What's about 4000 times dirtier than the average toilet seat? If you guessed it's the carpet that might be under your feet in the office you manage, you're right. Carpeting is common in offices these days, in part because it helps cut down on noise. And, while gleaming tile floors look nice, the polish that it takes to keep them that way can be labor intensive. Carpet, on the other hand, hides a multitude of sins. Since the invention of carpet tiles, even a major stain can be easily fixed just by swapping out old carpet pieces for new.
The germs, on the other hand, are a problem. How can you keep control of the potentially thousands of biological specimens running loose in the carpets, including things like E.coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and other types of bacteria that can make you and your employees sick?
1. Make sure that someone is running the sweeper at least once a week (or more).
Regular sweeping with a vacuum can help cut down the amount of dead skin cells and other biological material that's in the carpet, all of which provide food for other organisms. It also helps prolong the life of your carpet by removing tiny, gritty particles of dirt that can actually cut into your carpet fibers as they get moved around.
Experts recommend that whoever is vacuuming, whether it's you or a cleaning crew, should go over the carpet more than once, working slowly enough to allow the suction to do its job. Particular attention should be paid to high-traffic areas and under desks and chairs, where people sit. Soil retardants and baking soda help cut down ground-in dirt and odors as well.
2. A commercial cleaning company should steam-clean the carpets at least once a year.
Steam cleaning is actually a bit of a misnomer because steam cleaners don't actually use steam to clean the carpet. Instead, the cleaners actually spray detergent onto the carpets and a fine mist of hot water activates it. The machine then sucks as much of the water as possible back out of the carpet, although it's often left damp for a while afterward.
The steam actually does have a purpose, however—the heat from the steam helps kill off anything that is living in the carpet that isn't affected by the cleanser. That can cut down on some of the nastier viruses and bugs that might be lurking under your feet.
Keep in mind that while steam cleaning is recommended at least yearly, it's never a bad idea to schedule it more often, especially if your office has recently gone through a bout of trouble with the flu or a cold virus. Investing in a commercial carpet cleaning service like AM-PM Janitorial Sales and Service, Inc. is a good way to invest in the health of your employees—and your business.