The Do’s and Don’ts of Carpet Cleaning



Ever watch someone helplessly scrub away at a stain on a carpet with an abrasive brush next to a bottle of club soda or tonic water? Maybe even next to a gallon of cheap vodka so they can simultaneously clean and drown their sorrows… Yes, we know. Cleaning carpet flooring can be extremely frustrating and at times seems near impossible to complete. Since we’re experts on all types of flooring, we decided it was about time to share valuable information with you about cleaning and maintaining carpet, so you can in turn maintain your sanity.

A good general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t use it on your clothes, you probably shouldn’t use it on your carpet. Household dish or laundry detergent will not damage carpet if applied and used properly for small stubborn stains, but it is imperative that you should use extreme caution if you are even thinking about applying chlorine bleach to a floor. While it can be useful in the removal of really tough stains, bleach can be seriously damaging, rendering patches of carpet irreversibly discolored. So, unless you’re going for a tie-dye look to enjoy your old Grateful Dead records, it’s best if you don’t even bother with chlorine bleach at all.

When it comes to flooring, carpet is surely the most difficult to clean. Badly trained pets or children can make the process even worse. We won’t lie to you and tell you that it’s an easy process; in fact, it makes maintaining hardwood look as easy as ordering a pizza. But this shouldn’t automatically discourage you from installing carpet in your home. Nothing quite matches the soft, warm feeling underfoot that carpet provides. Another advantage is that carpet is extremely forgiving when it comes to dropped objects; even a heavy porcelain vase can survive a fall to carpet without cracking in some cases. Sound absorption also remains unmatched in the flooring realm when it comes to carpet.

The only real drawback of carpet is maintenance. Most carpets manufactured today for residential and commercial use are usually composed of nylon or polypropylene fibers, the latter of which is more commonly referred to as olefin. Both of these materials are much more resilient than wool or polyester, hence why they are so popular. However, when we say resilient, we do not mean that stains and moisture can be simply wiped away with a paper towel like stains on vinyl, ceramic, or laminate.

carpet-rollsNylon, in most cases, is the easiest type of carpet to clean. Vacuuming is obviously a must for both; this will remove accumulated dirt and dust between the fibers, and this should be done at least once every two weeks for optimum results. In commercial settings, this may have to be done every day, depending on how much traffic your business gets. If there are any stains present, a pre-spot carpet cleaner can be used to blot the stain out. Once this is done, dry carpet cleaning powder should be applied to the entire surface of the floor. Most people do not even think of doing this, but the dry powder should be brushed into the surface for best results; this will more effectively remove any visible soil present. After approximately 15-20 minutes, vacuum the carpet again to remove the carpet powder. The more frequently you do this, the less likely it will be to have to hire a professional carpet cleaner.

Olefin carpets, on the other hand, are a little more difficult to maintain. Of course, preliminary vacuuming should always be done first without any cleaner, but removing stains is a little more complicated than it is with nylon. For stains, blotting can be done with a paper towel or cloth, in addition to a small application of dish detergent to lift minor stains completely. Anything solid that is stuck to the floor can be pried off with a dull blade before removing the rest of the stain. Heavier stains—the ones that are most likely to occur if you allow biker gangs, musicians, or oil rig workers to stay in your home—should be treated with a carpet shampoo or other liquid carpet cleaner. Dry powder, while it is good for grease, makeup, and butter, is helpless when it comes to blood, urine, vomit, mud, or food. Once the powder sets or the liquid carpet shampoo dries, it is a good idea to vacuum the carpet once again.

Sometimes these methods are not sufficient enough to do a thorough cleaning. If all else fails, hire a professional cleaner, as they will have all the supplies to do your carpet cleaning job correctly. Whether you decide on an olefin or nylon rug, remember that each one requires slightly different standard cleaning methods. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as failure to do so in some cases will void the warranty. No one wants to spend time moving furniture outside for a new carpet installation, so treat your carpet floor like you would treat yourself to keep it looking brand new for years.

For more information on how to clean residential and commercial carpet, as well as the wide selection we have to offer, feel free to give us a call at (866) 705-1340.

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