carpet care guide

Carpet Care Guide

Carpets are pretty simple to maintain. If they are treated well, you can expect many years of wear from a good quality carpet. The biggest thing you can do to maintain your carpet’s look and feel is to, where possible, avoid contact with particles of loose dirt and dust. If dirt, dust or grit do work their way into the carpet pile they will act abrasively on the fibres and also possibly discolour the carpet.

However, it is pretty simple and straightforward to stop this happening and to maintain your carpet. Follow these easy steps to get the most from it:

  • Once established, vacuum your new carpet regularly - at least two or three times a week

    When a new carpet is first laid, there may be some fluffing or shedding as loose fibres trapped during the weaving or tufting process work their way to the surface. This is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about; the excess fibre is only a small fraction of the total fibre contained in the carpet. We recommend regular vacuuming, daily if possible during the first few weeks. Routinely vacuuming will help to prevent dirt and grit from getting into the carpet fibres and also help to keep the tufts upright.

  • Loop pile carpets should be vacuumed with a cylinder cleaner using the suction head.

    A vacuum cleaner without a beater bar or brushes is best for loop pile carpets as beater brushes and bars can cause it to look felted.

  • Cut pile carpets should be vacuumed with an upright cleaner with beater bar and brush.

    A vacuum cleaner fitted with a beater bar and/or brushes is recommended for cut pile carpets.

  • Placing doormats at all of the entrances to a home will help to trap dirt and moisture.

    Large doormats at main entrances will significantly reduce dirt from outside being spread around your home and into your carpet fibres. The doormats themselves should be cleaned regularly.

  • If possible don’t lay a light coloured carpet near to the main external entrances.

    Of course it’s tricky if you have light carpet all through your home to avoid entrances, but mixing up your flooring will help keep your carpet looking good for longer.

  • Deal with spillages quickly.

    Spills will disappear more easily if they are dealt with immediately (see more below).

  • Avoid direct sunlight

    Again this can be tricky but simply using blinds and curtains will protect your carpet from the colour fade caused by sustained direct sunlight.

  • Indentations

    Heavy items of furniture can result in indentations in your carpet and underlay. The use of furniture cups can help to avoid this. Where possible, it is always a good idea to rotate furniture periodically. This also helps to avoid excess wear in the same “traffic lanes.”

  • New carpet with sprouting tufts

    Occasionally an off tuft or two can work its way to the surface and stand proud of the rest of the pile. If a piece of the carpet fibre stands proud above the surface, it should be trimmed to the level of the other tufts.Never pull it out.

  • Dealing with spillages and spills on your carpet

    Just to reiterate, the most important thing is to act as quickly as possible, preferably as soon as the spillage occurs! The longer it’s left, the more likely it is that the carpet will be stained permanently:

  • Do not rub the stain as this will permanently change the appearance of the pile. Instead blot with a clean white kitchen towel or tissue.
  • Work from the outside of the stain inwards to avoid it spreading.
  • Brush the pile up to enable the carpet to retain its appearance after it dries.
  • Any proprietary cleaning agents should be applied to a cloth and not directly to the carpet. If a cleaning agent is used then the area should be rinsed with clean water but care must be taken not to over wet the carpet.

Cleaning Polypropylene Carpets with bleach mix

The only carpet that is safe to use a bleach mix on is a 100% polypropylene carpet. Always check with your Carpetright store if you are not sure of your carpets make up. Bleach will lift colour from wool, cord or any other carpet type so it’s really important to make sure your carpet is definitely made only from polypropylene if you don’t want patches. For particularly stubborn stains like ink, red wine and ground-in mud on polypropylene:

  • Always wear rubber gloves when working with bleach and a mask to protect your respiratory system from the caustic fumes. If possible open a window.
  • Use a solution of 50% thin domestic bleach/50% tap water in a spray bottle.
  • Evenly cover the stain and leave for 30 – 60 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly with water.
  • Use a brush if needed to remove any stubborn dirt.

Tips for homes with pets

Cleaning a stained carpet

If your pet has left a stain on the carpet, there are a number of commercial cleaners that you can use to get rid of the stain and the smell. You should look for an enzyme-based solution suitable for your carpet’s fibre type and should test the product on a small patch of your carpet to make sure that the colour isn’t affected. If all is well, apply to the damaged area. Once the solution has worked its magic you can either have your carpet commercially cleaned or rinse with water.

There are also domestic carpet washers which you can buy or hire to tackle small stains, as well as vacuums for pet hair which are specifically designed to pick up animal hairs.

How to rid your carpet of pet hairs

If you have a beautiful new carpet, the last thing you want your guests to see is remnants of cat or dog hairs covering its surface.

Start the cleaning process by vacuuming your carpet. Some modern vacuums have special attachments that are designed specifically for this purpose. If you don’t have this type of cleaner, you can always spray a mop or sponge with water and run this along the carpet surface to pick up hairs instead. However be careful not to over-wet the carpet.

Once this has dried, vacuum the carpet again and you’ll soon discover that all your pet’s hairs have been removed – leaving your carpet looking as good as new.

Fed up with stains? Choose a stain-resistant carpet which makes removing stains much easier, faster and all without any lasting damage.