The main job of carpet cleaning is to remove soils from carpets. There are typically a number of different types of soils and contaminants found in carpets.
Up to 80 percent of these soils are deposited onto carpets from the shoe bottoms of people walking into the building.
The following are the top ten soils most often encountered in carpets:
1. Sand, clay, and other “gritty” materials
2. Natural fibers such as lint from clothing
4. Petroleum, oil, and grease
5. Human hair and skin
6. Dust mites, fleas, and other insects
7. Organic soils and materials (minerals and soils from landscaping areas, for example)
8. Airborne carbon and automotive exhaust
9. Spilled food or beverages
10. “miscellaneous unknowns”
The gritty soils are the most harmful to carpet. They act as tiny razors, gouging and scratching carpet fibers as your shoes grind them into the carpet. Fortunately, they can usually be removed using the hot-water extraction method of carpet cleaning, protecting the health and life of the carpet. Unfortunately, once the carpet fibers are scratched and dulled by these soils, the effect is irreversible. The carpet may be clean, but these traffic areas will always look dull.
So the moral of this story? Don’t wear your street shoes in your home! Wear slippers or socks and your carpet will last years longer!