Care Instructions

      Regular Care

      Today’s carpet fibers are designed to hide soil and reflect light, and have the ability to resist soiling and stains. The effect of soil in carpet is not as visible as it is on hard surface flooring where soil remains on the surface and is easily seen. The ability of today's carpet fibers to hide soiling is a positive feature for most consumers. However, the lack of apparent soiling does not eliminate the necessity of regular cleaning.
      Most dry soil has razor-like edges that abrade carpet fibers causing light to reflect differently and giving carpet a dull appearance. Soil can damage the fibers permanently if allowed to remain in the pile.

      A regular maintenance program extends the life and the initial appearance of your carpet. Specific care information may be available from your carpet dealer or from a toll free number provided by the carpet manufacturer or fiber producer.

    Basic Vacuuming

      A good practice is to vacuum often the areas that receive the most traffic, such as hallways, stairs, exterior entry ways, and paths in the home where there is constant wear. Vacuum the entire carpeted area a minimum of twice per week.

      Removing loose soil while it remains on the surface is important so that it is not worked into the carpet pile by foot traffic. Removing embedded soil is more difficult and time consuming than removing surface soil.

      To remove surface soil, push the vacuum forward several feet with the pile direction of the carpet in a slow, deliberate motion and then reverse direction. Embedded soil is best removed by moving the vacuum cleaner in a slow, deliberate motion. Repeat strokes as necessary based on the traffic pattern and soiled level of the carpet.

      Vacuum Cleaner Selection-For maximum effectiveness, use a vacuum cleaner that has adjustable and rotating brushes that are able to loosen ground-in soil, and a strong enough airflow to penetrate to the backing, extracting all particles. The vacuum cleaner should have an enclosed, high filtration bag that limits particles from recirculating into the air.

      For the best cleaning results, no matter which type vacuum cleaner you purchase, inspect it periodically to be sure it is functioning properly.

  • Keep brushes clean and replace them when worn.
  • Keep vacuum hoses and attachments free of obstructions that restrict airflow.
  • Inspect the vacuum head for rough edges or bent metal that may damage your carpet.
  • Inspect belts frequently to make certain they are working properly.
  • Always keep a spare belt for replacement as needed.
  • Follow the vacuum cleaner manufacturer's instructions, and change the vacuum bag when it becomes more than half full. As the bag becomes full, efficiency is reduced.

 

     Methods of Cleaning

      Deep Cleaning

      Daily vacuuming is the most important cleaning activity, but deep extraction cleaning must be performed to remove stubborn or embedded soil. The Carpet and Rug Institute recommends that carpet be dry- or wet-extraction cleaned a minimum of every 12 or 18 months before it shows soiling. Use a cleaning method recommended by the carpet manufacturer to maintain their warranty.
      Carpet should receive regular deep cleaning to maintain its good looks. A carpet cleaning professional may be hired or carpet cleaning equipment may be purchased or rented for do-it-yourself cleaning.
      The fiber system used should be the primary factor in selecting a cleaning method. The majority of carpet manufactured today is constructed with synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester, or olefin, and may be cleaned with most cleaning methods.
      Natural fibers may require specialized care. Following are general guidelines for these fiber systems:

       Wool - Wool fibers may be cleaned using all cleaning methods, although excessive agitation and excessive heat should be avoided. Wool is easily damaged by bleaches and alkalies. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents (pH 5.0-8.0) and dried quickly to limit yellowing or browning.

      Cotton/Rayon - Cotton and rayon are cellulosic fibers and may be cleaned using all cleaning methods. Most cellulosic fibers are subject to browning if prolonged drying occurs or if alkaline solutions are used. Shrinking may occur if these fibers are overwet. Avoid excessive agitation.

      Silk - Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by high temperatures, high pH (>9), sunlight, and will lose strength when wet. The cleaning of silk fibers is best left to the carpet cleaning professional.

      Sisal and Other Plant Fibers - Plant fibers used in carpet construction, including sisal, cotton, jute, coconut (coir), pineapple, ramie, and hemp, have characteristics similar to cotton. These fibers may be cleaned with all cleaning methods, but dry extraction and dry foam extraction are most often recommended. To limit color change or odor transfer, a pH of less than 7.5 should be used and precautions should be taken to expedite rapid drying. It is best to use a carpet cleaning professional.

      There are five accepted methods for cleaning carpet make from synthetic fibers. Rely on the carpet manufacturer's recommendations. When choosing any cleaning method, select cleaning agents sold especially for stain resistant carpet cleaning, and follow the directions for dilution and application. Never use soap, laundry detergent, automatic dishwasher detergent, or any of the strong household cleaning agents intended for use on hard surfaces such as woodwork, linoleum, or tile. For best cleaning results, always prevacuum the area to be cleaned and apply a preconditioning solution prior to cleaning. A precondition solution is a detergent solution applied to the carpet prior to cleaning to begin loosening soil. These solutions typically require 8-10 minutes to begin the soil loosening process.

      Absorbent Pad (Bonnet) Method

      The absorbent pad method should be used only by a properly trained cleaning professional. The rotary bonnet method uses a machine similar to a floor buffer with an absorbent spin pad attached to remove the soil. The spin pad absorbs soil onto the pad, and soil is removed when the pad is rinsed. To reduce pile distortion, keep the absorbent pad well lubricated with cleaning solution. Replace pad often to prevent transfer of soil back to the carpet face.

      Dry Extraction (Polymer Compound) Method

      An absorbent compound saturated with detergents and solvents is brushed in and around the fibers with especially-designed machines or brushes. The compound attaches to the soil particles, and both the soil and compound are then removed by vacuuming.

     Dry Foam Extraction Method

      In dry foam cleaning a detergent solution is whipped into a foam and applied to the carpet. The foam is worked into the carpet by a especially-designed machine with reel-type brushes, followed by wet vacuuming. Some machines have their own extraction capabilities while others need thorough vacuuming after the carpet is dry.

      Hot Water Extraction Method

      This method is sometimes called "steam cleaning." Areas of heavy use are preconditioned to suspend ground-in soil, then a pressurized cleaning solution is injected into the pile. Suspended soil and solution are immediately extracted. Follow directions carefully and avoid overwetting. Ensure speedy drying by using fans, operating the building air conditioning system (HVAC) in the "on" position, and by performing additional drying strokes.

      Rotary Shampoo

      The rotary shampoo method uses equipment similar to the rotary bonnet method, except that a cleaning solution is injected onto the carpet before cleaning or through especially-designed brushes. Never use a do-it-yourself machine designed for hard surface floorcovering with counter rotating (rotary) brushes. Pile distortion or untwisting of the fiber can occur.

 

      Do-It-Yourself Cleaning
      Do-it-yourself cleaning may be an economical choice between professional cleanings. For any do-it-yourself cleaning method, the following points are critical.

  • Always pre-vacuum to remove as much dry soil as possible.
  • Follow instructions carefully!
         
     Consider the following precautions when selecting a wet cleaning method.
  • Remove furniture from the room before cleaning or, if impractical, place plastic film under and around the legs of chairs, tables and other furniture to prevent rust or furniture stains from developing on the carpet.
  • Use only the recommended cleaning solution strength. Stronger than recommended solutions may cause accelerated resoiling. Rinse all detergent from the carpet to prevent accelerated resoiling.
  • Do not overwet the carpet. Overwetting may cause separation of the backing, separation of the seams, shrinkage, discoloration, and odor.
  • The carpet should be dry within 12 hours. Provide proper ventilation or use fans to quickly dry the carpet and exhaust any existing solution-related fragrances.
  • Allow the carpet to dry completely before walking on it.


        Professional Cleaning Services

      Consider the services of a carpet cleaning professional before your carpet and rugs begin to show soil. Allowing carpet and rugs to become excessively soiled will make cleaning more difficult and will shorten its useful life.
       Recommendations can be obtained from satisfied friends, carpet retailers, the Better Business Bureau, and local business groups for reliable, certified cleaning professionals in your area. Choose a carpet cleaning professional who is properly trained for the following services. Prior to using these services, you may wish to contact the carpet manufacturer to prevent voiding warranties.

  • Carpet Redyeing (color repair)
  • Fire and Water Damage Restoration (For water damage follow guidelines in the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration S500-94)
    In-plant Cleaning (for rugs)
  • Odor Control (nuisance odors such as: mildew, tobacco, and pet)
  • Repairs, Restretching, Reinstalling
  • Spot Removal
  • Topical Treatments (soil-removal and stain-resist treatments)
  • Allow the carpet to dry completely before walking on it.

      In order to determine the amount and type of cleaning services needed, have a representative of the cleaning firm come to your home to make a visual inspection. The cleaning professional can inspect the carpet for problem stains or excessively soiled areas that may require additional attention. Obtain a written agreement for all work to be performed. Under normal circumstances there should be no extra charge for activities, such as moving furniture, preconditioning, and routine spot and stain removal.
      
Beware of pricing that is "too good to be true." Professionals charge only for services that are authorized in writing before cleaning begins. Most cleaning is based on the total number of square feet to be cleaned. Many firms do have cleaning specials; however, pricing by the room or low prices quoted over the phone may have hidden restrictions or mandatory add-ons. A reliable firm will tell you the steps that they are going to use to clean your carpet and provide a written agreement before the work is started. Should you question the need for any required add-ons, contact the carpet manufacturer for assistance.

     BENEFITS OF CARPETS & RUGS

      Comfort- Insulation
      Carpet provides an added measure of warmth and insulation with its millions of fibers and places between them to hold warmth or to insulate against extreme heat or cold. It's warmer to sit on or work on, providing more stable temperatures for foot and leg comfort near the floor. In colder climates or seasons, it retains warm air longer, an important benefit in our energy-conscious world. In warm climates, it also insulates against invasive heat.
        
When the insulation value is important, the carpet's label may offer an "R-value," and a cushion label may offer one, as well. When the carpet R-value is not available, CRI suggests multiplying the total carpet thickness measured in inches by a factor of 2.6 to approximate the carpet's R-value. The R-values are additive for any combination of materials. For example, a combination of carpet with an R-value of 1.3 and a prime polyurethane cushion with an R-value of 1.6 will yield an overall R-value of 2.9.

      Aesthetics - The Foundation of Decorating
       Because carpet is a foundation of decorating, covering a large quantity of the surface of our living spaces, it is an important consideration in the overall scheme of color and texture. It can provide simplicity and casualness for softness and liveability; or it can provide pizzazz with vibrant color and heavier textures for making a decorating "statement." Carpet can be one of the easiest ways to personalize an environment - its color can be a neutral foundation "in the background," or it can be a vibrant focal point.

      Safety from Slip/Fall
       Especially for small children, seniors, and generally the entire family, safety in the home is a primary focus. We seek a stable, non-slick walking surface that prevents slips and falls and for the time when someone does trip, a surface that protects from bruises and other injuries. Carpet is great for cushioning our foot steps, minimizing slips and minimizing injuries from falls. It's hard to watch a toddler take his first steps on a cold hard floor. Carpet's softness and cushioning nature is ideal for family activity - whether it is the first steps of a toddler, the slow steps of the grandparent, or the fast action of the mother or teen-ager.

      Sound Reduction Qualities of Carpet
       Carpet is as Easy on Your Ears as Your Feet

        With the introduction of computers, speaker telephones, big screen TV's and video games, our homes have become a lot noisier. Fortunately, the solution to this problem of airborne sounds can be found right below our feet -- carpet.

       Carpet not only serves as a beautiful floor covering, it also provides sound insulation. Additionally, carpet creates an aesthetic ambiance conducive to lowered voices and heightened privacy. The sound-reducing qualities of carpet include:

  • Carpet absorbs sound

       Recently, home builders have moved towards reshaping the home by combining all of the living area rooms into one big, open space. This layout promotes the family togetherness, but also creates a noisy atmosphere. With the addition of carpet, sound is absorbed rather than bounced off the floor and back onto the walls and furniture. Results from tests show that there is a pronounced "hush" in carpeted rooms.

  • Carpet and cushion reduces noise better

       Carpet serves as an effective noise-reducer because it absorbs the sound of foot traffic within the home. These results are even more pronounced with the addition of carpet cushion. Research shows that properly specified carpet and cushion combinations produce better noise-reduction than carpet alone. Carpet cushion also increases comfort and ergonomic qualities, adds insulation, and extends the life of your carpet by protecting it against wear and tear.
      
The CRI "Residential Carpet Installation Standard, CRI 105" calls for carpet cushion that is both firm and resilient and no more than 7/16 of an inch thick. Under the thinner carpet styles, such as some Berbers, use an even thinner cushion - maximum 3/8".

  • Carpet and cushion insulate between floors

       Carpet works as a sound barrier between floors by helping to block sound transmission to rooms below. Carpet and carpet cushion are especially effective in masking the "hollow" sound from foot traffic often associated with staircases. Specific noise reduction data can be obtained from CRI.

      Simple Maintenance
       Regular, but simple, care on carpet helps counter the abuse your carpet suffers and help it retain its beauty. What other home furnishing is walked all over? Vacuum every few days in high traffic areas, and once a week in less-used areas. Use a well-functioning vacuum cleaner, with an enclosed, efficient, dust-catching bag.
       
Most carpet today has been treated for stain resistance and soil retardance, but stain resistant does not necessarily mean "stain proof." Address spills quickly and remove them as soon as possible to afford the easiest spot removal. Act preventively and avoid contact with difficult spots that are hard to remove - makeup, pesticides, disinfectants, iodine, mustard, and plant food products. Have carpet cleaned on a regular schedule, before it begins to show soil - a schedule of every 12 to 18 months by a professional cleaning company is reasonable for more used areas of the home.


       
Benefits for Seniors
       Well known for its ability to provide warmth and style to a room, absorb unwanted noise, and provide firm traction, carpet is continuing to gain a reputation as the floor covering of choice for senior adults and their families.

  • Safety is tops


        Safety is a top consideration for seniors, who seek a stable, non-slick walking surface that protects them from "slip and fall" accidents. Carpeted surfaces are significantly more effective at preventing slips and falls than hard, smooth surfaces.
        Maintaining balance, a consideration for individuals who use braces, a cane or a walker, can be less difficult with low pile carpet combined with an extra firm cushion. CRI also recommends securely fastening carpet and rugs to provide firmer footing.
       
Carpet can also reduce or eliminate reflected glare, minimizing disorientation, and can reduce leg fatigue associated with walking or standing on hard surfaces.

  • Healing colors

        Studies have shown that color has psychological affects on moods. With this in mind, blues, greens, teal, mauve, coral, peach and warm neutrals are often chosen for their soothing effects. Avoid "hot" tones such as red, which may raise blood pressures for some, and yellow, which may cause nausea and anxiety to someone that already is not feeling well.
       
Color also plays a significant role with Alzheimer's patients. According to the Alzheimer's Association, patients remember colors better than numbers; therefore, color in carpet can provide a memory link and better help to orient a person to a specific room or area.

  • Acoustics - It's quieter

       Privacy and unwanted noise can sometimes challenge senior parents, who appreciate their independence and may not be used to the noise levels created by visiting family members.
       Carpet's ability to absorb airborne sound, reduce surface noise ("footfall noises"), and block sound transmission from floor to floor is well known. Carpet with an attached or separate cushion is the most effective way to control noise and minimize sound indoors.

  • Comfort - Warm your ankles

        Seniors whose feet and ankles are susceptible to temperature changes, will stay warmer on carpet due to its natural insulating properties. The surface temperature of carpet is substantially higher than that of hard surfaces due to its pile construction that acts as an efficient thermal insulator.