Easy Carpet Maintenance Tips

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Carpet Maintenance

Because carpet acts as a floor covering, carpeting can be subjected to quite a beating. Over time, carpet can look prematurely dirty or faded, and carpet fibers can actually start to lose their fullness. However, with routine care and maintenance, years can be added to the life of your carpets and rugs. Follow these simple guidelines and learn how to keep your carpet looking its absolute best.

Frequent Vacuuming is Key

Many people may not be aware that frequent and thorough vacuuming is one of the most important (and easiest) things you can do to help retain your carpet's original appearance.

With that being said, choosing the right vacuum to handle your carpet cleaning needs is extremely important. While household tools such as carpet sweepers can remove surface dirt, vacuuming prevents deep abrasions that can ruin carpet. When shopping for a vacuum, one of the most important things to look for is the vacuum's filtration abilities. Vacuums with dual motors, or those with one motor to provide suction with the other motor powering a beater bar to loosen dirt, are excellent at removing dirt and grit. Also, vacuums with beater bars or rotating brushes are better at loosening dirt than standard canister vacuums. In addition, be sure that the vacuum you choose provides the correct height adjustment for your specific type of carpet

Because vacuuming helps remove dirt particles which can degrade and dull the appearance of carpets and rugs, carpets should be vacuumed at least once a week with sufficient suction and airflow, it will be able to brush the carpet nap and help it stand up properly.  As a result, this will provide carpet that is both newer-looking and easier to clean.  Here is an example of carpet nap this is standing up properly:

Carpet Sample 1

Without proper vacuuming, carpet nap will be packed down and matted. In addition, grit and debris cannot be pulled from such matted carpet fibers, and as this dirt builds up, it will slowly wear and cut the carpet fibers over time.  Here is an example of matted down carpet pile:

Carpet Sample 2

As such, the right vacuum cleaner and its proper use can double or even triple your carpet's life and save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Reduce Traffic and Retain Your Carpet's Texture

To prolong the appearance and overall life of your carpet, reduce the amount of traffic in heavily traveled, carpeted areas, as these areas will receive the most wear. Use rugs under and in front of heavily used furniture such as chairs, and clean these rugs on a regular basis. Furniture and area rugs should also be moved periodically to reduce the wear on these paths.

Heavy furniture can also cause permanent indentations in your carpet, and it is important to use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces. Temporary indentations can be remedied by working the carpet back in place with your fingers or with the edge of spoon, dampening the area in question, and heating the carpet with a hair dryer.

Fluffing, Shedding, and Sprouting

You may sometimes find tiny balls of fluff or loose fibers on your carpet or in your vacuum cleaner. Fortunately in most cases, this is not cause for alarm, as it is the normal result of fiber that is left in the carpet during the manufacturing process. Proper vacuuming with a high quality vacuum cleaner will usually cause this shedding to disappear if your carpet is relatively new, and removing these large fibers will not affect the life or appearance of the carpet.

In some cases, you may even notice a yarn tuft or two sprouting above the pile surface of your carpet. Simply snip off these large tufts with a pair of scissors to the level of the carpet, but never pull these out. If sprouting proves to be a persistent problem, contact your carpet's manufacturer or flooring representative.

Address Carpet Stains Immediately

Even with the utmost of care, carpet staining is inevitable. Therefore, it is important to understand that when spills occur, time is of the essence, as the sooner a stain is cleaned, the easier it will be to completely remove. Don't be fooled by stains that appear to be clear, as these can change color and be quite visible over time.

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Tip:

Carpet shampooers are a great way to help clean deep seated dirt and embedded particles. They spray shampoo or solution onto the carpet and agitate the stain with brushes until they come out.  See our carpet shampooers here.

The first step in removing a carpet stain is to blot any excess liquid with a paper towel or clean cloth. Liquid stain removers should not be initially added to the stain, as they will only make the spot larger and cause it to sink deeper into the carpet. Once the liquid has been absorbed, if a special cleaning solution is to be used, first test it on an inconspicuous part of the carpet to prevent any possible staining. If the solution proves to be safe to use, try to use the least amount of solution possible and work from the outside of the stain toward the center to prevent any spreading. To prevent fiber damage, don't rub the carpet with too much force, and be sure to dry the area with a hair dryer or fan when you are finished.  Also keep in mind that not all stains can be removed: bleached areas caused by chlorine bleach or sunlight are impossible to get rid of, and liquids like urine, if allowed to dry, will leave permanent stains.

Ultimately, regularly vacuuming your carpet and spot cleaning will prolong the appearance and life of your carpets. Professional carpet cleanings every 18 months are also an important part of a regular carpet care regimen, and investing in a carpet shampooer, wet/dry vacuum, or steam vacuum is also a good idea for interim carpet maintenance.

Carpet Shampooers

Carpet Shampooers

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright Vacuums

Steam Vacuum Cleaners

Steam Vacuums

Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Canister Vacuums

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