Most Carpet Cleaning Creates a Breeding Ground for Bacteria – How to Clean for Health

Standard carpet cleaning methods promote growth of bacteria – and shorten carpet life
By Mike Nemee, Executive Director at NEx Viro Disinfection Services (image - Courtesy CDC & NIAID - MERS-Coronavirus cell growth)

In the age of Covid-19, facility maintenance practices are getting new scrutiny as building owners and facility managers try to carefully think through how to maintain a safe workspace for customers and workers. The vast majority of pathogens present in most buildings are in the carpet. Because of this, many facility managers have stepped up the frequency of carpet and upholstery cleaning in an attempt to keep their buildings free of viruses and bacteria.

Unfortunately, this extra cleaning may be causing more problems than it solves.

Carpets, upholstery and soft wall coverings are textiles, which are porous in nature. When left untreated their fibres will draw moisture (and anything attached to that moisture) into themselves. This can be soil, dirt, beverages or food which, when combined with moisture, creates the perfect natural environment for the growth of bio contaminants.

Most facility managers assume that the best way to resolve this is to clean their carpets more often, but that typically makes the problem worse. The reason is that mainstream carpet cleaning methods use water and detergent as their primary means of removing dirt from carpet fibres. But as we already said, fibres that are untreated absorb moisture (and anything that sticks to the water molecules is also absorbed). So immediately after your carpets are cleaned they may look great, but because they are left wet, they are immediately susceptible to the growth of bacteria, mold and fungus.

Everybody knows that the best way of growing bacteria is to provide a warm, moist environment with organic material to feed on. Mainstream hot water extraction of carpet produces exactly this environment, turning spills, food and soil into food for new colony-forming units of bacteria to grow within the cozy warmth of carpet fibers. Standard carpet cleaning processes in effect create the perfect breeding ground for pathogens.

Cleaning for Health

Thirty years ago NEx Systems created and patented a new dry cleaning process for cleaning textiles. Since that time, we’ve also created our own exclusive, all-natural, non-toxic and environmentally safe cleaning products that use enzymes rather than chemicals to kill up to 99% of bio contaminants in textiles and leave carpets and upholstery dry and looking like new. And because our process is not water-based, not only do your textiles stay pathogen-free longer, but visible stains and traffic lines are eliminated and don’t reappear again.

How do we know that your carpets are actually free of bacteria, mold and fungus? We test and measure after each restoration service that we do. Two types of surface testing are available: an on-site ATP test provides overall surface contaminant counts within 15 seconds, or an Agar test provides detailed contaminant analysis, but must be performed off-site and takes a few days for results. Both types of testing are typically performed before and after our service to provide comprehensive proof of your investment in worker and tenant safety.

On-site testing ensures your safety

If you want to see a demo of how the NEx cleaning and testing system differs from what anyone else is doing in our industry, check out this video

Use the "Got a Question" button at the top to set up a demo at your building

We can also send you our textile cleaning kit which is a hand-applied sample of our process. It is reusable, recyclable, environmentally friendly and uses all-natural ingredients like pure citrus extract. See for yourself how our process emulsifies spots and stains and removes them from your textile surface.

Use the "Got a Question" button at the top to request a sample textile cleaning kit

Interested in Fiber Treatment and Maintenance?

Once your carpet and upholstery is looking like new again – or if you’ve just installed new carpet and want to keep it looking that way – NEx can also provide high-durability textile treatments that coat the fibres, protecting them from oil and water absorption while maintaining their soft look and feel. Just like our cleaning products, our treatments are all natural, hypoallergenic and contain no VOCs or other harmful chemicals. These treatments typically cost less than 8% of the cost of replacing your carpets and by adding years of life to your textiles, it’s a clear value to drive cost of ownership lower for facility managers. Once treated, maintenance becomes a simple matter of periodic testing and reapplication of treatments if needed.

Use the "Got a Question" button at the top to learn more or see a demo.

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