Like many green cleaning concepts, the accent on proper carpet care begins with preventive care and moves quickly to rectify accumulations of soil as soon as they occur. Preventive measures include walk-off mats and soil-catching mats on the outside of the building, while quick response times prevent the spread of soil throughout the building. The net result is a cleaner environment and lowered cleaning costs.
The ideal green cleaning schedule calls for the fulfillment of housekeeping chores during daylight hours. This reduction in energy use is significant and translates nicely to the bottom line.
Carpets are important to the overall building and cleaning routine. These areas can contribute to the “sick building syndrome” but, if maintained properly, can work to the occupant’s benefit.
Housekeepers should vacuum frequently and thoroughly. Unfortunately much of the soil accumulating in buildings is oily. Frequent vacuuming reduces soil buildup.
Likewise, stains need to be addressed quickly. 99% of stains can be alleviated with a quick response. The longer the stain persists, the more difficult it is to remove. Spotters should be used to treat the stains. Cleaners should apply the mildest stain removers first. Spots should not be brushed but should be scraped toward the middle and then tamped with the spotter.
Detergents, shampoos and spotters should not be over-used. This is a change from traditional cleaning practices. Carpets should only be wet for cleaning purposes and this should be performed on rare occasions. When cleaned, the rotary extraction method should be used.
Spotted carpets should not be coated. Avoid the use of “carpet protectors.” In effect these protectors tend to glue the dirt into the carpet. If the carpet is stubborn, either re-scrub or re-extract the carpet. However, the most important ingredient in the building’s carpet maintenance program is frequent vacuuming.