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How can care staff ensure they keep their carpets clean and odour free, even in the most challenging circumstances, asks Ben Fleck, Business Manager at Blueleaf.

The maintenance of carpets, and more specifically how we keep them clean and odour free when accidents and spillages occur, has a significant impact on everyone in the environment in which they reside. And this is especially true for care homes. 

For care staff, it’s important to understand how to deal with these accidents when they arise, in the right way, so as not to make a bad situation worse. But what is ‘the right way’? And how can care staff ensure they keep their carpets clean and odour free, even in the most challenging circumstances?

Using the right products

The obvious answer to both questions is by using the right cleaning products. Cleaners often make the mistake of using products that mask a smell, rather than tackle its root cause. The answer, therefore, is not to use products that simply have the strongest or most pleasant fragrance to deal with spillages or stains. Unless they tackle the root cause, the bad odour will remain, because the bad odour is caused by bacteria. 

To eliminate bacteria, you need to be using an enzymatic cleaning fluid – a fluid that contains enzymes to break down dirt and soil molecules, and which will in turn remove the source of the bad smell. Knowing which enzyme cleaner to use on which stain or spillage can be hugely beneficial as different enzymes target specific bacteria: 

  • Protease – breaks down bodily fluids like blood urine and faeces.
  • Lipase – breaks down oil and grease.
  • Amylase –  breaks down food and drink.
  • Cellulase –  breaks down cellulase which tends to cause stiffness in fabric.

Three steps is all it takes 

For bodily fluids, as well as food and drink, there are three easy to remember steps to follow when first dealing with an accident: 

  • Step 1 – Scrape the affected area if any solids are there.
  • Step 2 – Blot the area with paper hand towels.
  • Step 3 – If dealing with bodily fluids, use an odour neutralizer in the first instance followed by and enzymatic cleaning fluid to tackle the root cause. If it is food or drink, finish with an enzyme cleaner that specifically targets food and drink stains.

Dilution, dilution, dilution

Getting the right dilution measurements for the cleaning products you are using is important. Diluting the liquid too much will impact its efficacy. Overdosing – not diluting the cleaning product enough – can often leave the floor sticky with excess chemicals. 

To avoid this, always follow the manufacturer’s dilution rates specified on the product’s packaging. If you realise that you haven’t got the dilution ratio quite right, it is best to deal with it straight away by simply using warm water to remove any excess chemicals. 

Although simple on the surface, there is a particular science to dealing with spillages and stains on carpets. By following the right process and using the right cleaning products in the right way, you can protect the investment made in your flooring and keep your care home looking and smelling as it should. 

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