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Carpet Cleaning
Q. How can I locate a certified professional cleaner?
A. Certified professionals can be found by visiting ICRA, is a nonprofit organization of cleaning, Restoration and Inspection firms. It is comprised of 6 trade associations, including CRA, MCRA, MSPCA, PACR, and SCRT.
Q. During the extraction process, is it better to pre-spray the cleaning solution or use the solution in the tank of the extractor?
A. Pre-spraying the carpet is recommended over using in-tank solutions. By pre-spraying, agitating the cleaning solution into the fiber, then rinsing with plain hot water there is less chance of leaving behind cleaning residues that will attract soil.
Q. I have some of the Caress soft carpet. What vacuums do you recommend for this carpet?
A. The list of recommended vacuums can be found by visiting the following web-site.
Q. I have a commercial carpet, how can I extend the time between deep cleaning hot-water extractions?
A. The encapsulation process can be used as an interim “appearance improvement” method to lengthen time between deep cleaning extractions. In this process you would thoroughly pre-vacuum, then pre-spray the encapsulation cleaner, then agitate with a counter-rotating brush machine. After the encapsulate dries, usually in 20-30 minutes you can vacuum away the remaining “encapsulated” soil particles. This method is not intended to replace hot water extraction and it is recommended that you extract after every 3-4 encapsulations.
Q. Are there after-market soil protections that can be applied and how often should they be applied?
A. Soil protection is applied during the manufacturing process. This protection will dissipate with foot-traffics and cleanings but will take some time. It is not necessary to add after-market treatments for some time, however once these treatments are applied they too will dissipate after cleanings and will need to be re-applied periodically. We recommend Dupont formulations of after-treatment.
Q. My carpet was soaked due to a flood, what are my options?
A. Carpet should be professionally extracted & dryers setup and running within 12 to 24 hours. It’s best to use a professional that is trained in water restoration in order to ensure carpet, pad & sub-floor is completely dried within 12 to 24 hours to prevent mold. If the carpet is contaminated with sewage, it is recommended to properly dispose of carpet and pad. Flooded carpet is an insurance matter.
Q. How often should my carpet be cleaned?
A. Residential carpet should be cleaned at least once every 12-18 months. This frequency depends on factors such as traffic, frequency of vacuuming, having pets and even the color of the carpet (light/dark). When all else fails, check your warranty.
Q. What is the recommended method of deep-cleaning?
A. Hot-water extraction is the preferred method of deep-cleaning. This method best removes deeply embedded soils and is recommended by most carpet manufacturer’s warranties.
Q. In a commercial setting, what is the recommended length of appropriate walk-off matting?
A. 12-15 feet of matting is recommended to remove soil from shoes before entering a facility. Outdoor matting should be made of a course material designed to scrape away loose soils. Indoor matting will be more for absorbing moisture.
Q. Bleach was accidentally spilled on my carpet and it is now discolored (color removed). Can it be corrected?
A. Carpet that has been discolored after coming into contact with bleach can be corrected. It can be plugged by a certified Repair and Re-installation Specialist or spot-dyed by a Color Repair Specialist. One can be found in your area by visiting
Q. What is the difference between a spot and a stain?
A. A spot adds substance to the carpet (examples: salsa, oatmeal). A stain adds color to the carpet (examples: coffee, red juices). Spots are usually easily removed, while stains may require special attention or chemistry to remove.
Q. Can I clean my carpet using the bonnet method?
A. There are several problems associated with the bonnet method. The absorbent pad has limited ability to pick up soil and what little that is removed is just from the surface. As the pad becomes saturated with surface soil, it loses its ability to pick up the more deeply imbedded soils; much like a clogged hose of a vacuum cleaner diminishes the efficiency of the vacuum. There is no extraction of deeper soiling and the soil is forced deeper into the carpet where over time it can actually damage the carpet fibers.
Q. How do I know what kind of vacuum to purchase?
A. Shaw recommends vacuum cleaners that are in the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval program.  The complete listing can be found at
Q. Why is there soiling or darker areas around the edges of my carpet or near air ducts?
A. Carpets may show increased soiling around the edges of a room, under doors and near air ducts. This is called soil filtration or fogging and is caused by the carpet’s pile fibers filtering out dirt particles from the air blowing under skirting boards or doors, or from air ducts. Most cleaning professionals can clean these areas with the proper methods.
Resilient Cleaning
Q. What color pads should I use when cleaning or stripping?
A. As a rule of thumb, the darker the pad, the more aggressive it is. We do not recommend using brown or black pads on our resilient floors. Typically a white or red pad is sufficient for buffing/cleaning.
Q. What can I do if I have scratch in my resilient floor?
A. The appearance of minimal scratches may be improved by simply buffing the area. Some deeper scratches can be filled in with floor finish; however this may change the maintenance program. If you have a tile or plank installation it may require individual replacement of affected tiles/planks.
Q. What can I do to clean/remove scuffs?
A. Cleaning with an auto-scrubber or spray buffer (175 rpm) with a red pad will remove scuff marks. Agitation is key. Also for random scuff removal, a tennis ball placed on the end of a stick such as broom handle can be used. This allows you to remove scuffs in small areas from a standing position.
Q. What cleaning solutions do you recommend?
A. Neutral cleaners are recommended for general cleaning. (Examples: Diversey’s Stride or Prominence or Shaw’s Hard Surface Cleaner) For spray/buffing, Diversey’s Snapback is also recommended.
Q. Who would I contact for cleaning solutions?
A. Contact Diversey @ 1-800-558-2332 or Shield Industries for Shaw’s Hard Surface Cleaner @ 1-877-209-7309.
Q. How can I remove oil or grease from my flooring?
A. Isopropyl alcohol or odorless mineral spirits can be used for oil/grease (petroleum-based) and/or scuff marks.
Q. Can I use bleach on my flooring?
A. Products containing bleach and steam mops are not recommended.
Q. Can I or should I apply a finish to my floor?
A. Applying finish is optional, however adding a finish will change the maintenance of the flooring and increase costs of maintenance.
Q. How long should I wait after the floor is installed before cleaning the product?
A. Only low-moisture or damp mopping is recommended initially if needed. You should wait 4 days before normal wet cleaning and/or auto-scrubbing the floor.
Q. Can I use vacuums on my resilient floors?
A. Vacuums can be used, just be sure that it does not have a rotating beater bar that could damage the flooring.
Q. What is a “two bucket system”?
A. This could be a single mop with 2 separate buckets, one for clean water and one for wringing out the soiled mop or it could be a special mop bucket that keeps the clean and soiled water separated so the soiled mop water is not continually used to “clean” the floor.
Q. Can I use walk-off matting on my floor?
A. Absolutely. Walk-off matting is recommended. Mats should have a non-staining backing and should cover at least 6 footsteps to capture soil transferring from shoes.