Prepping for Winter Carpet Care

Prepping for Winter Carpet Care

From snow to slush to salt, winter takes a heavy toll on carpet. In facilities like hotels, guests and employees often track in debris not only by foot, but with suitcases and luggage carts as well. This makes it especially important to properly care for carpet during the colder months.

Most hotels invest in carpet to provide an at-home and comfortable environment, while also reducing noise between floors. Purchasing and installing carpet is a significant investment, and a lot of time and effort goes into selecting the proper type, color and style of carpet to accurately reflect a hotel’s brand. Fortunately, carpet is designed to help hide soils and stains. However, soil buildup happens more quickly during winter. One square yard of commercial carpet can accumulate up to two pounds of dirt in just one week during the winter.

A lackluster carpet care program negatively affects the look, quality and lifespan of carpet. The appearance of dirty or worn carpet can also greatly impact a guest’s perception of a hotel and its cleanliness standards. In fact, a 2017 survey found that 84% of respondents stated hotel cleanliness was the most important factor when choosing a hotel for a leisure trip. This winter, make sure your hotel is prepared to keep carpet in great condition by developing and implementing a proper carpet care program.

Winter Woes

When guests check in on a snowy day, odds are that a trail of slush, sand or salt isn’t far behind. During big events like trade shows and weddings, hotel event spaces are left with the aftermath of heavy foot traffic. When soils get trapped in carpet, they create visible stains, and if soiling remains in carpet for too long it can damage the fibers. The added moisture tracked in can also harm carpet in the long run, as wet carpet can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew, creating unpleasant odors and negatively impacting indoor air quality.

Carpet located near the lobby, restaurants, hallways and other high-traffic areas will likely require the most attention, so it’s important to clean these areas frequently. Staff should also pay close attention to carpet in guest rooms, as stains may lead to guests requesting a new room or leaving a negative review.

Five Star Carpet Care

Proper carpet maintenance can help prevent over wetting, surface stains and fiber damage. To prepare your hotel for the season of snow and ice, create a comprehensive carpet care program that includes:

  • Entrance matting. Lodging facilities should implement an outdoor matting program to prevent snow, salt and other soils from entering the facility. Indoor matting can also help maintain any carpet located near the entrance, exit and other high traffic areas. Allow at least 9-15 feet of matting to catch the first few footfalls of debris. Look for mats that will scrape salt and contaminants from shoes and hold the moisture so that guests don’t slip and fall near entrances.


  • Frequent vacuuming. With the right vacuum, employees can remove up to 90% of dry soil accumulation. This makes vacuuming one of the most cost effective and efficient ways to care for carpet. Areas with high traffic should be vacuumed at least once a day, and areas with lower traffic every other day. Based on the carpet type used in your facility, choose certified vacuums suited to remove soils effectively.


  • Daily spot checking. Encourage employees to stay on the lookout for winter spots and stains from salt and slush. Blot liquids with a dry cloth and use a spot removal agent. The sooner employees can identify a spot, the easier the removal process will be. Provide housekeeping staff with carpet spotting kits so they are within reach on cleaning carts and can help staff immediately address spills. Consider having these kits readily available behind the front desk and restaurant bars to easily take care of lobby, lounge and restaurant carpet stains.


  • Interim maintenance. To remove soils and limit disruption, interim maintenance is key. This process uses low-moisture encapsulation instead of hot water extraction, reducing the chances of re-soiling while also limiting water and chemical waste. By using interim cleaning methods, employees can clean and dry carpet quickly. For effective results, use Whittaker’s Smart Care® systems and CRYSTAL® chemistry that is proven to remove stains.

Once Spring has sprung, take a closer look at your carpet and determine if you need to conduct restorative maintenance. Depending on the damage and the carpet manufacturer’s recommendation, a deep clean with hot water extraction may be required. Knowing the peak busy times and key traffic patterns is crucial to cleaning and maintaining carpet, especially if carpet needs a more thorough cleaning.

Carpet Considerations

In the world of hospitality, cleanliness matters. From greeting visitors with a bright, clean lobby to providing them with freshly washed linens, hotels and lodging facilities aim to create a welcoming atmosphere. Comprehensive and year-round carpet maintenance should be a high priority for every property so that carpet always looks its best.

To learn more about carpet care in hospitality facilities, visit our website. For more information about carpet care essentials, like our Smart Care® machines and CRYSTAL® chemistry, contact us at 800.422.7686 or

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