Rugs receive a lot of abuse from dirt, various spills and foot traffic.
Vacuuming an area rug with a good machine will go a long way towards proloning the appearance and life of your carpet. Vacuuming is the primary defense against dry soils that can quickly build on rugs.
Cut pile area rugs:
The cut pile area rugs are well constructed and durable. A vacuum with a rotating beater bar to agitate the area rug pile and strong suction to remove loose particles is well tlierated by our area rugs. If your vacuum does not have a beater bar, it may remove surface dirt well but may leave imbedded soil that can damage area rugs through abrasion.
Area rugs with looped textures:
To avoid damaging the loops, vacuum regularly with suction and avoid using the beater bar.
- Make sure that the beater bar is actually rotating when in contact with the carpet. A worn belt will reduce rotation when the bar contacts the carpet.
- Adjust the height of the beater bar so that it lightly vibrates the carpet.
- Check the vacuum bag regularly. A vacuum will become less efficient if the soil bag becomes too full (over half full for most machines).
- Vacuum across both directions of the traffic pattern to prevent matting.
- Vacuuming removes most dry soil, but street grime, oily soils, and air pollution can build up eventually and your rug may require cleaning. The accumulation of these particles can cause gradual dulling and some loss of color.
Area Rug Cleaning Methods:
There are many oxygen cleaners on the market that are environmentally safe and work well for spot cleaning various stains on synthetic fiber area rugs. Most of these cleaners are biodegradable and form oxygen, hydrogen peroxide and soda ash when mixed with water. Soda ash is sodium carbonate and has alkaline properties, so do not use this cleaning method on wool or silk and avoid prolonged skin contact. Carefully follow the usage and dilution guidelines for all oxygen cleaning products, rinse the cleansed area well, and be sure to test for colorfastness.
We do not recommend using dry powders with plush or deep pile area rugs, as the cleaning residue may be difficult to remove.
For surface stains on low pile area rugs, use a dry powder to absorb dirt particles and then remove by vacuum. This is a relatively simple method that uses no water and is easy to perform without a professional. If the area rug is heavily soiled, we recommend a different procedure or using a professional.
Dry Foam and Absorbent Pad
Another method that uses little water is light detergent foam that is worked into the pile, then vacuumed out once dry. Use care on looped area rugs that may not tolerate heavy beater bar use or brushing.
This method is most effective when performed by a professional. Although many rug cleaning machines may be purchased or rented. The dangers of performing this method on your own are using too much detergent or water. Some cleaning agents available with rented units leave a heavier residue, so use care or the advice of a professional when choosing a product. Test the product on a small area to check for residue or a sticky feel. Do not use if a residue exists, or if in doubt about a product. Finally, do not use laundry detergents to clean your area rug to avoid possible optical brighteners.
Area Rug Stain Removal
Accidents happen. If an area rug becomes spotted or stained, work quickly. When possible, scoop up solids and blot liquids immediately after a spill occurs. Absorb as much liquid as possible with a white cloth or paper towel without scrubbing the area to prevent matting or fuzzing.
Methods of Cleaning Various Area Rug Fibers.
The type of fiber in your area rug should be the primary consideration in selecting a cleaning method. The majority of area rugs manufactured with synthetic fibers such as polypropylene, nylon and acrylic and may be cleaned with most cleaning methods, but we have listed three accepted methods for cleaning synthetic fiber area rugs.
Follow the area rug manufacturer’s recommendations. When choosing any cleaning method, follow the directions for dilution and application.
Never use laundry detergent, automatic dishwasher detergent, or any strong cleaning products.
For dried or soil stains, thoroughly vacuum the area to be cleaned before applying a cleaning method. In some cases, you may want to use a preconditioning solution prior to cleaning to begin loosening soil.
Natural fibers may require additional consideration before cleaning. Do not use oxygen cleaners on wool or silk.
Excessive agitation and heat should be avoided, but generally wool fibers may be cleaned with most cleaning methods. Wool should be cleaned with neutral detergents and dried quickly. Use special care around household cleaning products, as bleaches and other alkaline products such as bathroom cleaners easily damage wool.
Cotton and rayon are cellulose fibers and may be cleaned using all cleaning methods. To avoid shrinking and possible browning, avoid excessive drying and agitation. As with wool, take care with alkaline products.
Silk should be cleaned using a dry cleaning process. These fibers may be damaged by natural and synthetic acids (e.g. lemon juice), and sunlight. Consult a rug cleaning specialist for additional information about cleaning silk.
Sisal and Other Plant Fibers
Plant fibers such as sisal, jute, coconut (coir), ramie, and hemp have characteristics similar to cotton. It is generally safe to clean these fibers with all cleaning methods. As with any fiber, dry the area rug as quickly as possible.
Helpful Carpet Cleaning Facts
FACT #1 – Over ninety percent of Professional Carpet Cleaners use Hot Water Extraction (Steam) Cleaning as their primary method for residential carpet cleaning.
FACT #2 – No carpet cleaning method removes all soiling. Hot Water Extraction (Steam) Cleaning, when done properly by a trained, certified professional cleaner, is the most effective carpet cleaning method for removing the greatest percentage of soiling.
FACT #3 – No carpet cleaning method leaves no cleaning solution or moisture residue. Hot Water Extraction is the only method that uses water to freely rinse cleaning solutions from the carpet the same way you use water to rinse your fabrics when they are cleaned in a clothes washer. Hot Water Extraction, used properly, leaves the least amount of residue behind after cleaning.
How Often Should You Clean Your Carpets?
A good rule-of-thumb would be to professionally clean your carpet every eighteen months.
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But no carpet is ever “stain-proof”, but added carpet protectants, when properly applied, will enhance stain resistance to accidental spills and spots. It will also help remove more dry soil during vacuuming.
Never select a carpet cleaning company solely based on price. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some would like for you to think. Their technique is to advertise a low price to get you to call them, so they can push their low quality, ineffective goods at higher prices than what the real professionals charge. Thorough carpet cleaning is not cheap, but it will extend the useful life of your investment and care for your carpeting in a way that will save you money in the long run.
How Do You Know If You are Harboring Them?
The actual flying adults. When a lot of flying adults are present the infestation can be considerable.
Loose carpet fibers resting on top of the pile. This results from the larvae actually eating the knots off the foundation of the rug.
Cocoons – 1/8 inch diameter x 1/2 inch long. They will be slightly fuzzy cylinders, usually the same color as the rug’s pile. Larvae camouflage their cocoons to blend in with the color of the wool that surrounds them.
The actual larvae squirming along the pile surface and underneath the rug.
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