How to Clean Food Service Floor Mats

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Food service mats, also known as anti-fatigue mats, are the bane of nearly every kitchen employee's existence at the end of the night. The mats are heavy, wet and covered in cooking grease and food scraps. Industrial kitchen mats are generally made of thick rubber to provide traction and comfort to the cooks who stand on them all day. They also have a series of holes in them, so that food and water flow through, keeping the surface from being slippery. They take a little time to clean, but be cleaned they must.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose with spray nozzle
  • Mop
  • Industrial broom
  • Degreasing soap
  • Hand scrubber

Cleaning Mats Outside

Pull the mats outside of the building and lay them on the ground, preferably next to a hose with a spray nozzle attachment.

Blast water onto the mats, getting them good and wet. If the restaurant doesn't have a hose, use a mop and bucket of water to wet the mats. After you have wet the mats, put degreasing soap into the bucket and refill the mop water to prepare for the next step.

Apply degreasing soap and water and scrub the mats with a long-handled, industrial broom. The bristles will get into the holes, cleaning out trapped food.

Flip the mats over and mop and scrub them again.

Rinse the mats thoroughly. Try to spray the water into the holes to remove any food particles that remain stuck.

Hang the mats over a railing to drip-dry overnight. Most restaurants have a spot outside where they do this. If yours doesn't have one, or they need to be brought in at the end of the night, get as much water off them as you can and return them to the kitchen area once the floor has been mopped. It's OK if they are a little wet. They are designed not to be slippery even when wet.

Cleaning Mats Inside

Put the mats into the dish sink and spray down with hot water from the dish sprayer.

Apply degreasing soap onto the material and scrub off any remaining food, using a stiff bristle brush.

Rinse well and place back on the floor.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not clean mats while they are on the floor in the kitchen. The mats need to be picked up and moved so they -- and the floor underneath -- can be cleaned properly.
  • It may be tempting to place small mats into the industrial dishwasher. Don't do it. If this is done regularly, the sanitizing chemicals in the dishwashing fluid will begin to break down the material of the mats.

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