Peel off mats

Peel off mats

It is commonly thought that using disposable, adhesive peel off mats, tacky mats or sticky mats is the answer to contamination control. However, tests from GlaxoSmithKline show that peel off mats are only 27% effective in preventing foot and wheel borne contamination.

There are many manufacturers of peel off mats, tacky mats and sticky mats, which results in variable quality. The key concern is the thickness and hardness of the acrylic adhesive applied during the coating process. If too thick and soft the adhesive transfers off the mat as people walk on it. Some peel off mat companies even offer adhesive residue remover as they acknowledge the problem.


The risks of peel off mats:

  • Peel off mats are not guaranteed to stay adhered to the sub-floor.
  • There are risks of water ingress and microbial growth underneath.
  • Corners peeling from the sub-floor can cause tripping/Health and Safety issues.
  • Peel off mats are prone to causing static charges generating up to 5,000 volts per peel.
  • Peel off mats can tear overshoes exposing unclean surfaces.
  • Adhesive from peel off mats can be tracked into clean room environments on feet.
  • Wheeled traffic can be difficult to move over the peel off mats.
  • Peel off mats, in size, are much too small to effectively decontaminate.
  • More often than not, multiple sheets are peeled, wasting money and time.


" A study commissioned by a peel off mat manufacturer highlighted the problem of particle shedding during the rip up process of peel off mats. The tests revealed that 215,000 particles and bacteria were released back in to the atmosphere, potentially putting your staff at risk if breathed in. "


Dycem vs. peel off mats

The average 1.2m x 0.6m (4' x 2') sized peel off mat is too small. This coupled with the usual placement of only one mat outside critical areas can be very dangerous!

A singular peel off mat will pose the most risk, with 73% of contamination entering your critical area, this could be 100%, as the likelihood of overstepping a singular mat is very high!

If your peel off mat use and rate of peeling is very low there is 100% risk to your critical environment due to high particle build up and peel off mats inability to withstand over striking.


Peel off risks with wheeled traffic

In order to get a near comparable performance to Dycem, at least 8 peel off mats, tacky mats or sticky mats need to be ganged together and peeled regularly.

Ganging peel off mats together does address the size issue. However, the practical issues, labour and material costs involved in peeling eight mats several times each shift make this an expensive option.

The return on investment (ROI) on comparable performance is about one year, but the far greater benefit comes from lower particle counts, leading to increased product yields.

10 peel off mats ganged together means there is a 20% risk of contamination entering a critical area (if peeled twice per shift). Source:Mcon.

In addition, the corners of the peel off mats can often rise causing contamination to reside between the mats. When peel off mats are ganged together they harbour contaminants in the gaps between them. Dycem is seamless, thus avoiding this contaminant trap.

It is impossible to decontaminate medium to heavy wheeled traffic using peel off mats, tacky mats or sticky mats. This is due to:

  • Peel off mats being prone to wrapping around wheels of trolleys and carts making it impossible to control cross contamination.
  • Peel off mats are not efficient in dirtier and heavy traffic environments as they are prone to heavy saturation very quickly
  • Peel off mats cannot allow the three full wheel rotations necessary to decontaminate wheeled traffic.
  • Adhesive from peel off mats can be transferred onto wheels and tracked into critical environments.

Paying a high price for low cost alternatives

The initial cost of peel off mats may seem low and advantageous when meeting budgets, however peel off mats actually cost significantly more than Dycem.

When comparing the two systems, Dycem not only costs less over the longevity of both products, but most critically, it vastly out performs in terms of size, quality and retention of contamination, reducing the risk of particles entering your critical environment.

Use the formulae below to see how much you spend on using peel off mats and how much you could save by switching to Dycem.

Environmental impact

The hazardous/contaminated waste, coupled with disposal costs created with peel off mats are not to be ignored. With the 20cm ball of waste created when peeling off a mat layer (generating enough waste to fill multiple dumpsters per year), and also being classed as secondary waste, peel off mats not only create an abundance of unnecessary waste but are very expensive to dispose of properly at the end of it's very short working life.

Dycem is easily integrated into your SOP and can be cleaned as part of your regular floor cleaning schedule. Dycem does not impact on your daily waste volumes and can either be disposed of normally in regular waste or recycled into less critical applications (after its minimum 1-year working life).