There are four factors that will affect soiling in your facility:  

1. The information about construction and face yarns discussed in prior articles shows how the type of carpet will affect the soiling rate. When you inspect your facility, make note of type and length of face yarn, carpet construction, and general condition of the installation.

2. While we have given general information about types of soil found in carpet, it is important that you get a feel for the type of soiling in your facility. Pay particular attention to type and sources of soil. If you are in an industrial area, for instance, you may have a higher level of airborne oily soil. If you have a childcare facility, there may be more organic spills from food or sand from a playground.

3. Where the foot traffic enters and exits the facility and how they move about once inside should impact the cleaning plan. It will be important to locate the “high impact” areas in your traffic patterns. These will include the main point of entrance and exit to the building and the areas adjacent to any high profile offices.

4. Of course, the volume of traffic will also give an indication for your cleaning plan. The easiest way to measure is by taking a sample of the foot traffic in an area over a specific amount of time. Keep in mind that traffic volume may vary substantially by time of day, day of the week and by the season.  When you evaluate traffic volume, try to get a feel for these potential variations.

The next step is recognizing how occupants use a facility and where heavy soiling is likely to occur. There are three particularly vulnerable areas:

•  Track-off/wipe-off areas, where carpet and hard surface meet.  Here, carpet collects tracked-in soil from the outdoors or from hard-surface floors.  Track-off regions average ninety SF at building entrances, ten SF. at internal doorways, and forty SF. in corridors six-foot wide.

• Funnel areas/congested channels, where traffic converges (e.g., at a doorway or in front of a vending machine or water cooler).

• Main traffic areas (e.g., the hallway in the center of a floor). 

Pinpointing these areas allows you to forecast where dirt will accumulate and which carpets will require the most attention. To do this, you should get a blueprint of their building and color-code areas by high, medium, and low traffic. 

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