles in schools and recreation centers. Between P.E. Classes, open gym, assemblies, sports practice and games, there always seems to be some sort of activity going on in the gymnasium. Since a lot of these floors are wood, there is a tendency to avoid cleaning them, because water damages wood right?

The short answer is “Yes” water will cause a wide variety of problems if not used properly, but with a little knowledge of what is really going on and using the proper procedures, the floor can be easily maintained.

Why Gym Floors Become Slippery

Floors become slippery because they are dirty. Dust and dirt between shoes and the finish, break friction and act like tiny marbles. Gym floor finishes are designed to provide a smooth surface and high amount of friction between the floor and athletic shoes.

Most finishes are tested and classified by the Underwriters Laboratories for slip resistance, but the problem is after the coating has been applied. There are a few rare occasions that if a finish is not applied correctly in the proper environment that the properties of the finish can cause slipperiness. Again, these instances’ are rare.

Dust Mopping Gym Floors

The best solution for this is dust mopping. Although most facilities use dust mop, they are cotton and use a treatment that is oil based. Traditional dust mop treatments are derived from banana, coconut or sassafras oil and even when properly applied; leave a thin film of this sticky substance behind to collect more dust and dirt. This is addressed by dust mopping the floor which adds another layer of oily residue. Oil obviously will make gym floor cleaning more difficult.

This can be easily corrected by using microfiber dust mops. A microfiber dust mop that uses a solid frame will allow dirt to be collected evenly and trap dirt much longer than a wire frame mop. Microfiber mops can also be used damp to help remove sweet and body oils that build up on the floor.

When using wet, it is best to have a couple of microfiber dust mop heads available to change out because they will get dirty very fast. In some cases, the build-up residue and soils will require a chemical to assist in removal. For this, use a no-film neutral cleaner in the lowest effective dilution possible, usually 1 oz or less per gallon. Water based tacking cleaner, that is alcohol based, can also be used.

Automatic Scrubbers For Gym Floor Cleaning

Another option is to use an automatic scrubber. There are many different configuration and styles of scrubbers on the market but the main reason that they are effective is that they apply the cleaning solution, scrub the surface and then remove the dirty water. Consider several things before using this option.

What is the condition of your floor? If it is damaged, if there is exposed wood or if there are major gaps between the boards, consult a wood floor professional before cleaning with an automatic scrubber. Use the lowest effective amount of water and a white, soft pad. Always dust mop prior to scrubbing any floor but especially wood. Large debris can get caught the pad or squeegee and cause swirl marks and scratches in the finish that will require sanding to remove.

Matting Makes A Big Difference

Making sure to have proper matting at gym entrances will also assist in keeping a floor clean. Matting will collect and hold several times is own weight is dirt and is much easier to clean than the entire gym floor.

Keeping your gym floor clean will reduce the frequency of re-coating, provide a safe surface for athletes and stay looking great throughout the sports season.

floor burnishing

Burnishing Floor Finish A Quick Guide

Floor Burnishing The best way to maintain floor finish shine…
Remove Salt Residue From Floors

How To Remove Salt Residue From Floors Fast And Easy

Get Rid Of Salt Residue On Floors Winter weather brings with…
winter floor care tools

4 Must Have Cleaning Tools Winter Floor Care

It's that time of year again. Winter floor care season. Snow…
microfiber mop heads

Microfiber Mop Heads - What You Need To Know

I have been using flat microfiber mop heads for years. In fact,…
how to clean sticky floors

Why You Have Sticky Floor and How To Fix It

Cleaning sticky floors can be a very frustrating task. After you mop the seem to end up stickier than when you started. Don't worry, there is an answer. Here are the steps to cleaning your sticky floors.
Neutralizer and neutral cleaner for floors

Cleaning Chemicals - Neutralizer or Neutral Cleaner?

It seems floor neutralizer and neutral floor cleaner gets…
automatic floor scrubber

Automatic Floor Scrubbers Are No Longer A Luxury

While shopping with my family the other day, we saw a custodian…
Cleaning Rubber Gym Floors

Cleaning Rubber Gym Floors

Rubber gym floors can be a great alternative to hardwood athletic…
Winter Floor Care Tips - Removing ice melt from floors

Winter Floor Care Tips

Having a  proactive winter floor care maintenance plan is great…

9 replies
  1. floor cleaner
    floor cleaner says:

    Cleaning Gym ‘s floor is not an easy task. The floor is so smooth and if it is wet then people are easily slippery. Also the area is medium or large so many cleaners have to clean it at the same time. Using the right equipment is one of the key of s this work. Thanks

  2. Mike Wilcox
    Mike Wilcox says:

    Your comments are spot on. Gym floors can be tricky because of size and use. Not just for gym but lunch, assemblies, plays, etc. Thanks for the great information!

  3. Larry Fagan
    Larry Fagan says:

    An additional great tool is a weighted tool, that has a dampened terry cloth towel attached under this bar that is pulled across the floor greatly reducing the labor it takes to clean the floor, also reduces chemical use, it removes the very fine particulates that dust mops and microfiber mops leave behind ,that scratch the floor also reducing the slip resistance on the floor. So it’s faster, cheaper, safer than most procedures to clean a gym floor. One manufacture is Court Clean my choice after cleaning , refinishing and teaching maintenance of gym floors for 35 years is the Court Clean Bar!

    • BaldGuyClean
      BaldGuyClean says:

      Thank you for your question. That really depends on use. If it is a busy facility that is getting a lot of foot traffic from outside, then I would say once per day. Using an automatic scrubber properly (minimal water, light detergent/cleaner and dust mopped before scrubbing) is only going to make the finish on the floor last longer while keeping the floor playable.
      Hope that help!
      – BGC –

  4. James White
    James White says:

    You could also look at OmniFlex AutoVac as a way to clean gym floors, more than dust mopping as it removes all soils completely and leaves the floor dry.

  5. Bobby Moore
    Bobby Moore says:

    I dust mop my gym floor,Than I use a mop bucket full of clear water,and a large terry towel,ring it out,pace th dust mop hold over th towel,and go over th gym floor.drys fast and remove loose dust.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.