So you’ve just had your carpets cleaned and they look and smell great. Now you want to keep them looking good for as long as possible. By following these 10 carpet cleaning maintenance tips it will guarantee they will stay looking cleaner for longer.
Shoes Off, Please!
Shoes are your carpets number one enemy. Most outdoor pollutants that enter your home are walked in on shoes. Even though the soles may appear to be clean, they carry fine particles and oily substances that are transferred onto your carpets. Simply ask your family and guests to remove their shoes before coming inside. Just remind them that in many countries it is considered bad manners to wear shoes inside!
High heels are a definite no no on carpet, as the sharp heels can catch on the carpet fibres, causing pulls and runs in the pile. Most people are unaware that bare feet can also leave your carpet looking dull and dirty. Even if your feet look and feel clean, they still have an oily film on them that leaves a residue on your carpet that will actually attract dirt. Slippers, socks or “house only” shoes are a great option.
Mats and Runners Really Help
By using doormats at each entry point of your house, you will be able to control some of the soiling and keep larger particles outside where they belong.
To keep high traffic areas like hallways looking good, a mat or runner is ideal. These can reduce the wear on your carpet, can be changed easily and add a personal touch to your decor.
Keep the Sunshine Outside
Having the sun pour into your home is lovely – especially in winter. Lying on the couch with the sun streaming through the windows on a lazy afternoon…the cat basking in the sun’s rays knows how good it feels…
And although the sunshine will kill bacteria and germs, it will also damage your carpet.
The UV rays filtering through your windows can distort colours and bleach patches of carpet that are continuously exposed. Pale colours are equally as affected as darker tones, and it usually doesn’t become evident until you next rearrange the furniture.
Reduce the impact of sun damage by installing and using blinds, curtains or awnings.
Buy a Good Vacuum Cleaner!
Investing in a good quality vacuum cleaner and learning how to use and maintain it, is the first step in protecting your health and carpet. But there are so many vacuums on the market these days, how do you know which is the right one?
- Wattage -You will need one that is powerful enough to pull the dirt from deep in the pile – not just clean the surface. The higher the wattage is, the more powerful the motor will be
- HEPA Filter – Make sure it features a HEPA filter. This will retain 99.9% of what you pick up and stops it from being recirculated back into the air and into the carpet, or worse – into your lungs!
- Barrel or Upright? – Barrel vacuum cleaners will only provide suction and therefore only take off the surface dirt. An upright vacuum will have a revolving head or “beater” that will lift and separate the carpet fibres. This vibrating action allows dirt to be removed from deeper down in the pile
- Dual Motors – An upright vacuum with dual motors is an ideal choice because it utilises one motor for the vacuum and one to operate the revolving head, resulting in no loss of power
Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
Vacuuming is the easiest and cheapest thing you can do to extend the life of your carpet and keep the air inside your home safe for your family to breathe. Regular vacuuming with a good quality cleaner will remove up to 80% of the contaminates that are living in your carpet.
Weekly vacuuming, at a minimum, is important to keep the levels of dust mites and allergens down as well as removing the grit that constantly rubs against your carpet fibres like sandpaper. If left for too long, this grit will scratch the protective coating that is on your carpet, giving it dull appearance and eventually wearing away the fibres, causing breakages in the pile. Remember to always vacuum against the natural direction of your carpets pile, as this will remove more pollutants, giving a better result.
Learn How To Care For Your Carpet
Learning how to correctly clean up a spill is vital in the care of your expensive carpets. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and know what type of carpet you have installed.
It is important to remove the spillage quickly before it penetrates the pile and it is always best to call the experts, but there are a few basic things you can do until your carpet cleaning technician arrives:
- Work from the outer edge of the spill to the centre, scooping up any excess
- Use only plain white absorbent materials otherwise you may find that colours are transferred to your carpet making the problem worse
- Add a small amount of water to help soak up the spill
- Keep blotting until no colour is transferring to the absorbent material – it is important not to rub as rubbing will make the carpet look “fuzzy” and distorted and spread the stain further.
*** Be aware of supermarket bought chemicals – they may do more harm than good to your expensive carpet! They may leave a residue, set the stain or even worse, bleach your carpet.
Read our handy cleaning tips blog on our website, or call us on 041 122 5720 to ask advice. We are always happy to help!
Periodic Professional Cleaning is a Must!
Next to vacuuming, periodic professional carpet cleaning is the most important maintenance you can do to extend the life of your carpet and for the health of your family.
Your carpets and rugs should be professionally cleaned at least once a year. If your home is a busy one, it may be a good idea to have a touch up clean of the traffic areas every 6 months and then a full clean every 12 months.
The deep cleaning that only quality machinery can provide, will revitalise your carpet and remove the pollutants that have settled beyond the reach of your vacuum cleaner.
Steam, Dry or DIY?
Choosing the right carpet cleaning method for your carpet type is very important. Some methods are ineffective, others leave a residue that will attract more dirt and others may damage the fibres.
Machines that you can hire from the supermarket are very ineffective and are a waste of time and money. They have very little power and will struggle to even remove the surface dirt.
Dry cleaning uses a rotating brush adapted with a cleaning pad that has been soaked in cleaning solution. Because there is no rinse stage, dry cleaning will leave much of the chemicals still in the carpet, attracting more dirt.
Steam cleaning, or hot water extraction is the method recommended by most carpet manufacturers and also Choice (read more at https://www.choice.com.au/home-and-living/laundry-and-cleaning/carpet-cleaning/buying-guides/carpet-cleaning-options). This system consists of spraying the cleaning solution onto the carpet, treating spots and stains and then rinsing with hot water that is immediately sucked up by a powerful vacuum system into a holding tank. It is capable of removing pollutants from deep within the pile and the cleaning solutions are thoroughly rinsed away.
Truck Mount or Portable Machinery?
There is no doubt that alongside the knowledge of the technician who you have chosen to clean your carpets, the equipment he uses will directly affect the outcome you receive.
There are some good quality portable carpet cleaning machines, but most just don’t have enough power to get everything that is lurking below your feet. They require access to your electricity and water supply. Portable machines should only be used if you live in a high rise building or access to your premises is restricted.
Truck mounted machines have incredible power to suck right from the base of the pile, ensuring you get a thorough clean. Most technicians will carry many meters of hosing to enable them to park safely out of the way and not block any entry or exit points of your property. Truck mounted machines also have their own power source and will only require a garden hose connection.
The largest carpet manufacturer in the world – Shaw Industries, recommends “…using a powerful truck mounted machine, where only the hoses and wand enter the home”. This is so all contaminates are directly sucked through the hoses and into the machines holding tank, limiting recontamination and also to protect your furniture and belongings by not having heavy equipment dragged through your home.
You Get What You Pay For!
With most things in life, you can usually expect the price you pay to reflect the service or quality you receive.
Carpet cleaning is no different. Companies offering cheaper prices may have to cut their costs by using cheap cleaning agents, untrained and uninsured technicians and unreliable inferior machinery.
Carpet cleaning machinery can cost anywhere from $1000 to over $100,000; with many truck mounted machines costing more than most new cars.
The tools a carpet cleaner chooses represents his vision of quality. If he chooses good equipment then chances are you will receive top quality workmanship.
Before you hire any carpet cleaning company, do your homework and ask the right questions! Your carpets are an investment and should be treated as one. Make sure you get the best value and workmanship for your investment.