Prevention & maintenance
Prevention is better
Place mats in front of the house door to trap the dirt. This will stop outside dirt from getting onto your carpet. Also bear in mind that a dark carpet won’t show dirt and stains as much as a light carpet will.
To preserve your carpets beauty and appearance for a long time, we recommend that you vacuum the whole carpet area at least twice a week. We recommend a vacuum cleaner with rotating soft brushes (although not advised for high pile shaggy carpet). These vacuum cleaners are a little more expensive, but far more effective. This is the only way of removing deep-down dirt and the carpet pile will recover more quickly. For dense carpets we recommend reducing the suction power of the vacuum cleaner. Some models feature a variable motor speed, while others require the opening of an air gate to reduce the air flow. Slight dirty marks and stains can best be removed with a carpet cleaning product. Read the instructions for use carefully and always treat stains as quickly as possible.
If you have taken care to vacuum your carpet regularly and remove spills, you may not need to clean your carpet for a year or more, even if it is a light colour. However, when the carpet does start to look soiled, you can either have it professionally cleaned or do it yourself. If you decide to clean the carpet yourself, make sure you use a good quality cleaning agent and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
It is important to use a neutral shampoo – certainly not one that is alkaline, never use household detergents, and don’t use shampoos which smell of ammonia. To check proprietary carpet shampoos, leave a bit in a saucer overnight, pour off excess and allow to dry to see if it leaves a sticky residue to which house dust could cling.
If you use a shampooing machine, follow the instructions carefully. Remove the furniture from the room, if possible, and vacuum thoroughly before shampooing. Allow to dry overnight before vacuuming and putting the furniture back in place. It’s important not to allow the carpet to get too wet in case the pile and backing become distorted.
There is a range of cleaning powders available which are either solvent-saturated or detergent-saturated. Check the manufacturer’s instructions. After vacuuming, the powder is sprinkled liberally on the carpet, brushed into the pile and then vacuumed out. It is not necessary to remove all the powder from the pile as it can help minimize future soiling. The powder method is an easy way of freshening up a carpet. It also distorts the pile less and, because the carpet is less wetted, the room is ready for re-use sooner.
Aerosol foam shampoo
For light cleaning of small areas, aerosol foam shampoos can be used. It is advisable to test the shampoo first for sticky residue which may attract dust. Foam is usually sprayed sparingly on the carpet and worked into the pile with a moistened sponge or brush. Vacuum after the carpet is dry. In all cases, check the manufacturer’s instructions.
With this method, sometimes incorrectly referred to as “steam cleaning,” the carpet pile can be injected with a hot water and detergent solution under pressure so that the soil is suspended in the water which is extracted almost at once by a high suction, wet vacuum system. This method is particularly useful for very dirty carpets as it removes deep-seeded dirt, but it may not clean the surface as well as other methods. It is also useful for removing excess detergents from successive wet shampooings – and together the two methods can restore a very dirty, flattened carpet. Although a machine can be rented, it is best to have this type of cleaning done by a professional cleaner because care needs to be taken not to over-wet the carpet and thus distort the pile and backing.
Professional factory cleaning is ideal for rugs and carpet squares because all the dirt can be effectively removed. It is not as suitable for wall-to-wall carpet as on-site cleaning because of the inconvenience and expense of removing and refitting the carpet.
First aid for stains
1. React quickly
Do not allow stains to dry in, but remove them immediately with a clean kitchen cloth. Then remove solid elements with a spoon. Find out the type of stain, so that you can look up the most suitable product in the stain table below.
2. Bleach Cleanable
Keep in mind that stubborn stains, in carpets made from 100% polypropylene only, can easily be cleaned using household bleach, using a mixture of 10% bleach and 90% tap water.
3. Thorough treatment
Handle the stain with a clean kitchen cloth, working in from the outside so as to prevent spreading and smudging. For most stains a carpet care product can be used. If none is available, soak the kitchen cloth in the product indicated in the table below. Use the correct quantity of the product, not too much, not too little. Be careful to rinse the carpet to remove the care product and the dirt. Wait until the area is completely dry before walking on it again.