The following hints on carpet maintenance will add considerably to your carpet’s life.
Weekly vacuuming is recommend to prevent embedding of soil, which is the cause of accelerated wear.
There are three types of vacuum cleaners: plain suction, beater bar and revolving bristle strip. All are effective for regular cleaning, particularly for dense pile carpet. For loop pile carpets only use a suction vacuum. The last stroke of the vacuum cleaner should be in the pile direction. For the best result it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Well cared for carpets may not require cleaning for a year or more. When the carpet begins to look soiled, either have it professionally cleaned or do it yourself with a good quality cleaning agent, being careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. No matter how careful you are, there is usually a small amount of residue left on the pile after drying. The residue from a poor quality cleaning agent accelerates soiling.
It is important to use a neutral shampoo (never alkaline) on wool carpets. Never use household detergents and do not use shampoos that smell of ammonia.
To check carpet shampoos:
• Leave a bit in a saucer overnight.
• Pour off the excess.
• Allow to dry.
• Check there is no sticky residue which house dust could cling to.
When using a shampooing machine, follow the instructions carefully. If possible, remove the furniture from the room and vacuum thoroughly before shampooing. Allow to dry overnight before vacuuming and moving the furniture back in place. It is important not to allow the carpet to get too wet because the pile and backing may become distorted.
There is a range of cleaning powders available that are either solvent-saturated or detergent-saturated. As with all other cleaning agents, follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a cleaning powder.
After vacuuming, sprinkle the powder liberally on the carpet, brush it into the pile and then vacuum it out. It is not necessary to remove all the powder from the pile as it can help minimise further soiling. Using a cleaning powder is an easy way to freshen a carpet because the carpet is not wet. It also distorts the pile less and the room is ready sooner.
Aerosol Foam Shampoo
For light cleaning of small areas, aerosol foam shampoos can be used. First test the shampoo for sticky residue that may attract dust. The foam shampoo is usually sprayed sparingly onto the carpet and worked into the pile with a moistened sponge or brush. Vacuum after the carpet is dry. Always check the manufacturer’s directions.
Spray Injection – Extraction
To remove soil with this method, the carpet pile is injected with a hot water and detergent solution under pressure which suspends soil in the water, which is then immediately extracted by a high suction, wet vacuum system. This method is often incorrectly referred to as “steam cleaning”.
This method is particularly useful for very dirty carpets because it removes deep-seated dirt, but it may not clean surfaces 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 machines can be rented, it is best to have spray injection cleaning performed by a professional cleaner because care needs to be taken not to over wet the carpet, distorting the pile and backing.
If you do use a rented machine, it is imperative to follow directions and not to exceed the concentrations of additives or the water temperature recommended by the chemical / detergent manufacturer.
Professional factory cleaning is ideal for rugs and carpet squares because it can effectively remove all of the soil. It is not as suitable for wall-to-wall carpets as on-site cleaning because of the expense of removing and refitting the carpet.
To ensure that your wool carpet, wool bedding and wool furnishing fabrics keep their good looks as long as possible, it is essential to maintain a regular cleaning schedule and immediately clean spills to prevent stains. Prompt action is important to prevent spills from penetrating the pile fibres and becoming fixed.
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