There are four forms of carpet maintenance. They are preventative cleaning, interim cleaning, restorative cleaning and spot removal.
The most overlooked part of carpet cleaning is called preventative cleaning.
What this revolves around is the ability of the home or facility to keep the soil outside the building or at least at the entry doorways.
If the soil gets past the front doors then it becomes difficult to keep the place clean. In the winter this may often revolve around the dreaded slush or even worse yet - salt! - on the carpets.
It is extremely difficult to remove salt with any true green method of carpet cleaning method except for rinsing with straight water. This method can take dozens of attempts and still may not be successful.
Here are a handful of steps that are vital in maintaining a good appearance to your carpets at the buildings entryways during the winter:
- Keep the salt swept away from the doorways when there is no ice or snow.
- Keep sand, soil and settlement off of tires in parking areas swept up daily.
- Have large capture mats at all entries.
- Keep these capture mats clean. If they get slushy vacuum up the slush immediately with a wet-dry vacuum. If it's a bad winter you may have to do this several times a day.
- Clean visibly soiled area frequently. This may mean that the carpet has to be cleaned daily at high traffic entrances.
- Vacuum carpets in all directions. The dry particulate matter comes out much easier when its dry. Vacuuming in strokes north-south, east-west, south-north and then west to east will make a huge difference in the amount of soil removed from the carpet.
- Speed dry carpet matting. A huge percentage of installed carpet matting is made of olefin. This olefin fiber wicks soils quickly. Speed drying will allow for salty moisture to dry and be either vacuumed out or padded out with an acid rinse.
The fundamental element of winter carpet maintenance is preventative cleaning. A thoroughly thought out carpet maintenance plan requires constant inspection. This may require looking at the carpet before and after the cleaning. You may need to vary the amounts of water employed and the chemistries used in cleaning. Never forget that salty slush is much easier to remove with a wet/dry vac than after it has hardened.