Maintaining your Carpet
When it comes to maintaining your carpet, one of the most critical areas of focus are the traffic areas. If ground in soil is not removed on a regular basis, the traffic areas will begin to wear excessively. The dirt is extremely abrasive against the fibers of the carpet as you walk back and forth on it. The second area of focus, of course, is spot removal You must react to "damage" spots immediately. Red wine, red beverages, urine, blood, etc. can cause a permanent stain if not treated immediately. Listed below are the steps that you must take to properly maintain your carpet.
Outdoor and Indoor Entry Mats
You should ensure that you have indoor and outdoor mats at each entrance to decrease the amount of dirt dragged into your home. Also, you can use floor runners for extra protection. Mats should be cleaned on a regular basis so they don't become sources of soil themselves, especially during inclement weather. Sidewalks and entrances should be kept free of excessive dirt and substances which can be tracked into the home.
Vacuum your carpet often - once or twice a week at least. Vacuuming removes the sharp soil that can cut and slice the fiber causing premature wear. Much of this soil is not visible to the eye. Vacuum before the carpet looks soiled. Remove any loose particles such as loose food, leaves, pieces of crayon, bugs, etc. as these items can cause a spot on the carpet. There are a couple of tricks to master proper vacuuming technique. The proper technique for vacuuming is to set the correct vacuum height. The middle setting is the best setting for most carpet. This setting allows the brushes to just touch the top of the carpet fibers, which vibrates the fibers and loosens the particle soil so it can be vacuumed up. Many people seem to set the vacuum height to the lowest setting causing the brushes to be crushed and allowing for only minimal soil removal. Also, if you have a vacuum that uses a bag you need to change it when it becomes somewhere between 25%- 50% full. Once the bag is between 25%-%50 percent full your vacuum has lost 80% of it's power.
Immediate spot removal is key to a clean carpet.As soon as you spill something it is imperative that you clean it up. You do NOT want to rub the spot. The best way to remove a spot is to scrape up the excess of any spill, blot the area, with a clean white towel repeatedly lifting the towel up and down on the spot until you can no longer lift up any of the spill.Keep using cleaner towels until the spot is removed.If spot is still present you then put a damp towel down (non-dyed is best) over the infected area, place a piece of plastic over the towel to place a heavy object(book, etc...) over the plastic and let it soak up the spot for up to 24 hours. If you rub the spot it has the chance of becoming permanent and becomes known as a STAIN. Great carpet care also must be taken in how spot cleaning is performed. If you must use a spot cleaner. Select a spot cleaner that is recommended by the carpet manufacturer or your professional carpet cleaner. Most spot removers that are purchased over the counter leave too much soap residue and can cause yellowing. Avoid using foam carpet cleaners or any product that is not made specifically for carpet. directly on carpet. If the product that you are using seems to cause the spot to re-soil over a few week period, discontinue use. Any spot that you are not able to remove, and for pet urine or feces, call your professional cleaner immediately.
Your carpet serves more than the function of comfort and beauty, but serves as the filter of the home. The carpet stores allergens into the lower fibers and keeps them from being re-introduced into the environment every time traffic walks by. As a general rule, cleaning by a professional, certified firm should take place about once per year. For extremely heavy traffic areas, cleaning may be required more often. Proper professional cleaning will not leave a sticky residue behind and can be done as many times per year as needed. Professional cleaning removes the damaging soil from the traffic areas that vacuuming has not been able to remove.
Protective Coatings for Carpet and Upholstery
Residential carpets are treated with stain resist properties and soil resistors known as Dupont Teflon or 3M Scotchguard. After a period of 2 to 3 years, some of the soil-resistor wears off. At that point you should consider having a professional carpet cleaner re-apply the treatment after professional cleaning. The soil resistor will help remove the soil from the carpet when vacuuming. Spots will be easier to remove, and professional cleaning will be more effective.
Occasionally Move Heavy Furniture
Occasionally move heavy furniture to avoid excessive pile crushing and to vacuum. Put coasters intended for use with carpet under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight and prevent crushing the pile. When moving heavy wheeled furniture (pianos, buffets, etc.), prevent damage by placing a protective barrier of heavy cardboard or plywood between the wheels and the carpet.
Use Area Rugs
If you use area rugs over your carpet, be sure to remove and clean them regularly. Clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath. Be certain to check area rugs for colorfastness before putting them back over carpet, as the dyes in some rugs may bleed through to the carpet. After cleaning your carpet, remember to allow complete drying before replacing rugs.
Avoid Direct Sunlight
Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with blinds, shades, or awnings.
Change your air filters
Change air filters in your heating and air-conditioning systems as recommended by the manufacturer’s directions. The more dust and particles removed by the filter, the fewer that fall onto the carpet.