No carpet is absolutely stain proof.
Some carpets have stain-resisting treatments that improve your ability to clean stains, but not prevent stains. Similarly, carpets with soil-resisting treatments reduce the rate of soiling, but all carpets require regular care and maintenance.“Staining” versus “soiling”.
There is often confusion about the difference between soiling and staining. The majority of stain complaints are actually soil-related. For example, many sugar-based spills, such as soft drinks and coffee, leave a sugar residue after removal. This sticky residue readily attracts soil from ordinary shoe traffic, and the resulting discolored area appears to be a stain.
The same thing happens when spills are cleaned with a detergent solution and the area is not sufficiently rinsed with plain water, leaving a sticky detergent residue. It is important to rinse thoroughly with water and blot dry after removing any spill.Protect your carpet.
As mentioned above, no carpet is stain-proof, but since many are stain-resistant, you have time to act. Use the following general stain-removal guidelines.
- Remove as much of food spills as possible by scraping gently with a spoon or a dull knife.
- Absorb wet spills as quickly as possible by blotting repeatedly with white paper or white cloth towels. Always blot; never rub or scrub abrasively, as a fuzzy area may result. When blotting, work from the outer edge in toward the center of the spot to avoid spreading the spill.
- Remove the stain using one of the cleaning items from the checklist below.
- Rinse the cleaned area with water to remove detergent residue that may become sticky and cause rapid re-soiling.
- Absorb any remaining moisture by placing several layers of white towels over the spot and weighing them down with a heavy object. This step is necessary even when the carpet does not seem particularly damp.
What do you use to clean the spill? Be prepared with the following checklist. It is important to use only the items listed because many other household cleaners contain chemicals that may permanently damage your carpet.
- White cloths or white paper towels
- Detergent solution: Mix mild liquid detergent with water (no more than 1/2 teaspoon of detergent to 32 ounces of water). A clear, non-bleach liquid dishwashing detergent such as Dawn, Joy, or clear Ivory is recommended. Do not use detergents that are cloudy or creamy because they may leave a sticky residue.
- Vinegar solution: Mix 1 part white vinegar to 1 part water.
- Ammonia solution: Mix one tablespoon of ammonia to one cup of water. (Do not use on wool or wool-blend carpets.)
- Non-oily nail-polish remover
- Chewing gum remover (freeze or solid type)
- Spot Remover: Use spot removers designed specifically for grease, oil, or tar, such as Carbona or Energine.
Solution-dyed fibers can withstand bleach, but make very sure your carpet is solution-dyed before using bleach.
Difficult stains on carpets made from polypropylene or other solution-dyed fibers may be removed with a mild bleach solution (one part chlorine bleach to five parts water). But be careful. If you aren’t absolutely certain your carpet is solution dyed, call Carpet Mill Outlet Stores.Carpet cleaning.
Vacuuming alone won’t protect your carpet. Even though vacuuming can remove most soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that vacuums don’t remove. These soils result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt from outside. The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of colors. The color isn’t lost, but is hidden under the film. If this type of soil is allowed to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the dry soil.
If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, depending on the number of residents and amount of activity.
Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerates re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning. The recommendations below represent the best current knowledge and should help prolong the time between cleanings.
What cleaning system should you use? We recommend the hot water extraction system.
Research indicates that the hot water extraction system provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of spraying a solution of water and detergent into the carpet pile and recovering the water and soil with a powerful vacuum into a holding tank. This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or by a portable system brought into the home.Professional or do-it-yourself?
It is to your advantage to use professional cleaners because their experience enables them to do a better job than you can do yourself. Their equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to individuals, and the carpet should dry more quickly. True professionals have also understand the equipment, know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand, and recognize the differences in fibers and carpet construction.How do you locate a professional cleaner?
One way to locate a professional cleaner is to contact the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) at 1-800-835-4624. This organization maintains a national directory of independent professional cleaners who are trained and certified in a variety of cleaning specialties. Call and explain that you have purchased a new carpet, and be sure to ask for a cleaner near you who uses the “hot water extraction system.”
If you prefer tackling the job yourself, check these do-it-yourself guidelines before you begin.