Carpet is a textile product and receives the most abuse of any finish in an interior space. This is why, not only its construction and installation are so important, but the maintaining of the carpet’s appearance by an appropriate regularly planned maintenance strategy is the most effective way to protect your investment, allowing your carpet to age gracefully.


Your new carpet may exhibit certain visual characteristics that are common, but may be new to you:

Shading – All carpet (woven, tufted, fusion bonded or handmade) is subject to a natural phenomenon known as “shading”, “pooling” or “watermarking”, which may be undesirable. This development cannot be predicted or prevented. This occurrence creates a permanent change in the carpet’s appearance, usually within 2-6 weeks after installation. This condition is not a manufacturing defect and does not affect the performance or durability of the carpet.
The appearance of “Shaded” carpet is created by the difference in the way light reflects off the side of the yarn and the tip of a yarn, as the pile lies in different directions. Areas will appear light from one direction and dark from the other direction. These shaded areas, usually curved in appearance, will virtually disappear when observed from directly above. No one knows why the pile changes direction, as this phenomenon has been studied repeatedly.

Shadding – It is normal for some unattached fibers to be present in new cut pile carpet. Their number is quite small compared to the total fiber content of the carpet and is inconsequential. Your regular vacuuming schedule will remove these without damage to the carpet

When developing the maintenance plan, keep in mind that one of the advantages of
Carpet, compared to hard surface floors, is that carpet will localize soil. Carpet has a tendency to catch and hold dirt and spills where they occur, instead of allowing them to spread quickly.
Your carpet will begin to get dirty the day it is installed; therefore your maintenance strategy needs to be in place from day one. This will help in keeping up with the abrasive dirt build-up, which is imperative.
Kitchen fumes in food service installations will contribute heavily to overall soiling.
Stains and spills in restaurants etc. are also naturally very common. Methodical implementation of your cleaning procedures and attending to these spills and the grease build-up as quickly as possible is essential.


Two elements essential to an efficient maintenance program include:
daily procedures encompassing regular vacuuming and spot cleaning, as well as the scheduled overall cleanings to remove discolouring grime and to refresh the pile.
Overall dirt not only causes discoloration, it presents another undesirable quality.
Carpet that is not cleaned and reconditioned regularly, no matter how regularly it is vacuumed, will tend to permanently crush and mat down. As the grease present in kitchen fumes or the pollutants in the air settle on the carpet, the pile yarns may become sticky enough to cling to each other and flatten out as the carpet it walked on. This matted carpet then appears to be worn, even if there is no real pile loss.
This loss of desirable appearance then results in the need to replace the carpet even though it is not worn out.


Preventive maintenance requires walk-off mats be used in all building entrances and the exit areas off kitchens to collect dirt before it reaches the carpet. These walk-off mats may be the stiff bristle type or made from pieces of the general carpet itself, designed to fit into the designed décor. There are a variety of types of mats on the market to choose from for commercial use.
A minimum of 5 feet of “mat” or walk off area should be used at the building entrances and kitchen exits. Optimum length is 6 – 13 feet if possible. It is desirable to have two sets of mats for each location because they receive a lot of abuse. One is in place while the other is being cleaned. The mats themselves should be vacuumed daily and cleaned and/or changed out at least every week.
If the carpet is in a restaurant, it is very important to keep the kitchen floor as clean as possible to minimize tracking the grease.


Vacuuming takes time and commitment, but is the most cost effective way of preserving your carpets appearance.



Identifying the stain and immediate action is paramount for successful removal.
Knowing what caused the stain up front, without guesswork, so treatment can begin immediately will save time and effort.
The longer the stain “sets”, the more difficult it is to remove. If the stain goes without attention for too long a period of time, it may react with the carpet dyes and cause permanent discoloration. An alert maintenance staff and a ready supply of cleaning supplies [ to include stain removal kits ] are very important to a good maintenance strategy. There are recommended spot and stain removal procedures for various fiber types.
In spot cleaning, a blotting action is strongly recommended as opposed to a brisk rubbing which may create a fuzzy after texture.
Specific Stain Removal recommendations can be found at


Cleaning carpet with harsh detergents can be of risk. The use of inappropriate agents may cause the colour of the carpet to bleed or become faded. Always, before using an untested detergent, test it first on a small inconspicuous part of the carpet to insure it will not affect the colour. When cleaning your adjacent hard surface floors, take extreme care not to spill or spray those cleaners on the carpet.
The best method is to test detergent solutions for the pH with a simple test kit that is available where aquarium or pool/spa supplies are sold.
Detergents, neutral or alkaline often leave a sticky residue that causes a rapid resoling situation on the face of the carpet. Better cleaners will dry to a crusty flake that can be vacuumed away easily. A quick preliminary test can be by setting equal amounts of the solution in a flat dish and allowing them to evaporate completely.
Check for residue with you finger. If it feels waxy or sticky, that cleaner has a high re-soiling potential and probably should be avoided.


Never double the concentration of the detergent to get twice the results! More is not always better. Greater concentrations of cleaning agents will step-up the resoiling time, produce less cleaning and waste of money.
If you do experience detergent residue buildup, a hot-water extraction cleaning with just water [no detergent] will be helpful. Approximately 2% of a mild acid, e.g. white vinegar, to water solution may also be helpful in breaking down the alkaline detergent buildup.
To eliminate this buildup, a plain water cleaning as described above should be part of the maintenance plan and be preformed in lieu of the detergent cleaning every 3rd or 4th cleaning.


Nylon- Man made fibres like Nylon are less moisture absorbent. Detergents that are alkaline, between 7.0 and 10.0 pH may cut grease and remove soil better on these man made fibers, but should also be tested on each color.
Wool and Wool Blends- Wool fibers may be cleaned using all cleaning methods, although excessive agitation and excessive heat should be avoided. Wool is easily damaged by bleaches and alkalis. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents (pH 5.0-8.0) and dried quickly to limit yellowing or browning.
Specialty Fibers
These fibers may be cleaned using minimal moisture and fast drying time. Excessive moisture or prolonged drying time will create physical and/or aesthetic problems that may not be correctable. Cleaning agents must have a pH in the 4.5-5.5 range.
As with any fiber/cleaning agent, pre-test an area to test for colourfastness.
While the rug is still damp, the rug must be groomed with a suitable grooming brush designed for carpets & rugs. Failure to groom the cleaned rug may result in an unacceptable appearance.

Cotton Bath Mats- Cotton Bath Mats are machine washable.


Should there be any hesitation or doubt in the abilities of the rug owner, the services of an IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restorative Certification) Certified Firm Employing Master Cleaning Technicians is highly recommended. Referrals can be located at


The following guidelines have been established by the IICRC [Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restorative Certification]. They are to serve as guidelines on recommended cleaning frequencies for carpet from a public health perspective in addition to a traditional aesthetic concern for appearance retention.




Professional Carpet


Traffic Soil


Spot Cleaning




<500 Foot
Traffics per

1 to 2 per

Daily or as
soon as spots
are noticed

1 to 3 Times

1 to 2 Times

500-1000 foot traffics per

Daily in traffic
areas Overall
3 to 4 X per

Daily or as
soon as spots
are noticed

3 to 6 Times

2 to 4 Times

foot traffics
per day

Daily in traffic
4 to 7 X per

Daily or as
soon as spots
are noticed

6 to 12 Times

3 to 6 Times

Very Heavy
>2500 foot
traffics per

1 to 2 X daily
in traffic areas
Overall 7 X per

Daily or as
soon as spots
are noticed

12 to 52 Times

6 to 12 Times


Note: Although these are generally followed traffic-rating guidelines, users of his information should be aware that the condition of every building differs in traffic, soiling rates and usage. Common sense, experience and good judgment help dictate the best carpet maintenance program. Each individual facility should be assessed based on use, climate and desired appearance level.


It is important in developing your regular maintenance schedule that qualified and experienced workers are implementing the program. Your frequency of cleaning will depend on the severity of the soiling based on foot traffics and how well you put preventative maintenance methods in place, e.g. walk-off mats etc. Some areas need a higher frequency than others such as entrances and main traffic aisles. These will be evident.

Some installations will be successful by employing a combination of cleaning methods to achieve the best results. This can be determined in your initial planning and review of your facility and its needs, proprietary to different areas of the installation.



It is common for carpet adjacent to the transition between hard-surface flooring and the carpet to soil more rapidly and be more difficult to clean. This is especially true at transitions from kitchen and food prep areas to carpeted areas. Walk-off mats should be strategically placed on the hard surface to attract the soil, minimizing soil transference to the carpet.

The cleaners for hard surfaces should not be used on carpet and extreme care should be taken not to spill or spray them, even inadvertently, on any carpet! This type of cleaner will usually have a high pH which may damage the carpet and in addition leave a residue on the carpet which will cause rapid re-soiling. If applied accidentally to the carpet it must be blotted with wet towels or wet sponge, immediately followed by blotting with dry towels to remove it entirely and repeating the process if necessary.


The Carpet & Rug Institute Wools of New Zealand Chemspec
Superior Rubber Mfg. [NO-TRAX]

Racine Industries [Host] Windsor Industries IICRC Honeywell
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