The Complete Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Commercial Carpets

The Complete Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Commercial Carpets

The Complete Guide to Cleaning and Maintaining Commercial Carpets


Commercial carpets can transform the look and feel of an office space, adding warmth, sound insulation, and comfort underfoot. However, despite being essential in creating a professional, inviting atmosphere, these carpets are highly susceptible to heavy traffic, spills, and the accumulation of dirt and allergens. Engaging in regular cleaning and maintenance is crucial for both the longevity of your investment and the health of those who inhabit the space.

In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the best practices for deep cleaning, steam cleaning, and ongoing maintenance of your commercial carpets. So, whether you manage a bustling office in downtown Los Angeles or service a high-rise full of suites, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to keep your carpets looking pristine and your employees breathing easily.

Before we delve into the details, it’s important to remember that for large commercial spaces or for cleaning periods of high demand, it’s often worth engaging a professional janitorial service. In Los Angeles, where time is money and reputation is everything, S&W Janitorial Services stands ready to support all your commercial cleaning needs with efficiency and expertise.


Why Regular Cleaning Matters

Regular cleaning of commercial carpets serves more than just aesthetic purposes. Such maintenance is key to:

  • Prolonged Carpet Life: Regular cleaning can significantly extend the life of your carpet, protecting your investment and saving you from costly replacements down the line.
  • Health and Safety: Carpets are notorious for trapping allergens and bacteria, which can lead to respiratory problems. A clean carpet promotes a healthier environment for your employees and visitors.
  • Improved Air Quality: Clean carpets help to maintain better indoor air quality by trapping pollutants and allergens that would otherwise be floating in the air.
  • Enhanced Aesthetics: A well-maintained carpet contributes to a positive impression of your business. A dingy, stained carpet can have the opposite effect.

The Basics of Cleaning Commercial Carpets

Understanding Carpet Types

Before you start cleaning, it's essential to understand the type of carpet you’re dealing with. Different materials and weaves require different cleaning approaches, and knowing your carpet type will prevent damage and ensure effective cleaning.

  • Nylon: The most common commercial carpet fiber, nylon is durable and responds well to most cleaning methods.
  • Polypropylene (Olefin): Offers stain and soil resistance but requires careful consideration when selecting cleaning agents.
  • Polyester: Has a luxurious appearance but can be prone to oil-based stains, which need to be addressed with specific cleaning compounds.
  • Wool: Natural fibers like Wool can be quite sensitive and typically require gentle, non-alkaline cleaning solutions.

Develop a Cleaning Routine

Establishing a regular cleaning schedule is a fundamental first step. Daily vacuuming is a must, while high-traffic areas might benefit from more frequent spot cleaning. Integrate a quarterly deep cleaning session to tackle embedded dirt and strong odors, and consider seasonal changes that may require more intense cleaning efforts.

Essential Tools and Equipment

You will need the following tools and equipment to effectively clean commercial carpets:

  • Industrial Vacuum Cleaner: Capable of handling large areas and built-up dirt
  • Carpet Shampooer/Extractor: For deep cleaning, these machines combine cleaning solutions with water and suction to remove grime
  • Rotary Extraction Machine: A powerful tool for deep-cleaning large areas
  • Air Mover: Accelerates the drying process, which is crucial in preventing mold and mildew
  • pH-Neutral Cleaning Solutions: To prevent damage to carpets

In-House vs. Professional Cleaning

Factors like budget, the size of your facility, and the level of soiling will determine whether in-house or professional cleaning is more appropriate. In-house cleaning can keep day-to-day maintenance costs low, while professional services are essential for periodic deep-cleaning needs.

The Deep Cleaning Process

Deep cleaning should be performed at least quarterly, or more frequently for high-traffic areas. Here’s a detailed overview of what a proper deep cleaning session should entail:

1. Preparation

Before you begin cleaning, clear the area of any obstacles and address any loose debris with the vacuum. Additionally, pre-treat any visible stains with the appropriate solutions to increase the likelihood of complete stain removal.

2. Application

Begin by applying the cleaning solution to the carpet with the shampooer/extractor. For larger areas, a rotary extraction machine may be more efficient.

3. Agitation

After applying the cleaning solution, agitate the carpet to work the solution deep into the fibers. You can use a brush or the appropriate attachment on your cleaning device.

4. Extraction

Once the cleaning solution has had time to break down the dirt, use the extractor to remove the solution and grime. Ensure you pass over each area multiple times to extract as much moisture as possible.

5. Rinse (Optional)

For an extra-clean finish, a rinse with a carpet wand or plain water will help remove residual cleaning solution, which can attract dirt if left behind.

6. Drying

Using an air mover, dry the carpet as quickly as possible. This step is critical to preventing mold and mildew growth.

7. Spot Checks

After the carpet is dry, check for any remaining spots or stains. Address them with the appropriate spot-cleaning procedures if necessary.

Steam Cleaning: Deciphering the Process

Steam cleaning, or hot water extraction, is a highly effective method of carpet cleaning. Here’s what this process typically involves:

1. Vacuuming

Prior to steam cleaning, the carpet should be thoroughly vacuumed to remove surface dirt and debris.

2. Pre-Spray

A cleaning solution is applied to the carpet to break down soil and prepare the fibers for the extraction process.

3. Temperature and Pressure

High-temperature steam combines with high-pressure to agitate the carpet fibers, breaking up embedded soil. The high pressure also flushes out the cleaning solution along with the dirt.

4. Extraction

An important step after the application of high-temperature steam is the extraction of the dirt, grime, and cleaning solution. This is usually performed with a powerful vacuum system.

5. Drying

Drying is crucial. The earlier you can restore the carpet to a dry state, the less opportunity there is for mold and mildew to form. Use air movers and ample airflow to expedite the process.

6. Post-Cleaning Assessment

Post-cleaning, check the carpet for any areas that may need further attention or any needs for carpet protection such as applying a surface protectant or a deodorizer.

Ongoing Maintenance Tips

Address Spills Promptly

Spills on commercial carpets should be dealt with immediately to prevent staining and odor. Use a clean, white cloth to blot up as much of the spill as possible, then treat the remaining spot with the appropriate cleaning solution.

Use Mats and Runners

Entryway mats and runners are your first line of defense against tracked-in dirt. Regularly clean and replace these to ensure they continue to protect your carpets effectively.

Regular Inspections

Set regular inspection intervals to identify and address issues early. Attend to worn or frayed edges that may lead to further damage if left unchecked.

Keep It Consistent

Consistency is key. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule to keep your commercial carpets in top condition. Record keeping can help you keep track of what’s been done and what needs to be done next.


Commercial Carpet Maintenance FAQs

Q: How often should I deep-clean my commercial carpets?

A: Deep cleaning should be scheduled every 3 to 12 months, depending on traffic and soil levels. High-traffic areas may require more frequent deep cleaning.

Q: What is encapsulation cleaning, and when should it be used?

A: Encapsulation cleaning is a low-moisture cleaning method that can be effective for maintaining the cleanliness of commercial carpets in between deep-cleaning sessions. It involves the use of special compounds that encapsulate soil particles, making it easier to vacuum them away. It's generally used when a low-impact alternative to traditional steam cleaning is desired.

Q: Should I use a professional for carpet maintenance, or can my janitorial staff handle it in-house?

A: Both can be effective strategies. However, for periodic deep-cleaning needs, and especially for larger facilities, it's usually best to bring in a professional janitorial service to ensure the job is done thoroughly and efficiently.

Q: How can I protect high-traffic areas in my commercial space?

A: High-traffic areas can benefit from the use of carpet protectants, which create a barrier against dirt, spills, and wear. Routine deep cleaning will help maintain these areas, along with thoughtful placement of runners and mats.

By implementing these best practices for cleaning and maintaining commercial carpets, you will not only safeguard your investment but also ensure a professional and healthy environment for your staff and visitors. For enterprises in Los Angeles and beyond, professional janitorial services are at the ready to take the chore off your hands, leaving you with freshly cleaned carpets every time.


If you're seeking the best janitorial service in Los Angeles, CA, S&W Janitorial Services is your trusted partner. From high-rise offices to industrial facilities, our team is equipped with the expertise and tools to keep your carpets and the rest of your space in top-notch condition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the S&W difference.