Ah, rugs. They really bring a room together – especially in one with hard floors. And offices seem to be leaning towards hard floors more and more these days, typically those in newer purpose-built commercial spaces.
Rugs are great. No, seriously! They make a space feel cosy and homely, and add much needed comfort to an otherwise harsh floor. They absorb a lot of the high frequency sounds reflected by hard floors, which can make a massive difference to people’s focus and acoustic comfort. They’re also pretty cheap when compared with a full carpet – and can be changed much more easily, too.
But with employees constantly coming and going, office rugs get quite a lot of abuse. When the rains start falling and the weather turns, a clean rug can become a distant memory. All that grime looks bad, and can even contribute to illnesses – so cleaning office rugs shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Let’s go over the basics of office rug care, how to clean office rugs, and when to know it’s time to call in the professionals…
Day-to-day rug care
Before delving into the specifics of office rug cleaning, let’s discuss some day-to-day maintenance for your office rugs – with some top tips for the dreaded vacuum cleaner suck!
Give them a regular vacuuming
Regular vacuuming is the cornerstone of rug maintenance. It helps to remove all the dirt, dust and muck that accumulate on the surface – but preventing the rug from getting chewed up by vacuum cleaners is another story…
If you’ve ever tried hoovering a rug yourself, you’ll know. Even the weakest vacuum cleaner’s suction manages to lift the edges, making cleaning tricky. And if you have one of those rotary-headed pet hair ones, tasselled and high pile rugs invariably get chewed up beyond all recognition.
The secret to effortless rug vacuuming? Commercial vacuum cleaners – which usually have multiple settings for different textures and lengths of pile. If you have one, set the head higher, and things should feel much easier!
If not, don’t worry. Here are a few tips:
1. Remove the rotary tool
If your vacuum cleaner has a rotary head, like some Dysons and Sharks do, use a plain fixture instead. This is particularly useful on rugs with tassels at the ends.
2. Try to vacuum away from your body
Most of your suction, chewing and lifting problems can be solved by vacuuming in an outward motion.
Stand with one foot at the edge of the rug, and vacuum outwards, stepping out with the other. Instead of drawing the vacuum back (which will cause lifting), continue over the edge and repeat from the other end.
3. Use a beater
If none of that takes your fancy, just beat it! Take the rug outside, hang it up, and whack it with a beater (cricket bats work nicely, too). This does wonders for removing dirt and dust, and is more effective than vacuuming in some ways. Just be careful you don’t damage the rug, yourself, or anyone else!
Protect the most used areas
To reduce the wear and tear on your office rugs, you could put down rug protectors. These protective plastic coverings definitely make cleaning easier, and can prolong the lifespan of your rugs – but they tend to look a bit naff, and kind of undo all the good your rug was doing in the first place. They might work seasonally, when the weather would otherwise make your rugs a soggy mess!
How to deep clean a rug
Day to day care and regular vacuuming alone are not enough to keep your office rugs in peak condition. Over time, dirt, stains and smells can build up. And when they do, it’s time for a more thorough cleaning.
Before deep cleaning, you need to know the material of your rug. Common materials include wool, synthetic fibres (like nylon and polyester) and blends. Each material has its own cleaning requirements, and you can find out more by looking at the rug’s label.
Woollen rugs and carpets are soft and very hard wearing, but they need gentle care. It’s advisable to consult a commercial carpet cleaning service, especially for deep cleaning. Wool is sensitive to harsh chemicals and excessive moisture, and can become misshapen with heat.
Synthetic rugs, on the other hand, are way more forgiving. They can often be cleaned effectively using DIY methods, depending on how dirty and stained they’ve become. One way to do this is with a wet/dry vac and some carpet shampoo – but be careful to only clean with products that are suited to the material of your rug. Again, if in doubt, consult the rug’s label.
Step 1: Preparation
Thoroughly vacuum (or beat) the rug to remove surface dirt and dust. Prepare the carpet shampoo by following the instructions on the label.
Step 2: Testing, testing…
Before applying the shampoo to the entire rug, do a little spot test in an inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t cause discoloration or damage.
Step 3: Lather up
Gently apply the shampoo to the rug’s surface using a scrubbing brush. Work the shampoo into the rug with a scrubbing motion. Pay extra attention to stained or soiled areas.
Step 4: Rinse
Rinse the rug thoroughly with clean water to remove all traces of shampoo. Do your best not to oversaturate the rug with moisture – too much water can make it hard for the wet/dry vac to work, and will lead to issues like mould and mildew. A squeegee is useful for pushing out the excess water.
Step 5: Drying
Use a wet/dry vac to suck out any remaining water, then let the rug air dry fully before putting it back in the office.
Professional rug cleaning
Of course, you could use a professional commercial cleaning service to do all of this for you – and that should certainly be your choice for heavily soiled or delicate rugs. Those situations need expertise, equipment and experience. And at The Abbey Cleaning Service, we’ve got all three.
Carpet and rug cleaning for commercial clients
The Abbey Cleaning Service is a team of professional office cleaners in Cardiff. We’re well-equipped and skilled in office carpet cleaning, including rugs.
Call 029 2067 9323 today, to find out how we clean office rugs and keep your carpets fresh, without disrupting your work.