How Should I Care for My Installed Carpet?
May 02, 2018
Posted by D. A. Burns
Just like clothing and upholstered furniture, carpets need TLC too. You want to retain that like-new appearance for greater enjoyment and protection of your investment. But how and when should you manage carpet care? We’ve got you covered. Follow our four simple steps and your installed carpet will last longer—and look better all the while.
Step 1: Control Soil
This may seem like a no-brainer, but the more aware you are of the damage caused by uncontrolled soil, the better off your carpets will be. Most abrasive, particulate soil accumulates within the first few feet of the entryway in homes and commercial buildings. Once inside, this abrasive soil takes its toll on your carpet and introduces tiny particles that can affect overall indoor air quality.
So, what can you do? Buy a door mat. It doesn’t have to be fancy; just functional. Varieties designed to collect or absorb soil and moisture are your best bet to keep soil accumulation outside. These mats must also be maintained by periodic vacuuming, shaking and cleaning, for maximum efficiency.
Step 2: Vacuum Thoroughly and Frequently
Your vacuum cleaner is probably your best friend when it comes to keeping your carpet soil-free. Vacuum regularly to keep soil from becoming embedded in the carpet’s pile, where it’s more difficult to remove and can cause fiber damage … not to mention dull yoiur carpet’s beauty. For best results, use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar and strong suction for dry soil removal, equipped with an effective, high filtration system.
Thoroughly vacuum the light traffic areas at least weekly, or even daily in heavy traffic areas. Vacuum slowly, with a number of passes, to allow the agitation and extraction action to remove the smallest particles.
Step 3: Remove Spots and Spills Promptly
Carpet accidents will naturally occur, but prompt first-aid is vital to prevent permanent damage. A wet/dry vacuum is a big help in removing spots and stains. Use cleaning solutions sparingly and blot—don’t rub—spills. A weighted pad of color-fast towels or tissue, placed over the affected area, will absorb the staining substance and the cleaning solution. Click here for our handy Carpet Spot Removal Guide.
Be mindful not to leave residual detergent in the carpet, as it will attract soil causing the spot to reappear. Unfortunately, some spilled substances contain dyes that cannot always be completely and safely removed. Once that happens, and the stubborn stains refuse to come out, feel free to call us at D. A. Burns for further guidance.
Step 4: Periodic Overall Cleaning
So … how often should you have your installed carpet cleaned?
Most carpet manufacturers and fiber producers recommend that your installed carpet be cleaned every 12-24 months. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests even more frequent cleaning, depending on your carpet’s use.
This all depends on foot traffic, soil conditions, and the type and color of your carpet. Installed carpet in the home, exposed to routine use, should be cleaned at least once per year. Carpet that’s subjected to extreme soil or heavy use, particularly high traffic areas, or in homes occupied by persons with allergies or respiratory problems requires greater cleaning frequency. Alternately, it’s not necessary for carpet receiving limited traffic to be professionally cleaned as often.
One mistake home and business owners often make is waiting until the carpet appears to be soiled before cleaning. This is not optimal, as significant soil accumulation at the base of the carpet fibers occurs long before it’s visible on the tips of the carpet fibers. Experts agree that clean carpets contribute to the overall aesthetics of your surroundings and play a vital role in the healthful state of your interior environment.
Should you choose to do-it-yourself, select the cleaning method and equipment carefully. Follow the instructions provided and avoid high pH cleaning solutions and excessive abrasive action. If cleaning a stain-resistant yarn system, first do a general cleaning and then, if necessary, spot clean with approved cleaning agents. Do not apply any cationic (anti-static/anti-microbial) chemical treatments to stain-resistant yarn systems, as this could result in permanent damage to the yarn system.
A professional carpet cleaner will select the best method of cleaning to keep your carpet newer-looking longer, and in less frequent need of overall, corrective cleaning. Always insist that the cleaning professional be experienced, well equipped and properly trained. Having the best in equipment is not enough; it also takes a skilled cleaning technician to make a real difference.
At D. A. Burns, our technicians have achieved Cleaning & Restoration Certification. We’d be happy to help you with the professional cleaning of your home or office carpet. Give us a call at 206.782.2268 to schedule service or request a free – no obligation, written service proposal. To learn more about how to care for your carpet, visit our Installed Carpet Cleaning page.