people walking on carpet in commercial building

5 Signs Your Carpet Isn’t as Clean as You Think

We’re all guilty of looking at a stain-free carpet and assuming it’s perfectly clean. Especially in office spaces or commercial buildings, a carpet that looks hygienic is usually enough to justify putting off a deep clean for another few months.

Your carpet may look clean… but is it really?

Carpet is a collector of stuff. It can contain a lot of dirt and debris and still look clean on the surface. That’s because most dirt falls to the base of the carpet, where the fibers are connected to the matting. So, just because a carpet looks clean doesn’t mean it is.

To make matters even worse, most vacuums, especially backpack vacuums, lack the power to remove more than surface dirt and dust. Leaving all the other stuff trapped in the carpet fibers that accelerate wear and shorten its lifespan.

The good news is, with the right level of care, everything from dust particles to mold can be kept to a minimum. But just how confident are you that you’re taking the right approach to your carpet’s care?

While there’s no shame in admitting you might need to reevaluate how often your carpet gets cleaned, now is certainly the best time to do it. Not only can better carpet care help improve the cleanliness of your carpet, but it can also help prolong its lifespan and save you money!

Here are 5 signs your carpet might not be as clean as you think!

1. You’re judging your carpet’s cleanliness by looks alone

According to The Carpet and Rug Institute, one square foot of carpet can contain up to one pound of dirt before it becomes visible. With that in mind, it’s essential to understand that just because a carpet looks clean doesn’t always mean it is.

Even relatively new and stain-free carpets can hide some secrets, so be aware before assuming your carpet is free from dirt or other unwanted particles. As great as carpet is for absorbing sound and providing a softer alternative to hard flooring, there’s no doubt it requires some maintenance!

Soil and wastewater from “clean” looking carpet

Soil and wastewater from “clean” looking carpet

Here are some of what's hiding deep within your carpet fibers:

  • Bacteria and germs
  • Mold
  • Allergens, e.g., dust mites and pollen
  • Dirt tracked in from the outside
  • Insects and insect carcasses
  • Dead skin cells
  • Feces

So, before putting off that carpet cleaning appointment because of what you can see at the surface level — dig a little deeper! You may have become blind to the subtle darkening of the carpet over time. Try moving a filing cabinet to see what the carpet looked like when it was new.

2. Your carpet is located in a high-traffic area

Shoes and gravity are the worst offenders when it comes to indoor surface care. The high traction soles that keep you from slipping can track many unwanted items into your building, no matter how low or high the traffic load.

It would be great if everyone could leave their shoes at the front door, but that is not going to work in the US, so we need to focus on cleaning up what is tracked in and dropped on the floor.

Here are some tips you can use to help keep your office carpets more hygienic:

  • Use entryway mats and runners in areas where people enter from the outside — this creates a kind of ‘buffer’ to avoid heavy dirt reaching your more permanent carpets. These are easily cleaned and replaced.
  • Place signs in entryways asking visitors to wipe their feet — after all, it’s just good manners!
  • Don’t use carpet in areas such as office kitchens or areas prone to drops, spills, and leaks.
  • Encourage staff to report spills to the janitorial crew as soon as possible — soaked in spills can attract more dirt.

3. Your carpets appear darker in color

Out of all the corporate carpets we clean, it often takes the most amount of time to clean carpets that are dark in color. Think about it: how often have you spilled coffee or food on a dark carpet but not been able to identify where the spill landed? No harm, no foul, right?

In our experience, this often happens in office environments where these spills are left for cleaners to magically detect. The truth is, even the most professional cleaners won’t be able to spot dried stains or food particles on dark carpets — allowing mold and other bacteria to thrive!

So trust us, even if you think your dark carpets look in great shape, you’d be surprised by what a deep clean will uncover.

4. Some of your employees are suffering from allergies

Are there complaints of pollen or dust allergies? Unfortunately, your office carpet might be a contributing factor.

A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health states that higher concentrations of allergens were consistently found in carpets compared with smooth floors.

While this is no surprise considering carpet is made from textiles that love to trap allergens such as dust mites, the impact your carpet could have on your employees' health requires immediate action.

To help:

  • Ensure your office carpets are vacuumed daily with quality equipment.
  • Keep up with professional deep cleaning appointments (it may be a good idea to schedule them seasonally).
  • Ensure office spaces are well-ventilated.
  • Provide staff members with cleaning cloth to wipe down their desks and workspace daily.

5. You haven’t had your carpets deep-cleaned in a while

As most people know, carpets located in areas with any kind of footfall will require daily vacuuming. However, to be truly effective, you will require a strong vacuum with special attachments for reaching deep into the carpet and along the edges (an area people often overlook the importance of!).

On top of this, it’s recommended that all carpets in a commercial building should be deep-cleaned at least once a year. For areas with particularly heavy traffic, this can increase to once every 3-6 months.

If you’re unsure how often your office, school, or commercial building needs its carpets cleaned, a professional cleaning service can advise you further.

Corporate Care can help!

At Corporate Care, we offer customized carpet cleaning programs to match the exact needs of your private, public, or commercial building. With packages to ensure your carpet cleaning routine never misses a step (literally!), we can help ensure your carpets are clean all the time.

In addition to carpet maintenance, we can also combine our services to deliver a periodic cleaning program that meets the needs of all of your surfaces, carpet, tile, stone, terrazzo, concrete, and wood. From floor restoration to water damage remediation services, our expertise in corporate cleaning knows no limits.

Our CareTeam will work with the facility or property manager to create a program that will proactively take care of all of your surfaces. We provide total transparency and reporting to track and optimize performance.

To find out more, you can contact us today for a quote or to arrange a special package to match your corporate requirements.


About Corporate Care – A sustainability company

Corporate Care exists to improve the appearance, performance, and longevity of every surface in the commercial buildings you manage – reducing capital expenditures, stress, and management burden on facility managers from coast to coast.

As true surface care experts, we understand the unique properties and cleaning protocols every surface needs (or doesn’t) to look amazing and comply with manufacturer warranties. We’re here to support your existing janitorial crew with cadenced deep restorative cleaning and tailored maintenance protocols – performed by IICRC®-certified cleaning technicians.

We are firm believers in restoration over replacement. Let’s reduce waste together!