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A perfect clean-off zone consists of three zones. Each zone has its own cleaning function. By combining these zones, the best result can be achieved.


The first mat, when entering a building, is intended to wipe your shoes well.

Do you do this? Great! Or maybe not? Please know you are not alone, because the majority unfortunately does not. And that is exactly the reason why the 3-zone system was developed.


Applying a 3-zone system contributes to a clean interior and will save on cleaning costs!


See it like this: the more steps you take, the better the cleaning effect and result.

Zone 1: coarse dirt (outside)

Outside is where the most dirt gets collected. The 1st zone therefore requires an entrance mat which keeps this out as much as possible. Since this zone is outside, it is subject to wet weather like rain. You do not want to place an entrance mat outside which absorbs moisture, since the 1st zone should focus on having a cleaning effect, rather than absorbing moisture.


What type of outside mats are available?

  • Spaghettimat
  • Rubbermat
  • O-ringmat
  • Plasticmat
  • Steelmat
  • Brushmat

Each mat variant has its own characteristics and can be used for different purposes. All of the above mats are made to not absorb water!


When choosing the best mat type for zone 1, our ABI Brushmat is perfect for this. It’s made with 100% nylon brushes.

This is material is fully coloured, colourfast and, when walked over, returns back to its original, straight position.


The brushes from the ABI Brushmat have an active effect. They make their way deep into the sole of the shoe and brush the dirt off. As opposed to steel grids or rubber mats, which have a passive effect. These types of mats do not take the shape of the shoe sole, which therefore have a minimum effect in comparison with a mat with brushes. Because of the scraping effect of the brushes, the shoe will be cleaner quicker and more effective than said other mats. Choosing a suitable mat is not that hard anymore, right?

Brushmat school
Brushmat school

Zone 2: fine dirt (inside)

In zone 1 we removed the coarse dirt as much as possible. The dirt which remains is fine dirt and moisture. This can be removed by using a somewhat flatter material, which also has a scraping effect.


A needle punch inlay would be ideal for this. Needle punch consists for the most part of little barbs. These barbs hold on to the fine dirt and also wipe some of the moisture off the shoe.


Due to the strong and wear-resistant qualities of needle punch, it is suitable for frequent walking traffic and rolling traffic, such as shopping carts or pallet trucks

Needlepunch inlay for zone 2
Needlepunch inlay for zone 2

Zone 3: moisture absorption (inside)

At this point the coarse dirt and fine dirt mostly has been removed. Now we continue to the last fase: moisture absorption. In zone 2 we used an inlay which absorbs some of this, but it does not absorb enough to fully dry the shoe. In zone 3 we choose an inlay which does have a complete moisture absorption result.


Moisture has a few negative traits:

  • It is slippery
  • It moulds
  • It smells bad
  • It soils floors

The inlay which is most suitable for this is polyamide (carpet). Carpet has a high absorbing effect and retains moisture. Since different carpet types have different level of moisture absorption, we at ABI choose to only work with the best quality of carpets which have the best moisture absorption. If you want to make sure your interior stays moisture free, an entrance mat with carpet inlay will be the best choice for zone 3.

3 zones explanation
3 zones explanation

In conclusion

Each zone has its own effective cleaning function. The combination of these three zones provides the best results: clean and dry shoes. We call this the 3-zone system. The combination of these 3 zones makes sure your floors and interior will be protected against damage and (high) costs. An investment which earns itself back!

No room for three zones?

With our ABI aluminium mats we can combine all zones into one mat. How we do it? Let us tell you in our next blog post! For now, take a look at our new website and feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Also take a look at the ABI Product Configurator: here we help you find the most suitable mat for your project!


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