Understanding the purpose of specific floor care products is key to achieving the best cleaning outcomes.
When the wrong product is used to clean your floors, you may notice that the floor remains dull and dirty, or it may even cause damage.
The right commercial cleaning supplies combined with the knowledge of when and how to use each will help your janitorial staff avoid damage to your floors that can result in having to scrub and recoat or strip and wax your floors.
Two of the most commonly confused products due to name similarities are floor neutralizer and neutral floor cleaner.
While neutral floor cleaner and floor neutralizer may have similar names, they are used for different cleaning tasks and should not be used interchangeably. If one is accidentally used in place of another your staff will need to spend more time cleaning and potentially repairing your floors.
In short, neutral floor cleaner should be a part of your daily cleaning routine, and a floor neutralizer is to be used during the winter to remove snow, ice, and salt residues.
In this article and video, we’re going to explain the difference between neutral floor cleaner and floor neutralizer so you understand when to use each in your commercial floor care program.
What is Neutral Floor Cleaner?
Neutral floor cleaner is a floor cleaning product that can be used daily to remove soils from the surface of your floors.
As the name suggests, neutral floor cleaners are pH neutral, meaning they have a pH of or close to 7. This pH level makes the cleaning product chemically neutral and will clean common soils on your floor while protecting your floor finish from damage.
A cleaning product that is neither alkaline nor acidic can be used to clean your floors regularly without causing damage to the floor finish.
What is a Floor Neutralizer?
A floor neutralizer is a floor cleaning chemical that is mainly used for winter floor care. They are exceptional at removing salt and ice melt residue that usually causes those unsightly white swirl marks.
Floor neutralizers can also be used during restorative strip and wax procedures to neutralize any remaining floor stripper.
Unlike neutral floor cleaners, a floor neutralizer is slightly acidic. This means that floor neutralizers should not be used during everyday floor cleaning because they can damage or mess with the appearance of your commercial floors.
What Is The Difference Between Neutral Floor Cleaner And Floor Neutralizer?
Neutral floor cleaner is safe for daily use on your commercial floors. Floor cleaners that are neutral are designed to loosen organic soils.
Floor neutralizers, on the other hand, are safe for use on alkaline soils, like salts and ice melt residue. The chemicals in floor neutralizers are able to neutralize the alkaline nature of the soils and bring them as close to neutral as possible.
When Should A Floor Neutralizer Be Used?
There are two ways you can use floor neutralizer on your facility’s floors.
Floor neutralizers can be used to clean salt and ice melt residue from your commercial hard floors during the winter. A floor neutralizer can also be applied to your commercial carpets and matting, too.
Aside from cleaning during the winter season, a floor neutralizer can be used to neutralize floor strippers during restorative floor maintenance.
Floor Neutralizers and Ice Melt
Many ice melts contain salts, which may leave an unsightly residue when cleaned with neutral floor cleaners. Ice melts that are tracked onto your floors may create an unclean floor appearance and cause damage to the floor finish on your floors.
To avoid causing any damage to your commercial floors, you should use a floor neutralizer to remove any salt or ice melt residues.
The slight acidity neutralizes any ice melt, chlorides, soaps, and hard water films that may be on your floors. Floor neutralizers also release soils from your floors, so cleaning can be done using only one product when salt residue is present.
Floor Neutralizers and Floor Strippers
Floor strippers are a highly alkaline chemical that is used to remove floor finish from commercial hard floors.
If the floor stripper isn’t properly removed from the floors before new layers of floor finish are applied, there are a few risks. The new layers of floor finish may not properly adhere to the floors or may begin to yellow if the floor stripper is not fully removed.
By using a floor neutralizer, your cleaning staff can avoid having to re-strip and wax floors because of yellowing or finish that isn’t properly applied on the floor.
After the loosened floor finish has been removed from the floor, a floor neutralizer should be applied to the floor and left to sit on the floor for 5 minutes. The floor neutralizer should then be removed using a wet vac or a mop.
Finally, your floors should be rinsed with clean water to remove all of the floor stripping chemicals so the new finish can be applied.
When Should A Neutral Floor Cleaner Be Used?
A neutral floor cleaner should be used for everyday cleaning.
Commercial hard floors should be cleaned daily with a damp mop or an automatic floor scrubber.
How To Choose Between a Floor Neutralizer and Neutral Floor Cleaner
Depending on the type of soil being cleaned from your commercial hard floors, you will have to decide between a neutral floor cleaner and a floor neutralizer.
A neutral floor cleaner will be used for daily cleaning of organic soils while a floor neutralizer will be useful for removing alkaline soils, like ice melt and salt residue, and floor stripping chemicals.
It can be easy to confuse neutral floor cleaner and floor neutralizer.
Knowing the difference is important to keep your floors clean and looking their best. The right product will keep your floors from taking damage and extend the life of your floors.
Imperial Dade locations have a wide variety of floor care products, including a variety of neutral floor cleaners and floor neutralizers.
If you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, or Canada, and you want to learn more about the difference between these two types of floor care chemicals, contact a specialist today.
Our specialist can review your current floor care procedures and ensure you have the best floor cleaning products to clean and maintain your facility’s floors.
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