When most carpets leave the factory, they are treated with some time of stain resistor: ScotchGuard, Dupont Teflon, StainMaster or something to that effect. These are temporary coatings that wear off -- just like nail polish wears off fingernails. Once the protector is gone, you will notice that your carpet seems to get dirty faster. You may even accuse your vacuum of not working quite as well as it should. Or ... you may even blame your carpet cleaner of leaving residue on the carpet, which could attract dirt much like soap residue on your hands will make them feel sticky. But in reality, it's simply a lack of protector. Stain blockers (as they should really be called) act like the Teflon coating in your pans, both keeping the dry dirt from sticking to or scratching the carpet's fibers AND helping to prevent accidental spills from becoming permanent stains.
That's why, with every residential job we do, we apply a top quality Carpet Protector. We are so confident in the effectiveness of this product that we give you a 1-year guarantee against most new stains -- and we even put it in writing! So ... if you're nicely cleaned carpet gets a little boo-boo, just call our office and we'll take care of that minor inconvenience!
ADDITIONAL FACTS ABOUT CARPET CARE -- METHODS OF DEEP CLEANING
Daily vacuuming is the most important cleaning activity (1x per week for each & every human and animal residing in the house -- see above formula). But if you're finding that, no matter how much you vacuum, your carpet still does not look like it used to, then it's probably time for a good deep cleaning. Deep extracation cleaning must be performed to remove stubborn or embedded soil. The Carpet and Rug Institute * recommends that carpet be dry- or wet-extracted a minimum of every 12 to 18 months before it shows soiling. Use a cleaning method recommended by the carpet manufacturer in order to maintain the carpet's warranty.
There are five accepted methods for cleaning carpet made from synthetic fibers (nylon, polyester, olefin / polypropylene -- to name a few). Rely on the carpet manufacturer's recommendations. When choosing any cleaning method, select cleaning agents sold especially for stain resistant carpets 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 pre-vacuum the area to be cleaned and apply a preconditioning solution prior to cleaning. A preconditioning solution is a detergent mixture applied to the carpet prior to cleaning, so that it begins to loosen soil. These solutions typically require 8 - 10 minutes to begin the soil lifting 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 the 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 each and every time vacuuming is performed.
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 an 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 over wetting. Ensure speedy drying by using fans, operating the building's air conditioning system (HVAC) in the "on" position and by performing additional dry strokes.
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 floor covering with counter rotating (rotary) brushes. Pile distortion or untwisting of the fiber may occur, but cannot be repaired.
The fiber system used to construct the carpet should be the primary factor in selecting a cleaning method. The majority of carpet manufacturered today is constructed with synthetic fibers such as nylon, polyester or olefin (polypropylene), and may be cleaned with most cleaning methods.
Natural fibers may require specialized care -- especially hand-woven rugs made in third world countries. Quite often, not only are the fibers natural, but so are the dyes. Instead of being chemically concocted, the colors used on foreign-made rugs are vegetable dyes, which are far from being permanent. These vegetable dyes may run or bleed onto / into other colors on the rug when moisture is applied.
Wool fibers may be cleaned using all cleaning methods, although excessive agitations and excessive heat should be avoided. Wool is easily damaged by bleaches and alkalis. 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 over wet. Avoid excessive agitations.
Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by high temperatures, high pH (>9) or sunlight, and will loose 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 prcautions should be take to expedite rapid drying. It is best to use a carpet cleaning professional.
The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) is a national trade association representing ninety-five percent
of the carpet and rug industry manufacturers and suppliers. The CRI
serves the industry and consumers with valuable, practical, technical, educational and issue-related information.
Using entrance mats inside and outside of doorways will reduce the amount of soil brought onto your carpet. As much as 75% of the dirt & grime in your carpet is tracked-in soil.
Nothing is more important for maintaining beautiful, long lasting carpet than vacuuming. Dry soild is a carpets' worst enemy and can actually damage carpet fibers, causing premature wear. In addition to creating a dingy, poor appearance, it will also diminish the effectiveness of your stain-resistant protective coating. A vacuum with a beater bar will give the best results.
The Vacuuming Rule of Thumb
To improve indoor air quality, vacuum ALL carpet in the house (including closets) once per week for each & every human and animal residing there. For example ...
11 times per week !
(2x/day Monday thru Friday + 1x on Saturday + -0- on Sunday)
Another thing to keep in mind when you vacuum is that the bag MUST be emptied when it reaches 1/2 full. If you let it go beyond that, then the sucking power of the vacuum will be greatly reduced. Then it's only a matter of time before the soil starts to do its evil deeds on the unsuspecting fibers of your carpet. But if you keep that bag emptied, your vacuum will be able to do its job quickly and more efficiently. Not only will your carpet thank you for it, but so will your vacuum. After all -- is there anything or anyone who really wants to work harder than absolutely necessary? No one that I know of!
The first thing we ask you to do is throw away any over-the-counter spotting products that you may have. We will replace them with a bottle of neutral pH spotter that comes with free refills for life! Not only is this neutral spotter safer for your carpets than many OTC products, it is typically more effective at removing spots and spills. (Some OTC spotters can permanently set stains -- especially red ones such as koolaid or red wine -- OOPS!). Never pour anything directly onto a spot -- it will just make matters worse! Instead, pour your neutral pH spotter onto a clean, white absorbant cloth like the one you will get with your free spotter. Then BLOT from the outside edges toward the middle of the spot. This will help to control the damage.
CLEAN UP SPILLS IMMEDIATELY
The faster you attend to a spill (or puppy piddle or tracked-in mud or anything else), the easier it is to remove. BLOT using a clean, white absorbent towel, starting at the outer edge and working toward the center. NEVER rub or use a brush. Rubbing can actually make the stain worse by driving it deeper between the individual strands and, maybe, even into the fibers themselves. Once the stain (color) has entered into the carpet fiber's dye sites, it has the potential to permanently alter the appearance of the carpet.