NEW CASTLE, PENN.—With summer in full swing, many facilities are seeing a sharp uptick in foot traffic coupled with heightened expectations around cleanliness. In celebration of July as National Carpet Cleaning Month, Whittaker, a leader in low-moisture carpet care, highlights six best practices for in-house custodial teams and building service contractors to consider for their carpet care programs.
“The right carpet care plan helps commercial facilities uphold cleanliness and enhance brand reputation,” said Joe Bshero, Director of Technical Services at Whittaker. “Proper maintenance also prolongs the lifespan of carpet, which reduces costs and environmental impacts over the long term.”
Consider the following recommendations for maintaining commercial carpet:
- Install carpet matting. Placing carpet matting at entrances and where hard flooring transitions to soft flooring is the first line of defense for preventing soil, debris, and water from getting tracked onto carpet. Search for slip-resistant matting with scraping and moisture retention capabilities and allow for 9 to 15 feet of matting to ensure maximum effectiveness.
- Regularly vacuum high-traffic areas. Maintaining a routine vacuum schedule supports good indoor air quality by eliminating the buildup of dust and dirt in carpet and matting. This is especially important in areas with heavy foot traffic, such as lobbies, elevator halls, common areas or lounges.
- Use the right machines and chemistry. Reference the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI)for a list of machines that have earned the Seal of Approval for equipment effectiveness. Additionally, make sure to have chemistry that addresses a full range of stains, such as coffee, salt stains, bodily fluids, or grease. Look for solutions that will not leave behind a sticky residue or cause carpet discoloration.
- Address spills as they happen. Carpet is often the first thing guests and customers see when they enter a facility, which can impact their perception of facility cleanliness. Remind employees to be vigilant about spills and stains throughout their shifts. Ergonomic spot removal tools, either handheld or handled, can help employees quickly agitate cleaning solution into carpet to keep stains from setting.
- Consider sustainability. A 2021 survey conducted by The Harris Poll revealed that 1 in 2 Americans (50 percent) believe commercial facilities should follow sustainable cleaning practices. Low-moisture encapsulation is a carpet cleaning method that uses less water than typical strategies and enables carpet to dry in about 30 minutes, making it greener and more cost-effective.
- Remember to deep clean. CRI recommends having carpet professionally deep cleaned at least once every 12 to 18 months. Methods like hot water extraction can improve indoor air quality and prolong carpet lifespan by removing embedded soils.
“Investing in carpet care reduces replacement costs and disruptions while also creating a welcoming atmosphere for guests and building occupants for years to come,” added Bshero. “Facilities that make it a year-round priority will realize long-term returns for the bottom line and the planet.”