Most of the recommendations for carpet maintenance are steeped in old-fashioned common sense. Most experts advocate a four-pronged maintenance approach, stressing preventive, daily, periodic, and intensive maintenance. 

First: Preventive maintenance includes such basic remedies as walk-off mats in entryways and elevators to collect dirt before it reaches carpeting.  “It could be something as easy as placing a trash can right outside the front door or removing leaves on the sidewalks in front of the building,” says Michael Hilton, technical services associate for CRI. Appropriate color selection can also play a part in maintenance; medium colors, tweeds, and patterned carpets hide soil, while lighter colors mask fading. 

Second: Daily maintenance focuses on spot removal, as needed, and vacuuming, ranging from once or twice per day in heavy-soil areas to once or twice weekly in light-traffic areas.  Vacuuming is the most important element of a maintenance program, but many companies buy the cheapest commercial vacuum they can find for $100 to $150, instead of just taking the time to shop for a vacuum with high filtration that will do a better job.

Third: Periodic cleaning should be scheduled every six to twelve months in high-traffic areas.  We will discuss different methods for periodic cleaning in a later article.  This is where the implementation of controlled bonnet cleaning or encapsulation can have a tremendous impact on appearance.

Fourth: Intensive facility-wide extraction cleaning (HWE) should be done at least once a year to remove the accumulated soil missed during periodic and daily maintenance activities.  Many times this should be scheduled for high wear areas that catch most of the soiling.  Lighter levels of maintenance may not be sufficient once the carpet becomes loaded with soil and oily dirt.

Carpet maintenance is part science and part art since cleaning for appearance and longevity can depend on experience and judgment. 

Your comments and questions are always welcome.  I hope to hear from you soon.  Until then, keep it clean…


Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678.314.2171 or