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Carpet Cleaning Basics: Routine Maintenance to Restoration

Posted by WAXIE Buzz on Jan 17, 2020 1:33:44 PM

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By: WAXIE Editorial Staff  |  January 17, 2020

Carpeting is probably the most common type of floor covering in commercial buildings. It can add an attractive appearance and a warm, soft feel to a facility while reducing noise. But because dirt is often hidden in the carpet, proper maintenance can be neglected until the carpet "uglys out," and expensive restoration or replacement is needed.

Typical abrasive soil particles found between the tufts of carpet – dirt, sand, dust, etc. – cut, scratch and grind against carpet fibers. When combined with grease settling from the air, spills and normal traffic, they cause premature carpet wear and a dull and faded appearance if not properly maintained. The good news is that most of this soil can be removed and the life of your carpet extended with the right training, carpet care products, equipment and simple, regular procedures.

Learn More: Carpet Care & Maintenance

Preventive/Routine Maintenance

This is the step that will really prolong the life of your carpet, and will improve its appearance and reduces the need for more labor-intensive maintenance:

  • Proper Use of Walk-Off Mats: Most soil in carpeting can be stopped by having a three-mat entrance matting system that extends 30-linear feet beyond the door; if installed correctly, these mats can remove nearly all of incoming dirt & moisture 
  • Vacuuming: Much of the remaining soil can be removed by vacuuming, especially vacuums with a HEPA filter, which captures 99.97% of particulates at .3-.5 microns (µm) or larger per the ASTM 3150, improving your facility's indoor air quality and the health of all building occupants
  • Clean Up Spill Promptly: Anything spilled on a carpet should be cleaned up as soon as possible, otherwise they will likely set into a stain, which are pretty much impossible to remove


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Interim Maintenance

This step is unfortunately often overlooked, but it can really extend the amount of time before your staff needs to perform lengthy deep cleaning procedures by taking your regular maintenance routine a step further than just vacuuming, which only removes dry soils. Oily soils from cooking, air pollution and tracked in greasy dirt attract more dirt, cause colors to dull and can ruin the carpet. Greasy soil is best removed by deep extraction, but fast, light, surface cleaning can be achieved by:

  • Absorbent Compound Cleaning: Involves applying a low-moisture absorbent cleaning compound to the carpet, working it in with a brushing system and vacuuming soiled compound and dirt away
  • Spin Bonnet Cleaning: Uses a rotary floor machine and a cleaning solution with a special cleaning pad that absorbs soil as it is worked over the carpet (this method is not recommended for some kinds of cut pile carpets)
  • Shampooing: Either a dry foam shampoo with a shampooing machine, or a conventional shampoo with a rotary floor machine and carpet brush work chemical deep into carpet fibers; suspended soil and residue are then wet-vacuumed away
  • Surface Extraction: Uses a quick pass of an extractor to spray cleaning solution into the carpet, possibly with agitation from a rotating brush, then dirt and solution are lifted out through a vacuum head

Read: Floor Matting Systems – Protecting Your Investment

Restorative Maintenance

By now your carpets are looking a little rough and worse for wear. Restorative and deep cleaning procedures can improve the general appearance and delay replacement of even damaged carpet.

Deep extraction is the primary method used in our industry for restorative maintenance. This method is very similar to surface extraction where an extractor is used to spray cleaning solution into the carpet, then dirt and solution are lifted out through a vacuum head. However, with deep extraction, a pre-spray or pretreatment is used and the equipment may be used at a slower rate or with more moisture and more passes. (Many extractors work the solution in with a rotating brush to dislodge dirt).

Not sure if you're using the right products for your carpeting type, what to schedule a hands-on training session for your staff or are interested in a demo of carpet cleaning equipment? Contact a WAXIE Account Consultant, Equipment Specialist or Chemical Specialist today & we'll help you find the best solution for you cleaning program's needs.

Topics: carpet, flooring, cleaning tips

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