If there is one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has made crystal clear, it’s that cleaning for health is more important than cleaning for appearance. However, that doesn’t mean appearances don’t matter. In fact, they matter more than ever. Today there is a heightened awareness of the importance of cleanliness, and employees are paying close attention to how their workplaces look. No matter how often a carpet is vacuumed and sanitized, if the muddy footprints and coffee stains remain; employees will take one look at the carpet and consider it dirty and therefore unhealthy.
Carpet can be challenging to clean even in non-pandemic times: Muddy feet, coffee spills, and food crumbs. Worst of all, pathogens like bacteria and viruses gets trapped in it. Despite the challenges, carpet can be part of a healthy environment with the proper care.
Here Are Three Things Facility Managers Should Keep in Mind to Ensure Their Carpets Are Cleaned as Thoroughly as Possible:
1. Carpet cannot be disinfected, only sanitized.
Cleaning is not the same as sanitizing, and sanitizing is not the same as disinfecting. These terms are often used interchangeably, but there are some clear distinctions between them. In fact, carpet cannot be disinfected, only sanitized.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only registers disinfectants for hard, non-porous surfaces. As a porous surface, carpet contains small pores, or holes, that can collect dirt and germs. The good news is porous surfaces are less hospitable to viruses like SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
2. The Right Vacuum Makes All The Difference In Carpet Care.
A vacuum is essential for keeping carpet clean and healthy, but it is very important to select the right one for your needs. A dual-motor upright vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration system can be a vital tool for fighting COVID-19 in any facility. With one motor dedicated to creating the suction and the other motor dedicated to turning the brush, these powerful tools are extremely efficient, allowing the user to thoroughly vacuum a space in a single pass.
HEPA filters trap airborne dust, allergens and pathogens—including viruses—instead of releasing them back into the air. It’s important to change the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to avoid transferring pathogens from one site to another.
3. All Products Are Not Created Equal.
Choosing the right cleaning product for carpet isn’t always easy, but it’s crucial. The wrong product can at best be inefficient and at worst damage the flooring or harm human health. When deep cleaning, cleaners should use a pre-spray that is certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Seal of Approval testing program and has a Green Seal or equivalent certification. Cleaners that takes care of carpets should follow the instructions on the product label, including allowing the product to dwell, or remain visibly wet, for the indicated period of time.