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How to Use Sticky Mats

by Kevin Cooper
How to Use Sticky Mats

Containing contamination through the proper use of sticky mats is an important part of every cleanroom protocol. These mats are the first line of defense when ensuring your workspace is free of tracked in lint, dirt and dust. But are you using your Total Source Manufacturing adhesive mats to their best advantage? Here are some things to consider.

Location and Number

Sticky mats can be located in the gowning area and inside the entryway leading into the cleanroom or workspace, but mats should also be located outside of the cleanroom zone. It is important to catch initial dirt before it ever enters your protocol space.

Size

It is important to have a sticky mat that is close to the size of the doorway. While 24” x 36” is a popular size, a bigger mat will give your employees more opportunity to step one or two times with each foot and not partially miss the mat.

Orientation

You may be tempted to set the mat down in a welcome mat fashion, but if you turn it vertically, both feet will hit the mat before moving on.

Color

While color can be whimsical, in a cleanroom, colors have meaningful designations. Gray usually means less important areas, so that would be the color to use outside of the cleanroom. Blue indicates areas that are intermediary, so that would be the gowning and entryway colors. White indicates critical sanitation, so that would be the color to use to enter the cleanroom workstation.

Replacement and Storage

When should you replace a sheet from your sticky mat? Most experts recommend peeling off a dirty sheet of adhesive after 50 walk-throughs, or 30 if shoes come directly from the outside. Sheets should be peeled in a careful manner to retain the collected dirt. Start by peeling one corner and folding it in on itself as you go, creating a ball.

How should you install a new sticky mat? First, clean the floor carefully and make sure there is no residue from old mats. Isopropyl alcohol will help with this job. Then, place your PVC adhesive mat base on the floor in the exact place you want the sticky mat to go, being careful not to trap any air. Or, put your sticky mat directly onto the cleaned floor by peeling back half of the holding wrap and laying it down slowly starting at the end and smoothing out towards the center. Be careful not to trap any air bubbles. Keep peeling and smoothing until the mat is in position. Finally, check it to make sure it doesn’t present a tripping hazard.

Adhesive mats should be stored flat in a clean, climate-controlled location. Mats shouldn’t be stored over a year, so plan on ordering more frequently from Total Source Manufacturing, as needed.