How to Clean a Gym Floor

How to Clean a Gym Floor

One of the premier locations in any school, college, or university is the gymnasium. Numerous events and activities in a school are held in the gym. There are sporting events, parent-teacher conferences, school dances, and more. The amount of foot traffic seen by the typical gymnasium floor is enough to keep a maintenance crew busy, but the days of simply pulling out a dust mop to try and keep gym floors clean are gone.

Keeping a gym floor nice and shiny for the various events it will see can be a chore, but keeping it clean and using proper maintenance will increase the floor's longevity. A nice, shiny gymnasium also sends a message and is a reflection of a school's image. Cleaning and maintaining a gym floor may often mean removing dust and scuff marks, buffing the floor, and refinishing it. How do you know what to do to keep it all clean?


How to Remove Scuff Marks

The shiny, freshly cleaned gym floor can lose much of its luster after having come in contact with the soles of numerous tennis shoes. The highly polished finish can react with the rubber soles of shoes and leave ugly scuff marks. Getting rid of these scuff marks is an ongoing process and is easier than you might think.

An easy way to get rid of black marks on a floor involves a microfiber cloth. You first soak the microfiber cloth in a mild cleaning solution with water and then gently buff away the stain. Proper use of your makeshift scrubber will remove scuff marks but not the floor's finish. Using some sort of metal scrubber is not necessary as it could damage the floor.

Another method of removing scuff marks uses a tennis ball instead of the microfiber cloth. Take a tennis ball and cut it in half. Attach the tennis ball to a broom handle. Dip the tennis ball into the solution you will use to the clean the floor. Using your handmade scrubber, buff out the scuff marks from the floor.

Cleaning the Floor of a Basketball Court

Typical gym floors are made of hardwood, though there are some locations that do have rubber floors. In either case, a daily maintenance routine should be followed in an effort to extend the life of the surface. To take care of a hardwood floor, a daily regimen of cleaning in the morning and once again before any practice or game that takes place on the floor is advised. In most cases, simply using a dust mop is not the solution.

It is best to remember that using a number of different cleaning products is of no benefit to your daily routine. Using a variety of cleaning products, including too much water, can damage the finish and possibly the hardwood as well. Cleaning any surface in any facility should be done with a mild cleaner mixed with water. CourtClean is one such proven product.


You must wet clean the hardwood floor in order to prevent build up over time. During sporting events for example, athletes will perspire. The resulting sweat, body oils, and moisture will build up on the floor over time. If these oils and salt are not broken down properly, the remaining residue can lead to a very dull-looking and slippery floor.

To wet clean the floor using Courtclean, you first prepare the cleaning solution. The towel is placed in the cleaning solution and then wrung out to remove most of the water. The towel is placed on the Courtclean applicator, which is a unique system that allows a person to pull the applicator across the floor of the facility.

For the typical gym floor, a person will take nine passes with the six-foot Courtclean applicator. The cleaning begins at one wall and is completed by working with the grain of the wood across the floor. When finished, the towel is removed and laundered.

Cleaning a rubber surface in a gym is a similar process. Any large pieces of residue, dirt, dust, and other debris can be removed by sweeping or even vacuuming. Items stuck to the floor can be removed using a scraper. Be careful to lift the scraper upward and away from the surface in order to remove things like gum. Once all the loose debris is removed the floor, the wet clean process can begin using a product such as Courtclean.

How to Buff a Gym Surface

While daily cleaning of an athletic facility floor is necessary to extend its life, periodic buffing of the surface is also recommended. Dirt, dust, and other debris can be removed from the floor as in the everyday routine to begin the buffing process. Because of the number of shoes on it and the amount of traffic it sees, a floor should be buffed once a month.

After removing the dirt and dust, the floor can be cleaned according to its regular schedule. The process is explained further in detail below in the section titled "Cleaning the floor of a basketball court." Once that process is complete, the buffing process can begin.

It is best to use professional grade machinery to buff the floor. A non-abrasive pad is used to ensure no scratching of the finish or other damage occurs. The floor is scrubbed and the result is a shiny, new-looking surface. As stated, buff the floor once a month for best results. Buffing the floor will remove the buildup of dirt and other debris which can cause a floor to wear down over time. Buffing will restore your floor, extend its lifespan, and save money over the years.


Regardless of how well a floor is maintained, there will come a time when it must be refinished. There may be a color change, a logo change, or the surface might be at a point where it simply needs a new coat of finish. Whatever the case may be, a refinishing project must be done correctly. Here's how.

  1. First, a proper cleaning must be done. See the section titled "Cleaning the floor of a basketball court" for instructions on how to do so.
  2. The process begins by sanding the entire surface to remove everything down to the raw wood. Any noticeable cracks are repaired and any deteriorating wood is replaced.
  3. A sealer is then applied to the floor. Two coats of finish are necessary for the best results. There are a number of great sealing products on the market. Any lines, logos, and markings that will be placed on the floor will be done so after the first coat of sealer. Once all of the painting is complete, the second and final coat of finish is applied.
  4. The entire process normally takes between three to four weeks to complete. For the typical school gym floors, the refinishing takes place in the summer when school it out of session. School officials must leave the facility and the floor must not be walked on for certain periods of time as the refinishing is done. Great care is taken so that no dust finds its way into the new finish. Some refinishing products are oil-based and those can take a week to cure. All in all, it can be up to a month to completely refinish a gym surface.
A beautiful refinished gym floor

HoopClean the Basketball Backboard Cleaner

Basketball Backboard Care

Like gym floors, backboards are another important part of a sports facility. The backboard should kept clean so that it does not affect the outcome of a game and for aesthetic purposes as well. To take care of the backboard, you have to use more than just water. You will use a glass cleaner and a rag. Since the backboard is roughly ten feet from the floor, you will need a ladder to it. Newer products, such as Hoopclean, utilize an 8-foot extendable pole eliminating the need for a ladder.

The glass or acylic backboard is washed using a rag or a product like Hoopclean. Be sure to wash the entire surface of the backboard. Any scuffs can be buffed out by applying a mixture of pumice and water and scrubbing a little harder in those areas.

The backboard needs to be dried and can be done using paper towels as to avoid streaks. The Hoopclean system actually comes with its own squeegee which can be used to dry the backboard and leave a crystal clear finish.

Removing Sweat

If you watch basketball on a regular basis, you will notice several times during games maintenance personnel using a mop to remove dirt, dust, or moisture from the playing surface. Players often fall or dive on the floor leaving sweat all over it. This moisture must be removed in order to keep other players safe. Leaving it would be like pouring water on the floor and letting play continue. Players could easily slip and injure themselves.

A dust mop will not do in this case. Something more absorbent is necessary to remove the moisture from the floor. KeyClean uses an 18" x 24" mop with specially designed microfiber pads that quickly absorb sweat and moisture. Using KeyClean in this case will help reduce the risk of injury as well as help to maintain the life of the floor. Removing sweat from gym floors is part of the process that increases the lifespan of a playing surface.

KeyClean the Basketball Sweat Mop