Anyone who has been in enough commercial kitchens has encountered quarry tile floors which are very slippery. Most times when you ask the operator what they are using to clean the floor they answer “Heavy Duty Degreaser”.
How Quarry Tile Floors Work: Quarry Tile is a very porous floor surface. The idea is that the pores in the floor trap dirt and grease and keep them off the surface of the floor which makes the floor slip resistant. It is very important to keep the pores in the floor clean and open for the floors to remain slip resistant. When the proper cleaner isn’t used the pores fill up with grease and dirt which is where the problem starts.
What’s wrong with Heavy Duty Degreaser? It seems logical that Heavy Duty Degreaser would be the chemical of choice to clean Quarry Tile Floors. The exact opposite is true.
It’s all about the PH: The PH scale is a big factor why Heavy Duty Degreaser doesn’t work on Quarry Tile. The PH Scale ranges from 1-14 1 being very acid and 14 Highly Alkaline. 7 is neutral. Most Heavy Duty Degreasers are about 12 on the PH Scale which make them very alkaline.
How do you make soap? My grandma used to make her own soap like many others back in the 30’s and 40’s. Soap is made by combining Fat and Lye (which is 14 on the Ph Scale). This is the same principal which causes Heavy Duty Degreaser to make Quarry Tile Slippery.
Are you making soap on your Floors? When using a High Alkaline Cleaner on Quarry Tile the pores don’t get cleaned which allows fat and dirt to build up. Each time HD Degreaser is used it will leave a film on the floor mix with the dirt and fat causing a thin layer of soap. When water hits the floor it causes a very dangerous condition.
Bleach is not the answer: Many restaurants “clean” with Bleach because it is cheap. Bleach is a disinfectant not a cleaner and is even worse than HD Degreaser since no cleaning is taking place. Even worse when the surface isn’t clean bleach won’t disinfect either so it is a complete waste of time
What’s the answer? When cleaning Quarry Tile it is important to use a cleaner which is either neutral or on the acidic side. These cleaners will pull the dirt and grease from the pores of floor and allow the floor to work as designed. The bonus is that your grout will also be cleaned and become white. The key is when first using the new cleaner agitation is required to loosen the dirt. Once the floor is clean a daily cleaning regiment will do the trick.
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