The Four Pillars of Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Professionally clean and maintain your commercial carpet by focusing on these four areas.

Maintaining a commercial carpet is more than just vacuuming. Of course, vacuuming is an essential part, but alone it’s not enough. It takes a complete maintenance program to protect your carpet investment.

A good carpet maintenance program covers four major areas.

  1. Preventative Maintenance
  2. Daily Maintenance
  3. Encapsulation
  4. Deep Extraction

Let’s explore each one.

Preventative Maintenance

The best way to keep your carpet clean is to prevent it from getting dirty in the first place. And with building visitors and occupants tracking in 80% of the dirt and soil in the building on their shoes, that’s the best place to focus your efforts.

One of the most effective ways to protect your carpet from the dirt people track in is with floor mats at the entrances. Floor mats help stop the dirt before it ever gets to your carpet.

Comprehensive Matting System

A matting system is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect a commercial carpet. It minimizes the amount of dirt, grease, oil, and moisture tracked in by foot traffic.

comprehensive matting system utilizes three types of specialty mats.

Scraper Mats

Scraper mats are the first line of defense. They scrape debris and dirt from shoes by design, with a rough, rigid texture.

Typically, you want to use scraper mats outside the building entrances so they can remove the dirt and debris on people’s shoes before it even enters the building.

Clean your scraper mats daily by rolling them up and dumping them at least 25 feet from the building’s entrance.

Wiper Mats

Wiper mats use a combination of specialized fibers to wipe dirt and moisture from people’s shoes. They are heavy mats designed to prevent shifting and withstand frequent cleaning.

Use wiper mats inside where there is a high level of traffic, like entrances and lobbies.

Finisher Mats

Finisher mats are the last line of defense right before people step onto the carpet. They are made of dense, absorbent material with a rubber backing to prevent slipping.

Wiper and finisher mats should be vacuumed 1-2x daily as part of a regular Vacuuming Program.

There are also combination wiper and finisher mats. Use these when space is limited, but effective matting is still necessary.

Daily Maintenance

The goal of daily carpet maintenance is to keep the carpet surface clean. You want to maintain the consistent appearance of your carpet throughout the building while minimizing any impact on indoor air quality.

The core components of a daily carpet maintenance program are

  • High-filtration vacuum systems
  • Frequent vacuuming of high-traffic areas
  • Emergency stain and spot removal

This process removes roughly 80-90% of all soil accumulation and controls the spread of dust and allergens into the air.

Using a professional vacuum with high-quality filtration bags is crucial to capture all the trapped toxins, allergens, and dust from escaping into the air and impacting the building’s air quality.


Removing dry soil from carpets is easy with regular vacuuming, but even the best vacuums won’t remove the oily and sticky soils trapped in commercial carpets. You need a better method to remove all the dirt trapped in your carpets.

One method that is both gentle on the carpet fibers and safe for building while still powerful enough to loosen and remove soil effectively is encapsulation.

Encapsulation cleaning uses a unique crystal polymer with a detergent to bind and “encapsulate” embedded soils and other foreign particles. A high-quality carpet agitator is necessary to lift the carpet pile effectively, which allows the crystals to reach all the embedded dirt.

Once you encapsulate the oily and greasy dirt, it vacuums out as effortlessly as the dry soil without leaving a residue.

Encapsulation extends the time between deep extraction cleaning while limiting the amount of water needed to keep your carpet clean. With a low-moisture encapsulation system using 99% less water than a typical water extraction, you avoid all the problems water can cause commercial carpets.

Monthly encapsulation will keep your carpet looking consistently fresh all year for less money than quarterly water extractions, with better results.

Deep Extraction

Deep extraction (aka water extraction) injects hot water into the carpet through spray jets. The water is then immediately recovered through a vacuum. Some people compare it to the rinse cycle of a washing machine.

Hot water extraction is most effective at removing soil from a carpet, but it’s a costly process that is not cost-effective for frequent cleaning. It is also more likely to damage a commercial carpet compared to low-moisture alternatives.

This extraction method uses approximately 200 gallons of water per 1000 square feet compared to only 1 gallon needed for encapsulation. Carpet cleaners must follow your carpet manufacturer’s water pressure and temperature guidelines to minimize the risk of damage to your carpet.

Generally, a facility following a consistent maintenance program schedule only need an extraction every 12, 18, or 24 months.

Combine Methods for Less Money and Better Results

Implementing a good encapsulation cleaning program reduces the need for water extraction cleaning, allowing you to combine methods for less money and better results.

You can also perform a low-moisture encapsulation and hot water extraction together when you want to restore a carpet to its best condition at the start of a new maintenance schedule. 

Putting it all together

Commercial carpet is a significant investment. Keeping your commercial carpet looking clean and smelling fresh is as essential as maximizing its lifespan.

By following these four pillars of commercial carpet maintenance and working with a skilled and experienced team, you can maximize the life of your carpet, promote a healthier indoor environment, and maintain a professional appearance for your facility.

While these four pillars are all vital components of a commercial carpet maintenance program, the most critical aspect is experience. A team with extensive knowledge in the industry can identify and address specific needs for your facility, ensuring that your commercial carpet is properly maintained to provide the cleanest and safest environment possible.

So, whether you’re managing a high-traffic retail store, office building, hotel, or any other commercial space, prioritize the maintenance of your carpet.

For help implementing an effective carpet maintenance program, don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts today. (800) 708-0373