It’s a fact: despite how well we may care for our carpets, spills, stains and other accidents are inevitable. When they happen, the first thing you will likely do is reach for the cleaner. After all, it’s the best way to ensure that your carpet retains its colour and life, right?
The truth is that although maintaining your carpet on a regular basis will keep it looking clean, there are many cleaning mistakes you could be making which could actually be shortening its life. There are actually several techniques and products to consider when the desire is to extend the life of your carpet for as long as possible. And they are all incredibly easy not only to learn, but to apply.
Using the Wrong Products
Permanent damage and discolouration can be the result of using the wrong cleaning products on your carpets. General cleaners pose the biggest threat to the life of your carpet. Carpet-specific products have been designed to work on carpet fibres. That being said, it’s important to remember that no carpet cleaner is perfect; always test any carpet cleaner on a small and inconspicuous area before using on your entire floor.
Waiting Too Long
Of course, life is busy. It can be easy to forget that a spill occurred when dinner needs to be made, errands need to be run and family time is precious. But the longer you leave a stain on your carpet, the harder it will be to remove. By addressing stains immediately, 90% of them can be removed. However, it’s a good idea to first blot the stain with a paper towel or dry cloth before adding cleaner. It may also be a good idea to vacuum the carpet following blotting to remove any excess dirt that could be mistakenly rubbed into the carpet.
Always Doing It Yourself
You may think you’re saving money by not having your carpets professionally cleaned. But the truth is that professional cleaning is a necessity if you want to extend your carpet’s life. This is especially true of new carpets, as not having them professionally cleaned can void the warranty. Check the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning regimen; usually, they will recommend that your carpet is cleaned every 12 to 18 months by a certified professional.
You may have heard the old adage, “Less is more”. This is also true of carpet cleaners. Although you may be tempted to use a lot of product on a stain, remember that this won’t necessarily help. In fact, using too much product on a stain will only leave a lot of residue and result in a damaged carpet.
A carpet cleaner works with water to remove stains and dirt. But too much water will lessen its ability to clean. Conversely, too much soap will result in residue, which can attract dirt and damage carpet fibres. Too-frequent cleaning can also negatively affect your carpet’s ability to resist stains in future.
Applying a lot of pressure while trying to scrub a stain from carpeting will likely only push the stain farther into carpet fibres. As well, vigorous scrubbing can untwist carpet fibres and cause fraying. Blotting is the best way to pull the stain up from the carpet.
Most carpet and flooring stores will be able to advise you on the best ways to clean and care for the carpet in your home. The best advice is to always get information about your type of carpet and how best to clean it before any stains or other accidents occur. Really, there’s no better way than this to extend the life of your carpet.