What’s the Best way to clean Gym Floors?

If it looks clean, it is clean. The fact is, that’s what most people think. And if you’re responsible for keeping a gym clean, it’s what your customers will be thinking.

Rubber floors can be tough to keep clean. If you’ve ever tried to mop one, we’re sure you’ll know all about it.

To help you out in this blog we’re covering the best methods and equipment to clean gym rubber floors with better results, in less time.

We’ve also produced a video for you.

The Best Chemicals for Cleaning Gym Floors

Be sure to stick to cleaning detergents that are neutral pH, or mildly alkaline; a neutral or mild alkaline cleaner will ensure you don’t damage a rubber floor.

Next, stick to the recommended dilution rates. It can be tempting to put more chemical in, but it’s not a good plan. Overusing chemical in your mop bucket or floor scrubber will mean chemical residue is left behind.

Excess chemical residue causes 2 problems: it makes the surface more slippery, and those chemical residues attract dirt, meaning the floor will get dirty faster.

If you’re looking for a bit more insight into the world of cleaning chemicals, we’ve also produced a video on Understanding pH and cleaning chemicals for you

What’s the Best cleaning method for Gym Floors?

You’ve got two choices when it comes to rubber floor cleaning: you can mop it, or use a floor cleaning machine.

If you’re reading this, you probably already know that mopping a rubber floor is hard. Whether it’s a string mop or a flat microfibre type mop, they tend to grab the floor, making it hard to move around, and giving average results.

If you need to clean regularly and want easy, consistently-great results, you’ll to need to invest in a floor scrubber.

One of the most popular machines for cleaning gym floors is a cylindrical brush scrubber, as is featured in the video above.

flexible floor scrubbers

Example of flexible floor scrubbers.

Relative to other floor scrubbers, small cylindrical brush scrubbers are cost effective and do a very good job. They’re also versatile for cleaning other types of floors like concrete, vinyl, timber floors as well as on synthetic grass – another common surface in gyms.

The cylindrical brushes are extremely effective at reaching into the recesses and grooves of the floor. They have a solution tank for water and detergent which is dispensed onto the floor, scrubbed by the brushes, and the dirty water is picked back up by the machine.

Most cylindrical brush machines pick up dirty water by the brushes flicking it onto a rotating drum, and it then gets scraped off into a dirty water tray. This works quite well, however it is not a vacuum system so some moisture is left on the floor.

This isn’t a big problem if you’re not overusing a chemical and leaving too much residue, and as long as you allow enough time for the floor to dry. If time isn’t a major issue, these cylindrical scrubbers are a good choice.

If you’ve got a very large gym however (say 500 sqm+), or just want to clean faster, you might need to look at a particular type of larger automatic floor scrubber called a flexible autoscrubber.

Cleaning Gym Floors with a Flexible Scrubber

These floor scrubbers have a flexible handle design that makes it perfect for fast cleaning in and around obstacles, such as the equipment in a gym. The original and one of the most popular flexible scrubbers is the i-mop.

In principle a flexible floor scrubber is similar to cylindrical type scrubbers; they have a clean water tank, they scrub the floor, and pick up the dirty water. The key difference is that a flexible scrubber is faster due to its design, and the floor dries faster as it has a vacuum to suck up the water.

Why is it faster? Namely the manoeuvrability, and the fact you don’t have push it back and forth; you clean on one continuous forward motion. As we explain in the video, with a flexible scrubber with a 46cm cleaning path, you could expect to clean a 600 sqm gym in around 45 minutes.

One last tip when using a flexible floor scrubber on a rubber floor is to make sure you use natural hair brushes. Conventional floor scrubber brushes are made from polypropylene, and polypropylene brushes will build up a lot of friction on a rubber floor.

Natural hair brushes create substantially less friction on rubber floors, making the machine easier to move over the floor and reducing any potential strain on the motor.

So here’s our summary of top tips for cleaning rubber floors.

  1. Stick to a neutral or mild alkaline cleaning solution.
  2. Minimise chemical usage; You don't have to use chemical every time; once or twice a week is enough.
  3. If you can justify it, ditch the mop and invest in a floor scrubber.