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Keeping up appearances

27 November 2013

As the winter weather sets in, floor coverings in commercial and educational buildings are subject to increased wear and tear. Abby Chandler, marketing manager at Heckmondwike FB, discusses recommended cleaning and maintenance options to keep fibre bonded carpet looking its best all year round.

A regular cleaning and maintenance routine is essential to enhance the lifespan of a carpet, but ensuring that a building’s floor coverings are well maintained during the winter months starts before the cleaning even begins. It is vital to choose a carpet that is hard-wearing and durable to ensure that it can withstand the heavy wear and tear of a busy building. 

This is particularly important when the weather is wet or snowy as moisture is brought into the building on people’s shoes. For this reason, fibre bonded carpet is widely specified in offices, schools and colleges where its robust construction provides a low-maintenance, hard-wearing solution.

It is also important to choose the right floor covering for different areas of a building. Entrance areas often bear the brunt of bad weather, so our specialist range of carpets act as interceptors, protecting carpets from shoeborne dirt and moisture. Having chosen an appropriate floor covering, cleaning and maintenance managers should ensure that a regular cleaning routine is in place.  

Dealing with dirt

Daily vacuuming is highly recommended and with fibre bonded carpet, our research shows that one of the most effective ways is with a twin-motored upright vacuum cleaner, such as a Sebo. The aim of the daily vacuum clean is to remove all loose soil, because if it is left to build up, the particles of dirt can have a damaging impact and reduce the lifespan of the carpet. Areas such as entrances and corridors may require extra vacuuming, due to heavier footfall.

It is usually recommended that at least once a year the carpet should be deep cleaned using hot water extraction and a good quality carpet detergent. If a carpet becomes excessively stained, then Granwax High Performance Pre-treatment is a good idea, alternatively you may consider a combination of rotary brush and extraction equipment to improve the results of the deep clean.  

Spillages & stains

When a spillage occurs deal with it immediately, blotting it with a clean, absorbent cloth. Most stains can be successfully dealt with by the use of either a good quality multi-purpose stain remover or a solvent based cleaner. If stains are left for a long time, it becomes increasingly difficult to remove them and they may require several treatments. After stain removal treatments are carried out, the carpet should be allowed to dry completely and then cleaned with a twin motored upright vacuum cleaner. If carpet tiles are bitumen-backed, then solvent cleaning should be avoided, as it could damage the structure and backing of the carpet.

Common stains, such as drinks, food, paint or ink, tend to be fairly easy to remove if dealt with immediately. Spray stain remover sparingly on the area and then leaving it to absorb for a couple of minutes. Afterwards, dab it dry with an absorbent cloth until no further stain transfers.

If it is an oil-based stain, such as cooking oil, ice cream, varnish or tar, use a cloth to absorb the spill and use a second cloth moistened with a solvent-based cleaner on the stain. Moist and dry cloths should then be used alternatively until no further stain transfers. We then recommend covering it with a thick wad of cloths and something heavy to draw out the stain and leaving it for approximately two hours. 


Following this, the area should be sprayed sparingly with stain remover to avoid over-wetting, leaving it for a further two minutes, depending on stain intensity, then dabbing it with a dry, absorbent cloth until no further stain transfers.

To deal with chewing gum on a carpet, it is important to first scrape off excessive gum with a blunt edged knife, then perforate the surface using a fork. A good idea is to apply Prochem’s Citrus Gel and leave for two minutes. Remove the softened gum with a blunt knife and wipe away any remaining residue with Solvall Spotter applied on a damp sponge or towel.

By maintaining a regular cleaning routine and dealing with stains promptly and efficiently, the life of the floor covering can be prolonged and ongoing maintenance and replacement costs kept to a minimum.