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How To Clean Simulated Wood Grain Floors

We first ran into this problem about 10 years ago at a nursing home and assisted living center when they remodeled their entire flooring to simulated wood flooring replacing VCT flooring.  After about two weeks the dining area looked terrible.  Using standard rotary cleaning equipment failed to clean the micro pores of the simulated wood grain.  We tried everything, every chemical, and every machine in the industry and although we could clean the surface soils, we could not clean the micro pores.  The flooring was littered with little black dots and looked terrible.  Nothing worked and the client lived with the flooring.

Today this flooring is being installed in everything form gym floors to upscale dining and the problem has been finally solved.

The solution is a combination of a specialized cleaning machine from Clarke called BOOST and a specialized floor cleaning pad.  This is the only combination of cleaning machine and pad that works.  How does it work?

First, the machine:  The BOOST technology is available in hand floor machine called BOS-18 (BOOST on a Stick) or auto scrubbers like the Clarke Focus II BOOST, and even riders are available.  The machine has a rectangle area at the bottom of the machine which vibrates in a random pattern of 1/4" orbits.

Second, the specialized floor pad:  The Ruf-Tuff Pad looks like outdoor carpet on one side and has a backing on the other that attaches the pad to the machine's scrubbing plate.

And the magic:  Why this combination works is that the floor pad with its thousands of tiny grass fingers are vibrating back and forth over 2,000 times per minute on the surface of the floor.  These little fingers reach INTO the micro pores of the wood grain and can clean it.  By cleaning in every possible direction as the machine is being moved over the surface, the fingers reach into every pore and remove the soils.  Why does this work an where a standard floor pad, or rotary brush fails?  It really is simple physics.  A floor pad floats over the surface and cannot reach down to into the pores, and a rotary brush's bristles just jump over the pore as it is being pulled along, but the Ruf-Tuff Pad's fingers wiggle around in the pores and can reach the soils from every angle multiple times per second.

What cleaning chemicals work best?  If you clean on a daily basis I would recommend a neutral cleaner like Mighty Mac Wet Mop, or Betco's pH7.  For floors rather soiled, move up to an all purpose cleaner like Mighty Mac Bright & Clean, or Betco's Top Flite.  These cleaners are highly dilute-able and will make the floor look great.  Cleaning with straight water will not work very well.  The surface tension in the water molecule will prohibit the solution from reaching the micro pore; cleaning chemicals have surfactant agents to make the water break surface tension and penetrate the soils.

The results from this are amazing and frankly, it is the only way I've found that actually makes the floor look like it did after it was installed.  This system also works for any textured floor covering or surface.  This includes terrazzo, rough cut marble & granite, slate, quarry tile, and ceramic tiles.  Grouted lines less that 1/8" from the surface are well within the reach of the Ruf-Tuff pad's ability.
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