Carpet has been and continues to be a floor covering of choice for many buildings and facilities.  Not only is it easier on the feet than hard floors, it also helps to dampen noise and can bring a sense of warmness to a room that hard floors cannot.  

Since the invention of the vacuum cleaner, rugs and then manufactured carpets have presented the challenge of removing dust and soils that are tracked onto the surface and rapidly sink into the fibers.  Then there are liquid and oil based spills which can become permanent stains if they are allowed to soak into the fiber strands.  

Although you may know most of these principles they bear repeating:

• Walk-off mats are indispensable in keeping carpets and rugs clean and extend actual life. This does not mean that a tiny 2 by 4 mat is sufficient; rather a mixture of “capture mats” outside designed to collect the large chunks of soil and much of the grit/sand on the bottom of shoes.  Then inside there needs to be a softer (oftentimes olefin) to help in drying the bottom of shoes and absorbing oils and other liquids that can ruin the first 25 to 50 feet of an entrance.

• Then there is the requisite daily vacuuming to remove soils the rugs/mats failed to capture before it gets ground deeply into the pile.  This can be accomplished by any quality vacuum cleaner with sufficient suction to lift the soils into the collection bag.  The key is frequent vacuuming of the entrance areas to reduce the chance of “soil creep” when dirt literally is moved from the entrance further and further down the hall as feet pick up the soils and deposit it further each day.

• Interim cleaning — which could involve foam, encapsulation or in some cases bonnet cleaning — usually cleans the top of the fiber tips without really cleaning down deep.  There are prospects that using the correct encapsulation products along with thorough vacuuming can produce excellent results.

• Finally, there is Hot Water Extraction using a portable or truck-mount unit that sprays a cleaning solution into the fibers and immediately suctions it out which is probably the most thorough way of cleaning carpet fibers.


There is much more to know about maintaining carpet.

Your comments and questions are important. 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