Your carpets represent a very significant investment, and keeping them clean and new looking is an important part of enhancing the overall look and appeal of your home. Taking proper care of them is absolutely essential to insuring they will have a long and useful life. Here are some carpet cleaning tips to help you retain the beauty and wearability of your carpets.
** Clean your carpets regularly
If you let dirt and oily residue collect on your carpet it will attact further dirt, and walking on the dirty areas will break down both the carpet fibers and the carpet base. It is best to frequently vacuum your carpets to remove as much loose dirt as possible — to get down into the fibers and pull the dirt out before it becomes much more firmly embedded.
** Remove stains as quickly as possible
Stains are caused by oily liquids dropped on the carpet. The liquid residue saturates areas of the fiber and leaves an ugly stain. Or they can result from dirty shoes or boots in high traffic areas. It is important to remove stains as quickly as possible because they become more difficult to remove when they are allowed to dry and harden.
** Scrape dried soil
If soil or other kinds of dirt have been tracked into areas of your carpet, it will probably be necessary to scrape some of the areas where they have dried into small clumps. Use a blunt metal object to break up the dried spot and loosen the dirt so it can be vacuumed.
** Test spotting agents and stain removers
Not all carpets are the same, and they react differently to different chemical cleaners. Always be sure to test a spotting or stain removal agent before applying it to a critical area. Apply it to a spot in a hidden area, and then let the test dry properly before proceeding to the visible areas of your carpet.
** Follow instructions when using chemical cleaning agents
Do not use a harsh spotter or chemical cleaner without properly testing it, and always begin with a less harsh spotting agent. If that does not work, move on to something that is stronger.
Be sure to follow the instructions provided with the spotting agent. They will usually include recommendations for application strength, and will give you some idea of the kinds of stains they can be effectively used to remove.
Most strong spotters are either high acid or high alkaline based. After using one of these, neutralize the area by applying a neutralizing agent as recommended in the instructions. Or if it is not clear what neutralizing agent to use, use water to rinse the area thoroughly.
** Minimize detergent residue
Whenever you use a detergent to clean your carpet you will probably leave a detergent residue in the fibers. This residue can build up and actually attract dirt and show up as powder within the fibers.
So it is important to remove as much of the detergent residue as possible. Often vacuuming is not enough. You should occasionally use an extraction process that uses rotary scrubbing so the fibers are thoroughly cleaned.