If you spend long periods of time standing in your kitchen, you probably understand how far that anti-fatigue kitchen mat goes to saving you from body aches. Professional chefs, home cooks, or just about anyone who spends time prepping, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen knows what much more the anti-fatigue mat does. In addition to how to clean anti-fatigue kitchen mats, I will share some cleaning tips, as well as the other benefits you accrue from using these mats.
What are Anti-fatigue kitchen mats?
These are mats designed to reduce body fatigue for someone who is going to be standing on a solid floor for extended periods. Such solid floors include the floor in your kitchen, and that’s why we have some mats dedicated for kitchen use. These mats may be made of different materials including rubber, vinyl, carpeting materials, or even wood.
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Step by Step: How to Clean Your Anti Fatigue Kitchen mat
We’ve seen what this type of kitchen floor mat does- a messy job, mainly. It’d be mean to reap all the benefits from a nice mat but leave it to rot in its dirt. Besides, no one wants stinking odors from their kitchen. We shall thus look at how you should clean the anti-fatigue kitchen mat next.
What you’ll need:
- Soap solution
- Adequate water, both cold and warm
- Broom and dustpan
- Stiff-bristled plastic brush
- Garden hose
How to get it done:
Anti-fatigue kitchen mats are generally made of materials such as rubber, vinyl, foam, and even encased get. This makes them unsuitable for the washing machine. You have to clean them the old-fashioned way- scrubbing with soap and water! This is how you need to do it;
i) Sweep the mat with a broom
This step is next to logic. You do not want to put all the dirt in the cleaning solution. Before even wetting the mat, ensure you sweep all the loose debris with a broom while collecting the dirt in a dustpan or dust bin.
ii) Make a soapy bath
You will need to dissolve the soap in water to help it penetrate all the crevices of that mat. Just add a few squirts of dishwashing soap or whichever appropriate detergent in a bucket ¾ full of warm water.
- iii) Scrub…scrub
Before you start scrubbing wet the mat in the soapy water. Use the plastic brush to spread the soap all over the mat’s surface. After the cleaning solution has covered every corner, now scrub the mat with the brush in a circular motion, working a few inches at a time.
- iv) Rinse the mat
This depends on whether or not you have a hosepipe and the size of your mat. If you have a smaller mat, you can best rinse it in the sink or from a water bucket. Larger mats may require that you rinse them outdoors on a jet of water. This where you will need to connect your garden hose pipe to get the water to the mat.
- v) Dry the mat
After sufficiently rinsing the mat, the final step is getting it dry. Again, due to the nature of materials used to make anti-fatigue kitchen mats, you may not dry the mat in the drier. Air-drying is the best option here. Ensure the mat is completely dry as any residual water may favor the growth of mold.
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Anti Fatigue Kitchen mat Cleaning Tips
That’s all. Your mat is now clean and dry, awaiting the next period of use, but there are a few things you need to know about cleaning these mats. These tips will help you do a thorough job without too much effort or being harsh on your mat.
- 1Always use warm water and a detergent to help dissolve grease and oil. The water should however not exceed 140F to avoid degrading the mat.
- 2Prolonged exposure to the grease and oil can damage rubber mats especially. Ensure you clean the mat at least once a week.
- 3Use a mild detergent on the mat. These mats often do not require aggressive cleaning procedures, and the entire cleaning process should not last more than 20 minutes.
- 4Do not use chemicals with extreme pH values. These include bleach, acids, alkalis, and other alike solvents. As you already know anti-fatigue mats are made of somewhat delicate materials that degrade faster than imaginable upon exposure to strong chemicals.
- 5Always sweep and clean the floor where the mat rests before returning the latter. This ensures your mat does not pick up dirt immediately after laying it. You may also sweep that area as often as dirt falls on it. This way, your mat will still be in a good state through the next usage period.
- 6Never return the mat to the kitchen before it is completely dry unless you want a repeat job after a day or two.
- 7Never wash anti-fatigue mats in a washing machine. Otherwise, the mat will wear out prematurely.
What are the benefits of using anti-fatigue kitchen mats?
Let us now find out what you stand to gain, should you invest in an anti-fatigue mat in your kitchen. you’ll possibly change your mind after reading through this.
Reduces fatigue and Promotes Better Health
Employees need to be standing when working in a commercial kitchen. I know you can already imagine the fatigue, joint pains, headaches, problems with pregnancy, and a possible risk of varicose veins and other circulatory system complications.
Luckily, research has shown that anti-fatigue mats reduce strain levels by up to 50%. Standing, and moving around the mat allows the proper circulation of blood throughout the limbs.
Prevents Slip Accidents
According to the HSE, slips, and trips are the most common causes of injury in workplaces. You need not be told that your kitchen is no different from a commercial one.
Anti-fatigue mats made of rubber provide grip and stability to the person standing on them. notably, the commonly wet kitchen floor surface will still grip onto the rubber mat.
Promotes Health and Hygiene
Anti-fatigue kitchen mats are manufactured with perforations. You may have noticed that when standing on the mat in your kitchen, almost all food particles, grease spills and other solid debris falling onto the mat usually settle on the floor, or seep through the mat. This in effect prevents the dirt from coming into contact with the cook’s shoes. The chances of spreading dirt around the high traffic kitchen areas are thus minimized.
If you have a commercial kitchen, you know how important good health is for your employees. By promoting the health of workers, the overall productivity increases and thus the overall business revenue.
Saves you Money
Anti-fatigue mats do not only absorb pressure from stepping on them but also from falling objects. A cowrie cup falling of the countertop edge is not likely to survive the impact on a concrete floor. A rubber mat would, in this case, reduce the chances of the cup breaking if it falls on the mat, as well as saving the floor from dents.
In these two ways, a kitchen rubber mat may save you maintenance and replacements, widening your business’ profit margin.
Cleaning anti-fatigue mats isn’t a complicated task. You now know what you need for the job, how to do it, and the tips to making the process efficient and effective. I trust that you can now give your mat a better treatment.
Enjoy your fatigue-free periods in the kitchen, on your clean mat!
Rita C. Donnell (Jennifer) has spent the last 26 years studying and practicing nutrition science. She has used a larger part of this time in improving people’s livelihoods. She has done so by coming up with unquestionable ideas on how to tackle food problems in her community. Readmore