Investing in a good quality carpet is not a cheap option, so once it is in place, it is very important to take good care of it. Regular vacuuming and cleaning are all part of the regime to follow, so your carpet looks as good as new and lasts longer. However, not everyone takes proper care of their flooring, causing carpets to shrink and fade, or to wear thin. Once you have taken possession of your new carpet, or moved to a property with a good quality carpet you want to retain, here are a few of the top carpet care mistakes to avoid.
Scrubbing a stain
Glass of red wine or a toddler’s fruit juice, mud from the sports mad teenager’s soccer boots or something less savoury walked into the carpet by the dog, these are all going to make an unsightly stain on your flooring. Although your immediate thought is to grab a stiff bristled brush and try to scrub out the offending article, you are going to do more damage to the carpet fibres and end up forcing the stain deeper into the carpet.
Carpet fibres are what makes the floor soft and springy to walk upon. If they are damaged through using a scrubbing brush, these fibres will untwist and start to fray. Instead, you need to get a paper towel or a dry clean cloth and blot away the stain in the first instance. Then, vacuum over the area to get rid of any excess dirt before applying a cleaner.
Delaying any action
If you do not do anything at all immediately, it becomes very difficult to remove a dried in stain. Once a liquid like wine or blood reaches the carpet fibres, it becomes absorbed and chemically reacts with the properties of the carpet. Doing nothing is not an option so as noted above, blot away the stain, vacuum and then arrange for the carpet to be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner.
Not setting sensible house rules
Everyone wants to have a home where people feel welcome but there are a few good housekeeping rules to bear in mind, when it comes to carpets. Ban sports footwear (soccer and cricket boots have studs and spikes underneath) from the carpeted areas and keep muddy footwear out in the porch or utility room. Anything that is going to catch on the twisted carpet fibres and cause them to tear or break, should be avoided.
If you have heavy pieces of furniture that have pointed legs or wheels (such as a sofa, for example), invest in some carpet protector discs to place underneath the legs. These will help prevent deep indentations that will eventually wear a hole in a carpet. Move furniture around periodically and avoid bright sunlight from shining directly on the same patch of carpet as this will cause the colour or pattern to fade. Invest in blinds for the windows or put a filter on the windows to reduce the ultraviolet rays of the sun from causing harm.
Overuse of chemicals and cleaning
You can do more harm than good if you over clean your carpet. Too much use of proprietary cleaner can affect the stain resistance of a carpet and you can damage the fibres if you use the wrong sort of chemical. A professional carpet cleaner will carry out a pre-inspection of your carpet and use the proper pre-spray conditioner before applying a stain remover and shampooing and steam cleaning. They will be able to deodorise and sanitise the carpet and, because of their knowledge and expertise, will ensure they choose the right product to suit the make and features of the carpet you have had fitted.
If you decide to have a go and end up using more soap than is good for the flooring, the amount of water needed to wash away the residue will lead to lasting damage to the carpet fibres. You may also inadvertently mix chemical solutions that could lead to bleaching the colour or pattern from the flooring, or cause the fibres to wear thin in parts.
Never calling in the professionals
Proper care and maintenance of your carpet through using a commercial cleaning company will extend the life of your carpet and also help protect any warranty that comes with it. If you never have the carpets professionally cleaned (and it is recommended by the manufacturers of carpets this should happen every 12-18 months), then you will reduce the life expectancy of your flooring. They also have the proper tools and equipment to ensure the best possible care will be taken of your carpet. If you use cheap tools and the wrong accessories for carpet cleaning, these could damage the fibres irretrievably. However, a professional firm have the right sort of equipment that will prolong the life of your carpet while ensuring stains and dirt are removed.