What’s the best way to clean synthetic ice? Wow we get this question a lot so it’s time to write an article to address the question. Hopefully this will help some folks who already bought the product and also provide insight to those wondering what the maintenance requirements are prior to making the purchase.
Synthetic ice can be many positive things but it is not maintenance free. As long as there is dirt there will be the requirement to clean it. So what is the best way to clean it?
The simple answer to that question is to blast it with a power washer. The reality is however, that is not always possible. If the surface is outdoors then that is a great option. There are some great products available from the big box hardware stores that attach to a standard power washer nozzle to create a wider cleaning spray and they are really effective.
When your synthetic ice surface is inside however power washing is generally not an option. Depending on the size of your rink the indoor clean can be anything from hard bristle deck wash scrubber to mop and bucket to a walk behind automatic floor scrubber. I have tried all these methods. By far the least amount of hard work is the automatic floor scrubber. These are great because they throw water down, they scrub, then they vacuum up the dirty water into a tank. It all happens on one pass. The downside is that the good units that really work are pricey. I managed o pick up a good used one for a few hundred bucks. If you haven’t cleaned for some time then you may want to spray the surface initially with a low foaming (neutral) de-greaser that can be purchased at any hardware store.
The mop and bucket or long handle scrub brush definitely work if you don’t mind the work out! But then you still have to remove the dirty water and typically a standard wet / dry shop vacuum does the job nicely. The same advice applies with the low foaming de-greaser.
My surface was always in my garage. It got really dirty with foot traffic, bikes, dogs, wife parking on it with her car and any number of things that go on in a garage. Even though the floor scrubber worked great I still took it apart once a year brought it outside and blasted it with the power washer. Its just a good idea to keep it as clean as you can reasonably manage. The performance will be better and the skates will stay sharper for longer.
Hopefully you find these synthetic ice cleaning tips helpful!