What can I do to clean up spills myself?
Blot up stains right away. The longer you wait, the harder it is to remove spots and spills. Always blot, or gently rub the area being cleaned. Never scrub or brush. You may actually “set” the stain and make it much more difficult or impossible to remove.
Why do some spots keep coming back?
It is not unusual for stains to reappear after spot cleaning. This is referred to as “wicking”. Wicking can occur when a liquid is spilled on the carpet [usually a large quantity]. Cleaning can remove only the stain from the carpet fibers. Liquid from spills can remain in the backing or padding. Through capillary action, the stain “wick” back up into the carpet fibers. These stains are generally not permanent and can usually be removed by repeating the cleaning steps you followed above. It is important that you place paper towels weighed down by a heavy object over the area while the carpet is drying to absorb any of the remaining stain.
Do your carpets really get dirty faster once they’ve been cleaned?
If carpeting is property cleaned, it will not re-soil faster. It is recommended that you re-apply soil protectors after each cleaning; this will prevent your carpet from re-soiling quickly.
Are carpet fiber protectors necessary?
Studies have shown that by having “carpet protector” reapplied periodically to your carpet, it will release up to 40% more of the soil during vacuuming. This reduces the excessive wear from abrasion of the carpet fibers, and prolongs the life of your carpet.
What else can I do to prevent rapid re-soiling?
Entrance mats will reduce the amount of soil brought onto your carpet. As much as 75% of the dirt and grime in your carpet is tracked-in soil. Some apply a “no shoe” policy in their homes, and this too significantly reduces re-soiling.
Does it matter which carpet cleaning method I use to clean my carpets?
Yes, it does matter that you use the method that will clean your carpets the most thoroughly. At the same time, it is important that the carpets not be left too damp and that detergent residue is not left in the carpet, as this will only attract the soils to your carpeting again.
So what method is recommended?
The carpet manufacturers recommend that to properly maintain your carpet, you should have them “professionally steam cleaned every 12-18 months”. You may need them cleaned more often if pets are in the home.
Why is “professional steam cleaning” recommended?
Professional steam cleaning of carpet allows for a “deep clean” using a flushing action. Soils are suspended in the hot solution that quickly cleans the fibers and then is immediately extracted from the carpet and sent to a holding tank in the van. This method removes the soils, unlike other methods that only re-distribute them throughout the carpet.
But doesn’t steam cleaning leave the carpet “wet”?
Property cleaned by professionals, the carpet should only be slightly damp when the process is complete. Then with adequate ventilation, the carpet will dry within just a few hours. Soil protectors applied after cleaning can re-dampen the carpet, so good ventilation is a must if these are applied.
Wouldn’t “dry cleaning” be better then?
No. Dry cleaning does not extract the soils from your carpeting; it only is successful in removing some of the soils, with the remainder of the soil and contaminates being left in the carpet. Dry cleaning methods often leave the carpets damp as well, because most implement water in their process of cleaning.
How often is vacuuming recommended?
Nothing is more important than regular vacuuming of your carpet. Dry soil is abrasive and can damage carpet fibers, causing accelerated wear. A vacuum with a beater bar is best, as it will help remove the soils better than using only suction.
What else can I do to maintain my carpet’s appearance?
As has been mentioned, clean your carpets with a “professional hot water extraction method” on a periodic basis, re-apply soil protectors, use entry mats, take shoes off, and vacuum frequently; these all help extend the life of your carpet as long as possible.