Care Home Management

The Care Home Decision Makers’ Magazine

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Keep your carpets winter clean

Paul Pearce, technical director of the National Carpet Cleaners Association, sets out how a good Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) can help keep carpets clean.

A good SOP should be easy to follow and should clearly itemise the areas to be cleaned, how (type and method of cleaning) and when (how often). The cleaning ‘expectation’ in each area should also be explained, along side the name of the person who is responsible for checking the quality of the clean.  Safety must permeate throughout. Undertake your risk assessments and method statements, refer to Safety Data Sheets, record the PPE provided, along with all safety precautions and emergency procedures.

Know your carpeting
Carpeting can harbour a myriad of bacteria which need to be cleaned as soon as possible to prevent harmful bacterial spread and to limit damage to the floor covering.

Ideally, carpets and carpet floor tiles in care homes will be bought with their cleaning requirements in mind and with manufacturer’s cleaning instructions on hand.   

 Checklist of essential carpet care

  • Daily vacuuming is necessary to reduce build-up of dust and other airborne and food borne contaminants. This mitigates contamination risk via footfall. Vacuums should be fitted with HEPA filtration to minimise the redistribution of particulate soils.
  • Manage stain removal, organic spills and accidents in a timely manner and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Whatever cleaning product you use, ensure the carpet can dry thoroughly so there’s no opportunity for damp or mildew to take hold.
  • Don’t forget to wipe skirting boards and move furniture (where possible) to remove airborne soiling that has travelled into small gaps.
  • If you call in a professional cleaner, make sure they do a site assessment and work to a cleaning plan that is specific to your facility’s needs.

Hard flooring

  • Use a multi-surface biological washroom cleaner on a daily basis to break down and remove dirt and unpleasant odours. Stickiness in kitchen and bathroom areas should be removed immediately.
  • Dry your wet-cleaned areas thoroughly. Ensure that guests do not walk on a freshly cleaned vinyl floor to prevent rapid re-soiling and to reduce the potential for slips and trips.

For more information, visit the NCCA.

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