Saturday, July 08, 2006

What is the best way to clean my door mat?

If you are like most people, you only think about cleaning your door mat about the same time is starts to look dirtier than your street. In other words, rarely.

But with proper cleaning, your door mat will stop more dirt at your doors and last much longer.

Door Mat Cleaning Tips:
  1. If your door mat is made with a nitrile rubber backing (such as those used in commercial mat services) you can toss the mat in the washing machine. Then tumble dry. Use a tiny bit of detergent -- preferably low-sudsing. Then pat yourself on the back for purchasing well!
  2. If your mat has a vinyl backing, you can clean it by hosing it off. Take it to the car wash, if it is in really bad shape, and really blast it!
  3. If your door mat is all-rubber, again, just hose it off.
  4. Most good quality door mats can be spot cleaned with the same treatments sold for carpets. Test a tiny spot first.
  5. If you get ground-in gum, use a citrus cleaner or "GU Gone." A good supplier is DE Davis and Co. If you get really desperate, give the mat a little "hair cut" and just trim out the gum.

Always vacuum your door mats between cleanings to keep them working well.

If you have a natural coconut shell or coir door mat, I have bad news for you. There is nothing you can do to clean it. These mats get nasty and moldy over time. Replace your coir door mat with a better one!

How many feet of matting do I need for optimum coverage?

If you have a high traffic entry way (such as a store or office), you can provide the best protection for your floors by following the The 15 Foot Rule

An effective rule-of-thumb for matting applications...

1. 70 to 80% of interior soil is brought into the facility from foot traffic.

2. 15 feet of matting is required to remove the majority of dirt and moisturefrom foot traffic.

3. 15 feet of matting allows each foot to make contact with the matting at least 3 times.

4. A minimum of 15 feet of matting ensures that the majority of soil will be stopped at the entrance.

The best door mats for stopping those pesky dog footprints

If I had a magical dog-paw cleaning mat, I would be a millionaire! This is certainly an issue that many of my dog-loving customers deal with everyday: How to keep floors clean with a dog running in and out all day.

While there is no one "magic dog" door mat, here are a few keys tips to help minimize dirt and grime coming in with the dogs.

First, like any matting situation, you should determine what kind of dirt is coming in the door on your dogs' paws. Do you have a lot of mud and wet debris? Or is it mostly dust and dry dirt?

If you have wet and muddy dirt coming in the door, you'll need an absorbent mat. My best selling absorbent entry mat is the Waterhog. This product will act as a scraper mat (taking large debris off paws and shoes) as well as an absorbent mat.

If you have mostly dry debris coming in with the dogs, you will want a softer, carpet-like mat. Look for one with a twisted yarn top -- like a shag carpet. A mat with a "shag carpet" type surface will grab small, dry dirt. Then the dirt will be sifted to the bottom of the mat, away from the surface, to avoid the dreaded re-track. The dirt will remain on the bottom of the mat until you vacuum or clean it away. A good example of a soft carpet mat is the Classic Carpets mat.

Lastly, just like their lazy human counterparts, dogs usually do not pause to wipe their paws on the mat. So follow this rule of thumb when choosing your door mat-- the larger the better. A little 18" x 27" door mat is going to be nothing but a chew toy in terms of stopping dirt. Aim for the largest mat your area can accept. That way, there is more matting surface to clean those pesky dog paws.