Thursday, April 15, 2010

Carpet Cleaning & Maintenance Plan: Daily Vacuuming, Periodic Deep Cleaning

carpet cleaning and maintenance: daily vacuuming

How To Make a Cleaning and Maintenance Plan? Part Three: Daily Maintenance and Restorative Cleaning

This is my third and final installment in this series of blog posts about how to make the best decisions for cleaning and maintaining commercial carpets. The first dealt with choosing the best cleaning solutions and equipment from the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program. The second talked about the importance of making a color-coded map that designated the facility’s traffic flow patterns from high-use to low. It also discussed the value of preventive maintenance.

The final two steps form the backbone of carpet care: daily vacuuming and periodic deep cleaning.

Step Three: Daily Maintenance

The “V for Victory” in any maintenance plan stands for “vacuum.” Vacuuming removes 80-85% of all the loose soil on a carpet’s surface and is the most important step in any cleaning and maintenance plan. To get the most out of this vital cleaning element, it is important to use the most efficient vacuums available. Vacuums that have passed CRI’s Seal of Approval testing earn Gold, Silver, or Bronze-level ratings depending on their rates of soil removal and containment. Luckily, price is not always a predictor of performance - Seal of Approval testing reveals that moderately priced models often perform as well as their more expensive counterparts.

Using the color-coded facility usage map you developed earlier as a guide, plan to vacuum heavy traffic areas such as main aisles and entrances at least once a day; medium use areas like corridors and conference areas every other day, and light-use areas such as offices 2 times per week.

Another vital element of daily maintenance is spot removal. Most carpet spots, which are caused by a foreign substance being introduced onto the carpet surface, can be removed with proper care. Stains, however, happen when the carpet comes in contact with some agent that actually alters the color of the carpet’s fibers. Stains are much harder to remove than spots, and often cannot be completely eradicated.

The secret to good spot cleaning, then, is vigilance and quick action. CRI’s Seal of Approval program offers multiple commercial and residential spot removers that have been tested to work without encouraging resoiling or changing a carpet’s color or texture. Spots can be removed by hand, but to save time, larger facilities often purchase portable extractors for removing multiple spots quickly. “Portable spotting extractors are great tools that pay for themselves in no time,” said Bill Doan, carpet cleaning consultant from Atlanta, Georgia.

Step Four: Restorative Cleaning

It is absolutely necessary to perform periodic deep-cleaning extractions on carpet to remove the oily, abrasive, and embedded dirt that will, over time, damage fibers and lead to a dull appearance. If soil is not periodically removed through extraction, it will build up and lead to a situation known in the carpet industry as “uglying out”. The good news is, regular extraction cleaning will maintain carpet to such a high degree you will likely want to change the style before you replace the carpet for any other reason.

carpet cleaning and maintenance: periodic deep cleaningThe most common form of deep-cleaning, hot water extraction mixes hot water with cleaning pre-spray to help suspend dirt particles in solution, where they can be extracted. CRI Seal of Approval, which lists extractors and deep-cleaning systems according to the amount of soil they remove, recently added a new Platinum performance level to accommodate those cleaning systems that remove 90% or more of soil from carpet.

Ensuring that carpet dries quickly after extracting is important so that business continues safely and without interruption, and any possibility of mold or mildew growth is eliminated. The Carpet and Rug Institute suggests running HVAC systems set at 68 -70 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 24 hours after extraction. Air Movers – special fans designed for drying carpet also boost drying times.

Once again, it’s a good idea to use your color-coded chart to help determine the restorative cleaning schedule. A good rule of thumb - heavy traffic areas need monthly extraction, while moderate traffic areas should be cleaned at least once a quarter. Clean conference rooms and corridors every six months and private offices and other light traffic areas once or twice per year.

I hope these articles have been helpful – I’d like to hear your feedback. Is there anything else I need to add?



Anonymous said...

You are right about deep cleaning. So many times people will clean their carpt and think it is really clean. If they would do a deep cleaning with a commercial extractor, they will be amazed at how much more dirt they can extract from the carpet.
The Cleaning Consultant

Bethany said...

Hi Anonymous,
Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

Bob from Stain Removal said...

A large work area can be overwhelming. It is always a great idea to plan out what area of carpeting needs to be cleaned everyday.

Bethany said...

Hi Bob,
So, you like the idea of making a color-coded map to designate what areas to be cleaned and when?
Thanks for your comment -

Jay said...

I have always told my customers to keep there homes at about room temperature, but to increase circulation as much as possible.

Jay Jetty
Carpet Cleaning Las Vegas

Bethany said...

Hi Jay,
Thanks for your comment. Does the dry Nevada climate help?

Dellas said...

The color coded map is a great idea. I will have to show this to my clients! Air movers are a great idea for drying carpets faster.

Bethany said...

Hi Delolas,
I am so glad you found something you can use on this blog. That's what it's here for!

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