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Commercial Carpet Care & Maintenance

Proper, consistent commercial carpet maintenance is critical to extend the life of your carpet and to sustain optimum performance, appearance level and a healthy indoor environment. The Carpet & Rug Institute encourages facility managers, designers, maintenance personnel and any others responsible for commercial carpet maintenance to develop and sustain a complete maintenance program for all commercial applications.

A complete and effective program should include three maintenance categories – Preventative, Daily and Periodic.

Preventative Maintenance:

Preemptive measures can be taken to reduce the effects of soiling:

  • Entry Mats: Placed in entry ways and elevators, they will collect dirt before it reaches the carpeted area. Assure that the mats cover the distance of several footsteps.
  • Color Selection: Select color appropriate to traffic areas and local soil conditions. Medium colors, tweeds and patterned carpets hide soil, while lighter colors mask fading.

Daily Maintenance:

Vacuuming is the most important and cost effective element of an efficient maintenance program. Vacuuming can remove more than 80 percent of dry soil on a daily basis. Vacuuming should be scheduled according to the amount of potential soil buildup of a particular area. The general recommendations for vacuuming frequency are as follows:

  • Heavy Traffic areas: Daily
  • Medium Traffic areas: Twice Weekly
  • Light Traffic areas: Once or Twice Weekly

Vacuuming Equipment:

Two types of vacuum cleaning equipment are available for daily maintenance of commercial installations:

  • Heavy duty, wide track machine for wide, open areas. Machine should have powerful suction and an enclosed, high efficiency particulate filtration bag and be equipped with adjustable cylindrical brushes to whip embedded soil to the surface.
  • An industrial version of the domestic upright for tighter areas should have the same features and hose and wand attachments for hard to reach areas. A backpack vacuum with a high airflow and high efficiency filtration provides increased productivity.
  • Periodic pile brushing with a pile lifter vacuum preconditions carpet and remove dry, deeply embedded soil from high traffic areas. This can be especially helpful prior to carpet cleaning.

Periodic Maintenance:

Extraction Cleaning:

Periodically scheduled extraction cleaning will remove accumulated soil not removed by regular vacuuming and spot removal. The Carpet & Rug Institute suggests a monthly or as needed cleaning of transition areas, track off regions and congested channels. Cleaning methods include:

  • Absorbent Compound (Dry Extraction)
  • Absorbent Pad or Bonnet
  • Dry Foam
  • Hot Water Extraction (Steam Cleaning)
  • Rotary Shampoo Cleaning

Refer to method recommended by the carpet manufacturer of purchased product.

Spot Cleaning

Damage from spills can be minimized by immediate action. As soon as a spill occurs, blot with a clean, white, absorbent towel and repeat until the spill is fully absorbed. The Carpet & Rug Institute recommends using a professional spot removal kit, available from janitorial businesses. These kits contain a variety of cleaning agents, application materials as well as spot removal instructions. Be sure to follow instructions and take proper precautions when using cleaning agents. Lightweight portable extractors are available for more efficient removal of spills. These portable extractors assist in thoroughly removing spills, rinsing cleaning solutions, and extracting wet spills. It is important to adhere to manufacturers spot removal instructions to prevent voiding existing warranties. Failure to follow these instructions could result in damaged carpet fibers.

Cleaning Precautions:

  • Cleaning solutions should be less than pH 10, preferably 9
  • No optical brighteners
  • No silicone
  • Minimize residues – do not use excessive detergent
  • Cleaning solution residue must dry brittle, not sticky
  • Do not over wet – speed dry when possible
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