Although today’s carpets are designed to be easy to maintain, we need to remember that no carpet is completely maintenance free. Carpeting is susceptible to soil and stains and keeping it looking and performing great requires the right kind of care, centered around three basic activities:
- Removal of dry soil by frequent vacuuming.
- Periodic professional deep cleaning.
- Prompt, proper removal of spots and spills.
VACUUMING YOUR CARPETS
Most of the dry soil found in carpet is abrasive, and when combined with foot traffic, it can cause irreversible wear & tear (a.k.a. permanent traffic lanes) by scratching and pitting the fibers. A quality vacuum cleaner is probably your best ally in keeping your carpet free from fiber damaging dry soil.
Non-traffic areas should be vacuumed at least weekly. All light traffic areas should be vacuumed twice per week with at least 3 passes with the vacuum using a beater bar attachent.
Moderate to heavy traffic areas require more thorough vacuuming – two to five times per week and at least 5 passes. Moving the vacuum slowy will also aid in removing the deeply embedded soils, and always remember to empty or change your vacuum bag / canister when 1/2 full to ensure maximum suction.
SPILLS, SPOTS AND STAINS
It seems that no matter how careful we are, stains and spills are inevitable.
When you encounter a spill, spot or stain, here are some general guideline to follow.:
- Remove solid materials with a tablespoon, spatula or dull knife.
- Blot spills with clean, white absorbent materials – such as towels, napkins or tissues. Press down hard to remove as much liquid as possible –the heavier the weight the better. You won’t damage the carpet as long as you avoid vigorously rubbing the surface.
- If a spotting solution is necessary, apply several drops to a clean white cloth and blot the carpet in an inconspicuous area to test for colorfastness. If a colour change occurs or colour transfers to the cloth, make sure to consult a professional carpet cleaner before proceeding.
- Always use cleaning solutions sparingly and always blot.
- Finally, gently rinse the area with water to remove as much cleaning solution as possible. Incomplete removal may result in rapid re-soiling. Place towels or cloth over the area and weight with a heavy, colourfast object to absorb the remaining moisture. 12 hours should be sufficient and the weight and towels can be removed.
WHEN SHOULD I HAVE MY CARPETS PROFESSIONALLY CLEANED?
You should consider professional cleaning every 12 to 18 months, and more often if you have pets or kids. Regular vacuuming will take care of most dry soils, but oily soils from cooking vapours, air pollution and grease tracked in from outside will present a new set of problems for your carpet. Excessive soiling of this type can make your carpet look discolored and dull, and if left untreated can result in fiber damage.
Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends hot water extraction (steam cleaning) with a truck-mounted unit as a cleaning method of choice. Not only is this method the most effective way to clean carpeting, it’s also a requirement to maintain most stain resist and texture retention warranties from manufacturers.
For more information on how we can help you maintain your carpeting investment, please see our carpet cleaning page, or give us a call at 780-278-7373