What kinds of odors do professional carpet cleaners encounter in their daily cleaning operations?

OdorsDuring a typical day, professional carpet cleaners may encounter a wide variety of odor problems that their customer needs assistance dealing with – pet urine, body odors, Cooking odors, tobacco odors, general odors, water intrusion and water damage, bacterial based odors, moisture based odors, and mold, mildew and mustiness.  CleanMaster, the chemical division of HydraMaster, is pleased to provide three deodorization and remediation chemical solutions which effectively eliminate these and many other odors, and turn your customers into raving fans!

BotaniPhase – for water intrusion and water damage related odors, bacterial and moisture based odors, and mold, mildew, and mustiness

CleanMaster BotaniPhase  from HydraMaster represents the newest renewable and sustainable natural deodorizing Botani_Phase Hi Restechnology as it derives its odor eliminating and decontamination capabilities directly from plant extracts. Whenever you have a carpet, textile or hard surface that has been impacted by water intrusion or moisture exposure to the point it has developed odors related to mold, mildew, and mustiness, BotaniPhase works to effectively clean and deodorize that surface. BotaniPhase also works effectively to counteract and eliminate odors resulting from bacterial based sources. Botani-Phase is the ideal deodorizer for restoration and remediation sites, contents cleaning and deodorization, carpet and upholstery cleaning, decontamination and odor control jobs, and more . BotaniPhase is mixed from 1:4 to straight depending upon the severity and intensity of the contamination and odor.

MultiPhase – for pet urine and tobacco odors

Professional Cleaners and Restorers worldwide sign the praises of MultiPhase for two reasons: 1) It is highly effective in less multiphasetime; and 2) Customers love the scent. It is a bonding, encapsulating, pairing, and absorbing deodorizer that will safely and effectively eliminate odors most commonly encountered by the professional carpet cleaner, including pet urine, tobacco smoke, and vomit. It grabs onto the odor producing cell and bonds with it. Because MultiPhase is a contact deodorizer,  it needs to come in contact with all odor molecules – so it is perfect for saturation spraying and injecting. It does all this with without using harsh metallic salts or zincs like some products use. MultiPhase can be used straight or diluted up to 8:1 and can be fogged, sprayed, injected or used as an additive to your cleaning solution. Best of all, it is 1/3 the price of the “cide” based deodorizers in our industry with superior effectiveness

OdorMate Tropical Breeze – general odors, cooking odors, body odors, and general environment refreshing

 OdorMate Tropical Breeze is a general purpose odor eliminator, deodorizer, and cleaning additive designed for use on odormate-web-largecarpet, upholstery, laundry. It also works extremely well in general space deodorizing. The versatility of  OdorMate Tropical Breeze allows it to be effectively used as a direct spray pairing agent heavy duty deodorizer;  it can be added to most any cleaning solution; and can be applied through a wet fogging machine  Don’t let the light tropical breeze fragrance trick you. Utilizing OdorMate Tropical Breeze will leave any carpet or room smelling clean and refreshed, but it is also a pairing deodorant powerful enough to counteract severe malodors such as cooking odor and body odors. We know these malodor counteractants work by binding to the same odor receptors in the nose as malodors, thereby counteracting the perception of malodors by making those receptors unavailable.

Developing a Planned Commercial Carpet Maintenance Program

 

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Analyzing Building Use and Floor Plan

To set up a Planned Commercial Maintenance Program several aspects need to be taken into Blueprint 3consideration.

1. The type of building involved, single or multistory, size of building. This will determine to a large extent the type of carpet cleaning equipment that will be used.

2. The type of commercial activity involved needs to be considered. This will determine the length of time between cleanings, how much time is allowed to complete the cleaning,  and whether or not the building or area can be shut down during the cleaning process.  The type and amount of traffic has a bearing on the cleaning schedule.

3. The exterior of the building is an important area for planned maintenance. A lot of soils are tracked in or carried in with air currents. Proper cleaning of parking lots and entrance aprons to buildings, entrance mats both exterior and interior should be planned.

4. A floor plan of each level of the building needs to be considered and areas assigned a category for proper cleaning schedules to be determined. Potential sources for a copy of the floor plan include an evacuation plan and blueprints.

Note on a facility map the primary areas of concern:

–     Track-off areasBlueprint

–     Funnel areas

–     Main traffic areas

–     Spot prone areas

5. The next step in the analysis is that the type of floor covering in each area needs to be determined. Where they are located in relation to each other and in the building should be taken into consideration.  A hard surface floor preceding carpet will require the carpet to be vacuumed and cleaned more frequently, due to soils being tracked off of the tile floors.  As you proceed further into the building, or in the case of a high rise, up the floors in a building, it is especially important to note the type of floor covering. The first are where carpet is the dominant floor covering reallyHard Surface Floors 12.13 serves as a giant “walk-off mat” for the rest of the building and will need to have more frequent deep, restorative cleanings. The square footage of each area needs to be known.

A. Hard surface:

Concrete:  Sealed, unsealed, polished, stamped. Painted, type of paint, waxed, condition, grade level.

Vinyl: Type, Manufacture, Condition, Previous maintenance, Manufacturer’s recommended maintenance

VCT or Resilient tile: Type, Condition, Age, Asbestos content, intended use, types of floor finish needed, types of floor machines that can be used in that location.

Wood: Type – solid, engineered, laminate. Type of finish, condition

Ceramic tile, Saltillo

Terrazzo – polishing techniques

Stone – geology, construction, polishing techniques

B. Carpet:commercial-carpet-tile

  • Type of carpet,  type of construction, type of fibers, style, dye methods, manufacturer’s  cleaning recommendations, type of installation.

Components of a Planned Maintenance Program

1. Soil Prevention: Attention should be given to the exterior of the building to see that the parking lots are being properly maintained and cleaned. The entrance of the building needs to be power-washed to prevent dirt from being tracked in. Proper mats should be utilized outside the entrancewalkoffMatsImage and inside the entrance of the building and properly maintained. One way to properly maintain these mats is to use a professional cleaning service for mats. These mats need to be large enough to allow people to make about three to four footsteps across the mat to properly clean shoes. All potted plants need to have plastic protectors placed under them to prevent stains on the carpet.

2. Daily Maintenance: Most areas need to be vacuumed daily and check for spots.

3. Interim Maintenance Cleaning: This is the carpet cleaning that is done in between corrective or restorative cleaning. This is accomplished by low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning or surface hot water extraction cleaning. Other methods employed may be absorbent pad, absorbent compound, or dry foam shampoo carpet cleaning. This is done on an as needed basis.

4. Restorative or Corrective Cleaning: This is accomplished using a truck-mounted or high performance portable hot water extraction machine. In some severe cases the carpet can be cleaned with a shampoo system first which gives superior agitation and then followed with a HWE to insure complete removal of the detergents.

Recommended Cleaning Frequencies

Soil and Traffic Level Vacuum Spot Removal Appearance Maintenance

Cleaning

Restorative Cleaning
Light

Private offices, cubicles

 

2+ times

per week

As needed 2-4 times

per year

1 times

per year

Medium

Interior hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

 

3+ times

per week

As needed 4 times

per year

2 times

per year

Heavy

General entrances, lobbies, main hallways

 

1+ times

per day

As needed 4-6 times

per year

2-4 times

per year

Severe

Severe climate general entrances, food service

1+ times

per day

As needed N.A. 12+ times

per year

 

Assign Area Designations

Each area of the building needs to be assigned a category based upon the amount of traffic it receives or type of area it is. Then a maintenance program can be established based upon each area. Always consider the profile (high-medium-low) of the area by understanding the usage and importance of an area: areas that customers go; VIP offices, conference rooms, etc…

Note that in your cleaning schedule, all procedures that are in red and underlined are the variables in method and frequency which may be employed. This also can be used to customize to the specific equipment and brand being employed.Blue  print 2

Putting the Plan on Paper

  • Prepare and use drawings. Color code each room of carpet to the category it fits best.
  • You can use a word processing program such as Microsoft Word® to customize procedures
  • You can use a graphics program (Microsoft Publisher®, Adobe InDesign) or even a painting program to make the color coded map.
  • You will note in each section below that the terms and words that are italicized are those that are variable to your specific client and to your company. These are the areas where you customize the quote to fit your company and the facility you are bidding on.

Category 1:  Severe Traffic Areas:

Examples: Airports, Entries to Hospitals, Malls & Theaters

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider use of a pile lifter monthly. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a monthly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

 

Category 2:  Heavy Traffic Areas:

Examples: entrances, showrooms, lobbies, corridors, stairs, hallways, retail sales floors, executive offices, clerical office areas, food service areas, elevators, channeled traffic flow areas, break rooms, mail rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a monthly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a weekly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed on a quarterly basis to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 3:  Medium Traffic Areas:

Examples: some hallways, shared offices, conference rooms

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a daily basis. Consider the use of a pile lifter on a quarterly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended.
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on a monthly basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air 1uality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Category 4:  Light Traffic Areas:

Examples: Private Offices & Cubicles

Cleaning schedule:

  1. Vacuuming: All areas need to be vacuumed with a commercial grade vacuum cleaner on a weekly basis. Vacuums which use HEPA filters are recommended. .
  2. Spot Cleaning: All areas need to be spot cleaned as needed by a trained professional using proper techniques to insure the use of proper chemicals, agitation, and rinsing. Standard procedures do not require pre-spotting, rather the carpet should be cleaned normally then spots cleaned after, if residue remains.
  3. Interim (Appearance) Maintenance Cleaning: Carpet needs to be cleaned on an as needed basis using a low moisture encapsulation carpet cleaning system.
  4. Restorative Cleaning: This should be performed every six months to remove any residues from Interim Maintenance Cleaning procedures, to remove deeply imbedded soil, refresh the texture of the carpet and for overall indoor air quality. This should be done utilizing a Hot Water Extraction truck mounted equipment or a High performance portable machine.

Each Customized Program Should Include:

  • Color Coded Map
  • Written Procedures Plan
  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual Procedures
  • Follow-Up On Every Job
  • Emergency Response Plan
  • Water Damage and Intrusion Plan

 

 

Why you still want to use a Urine Pretreatment on virtually every pet urine job

Deodorizing treatments for pet urine contamination have come a long way in our industry. There was a time when cleaners used some strong solvent based deodorizer and hoped the incredibly sad-dogpowered fragrance would overwhelm the atmosphere. Today, there are many different effective treatments in your arsenal – enzyme/bacterial deodorants, encapsulating and bonding deodorizers such as CleanMaster Multi-Phase, Oxidizing treatments such as CleanMaster USR with Multi-Phase, and various other solvent and water based deodorizers. Chances are, you already have picked out a favorite or two that you use consistently.

We know that urine contamination is a “quadruple threat.” It needs to be neutralized, deodorized, and sanitized. Plus, we need to get out the stain that may have resulted either from the color of the urine “re-dyeing” the carpet or the resulting alkaline salts attacking the dye structure of the carpet.Urine contamination is not only an odor issue but a staining issue and a health / contamination issue.The client who appreciates all four of these problems is willing to spend more for proper corrective action. You already know that customer education is an effective sales tool.

So with all this new chemical treatment technology, can’t you just skip the urine pretreatment step and go right into using your tried and true favorite deodorizer and/or stain remover? The answer is yes, and no. If you have been on enough jobs with a lot of urine contamination, you have already encountered the sticky, almost greasy feeling mess that often accompanies a build-up of pet urine. upsYou may or may not know that lipids are oily cholesterol in the urine.Repeated use of the same spot by the dog or cat will result in an oily build-up that prevents water based solutions from penetrating.The carpet will feel sticky or oily. The fact is, if you are fortunate, your enzyme deodorant may include lipase enzymes which are designed to digest the lipid build-up. However, it will usually take hours for that to take effect and be complete. Your favorite “cide” type encapsulating deodorizer does not contain any ingredient which will dissolve or break down these oily lipids. Neither does your oxidizing treatment. Your $25-$80 per gallon deodorizing treatment is going to have trouble penetrating this build-up of lipids in the carpet. It is going to have to work extra hard to try and do its job. A specially formulated urine pre-treatment like CleanMaster UPS is designed to neutralize the resulting alkaline salts in urine contamination. More importantly, it is formulated to break through and dissolve the sticky, oily mess that is keeping your deodorizer from working faster. Using a urine pretreatment will virtually always greatly speed up the treatment process of your other favorite treatment chemical. A 2-3 minute  application of CleanMaster UPS will save you time, decontaminate the area, and reduce the amount of expensive deodorizer you have to apply. It will virtually ALWAYS save you time and save you money.

Not every acid spotting solution works effectively as a urine pretreatment. A great Urine pretreatment like CleanMaster UPS  is a special synergistic blend of acid neutralizers, detergents, odor counteractants, and decontamination deodorizers for use as a urine contamination neutralizer and to dissolve and break down the oily, sticky lipids. It will effectively dissolve and dislodge alkaline salt residues that build up in urine deposits and neutralize sticky and gummy  lipids and contamination.

Cleaning the “New” Softer Carpets

By:          Doyle Bloss, Marketing and Brand Manager, HydraMaster   Rick Evans, West Coast Regional Manager, HydraMaster

With the assistance of Charles Rollins and Darrell Hagan, Shaw Industries – Product Care and Maintenance

What are these “softer” carpets?

They are incredibly thin denier (thickness) cut-pile and loop carpets presented in a plush, high pile density format. They range in ounce size from 50-100 ounce (apartment grade carpet is generally 20-28 ounce). They are typically designed for high-end residential settings. However, some hospitality companies are considering for using in high end hotel rooms.

The formats for the carpets differ from carpet mill to carpet mill. Shaw Industries product is identified as Caress®, made of type 6 nylon. Invista manufactures StainMaster® Trusoft® which is made of type 6,6 nylon. Mohawk’s Smartstrand® is made of PTT polyester fiber. Beaulieu sells Bliss SoftSense® which is also made from Polyester.

They are relatively new product offering with Shaw introducing Caress in January of 2013. However, they are gaining market share in the carpet market rapidly. Many old-time carpet cleaners believe this is because they have finally identified and marketed one of the main reasons why people buy carpet – softness. The ads for these carpets reflect this, showing happy families with their pets playing, laying, rolling, and jumping on their new soft carpet. When you get a chance to visit a retail showroom and feel this carpet for the first time, the softness of the fiber strikes you instantly. With many of these carpets now being installed for over a year, your chances of having to clean one increase daily.

Difficulty in Vacuuming

This softer carpet provides obvious benefits to the homeowner, particularly one who enjoys the floor(s) of the room it is installed in. However, just as your hands and toes sink into the thick soft pile, so does the cleaning head of your typical vacuum cleaner. More power just means more fiber getting sucked into the head reducing or stopping airflow through the vacuum. This makes vacuuming more difficult to do.

The carpet manufacturers themselves have even a bigger concern than vacuuming taking longer. They are even concerned about texture damage to the ends of the thin carpet fibers themselves. In fact many of the same vacuums they have recommended in the past (such as those that have passed the CRI Seal of Approval Program for Vacuums – http://www.carpet-rug.org/CRI-Testing-Programs/CRI-Seal-of-Approval-Program/Vacuums/Certified-Vacuums.aspx ) they do not recommend for these softer carpets. For example, Shaw Industries now does specific testing of vacuums for use on Caress carpet, and they approve and recommend a specific group of vacuums  – http://shawfloors.com/tips-trends/luxurious-carpet/carpet-care/vacuuming/which-vacuum-models-are-recommended-by-shaw.

Here is an update on Shaw Industries research on vacuums from Darrell Hagan – the Manager of Product Care and Maintenance:

 “Vacuums work best when the brush roll is turned on vacuuming this soft carpet.  I believe the key is airflow, as you mentioned.  One thing in common with some of the vacuums is the plate underneath the vacuum head has slots which allow air to flow underneath the vacuum to keep it from sealing off on the carpet.  Also, vacuums are being modified to have pressure relief valves to reduce suction which allows the vacuum to move across the carpet.  The difference in the soft carpet vs. traditional carpet is that suction isn’t the key, we believe it is the agitation of the brush roll that is key to cleaning the soft yarn carpets.”

Potential Issues Related to Professional Carpet Cleaning

While the evaluation of issues that vacuums might have with this softer carpet pile can teach us some things related to how various carpet cleaning wands and agitation methods might work or not work on this type of carpet; this conjecture was not enough to satisfy the Product Care and Maintenance folks at Shaw Industries. Recently, Charlie Rollins and Darrell Hagan for Shaw Product Care and Maintenance flew to HydraMaster headquarters in Mukilteo, Washington to do some testing on the interaction of various cleaning tools (specifically hot water extraction wands and power wands) with this softer carpet. I had been in contact with Charlie and Darrell asking them questions about this, and with HydraMaster being one of the leading innovators and developers in carpet cleaning wand technology; it only made sense to start their testing here. Specifically, Shaw and HydraMaster wanted to look at three areas for evaluation:

  1. The use of Rotary Jet Extraction on these types of carpets with the RX-20.
  2. The Evolution Wand – how did the built in molded glides assist or restrict cleaning of these carpet fibers and what were the differences between a 1.5” wand and a 2” wand.
  3. Was there chemistry which stood out in performance to assist cleaning these carpets, specifically in the area of presprays used as a lubricating application to make the wand easier to move across the carpet?

Specifically, the testing team was looking to see the effects that cleaning these types of carpets with existing technology in truckmounted equipment and cleaning wands might result in changes in:

  • Productivity
  • Texture Change/Damage
  • Drying Time
  • Spots and Stains
  • Any Specific Tool Related Issues

 The Testing

  • 60, 70 and 100 ounce cut pile Shaw Caress carpets were used in the testing.

Picture of carpets

  • A HydraMaster Boxxer XL Truckmount was used. We were cleaning 150 feet from the truck, with the solution temperature at the wand constantly being monitored with an in-line pressure and temperature measuring device. Temperature settings on the machine were purposely varied from 180-245°F.

Boxxer xl

  • The first thing we tested were HydraMaster’s sister company, Advance Commercial Vacuums, leading models and how they performed on vacuuming the carpets.

Advance vacuum

  • We tested with various types of conventional scrub wands

Conventional scrub wand

  • We tested cleaning with both 1.5” and 2” versions of the Evolution Wand with molded glides

Evolution wand

  • Finally, we tested with the RX-20 Rotary Jet Extractor

RX20

Results and Findings

Overall, the results of our testing alleviated or reduced any fears or misgivings about the “cleanability” of these carpets. We found the carpets overall to be very responsive to vacuuming, cleaning, and spot and stain removal. Certainly one of the reasons for this is the high quality of the carpets themselves. A 60, 70, or 100 ounce carpet does not come inexpensively. I will tell you after completing the tests, everyone at HydraMaster involved in the testing were ready to go home and put this carpet down in their living rooms. The luxurious feel of these carpets can simply not be denied. We can see why these carpets are gaining market share fast.

Results

We did find that one of the things we anticipated held true. Certified and trained professional carpet cleaners have long known that plush cut pile carpets virtually always requires some specific care considerations. As with all plush, cut pile style carpeting, special attention must be given to monitoring the potential for scrub wand jet streaking.

Wand marks 2Wand marks 1

Variables include

  • Type and number of jets on the wand
  • Proximity of the jets to the carpet pile
  • Angle of jets to the carpet pile
  • Wear on the orifices of the jets themselves – make sure you replace your jets at regular intervals recommended by your wand manufacturer. If the orifice becomes too large, this can contribute to jet streaking.
  • Temperature of solution being produced at the wand jet tip
  • Taking a dry stroke or pass only
  • Post cleaning grooming

 

Productivity Best Practices

General cleaning considerations

These practices were developed after repeated tests to see how to increase cleaning speed, avoid any agitation/texture change related issues, and a very important item considering the plushness of these carpets – reducing drying times. Can you clean these carpets safely and effectively with “normal” cleaning procedures? The answer is yes. These procedures are designed to speed up the process without compromising quality cleaning.

  • Carpet grooming with Grandi-Groomer is highly recommended after cleaning (faster and more effective than grooming brush)
  • Carpet density mandates using airmovers post cleaning to reduce drying times

Using Cleaning Wands

  • 2” scrub wands are very difficult to move across a 100 ounce carpet connected to a truckmount.
  • Dry strokes (vacuum only wand passes) are absolutely necessary
  • Use of the Evolution wand reduced drying times in comparison to conventional wands.
  • Glided wands will be an absolute must! Slotting in the glide is important too.
  • A Continuous overlapping wet pass, followed by continuous overlapping dry pass cleaned the fastest, worked best, and dried the fastest

Using Rotary Extraction Tools Such As the RX-20 Rotary Jet Extraction® Tool

  • The RX20 worked extremely well on 60 and 70 ounce carpets. Use on a 100 ounce carpet required a great deal of strength and stamina. See chemical prespray directions below, as the use of a lubricating prespray helped considerably.
  • Swirl “marks” groomed out right away and are not a concern
  • There was no visible physical texture change from rotary action. Even at abuse level (no water lubrication) there was no pile texture damage visible. (Of course, we did this to measure “worse case scenario,” you should never operate any rotary extraction tool without water or prespray).
  • The use of a rotary extraction tool is highly recommended for productivity and reduced drying times on 60 and 70 ounce carpets.

Cleaning Solution Consideration

The use of a high quality carpet prespray is a must when cleaning these types of carpets. The prespray helps to lubricate the carpet so that the scrub wand or rotary extraction wand flows more smoothly across the carpet. As a general rule, detergent free or soap free formulas such as CleanMaster HydraFREE DFC will not provide the level of lubrication you want on these soft carpets. Since these carpets are made of either nylon or polyester, you can use most of your favorite carpet presprays. However, we had great results cleaning our test samples after soiling built up with CleanMaster Fast Break HD and CleanMaster PolyBreak as presprays. We also found that if you wanted to use an alkaline extraction rinse, HydraClean worked extremely well. If you prefer an acid neutralizing rinse, our studies showed that a solution which does have detergency in it, like CleanMaster ClearWater Rinse worked extremely well.

From a spot and stain removal point of view, the high quality of these carpets means that they are more likely to resist staining from common spills than an apartment grade nylon or polyester carpet. When a staining material such as children’s fruit drinks was applied, it usually extracted out during cleaning. When we purposefully tried to stain the carpet, and agitated the spilled material down into the carpet and waited 48 hours before treatment began, we had excellent results removing stains with CleanMaster RedBreak 1 or CleanMaster KnockOut 1, depending upon the composition of the staining material. At no time, other than with mustard was acceleration with heat from a steam iron or wallpaper steamer necessary. That certainly does not mean these carpets are “stain-proof,” and we know your customer’s children will answer the call to eventually provide a more difficult stain, but based upon the limited testing we did on these types of carpets, they certainly responded well to spot and stain removal treatments. We also found that using a sub-surface spotting extraction tool, such as a Water Claw® or FlashXtractor®, on larger liquid spills helped reduce any chances of spilled materials wicking to the surface of the carpet pile later.

One final thought and finding related to spot and stain removal – due to the plush nature of the carpet pile, if grease and oil spilled contaminants were rubbed into the carpet, or “ground-in” with foot traffic, it was important to agitate solvent spotters and gels into the affected area to increase speed and efficiency at removal. We believe this same principle would hold true if these carpets are subjected to long term high levels of oil based soiling and traffic; i.e., that using the right prespray, and mechanical agitation such as using a Counter Rotating Brush (CRB) will be necessary to increase cleaning speed and effectiveness, especially with those made of polyester carpet fiber.

So what is A Professional Carpet Cleaner to Do?

The good news is you are already likely equipped with all of the tools and chemistry needed to effectively clean this carpet. More importantly though, you may need to slow down and approach these carpets with a kinder, gentler set of procedures. You may have to clean them with a little more thought and observation as to how the cleaning tools are going across the carpet and what kind of texture change is occurring from your cleaning tools. Without a doubt, drying time is going to be extended if these carpets are allowed to reach an unacceptable soiling level. You can get them clean, but it will take more wet passes. The manufacturers of these carpets recommend cleaning every 12-24 month basis with hot water extraction cleaning. Some require this as a provision of their texture retention or stain resistant warranty. Educate your customers to this fact so that their cleaning frequency does not allow the carpet to become extremely soiled. This will allow them to get the full benefit of these soft, plush, and luxurious carpets. Then everyone is happy.

Asphalt Oil Tracking and Carpet Cleaning

Brand New Commercial Carpet + Freshly Treated Asphalt Parking Lot Outside = Bad Combination.

HydraMaster Quake HD + HydraMaster HydraBoost CT= Good combination

 asphalt parking lot

 

You have probably seen it without even realizing what the problem was. Yellow or dingy traffic lanes on glue down commercial carpet that has not been installed that long. One of the most common problems facing commercial buildings that adjoin asphalt parking lots when it comes to commercial carpet maintenance is asphalt oil tracking. The worst tracking occurs when the parking lot has a special coating of oil applied. Before it completely dries, people are walking across the parking lot picking up oil and soil and pebbles on the bottom of their shoes. Even if walk-off mats are installed, some of the soiling eventually gets walked on or tracked on to the carpet. Even if the parking lot is not coated, in especially hot weather, oils usually weep out of the asphalt, causing the same problem. These oils that get tracked onto the carpet become oxidized and turn the carpet yellow or dingy.

 

The professional cleaner often comes up with his super powered truckmount, expecting that they can clean anything. They throw their favorite prespray at it, and still the yellow or dingy look is obvious even after cleaning.

 

The answer lies in the right combination of cleaning chemistry, aggressive agitation, and hot cleaning solution temperature. Even the most powerful grease and oil cutting prespray like HydraMaster Quake HD needs help with oxidized oil build-up on carpeting. To remove the oxidized oils, simply mix up HydraMaster Quake HD according to directions, and add two ounces of HydraBoost CT to each gallon of mixed traffic lane cleaner. Apply the prespray/booster combo as hot as you can, preferably though an in-line injection sprayer. Agitate it in, preferably with a counter-rotating cylindrical brush machine. If you do not have a machine like that, use your carpet groomer or brush to agitate the mixture in. Allow 3 to 5 minutes of dwell time. For best results, extract with a HydraMaster truckmount with 220 degree water solution temperature utilizing an HydraMaster RX-20 Rotary Jet Extractor. If you don’t have an RX-20, then take an extra wet and extra dry stroke across the carpet.

 

The ingredients in HydraBoost CT will almost work like magic in combination with your prespray to break down and strip off of the carpet the oxidized oil build-up from the asphalt oils.

Many Names. One Purpose. Faster More Effective Cleaning

ImageImageImageImagePresprays. Preconditioners. Traffic Lane Cleaners. They go by many names, but whatever you call them, they are the main cleaning solution in hot water extraction carpet cleaning, and a key part of most all carpet cleaning methods. Chances are if you have been cleaning carpets for very long at all, you have a favorite prespray that you swear by. You may have a favorite based on the soiling conditions or the carpet construction you are being asked to clean.

 With hot water extraction cleaning, the prespray is the “work horse” of the cleaning procedure. They deflocculate soils, dislodge soils, emulsify soils, dissolve soils, and emulsify soils. They strip soils away from the carpet surface. The suspended soils are then carried away suspended in the rinse (extraction) water. Presprays are the fundamental cleaning solution for the suspension of soil. Remember when they taught you in your first carpet cleaning school that 79% of soil in carpeting was particulate soiling, and that particulate soiling was best removed by efficient dry vacuuming? What keeps us as carpet cleaners in business is the other 21% of soiling. It does not take a rocket scientist, a testing laboratory, or an X-ray fluorescence gun to figure out what kind of soiling in carpeting provides the greatest challenge to any carpet cleaner: grease and oil in a restaurant carpet; oil and/or salt from an ice melt product that gets tracked off; a spilled sugary drink; and airborne oils that settle onto the carpet. Anyone who ever cleaned a carpet that is impacted with these types of soils knows that removing them are what separate the good from the great in carpet cleaning. A lot of agitation and a lot of water based flushing will get particulate soils out of the carpet that the vacuum won’t get out. It’s the grease and oil and the sticky stuff that earns us our stripes and that is where the use of the carpet prespray shines. Presprays are commonly comprised of surfactants and solvents that do a better job of breaking down and dissolving these problematic oily and sticky based soils. Today’s more advanced formulations contain an integrated blend of specialized polymers, encapsulating surfactants, and organic sequestrants that help get the carpet cleaner faster, and help it to resist soiling and stay cleaner longer.

 Typically presprays should be used in conjunction with a compatible extraction detergent or a neutralizing rinse agent to insure proper removal of soil and to leave the least amount of residue in the carpet. The prespray should be selected in accordance with the carpet soiling conditions and construction of the carpet. You should apply the prespray ahead of the area you are cleaning so it will have sufficient dwell time. Most often, the prespray is applied with an in-line injection sprayer, a pump-up sprayer or an electric or battery powered sprayer. However, do not apply it so far ahead of where you are cleaning that it will dry before you get there. If it does dry, do not re-apply more chemical, use your wand and re-wet the area. To make any prespray work more efficiently, consider the use of manual or mechanized agitation, either with a carpet grooming rake or brush, or a counter-rotating cylindrical brush machine after you have applied the prespray.

 The professional carpet cleaner has a wide array of different formulations of presprays available for their cleaning arsenal because they encounter a wide variety of carpets, installed in a wide variety of soiling conditions and environments. There are presprays specially formulated for neglected, trashed and heavily soiled carpets such as CleanMaster Blitz with GreaseBreaker, or Quake HD.. Some are made specifically for restaurant carpets with high levels of food based oil and grease such as CleanMaster SoilBreak. There are presprays made for cleaning wool carpets such as CleanMaster FastBreak HD or WoolMaster. There are presprays manufactured within industry guidelines to be considered “greener” such as CleanMaster Release with OxyBreak. There are ultra-concentrated presprays you can safely and effectively use on virtually any type of carpet such as CleanMaster FastBreak HD. There are even prepsrays specifically formulated for olefin, polyester, and triexta carpets such as CleanMaster PolyBreak that can deal with the oil loving and water repelling characteristics of these types of fibers. Whether you choose to specialize by having several products on the truck specific to the different conditions you will encounter, or you want to keep it standardized and simple and use one solution for virtually all carpets, your local HydraMaster distributor can steer you in the right direction. The goal of any prespray is to make you clean faster and remove more soil from the carpet.

 

 

 

Cleaning Up from the Winter Grime

ImageA good portion of the country is about to emerge from one of the most prolonged winters in a long time. In many parts of the country residential carpet cleaning was brought to a virtual standstill for weeks on end. Preventive cleaning and maintenance rhythms of commercial accounts were disrupted. The main people who were happy were snow plow operators and ice melt manufacturers. The good news is that in many parts of the country, spring is poking it head out from behind the bushes. The even better news for carpet cleaners is that all of their customer’s carpets took an absolute beating from all the cold, foul weather and with a good marketing program in place; the phone will start ringing off the hook. “Spring cleaning” is going to be unavoidable this year for many carpet owners.

The grime of all of the outside soil, slush, ice melt and more being tracked onto the carpet has left it in what amounts to a filthy state. Now it is time for you to step up.

So what can you expect? First the level of particulate soiling being brought in on the bottom of boots and with all the snow and slush Imageon people’s shoes will require an extra vacuuming pass or two with a high efficiency vacuum. Obviously the carpet has been exposed to a higher level of soil than typical. CleanMaster Blitz with GreaseBreaker and Quake HD are your prespray answer for these extremely soiled carpets. My personal favorite is Blitz with GreaseBreaker . There is no better prespray for filthy carpets, and since it already has the “booster” built in you are ready to go. At less than 79 cents per mixed gallon it is cost effective too.

If you have a build-up of ice melt compound in the carpet, a few steps will effectively deal with that.  Ice Melt has a tendency to clean up well on first impression, but oily residues left behind not extracted will often lead the carpet to re-soiling. Following these exact steps will effectively remove these oxidized oils from the carpet. First, mix CleanMaster UPS one part solution to four parts water. Spray that mixture down over the contaminated areas and allow it to dwell for 2-3 minutes. Then extract with extremely hot water. Then add two ounces of CleanMaster HydraBoost CT powder to your mixed gallon of Blitz with GreaseBreaker, Quake HD, or FastBreak HD. Apply the boosted with oxidizer and effervescent prespray to the entire area to be cleaned and allow to dwell for 5 minutes. For commercial accounts, extract the area with CleanMaster HydraFree DFC or HydraDri. For most residential carpets, extract the area with CleanMaster ClearWater Rinse.

The time is right to turn the winter doldrums into the spring explosion of business. Do you have a soiling issue specifically related to the long winter? Let us know what it is, and we can provide you with the best steps to deal with it.

Heart-to-Heart Conversations about Carpet Odors

Talking with customerAs the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, people have a tendency to go inside, make sure the windows are closed, shut the door, and spend more time inside. With less airflow and ventilation, and the simple fact that the people and pets living in a home are spending more time there, the likelihood of odors emanating from the carpet becoming more obvious greatly increases. The problem is that the homeowner is often the last to notice or know. Why? –  Because they are used to the smell. The time often comes when someone, and often that someone is you, needs to have a heart-to heart conversation about carpet odors with the homeowner. So just why are the carpet odors anybody’s business other than the occupants of the home?

A pricey condominium in a Chicago high-rise was proving to be a very hard sale.  The property had been on the market for over six months—a long time even considering the tough real estate market.  The real estate agent decided it was time to have a “heart-to-heart” conversation with the frustrated seller, an older gentleman who had lived in the unit for more than a decade.

Did the agent tell his client the price was too high?  Actually, both the agent and the seller believed the property was priced rather competitively.

Maybe the property needed some updates, maybe a new kitchen?  While the property was certainly not brand new, the kitchen and bathrooms were recently updated, making this unlikely the issue.

Instead, the heart-to-heart the agent had to have with his client focused on something entirely different—the condominium smelled.  While the seller tried to refrain from smoking in the condo, there were many days and nights when it was simply too cold to go outside, so he smoked inside.  The years of smoke and odor buildup had taken its toll on the condo, especially in the carpets and certain fabrics.  Upon entering the property, this tobacco odorswas often the first thing visitors and, most importantly, potential buyers noticed.

When the agent mentioned that he believed the smoke odors most likely emanating from the carpets were contributing to the slow sale, the client indicated he never even noticed the smell and questioned if there even was malodor.  This is not uncommon.  Long-term occupants of a building or residence where odors are a problem often no longer notice them.  Additionally, men, such as the seller discussed here, typically do not notice odors or smells as much as women.  And, older people in general are not as odor conscious as younger people.

A homeowner finally decided that the real estate market in their area had gotten active enough that they could get the price they needed to be able to sell their house and get out from underneath an overbearing mortgage payment. They had been “upside down” for several years but wanted to keep their commitments to their bank, and had been continuously making their mortgage payments. Finally the pressure could be relieved. They had just seen two neighbors houses down the roads sell literally within days of being put on the market, and in both cases, the homeowners received bids for more than they were even asking. They had a beautiful Victorian style home nestled up against some beautiful, mature evergreen trees on over an acre of land. The home had a beautiful wraparound porch on the front and a great deck for entertaining out back. The home was around 15 years old but in reasonable good condition. They had a thick off-white cut pile carpet installed throughout much of the house. The carpet definitely needed cleaning. So they hired a local coupon carpet cleaner whose price was just too good to resist. Their relator had recommended another company she worked with on a regular basis, but their prices seemed so much higher.

The cleaning turned out to be a disaster. The carpet looked better, but not great. The problem was that it was in the middle of winter. The homeowner had a couple of dogs, but they were generally well behaved, and sad-dogusually went outside to “do their business.” Now though, the whole house smelled like a mixture of mustiness and dog pee. Potential buyers were looking at their house, and quickly leaving. Offers were not coming in.

These situations are not uncommon.  Smoke, typically from cigarettes, is one of the most common carpet odors in both residential and commercial properties.  Along with smoke, some of the most frequently encountered odors include:

  • Pet urine
  • Mold and mildew from water damage and mustiness
  • Off-gassing from chemicals and materials used in the home.
  • Food and beverages that have seeped into the carpet

So how do you deal with the emotions and potential hurt feelings of folks you want to be your carpet cleaning customers, but that you have deliver some not-so-wonderful news about the odors in their home?

A Heart to Heart Conversation – “Honey-Slap-Honey”

“Honey-slap-honey” is a term used to describe how to deliver not so great news or critique a person who you want to have a good relationship with or perhaps even that works for you. Always start and finish any conversation with honey – in other words, compliments and praises. In our cases above, both the condominium and the home had plenty of wonderful attributes. Compliment the homeowner on their choice of location, their décor, their man cave, or anything you can think of about their home which you genuinely like. Don’t be deceitful or phony. Find something you really do like and start and finish the conversation with something positive in between the “slap” – delivering the not-so-wonderful news.

Secondly, deep down the homeowner is likely a little embarrassed that another person had to point out to them the odor problem in the first place. They may be a little worried they hired a competitor on price alone who could not solve the problem or actually made it worse. The truth is though that both of these things just mean they are an average person. Relieve them of this potential stress immediately by telling them what they are encountering is not uncommon. You can even talk a little bit about the science of how we perceive odor and that we do get used to the odors around us. Explain you are here to solve their problem, just like you have solved THESE EXACT SAME problems for lots of other homeowners.

Finally, separate yourself from all of the magical odor control treatments they have heard of or been promised with the science of odor control. Explain how odor is an effect. It has a source which emits gases. These gases travel throughout the house by means of air movement. When the doors and windows are closed, they become more obvious. Explain how odor is interpreted by the olfactory lobe in the brain, and like many things that the brain interprets, different people can reach different conclusions about the same odor. Explain to them that the first rule of permanently eradicating any odor is to eliminate the source, and since we and our beloved pets are part of what is the source of the odor, it is an on-going process that requires knowledge of the science of control, not just masking and covering up one odor with a stronger perfume or fragrance.

Traditional Odor Eradicating/Elimination Strategies

There are some traditional ways to remove odors from carpets and many continue to prove quite successful. Removing odors from carpets and masking odors with a fragrance are two different things. While some strategies may include a fragrance, removing offensive odors means attacking the source of the odor so it has been eliminated.

Here are the basic categories of odor elimination and deodorization treatments you have at your disposal as a professional to deal with the most common odor problems found in carpets:

  • Urine Pre-treatments: These solutions typically used as a pre-spray, are used to dissolve and break down urine and feces deposits left in the carpeting. They are the most effective way of dissolving the lipids that bind the urine deposits to the carpet. The more of the urine contamination that you can effectively neutralize and remove from the carpet, the easier the treatment for deodorization will be. Whatever stain or odor control treatment is your favorite for treating urine, using a urine pre-treatment, such as CleanMaster UPS will make your treatment faster and more effective.
  • Pairing Agents:  A pairing agents is defined as a solution which combines with the malodor molecule or substance and then      gives it some of its own chemical properties which transforms the odor’s chemistry into a new non-odorous compound. The pairing agent must make direct contact with the malodor source in order to be effective. Some pairing agents contain aggressive attacking and counteracting agents where the aggressive pairing action transforms the odor cell and the condition of the total environment. Pairing agents, such as CleanMaster OdorMate Tropical Breeze, are typically used to treat and eliminate tobacco and smoke odors, and also work effectively against chemical off gassing odors.
  • Chemical Oxidizers: These chemicals are derived from peroxide compounds and are activated by effervescent activity. They oxidize and help decompose odor-causing bacteria—very often a source of carpet odors—which are then removed in the      extraction process. They are typically used as powders, mixed with hot water, and then poured onto the carpet where the source of the odor is contained. After a few minutes the, solution is extracted from the carpet, usually with a subsurface extraction wand or tool. These oxidizers are effective at eliminating the yellow carpet stains caused by urine contamination, as well as oxidizing the odors, making them a growing favorite with professionals. They can also be used effectively against mustiness and mildew odors, and to eliminate odors caused by chemical off-gassing. Some of these powder oxidizers, like CleanMaster USR with Multi-Phase, are fortified with an encapsulating and bonding deodorizing agent to provide additional odor control benefits.
  • Electronic oxidation or deodorization–  The production and use of ozone gas. A gas produced from arcing electricity through oxygen molecules.  This gas oxidizes odors it comes in contact with, totally destroying the odor. Ozone is typically more      effective on chemical off gassing and smoke odors. As a general rule, it is too slow for use on urine odors. Ozone must only be used in unoccupied areas.
  • Encapsulating and Bonding Deodorizers – Specially formulated deodorizing treatments that bind to and encapsulate odor      molecules, effectively eliminating the odor cells ability to produce odors. In addition, most of these types of solutions also contain a pleasant pairing fragrance specifically geared to treat all types of malodors – urine, smoke, chemical off-gassing, and mustiness. These broad based deodorizers need to come in direct contact with the source of the odor for maximum effectiveness. CleanMaster MultiPhase is an example of this type of product and was the pioneer in the development of his technology.
  • Vapor phase diffusers- The diffusion into the airspace of natural essential oils and odor neutralizing compounds that have been      suspended into a membrane. These diffusers breathe a penetrating dry vapor into the air. The most popular vapor diffusers are made by Vaportek®, and have been found to be very effective against smoke and tobacco odors.
  • Biocides/Disinfectants/Sanitizers – Disinfecting agents that have the ability to kill a broad range of microorganisms, but not necessarily all their spores. Disinfectants are primarily used to resolve odor problems related to microorganisms. They can be effective against mustiness and mold smells, although their primary purpose is to kill the source of the odor – the microorganisms. These types of products use is highly regulated under federal law, so become familiar with the product you are using and the directions called for on the label.
  • Digesters (Enzyme Deodorants) – These are living organisms (bacteria) which produce enzymes that digest or consume decaying organic and protein contaminants. They contain living organism(s) that emit an enzyme to consume protein found in odor-causing bacteria, which destroy odor. They are often used for deodorizing decaying organic materials, such as urine, meat, fish, milk, blood, body fluids, and human or animal waste. They are typically effective against urine and protein odors, but to work effectively need prolonged contact time with the odor source.
  • Sealing – Sealing agents are solutions which “lock-in” odor molecules by preventing the evaporation of odorous gases.The sealing agent is applied to sources of malodor to prevent the further evaporation of the malodors into the airspace. Sealing is often required on various salvageable surfaces exposed to concentrations of malodor. Sealants are often applied to wood, concrete, subflooring, duct and ventilation systems etc…, to prevent wicking of odor contamination from urine and smoke deposits.

Effective odor control methods, procedures and agents can include masking, oxidizing, adsorption, absorption, counteracting, digesting, sealing, killing, and pairing. “The effectiveness of all of these products – as with most all cleaning chemicals — invariably improves when using a high performance hot-water extraction portable or truckmount to effectively clean the contamination out of the carpet both before and after the deodorization treatment

When Problems Persist

There can be many reasons why a carpet odor problem persists.  Possibly, more effort is needed in determining the cause of the odor or its actual source.  Using a black light and/or a moisture sensor can help find the source.  In some cases, it may not be the carpets at all, but walls, furniture, or other surfaces can be contaminated.

In other cases, the wrong chemicals or combination of chemicals used to eliminate the odor were employed.  Or possibly, the machine did not have the extraction power to effectively remove the source of the odors.

Finally, if odor is still a problem after you have employed a combination of usually effective treatments, and you are sure it is still coming from the carpet then you must have a heart-to-heart discussion with the customer as to their remaining options which generally means the carpet and cushion needs to be replaced and the subfloor underneath sealed with an effective agent.

For a free step-by-step interactive electronic Deodorization and Odor Control Procedural Reference Guide that provides more specific details on the treatment procedures discussed, simply click here.

Odor Control

About the author: R. Doyle Bloss has been a part of the cleaning and restoration industry for over 30 years. He presently serves as the Marketing and Chemical Brand Manager for HydraMaster and US Products in Mukilteo, Washington.  Doyle has a long, successful track record of developing education and training systems in the areas of technical procedures, as well as marketing and management principles for the cleaning entrepreneur. He has headed up the two largest training programs in the industry,  assisted in developing complete chemical lines for three leading manufacturers,  and has been honored and awarded for his innovative programs that build bridges throughout the cleaning and restoration industry. He has a passion for hands-on presentation that provides an entertaining and thought provoking style that fully engages the student into the learning process. When not thinking about the latest innovations for removing cat pee, and how to market that service, Doyle enjoys college football, wildlife photography, Yellowstone National Park, and church activities. Doyle and his wife Tammy have three children and currently reside in Snohomish, Washington. Doyle can be reached at doyle.bloss@hydramaster.com

So how do you make green work for you?

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The use of green cleaning solutions will matter to most professional carpet cleaners when they make it matter in their marketing and advertising. I know of carpet cleaning companies that have grown to several million dollars in annual revenue within a few years of their inception emphasizing green concepts in cleaning and learning how to market it properly. I would argue that it was not the fact they were using green concepts that fueled their growth. It was that they found effective ways to make the fact matter that they were using green concepts to their potential customers and clients. In fact, other cleaners in their same towns who emphasized green have already disappeared. It is much like IICRC or other industry certifications, or belonging to industry trade associations, or just about any other expensive exercise a company undergoes to professionalize itself. It matters to the customer when you make it matter to the customer. It comes back to the ages old sales and marketing concept – answering the question of what is in it for them? Then, your company has to proceed to assuring them that your company is reputable and will stand behind its claims. Before you make the investment of time and money to add “green” or “eco” or “environment’ into your company name and cleaning procedures, put together a marketing plan where you can identify to your potential customers why that should matter to them.

CleanMaster has a complete line of products that are manufactured utilizing ingredients recognized as “green.” These include products that have earned our prestigious SafeClean designation, which was initiated back in 1991 long before Green became a buzzword. SafeClean™ is HydraMaster’s long time trusted designation for cleaning solutions formulated with the latest technology in environmentally preferable “green” technology. SafeClean designated formulations meet or exceed industry ingredient guidelines for green cleaning solutions. The SafeClean designation goes well beyond traditional definitions of what a green formula should be like. It takes into consideration utilizing sustainable and renewable ingredients, environmental and health impact footprints on the indoor and outdoor environment, and perhaps the most important consideration of all- removing and extracting the soil from the surface being cleaned.

These products include Release with OxyBreak Carpet Prespray, RinseFree with OxyBreak Carpet Extraction DetergentHydraFree DFC Carpet Cleaning Solution, and ZipDri Encap TS Encapsulation Cleaner.

Carpets, Health, and Healthcare

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By Doyle Bloss and Robert Kravitz

A recently released study conducted by Airmid Healthgoup Limited, a leading biomedical research organization, finds that properly maintained carpets (using high performance vacuum cleaners and cleaned using hot water extractors) can trap foreign allergens helping improve overall air quality…and can do this far better than hard surface flooring. 

Similarly, a May 2008 study found that carpet can actually decrease the likelihood of infections being transmitted in a healthcare facility because of its ability to hold and trap contaminants.  The study said carpets help “sequester” biological contaminants, keeping them from becoming airborne or transmited.*

This is very important information and is of value in not only healthcare settings but also schools, office facilities, and many other types of locations where many building users are located, often in rather crowded situations. However, for healthcare facilities, this type of information can actually save lives.

Each year it is estimated that approximately 100,000 people die in the United States due to healthcare acquired infections (HAIs). Because we have an estimated 50 direct and indirect contacts with floor surfaces each day, if a hard surface floor in a medical facility is contaminated with germs and bacteria, having a carpeted floor installed that can “sequester” these pathogens may help stop cross-contamination and potentially reduce HAIs.

Another benefit, often overlooked, is that carpeting has natural anti-fatigue properties, especially if it has a very firm pad or cushion below the carpet. This is of great importance for those working in hospitals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurses spend most of their days on their feet, and because of this, they are one of the top groups at risk for workplace-related injuries. Installing the proper carpeting, such as a modular carpet or a broadloom carpet with low pile construction, helps ensure that these important caregivers are productive, comfortable, and healthy.

Finally, carpets help quiet a facility. Anyone who has recently visited a hospital or similar healthcare facility with hard surface flooring installed knows these locations can be quite noisy. According to one study, conducted by Press Ganey Hospital, which works with healthcare providers to understand and improve the patient experience in medical facilities, the number one complaint among patients in American hospitals is that they are simply too noisy. Installing carpeting can help rectify this problem and could increase healthcare worker performance, improve patient morale, reduce medial errors, and even help prevent violent or erratic behavior of patients and staff due to stress.

However, there is one caveat to most of the benefits mentioned here, and that is that carpets must be adequately cleaned. Thorough and effective cleaning, which can only be accomplished through the use of truckmounted and high performance portable hot-water extraction equipment, is the only way to ensure that the “filter” (i.e; the carpet) has had the contaminants removed, and to keep indoor air quality healthier. Further, a clean, healthy carpet simply performs better, meaning it can also be more effective at reducing worker fatigue and workplace-related injuries and keeping facilities quiet as well. All of these benefits underscore the many health and healing properties of carpeting.

In addition, the proper use of carpet cleaning solutions ensures the maximum cleansing of the filter (i.e; the carpet) to eliminate potentially harmful contaminants, soil, and allergens. We recommend the consistent use of an effective carpet prespray like CleanMaster FastBreak HD, with the use of an “in-tank” solution through the extractor like CleanMaster HydraClean. Studies have also shown this combination of cleaning solutions removes the most amount of soil and leaves the least amount of residue.

To request your complete FREE cleaning reference guide that details step by step effective hot water extraction procedures, and the right cleaning solutions, simply click here.

 

* “Carpet, Asthma and Allergies—Myth or Reality” by Mitchell W. Sauerhoff.