Care Home Carpet Cleaning
Keeping care homes clean and hygienic is essential, as those who work in them are well aware. Preventing the spread of germs is essential where residents may be frail or in poor health and in the winter time particularly, care home managers are concerned about possible flu epidemics.
Floor cleaning is a fundamental part of the cleaning regime as, thanks to gravity, most dirt will find its way there. Because the floor area in a care home is likely to need regular attention, you might wonder whether a hard floor would be a better option than a more difficult to clean carpet, but generally, that isn’t the case. We supply a wide range of carpet cleaning machines which are very effective in care homes.
Why use carpet in a care home?
A care home is much more than a wipe clean capsule for people to live in, it is their home and needs to feel warm and welcoming to residents, staff and visitors. Carpets, as long as they are maintained well, look and feel comfortable.
We all know that warmth and comfort are hugely important to a feeling of well-being and the thermal insulation offered by carpet is estimated to be up to twenty times higher than that provided by a hard floor. Also noise can impact unfavourably on all the inhabitants of a care home and the level is much reduced by using carpet as a floor covering due to its sound absorbing qualities and reduction in sound reverberation as well as transfer from room to room. A quiet environment aids rest and relaxation and can help to reduce stress, making for a more pleasant environment for inhabitants.
But what about hygiene? It is often thought that carpet is inherently less hygienic than a hard floor or coverings such as linoleum or vinyl. Studies have shown however that harmful pathogens do not survive as well in carpet as they do on other hard floor coverings. The most important protection of course is that the carpet is kept clean and infection free.
Carpet cleaners for care homes
Depending on the type of flooring, it can take more than twice as long to clean a hard floor than carpet, and the cleaning chemicals required can also be much more expensive. To clean a carpet in a care home environment, vacuuming is the basic start point. Regular use of a vacuum cleaner is important as another advantage of carpet is that it traps allergens in its fibres which prevent s them circulating and causing irritation to people who suffer from breathing difficulties. Regular vacuuming will remove not only the surface dust but also the trapped allergens to prevent contamination.
Many vacuum cleaners these days have good filters. The Edge Lindhaus vacuum cleaner for example has been developed specifically for the healthcare market and its sophisticated filtration system controls particulate biological contamination. Regular vacuum cleaning is hugely important to remove dust and the daily bits and pieces that land on the floor, although to actually clean the carpet, a carpet extraction cleaner is needed.
Carpet cleaning using a carpet extractor
Vacuum cleaning will remove the loose deposits from the carpet surface but the “unseen” dirt comes from people’s shoes and, particularly in a care home, wheelchair wheels. This tends to be oily and greasy in nature and can build up over time leaving the carpet unsightly and potentially unhygienic. A carpet extractor uses a chemical cleaner, suitable for the type of carpet being cleaned, and this is mixed with water to form a solution. This solution is then applied by the extractor to the carpet surface and then agitated deep into the pile to absorb the dirt. The resultant mixture is the vacuumed into a holding tank in the machine for later disposal.
Carpet extraction cleaners for care homes
The extractor used to clean a care home carpet will depend on the area of carpet, how maneuverable the machine needs to be and if cleaning when residents are about, how quiet the machine is.
Carpet extractors use chemicals to aid the cleaning process. Because carpets are made from a variety of materials, the correct choice of chemical is essential for the extractor to clean correctly. The wrong chemical can be harmful to a carpet so any large scale cleaning should be done by a fully trained operative.
There are a variety of carpet extractors available from companies like Prochem who have a range of options, ranging from small vacuum cleaner sized machines like the Prochem Comet carpet and upholstery cleaning machine which is also particularly effective at removing spots and stains. to the larger, more sophisticated Steempro range. These machines are very quiet in use, ideally suited to the care home environment.
If you need advice about the best vacuum cleaner or carpet extractor for your care home or for more information about carpet cleaning training, please get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.