Four Steps to Keep Carpets Clean:

Implementing a Carpet Maintenance Program

In his April 20, 2012 column titled “Implementing a carpet maintenance program” in the Dalton’s Daily-Citizen, Carpet and Rug Institute President Werner Braun offers advice on making carpets last longer and look better in our homes and offices.

If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, the article says, then a four-step maintenance program is just what the doctor ordered for your carpets. The article quotes Jeff Bishop, administrator of Clean Care Seminars, who describes how small, but regular, cleaning is better than an occasional ‘Herculean” effort.

“‘If you maintain and vacuum the carpet regularly, you’ll get the dry particle soils out,’ Bishop says. ‘If you can avoid soil buildup, you’ll avoid permanent stains.’

The first step in carpet maintenance is regular vacuuming, and ‘vacuuming daily is ideal,’ says Bishop, ‘even if the dirt isn’t yet visible to the naked eye.’

The second step is to conduct interim cleanings. Bishop recommends using minimal-moisture techniques to improve the appearance of the carpet between ‘restorative,’ otherwise known as extraction, cleanings.

The third step in a carpet maintenance program is “restoration,” which is basically deep cleaning using hot water or dry methods of extraction. This works best if it’s done regularly. At CRI, we recommend deep cleaning every 12 to 18 months.

The fourth step in your carpet maintenance program is to “think prevention.” Consider adding mats to heavily trafficked areas or add a scraper mat outside the entryway. You should also check your HVAC system regularly to make sure that it filters soils out of the air instead of letting them filter onto the carpet.

“Look at the building holistically,” says Bishop. ‘You can’t look at carpet without considering the other aspects of the building. Make sure that grounds are maintained and that you are conducting daily maintenance on your floorcovering to make it last longer.’”