• Are you making these 6 cleaning mistakes?

    You don’t have to clean it until it looks dirty.

    While this seems logical, there are a lot of things happening with your carpet that are unseen. A carpet accumulates about twenty five pounds of soil per year whether it is walked on or not, even when vacuumed regularly. Also, dust has half the cutting power of glass. By not cleaning carpets as the manufacturer recommends, dust and dirt cut the fibers when carpet is walked on. This creates permanent damage. Once some of this damage is visible; it isn’t reparable.

    Walking on my carpet barefoot will protect it.

    While it’s true that walking on your carpet with shoes on, is not the best idea, going barefoot is not ideal either. Feet sweat, release oils, and grow bacteria. These oils are released into the carpet.  They attract and trap dirt in the fibers. The more the same path is traveled, the more damage is done. The best practice is to wear house slippers.  Never walk on your carpet barefoot after moisturizing your feet. Lotion is a death sentence to a carpet.

    Vacuuming is enough.

    Carpets should be vacuumed at least once, if not twice weekly. However, vacuuming alone does not remove enough dirt. Remember, even with regular vacuuming, carpets accumulate approximately twenty five pounds of soil per year. To remove even more soil an additional tool is needed. One of the best tools is a carpet rake, it is a brush designed to knock loose dirt, and dust that becomes embedded in the carpet fibers. It also lifts the nap of the carpet, and removes pet hair. Purchasing a quality carpet rake will cost between thirty to forty dollars. Using the rake at least once a month before vacuuming, will make a significant difference in extending the longevity of your rug. If you have pets, regular raking also extends the life of your vacuum. Lastly, raking the carpet  provides a good cardio, and arm work out.

    Store Bought Spot Cleaner

    Spot cleanup is important, but what you use to clean the spots is equally important. Store bought cleaners are cheaply made and use oil, silicone, or petroleum as a base. They do remove spots, and they make the carpet look brighter at first. However, all of these products leave behind a film that attracts dirt like a magnet. You may notice the spot looks great at first, but two to four weeks later the spots come back, and may even look worse than before. Applying more spot cleaner only adds oil to the problem, and eventually the spots won’t come out. Sometimes spot cleaners also change the color of the carpet. Beware, if the bottle says test for colorfastness; throw it in the trash. We recommend you never use store bought products. For information on what to use, check out our emergency spot tips here. Chances are you already have what you need in your pantry.

    Darkening Where You Walk Is Just Dirt.

    Areas that are traveled frequently in the home incur the most damage. Once a wear pattern is established and darkening appears in the walkways, it is too late. You can be remove the dirt, but the carpet will remain dark. As previously mentioned dust has half the cutting power of glass. Walking on carpet grinds the fibers against the dust, and cuts them little by little. The carpet begins to fray, changing the way light refracts off the fibers. What was once bright becomes dull, and dark. To prevent this damage, it is important to vacuum and clean your carpet regularly. It is also a good practice to put the soil retardant back on the carpet after it is cleaned, which is recommended by manufacturers. Soil retardant helps prevent dust from penetrating carpet fibers, thus extending the life of the carpet. However, it does wear off over time.   When you get your carpets cleaned, make sure to ask for this extra. It will cost a little more, but is worth the price.

    Just Cleaning the Carpet will Remove Odors.

    When doing laundry there are different products designed to do different jobs. You can purchase brighteners, fabric softeners, deodorizers, bleach (never use bleach on carpet), and products that prolong the life of your colors.  Although some cleaners have perfumes they do not deodorize, or sanitize for bacteria or mold. You need a special product for that. Carpet cleaning products are the same. If you have an odor you want removed you will need to do more than just the basic cleaning service. Ask your cleaner for a product that sanitizes to take care of the problem that is causing the odor.