Carpet – good for the health
There is constant discussion within the care industry as to whether carpets or hard flooring are more suitable to use.
Hard flooring is usually deemed to be more hygienic – in fact, given the nature of application, you could argue that the fight is over before it started.
That said, take out the carpet and the care home loses something of its lustre: those values of quality and comfort (and for that matter, improved acoustic performance) that managers strive to ensure for their residents’ comfort.
Yet both hard flooring and carpet have their place, not least because today’s floor care technology offers credible solutions for each.
So let’s big it up for carpet even if, yes, it takes a beating in care homes. From a high volume of footfall to the constant use of wheelchairs and hoists, not to mention the spills that impact on performance, carpet in care homes and hospitals needs to be maintained (if not deep cleaned) regularly.
Coffee and tea spills, trod-in food, sugars and oils within medicines, high-fat protein drinks, drops of oil from hoists and wheelchairs, as well as all other bodily fluids are the most common encountered in healthcare interiors.
Probably too many cleaners believe that carpet cleaning is all about the machine with perhaps too little thought given to what’s put in it.
And they race around leaving little time from when the detergent is sprayed down to when the machine extracts the moisture back: often not enough time for the cleaning detergent to release those tough spills.
As ever, some pre-planning makes the job easier. If the machine does not simply flush-out the spill, whatever it is, then it may benefit from some pre-treatment.
Two useful problem solvers are Prochem’s B144 Stain Pro and E840 Citrus Gel.
The former is a “protein-breaker” that is simply lightly sprayed onto the spills, left for two to five minutes, and then rinsed with the extraction machine or even blotted back with white absorbent paper roll.
It helps release the protein found in food, drink, blood, vomit and faeces from the carpet and makes it far easier to remove.
Citrus Gel does exactly the same but focuses on oil and sugar based spills; and being a citrus-based gel, it simply dissolves the oils and sugars before being rinsed or blotted away.
Another common problem is over-dispensing solution. A little can go a long way with contemporary chemicals.
There is a misapprehension that if a carpet is cleaned too often, it can become sticky and get dirtier quicker. This, however, is often caused by the over-use of detergent in the machine.
Always use the amount designated on the manufacturer’s label, by diluting correctly and do not simply glug the product into the machine and the carpet will be kept to a high level of appearance for longer and improve cost efficiencies in the process.
Of course, it is not always over-use of chemical. Using an unsuitable chemical, such as a high-alkali or hard surface detergent can exacerbate matters too, by leaving a residue on the fibres that once dried, can cause re-soiling.
In most care environments a specifically formulated acidic detergent in the machine is more suited to ensure that the carpet is left ‘rinsed’ and residue free.
Prochem has been supporting the care industry since its inception in 1974 with a wide range of task-specific solutions and systems to tackle carpet care.
A mainstay of the product range is B112 Neutra-Soft®. It’s been exclusively designed for this market and can be used firstly as an extraction cleaner via a carpet extraction machine; a urine contamination pre-treatment for neutralising those inevitable leaks, spills and malodours; a fresh deodoriser to please the nose; and finally, as a rinse agent to leave minimal residue.
The ultimate all-in-one solution, it makes life so much easier for the machine operative by removing the need for a carpet detergent, deodoriser and urine contamination treatment.
And the 11.3 litre capacity, Prochem Fivestar carpet extraction machine is ideal for care home use: it’s quiet and easy to manoeuvre and a 5 litre concentrate bottle of Neutra-Soft will provide up to 44 complete machine fills – that equates to just over 2p per litre in cleaning solution cost.
Prochem provides on-site product training and demonstrations to large care home groups, independent homes and private hospitals, and supplies products to healthcare environments across the country via its extensive distributor network.
Find out more about odour control and carpet cleaning in healthcare and more at prochem.co.uk/cleaning-technical-help-guides