How often should you clean commercial carpet?
Carpet is a great commercial flooring option for low traffic areas where moisture and stains are of less concern than in higher traffic areas.
Although commercial grade carpet is usually less expensive to install than most hard floor materials, its life expectancy is generally much shorter. Carpet is also more fragile than most other flooring materials (think coffee stains) and needs more frequent deep cleaning.
This article will answer many common questions about protecting your investment and extending the life of your commercial carpet through proper care and maintenance.
How often should commercial carpet be cleaned?
The answer depends on several factors:
- How much foot traffic is in carpeted the area? Higher traffic areas will need more frequent professional cleaning.
- How well are you taking care of the carpet daily or weekly? Daily vacuuming helps extend the time between professional carpet cleanings.
- Do you address spills while they are still spots rather than stains? Promptly cleaning up spills prevents them from setting into stubborn, unsightly stains, extending the periods between professional cleaning.
- Is there an exterior entrance door immediately adjacent to the carpet? Carpet near exterior doors is naturally exposed to more dirt, mud, and water than carpet further inside the building, especially during rainy and snowy seasons.
- Are you using commercial grade mats near exterior doors and in other high traffic areas? Fifteen feet of commercial matting keeps much of the dirt, mud, and water from reaching the carpet.
- Are the mats big enough to really protect the carpet? Contact a commercial cleaning professional to assess your building and recommend the proper matting solutions for your specific needs. Properly maintaining commercial-grade matting is much less expensive to maintain than frequently replacing the carpet or refinishing floors.
- Are the mats vacuumed and cleaned regularly? Mats can only hold so much dirt and water. To maximize their protection, vacuum and clean the mats at least as frequently as your carpets and floors
Carpet in a small office in a multi-tenant building typically has far less foot traffic, mud, sand and ice-melt than carpet in the lobby of the same building. The lobby carpet might need monthly cleaning while the small office carpet might need cleaning only once or twice a year.
Your first line of defense against premature aging of your carpet is frequent vacuuming with a high quality commercial vacuum cleaner. The Carpet and Rug Institute has a Seal of Approval program to certify commercial and residential vacuum cleaners that meet their standards.
Removing dirt and sand daily, or a few times a week, will reduce the wear and tear on carpet fibers and prevent unsightly traffic patterns from forming. Regular professional cleaning helps extend your carpet’s life even further. Regular vacuuming and professional cleaning also removes bacteria, dust mites, dander, pollen and other allergens, improving your building’s air quality.
Although an experienced commercial carpet cleaning company can remove many stains, preventing spills from becoming stains is more effective.
Never try to remove spots by rubbing, which only causes them to penetrate the carpet further. Instead, use paper towels or clean cloths to blot until dry. If you decide to use a carpet stain remover, follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully. When misused, spot cleaners can remove a stain but also leave behind residue that attracts dirt.
Commercial grade mats placed strategically in high traffic areas help extend the time between professional cleanings and the life of the carpet. Fifteen linear feet of matting (also called walk-off mats) at each exterior door allows for most dirt and moisture to be “walked off” before reaching the uncovered flooring area.
Mats should be vacuumed daily to reduce the amount of dirt and sand tracked further into the building. To minimize tracking on snowy or muddy days, use a wet vacuum cleaner to extract water throughout the day.
What is the best commercial carpet cleaning method?
This answer also depends on several factors:
- How old is the carpet? Begin regular vacuuming the day after installing your new carpet. Then consult your contract cleaning service to set up a regular professional carpet cleaning schedule tailored to your building’s specific circumstances. Older carpet might need shampooing followed by hot water extraction, or bonnet cleaning, to restore it to its best potential.
- How well has it been maintained? Even if your carpet wasn’t well maintained, a thorough shampooing followed by hot water extraction could make a significant improvement. Properly caring for the carpet in the future will extend its life and project a better image for you and your company.
- How long you can keep traffic off it before, during and after cleaning? Organizations that are open around the clock have a harder time scheduling carpet cleaning and floor maintenance than those that are closed at night or on weekends. Although the actual cleaning might not take that long, the setup and drying processes add to the total time. Nevertheless, an experienced commercial carpet cleaning company will work with you to identify the most convenient time to perform the work. A quicker dry foam cleaning can be done between the lengthier hot water extraction process when possible.
- Is the carpeted area close enough to an exterior entrance for the hoses to reach from the truck-mounted carpet cleaning equipment outside? If not, a smaller self-contained carpet cleaning system might be a better option.
- Can the exterior door be left unlocked to allow access for the hoses from the truck-mounted system? Some government buildings and other highly secure sectors require doors to remain locked at all times to prevent unauthorized entrance. If so, a smaller self-contained carpet cleaning system is an option.
FIVE COMMERCIAL CARPET CLEANING METHODS
There are five commercial carpet cleaning methods, some more effective than others. Each method has its place depending on the carpet’s type, age and condition as well as its accessibility.
Bonnet cleaning cleans the carpet’s face fibers, not deep down like shampooing or hot water extraction methods. Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota rarely recommends bonnet cleaning for anything other than ancient carpet.
Poorly maintained carpet is sometimes revived by shampooing with rotary brushes followed by hot water extraction.
Dry foam cleaning
Dry foam cleaning allows the carpet to dry faster than bonnet cleaning or shampooing, reducing the length of interruption to your business. Foam spray cleaning solution loosens the soil as it dries before being vacuumed away. Dry foam cleaning is an excellent solution for maintaining the look of your carpet between deeper cleanings with hot water extraction.
Encapsulation carpet cleaning is generally done two or three times between hot water extraction processes. The encapsulation cleaning solution captures debris and dirt particles. Regular vacuuming removes the crystallized solution and soil.
RESTORATIVE Hot Water Extraction
As you might have guessed by now, restorative hot water extraction is ideal for deep cleaning carpet.
Carpet that is past its prime can be shampooed to remove layers of surface soil before extracting the more deep-seated dirt.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD COMMERCIAL CARPET BE CLEANED?
THE BEST ANSWER
Commercial carpet should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. Carpet exposed to higher traffic and harsher weather usually needs more frequent cleaning: seasonally, quarterly or even monthly. Contact an experienced commercial cleaning company for an accurate assessment of your building’s specific carpet cleaning needs.
- The Carpet and Rug Institute
- Jon-Don (Commercial Cleaning Equipment and Supply Distributor)
- 4 Things to consider before buying a commercial vacuum cleaner by Vacuum Top: Cleaning Product Reviews
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Ready to schedule commercial carpet cleaning?
Vanguard Cleaning Systems of Minnesota will help you consider all your options and establish a regular cleaning schedule, whether that means once or twice a year, once a quarter or once a month. We will meet you onsite to discuss your specific needs and preferences.