Caring For Your Carpet
Remember carpets do get dirty under normal use and looking after your carpet and maximising its good looks is dependent on the level of simple maintenance which is applied by the owner.
The lasting beauty of your carpet depends on attention to a few simple, easy-to-follow steps…
Retaining The Good Looks Of Your Carpet For Longer
Step 1: Vacuum Frequently
The best way to reduce soil accumulation and prolong the life of your carpet is to vacuum frequently, especially in those areas where high levels of traffic are common. For all cut pile carpets we recommend an upright cleaner with an active beater bar to help loosen and lift soil from the pile. Loop pile carpets are best maintained using a suction cleaner to minimise snagging and damaging the loop pile.
Step 2: Clean Areas Of Frequent Use
The most-used areas of the carpet – entrances, doorways, traffic lanes, around a favourite chair, etc., are going to collect dirt much faster that the remainder of the carpet. Cleaning these areas when they just begin to look soiled stops the dirt from spreading to the rest of the house and can extend the time between professional cleanings.
Step 3: Attend To Stains And Spills Immediately
Most stains and spills are far easier to remove when attended to immediately. Please follow the advice in the Cleaning Techniques section.
Step 4: Periodic Professional Cleaning
Airborne particles of dust and oils will eventually leave a thin dull film on even unused parts of the carpet. To help overcome this natural soiling, periodic professional cleaning of the carpet is essential. Carpets perform best when properly cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner using specially formulated cleaners developed for your carpet.
These are general notes to help you keep your carpet free from stains and spills.
It is important that you act quickly upon encountering a spill!
- Depending on the spill:
Absorb the liquid spills by blotting (DO NOT RUB) with absorbent cloths or plain white paper towels, or scrape lightly to loosen a hard or crusty type stain, or scoop up soft substances with the dull edge of a spoon or vacuum any loose particles that can be readily removed.
- Sponge warm water onto the spill, blot the spill firmly using a sponge or cloth. Repeat this procedure several times, rinsing the sponge or cloth frequently. Take care not to overwet the carpet and do not walk on the carpet until thoroughly dry.
- If the stain is not removed by the use of warm water, locate the substance on the spot removal guide overleaf and follow the directions carefully.
- The final process on carpets after following wetting and blotting should be as follows:- Place 5-6 layers of kitchen roll on the affected area and place on top a heavy book such as a telephone directory. Allow to dry over 2-4 hours. The kitchen roll will absorb any stain in the base fibres.
Technique A for greasy stains -
Use Methylated Spirits. (NB: Take Care! Methylated Spirits are flammable). Do not apply direct to the stained area. Using a piece of cotton wool apply to the edges of the stain and gradually work inwards. Blot with absorbent tissue/kitchen roll to remove excessive moisture. Do not worry if colours darken during this process. Repeat if required. Using a soap solution on cotton wool dampen the area and blot again with tissue/kitchen roll. Dry using a hair-dryer continually moving over the damp area (this will prevent watermarking) until dry.
Technique B for water based stains -
Soak up immediately using absorbent cloths (towelling) tissues or kitchen roll. If stain persists re-wet using a solution of tepid water and non-biological washing powder only on a small piece of sponge or cotton wool. Repeat as necessary. Dry with a hair-dryer keeping the dryer moving at all times.
Technique C for dried-in stains -
Soap Solution (two litres of tepid water mixed with half a teaspoon of carpet shampoo or non-biological washing powder only) Re-wet the stained area using the soap solution applied on a piece of cotton wool. Blot using kitchen roll as above.
Technique D for chewing gum -
Scrape or blot excess spill. Freeze with ice cubes. Shatter with blunt object such as the back of a spoon. Vacuum chips away before they melt.
Technique E for white glue and nail polish -
Apply nail polish remover (non-oily acetone type). Use a cotton towel to apply to the spill. Don’t wet through to carpet backing. Pick up softened material, use clean white paper towel and push toward the centre of the spot to avoid spreading material. Repeat above – soften and carefully remove a layer of the material each time. Haste may spread the stain and/or damage the carpet.
Technique F for shoe polish, urine, vomit etc -
Apply detergent (see “cleaning solutions”), use damp towel, leave 3-5 minutes. Blot – don’t rub. If stain is removed, finish with a water rinse, blot, followed with a pad of weighted paper towels. If stain not removed, continue as follows. Apply hydrogen peroxide solution (see “cleaning solutions”), let stand 2-3 hours under a weighted sheet of plastic wrap. Repeat application of hydrogen peroxide and dry under weighted plastic wrap until removal is completed. Apply water with damp towel. Blot – finish with weighted pad of paper towels. Apply white vinegar (undiluted) only after stained removed.
Technique G for candle wax -
Scrape off excess material. Cover with white cotton towel or brown paper. Apply warm iron (warm, not hot: use lowest setting first if unsure, do not exceed synthetic or medium setting) until material is absorbed. be sure towel is large enough to cover the stained area. Take care never to touch the iron to the carpet as the fibre may melt. Change towel or rotate to clean area and repeat until all material is absorbed.
Technique H for chalk, mud etc -
Vacuum away as much as possible. Loosen remaining material by tapping with a scrub brush or toothbrush. Tap with brush, do not scrub. Vacuum again. Follow with technique B.
Technique I for lipstick -
Scrape off excess material. Lightly rub area with a fresh slice of white bread. Complete removal with technique A.
Where recommended the following guide to cleaning solutions apply:
Detergents 1/2 teaspoon Dry powder household detergent (without bleach) with 1 cup warm – not hot water.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Mix 1/2 cup (3% solution available in chemist) with 1 teaspoon household ammonia. Use within 2 hours of mixing.
Ammonia: Undiluted, unscented, clear (not sudsy) household ammonia.
Dry-cleaning Fluid: Liquid, non-oily, non-caustic type sold for spot removal for garments. Caution – may be flammable. Never mix ammonia with bleach.
NB: Some spills such as bleaches and strong detergents may stain Nylon/Polyester carpets. However, particularly difficult stains may be removed from polypropylene carpets only by using a mixture of 50% bleach and 50% tap water, phone the Helpline if in any doubt. Great care should be exercised with acne preparations which contain benzoyl peroxide and which may irrevocably damage your carpet.
Some household chemicals are potentially hazardous, follow the directions on the packaging where applicable.