Care & Maintenance Guide
The majority of homes across the UK have carpet throughout, and for good reason. Aside from the benefits of insulation and keeping a property warm, there’s the comfort and child-friendly quality that carpet contributes to making your house a home. However, a lot of people don’t take into consideration the maintenance involved to ensure you get the most out of it.
Like any other thing you care for in the home, your carpets need time and attention to keep it clean and comfortable. There are a number of tools and techniques you can take advantage of to achieve this, and this guide will give you all the essential tips and advice so you understand exactly what a carpet needs to stay looking brand new.
Why do I need a carpet cleaner?
People that own carpets will already know just how dirty they can get with remarkable ease. In some cases, you may have a pet which inevitably creates a constant struggle to keep your floors fresh.
It is possible to hire a person to do all your carpet cleaning for you, but this can end up costing a lot of money; especially when you consider how affordable cleaning tools are. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict when a spillage is going to occur, so owning a carpet cleaner and being prepared is always beneficial.
How often will I need to use a carpet cleaner?
This is a very important question, as it can affect your final choice of carpet cleaner. Do you have the intention of performing a deep clean, or are you planning to use it to clear up unexpected spillages? The weight of a carpet cleaner can also change from model to model, so keep this in mind if you’ll be cleaning up regularly.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re planning on using your cleaner often, then go for a lightweight model that’s easy to use and store. These types also fit better into running a family home.
What features are important on a carpet cleaner?
In most cases, all of these features will come as standard, but here’s a checklist just in case. They are all vital, so don’t purchase a carpet cleaner that fails to have the following.
What type of head do carpet cleaners use? In the majority of cases, they utilise brush rollers or small brushes that rotate individually. The first option is better for delicate carpets, whereas the latter works better for deeper cleans. Most expensive cleaners have numerous rotating heads to achieve better results.
Hot air drying
A significant downside of cleaning a carpet, especially if the spillage is particularly bad, is that you can end up with a wet patch for a number of hours. Some of the more expensive models have inbuilt hot air to avoid this, but this isn’t particularly common. A word of warning - if you have a delicate carpet this sort of tool could damage it, so always be cautious before using it.
Powered cleaning tool
The majority of carpet cleaners come with a variety of accessories, purpose built for cleaning small crevices, stairs and upholstery. In most cases, they are effective for cleaning a car too. Quality models utilise air powered brushes, which provide a more effective clean.
In the majority of circumstances, the more powerful carpet cleaner motor, the better it will be at cleaning. Low range models normally have 500w motors, with expensive models having 1850w. A good, mid-range motor is 1000w, offering the perfect combination of performance and price.
How much do I spend?
By this point in the blog, you may be thinking you want an all singing and dancing carpet cleaner. It’s important to bear in mind that models like this can often cost over the £200 mark, So remember to ask the following questions:
How often will it be used?
What type of features can I live without?
Some of the best carpet cleaners aren't the most expensive, so it’s good to do your research before dipping into your pockets.
How can I tell which carpet cleaner is good for the job?
If you do want to purchase a carpet cleaner, and you’ve decided on the appropriate features, it’s time to look at the various models available. You can do this by following the link here.
What are the carpet cleaning basics?
A carpet needs to be vacuumed at least once a week, especially in areas that receive large amounts of traffic. Doing this regularly will extend the life of a carpet by removing buildups of gritty particles that can damage fibers. It’s also worth purchasing a crevice tool to clean areas around radiators and baseboards every so often too.
Take your time as you clean the carpet, even more so if it’s a plush carpet. Dirt easily becomes embedded, so ensure you remove it all. Don’t simply do a single section once, do it multiple times to allow for proper suction.
Try and take note of the areas where people move their feet and sit down. This is where you’re most likely to get dirt and grime, so extra effort is needed here. The best method to adopt is vacuuming in a crisscross pattern, ensuring to overlap with each stroke.
How do I clean a spill or spot?
The main rule to remember if there’s a spill or spot on your carpet is to clean it straight away. Doing this gives you a better chance to completely remove it. Those that leave it until the next day may find their stains can’t be removed. A useful tip is to scrape or blot the area before applying cleaning solution. Remove as much spill as you can for the best results.
Although cleaning solutions can be a cheap and useful method, it’s suggested that you test them in an inconspicuous area to see how it works first. It can be embarrassing when one portion of your carpet is a different colour compared to the rest.
An important fact to state: Don’t rub the spillage! This will end up spreading the stain to a larger area, meaning that your job is made harder.
If applying spot cleaner, start by working it from the outside of the stain toward the inside to prevent unnecessary spread. Once this is done, blot to remove any moisture. A useful tip is to use a clean, white bath towel. They are great at drying carpets, as any moisture left to sit can cause excessive damage.
How do I treat specific carpet stains?
One of the main things people are concerned about when it comes to their carpets are stains. This section will focus on specific types and how to deal with them.
An acid spill, such as vinegar or drain cleaner, will require you to take immediate action due to any potential damage it might cause. Dilute the stain with baking soda and water, or with club soda. A solution of one part ammonia and ten parts water should then be applied. Rinse with cold water, allow it to dry and then vacuum.
One of the side effects for people who have parties in their homes is the possibility of spillages. Immediately dilute the spot with water and then absorb the liquid. One teaspoon of mild detergent, one teaspoon of white vinegar and one quarter of warm water should then be applied. Wait for it to dry and then vacuum.
They may be atmospheric, but candle wax can cause problems if left untouched. Simply put an ice cube against the stain, letting the wax to harden before being pulled off.
Chewing gum is perhaps one of the most irritating things to remove from your carpet. To remove it, use the same technique you would when removing candle wax. Use an ice cube and then pull it off.
It may get you ready for the day ahead, but coffee stains don’t only look bad but can smell overpowering. Blot this type of stain straight away. Mix one teaspoon of of mild detergent, one teaspoon of white vinegar and 284 ml of water. Apply to the carpet and then add dry cleaning fluid. Vacuum gently once dry.
A major problem for those with younger children is that sometimes the carpet can be faced with an unprecedented attack. In case of a crayon invasion, scrape away as much as possible and then use a blotter over the stain, moving it frequently to avoid oversaturation. Apply dry cleaning fluid and then vacuum once dry.
If someone has brought mud into the house, let it dry first and then scrape away what you can. After that, mix a teaspoon of mild detergent, a teaspoon of white vinegar and 1136 ml of water together. Apply the solution and let it dry before vacuuming.
Your guide for carpet care and maintenance
After reading this guide, you should fully understand what it takes to maintain and look after a carpet. If you’re prepared for every situation then you’ll be able to cope with any spill type, something that will allow your carpet to look good for as long as possible.
If you have any questions about the services that A Cut Above provide, or anything else for that matter, get in touch today on 01524 35660. You can also connect us on Facebook.