Of all the grossest things in a neglected gym, the floors are ALWAYS the worst, leaving hands looking like they’ve been fixing a car engine with every touch. The reason rubber floors get neglected is because the friction they create that keep sneakers in place also drags against mops, making them exhausting to clean. The trick to getting rubber floors clean without breaking a sweat is selecting tools with smaller contact points that help minimize the drag.
First, thoroughly vacuum the floor with a brush-based attachment, which can be a horsehair floor brush on a canister or backpack vacuum, or even an old upright vacuum with a spinning beater bar (just make sure to adjust the bar up so it’s not pressing too hard). Let the suction do the work, don’t scrub and drag the machine.
Next, select a microfiber tube mop and two wringing mop buckets. Cotton mops leave ugly lint on rubber floors, while microfiber holds way more dirt. But microfiber flat mops drag on rubber floors, making microfiber tube mops the best of all worlds.
The two-bucket system lets you use one bucket for soap and the other for rinse water, saving you money, AND getting the floors far cleaner. Mix the soap bucket with your favorite neutral pH floor cleaner (ours is Mr. Clean or Fabuloso).
When you mop, dunk and wring out the soapy water, mop the floor in the classic figure-8 or S pattern till you’ve covered a small section. Then dunk and wring the dirty mop head in the fresh water and say EEEEWWWWWWW (swearing optional for home gym cleaners and late night cleaning crews only).
Recharge the rinsed head in the soapy bucket and get back to mopping with clean soapy water, instead of smearing saturated sweaty gym water all over the floor. Dump and refill the rinse bucket as often as needed till the entire floor is clean. Be careful to always wring out your mop well and never flood rubber floors, as water can seep into seams and non vulcanized rubber flooring.
Once the floor is deep cleaned, you can switch to a classic single mop bucket system for maintenance mopping, so long as you do it often enough to keep it from getting grimy again (a minimum of weekly to daily mopping depending on how busy the gym is).