In the Middle East, carpets continue to adorn the interiors of many hotels, offices and homes. They are preferred for their exuberant, luxurious, warm feel and increase the aesthetic appeal of any space. Irrespective of how expensive the carpet may be, it warrants regular maintenance and periodical cleaning to keep the opulent surface clean & healthy.
Like any floor, the carpet needs to be cleaned frequently to remove dust or other harmful bacteria that are deposited in it through feet or various entry points. The pollutants can be harmful for the occupants’ health in the long run. Also, the appearance needs to be maintained as the carpet should exude a warmth/freshness when one enters a room/office for the very reason for which it has been laid.
The most basic method and highly recommended practice of any carpet maintenance program is the use of an upright vacuum cleaner with a cylindrical, self-adjustable brush. A thorough use of the vacuum cleaner sucks up loose dirt and prevents dirt accumulation. Depending on the foot traffic encountered and within a fixed time frame, visibly dirty carpets are subjected to shampooing. Several conventional shampooing methods depend on the need and type of carpet. They include dry foam shampooing; extraction shampooing (hot water, steam), single disc machine, bonnet pad.
It takes an experienced and skilled team to judge and select the most suitable technique to be used from the above. The process starts with thorough dry vacuuming of the carpet using the upright vacuum cleaner preferably with a self-adjustable brush, followed with spotting the stains. This is very important to identify the nature of the stain and then the spot. The use of wrong and poor chemical products for stain spotting can turn into a calamity, leading to a permanent stain. Before employing the proper carpet shampooing method, it is recommended to try an inconspicuous area to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Once the shampooing is completed, the carpet needs to be completely dry before being released for use.
A good quality extraction machine is your carpet’s best friend. We’ve come across carpet cleaning being done with a dry powder but the end result has not been satisfactory. Our operation team uses dry foam, extraction machines (hot water) from Von Schrader & Nilfisk, which not only produces fantastic result but are also user friendly.
Traditionally, carpet cleaning machines have required the use of a lot of water and chemicals. The focus was more on user-friendliness rather than eco-friendliness. Today, these machines are being designed to use minimal water/electricity/ chemical. We, at Alaska use Ecolab chemicals, which are eco-friendly and bio degradable. This not only helps in reduced operation cost but also works for a sustainable future. Our practice is to use minimum resources. When it comes to locations like hotels, which require a quick turndown, the carpet cleaning regime changes. But, there are no shortcuts. Depending on the condition of the carpet, a standard room can be turned down within 30 minutes to an hour if the housekeeping team is trained suitably. The usage of correct stain spotting is the key here.
Recommended best practices
1. Vacuum frequently and thoroughly with an upright vacuum cleaner to prevent soil build up.
2. Treat the stains ASAP. The older the stain, the more difficult it is get rid of.
3. Use appropriate stain removers. Understand the nature of the stain and treat accordingly. Start from mild stain removers and move to a stronger one if needed.
4. Employ the blotting technique and other stain removing techniques depending on the nature of the stains.
5. Testing an inconspicuous area of the carpet before spotting and shampooing is a must.
6. Select the right carpet cleaning machine and the right shampoo.
7. DO NOT over wet the carpet and DO NOT over use chemicals.
8. Employ an extraction cleaner if there is residual chemical suspected.
9. Use of a carpet protector helps. But, remember they are not stain proof – they are stain resisting.
10. Carpet protector sprays should be used only when the carpet is completely dry.
About the Author: Mohamed Al Hamad is the General Manager, Alaska Cleaning Centre. Alaska Cleaning Centre has over 300+ skilled professionals who offer services to maintain hard or stone floors and carpets.