When it comes to carpet, there’s nothing worse than a customer, guest or occupant walking through your building and seeing floors covered in unsightly stains. If you operate a retail store, customers may be less likely to spend time and money at your business. For long-term care facilities, carpet stains can signal to potential residents and their families that the organization doesn’t prioritize creating a clean, home-like environment for occupants. The bottom line is that carpet always needs to look its best.
It’s important for facility managers to conduct daily visual inspections for spots, and to remove them as soon as possible. If spots and spills are left for too long, they can become permanent carpet stains.
Common Spots and Spills
Carpet in facilities like hotels, schools and airports face a number of risks when it comes to stains. These include, but are not limited to:
- Beverage stains
From wine to coffee to tea to soft drinks, beverages can puddle and leave stains on carpet if they are not readily cleaned up. Stains can be especially noticeable if the beverage contains food dyes, which is a common ingredient in many sports and soft drinks.
- Organic stains
Accidents like vomit and urine are unfortunate but sometimes unavoidable. These incidents, while unpleasant to clean up, can result in ugly and foul-smelling stains if they are not readily and effectively addressed.
- Oil and grease stains
Everything from oily and greasy foods to mechanical oils, paint and asphalt sealers can become embedded in carpet and detract from its appearance. These can be especially difficult to remove if the right method is not followed.
- Salt stains
During the winter months, salt is frequently applied to roads and sidewalks to improve traction. Unfortunately, this salt can be easily tracked indoors on shoes and leave white marks on carpet, which is especially noticeable on dark colored fibers.
Best Practices for Managing Stains
Carpet can often last for many years if it is properly cared for, and regularly inspected. Prevent and remove carpet stains by incorporating the following best practices into your operation:
1. Review carpet daily
Time is of the essence when it comes to dealing with stains. In fact, in about 24 hours, a carpet spot can become a stain. Be sure to give carpet a close look at least once per day to quickly address any spots and spills that have accumulated since the last inspection.
2. Identify your spot
Whenever possible, it helps if you can identify what type of spot or spill with which you’re dealing. Is the discoloration resulting from oil, grease, wax, beverages or other foreign substances? Understanding this information increases the odds that you can effectively treat and remove the spot.
3. Select the right spotting agent
Based on the spot profile, select a spotting agent that is designed to remove it. For example, a red stain spotting agent is ideal for red wine or coffee stains, while an oil and grease spotter is best for removing paints, machine oils, grease and sticky residues. Having a range of options available in your supply closet ensures that you always have the right solution at hand to protect carpet.
4. Rely on the power of low-moisture encapsulation
Encapsulation uses unique crystalizing polymers combined with effective detergent components to emulsify and bind soils into a brittle, crystalline structure. Encapsulation spotting is an effortless system, and can remove 95% of spots before they become permanently embedded in the carpet.
After encapsulation spotting is complete, vacuum the encapsulated crystals to remove them from the surface of the carpet. Ensure that the spot is no longer visible, and carpet appearance is restored. If there are still traces of the spot, repeat the encapsulation step to eliminate it.
If spots and spills tend to regularly occur in the same locations, consider the factors that may be contributing to this issue and make adjustments if possible. For example, some carpet spills can be avoided by preventing food and drink in certain areas of your facility. Limit the occurrence of pet accidents by encouraging visitors to leave their pets at home or offering a designated area for animals. Meanwhile, entrance mats can also help remove salt, grass and dirt from shoes to limit these types of stains from impacting carpet. You can also use a stain block additive to prevent carpet fibers from being stained by common spills from colored drinks, wine and coffee.
However, accidents do occur from time to time, resulting in carpet stains that negatively impact the image of a facility. In these moments, it’s essential to understand how to easily and effectively get rid of carpet stains. By following the above stain removal tips, facilities can ensure that carpet maintains its clean appearance and impresses each and every building guest, employee and occupant.
There are four essential cornerstones of carpet maintenance, with daily maintenance being just one important strategy. To maintain the appearance of your carpet, learn about the entire process. For more information about machines and chemistry that help you achieve consistently cleaner carpet, contact us at 800.422.7686 or firstname.lastname@example.org.