Details for Carpet Flooring Care
The beauty and life of your carpet depends on the care it receives. Quality carpet that is well-maintained should last 10-15 years. Proper cleaning will keep it looking great for its full lifetime, help improve your indoor air quality and help you adhere to your carpet warranties. Maintaining your carpet also protects your pocketbook and the environment. The right cleaning helps safeguard your carpet investment by keeping you from having to replace it before its time. That is great news, because it also keeps carpet out of landfills prematurely.
- The best way to ensure long-lasting beauty, comfort and durability in your carpet is to vacuum it regularly, as it prevents soil from becoming embedded in the carpet’s pile.
- Depending on the type of carpet you have, you’ll want to use a vacuum with a rotating brush, a beater bar or suction only. If you have shag carpet, use a suction-only vacuum cleaner with no beater bar.
- Use scissors to clip sprouts and snags; do not pull them or you may damage the carpet.
- To remove a dent caused by heavy furniture, stroke carpet with the edges of a coin. You can also use a hair dryer or a steam iron to gently raise the dented area while you tug upward on the tufts. CAUTION: DO NOT LET THE IRON TOUCH THE CARPET.
- If your carpet is burned, remove the tops of the dark, burnt fibers with curved fingernail scissors. If the burn is extensive, the carpet may require patching or replacement.
- If a flooding occurs from a burst pipe, washing machine overflow or other leak, the carpet needs to be dried, front and back, by a professional cleaner with the proper equipment.
- Consider professional cleaning every 12-18 months, depending on traffic and other use factors, frequency of vacuuming and whether the carpet is a light or dark color.
- Please note: carpet warranties will be void if not professionally cleaned at least every 18 months.
Proactive Protection For Your Floor
- When moving appliances or heavy furniture, lay a plywood panel on your floor and "walk" the item across it. This protects your floor from scuffing and tears.
- Use Floor Protectors on furniture to reduce indentation. As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the item, the wider the floor protector needed.
- Be careful with rolling casters. They can damage the floor. Therefore, we do not recommend them. If you choose to use them, the double wheel type are the best option.
- Place a walk-off mat at outside entrances to reduce the amount of dirt brought into your home. We do not recommend the use of rubber- or latex-backed mats because the chemical (antioxidant) used to keep the backing from becoming brittle can permanently stain your floor. We suggest a nonstaining vinyl-backed mat or a woven rug that is colorfast. Most of these products are identified "colorfast" by the manufacturer.
- Place walk-off mats wherever there are entrances to your home from high-soil areas like backyards, garages and so on. A few dollars invested in these mats can prevent a lot of dirt and grime from being tracked across your beautiful new carpet.
- Buy a quality vacuum and use it regularly. There have been significant improvements to vacuum cleaners in the past few years, making them easier to use, and better at doing their job. They’ve gotten lighter in weight, stronger in suction and loaded with convenience features. A good vacuum cleaner can be your carpet’s best friend so vacuum as often as you want! Thorough vacuuming removes loose dirt and dust from the fibers. Over time these particles dull your carpet’s appearance; frequent vacuuming maintains the beauty of your floor covering and extends its life.
- Use a machine with a good beater bar and maximum suction. High traffic areas may need more vacuuming more often. Also, get attached to using the cleaner’s attachments. They make it easier to clean the tight spots – along walls and up and down the stairs. Be sure to set your vacuum settings to the proper carpet height.
- If your vacuum uses bags, be sure to change them frequently for maximum cleaning efficiency. Some newer model vacuums have been designed without bags, making the chore of vacuuming even simpler, and more time saving.
- Carpet cushion plays an important role in preserving the look and feel of your carpet. Investing in a good carpet cushion prevents your carpet from matting and crushing underfoot, as well as offering its own level of soil and stain protection. A good carpet cushion also provides ventilation between the carpet and the floor, making vacuuming easier, and more efficient
- Read the care and maintenance literature provided by the manufacturer because different fibers, styles and finishes can each have their own unique guidelines. Keep in mind that carpet should be treated like a textile product. Consistent upkeep and periodic professional cleaning will keep your carpet beautiful, inviting and durable for years to come. Keep it a source of pride and comfort, with and without your shoes on. Check your warranty; some carpets require professional cleaning to maintain the warranty.
In Case You Didn't Know
- Don’t vacuum over loose yarn or try to pull out the snag. Looped carpets can snag, especially at a seam or a carpet transition. Treat it as you would a loose thread on an expensive blouse. Carefully snip the yarn flush with the carpet and without catching any surrounding loops.
- Don’t leave the furniture all in one place. Rearrange your furniture periodically. Another important and often overlooked way of keeping your carpet in top condition is in the placement of heavy furniture. Heavy furniture can compress, or crush the carpet pile, and leave noticeable indentations that won’t be discovered until you redecorate or move. Carpet that is near windows and patio doors can be subjected to harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays can deteriorate the carpet’s appearance and ability to withstand wear. If possible, be sure to use window treatments that offer some protection against sunlight.
- Don’t let stains sit. Treat stains as soon as possible. The longer you wait the more the stain will soak into the fibers.
- Immediately blot up as much of the liquid or debris as possible with a dry cloth or paper towel.
- Don’t rub or scrub the area with a rag, this damages the fibers and may create a permanent scar.
- Use warm, not hot, water to rinse the stained area completely. Hot water can set the stain and make it difficult if not impossible to remove.
- Press clean cloths deeply into the carpet to take up moisture until the stain no longer appears on the cloth.
- If a stain remover is needed, blot up excess moisture before applying, work gently and do not over apply the stain remover.
- Next, thoroughly rinse the area with warm water, and then absorb the excess dampness with a clean cloth. After your carpet has dried, vacuum to restore its texture and appearance.
- Don’t try to clean your carpets alone. Cleaning by a reputable, professional cleaner is suggested approximately once a year to protect your investment. Unfortunately, time and traffic will take its toll on your carpet. Call on the knowledge of professionals, their equipment and experience to do a more thorough job of removing stubborn stains and embedded soil. Only use the pros when necessary as too much commercial cleaning can cause your carpet to lose its built-in protection and damage it. Also, rental and non professional cleaning equipment do not have the same suction power as the pros.