Cleaning and Maintaining Your Carpet
Caring for wall-to-wall carpet can be slightly more complicated than you may think. From vacuuming to cleaning spots and stains, it is important to understand the best practice for maintaining and cleaning carpet in a safe and effective way.
The best thing you can do for your carpet is regular vacuuming. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute, you should vacuum at least once per week with a Seal of Approval-certified vacuum cleaner. Higher traffic areas will require a more frequent vacuum schedule. It is also important to vacuum up any dirt, food, pet hair, etc. on a daily basis if applicable.
The reason regular vacuuming is so important is that it helps prevent the carpet fibers from breaking down. When dirt and debris are attached to carpet fibers and then walked on over and over again, it causes friction and results in broken carpet fibers. Broken carpet fibers look flat and filthy. They may also feel rough to the touch. If carpet fibers break down enough, even a professional cleaning will not remedy their condition – meaning it’s time to replace your carpet.
While most wall-to-wall carpet needs to be replaced every five to fifteen years, regularly vacuuming can help make it last closer to the 10-to-15-year mark rather than 5 years. High traffic areas are the most important to vacuum at least once per week, but those areas underneath sofas and beds are also important.
Because any fabric within your home, whether its carpet, upholstery, area rugs, etc. acts as an air filter by collecting dust and dirt that is continually disturbed as people and pets are moving throughout the living space – it is important to vacuum even those areas that are never or rarely directly walked on.
Spot and Stain Treatments
What is the difference between a spot and a stain? A spot is a substance that has gotten onto the carpet but does not have the ability to bind itself to the fibers. For example, if you spill coffee on your carpet, it does not alter the texture of the fibers and it can easily be removed in most cases, especially if the carpet is nylon and has a protectant. But if you spill maple syrup or fingernail polish on your carpet, those items will alter the texture of the carpet and bond with the fibers making them difficult to remove.
It is very important to know how to treat spots and stains without creating complications for your carpet later. Here are some recommendations for spot and stain treatments:
- If it’s really bad or you are unsure of how to properly treat it, call your local carpet cleaning experts for advice or service.
- Avoid any products with bleach – even for urine, vomit, etc.
- Use natural products such as soda water, vinegar, and baking soda.
When treating any spots or stains it is important to address them as quickly as possible after they happen. Softly dabbing the spot rather than scrubbing it will keep it from becoming even more set into the carpet fibers. Try to get as much of it up as possible before applying any real pressure. If it was a liquid that spilled, use a dry towel to try to soak it up prior to using any products to treat it.
The reason to avoid products with chemicals for spot and stain treatments is, although they may seem to work miracles on your carpet, you will find that if any liquid touches those spots in the future or if you have your carpet professionally cleaned, the remaining chemicals attached to the fibers will begin to wick back up. It may look like a big water stain or even bleach spots. If you are unsure of what to use to treat certain spots or stains, contact your local carpet cleaning service and they can help guide you in the right direction.
Professional Carpet Cleaning
In addition to regular vacuuming, having your carpet professionally cleaned once every 12 to 18 months will help extend the life of your carpet and keep your home healthy and fresh. Using a professional cleaning company rather than a DIY carpet cleaning machine is extremely important. A DIY carpet cleaning machine will not have the same effect on your carpet as a professional hot water extraction cleaning.
Hot water extraction is the most effective way to clean wall-to-wall carpet. It is efficient and does an incredible job of both washing and extracting dirt and bacteria out of carpet fibers. The heat also acts as a refresh for carpet fibers, making them stand back up again as they did when brand new. Additionally, professional carpet cleaning technicians know exactly how much product to use to give your carpet the perfect clean. A DIY carpet cleaning machine tends to leave behind the overused products, creating a layer of residue on the carpet fibers.
If you need to book a professional carpet or upholstery cleaning, call or text: 703-255-6000.
Ayoub Carpet Service® is located in Chantilly, VA, and Falls Church, VA. Servicing Northern Virginia, DC, and parts of MD for over seventy years!