As a floor covering, carpeting is subject to quite a beating day in and day out. Most carpets have to be replaced prematurely because of inadequate care. Without proper care the carpet begins to look dirty and faded and the fibers start to lose their fullness. High traffic areas become limp or flat.
Basic Carpet Maintenance
Vacuuming carpets frequently and thoroughly is probably the most important factor in carpet care. Dirt works its way down into the fibers of the carpet where it acts like sandpaper, grinding away at each tuft, leaving it limp and dull. Dirt also combines with oil residues carried through the air and eventually glues itself to the carpet.
Whenever spills occur on carpet, time is of the essence. The sooner it is cleaned up, the easier it will be to do so. Don't be fooled by spills that are clear or are the same color as the carpet: these can change color over time and become visible stains.
The first step in spot cleaning is to blot up the liquid using white paper towels or tissues. Do not add any liquids at this point, as they will only make the spot larger and help it sink deeper into the carpet. Absorb as much liquid as possible.
Assuming nothing went wrong with your test, keep in mind these additional stain-removing tips:
- Use the least amount of solution possible.
- Work from the outside of the stain toward the center to avoid spreading the stain.
- Don't rub the carpet too hard or you may damage fibers.
- Make sure the carpet can dry quickly, using a fan if necessary.
If your efforts are unsuccessful, call a pro right away. Failure to act quickly will increase the odds of a permanent stain.
Keep in mind that not all stains can be removed. Bleached areas, whether caused by sunlight or liquid bleach, cannot really be addressed. In theory, a professional can re-dye those sections, but don't count on a perfect color match.
Urine, if allowed to dry, also leaves a permanent stain. Stains from foods that have a lot of food coloring, such as Kool Aid, mustard or grape soda, are often impossible to remove. The only chance you have of avoiding a permanent stain with these colored food items is to act very quickly when the spill occurs.
Many stains containing sugar attract dirt so effectively that if the attracted dirt is similar in color to the carpet, the underlying stain is completely hidden until cleaning. Then, with all the camouflaging dirt removed, the underlying stain becomes obvious and appears to be "new."
Remember, even if you vacuum regularly and spot clean as needed, you will eventually need to have your carpet cleaned. Ideally, your carpet should be professionally cleaned every year to 18 months.
These carpet tips are brought to you courtesy of: Servicemagic