Carpet care Q&A 1 Sep, 2014
Does the age, fabric, cost or condition of the carpet make a difference to the cleaning challenge?
These all have a bearing on how a carpet needs to be cleaned, but assessing how the building is going to be used, and by whom, in the first place will help to protect it, and dictate how it should be cleaned in the future. The layout and design of the premises is a factor – are there large expanses of carpet or is the building made up of smaller rooms? What sort of furniture, fixtures and fittings need to be cleaned under or around? When it comes to those using the building, do employees have to carry hot drinks from where they are made or dispensed to their desks, and is eating lunch at desks the norm? The type of carpet – tile, cord, woven or tufted – is also important, along with its age, and whether it is stuck directly to the floor, or has underlay.
How would you go about cleaning a carpet that is old, worn, damaged or particularly valuable?
When cleaning carpets it is best to follow a tried and tested route that incorporates a number of steps:
- Vacuuming – All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Vacuums with high grade HEPA filters are best to minimise airborne particulate. While smaller models might be better for offices, larger areas such as conference rooms need vacuums with a wider cleaning path, and the ability to clean right up to the edge of the carpet.
- Interim maintenance cleaning – Some areas will possibly require weekly or fortnightly cleaning, which can be carried out using methods such as absorbent pads, dry foam shampoo, light surface extraction or a dry powder cleaner.
- Restorative cleaning – This should be performed on a quarterly basis to remove any residue left by interim cleaning procedures, remove deeply embedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet, and improve overall indoor air quality.
Would you use different products? Different methods? Different machinery?
Carpets that are heavily soiled, or have not been cleaned for many months, or even years, can still be brought back to life. Systems that use polymeric carpet cleaning solutions are particularly effective in these circumstances. The solution, which is applied by a three brush scrubbing machine, releases sticky soil from carpet fibres and then ‘traps’ or ‘encapsulates’ the soil as it dries. Once the carpet is dry, vacuuming completes the process by removing the dried, encapsulated dirt from the carpet. Polymer chemistry is the key component in the Cimex-Encap carpet cleaning system. Not only can it restore cleanliness and brightness to even the most heavily soiled commercial carpet, it also means that the carpet will stay cleaner for longer. The system takes a four-step approach. Firstly, a thorough vacuuming will ensure all the dry soil is removed, leaving the Cimex-Encap free to more effectively attack the sticky/oily soil left in the carpet. A special carpet cleaning solution is then applied via the Cimex Cyclone three-brush machine. The solution releases sticky soil from the carpet fibres and then traps or ‘encapsulates’ the soil as it dries. This low moisture system allows carpets to dry quickly – normally taking just 45 minutes to two hours to become touch-dry. However, for the best results, let the carpet dry overnight, before the final stage of vacuuming, which will remove the encapsulated dirt from the carpet.
What products/machines does your company offer that are particularly suited to delicate carpet cleaning tasks?
The Hydromist 13 Pro-Spotter is designed for stain or spot removal between scheduled full carpet cleans, or cleaning smaller areas of carpeting. This lightweight, compact and manoeuvrable carpet and upholstery spray extractor is perfect for use in locations such as small pubs and clubs, hotels, offices, care homes, schools, colleges and universities. Its features and benefits include:
- 13-litre capacity, making it ideal for smaller cleaning jobs
- Two-stage vacuum motor with 89 inches of water lift
- Expandable vacuum and solution hose that reaches from 0.76m-3.04m which can be stored in the machine base for easy transport
- Robust 7.6cm upholstery tool helps clean soft furnishings, upholstery, small fabric pieces and deals with general spotting
- Telescopic handle for easy transport between cleaning jobs