Carpet Cleaning Tips:
We rarely think about how much stress our carpets are exposed to. Furniture, kids, pets, and general foot traffic all contribute to the natural wear and tear of your carpet. However, this can be amplified if dirt and soil is allowed to settle and remain deep within the carpet fibers of your carpet. Dirt has jagged edges that rub against the fibers of your carpet. The causes the fibers to degrade. The generally long lifetime of your carpet will come to a premature end and require replacement.
Here are some key pointers to maintaining the beauty and extending the life of your carpet.
Use walk off mats
The majority of dirt is tracked in through the outdoors by the soles of our shoes. Walk off mats will help trap some of this dirt. An even better idea would be to remove your shoes at the door.
Every entry into your home should have a mat outside the door. Make sure that it is rough enough to remove mud and stubborn debris. This mat should also be able to withstand the elements and have someplace for the dirt to drop into so that it does not get contaminated and start doing the opposite of what it was intended to do.
In addition to an outside mat, you should have a rug or mat just inside every door. This one should be absorbant enough so that it can remove any moisture on the bottom of your shoes. This mat should be heavy enough to lay flat and have a rubberized back to prevent creeping. A good idea is to have these mats small and light so that you can wash them regularly in your washign machine.
Other good places to put inside mats:
If you get a lot of food spill in your kitchen, you might want a mat right off of your kitchen entrance to avoid tracking oil and grease of food spills onto your carpet.
Entrances to carpeted areas from hard surface areas. Spills and dirt and easily wiped off of hard surfaces as you walk on them. It is easy to track them into your carpeted rooms.
Regularly vacuum your carpets
Regularly vacuuming will help extract dirt and soil that got based the mats. The frequency of vacuuming required depends highly on the traffic and environmental conditions the carpet is exposed to. Here are some general guidelines.
- If you have children or pets, vacuuming at least twice a weak will help maintain your carpet and also prevent allergies and bacteria culturing.
- Heavily trafficed areas (mats, just inside the door, often frequented rooms) should be vacuumed every day to prevent premature degradation of your carpet.
Professionally clean your carpets at least once every year
Don't wait until you can see dirt to have your carpets cleaned. Within a year of use, you can bet that there is a lot of unseen dirt particles hidden deep within the carpet fibers. They are working hard to wear and tear the carpet pile. Yearly cleaning will extract these dirt particles deter future particles from settling. Carpet manufacturers are more often having a yearly professionally cleaning as a condition of their warranty.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has even recommended that carpet in a residential setting be cleaned a minimum of once per year and every 3 to 6 months if children and pets are present. Their reason for the frequency has more to do with maintaining a healthy indoor environment than appearance but it is still good advice.
Keep your vacuum cleaner in good condition
The most common error made by households is vacuuming with a full bag. Most vacuum cleaners become 70% ineffective after the bag is 1/2 full. Change your bag after it reaches this level.
Check the brushes of your vacuum cleaner, when placing a pencil on the base of your power head, the brushes should just touch the pencil and bend slightly as you turn the brush. If it doesn't you could be losing up to 50% efficiency. Adjust or replace the brushes if needed.
After a professional cleaning, apply a carpet protectant.
Although you may have purchased your carpet new with some type of soil or stain resistant treatment, all topical treatments like these loose effectiveness over time through wear and in the cleaning process. The only way to insure the highest level of protection is to retreat after each cleaning.
Remove spots as quickly as possible.
- The longer a spill remains on your carpet, the more likely it will react chemically with your carpet and become a permanent stain. Fast attention to a stain will also decrease the harshness of chemical cleaner needed to remove the stain.
- Keep a quality general spotter on hand and preferably have a multi part professional spotting kit to cover most spills.