One of the great myths surrounding new carpets is that they should not be vacuumed. This is most definitely not the case and you can vacuum your carpets from the time they are fitted. When a carpet is new it has a tendency to shed fluff. This is not something to worry about, the fluff is just loose fibres and does not indicate any fault with the carpet; you should simply vacuum the fluff away.
Remember to vacuum your carpets at least once a week. Dirt and grit become trapped in all carpets. As the carpet is walked across the dirt and grit will grind against the fibre of the carpet causing the carpet to wear and become dull. If you are aware of areas in your home that you know will receive a high amount of wear you may want to consider using rugs to protect your carpet, or better still, have a good quality carpet protectant applied. Protectants not only help prevent permanent staining, but also help you vacuum clean more effectively, removing more gritty particles.
Spills are a certainty, so the best way to deal with them is to be prepared and know how best to tackle them. Mistreated spills can become permanent stains and unwanted features on your carpets. The best thing to do with any spillage is to act quickly, the faster they are tackled the easier they will be to remove.
- Always avoid allowing a spill to dry on your carpet, except in the case of some materials such as tar or mud which are easier to remove when dry.
- Dyes from cloth or paper towels can, in the presence of some liquids, migrate into carpeting and soft furnishing materials. Therefore, when trying to remove stains, only use towels which are colourless (white) or are known to be totally colourfast.
- When working on a stain, always work form the outside, and towards the center. This will prevent spreading of the staining material. Remove any solids in the staining material first using a spoon, spatula or other blunt instrument.
- If you have a spillage do not scrub your carpet. Scrubbing will damage the fibres of the carpet and while you may succeed in removing the stain you will have damaged your carpet and altered the look of the pile. Dabbing a spillage with an absorbent cloth or paper towel is the best .
- Boiling water should never be applied to spillages as it can cause permanent damage to the structure of carpeting. Any water used to treat stains should be tepid to warm, but not boiling.
- Remember, the stain you are trying to treat is on the top surface (pile area) of the carpet, so saturating the carpet such that the carpet backing and underlay become soaked, is unnecessary and saturation will probably cause delamination, local shrinkage and the formation of unhealthy moulds and mildew beneath the carpets surface.
- Avoid using shampoos and washing up liquids or any other non-specialised cleaners. If you clean spills with these products you may notice the return of your stain in a matter of weeks. This is because shampoos can leave behind sticky residues which cannot be fully rinsed away without saturating the carpet, and will attract and gather dirt where you don’t want to keep it.
- Cleaning up spills and keeping your carpets in mint condition will be much easier if you have your carpets treated with a fabric protector. You should look for a supplier who can apply a fluoro-chemical protector with acid dye blockers for best results. Your carpet and fabric care expert will advise you on the options available to you.
Different stains require different treatment
Here are some tips for dealing with common stains:
- Blood: Firstly soak up the liquid with an absorbent cloth or tissue. Using a clean white cloth, moistened with cold water, dab the area repeatedly until the stain lifts. If the blood has dried into the carpet you will need to dissolve it first with warm water. If the stain has dried and cannot be removed, you should obtain the services of a reputable carpet care specialist.
- Tea, Red Wine, Coffee, Juice etc.: again, begin by soaking up the liquid using an absorbent clean cloth or paper towels. Using another clean white cloth, moistened with warm water, dab repeatedly until the stain lifts. If, having repeated this process several times, the stain has not been fully removed, you should consult a reputable carpet care specialist.
- Chewing Gum: You should never tackle chewing gum until it has been frozen dry. You can buy agents to freeze gum in carpet at hardware stores. Once the gum has been frozen you can remove it easily by breaking it up.
- Grease: Using a spoon, spatula or other blunt instrument, remove as much of the grease as possible. Treat the remainder by spraying on a little “Grease Remover” (available from your local Carpet care specialist) and then dabbing with a clean cloth towel to absorb the suspended material. It may be necessary to repeat the process several times to achieve total removal.
This information is provided in association with: Chem-Dry Ireland Ltd.,
the DRIER. CLEANER. HEALTHIER