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Choosing commercial carpet cleaning equipment

Maintaining carpets in commercial environments is an important part of any good housekeeping regime and should be high on the list of cleaning jobs. As well as making it last longer, looking after your carpet makes it look better, both from an employee and visitor point of view, creating a professional image. Proper and regular carpet cleaning is necessary to ensure it lasts for as long as possible and retains its appearance.

The type of carpet, and how it is used, will determine how best to clean it, and there are many different types of carpet cleaning machine available to do the job easily and efficiently.

Whilst vacuum cleaners might be the most obvious choice, for deeper carpet cleaning, carpet extraction cleaners and carpet steam cleaners are also available.

COVID-19 commercial carpet cleaning update

The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a requirement to sanitise all surfaces to help stop the spread of viruses like COVID-19.

Carpeted floors might not be an obvious problem area but virus droplets could land on the carpet and then be kicked back up into the air again as people walk or wheel things across the carpet. So, thorough carpet cleaning should take place alongside measures to sanitise hard surfaces.

Recommended equipment for carpet cleaning and sanitisation to limit the spread of coronavirus includes:

  • Vacuum cleaners fitted with a high particulate (HEPA) filter
  • Extraction cleaners used with a biocidal cleaner
  • Dry steam cleaners

and we consider these in this article.

Vacuum cleaners for regular carpet cleaning

A good vacuum cleaner is an essential carpet cleaning machine for both domestic and commercial use. It sucks up superficial dry dirt such as crumbs and dropped food. There is a variety of different types of vacuum cleaner on the market, including tub and upright models, and as a general principle, the efficient removal of dirt from a carpet is dependent to a large extent on the quality of the vacuum cleaner and also how it is used. For example, it is important that the dirt is collected in the machine and not allowed to become airborne and settle elsewhere – there’s no point just moving dust around! Particular attention should be given to heavy pedestrian traffic areas dirt tends to build up around the perimeter edges and, if not removed, can leave dark lines.

Wet and dry vacuums are also available, with different settings to tackle both liquid and dry dirt.
Standard vacuum cleaners are ideal for regular cleaning, although they can only remove the dirt from the top of the carpet and cannot reach into the pile, so for a really deep clean, a much more powerful device is required, and for this job more advanced carpet cleaning machines are available.

Vacuum cleaner options include tub-vacs, upright vacs and backpack vacs, along with the more heavy duty vacs designed for collecting heavy duty or hazardous dust. There is also an increasing range of battery powered vacs for commercial use.

Carpet extraction machines for deeper carpet cleaning

A carpet can appear to be clean but because of the nature of the pile or the pattern, deep down dirt can be hidden.  For a deeper clean, a carpet extractor applies water or chemical to the carpet to dislodge or dissolve the dirt, then everything is vacuumed (or extracted) from the carpet.

There are three main methods of extraction:

  • Dry Extraction – uses an absorbent substance containing detergents and solvents which is brushed into the carpet fibres. The saturated compound attaches itself to the underlying dirt and both are removed by vacuum
  • Dry Foam – detergent is made into a foam and worked into the carpet and removed, together with the detritus, by wet vacuum
  • Hot Water – a cleaning solution is introduced into the carpet fibres under pressure and the soil and solution is removed.

One of the most common methods of cleaning is known as “hot water extraction” using a carpet extraction machine like the Carpex,  which uses a hot spray of chemicals in solution with water which is agitated into the carpet to enable the dirt to be separated from the carpet fibres, which is then sucked up by a vacuum. It is worth bearing in mind that as a carpet extraction machine is not something used every day there is always an option to hire this type of machine.

Most carpets can be cleaned in this way – but dry cleaning can be a better option for some kinds of flooring materials. When carpets do not need such a comprehensive clean, smaller, cheaper “spotter” machines will tackle small stains, although care should be taken to ensure that any chemicals used do not harm the carpet.

Cleaning carpeted floors with dry steam cleaners

An alternative approach to deep clean a carpeted floor is to use a dry steam cleaner and this is the method we recommend most often to clean and sanitise carpeted floors. Temperatures above 77°C kill all living organisms and the temperature of steam is much higher than that, so steam cleaning is effective against Coronavirus, with or without chemicals.

Read more about steam cleaning for coronavirus decontamination >>>

Steam cleaners are quite versatile machines with several benefits:

  • As well as cleaning an area and killing harmful bacteria, the surface is also left dry
  • Most machines come with specific attachments for extra functionality to provide an intense use of steam, which will remove most stains and effectively clean hard to reach crevices
  • The use of chemicals in your cleaning process is minimised – this will have cost as well as health benefits
  • The elbow-grease associated with any carpet steam cleaner is considerably less than choosing the other methods of carpet cleaning!
  • Steam cleaners can reduce the symptoms suffers have from hay fever, asthma and eczema, as the steam will kill dust mites that have an adverse effect on these conditions
  • You may well be able to use your carpet steam cleaner to meet a variety of your other cleaning needs
  • A dry steam cleaner with vacuum, where you can you use a combined dry steam and vacuum system to clean your carpets

Which carpet cleaning machine is best for you?

The most suitable carpet cleaning machine for your needs will depend on a range of factors including the size of area to be cleaned, the type of dirt, the environment in which the machine will be used and, of course, your budget.

You can see a selection of carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment here, or find out more about dry steam cleaners here.

For free, no obligation, advice speak to the floor cleaning experts at B&G, we’re happy to help.

Article updated by Martin Reece 24th July 2020

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