To most of my customers, carpet care & cleaning is still very confusing and most of them do it incorrectly or worse yet, not at all. After 20 years of training customers on proper methods to clean carpeting, it still confounds me why so many do it wrong, and as a result have filthy & often smelly carpeting, dirty buildings, reduced indoor air quality, and a shortened carpet life. It does not need to be difficult. Usually only 1-2 chemicals are needed and if you utilize good performing equipment, deep cleaning your carpeting is as easy as using your vacuum cleaner.
Yes, the carpet cleaning methods we taught back in the early 90’s is very different today. In large part due to the Carpet & Rug Institute(CRI) realizing their customers were not buying as much carpeting, as carpeting was being named a key culprit on in-door air quality issues. It wasn’t the carpeting... it was the total lack of good carpet cleaning practices, which most often contributed to air quality issues. The CRI’s recommended cleaning process changes and subsequent certification programs is what most of us base our cleaning process training on now. Yet, most carpet owners and even carpet cleaning contractors still ignore or fall very short of implementing those cleaning recommendations.
Carpet Cleaning Frequency:
Carpets are filters for indoor dirt, and like any filter they need to be cleaned regularly or you are creating potential long-term problems. The CRI actually recommends deep cleaning carpets 4 times annually. Most of my customers are fortunate if they extract their carpeting once per year. The biggest “excuse” most often is: “I don’t have the time”. The newer carpet cleaning processes today are less time consuming and more efficient.
Daily / Interim Cleaning:
Vacuuming is the most common method used to keep carpeting clean, but it’s important to have a high quality vacuum, but also the right style of vacuum. Most customers only consider durability, when making vacuum choices, and often give little consideration to the cleaning effectiveness or filtration level. Back-pack vacuums often have more powerful vacuum motors, but may not be as effective as a good upright for cleaning spaces. Having high level filtration is the most important feature, as keeping the now airborne soil in the vacuum and not being re-distributed back into the room and then the carpet is what will greatly improve your carpet cleaning effectiveness and improve carpet and building health.
One of the biggest changes in carpet care cleaning is the introduction of
LOW-MOISTURE CLEANING, where both water and chemicals being used are reduced significantly. Low-moisture cleaning is what will allow a property manager to actually clean the carpets more often, as drying times can be less than an hour. With most equipment manufacturers offering models with low-moisture settings, and carpet maintaining equipment models also being offered there should be no excuse to not do interim(4-8X/yr) light extraction cleaning.
While The Bullen Companies’ Clausen brand has been promoting low- moisture, non-resoiling cleaning since the mid-60’s, it is now the most recommended way to clean carpets. Our chemical encapsulation technology leaves no detergents or sticky residue behind, which would ultimately just attract more dirt and dull carpet fibers.
Extracting your carpets 4 times annually is what the CRI wants you to do., but if you increase interim cleaning and use high performing equipment you can reduce the need for a heavy extraction significantly. Use hot water, as it dries faster, has it’s own cleaning power, and most carpet care chemicals are formulated to work with hot water. Always rinse carpets with a rinse agent to help further reduce detergent build-up... or use encapsulation chemicals either as your pre-spray or in the carpet extractor. Ask your local janitorial supplier ways to improve efficiency and reduce time. Use carpet dryers to reduce drying times if needed.
The Bullen Companies and it’s consultative sales team can assist any facility to develop a cost-effective high performing carpet floor care program.
Jack Collins, The Bullen Company