Some of the most common practices used to maintain carpets are damaging them. Spot treatment, going barefoot, and using a home steam cleaner are all common practices, but they have the potential to cause a lot of damage if not done correctly. Utilized incorrectly, and they can cause a carpet to wear out earlier than it should. Understand how to utilize these common practices to your benefit, and ensure your carpet lasts longer.
Shoes Or No Shoes?
Have you made the decision not to wear shoes in the house? You are on the right track. However, replace your street shoes with house shoes. Going barefoot isn’t helping the situation. Walking on the carpet in bare feet can still do damage to the carpet.
Skin produces oils that stick to carpet fibers and attract dirt. Walking on the carpet barefoot, after applying lotion (oil), will actually do more damage than walking around the house in street shoes. In addition, feet are the sweatiest part of the human body. Sweat grows bacteria. The organisms and oils from your feet can pass through socks, and into carpets. These bacteria cause odors, eat away at your carpet fibers, and grow unpleasant things that can turn into spots. House shoes should replace, street shoes, and socks. If you do not have house shoes, socks still provide some protection. Avoid walking on the carpet in bare feet. This will help keep your carpets fresh for years to come.
Spot Cleaning Is Important!
Spot cleaning is definitely an important step in carpet maintenance. However, if you use the wrong products to clean up spots, it can permanently damage the carpet. Common cleaning agents are known to set stains or bleach the carpet fibers. Avoid carpet products that you can buy in the grocery store. The quality of the product sold in grocery stores is typically very low.
In addition, most of these products contain oils and petroleum. A residue is left behind that attracts soil and dirt. Have you ever cleaned up a spot and noticed that it disappears for a week maybe two, then suddenly reappears? This is caused by the residues left behind by the shampoo, or spot cleaner.
Finally, many of these compounds warn to test for colorfastness. Why? They can actually alter the color of your carpet, and the product manufacturer doesn’t want to be responsible for any type of damage. Using these low-quality products on your rugs can actually void your carpet’s warranty. No matter what, do not use bleach, peroxide or dish soap to clean spots. These products are not designed for carpet and can do considerable damage.
Best Spot Cleaning Product Available
The best spot cleaner out there is probably sitting under your kitchen sink, or in your pantry already. White distilled vinegar contains antibacterial properties, and will not leave behind any kind of residue. We recommend keeping a spray bottle mixture of half and half distilled white vinegar and with water. Use it for general clean up of normal spots, and even pet spots. It can actually help to keep “Fido’s” lovely spots from becoming a permanent stain on the carpet.
Baking soda, corn starch, and salt are other items that you can use to clean up spots. Baking soda can help remove odors. Simply sprinkle it over the carpet, and vacuum it out.
Corn starch is an absorbent material that can be used to clean juice spills. When a juice spill occurs, towel up the spot as much as you can, use straight white vinegar and pour it over the spot. Let the vinegar sit 2 minutes then towel out, and coat the top of the spot with a good layer of cornstarch. The cornstarch will draw out the moisture, and the color left by the juice. Let the cornstarch dry completely. Once it is dry, break it up, and vacuum. Then, use a carpet brush to loosen any remaining starch, and vacuum again.
Use warm salt water to remove blood from fabrics and carpet. Dissolve the salt completely before working it into the spot. When the spot is gone, let the rug dry. Then vacuum the area to remove the dry salt crystals. For more information on how to treat problem spots and spills check out our emergency spot tips.
Lastly, steam cleaning the rug with a home cleaner can definitely help with spot cleaning, but you must be careful. Water that is too hot can actually cause your carpet backing to breakdown. This causes wrinkling. By using a steam cleaner every month to clean your carpets, you are taking years off of the life of your rugs. At most you should clean your carpet two times a year.
Make sure to use quality products or just a solution of vinegar and water, otherwise, you will notice spots returning quickly. To sum it up, remember products that leave a residue will just attract dirt back. Carpets that get to wet growing mold and mildew. Water that is too hot can cause damage to the backing of the carpet, and cause wrinkling.
For best results, use your steam cleaner for spot cleaning and have your carpets professionally cleaned once a year to keep your warranty intact. This will ensure the longest life for your investment. Both dry, and steam cleaners can do a great job when properly used.
Want more information? Feel free to call us any time at 303.993.6751, email us or comment below. We would love to hear from you.
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