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Keep it Clean

It’s easier to keep a clean carpet clean than to clean a dirty carpet. That’s according to Mike Egerton, Managing Director of Host Von Schrader, who explains the best way to care for your carpets.

The most common remark from Cleaning Professionals when discussing carpets is that they don’t seem to be able to keep appearances at an acceptable standard and are having to replace them well ahead of schedule. This is particularly true in the case of heavy usage areas in hotels and shops, community centres and hospitals, or anywhere where large amounts of daily usage means dirt and soiling of carpets is unavoidable.

Carpet is a major asset but we often see this asset degrade all too quickly by poor maintenance programmes and techniques. Too many facilities adopt a rule that says “clean when dirty”. Our experience tells us that this could be a recipe for disaster; carpet will look progressively worse unless a regular programme is instituted and from a financial viewpoint this expensive asset will not last long.

Strategem is an overall carpet maintenance strategy, introduced by Host von Schrader, which recognises the performance characteristics of carpet and how it performs relative to soiling and cleaning, and then applies targeted solutions that deliver clean, good looking carpet that can be used throughout the day, every day — all at a very reasonable cost.


Strategem consists of five simple steps using Host’s Dry Extraction Cleaning System, which allows one of a building’s most valuable assets — carpet — to be kept looking its best every day, even in areas of heavy footfall. By using Strategem, businesses can prolong the life of their carpets, keeping it in use during busy daytime activity and cost effectively removing soiling in a targeted, controlled way.

How does Strategem achieve the look of new carpet every day? Firstly, keeping the dirt out of the building — 90% of the dirt that accumulates in the carpet comes in on people’s shoes and 85% of that dirt is dry and best removed by vacuuming. Strategem suggests that walk-off entrance mats or inserts are used to keep the dirt out. Then use the Host ExtractorVac to remove the dirt from the mats daily so that they can keep on working. Mats should be large enough so that the shoes are cleaned off as people enter the building. At least seven to 10 footsteps are required to clean the shoes properly.

Secondly, remove the dirt that accumulates in the carpet every day. Dirt will gather in the main traffic areas of the building – even if you can’t see

it, as carpet hides most of the dry dirt. Don’t be fooled, you must keep the soil from spreading. The most important areas in the building are the entrances, near lifts, and doorways inside the building and food service areas. This is where the dirt is heaviest, so it is best to remove it before it builds up. The majority of the dirt (85%) in the carpet is dry dirt and can be removed by Extractor Vacuuming. Strategem calls for daily Host Extractor Vacuuming of the most highly trafficked areas to remove the build up of dirt.

Thirdly, remove spots and spills every day. Strategem outlines the removal of spots and spills as they occur, and these can often be removed while Extractor Vacuuming the carpet by using the Host Dry Carpet Cleaner. Many of the spots will come out with a microfibre cloth moistened with water, or by using the Host Spot Remover.

The fourth step is to clean where people walk as needed. The oily, greasy, sticky dirt, which represents 15% of the dirt, and is also found in the main traffic areas. This is removed by using Host Dry Carpet Cleaner and the ExtractorVac. These areas are scheduled by Strategem for Host cleaning on a frequency based on the traffic flow in the building. This will

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