I will refer to carpets throughout this blog but the advice applies equally to maintaining rugs, sofas, mattresses and even curtains.
Your carpets and soft furnishings represent a considerable investment in your home. Not only is there the financial outlay to consider but they make your home or workplace a comfortable and pleasant environment to be in. Keeping them clean will help keep the environment clean and healthy too.
There are a few simple steps you can take to help keep them in good condition which means they will last longer, look better and not harbour too many bacteria or beasties.
Buy the best carpet you can as cheaper ones will wear more quickly and start to look shabby. Don’t be tempted to save money on the underlay either. Cheap underlay breaks down and compresses very quickly and loses its bounce. This then accelerates the wear on carpet itself.
A good carpet though can be compromised by poor fitting. Ensure that this is done well and if necessary lay a barrier below the underlay to stop draughts. (The carpet will act as a very effective air filter and trap the dust causing dark marks, known as draught marks)
Stopping carpet getting dirty in the first place is a great help. Simple measures include a washable doormat at every entrance point from outdoors. They cost a few pounds and are very effective. You may have a no shoes in the house rule which is also a good idea.
Don’t sit on the sofa if you’ve been sweeping out the garage. The dust and grit that has settled onto your clothes will get rubbed into the fabric.
A weekly vacuum will keep on top of the dust and bits. Any bits of grit act as an abrasive on the fibres damaging the surface so getting as much out as possible can only be a good thing. Using a good quality vacuum is essential here. The Sebo BS36 is almost the default choice for professional carpet cleaners for a good reason. Buy a good upright machine with brushes and a hose for getting into corners and tackling upholstery is a must. Change the bag before it gets full.
Vacuum North/South and then East/West – this will brush the pile in different directions and help work loose any stubborn bits. If you have mud to remove let it dry completely and gently brush it loose prior to vacuuming.
It helps to clear up any spills as quickly as you can. Blot up any
liquids and remove solids carefully so as not push it deeper into the pile. For stain removal advice you could read my earlier blog.
Stain protectors work by coating each fibre with something similar to a non stick surface. They are best applied after a deep professional clean or when the carpet is new. They don’t guarantee to stop all stains but do buy time to remove any spills. In time they become less effective as they wear away. Some carpet cleaners will always try and push this product and others don’t believe they are worth the money. If a carpet is already worn with the abrasion from grit the treatment can become less effective.
All of the above will help keep a carpet clean and in good condition but carpet manufacturers recommend a carpet is professionally cleaned every 12-18 months. I will say that the machines you hire from the supermarket or buy for £100 are a waste of time and money. They wet the top of the carpet but lack the power to remove all the liquid. Leaving the carpet damp can cause musty smells and mould. The detergent residues encourage and dirt to stick to the fibres and the carpet looks worse very quickly. You need a professional machine, costing thousands of pounds, to get a deep clean with the training and experience of a professional carpet cleaner.
I am always happy to advise on carpet care and maintenance and cover Coventry, Warwick, Leamington, Stratford and South Warwickshire. Call me, Neil Worsnop, on 01926 492696 for a free survey and quote.