New customers here is State College, Pennsylvania, after seeing how wonderful their carpets look after a professional cleaning, often ask me how they should be caring for their carpets to keep them looking nice. In part 1 of this article, I covered the importance of frequent vacuuming. Here in part 2, I cover spill clean-up and carpet cleaning.
1. Clean up spills immediately or as soon as possible. Most spills will not permanently stain your carpet if cleaned immediately with plain water. Blot up the spilled substance onto clean white cotton or paper towels. Using a spray bottle filled with water, mist the area of the spill and again blot into a towel. Repeat this procedure until there is no more transfer of the spilled material into the towels. Now apply a neutral spotting solution such as Home Pro by Design Spot and Stain Remover. Let dwell for a minute or two, and then blot again checking for additional transfer of the spilled substance. Repeat if necessary.
If the spill has already dried, apply a neutral spotting solution and blot into a clean white or paper towel. Repeat until there is no more transfer of the spilled material.
NEVER rub your carpets with a towel or brush. This could cause permanent damage to the texture and appearance of the carpet fibers. Blot Only!
Many consumer spot and stain removers you can purchase at your local discount or grocery store are too harsh and can actually remove color from your carpets. These include the popular Resolve and Oxy-Clean products. I do not recommend you use these products.
Stain resistant carpets under warranty
If your stain resistant carpet is still under warranty, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing spots and spills. Failure to do so could void your warranty.
Shaw Floors has a carpet spotting guide on their website that lists safe procedures to follow for particular stains.
Please DO NOT follow the stain removal advice found in on-line blog articles or videos written or produced by self-proclaimed “experts”. Most of it is bad advice and could permanently set the stain you are trying to remove or damage your carpet in other ways. Only follow spotting procedures written by a carpet cleaning professional, an IICRC Certified Master Textile Cleaner, or the manufacturer.
2. Have your carpets professionally cleaned by an IICRC Certified Firm every twelve to eighteen months per the manufacturer’s instructions and requirements. Most people wait until their carpets look dirty before they have them cleaned, but carpets are made to hide dirt, and by the time they “look dirty” permanent damage might have occurred. Yearly professional cleaning prolongs carpet life and saves significant amounts of money in the long term. Professionally cleaned carpets also promote a healthier indoor environment.
3. Have Scotchgard type Carpet Protector reapplied after each cleaning. Carpet protector not only helps prevent permanent staining, but lowers the surface tension of carpet fibers, so your carpet actually resists soiling and stays clean longer. Yearly reapplication is recommended because carpet protector wears off over time. Blue Diamond backs up their Carpet Protector with a Free 12-month spot and stain warranty.