Which cleaning agent is the right one for porcelain stoneware floors in food retailing?

Cleanliness in food retailing has a decisive influence on the well-being of customers - and this pays off at the end of the day with higher sales.

The floor covering in the salesroom has a great influence on the perception of the customers, because it takes up a large part of the field of vision due to the large surfaces. In addition to the mechanics – i.e. the correct equipment of the cleaning machine – the cleaning agent also plays a decisive role in achieving a good cleaning result. In this article you will learn why green and at the same time effective cleaning products are not mutually exclusive, quite the opposite!

Food retailing places very high demands on cleaning chemicals

Hardly any other industry has to deal with such a large flow of customers and goods. In a supermarket, every type of dirt you can imagine is produced. In addition to the street dirt brought into the market by the many customers, it is not unusual for something to fall down and leave greasy dirt behind. Cleaning with water alone is not sufficient here, as water and grease do not mix. For this reason, simple all-purpose and household cleaners contain soaps.

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The use of soap-based all-purpose and household cleaners to clean a porcelain stoneware floor in a grocery store has serious drawbacks:

  1. Cleaning agents containing soap will cause the floor to become slippery if dirt and soap are not rinsed off the surface of the porcelain stoneware tiles in a second operation
  2. Soap works too slowly: The large surfaces in food retailing are usually cleaned by machine. The challenge is that the chemical can only act for a very short moment between the application of the cleaning liquor (fresh water + cleaning chemical) over the drift plate to the extraction of the dirty water immediately afterwards.
  3. The soap combines with the lime from the water to form so-called “lime soap”, which is insoluble in water and can only be removed with a complex basic cleaning. The lime soap literally attracts dirt, which leads to the greying of the floor covering.

Beware of highly alkaline cleaning agents for cleaning a porcelain stoneware floor in the food retail trade

Many manufacturers try to get around the soap problem by relying on highly alkaline products, which have a high pH and are therefore strong, caustic alkalis. These products do not contain soaps themselves. However, these are formed during the cleaning process by saponification of fatty contaminants.

Do not use highly alkaline cleaning agents Do not use highly alkaline cleaning agents

Highly alkaline cleaning agents are a concern for occupational health and safety

Products with a pH value significantly above 12 have a skin corrosive effect. This significantly increases the requirements for protective equipment. Normal disposable gloves, for example, are then no longer sufficient. In practice, the necessary protective measures can hardly be implemented; who wants to put on “full protection” every time just to fill the cleaning machine?

Highly alkaline cleaning agents have a corrosive effect on the material in the long run

Another problem with highly alkaline cleaning agents is that they are not only corrosive to the skin but also to the material in the long run. When cleaning with a scrubber-dryer, a minimal amount of residual moisture always remains on the floor covering. The water evaporates and the alkaline components concentrate, leaving a highly corrosive solution just before it dries completely. The corrosive effect is so great that so-called “glass corrosion” occurs, as is known from the advertising for dishwasher tabs. The result is a dull and dirt-prone surface.

The cleaning concept in a supermarket should be simple

The limescale problem and the resulting greying of the porcelain stoneware is conventionally countered by regular (e.g. twice weekly) acidic intermediate cleaning. In practice, however, this is hardly feasible, since even the correct application of a product presents a certain challenge with frequently changing cleaning personnel. In addition, acidic cleaning agents are usually less effective on non-mineral soiling.

Toxic and environmentally harmful cleaning agents have no place in a food market!

Some manufacturers try to compensate for the poor cleaning performance of their products with environmentally harmful or even toxic ingredients such as solvents. Sooner or later, such substances enter the food cycle and end up on our plates! Often a look at the back of the detergent canister will help. If there are warning signs such as “toxic” or even “hazardous to water”, these products should not be used for daily maintenance cleaning – for the sake of your employees and the environment!

GHS07 symbol: Exclamation mark GHS07 symbol: Exclamation mark
GHS09 symbol: Environment GHS09 symbol: Environment

Counteract the (graying) and etching with the sustainable haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner

So which cleaning agent is the right one for cleaning porcelain stoneware floors in food retailing?

We recommend the haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner for cleaning porcelain stoneware floors in the food retail trade. In the development of the haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner, we have dispensed with soaps and instead use high-tech surfactants.

The high-tech surfactants

  • do not form layers and thus ensure slip resistance
  • act extremely quickly and thus effectively remove greasy soiling, even during maintenance cleaning with scrubber driers.
  • are based on renewable raw materials and degrade completely biologically

The haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner is alkaline.

The cleaning effect of the high-performance surfactants is supported by the alkaline setting of the haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner. It is not subject to labelling. Another important component of our porcelain stoneware cleaner are special complexing agents. These ensure that the lime from the water and dissolved dirt remain in solution and cannot adhere to the floor covering.

Sustainable does not mean weak - on the contrary!

We deliberately avoid environmentally harmful or even toxic ingredients in our porcelain stoneware cleaner. It has been awarded the European Ecolabel for the third time in a row*. However, this does not mean that it is less effective – on the contrary. In order to be awarded the European eco-label, a cleaning product must prove in a test by an independent testing institute that it is equally or better effective than a comparative product that has a greater impact on the environment.

haid-tec® Fine Stoneware Cleaner * former designation haid-tec Maintenance Cleaner ecolabel DE/020/474 and DE/020/166 haid-tec® Fine Stoneware Cleaner * former designation haid-tec Maintenance Cleaner ecolabel DE/020/474 and DE/020/166

Summary

Soap cleaners and highly alkaline cleaning products will damage your flooring in the long run. The haid-tec® porcelain stoneware cleaner fulfils the high requirements for cleaning in the food retail trade and meets the customers’ demand for safe and clean floors. It maintains slip resistance while relying on sustainable ingredients.

Our continuing blog posts on supermarket cleaning at a glance:

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