How to maintain your Commercial Carpet

Regular carpet maintenance can enhance your indoor air quality and prevent your carpet's appearance from deteriorating prematurely.  Because preventative maintenance is less expensive and more effective than infrequent restorative cleaning, we recommend that you :

1. Vacuum and spot clean your carpet daily.

2. Implement a preventive maintenance program.

3. Use hot water extraction to restore heavily soiled carpet.


1. Vacuum and spot clean your carpet daily

Accelerated carpet wear occurs when traffic grinds imbedded soil into the carpet fiber.  You can extend your carpet's life by placing walk-off mats at exterior entrances, and vacuuming traffic areas thoroughly every day.

Only about 20% of carpet soil is soluble in water or solvent.  You can remove much of the remaining 80% (fibers and particles) by vacuuming thoroughly every day, emphasizing heavy-soil areas like entrances (refer to the maintenance plan on the back for more guidance).  Your vacuum should have a powered brush and strong suction.

To ensure spots are removed promptly, give your daily cleaning staff a carpet first aid kit containing:
•    Dry cleaning solvent (e.g. perchlorethylene)
•    Detergent solution (a teaspoon of non-bleach powder in a cup of water)
•    Ammonia solution to neutralize acid stains (a tablespoon of ammonia in a cup of water)
•    Vinegar (of citric acid) solution to neutralize alkaline stains (1/3 white vinegar, 2/3 water)
•    White absorbent clothes or paper towels.


Spot Removal Guide

Beer A Glue, White B Soft Drinks D
Blood F Grease A Soya Sauce B
Butter A Hair Spray A Tar A
Chewing Gum G Ice Cream B Tea D
Cheese B Ink, Point/Felt A Toothpaste B
Chocolate B Ink, Permanent E Type Ribbon A
Cocktails D Ketchup B Urine, Fresh H
Coffee D Mascara A Urine, Dry C
Crayon A Mayonnaise B Vomit E
Egg B Milk B Wax, Candle G
Excrement B Nail Polish A Wax, Paste A
Fruit D Paint, latex A Wine D
Furniture Polish A Rust D    
Garden Soil B Shoe Polish A    


A Solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
B Detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
C Detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
D Detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
E Detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, vinegar, blot, water, blot
F Use cold ingredients: water, blot, detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
G Freeze with ice cubes, shatter with blunt object, vacuum, solvent, wait, blot, repeat if needed
H Blot, water, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot
2. Implement a preventive maintenance program


An effective carpet maintenance program keeps soil below the threshold of visibility.  If the program is working satisfactorily, the carpet should never look soiled.

Cleaning frequency and cleaner expertise are more important than the particular cleaning procedures selected.  To assess a cleaner's professionalism, inquire about his or her references, training, and certification.  Test-evaporate sample chemicals (particularly final rinse additives) in a pan, to ensure they dry to a powder, rather than leaving a greasy residue.  When you have confidence in a professional cleaner, ask him or her to help you devise a maintenance plan that suits your particular site.

The chart below shows a hypothetical maintenance plan for a multi-color, medium shade, patterned, loop carpet installed throughout a typical office building.  This plan is nothing more than a starting point, to be modified based on site conditions and periodic visual inspections.  Your carpet requires more frequent and intensive cleanings (such as hot water extraction) if it is a light, dark or solid color, or if your site includes:

  • Heavier traffic (e.g. frequent visitor such as retail customers)
  • Interior soil sources (e.g. industrial processes)
  • Neighbourhood soil (e.g. winter conditions, construction)
Hypothetical Carpet Maintenance Program
All Areas √ remove spots daily; inspect monthly
Exterior Entrances √ change or clean walk off mats weekly - monthly
Wipe Off Areas
e.g. first 10 steps from interior and exterior soil sources, elevators
√ vacuum
√ power pile lift
√ hot water extract
15 passes daily

Main Traffic Lanes
e.g. lobby, corridors

√ vacuum
√ power pile lift
√ hot water extract
6 passes daily
Moderate Traffic Lanes
e.g. aisles and work areas
√ vacuum
√ power pile lift
√ hot water extract
4 passes daily
Other Areas
e.g. conference room
√ vacuum 2 passes daily
3. Use hot water extraction to restore heavily soiled carpet


While various cleaning procedures can help prevent visible soil accumulation, your carpet must be deep cleaned once heavy soil appears.  Hot water extraction usually cleans deeper and removes more soil than other methods.  Select a cleaner carefully, because improper cleaning can cause accelerated resoiling.  Over-wetting, particularly over cushion, will cause decreased lamination strength.

For best results in heavily soiled areas, follow these guidelines:

  • Power pile lift and vacuum before wet extraction to remove insoluble soil (80% of total soil).
  • Before extraction, remove spots and treat soiled areas with an alkaline emulsifier (pH not to exceed 9.5).
  • Hot water extract thoroughly, emphasizing heavy soil areas.  Caution: Do Not Over-Wet.
  • Use pure hot water (with only an additive to neutralize pH) in the final rinse.
  • Touch the carpet after extraction.  If water beads on your hand, extract more thoroughly.
  • Carpet must be thoroughly dry before any traffic use.