Carpet manufacturers like Shaw and Mohawk recommend you have your carpet cleaned annually or every 12-18 months to keep up with appearance and warranties. If your carpet receives a lot of traffic more frequent carpet cleaning may be needed. We are constantly asked what things can be done in between professional carpet cleanings to keep the carpet in great shape.
First things First
The easiest home maintenance action you can perform is vacuuming your carpet. Regular vacuuming will keep the carpet pile lifted to help from crushing and the matting of the carpet fibers, as well as remove dry soil particulate that causes damage to the carpet fibers. If you have a family of five we recommend you vacuum the more common areas in your home at least every other day, if not every day. Bedrooms and less trafficked areas can be vacuumed less frequently, but don’t forget to make a pass or two into your walk-in closets as well.
What vacuum is best ?
When purchasing a vacuum you want one that has a decent beater bar, and make sure it has the ability to adjust its height based on the different carpet pile heights. You want the beater bar to be a bit aggressive to dig the fine particulate out, but you don’t want it to be too aggressive and damage the carpet. You will want to test different settings to find the happy medium of what works best for the type of carpet you have in your home. Some vacuums perform better than others, that is certainly true, however the important thing to remember is to use the vacuum. For clients that have a budget using a less expensive vacuum more often will give similar results as a more expensive unit used less often. We recommend you don’t rely on a more powerful unit to vacuum less often. Once the damage to the fiber is done it cannot be reversed. This is a common mistake many people make because vacuums are sold showing how much dirt and other debris they pick up. The real damage comes from the soil that you cannot see that is damaging the carpet at the microscopic level.
What to do with spills and spots
Our most asked question is what to use when we have a dribble, spot, or spill. The answer is rather simple…
If you spill a liquid you want to DO NOT RUB, BLOT BLOT BLOT!
Using absorbent clean terry towels soak up as much of the liquid as possbile. Many times this can actually solve the problem, and no cleaning solutions are needed – especially if you’ve had a quality protector applied.
For things such as pet urine, absorbing as much of the urine as possible is critical. When urine first comes out it is at a neutral pH, and as it dries it quickly turns alkaline. Once it turns alkaline it makes it harder to remove, and the smell tends to get stronger as well. After absorbing as much of the urine as possible spraying it moderately with a white vinegar solution(1 part white vinegar to 4 parts water) will help keep the urine closer to a neutral pH. Following the application of the solution, take a clean dry terry towel, and place something heavy on the spot. If the spot is wider, more terry towels may be needed. Placing a heavy object on the spot will compress the carpet and pad, and allow the urine to wick into the towel. A lot of times this will also help prevent a spot from appearing after drying. Leave the compressed towel(s) on the spot(s) for several hours for best results. This can also be done for common spills and dribbles.
These spotting tips may not work 100%, but they will allow us to remove them easier with a higher rate of success when it comes time for professional carpet cleaning. We do offer same day service for emergency spills. Things such as koolaid, and other liquids with dyes you should call us right away to treat as they will set quickly, and the chance of successful removal lessens.
Walk Off Mats & Runner Rugs
Walk off mats and runner rugs helps less dirt to reach your carpeted areas. The majority of soil on the soles of your shoes comes off on the carpet in the first couple of steps. Placing entry rugs and runner rugs down will allow that majority of the soiling to come off on those rather than your beautiful carpet. You can buy ones that can be thrown into the washer or sprayed off with a garden hose and hung to dry. We can clean these for you at your carpet cleaning appointment or take them with us to clean.