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5 Commercial Cleaning Tips to Take the Stress Out of Building Maintenance

Posted by Hammond Knoll on Apr 4, 2019 10:00:00 AM

A well-maintained building makes an excellent first impression.

Of course, the outside is the first things visitors will see, but the inside matters just as much.

Clean floors, uncluttered workspaces and fresh-smelling carpets all make people feel welcome – whether they’re employees or potential customers.

Having the right information and putting it into practice are a winning combination.

Here are five commercial cleaning tips you can follow to keep your office space in tip-top shape.

Tip #1: Change your air filters

Air filters in your heating and air conditioning system are a magnet for outside yuck, such as allergens, dirt, dust and – in some extreme cases – mildew.  

Dirty air filters have unhealthy and costly consequences.

A biggie is allergies that can be severe enough to cause missed days of work  – simply from dirty, contaminated air.

That’s not going to do much for your business’ productivity, is it?

A few other issues that can arise from dirty air filters include:

  • A frozen coil. The coil freezes because there isn’t enough airflow.  

  • Premature furnace failure. Dirty filters also cause the furnace to work that much harder, making the equipment not last as long. You may face an expensive repair or total replacement.

  • Carpet wears out faster. Dirt, dust and oil particles that escape the soiled filter land on carpets. As the carpet is walked on, the soil grinds into the fiber acting as sandpaper, causing the carpet fibers to break down more quickly.

It’s recommended that you replace air filters monthly, but that frequency also depends on the type of filter you use.  

Advanced filters can last a little longer between cleanings and replacements.  

Consult the manufacturer of the filter or the furnace for a recommended schedule.  

But, when in doubt....replace it!

Here’s a bonus cleaning tip: Add commercial furnace filter changes to your calendar. Like NOW, before you forget.

Tip #2: How often should your carpets be cleaned?

Often, some of the carpet doesn’t need to be cleaned with the rest of the business carpets, such as in an unused office or the top floor of a four-story building.

For example, the top floor of a building won’t get as much soiling, because most of the yuck has already been transferred to entries, stairs and elevators.  

BUT (Why does there always need to be a but?), let’s use the fourth floor as an example again.

Even though you so kindly left the soil from your shoes on the first floor, the carpet still needs to be cleaned.


Because carpet acts as a filter, collecting allergens, dust, dirt and oils out of the air. Allergens that are trapped in the carpet as it’s walked on or vacuumed recirculate in the air, causing allergies, which can lead to missed days of work.

And no work = no production.

Dust particles also work like sandpaper, breaking down the fibers of the carpet as they’re walked on, causing worn, matted fibers.

So, to answer the question, “How often should me carpet be cleaned?”:

It depends on the amount of foot-traffic the carpet receives. Here are some guidelines to follow:

  • For busy offices, first floors of buildings, common areas and restaurants, you should clean the high-traffic areas of the carpet monthly using a thermal extraction process, as recommended by carpet manufacturers.

For every other cleaning, we recommend getting underneath desks, waiting room chairs and tables to remove dust and allergens.

  • For a medical facility, dental office or moderately busy office space, clean the high-trafficked areas of the floors on a quarterly basis. Clean the carpets under chairs, desks etc. annually.

  • For top floors, rooms or businesses that don’t get much traffic, clean these annually.

**We highly recommend checking with your carpet manufacturer to stay within the guidelines of warranties before cleaning your commercial carpets.

Bonus tip: Routine and proper cleaning methods will extend the life of the carpet, saving you from paying expensive restoration or replacement costs.

Tip #3: Keep the outside of your building safe

Outdoor walkways – especially slate, tile and stone – can become very slippery and hazardous in areas that don’t see the sunshine. Nobody wants a lawsuit or an L&I claim – ugh.

Another downfall of the weather is that it destroys the vibrancy and the appearance of outdoor aggregate tile and stone surfaces.

We also see a lot of rust stains from iron furniture and outdoor planters that have been fertilized with iron, copper and other minerals.

Here’s how to keep your outdoor space safe:

  • Use a broom and sweep walkways leading to the front doors frequently to remove debris and dirt from the surface.

  • Hose off these areas occasionally to remove substances and stains.

  • Some light pressure washers can be used on surfaces. Test an inconspicuous area before proceeding, ensuring there’s no loss of grout, and that no etching or chipping of natural stone occurs. *Be cautious of high pressure washers, which can easily damage concrete and tile surfaces, wearing them out much faster than normal.

  • A rough surface is more prone to collect dirt and mildew. Periodically sprinkle some baking soda over the affected areas to slow the growth of moss and mildew, and – as an added bonus – it’s all natural and not harmful to the environment.

Tip #4: How to remove glue from office carpets

Glue happens.

Despite your best efforts, sometimes you wind up with glue on the carpet.

Trust us – glue and carpet do not bode well together.

Here’s how to handle this icky-sticky mess:

  1. Remove the glue: Scrape up the excess with a blunt knife.

  2. Use a detergent solution. Start at the outer edge and blot dry.

  3. Follow with an ammonia solution. Blot dry again, using a white or light-colored cloth.

Here are two detergent and ammonia solution “recipes” to try:

    1. Detergent Solution: Hammond Knoll Spot Be Gone or substitute one teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent to 1/2 pint of warm water.

    2. Ammonia solution: One tablespoon of household ammonia to one cup of warm water. (Refrain from a stronger ammonia solution on wool carpet.)

Bonus tip: For those other mishaps, download our free spotting guide HERE.

**HINT: Next time you try to be a handy-glue-repair-person, put something between the glue and the carpet.

Tip #5: Avoid a bad Moment of Truth (MOT)

You’ve probably heard of a “Moment of Truth.”

What about a BAD MOT?

Here’s what you need to know.

Bad Moment of Truth = Complaints, problems, negative experiences, friction; anything less than a positive interaction within your company.  

Here’s an example:

You go to your doctor’s office for a quick procedure. As you pull into the parking lot, you see McDonald’s trash and flower beds overridden with weeds.

As you walk into the reception area, you’re greeted with an unfriendly grunt. Subconsciously, you’re probably questioning what kind of experience you’re in for.

You sit in the waiting room and stare at the overflowing trash can from the provided coffee maker and take a mental note of the filthy carpet, riddled with coffee stains.

Your name is called…

Your trust at this point that your “procedure” is going to go well is pretty much, well...NIL.

What if it the experience was reversed and the office was sparkling clean and the receptionist was extremely pleasant?  

Bet you’d feel a lot more confident about the care you receive and the outcome of your visit, right?

Of course, no business is exempt from a bad MOT.

But if you can limit them and learn how to handle them effectively, it’ll boost your clients’ trust and that confidence will help to build your business.

Here’s how you can ensure an awesome Moment of Truth (MOT) for your visitors and employees:

  • Take a walk around the outside of your building. Continue throughout the building (don’t forget the break room – employees deserve a positive MOT, too). Make a note of all the possibilities of a bad MOT for your clients and employees. 

  • Get them fixed asap and start leaving the right impression.

Put these commercial cleaning tips to work for you

When you have the right commercial cleaning tips in your arsenal, you’re sure to impress everyone who enters your building.

Actually, you’ll make a great impression BEFORE they even step inside.

Which of these tips will make the biggest difference for you?


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