Carpet Care Tips
Follow these carpet-cleaning maintenance tips to guarantee they will stay looking cleaner for longer.
- Keep Your Shoes Outside
Shoes are carpet’s main enemy. Most outdoor pollutants are walked right in through the front door. Even though the soles may appear to be clean, they carry fine particles and oily substances that are transferred onto your carpets. By asking family and guests to remove their shoes before coming inside, you are extending the life of your carpets and reducing your cleaning regime.
High heels are a dangerous combination, as the sharp heels can catch on the carpet fibres, causing pulls and runs in the pile. Even bare feet can leave your carpet looking dull and dirty, by transferring an oily film that leaves a residue which will attract dirt. Slippers, socks or indoor-only shoes are the best options.
- Runners and Mats Help
By using doormats at each entry point of your house, you will be able to control some of the soiling and keep larger particles outside where they belong.
To keep high traffic areas like hallways looking good, a mat or runner is ideal. These can reduce the wear on your carpet, can be changed easily and add a personal touch to your decor.
- Keep Sunshine Outside
Although sunshine kills bacteria and germs, it will also damage your carpet.
The UV rays filtering through your windows can distort colours and bleach patches of carpet that are continuously exposed. Pale colours are equally as affected as darker tones, and it usually doesn’t become evident until you next rearrange the furniture.
Reduce the impact of sun damage by installing and using blinds, curtains or awnings.
- Buy a Good Quality Vacuum Cleaner
Investing in a quality machine and learning how to use and maintain it, is the first step in protecting your health and carpet. There are many factors influencing your decision, some of them are:
Wattage – the higher the wattage, the more powerful the motor will be and the great the vacuum cleaner’s ability to pull dirt from deep in the pile;
HEPA Filter – this is an important feature, as it will retain 99.9% of what you pick up and stops it from being recirculated back into the air and into the carpet, or worse – into your lungs!
Upright vs Upright – An upright vacuum is the preferred choice as they have a revolving head or “beater” that will lift and separate the carpet fibres. This vibrating action allows dirt to be removed from deeper down in the pile; whereas barrel vacuum cleaners only provide suction and therefore only take off the surface dirt.
Dual Motors – An upright vacuum with dual motors is the best choice because it utilises one motor for the vacuum and one to operate the revolving head, resulting in no loss of power.
- Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
Vacuuming is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do to extend the life of your carpet and keep the air inside your home safe for your family to breathe. Regular vacuuming with a good quality cleaner will remove up to 80% of the contaminates living in your carpet.
Weekly vacuuming, at a minimum, is important to keep the levels of dust mites and allergens down as well as removing the grit that constantly rubs against your carpet fibres like sandpaper. If left for too long, this grit will scratch the protective coating that is on your carpet, giving it dull appearance and eventually wearing away the fibres, causing breakages in the pile. Remember to always vacuum against the natural direction of your carpets pile, as this will remove more pollutants, giving a better result.
- Learn How to Care for Your Carpet
Learning how to correctly clean up a spill is vital in the care of your expensive carpets. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and know what type of carpet you have installed.
It is important to remove the spillage quickly before it penetrates the pile and it is always best to call the experts, but there are a few basic things you can do until your carpet cleaning technician arrives:
Work from the outer edge of the spill to the centre, scooping up any excess
Use only plain white absorbent materials otherwise you may find that colours are transferred to your carpet making the problem worse
Add a small amount of water to help soak up the spill
Keep blotting until no colour is transferring to the absorbent material – it is important not to rub as rubbing will make the carpet look “fuzzy” and distorted and spread the stain further.
Off-the-shelf chemicals can do more harm than good, as they may leave a residue, set the stain or even worse, bleach your carpet.
- Regular Professional Cleaning is a Must
Next to vacuuming, regular professional carpet cleaning is the most important maintenance you can do to extend the life of your carpet and for the health of your family.
Your carpets and rugs should be professionally cleaned at least twice a year. The deep cleaning that only quality machinery can provide, will revitalise your carpet and remove the pollutants that have settled beyond the reach of your vacuum cleaner.
Steam cleaning, or hot water extraction is the method recommended by most carpet manufacturers. This system consists of spraying the cleaning solution onto the carpet, treating spots and stains and then rinsing with hot water that is immediately sucked up by a powerful vacuum system into a holding tank. It can remove pollutants from deep within the pile and the cleaning solutions are thoroughly rinsed away.
DR Floor Care technicians use truck-mounted machines,whose incredible power to suck right from the base of the pile, ensures a thorough clean. Our staff carry many metres of hosing to enable them to park safely out of the way and not block any entry or exit points of your property. Our truck-mounted machines also have their own power source and only require a garden-hose connection. Only the hoses and wand enter the home”. This is so all contaminates are directly sucked through the hoses and into the machines holding tank, limiting recontamination and to protect your furniture and belongings by not having heavy equipment dragged through your home.
- You Get What You Pay For
With most things in life, you can usually expect the price you pay to reflect the service or quality you receive.
Carpet cleaning is no different. Companies offering cheaper prices may have to cut their costs by using cheap cleaning agents, untrained and uninsured technicians and unreliable inferior machinery.
Be assured DR Floor Care technicians use the best equipment and you will receive top quality workmanship.
Taking care of your investment Wool is a protein-based fibre containing natural lanolin oil. Lanolin in combination with the natural construction of wool, make it very resilient to stains and easier to stay clean than most synthetic fibres.
Underpadding – a breathable non-slip mesh underpad is recommended when laying your rug on a hardwood or tile floor.
Rug Rotation – ensures even wear, be sure to rotate your rug once a year. Furniture Placement When placing your furniture, lightly set it down and then move it slightly in the direction of the pile at least once a week.
Vacuuming – clean with a low-powered vacuum cleaner. Should long ends of yarns appear on surface do not pull. Use scissors to trim yarn evenly with the rug surface. Storing When storing your rug do not fold or put in airtight plastic bag. It is advisable to roll with the rug backing showing and wrap it with cloth for protection.
Surface Cleaning – use a sponge, wipe a mixture of a mild dish soap and water lightly over the entire surface of the rug. Remove by wiping again using a clean cloth and water. For deep cleaning: Your rug should be professionally cleaned every 3-5 years or when you notice the colours to be less vibrant. Rugs in extremely high traffic areas may require more frequent cleaning.
Stains – treat immediately by diluting the area with soda water or water and salt and let it be absorbed. Use a clean white cloth or paper towel, cover the area and press down several times with your hand or foot. Continue to blot the area until the stain is removed. Do not rub. If the stain persists, call a professional cleaner immediately.
Common carpet issues:
This often occurs when people or pets walk bits of dirt in from outside. Prevention is always better than cure and we recommend keeping doormats in all your entranceways.
Staining occurs from the chemical bonding of a pigment with the carpet fibre and once this bonding has taken place, separating the two is extremely difficult without causing damage to the carpet pile. That’s why it’s critical to sort out spills and stains as soon as they happen.
General cleaning should be proportional to your carpet’s exposure to dirt and we recommend more frequent, lighter cleans over the harsher treatments required if your carpet/rug’s cleaned infrequently.
With liquid stains, we’d recommend the use of our Wet Stain Remover – but again, you must firmly blot up the stain before applying. If you don’t have any Wet Stain Remover handy, then the next best thing would be to dilute the area with lukewarm water and re-blot thoroughly using clean, dry paper towels, ensuring you do not rub the stain. You can continue to gently apply water and re-blot. The wool pile will not be damaged by water if you don’t over-wet the carpet, which may cause watermarks on the surface or damage to the backing.
Most oily or greasy stains can be removed, even after some time. However, certain stains may have a chemical reaction with the fibre and can cause irreversible damage.
New carpet can exhibit noticeable light and dark areas, often in strips. This is more likely to occur with plusher pile carpets. It’s caused by the weight of the carpet in a large roll pressing down on the layers underneath and bending the fibres. Over time, with regular vacuuming and general foot traffic, this effect will diminish, though it can take three to six months to disappear entirely.
As with all-natural textiles, wool carpet will fade or change colour over time in areas consistently exposed to sunlight. Light and pastel coloured carpets are the most vulnerable and no carpet is immune.
North or west-facing glass doors or floor-to-ceiling windows are most likely to lead to fading and we’d recommend the glass with effective UV protection. Curtains, blinds and louvres offer the best protection. Laying tiles around the border of the room and in setting the carpet can also provide protection from the strongest sunlight at the edge of a room.
If preventing fading is particularly important to you, our range of quality solution-dyed nylon carpets offers excellent fade resistance.
Fluffing on a new carpet
When a carpet is new, balls of fluff may appear on the surface. These are loose bits of fibre left in the pile by the manufacturing process and are a tiny proportion of the fibre in the pile – so it’s perfectly safe to vacuum up the fluff. On loop pile carpets, this fluff may appear as frizzing, which you can free up with a strong suction vacuum. Walking in socks or pantyhose on your new carpet can accentuate fluffing because the fibres in the socks or pantyhose can draw these loose fibres to the surface.
Indentations from Heavy Furniture
A couple of great ways to minimise indentations is by placing cups under the legs of heavy furniture and regularly shifting furniture a few inches one way or another so the pile can bounce back. We recommend the use of protector mats where castor chairs are used.
To revive flattened piles, you can use a warm steam iron over a towel laid on top of the carpet. Hold the steam iron gently to the towel and use the steam button to inject steam but don’t press the iron down on the towel as this can leave gloss marks.
Carpet damage by insect attack occurs where food, animal or plant substances are present near a wool carpet. Preventative measures include regular and thorough vacuuming, especially in areas around and under furniture that is not moved frequently, and along skirting boards.
A single tuft rising up from the pile surface is called ‘sprouting’ and in cut pile carpets, it’s safe to trim these sprouts with scissors. Avoid pulling the tuft, as this could leave a hole in the carpet. With loop pile carpets, we recommend professional repair, which can be arranged through your carpet dealer.
Tracking vs permanent shading
Tracking is the imprint left by shoe/footprints on your carpet. This is more common on plush cut-pile surfaces and disappears with vacuuming. Carpet is most prone to tracking in high-traffic areas like doorways and halls, so they require extra attention when vacuuming.
All cut-pile carpets, particularly ‘plush pile’ carpets will develop lighter or darker patches over time. Known as ‘shading’ or ‘watermarking’ it’s caused by the permanent bending of the carpet pile fibres, which then reflect light differently.
Shading often becomes apparent six to eight weeks after the carpet is firstinstalled. Shading does not affect the wear or durability of the carpet, it’s not a manufacturing defect and brushing or shampooing does not reduce shading.