It does NOT matter how great everything else in your office or showroom looks, if the carpets look bad the building looks bad. Carpet is a major expense and has some real positive attributes if maintained properly.

The first step in proper maintenance is vacuuming. This is a must do step, no exceptions! When soil is left in your carpet it acts like sand paper every time someone walks over it. Over time that “sand paper” effect really uglies your carpet out. It makes the fibers look dull and dingy. For example: Take a clear piece of plastic. Choose the middle spot on the plastic and rub it with sand paper. The middle will be CLEAN but it will look dull. There will be no brightness to it. The same thing happens with carpet fibers. So make sure you or your janitorial crew is vacuuming on a regular basis. And when we say regular we mean DAILY. Yep, daily.

The second step is regular spot and spill pickup. Even if that is only blotting at spots and spilled liquids. You must NOT let those spots and spills stay in the carpet for long periods of time. The faster you get them out the better off the carpet will be. If you do not have a crew that knows general spotting techniques then you need to find one, learn it yourself, or put up with ugly looking carpet.

The third step is have the carpets cleaned on a regular basis. Commercial carpet is really not that much different than residential carpeting as far as the fiber goes, but there is one HUGE difference between commercial carpeting and most residential carpeting and that is the amount of soil in the carpet. In many commercial settings the soil load in the carpet, especially if regular vacuuming has not been done, can be enormous and that can lead to serious cleaning challenges. We have cleaned many commercial accounts where the carpet was filled up with soil from the base of the carpet to the tips of the fibers. When there is that much soil in a carpet it not only causes the carpet to look bad but can lead to premature wear, and that is not good for indoor air quality or your buildings budget. Carpet is expensive to replace. Maintaining it is much more cost effective.

So now you have decided to have your carpets cleaned and you need to know what method to choose. Well first of all let’s look at the three main methods for cleaning commercial carpet.


This is the most recommended method for deep thorough cleaning and has the best capability for most soil removal. This is the method you should use to have your carpets cleaned on a yearly basis. When done properly most carpets will dry in two to four hours.

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This method can give you excellent results. Not as much soil is usually removed as hot water extraction, but a good amount of soil can still be removed. Dry times can be under an hour and visual results can be excellent. This is considered a maintenance method, not a deep cleaning method although that is debatable.


A “special” cleaning agent is scrubbed into your carpet and when everything is dry the cleaning agent and the soil are to be vacuumed out. At least that is the theory. First of all there really should not be the word cleaning at the end of encapsulation, because with this method there is NO soil removal. Do NOT let anyone tell you that this is a cleaning method. It is not. For it to be a cleaning method soil has to be removed. Nothing is removed with encapsulation “cleaning”. Why is it used? Because it is fast, dries fairly quickly, and can give good visual results. The other two reasons it is used is because many cleaners are lazy and don’t want to clean the carpets the right way, and because many businesses won’t pay for a high quality cleaning.

The problem with encapsulation “cleaning” is that all the grime in your carpet is left there. All the cleaner does is aggressively agitate a cleaner into the carpet that breaks down the bond between the soil and the fiber. The soil is dispersed in a zillion directions so you don’t see the concentrations of it. The coke spill you have in your lobby might not be visable any longer but all the things in the spill are still there. They are just dispersed so you cannot see them.

Encapsulation cleaning is NOT good for indoor air quality and should only be used as a maintenance procedure in between hot water extraction and pad cleaning. There is a place for encapsulation cleaning but you need to know what it can and can’t do.

One final point about encapsulation cleaning. One reason so many cleaners like to use it is because they can “clean” really fast with this method. That way they can charge you less and still make a decent amount of money per hour. However, what some cleaners are doing is charging their clients FULL PRICE for this method! Would you really want to pay FULL PRICE to NOT have any soil removed from your carpet? Well if you do let us know, we have a little swamp land in Florida you might be interested in!


That really depends on the traffic, how good your vacuuming program is, and how well  spots and spills are being removed. In some commercial environments, carpet cleaning should be done every couple of weeks. In others it can be done every six months. It just really depends and is hard to say.

One thing that is important to understand is that it is ALWAYS a bad idea to wait for the carpets to look bad before you have them cleaned. Doing that is a big mistake. If you clean your carpets on a regular schedule, before they look bad, you will have a building that looks better and you will be extending the life of your carpet. And that is a good thing when you consider the cost of replacing all of that carpet in your office or business.