Premium anti-fatigue mats can last between 3-8 years if properly cared for and cleaned. Here, we share 8 care and cleaning tips to maximize the life expectancy of your mats, support the safety and productivity of your workforce, and reduce the need to purchase new mats earlier than necessary.
1. Rotate Older Mats to Lower Traffic Areas
Anti-fatigue mats are like tires on a vehicle; they’re an investment. The better you take care of your investments, the better they perform and longer they last. Like rotating the front tires on your vehicle to the back every few thousand miles to reduce wear, you can rotate your mats to extend their functional lifespan.
As an example, if you’ve just purchased a new standard-shaped mat, consider rotating a heavily used but still functional mat to a space that has less workers or foot traffic and putting the new mat in its place. Another example, if you have an operator who works predominantly on one end of a square or rectangular mat, you can rotate the mat around so they’re now standing on the less used end.
The process works for custom-shaped mats as well. If a portion of your mat has reached the end of its functional life but a large portion is still operational, you can trim the older mat pieces off, re-border the edges and rotate the mat to a location where it fits properly. If needed, you can purchase standalone sections of yellow border here on the AcroMat website.
2. Clean with Standard Procedures
It's important to check with your dealer if you're not sure whether your mats can be cleaned, as lower-quality mats may break down or wear with consistent scrubbing. Premium mats, like AcroMat’s 100-1 Series, are made from thick nitrile rubber and impervious to hot water, cold water and other fluids, and are not degraded by chemicals or the products used to clean them – including degreaser, bleach, ammonia, or acid-based cleaners.
You can confidently scrub AcroMat anti-fatigue mats with a mop or deck brush using the cleaners noted above, or pressure wash them with a hose and hang them to dry. In fact, smaller mats can even be put in a conventional commercial kitchen washer for cleaning.
3. Remove Particle Build-up Under Your Mats
Dust, dirt, chemicals, metal shavings, food products and even nuts, bolts and washers can build up over time and significantly reduce the life expectancy of your anti-fatigue mats. They can also cause slipping and tripping hazards.
In addition to cleaning your mats, regularly clean under and around your mats to make sure they stay free from build-up.
4. Quickly Address Rips and Tears Minor holes in your tires can often be fixed if addressed in a timely fashion. The same can be said for rips, tears, and other damage to your anti-fatigue mats.
AcroMat’s repair kits come with the same factory adhesive we use when building our mats; the adhesive is a two-part rubber cement that is stronger than the mat itself and doesn’t impact the AcroMat two-year full replacement warranty.
Wherever you purchase your repair kits, make certain the products included don’t affect any warranties you may have and that the adhesive is strong enough to return your mat to its previous state for the long term.
5. Conduct Regularly Mat Inspections
Regular inspections for visible damage, adequate traction, trip hazards and other issues keep your workers safe, reduce risks and prolong the life of your mats. AcroMat’s freely available and printable Mat Inspection Checklist can be used as part of your weekly or monthly safety agenda. Here are 7 items to consider when inspecting your anti-fatigue mats:
- No visible damage
- No torn or curled edges
- Appropriate bevel
- Correct border
- Adequate traction
- No trip hazards present
- Mat replacement needed? (Y/N)
6. Avoid Resting Heavy Equipment on Your Mats
Heavy equipment, table legs and chairs can create irreparable divots or even holes in your mats. The most effective solution is to customize your anti-fatigue mats so that these products aren’t diminishing your mats. One option is customized cutouts for the areas where chairs and equipment rest.
7. Make Sure Your Mats are Completely Dry After Cleaning
Wet mats can slip and slide – reducing worker safety – and can be more easily damaged over time. Before making a purchase, explore whether your anti-fatigue mat provider offers grommets that allow you to hang your mats for drying.
Grommets are rings used to protect holes in thin materials like anti-fatigue mats, fabrics, sheet metal, and carbon fiber. They’re often used to make sure hooks, wires, rope, or cords can be put through without tearing through the hole.
You can also lay mats over cleaning carts, clean recycling dumpsters or other immobile equipment to dry after hosing or pressure washing.
8. Color Code Your Mats to Avoid Cross Contamination
Use different color mats for the various locations within your organization to avoid cross contamination with hazardous products like raw meat, potentially toxic chemicals or metal shavings that may find their way onto workers’ shoes, boots, and equipment – especially if there are mats of the same size and shape in hot or warm zones that might be cleaned and rotated with mats from cold zones.
Maximize Your Investment
Anti-fatigue mats help prevent injuries, improve employee performance and retention, and reduce absenteeism and staff turnover. They also show your workforce that you value their safety, health and well-being just as much in the workplace as outside of it.
Whether you’re new to the anti-fatigue mat landscape or a long-time user, consider the tips above to not only protect your employees but to maximize the investment you’ve made in them and your business.
With our custom mat builder tool AcroSketch – the first and only tool of its kind – you can build a mat of any size and shape with zero added costs for customization. Try AcroSketch today and receive an instant quote.
Book a brief consultation with our team to learn more.