Don’t let dirty carpets discourage customers from frequenting your place of business. Here’s how to maintain clean carpets to help keep customers happy.
Owners of commercial properties and retail stores may not always put “clean the dirty carpets” at the top of their to-do list, but for their customers, this can be a deciding factor in whether they choose to stay or go from your business.
According to ISSA data, a facility with foot traffic of up to 1,000 people per day can result in nearly 24 pounds of soil brought in over the course of a 20-day period. But it doesn’t take that much foot traffic to soil or damage the carpets in your store; if left untreated, “stains settle in and become eyesores that can’t be hidden.” Often, a soiled carpet starts to smell, with potential odors emanating from food or fluid stains or mold —not only discouraging visitors from entering, but helping to shorten the life of the carpet.
Dirty carpets can also give the impression that a business owner doesn’t care much about appearances, which can lead to doubts about the quality of whatever products or services are being offered. On the other hand, properly cleaned and maintained carpets can last up to 10 years or longer, and improve air quality by removing dust and allergens.
Consider a customer’s perceptions upon entering a place of business. In one retail facility, the carpet is clearly stained by food, fluids or “snow melt” (stains caused by white salt) and a foul odor rises up from the floor. In another facility, the carpet looks fresh and clean, as if it’s just been purchased and set down on the floor, lending the entire store an inviting and welcoming atmosphere. It’s not hard to imagine which store most customers would prefer.
There’s just too much at stake to ignore carpet stains and wear-and-tear in your place of business.
Short- and Long-term Cleaning Measures
Several short-term cleaning measures can help keep your commercial carpets looking clean and fresh. With the use of environmentally friendly chemical cleaning agents, you should consider removing any stains or spills as soon as they occur. Commercial carpet cleaning experts advise vacuuming at least once a week with a quality vacuum cleaner, but with even greater frequency if there’s considerable foot traffic over the carpet.
Stain-resistant carpet protection spray can be another valuable resource for protecting untreated carpet, as stains and dirt can become embedded in the fibers. This spray creates a shield that’s invisible to the human eye around carpet fibers in order to prevent grime and dirt from adhering to the carpet.
Perhaps the most efficient tool for your carpet’s long-term care is periodic deep cleaning (once every 12 months or sooner depending on foot traffic levels). Quality deep cleaning involves the use of heat, pressure and extraction, which removes more dry particulate soil than any other method. If you hire a professional cleaner, make sure they use Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) SOA Platinum Certified Equipment. A CRI Certified Platinum provider uses equipment that removes 90–100 percent of soil from commercial carpets and can extend the life of those carpets by as much as 30 percent.
The Benefits of Matting
The strategic use of matting in your commercial facility can also contribute to the long-term care of your commercial carpets.
Choosing an appropriate sized mat for your entryway may dramatically reduce the amount of dirt and grime customers bring into the store by providing more steps where the mat removes soil from the bottom of a customer’s shoes.
- Six feet of matting removes 40 percent of soil
- 12 feet of matting removes 80 percent of soil
- 36 feet of matting removes 99 percent of soil
Other areas where matting can help prevent wear-and-tear include waiting rooms, lobbies, the space near elevators and by exits.
When you consider the number of customers and workers who come and go from your business every day, it’s easy to see how quickly stains and other residue can accumulate in high-traffic areas. But with proper maintenance and cleaning, it’s far more effective to revive your present carpeting, rather than continually shopping around for expensive new carpeting every couple of years.