We have written about how often you should have your carpets cleaned before, but we thought a little refresher article might be a really good idea.
Carpet cleaning frequency is something we have been asked about many times before, and our typical answer is that "it depends."
Like most issues there is a grey area, not everything is black and white and cut and dried. But let's take a look at some common sense carpet cleaning frequency guidelines.
In the picture below, from Cleanfax Magazine (very well respected industry magazine) we see the carpet cleaning frequency guidelines from the IICRC.
The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration
Certification. It is a certification body for carpet cleaners and restorers.
Take a look at some of these recommendations. To be totally honest
some these are on the ridiculous side for most people and businesses.
A day care is supposed to have their carpets cleaned every week? Hmmm.
Not happening. And, in most cases, not even close to being necessary.
A nursing home should be cleaned every MONTH? While that would not be a bad idea - again, it is not realistic for most nursing homes to have a thorough professional carpet cleaning performed once a month.
The cost could be prohibitive; not to mention the inconvenience to the
residents. Should there be areas of the nursing home cleaned once a month?
An example of cleaning a nursing home once a month would be in dining areas and high traffic hallways; things of that nature. But the entire nursing home, including residents rooms, being cleaned once a month is rarely going to happen and probably not needed.
Residential Carpet Cleaning Guidelines
Normal cleaning frequency is shown to be every 8-12 months and with children and pets - every three to six months.
Although these guidelines are fairly realistic for normal cleaning frequency, the guidelines for a home with children and pets is a bit far-fetched for most people.
Every three months is rarely going to happen. Every six months is more realistic but, again, it doesn't mean the entire home has to be cleaned.
Yes, having children can greatly increase the soil load and stains in a carpet. The same goes for having pets. But with a bit of common sense DAILY MAINTENANCE you should not have a need to clean your carpets every three months, or four times a year!
At Linton's Carpet Cleaning we advise our clients to clean their homes once a year at a minimum, and possibly twice a year if the conditions warrant it.
If a client wants to clean their carpets three to four times a year - that is their choice, but in most cases it is not needed.
Shaw Industries requires you to have your carpets cleaned every two years in order to maintain your warranty. You can check their residential carpet cleaning guidelines here.
Office Building Carpet Cleaning Guidelines
The guidelines listed in the infographic for office buildings are, in our opinion, fairly realistic. Again, it depends on how daily maintenance is performed and the amount of soil that is deposited in the carpet on a regular basis.
There are some office buildings that do EVERYTHING the right way. They have the proper entrance mats at doors, they have a good cleaning crew that vacuums daily (and vacuums the right way), they do regular spot and spill cleanup IMMEDIATELY, and they don't have a 100 auto mechanics marching across their carpets every day (nothing against auto mechanics, except for a lot of grease).
Office buildings that do NOT receive a heavy amount of soil laden traffic probably do not need to be cleaned every three to six months, but it is not totally unrealistic.
The point is that these are basic guidelines and the time frame for cleaning can change depending on how daily maintenance is performed.
This holds true for homes, day cares, nursing homes, schools, and office buildings.
Restaurant Carpet Cleaning Guidelines
Now let's take a look at restaurants.
Here it says restaurant cleaning, under a normal cleaning cycle, should be done monthly. And we agree with this in most cases.
Restaurants receive a high amount of foot traffic from customers, but they also have a unique situation going on that does not apply to most other establishments.
They are a commercial building that prepares and serves food to the general public. And that makes restaurant cleaning a bit different in the need for more cleaning.
Restaurant floors and carpets should be cleaned fairly often. In the graphic it shows the cleaning frequency being once a week if it is dusty outside! Dust is the least of the problems for a restaurant carpet! Just vacuuming the carpets takes care of most of the dust issue.
There are three MAIN considerations when dealing with the cleaning of restaurant carpets.
1. Soil load. Restaurant carpets can receive a huge amount of soil and that soil, many times, is locked in from grease (cooking oils) that are tracked in from the kitchen to the carpeted dining area.
Every day this cycle repeats. Soil is deposited on the carpet, grease is tracked in on the carpet which almost puts a seal over the soil. Then the process repeats itself the next day. Within a short amount of time you can
literally have layer upon layer upon layer of soil and grease in your restaurant carpet.
2. Food and drinks that are spilled. These food and drinks also get tracked on and pushed into the carpet and then "covered up" with a layer of grease. This makes getting these spots and stains out a bit more difficult.
The more spots and stains, the worse the restaurant carpet looks. But even more than looks is the health factor of the carpet. Having a bunch of food and drink in your carpet, just sitting there with bacterial growth, is not a good thing health wise.
3. Appearance. Everyone cleans for appearance, and it is a very good reason to clean. Let's face it, when you walk into a restaurant and the carpets look disgusting - it makes people wonder about the cleanliness of the rest of the building. As a restaurant owner you certainly do not want your customers worrying or thinking about how the kitchen looks.
So cleaning for appearance in restaurants is also very important.
So the guidelines for restaurants, cleaning monthly (or more frequently) are certainly not out of line.
So now that you have seen what the IICRC recommends let's take an overall look of what we recommend at Linton's Carpet Cleaning.
Residential Homes - In most cases cleaning once a year is sufficient as long as daily maintenance is performed. Daily maintenance would be vacuuming and timely spot and spill cleanup.
In the Vancouver, Washington, area an increase in two times per year is something most people should consider because of the amount of rain and therefore wet soil that is tracked into the home.
For many people cleaning every six months would be a good idea but it really depends on the daily maintenance.
Restaurant Carpet Cleaning - In our opinion restaurants should be cleaned at LEAST every three months.
Restaurants, as mentioned earlier, receive a huge amount of soil from customers, and the staff, and this soil is "locked" into the carpet from grease being tracked in from the kitchen.
The above picture is a very good example of the type of soil many restaurants have to deal with. Layer upon layer of soil and grease gets deposited into the carpet.
High traffic areas, especially those that come directly from the kitchen should probably be cleaned every month and maybe even every two weeks. Again, cleaning for appearance is a major factor, but cleaning for health is also very important.
This picture from Kingsway Nursing Home. **We do not clean this nursing home.**
Nursing Home Carpet Cleaning Frequency - Nursing homes should also be cleaned at least twice a year, and probably cleaned three to four times a year. And we are talking about the ENTIRE nursing home, not just traffic areas.
As for dining and hallways; cleaning at least once a month is probably not a bad idea. Again it depends on the main reason for cleaning. If the dining area and hallways are starting to look bad they should be cleaned. You always want to clean BEFORE the carpet starts to look really bad.
If the nursing home staff has basic knowledge of spot and stain removal, and vacuums aggressively on a daily basis, cleaning once a month could easily be sufficient.
Day Care Carpet Cleaning Frequency - We get it. Day cares can get dirty extremely fast. But carpet cleaning on a weekly basis is almost totally unrealistic for 99% of day cares in America. It just is not going to happen.
We strongly recommend cleaning all of the day care three to four times a year, and in heavy traffic areas more often depending on how those areas look and the amount and type of soil being deposited.
With most day care facilities there are going to be plenty of spills from drinks and there are going to be issues with the occasional urine accident. When it comes to urine in the carpet - that needs to be addressed immediately or you are going to be in a world of hurt from potentially very serious urine odor
Office Building Carpet Cleaning Frequency - Most office buildings should be cleaned four times a year throughout. In many cases, high traffic areas and maybe lunch rooms should be cleaned more frequently. Again, it depends on how the carpet is visually holding up.
If the carpet is getting a lot of traffic, and that traffic is brining in a lot of muddy type of soil from the outside, or that soil is grease (things of that nature), then cleaning more often could very well be needed.
So there you have it, our cleaning recommendations for a variety of buildings. The key to any type of good carpet maintenance program is planning and then seeing what transpires. You might come up with a cleaning schedule that is perfect for your situation.
Or you might have a carpet cleaning schedule that you thought would work well and it just doesn't. So you need to be able to adjust. And not only adjust on a yearly basis, but adjust within a yearly time frame.
Many times carpets can go longer between cleanings during the summer months, but then need to be cleaned more often through the winter months.
The bottom line is to have a carpet cleaning plan to begin with. Carpet is a great flooring surface and it needs to be maintained properly. And as all of our clients know - carpet maintenance starts out with the vacuum cleaner and using it on a daily basis if needed.
If you have any questions about carpet cleaning schedules for your home or business please do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to give you our recommendations for your particular situation.
Linton's Carpet Cleaning
At Linton's Carpet Cleaning, in Vancouver, Washington and the surrounding areas, we specialize in high quality carpet cleaning. Both residential carpet cleaning and commercial carpet cleaning.
If you have any need for carpet cleaning - any type of carpet cleaning - please give us a call today and we will be happy to come to your home or place of business and give you a FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTE on any carpet cleaning that you might need done.
You have our absolute insurance that we will do a great job of cleaning your carpets, deliver excellent customer service, and NEVER EVER - and we mean NEVER - play any pricing games with you.