Carpet Care- Spot Removal
Cleaning Agents And Equipment
A good checklist to handle spills should include the following items. Do not use any household cleaners other than those listed, since many household products contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet.
- A solution of a mild liquid detergent (no more than 1/4 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents which are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.
- A solution of white vinegar and water (1 part vinegar to 1 part water).
- White cloths, white paper towels.
- An ammonia solution of one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup of water. Do not use on wool.
- Non-oily nail polish remover.
- Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type).
- Non-flammable spot remover specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona, Energine, or K2R.
Prompt attention to spots and spills is essential.
- 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 of 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 water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling.
- Draw out any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weighing them down with a heavy object that will not transfer color.
Stain Removal Procedures
The following recommendations are for spot cleaning.
A. Water Soluble Stains. Absorb as much as possible with white towels. blot the stained area with white towels dampened with cool water until there is no more transfer of the stain onto the towels.
If any of the stain remains, use the detergent previously described. Spray lightly onto the spot and blot repeatedly with white towels, working from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading.
Rinse thoroughly by spraying with clean water, and then blot or extract. Do not use too much detergent because the residue will contribute to rapid re-soiling.
B. Oil Based Stains. Blot as much as possible with white towels. Apply the special oil and grease spot remover to a paper towel and repeat blotting. Do not pour or spray directly on the carpet pile, as damage to the backing or adhesive underneath could result; use the towels to transport the solvent to the carpet. Repeat as much as necessary.
Provide adequate ventilation! Do not use flammable solvents! Follow with procedures in A .
C. Gum and Wax. Freeze stains such as chewing gum and candle wax with ice or a commercially available product in an aerosol can. Shatter with a blunt object and vacuum before the chips soften. Follow up with solvent as in B .
7 Rules for Deep-Cleaning Your Carpet
- Shop Smart When You Rent (or Buy) a Carpet-Cleaning Machine
Choose one that you're able to lift and maneuver easily, and remember to factor in the
cost of cleaning solution as you're budgeting.
- Time It Right
Extra moisture could invite mold and mildew, so open windows when your carpet is drying.
- Vacuum First
Before you deep clean with the machine, suck up loose dirt and debris with a thorough vacuuming. Otherwise, you might end up grinding dirt deeper in the fibers.
- Remember to Spot Clean
Give your carpet's dirtiest spots and spills attention first.
If your pets are accident prone, be sure to use a pretreating solution with enzymes (check the packaging).
- Clean a Test Spot
Follow the carpet cleaner's instructions for washing and rinsing, but try a test spot in a hidden area before you tackle the whole carpet. This will help you get comfortable with the machine.
- Know When to Seek Professional Help
You should have your carpet cleaned professionally once a year.
- Keep It Clean
Regular vacuuming is your carpet's best friend. Dirt is gritty, and actually wears at the fibers.
Carpet Care- Regular Vacuuming
The most important step in the care of your carpet is vacuuming. Vacuum thoroughly and frequently, particularly in high-traffic areas, to remove the dry soil. As particles of dry soil work down into the pile, they are more difficult to remove and can scratch the fibers leading to premature wear of the carpet. High-traffic areas might need to be vacuumed daily. The whole house should be vacuumed once a week. Change the vacuuming direction occasionally to help stand the pile upright and prevent matting.
Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations:
- A good vacuum cleaner is vital to prolonging the beauty and life of your carpet. An inexpensive machine can remove surface dirt but will not effectively remove the hidden dirt and particles embedded in the pile.
- Vacuums with a rotating brush or combination beater/brush bar are recommended to agitate the carpet pile and mechanically loosen soil for removal by the vacuum. Note that carpet with thick loop pile construction can be sensitive to brushing or rubbing of the pile surface and might become fuzzy. For these products, use a suction-only vacuum or a vacuum with an adjustable brush lifted away from the carpet so it does not agitate the pile.
- Replaceable paper vacuum bags do a better job of trapping the small particles which pass through cloth bags back into the room. High efficiency vacuum bags, also called microfiltration bags, are now available and trap even smaller microscopic particles such as mold and mildew spores and dust mite byproducts, often found to be a source of allergies. This type of bag is sold under several brand names. Verify that these bags trap particles smaller than two microns. All vacuum bags should be checked often and replaced when 1/2 to 2/3 full.
- Make sure the belt is in good condition and that the brush or beater bar rotates when in contact with the carpet. To adjust the vacuum to the correct height setting for the carpet, raise the beater/brush bar to the highest setting and then lower it until it contacts the pile enough to slightly vibrate the carpet several inches away from the machine, but not close enough to cause significant slowing of the motor.
Carpet Care- Preventive Maintenance
- Use walk-off mats at all entrances to absorb soil and moisture. Clean mats regularly so they don't become sources of soil themselves.
- Use a quality pad under your carpet, particularly on stairs. A good pad gives better resilience underfoot and extends the life of your carpet. Some carpets carry warranties with specification requirement. Before purchasing your carpet pad, review your warranty.
- Move heavy furniture occasionally to avoid excessive pile crushing. Put coasters intended
for use with carpet under the legs of tables,chairs, and other furniture to help distribute the weight and prevent mashing the pile. Do not use chairs or appliances with rollers or casters on carpet without a chair pad designed for carpet. Continued use without a chair pad can cause damage to the carpet.
- When moving heavy wheeled furniture (pianos, buffets, etc.), prevent damage by placing heavy cardboard or plywood between the wheels and the carpet.
- Use of area rugs with our carpet can enhance the total look of a room, but be sure to remove and clean them regularly. Also clean and restore the pile of the carpet underneath. After cleaning your carpet, remember to allow the carpet and the area rugs to dry completely before replacing the rugs.
- Protect your carpet from prolonged periods of direct sunlight with blinds, shades, or awnings.
Recommended Basic Vacuuming Techniques For Your Home
Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.
To vacuum wall-to-wall carpeting, divide the floor into quadrants and vacuum an entire quadrant before moving on to the next.
Be thorough when vacuuming your carpet, especially a plush carpet where dirt is sure to be deeply embedded. One pass with a high-powered upright is not enough. Go over each section of carpeting several times, and work slowly to allow the suction to remove all the ground-in dust and dirt.
Pay special attention to the areas where people sit and move their feet. Vacuum these areas of heavy traffic with a crisscross pattern of overlapping strokes.
Soil retardants can be applied to new carpets or to newly cleaned carpets. Follow manufacturers' advice. Apply soil retardants only with professional equipment using the recommended application techniques.
Please Note: Carpets with stain resistant treatments improve your ability to clean, not prevent, stains. No carpet is stain proof. Carpets with soil resistant treatments reduce the rate of soiling and make it easier to clean, but all carpets require regular care and maintenance.
Testing for Colorfastness
Colorfast carpet will not bleed, fade, or change when you are cleaning it or removing stains. Whether or not it is colorfast may change the cleaning method or products you choose.
Here's how to pretest your carpet to find out if it is colorfast.
- First find a carpet scrap or an inconspicuous spot, such as carpet inside a closet. Vacuum the carpet.
- Dampen a cloth with the cleaner or stain remover you want to use.
- Lay the cloth on the carpet for an hour, and then blot the damp area with a dry white cloth.
- If the cloth is stained with carpet dyes, test other carpet cleaning products until you find one that does not make the carpet sample bleed.