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How to fix slippery gym floors

Gym floors that become slippery can be a serious problem.  Sports floors that lack the necessary traction can result in injuries that sideline athletes.  This can be a serious issue that gets attention of top administrators and concerned parents. To prevent floors from becoming a safety issue, proper maintenance is the key.

This article looks at the most common causes of slippery gym floors and solutions to restore traction and prevent future issues.


What causes Slippery Gym Floors?

When slippery gym floors become a problem, the blame is frequently placed on the finish that was applied to the floor.  Often, the finish itself is not the culprit.



Dust and Debris

A common easily solvable issue is when dust and fine debris build up on the floor.  Gone are the days where you can restrict the use of street shoes on Gym Floors.

Solution:  Regular dust mopping of the floors.  Many newer type products including microfibers and disposable tacky mop cloths are available that make this process easier.

Oily Soils and Residues

A trickier problem is surface contamination that causes the surface to lose traction.  This can be body oils, sweat, dust mop residues, and more.    On wood gym floors, there is always a question on what cleaner can be used.

Common Questions about cleaning wood gym floors:

  1.  Can you use a water dilutable cleaner on wood gym floors?
  2.  Could the cleaner attack the finish?
  3.  Will the cleaner leave a residue?
  4.   Could a cleaner make the floor more slippery?

The default cleaning product that often gets used to clean a gym floor is a neutral floor cleaner.  Probably the same cleaner used to clean other hard surfaces in the building.  By definition, neutral floor cleaners are mild, so they won’t attack finish or leave a residue.

The Problem with Neutral Floor Cleaners on Gym Floors

Using a neutral floor cleaner to regularly maintain and clean wood floors will probably lead to slippery floor complaints.  WHY?  The mildness of neutral cleaners means they will not attack and remove oily residues from floors that ultimately cause slipperiness.

The Best Way to Maintain Traction on Wood Floors

Regular cleaning of wood floors that removes contamination that causes floor slipperiness is the answer.  The product must attack and remove oily residues without harming the wood or the finish.  AND, it must not leave a residue.  Products specifically recommended for wood gym floors can achieve the visual and performance results that is needed on todays multi-use gym floors.

Multi-Clean makes Hi-Trac, a product specifically designed for hard wood sports floors.  Follow the guidelines below to restore slippery floors and to maintain floors with a high traction surface.

If slippery floor complaints are already occurring, action needs to be taken. In this case, the gym floor cleaner combined with aggressive scrubbing will be required to bring the floor back into playing condition. Follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly dry dust mop or sweep the floor to remove all loose debris and dirt.
  2. Prepare the Multi-Clean Hi-Trac solution according to label instructions.
  3. For scrubbing, use a 175 rpm floor machine or automatic scrubber with a BLUE pad. If you will be using an automatic scrubber*, fill the tank with the cleaning solution.
  4. Apply solution to areas of the floor then scrub with the floor machine or scrubber. Work an area no more than 1000 sq. ft. Pick up the solution after scrubbing with a wet-dry vacuum or the scrubber.
    Allow the floor to dry.
    *Note: For newly installed gym floors, autoscrubbing may not be allowed in the first 1-2 years.

Multi-Clean makes Hi-Trac, a wood floor cleaner and maintainer made specifically for hard wood gym floors. It is used to maintain and restore traction on wood gym floors.

Visit our wood floor care webpage:

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