Tile & Grout Cleaning

Spray Buffing……The Ins and Outs

September 30, 2011   ·   By   ·   No Comments   ·   Posted in Tile & Grout Cleaning

One of the most frequently used means of keeping floors clean, glossy, and free of stain marks and spots is to perform a “spray buff.” As common as it is, many custodial workers perform this cleaning task in an incorrect manner—sometimes risking their safety as well as the safety of others in the facility—and with a bit more expertise could result in more satisfactory results. 

The following are the preliminary steps that should be followed before spray buffing a stone, vinyl composition tile (VCT), or similar type floor:

•    Always place “wet floor” signs at easy-to-see locations around the work area.
•    Dust mop or vacuum the entire floor area to be spray buffed before proceeding; it is often a good idea to start at the perimeter or outer areas of the floor and work inward.
•    Damp mop the entire area; for a large area, an autoscrubber can be used. The goal here is for the floor to be as clean and free of dust and soil as possible. 

With these steps completed, the actual spray buffing procedure is a two-step process. The first step is to lightly mist an area above the floor (not directly on it but over it) of about two to four feet in front of the machine and about six to eight feet wide. Too large an area and the mist may begin to dry before the floor is buffed. Too small will slow down worker productivity.

Buff the area at least twice with the floor machine. Always use a buffing pad designed for spray buffing.
The first pass spreads the spray over the floor; the second cleans the floor, removes heel marks and stains, and produces the gloss. Usually, three or four passes are recommended. If the floor is in bad condition, the entire process may need to be repeated.

Some additional suggestions:

•    Spray buff from left to right, right to left using a pendulum motion.
•    Allow the machine to “dwell” on troubled areas for a few seconds to help remove heel marks and spots; if necessary, these areas may need to be hand scrubbed and then hand buffed.
•    Use as little spray as possible to still get the job done; too much and it will build up on the pad too quickly, reducing the effectiveness of the pad and requiring the pad to be changed frequently, slowing down worker productivity.

Daniel Frimml is Technical Service Representative at Tornado Industries.

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