Effective carpet spotting begins with the preventative step of removing dry soil through vacuuming. Roughly 70 to 80 percent of dust, dirt and grime are tracked into a building from the outside. Implementing the recommended 10 to 15 feet of matting will greatly reduce the amount of dirt tracked into the building.

Besides walk-off matting, vacuuming is the single most effective and economical means of keeping carpet in commercial facilities clean. The majority of carpet soil, in fact, as high as 95 percent, is dry soil. Dry soil can be removed from carpet by following scheduled, routine vacuuming procedures.

If BSCs increase daily vacuuming frequency by as little as 5 to 10 percent, carpet would be cleaner than by performing additional carpet extractions. BSCs should concentrate their vacuuming efforts in entryways and high-traffic areas. Thirty percent of the dirt brought into a facility is deposited in the first three feet of the entry area. After the soil load builds in the entry, about 90 percent of this dirt is tracked off in the first 25 feet of carpeting. This dirt is effectively “marched or walked” through the building on feet and into the carpet over time.

Daily vacuuming is advised for carpeted areas with heavy foot traffic. Moderate traffic area areas should be vacuumed two or three times a week. And low traffic areas can be maintained with a weekly vacuuming program. In the past, the maintenance schedule included a twice-a-year carpet extraction cleaning performed by trained custodians or professional cleaning service. Areas with heavy foot traffic often were extracted on a more frequent schedule.

As mentioned before, the majority of soil is typically tracked off in the entrances, traffic lanes and high-traffic areas. It’s possible to make vacuuming even more effective in these areas. Adding a vacuum enhancer to the regular vacuuming program assists the vacuum in removing additional soil. Vacuum enhancer is a neutral pH, non-hazardous chemical that encapsulates soil and carpet fiber to help improve performance and significantly reduces the rate of resoiling. It can also improve the indoor air quality. The encapsulate can capture loose soil, dust mites and other allergens. The particulates encased in the encapsulate also increase the particulate size which makes it easier for the vacuum to remove.

Vacuum enhancers are simple to implement in a team cleaning system. The vacuum specialist will fully vacuum an area such as a high-traffic area or entrance. Afterwards, the vacuum specialist will apply the vacuum enhancer to the area by using a sprayer. The enhancer is left to dry on the carpet.

The following day, the vacuum enhancer is removed along with stubborn dirt during the vacuuming process. Some users have reported removing ice melt residue and days-old coffee spots with this technique. Over time with regular application, the vacuum will remove more dirt, the appearance will improve, and the deep extraction cycle can be extended.

BJ Mandelstam is the founder and president of Cleaning Matters, a Denver-based custodial consulting practice. Previously, she was the owner of an award-winning contract cleaning company.

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Meet Increased Carpet Spotting Demands With Team Cleaning