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How to Clean and Maintain Carpet

 

The most important step in keeping your new carpet clean and in top condition is proper carpet maintenance. Good maintenance habits will extend the life and beauty of your carpet.

Vacuuming

The first step in your maintenance routine must be vacuuming. Dust, dirt, and other materials that find their way onto your carpet can become embedded in the pile of the carpet. Over time this can affect the color and may also cause the carpet fibers to mat.

Vacuuming the debris out on a regular basis, about once a week, will prevent an accumulation that could affect the long-term appearance of your carpet. Use a vacuum with beater bars and strong suction. The carpet setting on most modern vacuum cleaners utilizes the beater bar to help loosen dirt and other particles from the carpet so they may be more easily removed.

Spot Cleaning

If something spills onto the carpet, it is important to try to remove the substance as quickly as possible. Fast action may prevent a stain. Be sure to keep a stain removal guide and a stain removal kit on hand for emergencies.

Stain Removal Kit

 

●        Carpet cleaning solvent such as perchlorethylene

●        Detergent solution; one teaspoon non-bleach powder mixed with one cup water

●        Ammonia solution; one tablespoon ammonia mixed with one cup water

●        Vinegar solution; 1/3 cup vinegar mixed with 2/3 cup water

●        Absorbent white cloths or white paper towels

Pre-treatment

First, scrape the spill using the edge of a spoon. Begin at the outer edge of the spot and move towards the center. Next, blot any excess liquid by applying downward pressure on the area with a clean, dry white cloth or paper towel. Do not attempt to rub the spot. Finally, wet a clean white cloth or paper towel with the cleaning solution you will be using. Use it to dampen the carpet but do not wet the carpet all the way through. If a cleaning solution is necessary, test it in an inconspicuous area first to make sure it is compatible with your carpet.

Stain Removal Guide:

 

●        Beer – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Blood – water, blot, detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot *use only cold ingredients

●        Butter – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Chewing Gum – freeze gum with ice, shatter the frozen lump with a blunt object, vacuum, apply solvent, wait, blot and repeat as needed

●        Cheese – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Chocolate – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Cocktails – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Coffee – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Crayon – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Excrement – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Fruit – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Furniture Polish – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Garden Soil – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Glue, white – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Grease – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Hair Spray – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Ice Cream – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Ink, point or felt – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Ink, permanent – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, vinegar, blot, water, blot

●        Ketchup – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Mascara – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Mayonnaise – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Milk – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Nail Polish – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Paint, latex – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Rust – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Shoe Polish – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Soft Drinks – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Soy Sauce – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Tar – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Tea – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Toothpaste – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Type Ribbon – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Urine, fresh – blot, water, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Urine, dry – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, ammonia, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Vomit – detergent, blot, ammonia, blot, vinegar, blot, water, blot

●        Wax, candle – freeze wax, shatter with blunt object, vacuum, solvent, wait, blot, repeat as needed

●        Wax, paste – solvent, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

●        Wine – detergent, blot, vinegar, blot, detergent, blot, water, blot

Professional Cleaning

Even if you perform routine maintenance and carefully clean any stains before they have a chance to set, you will still need to have a professional cleaning every twelve to eighteen months to ensure your carpet retains its beautiful appearance. A professional cleaning service may use a number of methods including steam cleaning, bonnet cleaning, rotary shampoo, and dry foam.

When choosing your carpet cleaner remember that they will be caring for an important, and expensive, component of your home. Ask the cleaner for references and a firm estimate.

Carpet Tips

Place doormats outside any external entrances into the home. This will limit the amount of dirt and debris that enters the home and makes its way into the carpet. Close blinds or curtains to limit direct sunlight on the carpet that can cause surfaces to fade. Finally, move the furniture in the room occasionally to give the carpet fibers a chance to recover. This may increase the life of the pile. Additionally, you can use floor protectors under the furniture to diminish the load on any one spot. For additional carpet and stain removal information, visit the Carpet and Rug Institute.

Vacuuming

An essential component of your maintenance process for carpet tile needs to be regular vacuuming. Any type of carpet tile will attract dust and other particles, which can easily accumulate and become embedded into the carpet. It’s a good idea to invest in a vacuum that has more powerful suction ability, which may cut down on the amount of time you’ll have to devote to tending to your carpet tile floor.

Carpet stains need to be addressed and cleaned up immediately.

React quickly

As for any type of floor, the quicker your response time to addressing a spill, the higher chance you’ll have for preventing a stain. First, blot the liquid out with a towel and rinse with clean water. Blot the area again. You also want to make sure that you work the stain from the outside towards the middle, which minimizes the risk of spreading the discoloration. Never scrub at a stain, as this method usually will end up in pressing the spill further into the carpet fibers or soak through to the backing.

Cleaning spills

One of the biggest advantages carpet tiles provide when it comes to cleaning is that you can remove individual tiles in the event of a concentrated spill. If any liquid or residue poured on the surface, you can pull the tile from the floor and immediately head over to the sink for thorough cleaning. For water soluble stains from things like food and cola, try using a cleaning solution made from 1/4 teaspoon of mild detergent and 4 cups of water. Gently scrub the area while simultaneously rinsing with water, and continue washing until all the soap or detergent has been removed. Let the carpet tile dry off on a rack and once it’s ready, place it back into its original location. You can also use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process if need be.

“Most stains can be cleaned using vinegar or non-bleach detergent.”

As for more serious spills, such as coffee or pet accidents, you’ll need to clean the carpet tile off with something stronger. Using mild acids, or even a bottle of vinegar, can usually do the trick. Mix a spray bottle of vinegar so it’s 50 percent diluted with water and spray onto the stain, gently blotting it out with a towel. Repeat the process until the discoloration has been removed. Of course, if a stain has gotten to the point beyond repair, all you have to do is replace the tile to get your floor back to looking as good as new!

Considering cleaning solutions

It’s important to have the right type of cleaning solution handy for whatever type of spill you’re dealing with. The majority of stains, such as beverages, food or mud, can easily be addressed using the blotting method along with applying generic cleaning products such as vinegar or non-bleach detergent. More serious stains may require stronger detergents, like chlorine-based bleach. Before considering bleach-based products, you need to make sure that your carpet tile surface is compatible with these options, otherwise you might be causing further damage to the tiles. Drying off the tiles is a crucial element to caring for your carpet surface, as leaving a cleansed area wet for too long risks exposure to mildew buildup. Even if you haven’t experienced any severe spills, it’s always a good idea to routinely clean carpet tile flooring to ensure it remains in pristine condition.

(8) Comments

  1. Wow I love the stain removal guide, detailed with examples of how to remove each type of stain! I’ll have to bookmark this so I can reference in the future, great post!

  2. Thank you for the information. I am a newbie but I read about the industry all the time and think I do a great job for all my customers. I try to do everything you discussed in the article. I am a big fan of pre vacuuming. I know some guys don’t think it makes much of a difference but to me it makes jobs come out better.

    Thanks again for your time

  3. Thanks for the great post and useful information. I spot clean and use a non-toxic homemade odour removal powder in between getting my carpets professionally cleaned.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Nicky,

      Thank you for your feedback! We’re glad you enjoyed the article and found it informative! Please let us know if there is anything we can help out with!

  4. Carpet cleaning is very essential as it will not only help in cleaning the carpet as dust and dirt inside the carpets can put an adverse effect on your health especially kids in your home. Stains, drops of liquids, dirt, ink etc are some of the common things that you will see on your carpet. Never rub the stains on the carpet instead blotting them is the right approach. I always prepare a cleaning solution and use a clean cloth to dab the stain as it happens. Vinegar actually works as wonder on stains.

    • BuildDirect Product Expert Team
      BuildDirect Product Expert Team - Reply

      Hi Noah, thank you for the great reply! I definitely agree doing proper maintenance on a carpet is so important for the longevity of the product as well as the health of everyone living in the home!

  5. Hi, I have new carpet, it’s plush and soft (great pad). There are areas in my home that tend to have traffic dirt. What do you recommend for those areas to prevent this? I was left with several feet of the carpet that was installed. Would it hurt to cut out some sections and spread them on the heavy traffic areas?

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