CIE the commercial floor cleaning specialist
Along with a full range of contract cleaning services, CIE is a leading commercial floor cleaning company providing professional floor cleaning services. Working from local offices across the UK and around Europe, you can be sure that wherever you are – we can go to work for you. To find out more about our commercial floor cleaning services, get in touch with our team today.
- Everything you need to know about carpet cleaning
- Your carpet cleaning options explained
- Everything you need to know about hardwood floor cleaning
- Floor Care for Concrete, Tiles and other Hard Surfaces
- Your floor cleaning questions answered
Flooring is the main surface in any premises that is in constant use and taking care of it is a job that never ends. That’s why many businesses hand floor-care responsibilities over to the professionals.
London’s largest hotel The Royal National has a total meeting space area of 16,813 sq. ft and 1,630 guest rooms. Imagine how much floor space that is when you take into account the other facilities and corridors too.
In this guide to commercial floor cleaning, we draw on our professional experience to pass on some tips and tricks learnt over many years in the commercial cleaning business and also bring you right up to date with the latest thinking on cleaning all of the main flooring types and surfaces.
In this blog post we are covering:
- Carpet cleaning services and how often should you have carpet professionally cleaned. We will also provide all the information you need to make sure you are doing everything you can to keep carpets clean and hygienic in between visits from the professionals.
- Cleaning and caring for hardwood flooring including why choose professional wood floor cleaning, the best equipment for hard floor cleaning and care, plus some essential tips and tricks to keep your hardwood floor looking fantastic
- Tiled floor cleaning and hard floor cleaning: the most effective daily routines, for cleaning those hard to reach areas and the best cleaning solutions and cleaning equipment for tiled and hard floor finishes.
Everything you need to know about carpet cleaning
Whether it’s carpet cleaning for offices, carpet cleaning for hotels and leisure or even carpet cleaning in the home, find out everything you need to know about keeping your carpets clean.
Does professional carpet cleaning make a difference?
For many businesses with a large floor space to cover, carpets are a major investment. Of course, good quality, hard-wearing carpet is a must for areas with high foot traffic, but it also comes at a price. Looking after your carper is essential.
This is why both your carpet cleaning regime and that of your contract cleaners, should be aimed at not just cleanliness but also preventing the type of wear and tear brought about by a lack of attention to carpet deep cleaning. There is a common misconception that regular vacuuming is all that is needed but to stay on top you need to go deeper on a regular basis.
In a commercial environment unclean carpets can affect your indoor air quality. They can absorb many contaminants including bacteria and germs that could be harmful to health.
What are the main benefits of regular professional carpet cleaning?
- Health and hygiene: Deep cleaning removes the bacteria and allergens and mould that accumulate in the fibres of your carpet and may cause a health hazard. Particularly for those that develop respiratory problems or are susceptible to allergies. Regular cleaning promotes a healthier environment which is always a good thing when you are providing hospitality services in hotels, bars and restaurants. If you are starting to detect odours and musty smells, they are most likely coming from your carpets.
- Extending the lifecycle of your carpets: We have already discussed the fact that carpeting large areas can be a budget buster. So having made the financial commitment, making sure you get the most out of them is important. Ingrained dirt, grit and small stones left unattended will wear away the pile of your carpets. You may start to notice that high footfall areas take on a darker tinge that if left unchecked, becomes much harder to get rid of
- Enhance your business: If members of the public, clients and guests regularly visit your business you want it to look cared for and fresh. Tardy standards of cleanliness often indicate a tardy business. Walking into premises where the carpets look great and the air smells fresh creates the right impression and builds trust for your business and your brand.
5 Top tips for keeping your carpets looking great
1. Prevent dirt and grime from entering the premises.
The best way of preventing dirt from being trodden into your carpets is to encourage people to remove it from their shoes before entering your premises. An effective foot wiping mat or grid that covers the complete entranceway along with a polite sign asking people to wipe their feet before entering goes a long way.
2. Cover high footfall areas
Positioning furniture to direct people through high footfall areas works well when coupled with the use of floor coverings such as floor mats and rugs. These offer the carpeting some essential protection. Choosing the right carpet for high traffic areas can make a difference too. There are some hard-wearing carpets specially made for this purpose.
3. Vacuum Regularly
Vacuuming regularly is essential to remove dirt, grit and small stones that will undoubtedly shorten the life of your carpet by cutting away at the pile. Daily vacuuming really does make a difference and the importance cannot be overstated.
You should make sure that your vacuum cleaner is a top-quality machine and if possible uses high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering. HEPA is a type of filter that can trap the very small particles that other vacuum cleaners would simply recirculate back into the air only to eventually settle back onto the carpet.
4. Clean up spills instantly
It is inevitable that spills will occur and taking quick action to clean them up will guard against your carpets becoming stained and smelling unpleasant. When it comes to stains, time is of the essence. Fortunately, many of the potential spills are likely to be water-soluble. Berry/fruit juice, alcohol, mud and urine/faeces can all be diluted with water. The trick is to dilute the spill and then dab rather than rub. Rubbing tends to just push the spillage deeper into the carpet. Having dampened, diluted and dabbed, try using a medium-hot iron and a damp cloth for a spot of localised steam cleaning.
5. Use professional carpet cleaning services
Around 25% of the dirt and grime absorbed by a carpet is left behind after even the most thorough vacuum cleaning regimes. A good commercial cleaning service will have the specialist knowledge and equipment to take care of the rest. The frequency needed will depend on the type of carpet and the level of footfall.
At the very least you should consider a monthly deep clean for your carpets. A professional cleaning contractor will advise on this. Modern carpet deep cleaning methods include dry cleaning, steam cleaning and even low moisture steam cleaning that leaves your carpets ready to walk on almost immediately. Low moisture carpet cleaning is particularly useful in places like hotels where preventing people from walking over freshly cleaned carpets is just about impossible.
A commercial carpet cleaning company will normally use a much more powerful machine than you can rent or buy and produce a superior result in much less time. Engaging with a cleaning company frees up resources that you can use elsewhere in your business and may even turn out to be the cheaper option.
Your carpet cleaning options explained
Dry cleaning is the best option when due to the nature of your business, it is not possible to allow carpets sufficient drying time often needed after steam cleaning. Carpets can take up to 24 hours to dry after normal steam cleaning and walking on them during this time should be discouraged. This is why professional carpet cleaners offer low-moisture and moisture-less options.
Cleaning compounds are sprinkled into the carpet and left for a period of time. They go to work to dilute stains, dislodge debris and deal with any unpleasant odours. A good commercial cleaning company will use dry cleaning compounds that are safe for health and the environment as well as powerful machines with specialist filtration that make the best of the limitations of dry cleaning.
Steam cleaning is perhaps the most effective carpet cleaning system available. Hot water in the form of steam is injected deep into the carpet under high pressure. When you have a thick pile carpet, steam cleaning gets to those deep layers that often remain untouched by normal vacuuming; which is why it is the most effective way of typically dealing with stains and debris deep within the carpet.
Occasional shampooing can also be used once or twice a year alongside steam cleaning in order to eliminate to provide the ultimate deep clean for your carpets.
Everything you need to know about hardwood floor cleaning
When kept in good clean condition, a well looked after hardwood floor is a beautiful thing. Taking care of the surface of a hardwood floor is all about frequent and yet gentle cleaning. Running a vacuum cleaner over a hardwood floor is not likely to be the best option.
The cleaning method used depends a lot less on the type of wood and more about the treatment that has been applied to it to preserve it. There are two main ways of preserving wood flooring:
1. Surface Finishing
Using this method surface finishes such as urethane and polyurethane are used to form a protective, waterproof barrier on the hardwood floor. This barrier stops liquids from seeping into the wood and staining or damaging it. This allows commercial cleaners to use environmentally friendly water-based cleaners without fear of penetration as well as use wet mopping as part of the daily cleaning regime.
2. Penetrating Finishes
Pure oils like linseed, tung or walnut oil are soaked through the surface of hardwood floors and then in many cases topped with a wax coat for added protection. Being water-absorbent, penetrating finishes that are allowed to absorb water can eventually suffer from warping, staining and even rotting. Commercial cleaners will use solvent-based cleaning products as opposed to water-based on these finishes.
Wood floor cleaning techniques
As with all floor care, frequency of cleaning is the key to maintaining a hardwood floor. Daily and even twice daily cleaning will keep a hardwood floor looking good.
Using methods that treat the floor gently stops the floor from being damaged by the cleaning process is important.
- Vacuuming: As mentioned previously, vacuuming is not the kindest option for wood floors and should be kept to a minimum. A weekly vacuum ought to be sufficient in normal circumstances but take care that a soft brush attachment is used on the vacuum cleaner.
- Sweeping and dry mopping: For wood flooring, you need a broom with soft bristles that will capture the fine dust that accumulates on them. Fine bristles will also get down into the gaps between floorboards to dislodge the dirt and dust that settles there.
Floorcare experts prefer using a dry dust mop for sweeping. Microfibre is a great choice because it traps fine dust and pet hair. With more than 200,000 fibres in every square inch, microfibre generates a positive electrical charge that attracts dust and dirt much like a magnet. Drawing it up from the gaps.
We feature microfibre in our guide to green cleaning because it can clean thoroughly without the use of water and chemicals and with a quick wash, it is ready to be reused. This makes it incredibly eco-friendly
- Wet mopping: Whilst being an effective method of cleaning a wood floor, great care should be taken in making sure that it is only used on flooring with a surface finish. Also, a wet mop would not be used in the same way that it might for a hard or tiles surface. The mop should have excess water squeezed out until it is barely more than damp.
* Top Tip* Hardwood floor care is about more than just about cleaning. Use of strategically placed mats and rugs as well as using rubber protection caps on the base of furniture legs will keep gouging and scratches to a minimum.
Floor Care for Concrete, Tiles and other Hard Surfaces
Hard floor surfaces vary widely and include a range of different materials:
- Concrete and polished concrete
- Natural stones like marble, granite and limestone
Concrete Floor Care
Although tough and hard-wearing, keeping a concrete or polished concrete floor clean requires a gentler cleaning process than you would imagine. Great care should be taken over the detergents and the methods used.
Routine maintenance for polished floors consists of daily dust mopping to remove accumulated dirt and grime that can abrade the surface of polished concrete. Frequent wet mopping with clean water is also recommended. Adding a small amount of white vinegar to warm water will dilute tough spills like grease and oil.
Neutral-ph cleaners are recommended for use on polished concrete while cleaners that are too acidic or too alkaline will cause deterioration if used too often.
Power washers and commercial floor scrubbers can be used safely on concrete. A floor scrubber starts by spraying liquid cleaner onto the floor. A rotating head then scrubs the floor followed by the dirty water being suctioned back into the machine.
Natural Stone Floor Cleaning
The most common natural stone floors are either granite or marble. Knowing which you are dealing with is important because they have different properties and need to be treated differently during the cleaning process.
Cleaning Marble Floors
Marble is a calcareous stone and highly sensitive to any acidic cleaning agents. Using acidic cleansers will result in the creation of dull spots and blemishes. You should also stay away from dry or abrasive cleaning agents and wherever possible avoid vacuuming.
The first step is to go over the floor with a dry dust mop with a microfibre pad fitted. Then wet the surface with clean water using a wrung out mop. What you should not do is thoroughly soak the floor. Then apply a pH-neutral soap-based marble cleaning solution using a soft mop. Finally, thoroughly rinse with clean water. Use distilled water if you can. Use a soft cloth to dry the floor and you are done.
Cleaning Granite floors
Granite on the other hand is a siliceous stone which means that it is better able to handle acidic liquids. Again, you need to steer clear of abrasive or dry cleaning compounds. Making up your own granite cleaner is simple, more environmentally friendly and can save you money.
Making your own granite cleaner
Pour half a cup of rubbing alcohol along with half a teaspoon of washing up liquid into a spray bottle. Dilute with a cup and half of warm water and give the mixture a good shake up. This gives you a combination of disinfecting from the alcohol along with the degreasing properties of the washing up liquid.
First use a dry microfibre mop to take care of the build up of dust and dirt. Set your spray bottle to fine mist and spray your cleaning solution across your granite floor. Use a damp wrung-out mop to clean the floor and then dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Tiled Floors
Ceramic and porcelain tile floors are durable and low maintenance. Bleaches and acidic cleaners are no problem for this flooring. Often used in non public-facing areas such as kitchens and bathrooms the important aspect of keeping them clean is regular sweeping and mopping that gets into those hard to reach corners.
Most tiles are not completely smooth and you also have the grouted joints to contend with. One of the best methods of carrying out that all important occasional deep clean is steam cleaning. You might use a specialist steam mop to force hot steam into those porous surfaces and grout lines to dislodge dirt and grime that builds up there.
The trick to cleaning all hard flooring is frequency. Working out your daily schedule and when to carry out those important deeper cleans is going to make sure that your hard flooring preserves well and looks great.
Your floor cleaning questions answered
When you need professional floor cleaning services backed by a solid and reliable cleaning contractor, CIE operates from local offices across the UK and Europe. Contact Us for a free cleaning assesment for your business.
If you have any questions about any aspect of floor care we have experts available to answer your questions. Submit your commercial floor cleaning question using the form below and we will get back to you with an answer.