Carpet and tile are major investments that add significantly to the quality, beauty, comfort and warmth to your home. Proper care and maintenance not only protects your living surfaces, it gives added value to your flooring investment by providing you with many years of use.
To help promote a healthy indoor environment, Citrus Bright endeavors to inform and educate its customers by providing carpet care recommendations that if followed will extend the life of your carpet.
A comprehensive carpet care program consists of four elements;
- Preventative Maintenance.
- Regular vacuuming.
- Removal of spots and spills.
- Overall Cleaning on a regular basis.
Please Note: No carpet is absolutely stain proof. Some carpets have stain resistant treatments to improve your ability to clean up stains, not prevent stains. Carpets with soil resistant treatments reduce the rate of soiling, however carpets require regular care and maintenance.
Preventive Maintenance –
- Walk off Mats (Indoor/Outdoor Welcome Mats) placed at all entrances absorb soil and moisture that would normally transfer to your carpet, however Walk off Mats should be cleaned regularly so as not to become a source of soil themselves.
- Consider keeping sidewalks, porches and all entrances cleaned and free of excessive dirt and substances which can be tracked into your home.
- Move heavy furniture occasionally to avoid excessive pile crushing. Place coasters intended for use with carpet under the legs of tables, chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight and prevent crushing the pile.
- If you use area rugs over your carpet, be sure to remove and clean regularly. Clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath, but always allow adequate dry time before placing your area rugs back onto the carpet.
- Protect your carpet from prolonged period of direct sunlight with blinds, shades or awnings.
Regular Vacuuming –
- The most important step for caring for your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuuming thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high traffic areas.
- Walking on soiled carpets permits soil particles to work their way below the surface of the pile where they are far more difficult to remove and can damage the fibers. Frequent vacuuming removes these particles from the surface before this happens.
- For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once weekly. Those areas with heavier traffic require the traffic lanes be vacuumed daily and the entire area twice weekly.
- Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and reduce matting.
Spots and Spills –
- Prompt attention to spots and spills in essential. No carpet is stain proof, although many are stain resistant, which allows time to act.
- Remove as much of food spills as possible by scraping gently with a spoon or dull knife.
- Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or cloth towels.
- Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.
- Always follow up with clear water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling to occur.
- Draw out any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weight them down with a heavy object that will not transfer color, such as a plastic jug of water.
Even though vacuuming can remove most of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that builds up in the pile as a result of cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked in dirt. The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of delicate carpet colors; the color isn’t lost but hidden under the film. If this type of soil is allow to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry soil. For this reason, cleaning is so important when the dulling of the carpet is first noticed.
If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. It is a myth that cleaning the carpet before it is absolutely necessary will cause it to get dirty faster. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12-18 months depending on the number of residents and the amount and type of activity. Choice of proper cleaning systems is very important.
Professional Carpet Cleaners –
- Most carpet manufactures recommend the hot water extraction system which research indicated provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly known as “steam cleaning”, although no steam is actually generated.
- The process consists of applying a cleaning solution into the carpet pile and using water to extract or recover the used cleaning solution and soil.
- The most effective way this is done is from a truck mount system used by professionals.
- It is to your advantage to use professional cleaners due to their experience and the equipment they use has more extraction power than the rental units available for the home owner to use.
Do-it-yourself Systems –
If you decide to rent a steam cleaning machine and do it yourself, check several cleaning systems before making a selection. Most rental units available do not adequately clean and may actually damage the carpet. Consider the following;
- Avoid rental units found in many retail and grocery stores that do not have enough power to properly extract the cleaning solutions and water carpet. Over wetting can cause the carpet to become damaged and if carpets do not dry within 6-12 hours, this could promote the growth of mildew and bacteria. Most problems in do-it-yourself cleaning are due to over wetting and use of excessive detergent.
- Use a cleaning solution with a pH less than 10, preferably near 9 and with a minimum of nonsticky residue. Most detergents purchased with rental cleaning equipment will leave residue that if not properly removed can contribute to re-soiling. Because buildup of detergent residue is the most common complaint, do not use extra cleaning detergent. Consider applying the cleaning solution as a pre-spray and only using clear, clean water in the extraction unit to minimize residue.
- Carpet with stain resistant treatments must be cleaned with products formulated for this purpose, or stain resistant will be impaired and the warranty voided.
- Reduce drying time by using several fans to move air across the carpet in combination with dehumidifier or air conditioning to pull moisture out of the air. Carpets should be dry within 12 hours; less is better.