Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Commercial Carpet Maintenance

Your carpeting can be a significant capital investment for your business and it should be protected to give you the long lasting performance it was made for. Poor maintenance can mean replacing your carpeting rather frequently creating a growing burden to your bottom line. There are three points in particular that this article will cover. They are:

• Strategy to reduce soil reaching your carpeting
• Regular removal of soil from your carpeting
• Immediate cleaning to remove spots and spills

Strategy to Reduce Soil Reaching Your Carpeting

Your strategy to reduce soiling to your commercial office space has to begin by looking outside of your building to your surrounding area. Do your employees and visitors park on pavement, blacktop, grass or some type of shell, rocks and dirt combo? Whatever the case may be, you can certainly begin with proper maintenance of those surfaces.

For concrete sidewalks and paved parking areas, have your outdoor maintenance team use a blower to remove excess dirt and grass on a regular basis. Also use a weed killer on pavement separations to prevent growth of weeds that would collect more debris. For surfaces other than paved areas it’s good to have those areas properly graded to assure good rainwater runoff.

Then depending on the surface that your visitors must traverse to enter your building you may need to provide an in-ground shoe brush or high quality carpet mats. These two tools can greatly reduce the amount of dirt, soil and moisture that reach your office carpeting. There are two types of floor mats. One is designed to knock off and trap dirt and the other is designed to absorb water. The two make a great team in protecting your office carpeting. The one designed for dirt should welcome visitors first as they come to your entry from the outside and then the water absorption mat should be inside the entry for wiping shoes dry. Be sure to include these mats in your regular maintenance cleaning schedule or they will quickly become ineffective.

Regular Removal of Soil From Your Carpeting

For your regular maintenance of removing soil from your carpeting you should consider three tasks; vacuuming, pile lifting and steam cleaning. Each of these tasks need to be on a recurring schedule that can be determined by simply observing your carpet over time. A sample schedule could be to have the carpet vacuumed twice a week; pile lifted in the traffic areas once every two weeks and steam cleaned every 3 months.

The key to successfully maintaining your carpet is to assure these tasks are completed on a regular basis. When that happens your carpet will last longer and save you money.

Immediate Cleaning to Remove Spots and Spills

Spots and spills are incidents that occur on occasion and without warning but you can still be prepared for them when they arrive. Be sure to have a good carpet stain remover on hand and follow the directions carefully when you use it.

In general always take care of spills and spots as soon as they happen. You can use a spoon to scoop up as much of a food spill as possible. Then use your carpet stain remover to take care of the remaining spot. For liquid spills, use a towel to blot the area. Don’t scrub or it could cause fraying in the carpet and make it appear fuzzy. Then use your carpet stain remover.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Office Cleaning Tip: Window Treatments

In commercial office cleaning one area that is often over looked are window treatments. They hang there over the windows collecting dust day after day, week after week, etc… It can go on indefinitely before anyone notices there is a problem.

I would like to give some general tips for cleaning a few different types of window treatments at the office.

Cleaning Metal or Plastic Blinds And Mini-blinds

First prepare your blinds by pulling the blinds all the way down, as far as they will go, and then close the slats in one direction. You can use a feather duster, old t-shirt, rag, or old socks as your tool of choice to accomplish this task. Start at the top of the blinds and work your way down wiping from one side to the other in a horizontal motion. Be sure to wipe every slat and that may require that you wipe one slat at a time.

Then, reverse the blinds by turning the dowel or crank and repeat the same process on the reverse side. This process will assure that you clean the entire blind or mini-blind.

After dusting completely here is a tip to help keep your blinds clean longer. Use an anti-static sheet that you use in your clothes dryer to wipe down both sides of the blinds. This will help repel dust and lint from settling on the slats of the blinds.

Cleaning Window Treatments Made of Fabric

Using a good vacuum with the appropriate attachments is one way to clean fabric laden window treatments. It’s nice if your vacuum has different speed settings to allow you to set it at a slower speed or you can use a smaller, hand-held vacuum for this task. This can help protect the life of your window treatments as you clean them.

You can try vacuuming your window coverings while they are in place but some coverings lend themselves to be vacuumed better by taking them down and laying them flat on the floor. Then you won’t be as apt to miss spots between the ruffles.

Another option for cleaning window coverings made of fabric is the washing machine. Be sure that you use the appropriate settings on your washing machine for the material you are cleaning and that the coverings recommended care includes washing.