“I’m not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on.” Roseanne Barr
Carpet cleaners, as the name implies, are used to clean carpets and upholstery. While you can find a number of carpet cleaners and vacuum cleaners in a home appliance shop, these machines are often not powerful enough for the demanding carpet cleaning applications found in your pub. Search the Internet for carpet cleaners, will turn up a cornucopia results , added to this is that if you search for “hoovers” you will mostly be directed to Hoovers (the best known brand of vacuum cleaner).
So, how do you find a good and reliable carpet cleaner? Are there any short cuts? Generally not, but if you follow these guidelines and tips and use a bit of common sense, you can source the best carpet cleaner for your specific cleaning applications.
You need to find the right machine for the job in hand. For everyday cleaning of your carpets and upholstery you need a robust vacuum cleaner, for those times when the carpet or upholstery has become stained or generally dirty you will need a carpet cleaner.
For busy food establishments purchasing a manual carpet sweeper and making its use part of your food service will save considerable time and effort later and prolong the life of carpets (ground in food and crumbs will rapidly reduce their lifetime).
Vacuum cleaners rely on powerful motors and fans to suck dirt up into a bag or cyclone chamber and often come with a powered brush arrangement to beat the carpet as you clean. They come in three types, upright, cylinder and drum.
Carpet cleaners inject water (or a chemical mixture) into carpets and then use powerful vacuum extraction capabilities to extract out all water, solution, dirt, debris, and hardened deposits once stuck to carpet fibres.
Upright – as the name implies means the machine is operated in the vertical position being pushed/pulled in front of the operator – these can be dust bag (where all the sucked up dirt etc is collected in a removable bag or cyclone such as the Dyson and do not require a dust bag). These are generally harder to use on stairs.
Cylinder – the machine operates in the horizontal position and is pulled behind the operator – again cyclone and dust bag versions are available. Good for stairs but as the machine is often dragged behind the operator the main hose can be susceptible to damage.
Drum – this is where the motor and fans sit on top of a container – the most recognised brand is the ubiquitous “Henry” – and operates without the need for a dust bag as all the sucked up dirt is collected in the drum. Again, as it is often dragged around the main hose can become damaged.
Most machines will come with additional tools: crevice nozzle, extension pipes for high cleaning, soft brush, hard surface attachment
Some models come with reusable dust bags some come with disposable paper dust bags; the former need washing occasionally to maintain them (which can be messy and time consuming), the latter are wasteful and more prone to splitting (either in the machine or during disposal).
Your carpets and upholstery will literally suffer high footfall and you will need to maintain them and prolong their life so regular deep cleaning is essential. However as this is likely to be an annual event (or 18 months at a push) renting a carpet cleaner or carpet shampooing system is the best option. If time is at a premium, as it will be for many publicans, then sometimes hiring a professional carpet cleaning or carpet shampooing contractor may be the choice for you (especially if you have very large areas of carpet to maintain).
Higher pressure levels are ideal for more demanding applications, allowing users to more readily inject water and solution, if desired, deep into the root of carpet fibres. Higher pressure levels can reach deeper stains. The use of high temperature levels can also increase the power of a carpet cleaning device. Hot water or steam carpet cleaners more readily dissolve hardened deposits in carpets, allowing for easy extraction. Carpet cleaners come in both heated and non-heated variants the majority you are likely to rent will be cold water machines.
Low-flow technology is one of the latest innovations in this field. It mainly has three advantages. First, it does not waste much water. In fact, a good carpet cleaner is designed to keep water wastage to a minimum. Second, it allows for a faster drying time which is absolutely essential for carpets in pubs. The latest steam carpet cleaning systems allow for a drying time of as little as 2 hours. Third, these carpet cleaners do not leave enough time for mould or mildew to grow, as they dry quickly.
For the best results, many systems recommend pre-spraying carpets with a carpet cleaning solution and leaving for at least 15 minutes as this softens and dissolves stains, allowing for their ease of removal. “Green” or eco carpet cleaning solutions are best to use with carpet cleaner, as they are non-toxic and biodegradable making them safe for the environment and all users or people who come into contact with the carpeted surface.
Top Tips to prolong the life of your carpet and spot cleaning
Firstly entry mats at your front/back doors will take a great deal of the external dirt and muck that some customers bring in with them you can buy them and clean them yourself or rent them and have them cleaned for you.
Secondly (time permitting) if you clean up a spill or stain as soon after it occurs you will have more success in removing the stain. Save money by keeping a supply of old beer towels in your cleaning cupboard/store they can be washed out and reused.
Lastly the bane of all pubs, discarded chewing gum, ice placed directly on the gum or an aerosol chewing gum remover applied as early as possible will prevent those glossy black circles appearing on your carpets/ floors.