Commercial establishments are generally carpeted from wall to wall and also experience a good amount of foot traffic. In fact these carpets tend to get dirtier since people walk all over them with their dirty shoes on thereby bringing in dirt, debris, sand, pathogens etc. These get embedded within the fibres of the carpet and refuse to come out with simple vacuuming. Thus stronger cleaning methods are required to ensure carpets of commercial establishments keep looking fresh and clean.
Types of carpet cleaning methods
Cleaning methods employed to clean commercial carpets are mainly of two types, each with its own advantage and disadvantage attached like:
- Bonnet carpet cleaning: This cleaning method has been a traditional carpet cleaning staple for quite some time now. This cleaning method involves the use of a cotton bonnet which is kept attached to a low-speed buffer or side-by-side rotary floor machine. This machine primarily works to dig-out the debris and dirt found embedded in the individual fibres of the carpet. A cleaner is also used along with this and the bleach brighteners contained in this cleaner help to polish the fibres thereby giving them an extra shine and making them appear clean.
- Extraction carpet cleaning: Also known as deep extraction or hot water cleaning because of its reliance on hot water as a cleaning agent. This method includes the forceful expulsion of hot water on the carpet through a hose and then sucking it back in. The water which gets sucked in also includes the dirt, sand and small debris present in the carpet thereby making the carpet appear clean and bright. The use of hot water also facilitates the killing of harmful pathogens and allergens which might cause health problems, if allowed to remain in the carpet. Thus this method also disinfects the carpet along with cleaning it thoroughly.
Pros and cons of bonnet cleaning
Bonnet cleaning has found a steady place in the commercial world of floor care. This method is an excellent one for use on carpets experiencing light traffic since the method employed is:
- Inexpensive and
- Can be done with regularity.
In fact bonnet cleaning can be done as frequently as once a week. Generally speaking bonnet cleaning a carpet once a month along with regular vacuuming is enough to ensure a clean looking fresh carpet which looks as good as new.
But this method is not a favourite with carpet manufacturers since they feel that:
- It does not ensure a thorough cleaning and
- It has a propensity to strip and damage the carpet fibres.
It has also been seen that this method is not suitable for the cleaning of carpets which experience heavy foot traffic and thus accumulate more dirt, dust and debris. Its inefficiency in taking out the dirt and dust particles properly can be proved by the fact that bonnet cleaned carpets when subsequently cleaned using the deep extraction method often end up with spots in places where bonnet cleaning has forced the dirt into the carpet padding.
Pros and cons of extraction method
This method is definitely a much more effective method and the hot water used helps to effectively:
- Suck out the dirt, dust and debris and
- Also disinfect the carpet thereby clearing them almost of all allergens.
Thus they help to keep the air in the places where they are placed safe to breathe even for people afflicted with breathing problems or asthma.
However, in spite of its effectiveness, being expensive is its one drawback because the:
- Equipment used is extremely expensive to buy,
- Maintaining it is also very expensive and
- Skilled labour is a mandatory requirement for its operation.
Other disadvantages of this system of carpet cleaning include:
- Reduction in the carpet’s longevity,
- Hot water expelled causes damage to the carpet padding,
- Dirty hot water cannot be suctioned out completely leading to the formation of mildew and bad odour permeating the whole room.
A dual approach
Instead of using either of the above written carpet cleaning methods, it is always better to take a dual approach. This dual approach does have certain advantages like:
- Bonnet cleaning enables cleaning of the carpet with little investment of time and money,
- Extraction cleaning a few times in a year helps fill the lacunae left by bonnet cleaning.
This makes for an approach which is commercially viable and helps keep the carpet functionally attractive for many more years.