The office carpet. It isn’t usually a thing of beauty and is made for durability rather than aesthetic or tactile pleasure. While at home, we take off our shoes before walking across a carpet, the office carpet deals with a high footfall daily, becoming ingrained with all the dirt, dust, and germs that outdoor shoes collect.
Office carpet cleaning serves three purposes. It makes the workplace look professional by keeping the flooring clean, fresh, and stain-free. It prolongs the longevity of the carpet, and it removes the germs and allergens that could otherwise serve as a health risk to the workforce. In this guide, we’ll share tips on how to clean your office carpets effectively. We’ll also help you decide whether you can tackle the job yourself or if you would be better off hiring professionals.
The Hardest Working Floor
Commercial carpets are chosen for office floors because they’re engineered to withstand more significant ‘foot traffic’ than residential carpets. More people walk across them each day, and they also do so in shoes, which take a greater toll on the carpet’s fibres than shoeless feet.
Commercial carpets are made using a shorter and tightly looped pile, the purpose of which is to maintain the integrity of the carpet in the face of much friction from the soles of shoes. Commercial carpets often feature hard-wearing nylon or stain-resistant and cost-effective polyester in their fibres.
While a recent study commissioned by ScS found that office carpets have fewer bacteria than living room carpets, a further study conducted by Bissell gives us a clue as to why this might be. Office carpets tend to be cleaned more regularly than the carpets in our home, with nearly half of those questioned for this survey revealing that they’d never cleaned the carpets in their house.
Carpets that aren’t shampooed regularly have been shown to contain the dangerous E.coli, a bacteria that is commonly found in faeces and which probably makes its way onto the carpet via contaminated shoes. Uncleaned carpets are also a health risk due to their higher number of dust mites. Dust mites are a greater risk to those with allergic conditions such as asthma, hay fever, or eczema.
Therefore, office floor cleaning should be considered a maintenance priority in the business setting because by doing so, you help protect your employees.
The Lowdown on Office Carpet Cleaning
You now know it’s a great idea to clean the carpets in an office regularly, but what are the key considerations when planning the cleaning process?
To keep commercial carpets at their best, vacuum the entire carpeted region of your office building daily. This can be super helpful for removing allergens and simply making the floor look neat and debris free.
Deal will stains and spillages as they happen. The likes of coffee spills won’t necessarily warrant the use of a carpet cleaner if you have the right products to perform a spot-clean, such as those in our stain remover range. Showing your cleaning team or staff members how to deal with spills can prevent stains from settling into the pile, which can then be harder to remove during the deep cleaning sessions.
For best results, you should deep clean the carpets in an office once a year or every six months for zones such as foyers and meeting rooms where the floor’s appearance can impact your client’s impression of the business. This could involve hiring a carpet cleaning machine and having an employee perform the task, or you could ask a professional company to undertake the work.
Which Areas Should be Cleaned?
Research suggests that carpets can become dirty and contaminated in all zones, so it’s worth deep cleaning them throughout your commercial building, from the reception to the cubicle zones, meeting rooms, and kitchen/break areas.
If your business has a carpet cleaner, you should clean the main thoroughfares more often, as touching up on these areas could reduce the need for more regular full carpet cleaning sessions.
How Long Will it Take?
Professional carpet cleaners can send a team in to get even a large office building’s carpets cleaned in a day or two. However, if you’re using your cleaning staff to carry out the task, you should pick a week and choose a zone to clean per day.
It would help if you considered the time it takes to move furniture to access the full surface of the carpet. In a busy office, you’ll want to minimise the disruption to your staff; therefore, evening or weekend office carpet cleaning sessions may be desirable.
Although it’s not always the case, a cleaned carpet may feel damp for up to 24 hours, though the short pile in commercial carpets can make them much faster to dry. Take this into account when timing your office carpet cleaning.
In-House or Professional
Professional carpet cleaners can do a more effective clean in one session thanks to the strength of their machines and professional cleaning agents.
Professional carpet cleaners can provide a fast and effective service, and they have the potential to complete the entire office in a shorter time frame. Some methods professionals use, including dry carpet cleaning, leave the carpets ready to be walked on immediately. This service comes at a premium, though, and will cost you more than simply paying your own staff.
If you hire a company, they’ll be able to assess the type of carpets in your building and bring in the best machines and cleaning solutions for the carpet type.
Calling upon a professional service may not always suit a company’s budget. If your business owns a carpet cleaner and you can train a staff member to use it properly, carrying out your own cleaning can be very cost-effective. Doing it yourself also gives you the flexibility to work around staff hours and pick and choose which areas to work on. Using your carpet cleaner will allow you to perform cleans more often and target areas where you see dirt building up.
If you want to know how to clean office carpet effectively, read on through our handy guide.
DIY Guide to Cleaning an Office Carpet
To get the best results with your DIY office carpet cleaning, you need to choose whether you will use a steam cleaner or a carpet shampoo cleaner and then select cleaning products accordingly.
Steam vs Shampoo
Steam cleaning a carpet offers a deeper clean, penetrating further down into the pile of a carpet, compared to carpet shampoo. However, because commercial carpets tend to have a very shallow pile, this may not be an issue in your office. Steam office carpet cleaning is an excellent way to kill microbes and dust mites and to remove stains.
Steam cleaning uses very hot water; therefore, you need to weigh up the risks to your employees if they haven’t experience using one of these machines. You’ll need to source the right cleaning solution for the steam cleaner and should be aware that the process can take longer than a carpet shampoo machine. When you steam clean, you first drive steam and the cleaning solution into the carpet and then go back over the area with a strong vacuum setting.
Carpet shampoo machines tend to be cheaper than steam cleaners, and they can do a great job of improving the aesthetic of the carpet’s surface. The machines spray the shampoo onto the carpet while a brush works the foam down into the fibres. You then vacuum the residue back up.
Getting the Right Equipment
Although it can be boring, it’s really important to read your carpet cleaner manual properly and select the right cleaning agents for the type of carpet in your office. Failure to do so could be costly!
Different carpets react differently to high temperatures and to cleaning chemicals. Although you can happily steam clean most nylon-based carpets, you might find that natural fibres and the glues used in certain carpets are affected by the heat. Use the wrong cleaning solution for your machine or carpet, and you could cause a big foamy mess or end up tainting the carpet’s appearance.
In addition to your chosen model of carpet cleaner and cleaning solution, you should also have a bucket with clear measurement markings up the side for mixing your cleaning solution with water. Have to hand a clean brush (for working the cleaning product into heavily stained areas) and rubber gloves to protect the hands from the products, which could irritate the skin.
Performing the Best Carpet Clean
Office floor cleaning takes a little prep work to produce optimal results. The nature of the office carpet cleaning process means you must be methodical as you work to avoid missing any spots. And this requires you to completely clear the area if possible or to move furniture to one side of the room and then to the other.
Ensure employees have help when moving office furniture to avoid workplace injuries, and then prepare the carpet by giving it a very thorough vacuuming. Now that you have a good view of the exposed and vacuumed carpet, you’ll easily spot any stains or sticky patches that might need a pre-treatment with a stain remover, which you can work down into the carpet with the brush you prepared. You can use this brush again once you’ve run the carpet cleaner over the area to scrub in that cleaning solution too.
Once it’s time to start running the machine, set a nice, slow pace. Move too quickly when you’re steaming or spraying cleaner into the carpet, and you may need more cleaning action. Likewise, move too quickly when you’re in vacuum mode, and you could leave residue and moisture on the carpet.
Vacuuming up the moisture is an important part of the process. Although it’s normal for the carpet to feel damp, if it’s been made too wet it won’t dry in a timely manner. This can encourage fungal growth and the degradation of the carpet fibres. If you’re worried that the carpet is too damp, run the machine on the vacuum setting again, air the room if the weather is suitable, switch on fans, or increase the temperature of the space by a degree.
Finding the Right Professional Carpet Cleaners
If you’d like to call upon the professionals, you’ll need to ensure the company you hire can take good care of your office carpets.
A good company will want to pay a site visit. They’ll assess the type of carpets you have, calculate the area they need to clean, and explain the different types of carpet cleaning they can supply and their benefits.
Ask for references and always get quotes from another company. Great carpet cleaners often have a longer waiting period for their services. However, waiting for a competent service is always preferable to paying for touch-ups if your first cleaning company doesn’t do a thorough job. Carpet cleaning can be disruptive to the workplace, so it’s worth choosing a reliable company and letting them tackle the whole building, getting it right the first time.
Once you’ve gone to the effort of cleaning your carpets or the financial expenditure of hiring a team, it’s worth practising good carpet maintenance until you’re ready for the next session. Invest in secured mats at the office entrance to reduce dirt and dust entering the building, always deal with spills as they happen, and consider investing in your own carpet cleaner to tackle smaller areas regularly.