Rapid Re-Soiling After Carpet Cleaning: Janitorial Companies and Handymen

Well intentioned as they are, janitorial companies are not professional carpet cleaners.  In my 13 years of carpet cleaning I have cleaned up after hundreds of janitorial companies who wanted to make a little extra money from their clients by cleaning their carpets.  This is a sound idea for them as a business model, however it often ends up with them disappointing their clients.  The main reason is rapid re-soiling. 

Unfortunately, janitorial companies typically cause the carpet to get dirty faster after they clean for their clients, meaning that they need to be cleaned more frequently.

Here’s why:

  1. Professional carpet cleaning equipment is very expensive, so they often try to use equipment they already have to do the job (Floor buffers)
    1. Floor buffers can unravel the carpet fibers and loosen the nap of the fibers leaving more room for soil to penetrate the surface of the carpet.
      1. Floor buffers do not remove as much soil or even their own cleaning agents from the carpet; rather they push it down into the carpet.
  2. Janitorial companies may rent equipment to do the job, and the more they spend on the rental equipment, the less profit they make on the job.
  3. Rental equipment is abused over time. As a result it takes so long to properly extract the moisture that few are willing to spend the long hours or days it takes to get enough water out of the carpet.
    1. Carpet left too wet can be sloshy and take days to dry.
    2. The longer a carpet is left wet after cleaning, the more time spills have to wick up through the carpet.
    3. Moisture in the carpet can begin to reduce the carpet’s ability to resist re-soiling if left wet for days.
    4. Moisture left too long encourges mold and mildew growth deep in the carpet.
    5. Training, specific to carpet cleaning.
      1. Janitorial companies rarely pay above minimum wage and as a result their employees are not motivated to learn and execute alternative job skills to the ones that they already do.  This is not the fault of the janitorial companies.  There is just too little profit margin in that industry to pay any better.
      2. It takes many months of working with an expert in the carpet cleaning field to learn the proper ways to mix the cleaning agents and to identify potential problems.
      3. It takes a carpet cleaning business owner years to perfect what he or she teaches their employees and for janitorial companies and handymen, there isn’t a seasoned carpet cleaning expert to pass this knowledge on.
      4. Professional carpet cleaners stopped using oil based soap or “Shampoo” decades ago.  Janitorial companies and handymen have taken longer to catch on.

The bottom line is that when carpets need to be cleaned, especially in a commercial environment, a commercial carpet cleaning expert is necessary.  Janitorial companies and handymen can be wonderful at what they do but they are not professional carpet cleaners any more than plumbers, electricians, and ballet dancers are.  Ph. levels need to be balanced to prevent rapid re-soiling and equipment and personnel are key in making that happen.