Basic Carpet Care & Cleaning
The beauty and life of your carpet depends on the care it receives. Proper cleaning will keep it looking great for its full lifetime, help improve your indoor air quality and keep your carpet warranties intact.
Carpet cleaning is just like exercise! If you get into a routine and keep it up, you will see great results and feel better for it. Here are four simple steps to keep your carpet clean and looking great:
Vacuum high traffic areas daily, and everywhere according to a vacuuming schedule. To get the most out of your vacuuming regime, remember these few easy tips:
A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Slow and steady does the trick.
- When vacuuming, don’t ignore those corners and crevices where dust builds.
- “Top-down” cleaning saves you the step of vacuuming again after dusting. Dust blinds, windowsills, and furniture surfaces first and then vacuum away any fallen dust.
- Remember to replace or empty vacuum bags when they are half to two-thirds full.
- Vacuum daily in high-traffic or pet areas.
- Vacuum twice weekly in medium-traffic areas.
- Vacuum weekly in light-traffic areas, using attachments at carpet edges.
Clean spots and spills quickly with products that do not damage the carpet or cause it to re-soil quicker.
- Blot liquid with a dry, white absorbent cloth or plain white paper towels (no prints or colors). Using a printed or colored material may transfer ink or dye to your damp carpet. Continue until the area is barely damp. Semisolids, like food spills, may need to be scooped up with a spoon. Solid, dried bits can be vacuumed up.
- Warning: do not scrub or use a brush. Bristles and scrubbing can damage carpet. Fraying and texture change are the likely results.
- Use a carpet cleaning product. Though these have been laboratory tested, you should still pretest any cleaner on a scrap of carpet or on an out-of-the-way area of your carpet.
- Follow the product’s directions carefully. More is not better. Apply a small amount of the cleaner to a white cloth and work in gently, from the edges to the center. Blot; don’t scrub. You may need to do this several times to remove the spot. After the spot is gone, blot the area with clear water once or more to remove any remaining product.
Professionally deep clean your carpets every 12 to 18 months to remove embedded dirt and grime. Be sure to ask about your carpet manufacturer’s recommend method of cleaning. Many manufacturers recommend professional hot water extraction as opposed to actual steam.
Stop dirt at the door by using mats outside and in, taking your shoes off when you enter the house and changing your air filters to reduce airborne dust particles.
- Vacuum carpet more frequently to capture pet hair and dander from your pet’s fur.
- Use cleaning products that are specifically designed for pet stains and odors.
- Clean up new messes promptly and then follow the steps for spot and stain removal.
- Use small hand extractors for quick cleanups of pet accidents, but remember that these quick cleanups don’t take the place of periodic deep cleaning.
- Have your carpet professionally cleaned every 12 to 18 months. More frequently if necessary.
- Don’t use a steam cleaner when dealing with urine spots because the heat will set the stain and the smell.
- Extracting the spill with a wet-vacuum and rinsing with cool water will reduce the odor. If necessary, call in certified carpet cleaning firms that know how to remove pet stains and odors permanently.