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Carpet Care and Carpet Cleaning

It takes diligent vacuuming, and spot cleaning when unexpected spills happen, to keep your carpet smelling fresh and looking clean. Even with regular vacuuming and spill containment, traffic on the rugs mean that it will eventually need to be shampooed. Carpet care professionals recommend shampooing your carpet every 12 to 18 months. You can try the do-it-yourself method, or hire a professional who knows exactly what they are doing.

Do-it-Yourself

Cleaning the carpet yourself can save you a lot of money. Lots of people have their own carpet shampooing machines; the trick is knowing what chemicals to use. Always use shampoos recommended for that machine–never use laundry detergents. Carpet care machines purchased in department stores are pretty good for quick-fix jobs, but renting a carpet shampooer will do a slightly better job. These two types of cleaners are at the bottom of the carpet care totem pole—hiring a carpet care professional will guarantee a clean carpet and pleasant fragrance with minimal damage done to your flooring.

Finding a Professional

So, you’ve decided to eliminate the headache of shampooing the carpet yourself and you need to find a carpet care professional. Where do you start and what questions should you ask? Because word-of-mouth recommendations are always the best, begin by asking friends and family if they know a reputable carpet care professional. If you have no luck, start looking in your local phone book. Locally-owned carpet cleaners often have a reputation to uphold, plus you’ll help the environment by saving on fuel. Searching online for carpet care professionals in your area may work just as well.

Before calling carpet cleaning companies, make a list of questions to ask. For example:

• Do they give free estimates?
• Are they licensed and certified?
• What payment options do they have?
• Do they treat pet-damaged carpets?
• Do they use eco-friendly cleaning products?

Types of Professional Carpet Cleaning

Dry foam carpet cleaning is not actually dry, as its name implies. By carpet professional standards, the moisture content using this method is so low–ten percent liquid and 90 percent air—that it can be called dry. A compressor turns a water and shampoo solution into foam, which is applied to the carpet. A revolving brush thoroughly cleans each carpet fiber. The carpet is vacuumed when dry, removing dirt and dried crystals.

The hot water extraction method (steam cleaning) works by spraying a cleaning solution, mixed with hot water, onto the carpet. While spraying, the dirty water is simultaneously vacuumed up. Most carpet care companies will arrive at your home with the necessary equipment loaded in their vehicle. Although this method is referred to as steam cleaning, the water is never hot enough to generate any steam.

The absorbent pad cleaning method for carpet care is an inexpensive solution for quick cleaning. The absorbent pad method will dry faster, but is recommended for use in between deep carpet cleanings. This carpet care method won’t remove deep-down dirt and is not intended to replace the recommended yearly carpet cleaning. Make sure this cleaning method will not nullify your carpet warranty, if you have one.

Whatever carpet cleaning decision you make, cleaning up spills immediately and keeping the carpet vacuumed will make the shampooing job easier. If your carpet is under warranty, make sure the carpet care methods mentioned above are covered.

Carpet cleaning tips

Carpet Cleaning Tips

Is your carpet beginning to look like it needs a good cleaning? Maybe you just have a few stains and won’t have to clean the whole carpet. If you happen to have a sample, or extra piece of carpet saved from when it was installed, you can use that to test your cleaning method for colorfastness. You wouldn’t want to clean a spot and be left with a bleached out area.

A few carpet cleaning tips would be good to remember. The most important trick is to treat the stain as soon as possible after it occurs. As a rule, don’t use hot water unless you have tested it on that same type of stain on a sample of your carpet. Hot water tends to set stains instead of remove them. If you use detergent on a stain, be sure it does not have bleach in it before applying to your carpet.

If you have dripped candle wax on the carpet, cover the area with a white paper towel first, and then place a piece of waxed paper over that. Use a hot iron to press over the waxed paper and the wax will stick to the paper towel. Keep using new paper towels over the stain until it is all gone. If the area of wax is thick, carefully scrape off as much as possible with a dull knife before using the hot iron.

Pet stains can be treated with rubbing alcohol or a dry cleaning solution, if you try it first on a sample of your carpet. Blot up as much as possible with a dry cloth, then use a circular motion, from the outer edge of the stain to the center, with the alcohol or dry cleaning solution on a cloth. For any odor that may remain after removing the stain, sprinkle the area with baking soda and rub it in to the carpet. Let it set for a few hours, at least until very dry, and then vacuum it up.

Two tablespoons of ammonia to one cup of water works well for blood stains, using the same method of cleaning as you would for pet stains.

Be sure that your cleaning solution is not flammable. Some homemade solutions, when mixed with certain chemicals, could catch fire. If it is possible that the stain could contain any chemical, such as shoe polish, it might be better to use commercial carpet shampoo.

Rug care

Rug Care Overview

Area rugs can be a great way to add depth and liven up a room – however, some rugs can be quite expensive. And that’s exactly why, in order to ensure the lifespan and beauty of your rugs, you need to take proper care of them. With proper preventative maintenance and rug care, you can keep your rugs looking as beautiful and every bit as clean as the very first day you bought them; but there are different methods of caring for different types of rugs.

General Rug Care

The first thing you’ll want to do when it comes to rug care is check the rug for any manufacturer supplied tags – and this holds true no matter what type of rug you are concerned with. Oftentimes proper washing and rug care instructions can be found here. You may also want to consider adopting a “no shoes” policy in your home, as footwear will not only dirty up your rugs, but cause unnecessary wear and tear, as well.

Shaggy Rug Care

Shaggy rugs are known to lose a lot of the fibres, and can be quite messy – especially when you are trying to clean or vacuum them. Before starting your normal rug cleaning routine, its best to take the shaggy rug outside to shake the dirt and loose fibres from it.

Machine Made Rug Care

Ideally, you’ll want to clean these types of rugs with a vacuum that utilizes a beater bar. This makes sure the rug retains its fluffiness and original look, while still cleaning deep down into the cut piles and fabric.

Natural Fibre, Sisal, and Loop Pile Rug Care

These types of rugs are usually quite fragile, so caution should be taken with rug care on any of these rugs. The ideal method to clean these rugs is to gently comb or brush from the inside to the outside using the vacuum’s tools. Remember though, any tools you use here should be “suction only”.

Cleaning Spills

Spills happen to the best of us; and more importantly, they happen to the best of our carpets and rugs, too. If you need to take care of a spill on your carpet or rug, remember never to rub the stain; this just drives it deeper into the rug. Instead, you’ll want to gently blot the area around the spill with a washcloth. Any excess spillage can be scraped with a spatula or blunt knife.

Carpet Cleaning with Children In Mind

Even when you perform a regular cleaning routine in your home, you may be leaving behind dust mites and other allergens that can have a negative effect on your children’s health. By using safe chemicals to deep clean your carpets on a periodic basis, you will be increasing the cleanliness of your home while protecting the health of your little ones.

Safety First

While many carpet cleaning chemicals get the job done right, they are not all child friendly. Children have sensitive body systems and are more vulnerable to harmful chemicals in their environments than are their parents. While deep cleaning is essential in order to keep your home free of the dust mites that can stir up allergies in your children, it is important that you only use safe chemicals, specially designed to be used around children. Only use products that will not cause harmful effects, even when used frequently, in conjunction with a regular cleaning schedule.

Go Green

These days, many people are interested in reducing their eco-footprint on the environment. This trend toward safe chemicals that do not harm the environment is great for families that include small children. Many safe regular cleaning products are being sold at grocery stores and used by professional carpet cleaners. Since the “green” trend is so prevalent on the market today, safe chemical products are no longer rare and difficult to find.

This shift toward a more environmentally friendly cleaning products market means that you can now get top quality safe chemicals that will be good to both the earth and to your children, at a fraction of the cost of years gone by. You can fight dust mites and other allergens without draining your bank account every time you need to clean the house.

Communication Counts

If you are hiring a carpet cleaning company, make sure that you discuss all of the products being used during the cleaning process. While companies may say that they use child-friendly cleaning products, you want to make certain that only safe chemicals are being brought into your home.

Ask questions and voice all of your concerns with any prospective carpet cleaner  before you make your final hiring decision. Your cleaners should be able to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of products used in their regular cleaning routine. Getting the dust mites gone is only half the battle; protecting your children while you do it is the real victory.