A plan for proper installation and maintenance is key to maximizing your carpet’s long-term performance. Start with three simple steps:
- Identify traffic patterns to determine cleaning type and frequency.
- Assign cleaning frequency, time and type to areas based on traffic level (areas with heavy traffic, like entryways, hallways and workrooms, will need to be cleaned more frequently).
- Schedule periodic flooring inspections to address minor maintenance needs that extend beyond cleaning.
Our cleaning guidelines offer a general reference. Your cleaning and maintenance program should be customized to meet your specific conditions.
Vacuuming your carpet is the most effective way to remove soil and maintain your floor’s overall appearance. 80% of carpet soil is dry and can be removed by daily vacuuming, which can also reduce deep cleaning frequency. For best results, select a vacuum specially designed for commercial applications and certified by the
Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval Green Label Program.
Interim cleaning should be performed in between hot water extraction cleanings to reduce the number of extraction cleanings needed – and extend the appearance of your carpet. This low moisture encapsulation process helps improve the carpet’s appearance and quickly return it to service. Here’s how it works:
- Thoroughly vacuum the carpet.
- An encapsulating agent is sprayed onto the carpet surface and immediately agitated into the carpet with a machine using counter-rotating brushes.
- Once it is dry, the carpet is vacuumed again to remove the encapsulated soil from the carpet.
Hot Water Extraction
Hot water extractions should be performed on your carpet after every third or fourth interim cleaning. During this process, hot water is forced into the carpet pile using high pressure, then the water is immediately extracted along with the soil. Here’s how it works:
- Vacuum your carpets to remove dry soil before a hot water extraction.
- Pre-spray the carpet with Shaw Industries’ Total Care or an equivalent cleaning agent that has received the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) Seal of Approval.
- Agitate with a mechanical brush and allow the agent to ‘rest’ on the carpet for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Extract using only clean, hot water with a unit that delivers enough power to avoid over-wetting the carpet by applying the water at a rate greater than one gallon per minute. Patcraft recommends CRI Gold or Platinum-rated equipment.
- Allow adequate time for drying. The carpet should not be walked on during this time, as residual moisture will remove soil from the soles of shoes.
- Make sure the HVAC is on in the facility during cleaning and for at least 12 hours afterwards. Additional fans can be used to expedite drying time and prevent wicking.
Immediately removing spots and spills from your carpet will help retain its appearance and reduce the likelihood of permanent staining. A general spot remover, such as Shaw’s Total Care or Total Care Green (or other cleaning agents with the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval) will typically remove most common spots and spills, and under no circumstances should spots and spills remain untreated for more than 24 hours.
- Scoop up any solids gently with a spoon or dull knife. Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible with white paper towels or cloth towels.
- Always blot, never scrub or rub abrasively, because it may create a fuzzy area. When blotting, work from the outer edge toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill and enlarging the problem.
- Thorough removal of both the stain material and the detergent residue is critical to prevent re-soiling. Water extraction is the best way to accomplish this. Many cleaning equipment manufacturers offer small extraction machines specifically designed for spot rinsing after spot cleaning. These are small, lightweight and portable. For information on these machines, please call the Patcraft Technical Services department at 800.471.7429.
- Place several layers of white towels on the spot to draw out any remaining moisture. Weight the towel down with a heavy object that will not transfer color, such as a plastic jug of water. Repeat process until stain no longer transfers to the towel.
Before using a cleaning agent on a spill or stain, first identify the stain and use the following chart to determine how best to clean the carpet.
* Consulting a trained professional cleaner is an option