Caring for your Carpet

Deep Cleaning

While vacuuming on a regular basis is essential, deep cleaning is essential to remove stubborn or embedded stains. This process will keep your carpets looking new for a longer period of time and will save you money in the long run. To keep your carpets looking their best, deep cleaning should be done every twelve to eighteen months.

Professional cleaning can save you time and money. If you choose to hire a carpet cleaning professional, consider having a representative of the cleaning firm come to your home to make a visual inspection. The cleaning professional can inspect the carpet for problem stains or excessively soiled areas that may require additional attention. Ask your retailer or a cleaning or floor covering association if they can recommend a qualified and certified professional cleaner, and be sure to check references. Professional cleaners should be trained for most floor cleaning jobs, from general maintenance to spot removal.

You can also contact the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, an American group, to obtain the names of member firms in your area.

Do-it-yourself cleaning may be an economical choice between professional cleanings. For any do-it-yourself cleaning method, it is best to pre-vacuum to remove as much dry soil as possible and to follow instructions carefully. There are many products you can purchase and equipment you can rent to clean your carpets. A wet cleaning method is the most common technique for do-it-yourself cleaning. It uses shampoo and hot water to completely cleanse your carpet. To start, make sure all furniture is out of the room or covered to prevent rust or stains. Use only the recommended strength of detergent and take care not to over-wet the carpet while rinsing. Make sure the room is well ventilated with fresh air during and after the cleaning process, and only move furniture back after the carpet is completely dry. Review the carpet manufacturer’s recommendations so that the method used does not void the warranty.

Wet Method

Either a shampoo cleaning or hot water extraction method

  • It is extremely important not to over-wet the carpet, and not wet the carpet cushion at all. Over-wetting can result in wicking of staining material from the backing and even promote the growth of mould and miIdew on the backing or cushion.
  • It is necessary to remove furniture or place plastic or aluminum foil under and around the furniture legs to prevent rust or stains.
  • When the carpet is rinsed, the rinse water should contain a good quality “all fibre rinse'' neutralizing agent.
  • For hot water extraction, room temperature should be maintained at normal levels. Increasing temperature will increase humidity and prolong drying time.
  • Let the carpet dry completely before walking on it. Fans and open windows will speed up the drying process. The carpet, when dry, should then be vacuumed.
  • The carpet should be thoroughly dried within 12 to 24 hours in order to avoid the possible growth of mould or mildew.
  • Shampoo cleaning should be either rinsed with the hot water extraction method or thoroughly vacuumed to remove residue.

Dry Method

Either absorbent compound, absorbent pad, or dry foam methods

  • These methods are minimum-moisture systems that may be applicable for certain types of carpet and where high humidity makes it difficult to remove a wet cleaning solution.
  • The absorbent compound method (also called dry carpet cleaner or dry extraction) is a cleaning process that employs an absorbent media that has been mixed with various cleaning ingredients; it is applied to the carpet and agitated with any of a variety of specially designed machines. The absorbent media delivers the cleaning liquids to the fibre surface, the cleaning chemicals dissolve the dirt and spots, and then the absorbent media absorbs the dirt and spots. Then the absorbent media is vacuumed from the carpet, thereby extracting the dirt and leaving the carpet dry and ready to use. Some dry carpet cleaning machines are equipped with a built-in vacuum.

IMPORTANT

All methods:

  • Be sure that the area is well ventilated with fresh air (open doors and/or windows and use exhaust fans) during and immediately after the cleaning process.