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Clean Carpet Made Easy – A Consumer’s Guide

Carpet is a relatively low-maintenance soft flooring surface that has many beneficial qualities. Some of these benefits include: a soft surface for safety and comfort, a filter to control indoor air pollution, aesthetical qualities in color and texture, and convectional warmth.

However, some consumers perceive carpet to be difficult to maintain. By following a simple routine of care, carpeting will look great and last many years. Below are some suggestions to ensure years of beautiful carpet use.

Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum!

One of the best maintenance actions a consumer can make is to vacuum their carpet often. It is important to select a vacuum that meets or exceeds the Carpet and Rug Institute’s (CRI) Green Label Certification program. This Certification ensures that the vacuum has surpassed indoor air quality testing as well as safeness of use on modern carpeting. Believe it or not several popular vacuums on the market are too aggressive on carpeting and can cause premature wear. Using a vacuum approved by the CRI Green Label program alleviates this concern. To find a CRI Green Label approved vacuum, visit the CRI Website. (see end of article for link)

A popular question is how often should one vacuum? Truth be told with a CRI Green Label approved vacuum, the answer is as often as needed. Factors such as carpet use, pets, children, transitional soil (i.e. dirt driveway or walkpaths to the entry of the home), and other factors matter in the decision on how often to vacuum. A loose rule of thumb is to vacuum a couple of times a week, unless factors above come into play. It’s not uncommon for some consumers to vacuum once or twice a day to control pet hair and dander. Conversely if a room of carpet receives little or no use, vacuuming only a couple of times a month may make more sense. The short answer is one can not vacuum too frequently.

Treat Spots and Stains Immediately

Modern carpet has an amazing ability to hide dry soil. Above I noted that vacuuming frequently controls much of the loose dry soil, but vacuuming does not address spills, spots, and stains caused by liquids. Combating liquid spots is a fairly easy task and the sooner a consumer addresses the fresh spot the better. Modern carpeting is made with soil-blocking chemistry, but it is not bulletproof. Over the course of time this soil-blocking chemistry wears off of the carpeting and the carpet will not resist soil as well as it did when it was new. Also, some over-the-counter spotting products and home-made spotting solutions are too harsh on the carpets’ soil-blocking chemistry and will cause the chemistry to be compromised.

The best way to address spots, spills and stains is to follow this 3 step approach:

1) Determine the source – attempt to discover the source by sight and smell. Please note: If the spill is corrosive or hazardous, do NOT attempt to clean it up yourself. It’s best to call a professional who is trained in specialty carpet cleaning to protect yourself, family, and pets if it’s dangerous or you aren’t sure how to address the spill. If you have any concerns whatsoever, call the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification for a referral of a local professional cleaner. Their toll free number is: (800) 835-4624. Consumers may also access their 24-hour referral service online at the link provided at the end of this article.

2) Scoop/blot/extract – if the spill is large, using a Shop-Vac in “wet extraction mode” will make it easier to remove the bulk. Smaller spots can be scooped or blotted up with a white cotton terry 먹튀검증 towel or microfiber cloth. It’s important to use a white fabric for blotting to ensure there is no transfer of color from the cloth or towel to the carpeting.

3) Treat – All spots fall into 2 basic categories (or sometimes a combination – such as some kinds of ink): oil-based and water-based. Oil-based spots are caused by fuel, oil, some inks, grease, paint, nail polish, etc. Water-based spots are caused by urine, vomit, feces, food and beverages, fertilizer, etc. It’s important to treat each according to their type. Water-based spills, spots, and stains need to be treated with water-based spotting solutions and oil-based need to be treated with oil-based spotting solutions. For a comprehensive spotting chart with instructions, please follow the spotting guide link at the end of this article.

Carpet Cleaning

Vacuuming is effective for dry soil removal, and spot cleaning is an excellent way to keep carpeting looking fantastic between cleanings. Like any textile, such as clothing, a deeper system of cleaning is needed when the carpet becomes uniformly soiled. The Environmental Protection Agency and carpet mills alike recommend frequent cleaning between 3 months and 18 months, depending on use and types of soil. As noted above, carpet has an amazing ability to hide soil. Hoover Vacuum Company commissioned a study and determined that modern carpet can completely hide 1 pound of soil in 1 square foot of carpet! Over time carpet “traffic lanes” can become permanently etched if deep soil is not removed. It’s best to clean your carpeting before soil shows because once it accumulates permanent damage has likely already started.

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