When it comes to daily carpet maintenance we find that most people don't understand the basics. And this, at times, is what leads some people to get frustrated with carpet care maintenance.
In this article we are going to go over three of the VERY BASIC carpet maintenance routines that will help you keep your carpet cleaner, looking better, and lasting much longer at a higher appearance level.
Don't be fooled, these tips are simple yet very powerful and if followed regularly your carpet, your wallet, and your sanity will be benefit greatly.
Ok, so what are these three amazing tips!? Well, we are pretty sure you already know about them; but maybe you are not performing them regularly or the right way. That is going to change after reading this article.
Three Maintenance Procedures You Must Perform Regularly
1. Vacuum! Vacuum! And then vacuum some more
There is a reason that the word VACUUM has the word CLEANER right next to it! Because vacuum cleaners - clean!
Vacuuming your carpets on a daily basis (or close to it) is the single most important step you can take to keep your carpets looking good and healthy. Serious. It is.
When we tell people that they should vacuum close to every day, or at least five times a week, they look at us like we just called their grandma a bunch of names. But let us explain why vacuuming is so important.
Most of the soil in your carpet is dry particulate soil, meaning that it is not dissolved with water or any oil based substance. It can adhere to sticky substances that adhere to fibers, but dry particulate soil does NOT get broken down.
It is gritty and it can cause a lot of wear very fast, especially in high traffic areas. This gritty dry soil scratches the surfaces of the fiber (acts like sandpaper) and dulls the fiber. This is the main reason why high traffic areas can look dull and dingy even if they are perfectly clean. The surface of the fiber has been scratched and the way the light reflects back into your eye is different than the surrounding areas.
When you vacuum you get this dry soil out of your carpet (most of it at least), unless you do not vacuum enough and the soil gets lower than the surface of the carpet.
When dry soil is first introduced to the carpet it usually, depending on a number of factors, stays on the surface of the fiber. If you vacuum regularly this soil is removed from the surface before it can cause damage or get deeper into the pile of the carpet.
There are so many different substances that can get into your carpet and by vacuuming regularly you get that stuff OUT OF YOUR CARPET, which is a good thing. Also, vacuuming regularly (if using the right vacuum cleaner) can greatly improve indoor air quality.
So make sure you vacuum at least five times a week in heavy traffic areas and maybe two to three times a week in rooms that only get a bit of traffic.
In this article we are not going to go over the type of vacuum you should use, that will be in a later article, but the key is to use the vacuum! A vacuum cleaner sitting in the corner of a bedroom or in your closet and is rarely used is not going to do you much good.
2. Spot and Spill Pickup Is Crucial
As far as just straight appearance, spot and spill pickup might actually be more important than vacuuming. But, remember, vacuuming is still the most important thing you can do on a daily basis because of the long term benefits and the health benefits.
So as far as spot and spill pickup. Carpet is a fabric, when something is spilled on it you need to get it up off of the fibers as quickly as possible. If you do this you can easily wipe away most spills, even the spills that have aggressive food coloring in them.
Let's take a look at spills, because spills can be the most problematic.
When ANY type of liquid is spilled on your carpet get a white terry cloth towel and immediately BLOT the spot. Do NOT rub the spot, just blot. Then take the towel (preferably another towel) and sit it on the spill and gently push down trying to absorb as much of the spill as possible. Keep on doing this until there is no more transfer from the spill to the towel.
Now, to avoid any of the deeper down liquid from wicking up the carpet fiber and you having an ugly stain later on, just take another towel and put it on the spot (larger than the visible spot you can see) and add some weight to the towel and just leave it. Most, if not all, of the remaining liquid will wick up the fiber and into the towel.
In many cases if you get to the spill quickly then all you have to do is take 30 seconds, or so, and blot the spot up. If a carpet is well protected then blotting up spills is super easy and very effective.
When it comes to spots like butter, or chocolate and things like, the process is very similar to blotting up spills. Just use a white terry cloth towel (slightly damp) and blot the spot up.
If the spot is a bit more stubborn then just take a bit more time with it. In most cases you will either get the spot all of the way out, or close to it. The key is to act quickly.
Do not let a spill, or a spot, sit in your carpet for long periods of time. The longer the spot or spill is in your carpet, the more difficult it will be to get out. Time is important!
3. No Shoe Policy
While many people have a no shoe policy, a lot of people do not. Think about this: Most of the soil tracked into your home is from OUTSIDE, and most of this soil comes in on the bottom of shoes. So having a no shoe policy will GREATLY reduce the amount of soil that is deposited into your carpet.
And think about the types of soil that are outside that you are tracking in. All sorts of contaminants such oil, tar, dirty water, grass, insect droppings, cat and dog feces. About everything you can imagine. So take the shoes off at the door. It makes a big big difference.
So there you have it. Three carpet maintenance tips you probably already knew about but were not doing on a regular basis.
In this article we did not go over pet urine stains, although the initial response is the same as when a normal liquid is spilled. Pet urine requires a bit of a different approach if it has been in your carpet for awhile, but even then if you blot or suck up the urine immediately you are ahead of the game.
If you have any problems removing spots or stains do not hesitate to give us a call at Linton's Carpet Cleaning. We are Vancouver, Washington's expert spot and stain removal carpet cleaning company.
Above Photo Credit: Shaw Industries
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