A Guide to Deep Cleaning Restaurant Floors for Safety

by | Jul 26, 2023

Restaurant deep cleaning is a complicated job. It is also vital to protect the health and safety of your workers and customers. But maybe not for the reason you’re thinking.

Most people think about food safety when considering commercial kitchen cleaning. It is a valid concern. Foodborne illness sickens 48 million people a year, according the the CDC. Of those, 128,000 end up in the hospital and 3,000 die.

But foodborne illness is not the only danger. Slips, trips, and falls due to greasy floors are the second most common type of injury restauration workers face. In fact, 60% of back-of-house worker’s compensation claims are linked to cooking oil and 50% of slips and falls occur near sinks or fryers.

Properly cleaning greasy floors can help lessen that threat. Here’s how grease gets all over kitchen surfaces and how to best remove it.

Restaurant Deep Cleaning with a Mop?

Getting rid of kitchen grease is not easy. Grills and deep fryers regularly launch microscopic grease particles into the air. These droplets eventually settle on exhaust hoods, walls, and especially floors. When left in place they harden into a greasy layer that is very difficult to remove. 

Cleaning greasy floors with a mop and bucket is nearly impossible. Those tools cannot cut through the mess but will thin it out just enough to redeposit grease all around the kitchen. Mops and buckets can even spread slippery grease to the rest of your restaurant if your employees use the same tools on those floors. This cross-contamination increases the chances of slips and falls for employees and customers.

Restaurant owners justify using these kitchen floor cleaning tools because they think mops and buckets are easy and inexpensive. But mopping is not easy. In fact, it is a common cause of repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, and back pain. 

Mops are also more expensive than you might think. Yes, the price tag on an individual mop head is cheap, but the cost of buying inefficient tools over and over again adds up. Want proof? Check out this case study to see how much money one national food service provider saved by ditching their mops and buckets.

Restaurant Deep Cleaning: A Better Way

Stopping the mop and bucket  is a great start when cleaning greasy floors. But what other tool is available for commercial kitchen cleaning? Savvy restaurant owners are choosing advanced machines like the UniVac® from Kaivac.

This tool, combined with KaiPow™ Degreaser cleaning chemical, penetrates hardened grease, fats, oils, and soils. More importantly, the UniVac fully removes those offending substances from the kitchen floor. Using the machine is easy. Employees simply:

  • Fill the system with the appropriate cleaning chemical
  • Dispense the right amount of fluid using the variable flow spigot
  • Speed scrub the entire floor, including under heavy equipment
  • Agitate to remove stubborn stains, particularly in grout lines
  • Vacuum up the slurry leaving the floor clean, dry, and grease free

This method is 30% faster and cleans grouted floors 30 to 60 times better than a mop and bucket.

Restaurant Deep Cleaning that Engages Employees

The UniVac from Kaivac delivers a better, more complete clean much faster than mops and buckets. It works so well that employees actually enjoy using the machine. They appreciate the easy set-up and ergonomic design. They are also proud of the results and feel more engaged with the restaurant and its mission.

“This kind of engagement from the staff about cleaning floors is something that makes you take notice,” says the café’s sous chef and kitchen manager who oversaw a six-week trial of the machine. “With that kind of impact on morale you can’t help but like what the machine does even more.”

Cleaning greasy floors does not have to be difficult. Click here to learn more about advanced cleaning and grease removal.

Amy Milshtein covers design, facility management and business topics for a variety of trade publications and consumer magazines. Her work has won several awards, most recently a regional silver Azbee Award of Excellence.She lives in Portland, OR with her family and Clyde, a 15-lb tabby cat. Once an avid hiker, these days she finds herself on the less-challenging -but-still-exciting 'creaky knees' trails.
Amy Milshtein
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