Carpet Care – Things You Should Know Today
Carpet care is often overlooked in favor of what else needs to be done around the home. Yet it is a very important feature of home cleaning and one that should not be overlooked. In fact it is necessary that carpets are attended to consistently in order to promote longevity as well as personal health.
Carpets suffer from stains, dust and dirt, wear and tear and sun damage. Moisture is also an area that needs attention. If left unattended it can result in mould or damage. The first step we need to attend to is regular vacuuming. If the carpet is in a high traffic area or you have many pets, you may need to vacuum more often. Surprising as this may be, areas that are hard to get to such as those under beds or sofas, need special attention. It is these areas that promote the most build-up of dust mites and grime.
The way you clean your carpets and what you use to clean them depends on what materials they are made from and their texture. Not all carpets come with a set of cleaning instructions and it may be necessary to contact the professionals or manufacturers before starting carpet cleaning.
If you intend to use chemicals it is important that you first ‘spot test’ a tiny area. This will demonstrate whether or not you are safe to go ahead. The correct tools are also important and again these rely on the materials and texture of the carpet. While one carpet may benefit from a carpet brush another may only benefit from soft swabbing.
If a wet application is being used to clean a carpet it should be dried in the correct manner afterwards. If it is possible, move the carpet outside – this is recommended. Direct sunlight may not be beneficial for some carpets while other carpets will not be affected. If it is not possible to remove the entire carpet it is vital that until it dries properly it is kept out of bounds. Using a fan can speed up the process.
There are alternatives to wet cleaning that come in the form of dry powder applications. Again a small area should be ‘spot tested’ first, but generally this is a solution that benefits most carpets. Quite simply the powder is spread across the entire carpet. It is designed to attach itself to dirt and dust particles. After a certain period of time, it is vacuumed away. The result is a clean, dry and deodorized carpet.
There are other applications that involve shampoo type industrial cleaners. Once the shampoo and water have been laid down on the carpet the next step is to vacuum it out. The result leaves a fairly dry and very clean carpet. However, this type of cleaner does rely on chemicals which may not be suitable to all carpets.
In order to retain the good looks and functionality of your carpets it is necessary to take certain steps. While some are preventative others mentioned here may not be suitable or possible for many homeowners.
First, it is very important that you keep your carpets clean. Dirt and grit acts like a razor which cuts and damages the pile. A damaged carpet stains faster and also makes the removal of stains harder. Simple and consistent vacuuming should prevent this from happening.
Where possible lay down rugs especially in high traffic areas such as entrances and passageways. Rugs are able to collect a lot of dirt which would otherwise be tramped into the carpet.
Where possible impose a ban on wearing outdoor shoes. This may sound extreme yet it can go a long way to preserving the life of an expensive or rare carpet.
Cleaning Carpet Stains
Once a stain has appeared clean it immediately. First apply a dry cloth and mop up the excess liquid. Work the cloth from the outside of the stain in so that you do not spread the stain. Apply the cleaner and then blot off the excess. Rinse and blot and repeat until the stain is removed. If solvents are being used it is imperative that they are completely removed. Quick drying will also help the prevention of any residue spreading.
Clean your carpets regularly but remember to vacuum before you do.
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