Restaurant Carpet Cleaning

Of all the carpets a cleaning technician will encounter, the most difficult will most likely be restaurant carpet. Cooking greases that are tracked from the kitchen and airborne grease can literally coat everything in a fine layer of oil, which attracts and holds on to dirt, dust, and particulate soils. In restaurants with salad bars, mayonnaise and other salad dressings may be dripped on the floor. In pancake houses, syrup is the main culprit in carpet spotting.


Many restaurants are extremely tight with their cleaning budget. Restaurant owners and managers know that a new group of cleaners are knocking on their door and will give their services away for practically nothing to try and get the job. This leads to a round robin of cleanings that leave lots of residue in the carpet, which leads to rapid resoiling. Always keep a supply of defoamer in the van for these jobs.


In order to perform the best job, a technician must follow the “cleaning pie” as taught in the IICRC CCT/CCMT classes. The cleaning pie consists of four parts: time, agitation, chemical, and temperature.


After a thorough vacuuming, the carpet should be pre-sprayed with a chemical designed for restaurants (usually a high pH and containing enzymes). The pre-spray should be agitated with a brushing system to penetrate the grease and then given adequate dwell time (ideally 10-20 minutes). Thorough hot water extraction containing a good alkaline detergent will suspend and rinse the soil from the carpet.


On carpet that has great amounts of residue, or if the carpet is a printed nylon, it would be a good idea to use an acid rinse, such as Matrix All Fiber Rinse, to neutralize the excess leftover alkalinity from previous cleanings. The acid rinse prevents any type of potential bleeding and will brighten the color in a printed carpet.


The use of air movers will greatly decrease the drying time and allow foot traffic on the carpet sooner. The use of a cotton bonnet will also decrease drying time as well as remove wicking soils.


Be sure to clean the walk-off mats that are used as transition mats from the kitchen tile to the carpet (or by the salad bars) as these tend to be coated with grease that will get tracked back on to the clean carpet.


Once the carpet has been restored by hot water extraction, an encapsulation system can be incorporated on a monthly basis. This interim cleaning method can save the budget and keep the carpet in a continuous high state of appearance.


Warning: Always test materials for colorfastness, follow label directions, and never mix products unless specified in the label directions. Each situation reacts differently and results may vary.

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  1. Matrix® Enzyme Pre-Spray

    The enzymes in Matrix Enzyme Pre-Spray offer reliable results when you need to cut through grease- and grime-containing protein-based soiling agents. Enzyme Pre-Spray is effective at high temperatures, making it perfect for use with your truck mount or high-heat portable.

    • Cuts through heavy grease and grime
    • Serious cleaning power!
    • pH: 11.3–11.6
    • Not safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Variable dilutions

    Starting at: $29.73

  2. Chemeisters Grease Eraser

    This powerful powdered pre-spray dissolves thick oily binders and penetrates deep into the carpet, resulting in a more thorough, deep-down clean. Customers who were considering replacing their carpet will be amazed at what you can do with a little help from Grease Eraser!

    • Dissolves protein or petroleum-based grease
    • Great for commercial jobs
    • pH: 11.5
    • Not safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Dilute 3 ounces (1 scoop) per gallon of water

    Starting at: $45.36

  3. Matrix® Citrus Force ASD

    The LAST additive, spotter, degreaser you'll ever buy. Citrus Force is a revolutionary cleaning additive that doubles, even triples the ordinary pre-spray's soil-dissolving ability. Its powerful blend of citrus solvents makes quick work of the most challenging carpet and upholstery soils.

    • Cleaning additive that strengthens ordinary pre-sprays
    • Powerful citrus solvents
    • pH: 6.0–8.5
    • Variable dilutions

    Starting at: $49.73

  4. Matrix® Finish First Extraction Detergent Powder

    Choose Finish First to attack the biggest challenges customers throw your way. Special additives allow this formula to penetrate and flush away grease, oil, or water-based grime even on tough, stain-resistant carpeting.

    • Tough enough for your worst jobs
    • Commercial and residential use
    • pH: 10.0–11.0
    • Safe for stain-resistant carpet
    • Variable dilutions

    Starting at: $26.64

  5. Sanitaire SC684F Upright Vacuum

    The SC684F is a durable, heavy-duty vacuum that has quickly become the favorite of those who have a lot of commercial areas to clean. Powered by a 7-amp motor, the 684 offers a 12-inch cleaning path and 18-quart shake-out bag to help you make short work of large areas.

    • 12-inch cleaning path; VGII chrome steel brush roll
    • UL listed for commercial use
    • 7-amp motor; 79 dBA
    • 18-quart shake-out bag
    • 50-ft power cord

    Price: $165.12

    Sale: $156.86

  6. Unipro Floor Machine, 17 Inch, 1.5 HP

    This 17" floor machine has a 1.5 HP motor and provides a brush speed of 175 RPM. It is perfect for jobs large and small in any commercial environment, including retail, schools, office buildings, and more.

    • 1.5 HP motor, 175 brush RPM
    • 17-inch cleaning path
    • Heavy-duty, 50-foot power cord
    • 3 year warranty
    • Pad driver and clutch plate included

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