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I realise, how fatal it is if you go wrong with your measurements while handling cleaning agents,” admits a senior housekeeping staff Dharmendra Pardhi of Mumbai based IVY Facility Management.

“On a typical day, my work includes inspecting sites, supervising, rectifying mistakes, giving training to newcomers and sometimes even lending a hand to complete the work. In short, I am on my feet the entire day. I have had a clean record gained over a period of five years. I have never received a single complaint on account of any negligence from my part. But, an incident two months back, while servicing the office of an MNC proved all my records wrong. My years of experience did not come in handy. I learnt, as a senior supervisor, how important it is to be accurate while handling chemicals and equipment.

“Like any other day, I reached the work site in the morning. On arrival, I learnt that one of the housekeepers had not reported to work. I couldn’t wait for the substitute to reach the site. So, it was natural that I stepped into his shoes. Fortunately, my work was simplified because it was a Saturday and the MNC was closed.

“I started vacuuming and found a fairly big spot in the middle of the carpet. On double checking, I found that the stain was due to spillage of some food item. It could have been cake! I tried my best to remove it with the vacuum cleaner but failed, I called in for a scrubber drier.

“In spite of running the scrubber multiple times, the stain was still very visible. I tried shampooing the carpet not twice but thrice but that did not help either. The fourth time, I poured 15ml of the shampoo solution instead of the regular 5ml directly on to the carpet. This resulted in excess lather and I asked one of the janitors to scrub the carpet well so that it doesn’t leave behind any residue. By the end of the day, the results were better than before. At least 80% of the stain was removed. I was content with the results and went home.

“However, on Monday morning I received a frantic call from the client. Saturday’s scrubbing had left the carpet very slippery and some people were saved from falling down! On examining the carpet, I found that the carpet had not been scrubbed and dried properly. Fortunately, no accidents were reported till my team reached the site. It was difficult to convince the client, but we managed to get permission to clean the carpet once again and save our jobs too.

Funny side apart, this was a great learning experience.

Shampooing Carpets

  • Test for colourfastness before cleaning: Moisten a white towel with the cleaning solution and apply it to an inconspicuous area. If the towel does not pick up any colour from the carpet, it is probably safe to use the solution on the entire carpet.
  • Vacuum the carpet thoroughly, then spot-clean and pretreat stains before shampooing the carpet.
  • Use single strokes over the carpet surface.
  • Fluff damp fibers against the nap after shampooing to aid drying.
  • Make sure the room is well ventilated after cleaning to speed drying.
  • Try not to walk on carpets until they are completely dry.

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