Proper Cleaning Techniques to Maintain Your Investment
No matter what kind of carpeting you choose, you can use green cleaning techniques to help keep those carpets clean and healthy with minimal impact on cleaning staff, building occupants, and the broader environment.
The basics of carpet care are very straightforward:
- Adhere to a regular schedule of frequent vacuuming.
- Layer on the occasional deep cleaning via hot water extraction (about twice a year, depending on traffic and soil-levels).
Dry soil typically accounts for about 85 percent of soil tracked into a building and vacuums are designed to remove that dirt before it settles deeper into the carpet. In addition, vacuums that contain HEPA filters can help to remove small-particle allergens that may have collected in the carpet.
Frequent vacuuming goes a long way to keep your carpets clean, but it won’t pick up everything. Including hot water extraction in your cleaning schedule allows for the removal of that stubborn 15 percent of deeply embedded soil or oily material that vacuums can’t get, restoring your carpeting to a pristine condition.
Hot water extraction (sometimes referred to as ‘steam cleaning’, even though that’s a bit of a misnomer since no steam is involved) requires specialized equipment and should be performed by trained custodians or professional cleaning services. In addition, using equipment that has received CRI’s Seal of Approval (SOA) will help insure effective results.
From an environmental standpoint, there are a couple key considerations when it comes to carpet extraction. A primary concern is the cleaning solution employed in the process. Safer and environmentally preferred chemicals typically carry the EPA’s Safer Choice label. Another issue has to do with the amount of moisture put into the carpet. Low moisture units improve sustainability by cutting the amount of water used in the cleaning process and reducing carpet drying times. That allows for more frequent cleaning of high traffic areas, and helps protect the indoor environment by preventing the growth of mold and mildew.
All of the environmental progress in the flooring industry has resulted in improved outcomes for the entire ecosystem from producers to end users. Improved cleanliness and air quality, longer-lasting and more durable products, and increased efficiency and long-term sustainability. That cycle will continue with increasing benefits as more consumers become aware of these advances. That is especially true when it comes to cleaning and maintenance, since perhaps the largest portion of the environmental impact comes into play after the carpet has been installed.