Regular cleaning and proper maintenance are essential for extending the life of commercial carpet. While carpet is relatively simple to clean and maintain, the issue is complicated by a handful of pervasive misconceptions that lead to carpets being improperly maintained - shortening their usable life.
Today, we're disproving five common misconceptions about commercial carpet cleaning so you can make informed decisions about your cleaning requirements and keep your carpet looking new for longer.
1) Commercial Carpet Only Needs Vacuuming
Day-to-day, commercial carpet is easy to keep clean with regular vacuuming. However, vacuuming removes only 80% of the dirt and debris from your carpet. Over time, the residual dirt will wear away at the carpet fibers like sandpaper, damaging them and speeding up visual deterioration.
This can be prevented by incorporating a regular deep clean into your carpet maintenance schedule. Deep cleaning can remove the remaining 20% of dirt from your carpet and keep it looking its best.
2) All Carpet Cleaning Methods are the Same
There are three main deep cleaning methods for carpets:
- Hot water extraction - Also known as 'steam cleaning,' hot water and cleaning agents are pumped into your carpet before cleaning with a wet vac to remove the dirty water. This can cause a lot of disruption, as you need to allow for drying time before your organization can return to business as usual.
- Spin bonnet cleaning - An adaptation of the method used to polish hard flooring. A detergent solution is sprayed onto the carpet, and then a buffing machine is used to scrub away dirt. This is ineffective as it only cleans the surface of carpet. Moreover, the buffing motion can actually drive dirt down into the carpet and speed up damage.
- Dry powder cleaning - Small porous beads are used to attract dirt within the carpet tile and are then removed through regular vacuuming. This makes it the least disruptive deep cleaning method, as there's no need to wait for drying time.
The efficacy of your deep clean, and the impact it will have on your organization, depends on the method you choose; not all deep cleaning methods are equal.
3) On-Site Custodial Teams can Easily Manage a Deep Clean
While it's possible for your on-site team to deep clean carpets, they may not be best suited for the task.
By the hour, a team of professionals may seem more expensive, but their training and experience will mean that they do a better job and in less time.
However, to achieve the best results you need to work with professionals with a proven track record of providing quality service. Both the Carpet and Rug Institute and the Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) list certified carpet cleaning companies.
4) You Only Need to Vacuum Once a Week
Regularly vacuuming carpet is the most important factor in extending its life and improving appearance retention.
While in low-traffic areas you may only need to vacuum once a week, this simply won't cut it in busy spaces, such as lobbies or receptions. Highest traffic areas may need vacuuming daily - especially in winter when people are bringing more dirt and moisture into your building on their shoes.
A tiered entry system will help to protect your carpet against the majority of dirt, but it won't stop all of it. The sooner it's vacuumed up, the less damage it will do to your carpet.
5) Carpets Re-Soil Quickly After Cleaning
This misconception comes from too many experiences of a deep clean gone wrong. The culprit here is if too much detergent or soap is used, leaving behind a residue in your carpet.
The re-soiling problem occurs because of how soap functions: its job is to attract dirt, which is what makes it so good at removing dirt during cleaning. Unfortunately, if traces of soap are left behind in your carpet, they will continue to attract dirt particles - meaning your carpet looks dirty again relatively quickly.
This is part of the reason why it's best to work with a team of professional carpet cleaners, rather than relying on your in-house team: their expertise and years of experience will help you avoid this simple mistake.