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  1. #1
    Member Specialist Professor with Tenure Jon's Avatar
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    rubber mats in restaurants

    Never cleaned those large rubber mats the cooks stand on in restaurants and have been asked to clean them as part of a bid.

    Anyone clean those mats, if so what do you use, just hot water or a soap and brush?

    How much to qoute per mat?

    Any information would be welcome.

    Jon

  2. #2
    Member Senior Undergraduate
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    I have cleaned the mats in the past as a service, never felt good about charging for the cleaning. My experience has not been good. I layed the mat down, outside the resturant, then applied chemical and washed the mat. I pushed the grease from the top side to the bottom side, then flipped the mat over and pushed the grease from the top to the bottom. I removed very little grease, just moved the grease from one side to the other. If a person had a rack to hold the mat off the floor, the result might be different. Most resturants just fold then up and run them throught the dish machine, several times. I also think the chemical softens the rubber mat. Maybe someone else can give us help on this.

    Douglas Hicks
    General Fire Equipment Co of Eastern Oregon, Inc

  3. #3
    Senior Moderator 2500 PLUS POSTER
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    Thumbs down

    Jon

    You can't win when you clean mats-you could spend 3 hours and the mats will still feel and look the same. The customer sees no change.

    David

  4. #4
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    Jon Jon Jon,


    I want to say your right Doug, chemicals can dissolve this rubber if the mats are the cheap ones. I have found that the mats that are softer tend to have a better resistance. As far as the right chemical I donít do a lot of these and we usually test caustic and acid. Caustic would be my preference on this job as long as the mat will hold up.

    Most restaurants do run these through the dish room. Its really not good for the dishwasher, the grease on these mats can make the dishes come out bad. Besides do you clean your kitty litter box in your kitchen sink?


    Jon simply takes the mats out back and cleans them on the slab in the back of the restaurant. Like Doug said roll them a couple times after pressure washing the side several times. Pre-treat the mats if possible. Itís really not that hard and shouldnít take long at all. Each mat will take a few minutes to clean. I also if they are just a couple mats I donít charge extra. Most restaurants have twenty of so of these. Out side the rear doors some restaurants have hooks to hang these on. Look and check the rear areas for this. Remember you can knock a lot of stuff and the clean up after can take awhile. (Donít clean that back area until you finish the mats.)

    When taking them in and out of the restaurant donít mark up walls.

    Cost $6.00 dollars per depending if your service the flatwork or how many mats they have. you didnt tell that???? ( it would cost more if you where only doing the mats)
    Ron Musgraves

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  5. #5
    Exterior Restoration Specialist 21000 PLUS POSTER Ron Musgraves's Avatar
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    i think educating the customer will save you some headeche. I have had these customers with mats Too.. older mats just dont look good no matter what you do,,

    David, whats your chemical Choice???? Being inside more than me you probably have run across this more.
    Ron Musgraves

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  6. #6
    Senior Moderator 2500 PLUS POSTER
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    Smile

    We use a base chemical Caustic Soda -I buy it from Vopak-buy around 2500 lbs per and up to 4500 depending on space.

    David

  7. #7
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    Jon,
    Not sure what the customer is expecting for the end results, but from past experience of work in restaurants, here is my input.
    We wanted the grease and food removed, so they were not slippery through out the shift. They get pretty slick anyway and after not being washed well, they get pretty bad.
    We used to take them out back, drape them overe the wall and hose them off with hot water run from the water heater, brush the stubborn areas and let them dry. We did not use soap.
    If you can't hang them, I would wash down the area that you would lay them in first, some you can stand on their side and lean on a wall, some you can't.
    With the heat and pressure of your unit, it should be a snap to do, but moving the dirty mats is a chore, so wear old clothes and or raingear to keep clean and dry.

  8. #8
    Member Specialist Professor with Tenure Jon's Avatar
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    Good idea's from all of you, Ron sorry I forgot to mention how many, was tired from working and just wanted to post this so I can do the bid today.


    There are 5 orange mats, I did not measure them but they look to be about 4 by 6 each.

    Good idea about hanging, can always buy those large hooks from Home Depot and hang them on those.

    Not really sure what customer expects nor what I expect other then from what all of you say they will still be sticky even after cleaning them.

    If I do them for free the customer has not rights to complain if they still feel sticky, hmmm.

    Thanks for the imput guys.

    Jon

  9. #9
    Senior Moderator 2500 PLUS POSTER
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    Jon

    Now that you mentioned it-"no problem if its free he can' t complain". Almost every time I throw in a free thing it turns into a pain in the butt. The customer expects the same even if it is free. Last month we cleaned a hood system and the owner asked if I could clean the stove grates(cast iron over burners). I told him that we don't clean them, he in turn said could you do what you can-I said that I would soda blast them. Well my compressor went down and this guy calls me every week asking when am I going to clean the grates(store is in escrow). Now I am spending more time and money on the free thing-granted it was my fault in not making myself clear-or clearer. My point is the customer has an expectation and money isn't the issue-until you charge him. The mats are more problems than they are worth

    David

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    ron p

    This may not be cost effective but e-spec's limonlene is $60 for 55 gal kit. It cuts grease pretty good. Get a kiddie pool and put in just enuff to cover the mat or just enuff to soak 1/2 of one side, then flip over. Rinse when done, Im sure you can fool with the delution to get the job done cost effectivly. Lots of hood cleaning people use dip tanks for the filters in the hoods. Same idea.
    Ron P.

  11. #11
    Member Junior Undergraduate MARK W.'s Avatar
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    Jon, I'm suprised that you just dont tell the customer that I will do the best I can and thats all. I worked in that business and as long as you get the food and junk off that should be fine. I'ts not something that the coustomer of the restaurant has to look at. Send me a yahoo message soon, its been some time
    Mark Williamson



  12. #12
    Member Associate Professor kmjt1021's Avatar
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    Jon this has worked for me everytime I have had to clean them.
    I fill a trash can with some degreaser and hot water, I use caustic soda, I roll the mat up and put it in the can, you may have to flip it, they usually don't fit completely in the can. Be careful flipping them the degreaser will tend to go everywhere. After they have soaked for a few minutes I take it out lay it down, put another one in to soak while you spray off the first mat, you will have to spray the matt from every possible angle on both sides, it should take about 5 to 10 minutes per matt, but you can make them look new
    Bryan LeDane
    Potomac Powerwashing
    800-458-2301

  13. #13
    Member Specialist Professor with Tenure Jon's Avatar
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    Never told the customer what I or she should expect since this will be the first mat job.

    It was not that way till I was done with checking out the dumpster pads, then she came out and said I also want the mats cleaned, that sort of got me, what mats?

    Hey Mark come on out and clean them for me, I will buy you dinner afterwards! it is a 24 hour restaurant.

    I will get with you soon Mark, been playing catch up with work, 3 more jobs and I will be back to normal. Ah shucks, I forgot I am not a normal guy

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