New carpet represents a substantial investment. Like other fine furnishings, it requires proper carpet care to keep it attractive over the years to come. Carpet rarely wears out in terms of fiber wearing away, but its appearance deteriorates over time and becomes less attractive. You can protect your carpet investment, prolong the life of your carpet and improve the quality of the indoor environment; by establishing a regular maintenance schedule.
The most important step in the care of your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuum carpet thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas, to remove dry soil and dust. As particles of dry soil work down into the pile, they become more difficult to remove and can cut the fibers. Thus leading to premature wear and tear of the carpet. High-traffic areas generally require vacuuming daily. The whole house should be vacuumed every week. Change the vacuuming direction to a favorable direction to help stand the pile upright and prevent matting.
Regular Carpet Vacuuming
- A good vacuum cleaner is vital to prolonging the beauty, lush and life of your carpet. An inexpensive machine can remove surface dirt. But it will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile.
- Vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar are recommended to agitate the carpet pile. And also mechanically loosen soil for removal by the vacuum. Note that carpet with thick loop pile construction can be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and might become fuzzy. For these products, use a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet, so it does not damage the pile.
- Replaceable paper vacuum bags do a better job of trapping the small particles which pass through cloth bags back into the room. High-efficiency vacuum bags also called microfiltration bags, are now available. They trap even smaller microscopic particles; such as mold and mildew spores and dust mite byproducts, often found to be a source of allergies. This type of bag is sold under several brand names. Verify that these bags trap particles smaller than two microns. All vacuum bags need to be checked often and replaced when 1/2 to 3/4 full.
- Make sure the belt is in good condition. Ensure that the brush or beater bar rotates when in contact with the carpet. To adjust the vacuum to the correct height setting for the carpet, raise the beater/brush bar to the highest setting and then lower it until it contacts the pile enough. It should slightly vibrate the carpet several inches away from the machine, but not close enough to cause significant slowing of the motor.
Carpet Care Cleaning Agents And Equipment:
A good checklist to handle spills should include the following items.
Do not use any household cleaners other than those listed. Many household products contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet.
- A solution of a mild detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to a cup of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as wool cleaners is highly recommended. Do not use cloudy or creamy detergents as they may leave a sticky residue.
- A solution of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 1 part water).
- White towels or white paper towels.
- An ammonia solution of one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup of water. Do not use on wool.
- Non-oily nail polish remover.
- Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type).
- Non-flammable spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar.
General Carpet Care Instructions
Removal Of Carpet Stains and Spills
Prompt attention to stains and spills is essential.
- Remove as much of food spills as you can by scraping gently with a spoon or dull knife.
- Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or cloth towels.
- Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively. A fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.
- Always follow up with water to remove detergent residue. Otherwise, it may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling.
- Remove out any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot. Weighing them down with a heavy object that will not transfer color.
Stain Removal Procedures
The following recommendations are for carpet care and spot cleaning.
A. Water Soluble Stains.
Absorb as much as possible with white towels. Blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.
If any of the stains remain, use the detergent previously described. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels. Work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.
Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Again, do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.
B. Oil Soluble Stains.
Blot as much as possible with white towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover to a paper towel and repeat blotting. Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result. Use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as much as necessary.
Provide good ventilation! Do not use flammable solvents! Follow with procedures in A.
C. Gum & Wax.
Freeze stains such as chewing gum and candle wax with ice or a commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften. Follow up with solvent as in B.
Regular Professional Carpet Cleaning
Even though carpet vacuuming can remove most of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis, This is to remove the more oily or sticky soil which builds up in the pile. When cleaned regularly, it is much easier to remove this material. The carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months. DEpendant upon the number and age of the residents and the presence of pets. A cleaning system should clean the carpet without leaving a detergent residue.
The hot water extraction method also called “steam cleaning,” is recommended.
This process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the pile; then removing or extracting the dirt and solution with a powerful vacuum from either a truck-mounted or a portable unit. It is to your advantage to use a professional cleaner like us, here at Carpet Repairs Auckland. Carpet Repairs Auckland experience enables us to do a better job than you can do yourself. Carpet Repairs Auckland equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to you. And the carpet will dry quicker. We are true professionals who have also made the investment in training to understand the equipment, to know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand; and to recognize the differences in fibers and carpet construction.
DIY Carpet Care Cleaning Methods
If you choose to clean your own carpet, avoid the most common problems which are due to over-wetting and use of excessive detergent. Your carpet will be dry in six to twelve hours.
A carpet which is wet for more than 24 hours, could develop mold and mildew. Increasing the detergent beyond the recommended amount does not increase the carpet cleaning power. And makes excess detergent residue difficult to remove. Detergent residue left in the carpet will quietly collect soil more quickly, and the carpet will require cleaning sooner. Carpet with stain resistance treatments must be cleaned only with products formulated for this purpose. If not, the stain resistance will be damaged and the warranty becomes void. Do not use cleaning or spotting solutions which contain bleaches or optical brighteners; they can discolor the carpet.
Bonnet cleaning systems spray a detergent solution onto the carpet and attempt to absorb soil with a rotating bonnet of absorbent material. Such as terry cloth, attached to a machine similar to a rotary floor polisher. This cleaning system is not recommended. The bonnet system has very limited ability to remove soil and leaves much of the detergent in the pile since it has no real extraction. Rapid re-soiling often occurs as a result. The spinning bonnet can distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzzing the pile and also leave distinct swirl marks.