Tag Archive for: cleaning tips

floor polishing vs buffing a floor

Buffing vs. Polishing for Commercial Floors

The Differences Between Polishing and Buffing a Floor… and When to Do Which

As a new business or office, you may be wondering about how you should go about cleaning your floors. In large spaces with many employees and customers or clients walking through, it might be needing a good sprucing up soon. We can help with that here at Mayfair Building Services.floor polishing vs buffing a floor

After cleaning your floors, it’s important to give them a good buffing or polishing at least once a month to keep them looking fresh. But what do these mean, and which method should you use? While either buffing or polishing will get the job done, there are clear differences between the two.

What is Floor Buffing?

Sometimes known as spray buffing, buffing uses a buffing machine that contains rotating pads, requiring it to move at a slower pace. Using a spray bottle, you spray the floor with a special solution that will fill in any nicks or cracks in the floor and get rid of smudges. Essentially, you are “buffing in” the solution and creating a nice, new shine.

Floor buffers usually come supplied with buffer pads that are specifically designed to take out any scuffs and other kinds of dirt or various markings. This helps to keep the floors looking their best and maintaining their sheen.

While spray buffing is the most commonly used method, there is also such a thing as dry buffing. Used with machines over 1000 RPM, dry buffing uses the mechanical action of the high speed to smooth the finish and remove marks without using any spray. You can also use this method after you’ve already buffed the floor once or twice with the spray solution. This way you can eliminate any excess spray that might’ve been left, which can leave the floor feeling tacky.

With both spray and dry buffing, the key is to move gently back and forth in a pendulum motion, lingering on scuff marks a bit longer. Make sure not to move the machine too quickly, as you want to allow enough time for proper buffing.

While cleaning should still be done beforehand, buffing is a great way to both clean and polish your floors simultaneously, as the machine contains cleansing bristles in the back. You can think of buffing as a sort of “exfoliation” for your floors.

What Does Floor Polishing Do?

Polishing, or burnishing, is similar to buffing, but not quite as commonly used in commercial cleaning. A polishing machine operates at a much faster pace than a buffing machine. With polishing, you’re basically taking off the top layer of the floor to create an even surface and bring back its glassy shine. 

Just like a buffer, a floor polisher creates a smooth surface on the floor that makes it look cleaner and brand new. But with polishing, the quality of the floor material might actually change a bit more, as an extra substance is added on top to protect it. Polishing tends to give more of that glossy, wet look, so at times, polishing is done after buffing to achieve more of that effect.

It’s also extra important that you prep and do a total clean—dust mop or sweep and then wet mop—before polishing your floor.

Which is better – Polishing a Floor or Buffing a Floor?

Either polishing or buffing is a great way to clean your commercial floors and keep them in top shape. They can even be used interchangeably, as well. On a larger industrial scale, both can get rid of chips and other imperfections, and both require specialized machines and care – particularly on floors with delicate material.

With that being said, polishing uses a heavier process to clear away the bumps and chips. Therefore, if you find that your floors just need a little touch up on some scuffs, buffing might be your best option. It can also depend on the type of flooring you have. Wood or laminate floors can be easily polished, while concrete floors are best cleaned with a concrete floor buffer and a concrete sealer to help improve their lifetime.

However, if you are still unsure which method is best, it’s always better to consult a commercial cleaning professional first so that your floors can last for their optimal time and don’t get accidentally damaged in any way.

If you are looking for a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly clean for your floors or anything else, look no further than our team at Mayfair Building Services. We offer expert janitorial services and eco-friendly cleaning solutions to keep your workplace both squeaky clean and environmentally conscious. Our whole crew is not only trained, certified and specialized in a wide variety of cleaning techniques, but also bonded and insured as well.

If you’re in the greater Vancouver area and need a floor or carpet clean or an all-over deep clean, we can help! Contact us at Mayfair Building Services today to get started and talk with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.

microfibre cleaning cloths

Aren’t All Microfibre Cloths The Same?

Find Out How Microfibre Cloth Works on Different Surfaces

Did you know microfibre cloths can remove 99% of harmful bacteria? Compare that to a conventional cloth, which reduces bacteria by a mere 33%. With the addition of water, you can clean most surfaces without using harmful chemicals. Time to say goodbye to sponges and paper towels! A high-quality microfibre towel can be used hundreds of times, unlike disposable cleaning cloths.

Not only does it save you money, microfibre cleaning cloths also outlast other cleaning cloths. First created in the 1950’s, and developed further in the 1970’s, microfibre began to find its way into the mainstream by the early 1990’s. Today, professional cleaners are using microfibre material more than ever.

What are the Different Types of Microfibre?microfibre cleaning cloths

Over the years various manufacturers have developed specific microfibre products for particular tasks ranging from scrubbing floors and dusting, to cleaning hard surfaces like wood, tile, glass, and stainless steel. These products range from split, to non-split fibre. While high-quality fibre is split during the manufacturing process to produce multi-stranded fibres, non-split is typically disposable or for limited use. While bargain microfibre can have approximately 50,000 fibres per square inch, superior microfibre cloths can have more than 3.1 million fibres per square inch. The difference in quality and longevity can go from 50 washes to 300 washes! 

  • How to tell if it’s split or non-split fibre product: Pour a small amount of water on a surface. If the cloth pushes instead of absorbing water, it’s non-split microfibre. You can also run the cloth over your hand. If it clings to your hand it’s split microfibre.

Typically, microfibre cleaning cloths can be made of 100% polyester or a combination of polyester and polyamide (nylon). The shape, size, and combination of fibres are created for certain characteristics such as: softness, toughness, absorption, water repellency, electrostatics, and filtering ability.

  • Microfibre can be used to make mats, knits, weaves, apparel, upholstery, and industrial filters. 
  • Microfibre is useful for making wallets, handbags, book covers, shoes, cell phone cases and coin purses. It’s lightweight, durability and water repellency make for an ideal leather substitute. 

But how does it work? One strand of microfibre is about 1/5 the diameter of a human hair. These millions of split fibres all help lift and hold dirt, grease, grime, liquids, and bacteria. The fibres include positive-charged polyester and negative-charged nylon that helps attract and sweep away whatever is on the surface.

Unlike cotton, microfibre will leave zero lint behind. Think of microfibre as a million little fingers that work together to pick up debris from various surfaces around your building.

 How to Use Microfibre Cleaning Cloths on Surfaces

When dusting surfaces, be sure to keep the cloth dry. That will maximize the amount of debris that gets lifted up. For other chores, dampen the cloth to wipe surfaces clean.

Try using one section of a cloth at a time. Here’s a little tip: fold the cloth in half, then in half again. This gives you 8 total surfaces for cleaning (4 on each side of the cloth). When the cloth section begins to leave dirt or lint, refold the cloth to a fresh section.

Things to Keep in Mind About Microfibre Cleaning Cloths

  • Microfibres are antibacterial but are not antiviral.
  • Split microfibre cloths are your best choice for effective cleaning. Since it can hold up to 8 times its weight in water, this makes it very helpful during messy cleanups like cleaning spilled food off of countertops. It also leaves a streak-free finish, which is perfect for greasy fingerprints and cleaning the stovetop with no streak residue.
  • Non-split microfibre is basically a soft cloth. These are typically used for facial cleansing, as well as removal of skin oils, sunscreens, and mosquito repellents from optical surfaces such as cameras, phones, and eyeglasses. They effectively remove the oils without smearing. 
  • While microfibre can clean most surfaces, it can be unsuitable for some high-tech coated surfaces such as television screens. 

How to Clean Microfibre Products

One of the many benefits of microfibre cloths is that they’re machine washable. For best results, you should wash your microfiber cloths after every use. Between machine washes, you can easily rinse the cloth in warm to hot running water for about 10 to 15 seconds to flush out the accumulated dirt. 

If the microfibre towel is extra grimy, keep washing until the water begins to run clear. Once rinsed, it’s ready for use again.

Tips for Cleaning Microfibre Towels and Products

  • Always use regular detergent, and don’t use bleach or fabric softener. The bleach can potentially damage fibres, and the softener can clog the fibres. 
  • If cloths have become ineffective or start to smell, simply boil them in water with a ¼ cup of baking soda for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Always follow proper drying instructions. Some products have specific instructions for care.

You might ask, what about potential microfibres being washed and released into the environment? You can purchase special fibre-trapping balls and washing machine filters as a perfect solution.

Why use Microfibre Cloths?

Microfibre towels and cloths are vastly more hygienic than conventional cloths and can help you to avoid using expensive and harmful cleaning products too. While cleaning solutions do break down some dirt and grime, dirt can be missed and chemical residue can be left behind. 

These same cleaning products can cause potential allergic reactions in people and animals. Chemical cleaners can also drain into our rivers and seas, creating water pollution. 

Quality cloths made from microfibre are much more beneficial and cost-effective in the long run. They can be used on countertops, windows, metal, baseboards, any bathroom surface, and various electronics. Make the switch to microfibres today!

Mayfair Building Services Ltd. offers expert janitorial services with over 30 years of experience, available in the Greater Vancouver Area. Whether you need a one-time, daily, weekly or monthly deep clean, carpet clean, window washing and anything else involving clean, we can help. Contact us today to schedule your first appointment.

Sanitizing Surface

Cleaning, Sanitizing & Disinfecting

Know the Difference Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting for the Deepest Clean

A clean office is a happy office, and healthy employees are happy and productive employees. Cleaning is not a one-step process and there’s a big difference between cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting. Each method has its own place when it comes to doing away with harmful germs and bacteria that can make you sick. At Mayfair Building Services, we’re experts on clean! 

Read on to learn more about how to make your workplace as healthy as possible. 

What is Cleaning

Cleaning gets rid of dust, grime, hair and other debris by washing and rinsing. Cleaning can be done with a mild detergent, a mixture of gentle soap and vinegar, or a prepackaged cleaning product meant for the surface. Basic surface cleaning isn’t enough to wipe out harmful bacteria, so any high-touch areas, like food-prep areas should always be cleaned and then sanitized. Cleaning is most suitable for windows and floors and other low-touch areas with less of a risk of transmission of germs, bacteria and fungi. Cleaning means wiping and washing hard or soft surfaces to make it look cleaner, but it can only kill up to 94% of virus-causing bacteria. 

What is Sanitizing

Difference between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting

Sanitizing is a term used for reducing up to 99.9% of bacteria on soft surfaces. Upholstery, clothing and other porous surfaces are generally cleaned and then sanitized, to kill the most bacteria possible. Most sanitizers require a “dwell time”, which is a period of time to let the sanitizer sit on the surface before rinsing.

Sanitizing can also be done with very hot water (think dishwasher run on “sanitize” mode, a load of laundry washed in very hot water with sanitizing cleaner and steam cleaning carpets and fabrics. Using a steam cleaner or the hottest setting on an appliance to clean porous materials is an effective way to kill bacteria and viruses when it’s not possible to use a disinfecting solution.

Of course, you’ll want to be sure that the surface can stand up to steam cleaning. Tile floors are an excellent candidate for steam cleaning, while some types of flooring, like laminate and hardwood floors, could become damaged by steam cleaning. 

What is Disinfecting

Disinfecting products are used on non-porous hard surfaces and use chemicals to get rid of all bacteria AND viruses. Surfaces like countertops, doorknobs and keyboards should all be regularly disinfected, especially when shared between colleagues. Disinfecting these types of high-touch surfaces is effective for preventing the spread of illness, like different types of influenza (flu) or rhinovirus (cold). Disinfectant cleaning products (not sanitizers) are Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved to destroy bacteria and viruses. 

Combined with a regularly scheduled office / workplace cleaning, disinfecting is a great way to keep your whole office healthy. Between cleanings, it’s always a good idea to wipe down high-touch surfaces, like your desk, with ready-made disinfecting wipes. 

Clean, Sanitize and Disinfect Surfaces for Best Results

As an example, let’s say you’ll be cleaning the microwave in your staff kitchen. These appliances are a haven for bacteria and should be cleaned daily for heavy use and weekly for light use. 

Simply spraying a sanitizing product onto a surface isn’t enough to kill bacteria. The surface must be cleaned well and for best results, all visible dirt and debris must be cleaned thoroughly first. Any debris left behind makes sanitizers and disinfectants less effective and can spread germs around. When using cleaning products, always wear gloves to protect your hands.

  1. Clean and scrub with a mild detergent. Wipe with warm water and a clean microfibre cloth and allow the surface to air dry. Extra dirty surfaces may need extra rounds of cleaning and scrubbing.
  2. Apply (spray or wipe) a sanitizing product, allow the product to dwell for at least 4 minutes or as directed. This is known as dwell or contact time. Wipe the product off with a clean, dry microfibre cloth, unless directed to leave it on.
  3. Finally, apply the disinfectant and allow it to dwell for at least 4 minutes to kill germs. An alcohol-based disinfectant may dry faster than 4 minutes. In this case, apply liberally and leave the surface wet as long as possible. 
  4. Give it a good wipe down with a microfibre cloth if you need to get rid of any residue on the clean surfaces.

Best used as a trio, cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants all guard against bacteria and viruses. They’re regulated in Canada by Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) and the Natural and Non-prescription Health Products Directorate (NNHPD). 

When in doubt, the product label will provide valuable information on where and how to use the cleaning product. Or you can leave it to us. Our team is specifically trained in commercial and industrial cleaning service. As a result, they know exactly which products and which dilutions to use in your workspace, completely eliminating any guesswork.

Trained in commercial and industrial cleaning, our experts at Mayfair Building Services can provide one-time or routine cleaning for your workplace. With over 30 years of experience, our professional, fully trained and certified employees can handle every cleaning task, from floor to ceiling, inside and out. From carpets to windows, you can trust in our expertise to get your workspace as clean and healthy as possible. We serve the entire Greater Vancouver area including Surrey, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Langley and White Rock. Contact our Burnaby office today at (604) 439-0312 to book your first appointment today.

how to clean hardwood floors

How to Clean Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Other Wood Flooring Maintenance Tips

Many higher-end commercial office spaces and heritage buildings feature hardwood floors. Hardwood floors definitely add a timeless beauty to any office or retail setting, but we know it can feel a bit intimidating when it comes time to clean them. Hardwood floors do need to be given a bit more TLC than standard laminate flooring, but it’s relatively easy for you or a professional cleaner like Mayfair Building Services to get and keep your wood floors looking their best. All that’s needed are gentle cleaning and refinishing products, some know-how and a bit of elbow grease.

In this article, we’ll guide you in the best ways to prevent damage, clean, and erase unsightly marks on the natural wood flooring in your workspace.

how to clean hardwood floors

Prevent Wear and Tear of Hardwood Floors

Protect Your Flooring

Taking the proper steps to protect hardwood floors from daily wear and tear will go a long way to preventing scrapes and scuffs.

  • Task chairs should be outfitted with hardwood casters, specially designed to prevent scratching or scuffing.
  • Task chairs can also be used with plastic protective floor pads or low pile floor mats. If you’ve got some carpeting, look at our helpful post on how to clean and maintain the carpeting around your office.
  • Other pieces of furniture like waiting room chairs and coffee tables should always have felt floor protectors applied to the bottoms of the furniture legs, since they get moved around quite a bit.
  • Over time, clients getting up and pushing the chair back and forth could result in quite a bit of scuffing and scratching on hardwood floors. In that same vein, when moving furniture, you’ll want to pick it up and avoid dragging it whenever possible.
  • Add a welcome mat, a heavy-duty rug and a good solid boot tray/shoe tray by the front door. This will help keep dirt, water and mud off the flooring.

Sweep Daily and Vacuum Weekly

A quick daily sweep and a weekly or bi-weekly vacuum will keep your floors looking fresh and prevent damage from dirt and dust.

  • Before vacuuming or sweeping, go over the flooring with a dry mop or Swiffer-type sweeper. This will attract any hair, dust and dirt.
  • Next, vacuum with a floor brush attachment. For wooden floors, you’ll want to avoid using a powerhead or beater bar, which can scratch the wood.
  • Vacuuming should be done weekly or biweekly, depending on the volume of traffic through your business.

Deep Clean Hardwood Floors as Needed

It’s a good idea to do a deep seasonal clean to remove dirt and oil build-up. This grime can dull the finish and durability of the flooring over time.

  • After you vacuum, use a good wood floor cleaner and saturate a mop (sponge or rag) well. Let the cleaner sink into the fibres.
  • Wring out the mop really well so it only feels slightly damp. This is important because you don’t want to have any standing water left on the floor.
  • Damp-mop, working from the back of the office to the front, making sure to get underneath furniture and in corners.
  • Rinse and wring out as often as needed. Depending on the size of your office, you may need to change your water.
  • If the cleaning product recommends a fresh-water rinse, use a second mop rinsed in clean water.
  • To speed the drying process for your newly clean floors, turn on the air conditioner or ceiling fans.

Removing Marks from Hardwood Floors

Despite our best efforts, wood floors do get marked up from time to time. Because wood is so durable, however, this is an easy fix. The key is to know the finish of your floor to be able to safely remove the mark.

  • If the stain is sitting on the surface, the wood likely has a urethane or polyurethane finish, which is a hard finish that stays on top of the wood.
  • If you’re working in an older building or a heritage building, the original flooring is likely to be oil finished. If the stain has spread through to the wood, you can bet it’s a soft oil finish.

Removing Marks from a Hard Urethane Finish

The best choice for removing marks from modern hardwood flooring is a clean microfiber cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaning solutions, sandpaper, steel wool or any other gritty material, since these will damage the finish. A good, gentle cleaner is all you really need to remove a surface stain.

Removing Marks from a Soft Oil Finish

This is a bit more complex and can involve some staining, waxing and buffing. If you’re really stuck, call us at Mayfair Building Services for advice or to schedule your floor cleaning service.

Heel Marks- Floor wax and very fine steel wool make short work of those pesky heel marks. Use the steel wool to gently rub in the floor wax, and it will gently scrub away the markings.

Oil-based Stains-Use a soft cloth and gentle dishwashing soap to cut the grease. Rinse the soap with a soft cloth dampened with clear water. This might take a couple of applications. Once the damp spot has dried, you’ll see raised grain. Gently buff the raised grain of the wood and finish up with stain if needed.

Pet stains or Dark Spots- Did the office pet have an accident? Just rub the spot with very fine steel wool and floor wax. If you still see a dark spot, let a small bit of vinegar soak into the wood. This should completely lift the stain. If not, try bleach once the vinegar has completely dried. Finish up by rinsing with a clean damp cloth.

Water Marks- Use your trusty steel wool and floor wax here too. If the stain has saturated the floor, you can very lightly sand the floor using a fine grit paper. Clean the rest of the stain with your fine steel wool and mineral spirits.

Professional hardwood floor cleaning, deep office cleaning, pressure washing and more —at Mayfair Building Services, we do it all. Whether you need daily, weekly or monthly office or industrial maintenance and cleaning, our team is expertly trained to handle any mess you can throw our way. Contact us at our Burnaby, BC office via email or by phone at (604) 439-0312 to schedule an initial consultation and join our growing list of happy clients.