How to Care for Your Carpets

by octavios on July 29, 2012

Learn how to maintain your carpets. Here are our tips to help you keep your carpets in the best condition for the longest time possible. Extend the life of your carpets by: vacuuming, prompt spot removal, and regular professional cleaning.

Vacuum

Vacuuming your carpet at least once a week, preferably twice a week, is one of the best ways to maintain your carpets’ quality. Although they may not look dirty, your carpet needs to be vacuumed. Small sand, clay, and quartz particles are constantly tracked in by shoes and animals. These small particles settle to the bottom of your carpet where they rub against the fibers almost like sandpaper. Regular vacuuming will remove these particles and lengthen the life of your carpet.

Carpets are also a very effective collectors of pollutants and allergens. Vacuuming will help remove these particles and prevent them from building up and affecting the air quality of your home or business.

We recommend a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar or rotating brush and good suction. Make sure to change bags and filters regularly—even a partially full bag begins to decrease the quality of suction. If you don’t have time to properly vacuum all of your carpets as often as you should, make sure to at least hit the heavy traffic areas.

Prompt Spill and Spot Cleanup

Even with the new stain resistant carpets, it is important to clean up spills and spots immediately. The first thing you should know about cleaning spots is what not to do. Never use all purpose spray cleaners, bleach, or alkaline soap. If you damage your carpet with one of these products, there is essentially nothing you can do—a bleach stain will appear sooner or later.

To get rid of spills or spots, there is one important thing to remember: blot, don’t rub. Rubbing will damage the carpet fibers, as well as spread the spill and enlarge the stain. If you are cleaning up a first spill, use a clean, dry white rag or paper towels. Start of the outside edge of the spill and work your way in, continually refreshing the surface of your towel by rotating or replacing it. When the liquid seems like it is almost all absorbed, keep checking the surface of your towel. As long as color is transferring from the carpet to the towel, you are still getting liquid from the carpet. Keep blotting until there is no transfer. If there is solid material in the spill, scrape it up gently with the edge of a spoon.

The next step for a spill, and the first step for a dry spot, is to apply a small amount of warm (not hot) water, and soak it up with a dry towel. Continue doing this until you are no longer getting transfer to the towel. If spotting remains, apply some warm water with a small amount of mild, non-bleach laundry detergent, and blot it up. Repeat this until you are no longer getting transfer. When the spot is gone, or you’ve absorbed as much of it as possible, rinse out the soap by applying clean warm water and blotting it up. Be sure to rinse the soap out. Soap’s job is to attract dirt to itself and it will continue doing its job even if it is dissolved in your carpet, creating a new spot where you just worked to get rid of an old one.

Absorb the remaining moisture in the carpet by placing some white paper towels on top of the wet spot and weighing them down with a non-staining object (such as glass or ceramic) and leaving it overnight. The next day, run the vacuum cleaner over the area to restore the proper texture to the carpet. If the stain reappears you may need professional help.

Regular Professional Cleaning

Most carpet manufacturers recommend that you should have your carpet cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner at least once, maybe twice, every year. They specify that you should hire a cleaner that uses the water extraction method. Deep cleaning is essential to keeping your carpet in good shape. And just like vacuuming, it should be done whether the carpet looks dirty or not.

A professional carpet cleaner will have a truck mounted machine that heats the water to around 200º. These machines create a powerful, penetrating spray along with powerful suction to extract that water (and the dirt that’s dissolved in it) back out of your carpet. Hot water extraction restores the proper texture of your carpet.

Cleaning is really a secondary element of “carpet cleaning.” The primary element is the maintenance of your carpet. If your carpet is dirty, hot water extraction is certainly a great way—the best way, in fact—to get it clean. But carpet manufacturers recommend regular hot water extraction for the same reason that auto manufacturers recommend getting regular oil changes. It extends the life of your purchase.

When you look at the cost of the items in your house, it’s likely that your carpeting is one of the most expensive. You can protect that investment with regular maintenance. It actually saves you money in the long run, because your carpets will last longer.

If you want to get the process started, contact us for an estimate.

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