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Carpet care is an essential part of any commercial cleaning program.
Facility managers and contract janitorial cleaners should establish procedures to help keep carpet clean and well maintained throughout the building. Proper protocol should include daily routine cleaning and maintenance, interim maintenance and restorative care.
With warm temperatures and more daylight hours, summer is an opportune time to consider a full carpet extraction in your facility. The warm weather and fresh air is especially helpful in drying carpet in commercial facilities with lots of square footage, and it’s a time when you may have less foot traffic as more people are spending time outdoors.
A full carpet extraction helps improve the overall cleanliness and hygiene within the building. It’s also good practice to do this once or twice a year, depending on the carpet manufacturer’s recommendations.
What follows are carpet care best practices for facility managers and contractors to help promote a clean and hygienic environment within the building.
Daily routine cleaning and maintenance
Vacuuming: Establish a daily routine to clean and protect the carpet. Every carpet care program should include vacuuming carpet daily to remove soil. This is the first line of defense in picking up most soil and helping to maintain cleaner carpet. Make sure to choose a high quality vacuum with powerful suction and a quality filtration system to help trap dust and other particles.
Spot and stain removal: Another important aspect of any daily routine is spot and stain removal. Cleaning professionals should be on the lookout for new spots, since they can quickly turn into permanent stains. Crews will have a better chance of removing a “fresh” spot that has been quickly identified. In fact, cleaning professionals should always have a general spotter for spot removal as part of their carpet care “tool kit.” Generally, 80 to 90 percent of spots can be removed with this type of high quality commercial product.
For spot removal, start with a small amount of cleaning product, and then blot the spot. Cleaning professionals should work from the outside edges of the spot inward and follow label instructions. It’s important to make sure the carpet is completely dry in order to determine if the spot has been removed. If the spot remains, try an enzyme or bio spotter, designed to eliminate urine, milk, blood and other spots. If it still hasn’t disappeared, use a tannin spot remover — an acid-fortified carpet spot cleaner formulated to attack coffee spots, tannin-based spots, rust and oxidized organics. Cleaning crews should treat the spots in this order to ensure the spotters don’t deactivate each other. You can limit this by rinsing between applications.
Beyond the daily routine of vacuuming and stain removal, facility managers and contract cleaners need to incorporate interim maintenance into their carpet care program. This includes cleaning high traffic areas, such as hallways, waiting rooms, lobby areas and other carpeted areas near entrances, elevators or exits.
Cleaning professionals should identify which carpeted areas experience “heavy use” and how often these high-traffic areas should be scheduled for interim maintenance. Two common methods for interim maintenance include bonnet cleaning and dry foam carpet care. Both of these methods can help extend the time between a full carpet extraction cleaning.
With the bonnet method, cleaning professionals apply a bonnet cleaner in even, overlapping strokes on the traffic lane and other highly-soiled, localized areas. Then, apply solution to the bonnet and buff the area. Another option is to submerge the pad in a mop bucket containing the bonnet cleaning solution and then buff the area.
With dry foam carpet care, professional cleaners use special equipment to clean carpet fibers with dry foam. This low-moisture system can work efficiently and effectively in soil removal and has the benefit of a quicker drying time.
For restorative care, facility managers and contractors will want to use a high-quality carpet extraction cleaner and sanitizer to help fight against common bacteria that can cause disease. This type of multipurpose product can clean, sanitize and deodorize all in one step. A sanitizer is beneficial, as it can help prohibit mold growth in case the carpet does not dry as quickly as needed – another reason why the warmer seasons are recommended for a deep clean. Additionally, a deodorizer will help neutralize unpleasant malodors and contribute to overall cleanliness.
The P&G Professional Cleaning Industry Insights Survey results from 2013 showed that 54 percent of managers of cleaning operations reported that the most helpful factor for performing cleaning services was products that get the job done right the first time. An effective one-step carpet extraction cleaner and sanitizer can help cleaning staff achieve that done-right goal, saving labor time and money, as well as product costs because fewer products are required.
Once you have completed an extraction cleaning on all carpeting throughout the building, it’s a good idea to apply a carpet protectant to prolong the life of the carpet and help guard against soil and oil penetration.
Benefits of a carpet care program
A carpet care program should be specifically tailored to meet the demands and size of the facility. Contract cleaners and facility managers should establish or update guidelines for an efficient and effective carpet care program to help protect, maintain and restore a clean and hygienic environment for customers.
Remember, clean carpet can help make a good impression on anyone entering a facility. If a customer has a positive first impression, it may mean repeat business, ongoing customer loyalty and even a word-of-mouth recommendation to friends and family.
Additionally, be sure to use a commercial carpet care system in which products are designed to work together. Look for a full-line of products that complement each other in every stage of carpet care, from the daily routine to interim maintenance and restorative care. This will help facility managers and cleaning professionals keep carpet fresh, clean and protected throughout the building.
Michael Kupneski is the R&D Section Head for Procter & Gamble Professional. He is responsible for all formula design, technology development and process development for P&G Professional’s air care, hard surface cleaners and dish products globally.