From our discussion of the typical makeup of carpet soil, we know that almost 80 percent of the soil in your carpet will be loose soil. Since vacuuming removes most of this dry soil, it is the most important step in the carpet cleaning procedure.  Correct vacuuming procedures will remove more soil than any other step.

An upright vacuum equipped with a beater bar/brush will not necessarily improve the efficiency of your vacuuming effort even though it adds agitation to the process.  On some carpets it may brush up the fibers thereby acting as a mini-pile lifter.  On low nap, level loop commercial carpet, it may be best to use a back pack vacuum to gain speed thereby increasing productivity.  If you are cleaning the entire carpeted area, moving all or most of the furniture may be necessary.  If cleaning only the traffic and open areas, simply moving chairs, plants and other items may be satisfactory. 

An important part of vacuuming is deciding the best way to “set the room” so the pile can be vacuumed.  This involves developing a strategy for moving furniture so that the entire area can be cleaned with a minimum of effort expended in moving furniture.  A typical approach is to first vacuum the unobstructed areas then move the furniture into those areas.  Then vacuum the previously obstructed areas, leaving the furniture in its new position until the pile has been cleaned.  Then, the pile can be cleaned and groomed, furniture returned to its original position, and unobstructed areas cleaned.

If the area is too congested to allow this approach, you can move all the furniture to one side, vacuum and clean, and then move the furniture to the second side.  The disadvantage to this approach is that it takes more labor in moving.  If the area is so congested as to demand this approach, a premium should be charged to cover the extra labor that will be expended in moving furniture.

Staging a job is important since time can be lost due to wasted motion looking for outlets, moving obstacles, etc. 

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