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Enjoying Your New Carpet

Every new carpet installation begins with good intentions towards diligent carpet care. At some point after installation, those promises to vacuum daily, remove spills immediately, and to remove those shoes at the door are forgotten. It is at this point that we actually begin to enjoy our new carpet.

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Neglect has it’s disadvantages, however. Spills become permanent unsightly carpet stains, soiled areas begin to spread throughout the installation, and traffic lanes begin to compress or flatten. So how do you find an acceptable balance between an obsessive compulsive preoccupation with cleanliness and a complete default? Identifying the most productive maintenance activities and concentrating on heavy soiling areas can reduce the total maintenance load and improve the results. Following are a few suggestions to help you find a happy balance. Your children, neighbors, and house guests may appreciate this advice. Put a stain removal plan together. Even today’s stain treated carpets require a little assistance in removing the substance. Immediate stain removal requires about 30 seconds with a stain removal extractor. All spots should be attended to immediately. A spill on a hard floor would necessitate immediate spill to limit slip hazards, carpet should receive the same prompt attention. Entry mats are among the most effective, yet most often overlooked method of preventing soiling. Too often, entry mats are too small to effectively trap soil or they are cleaned far too infrequently allowing soil to penetrate the building. Purchase a number of cotton throw rugs and replace them weekly. Maintaining entry areas is another highly effective method of controlling soil. Ten vacuum passes over the first 10 feet inside doorways will remove the majority of tracked in soil and prevent soil from migrating deep within your home. if your home has a hard surface entry, be sure to concentrate on carpeted areas that butt against the hard surface. Since hard floors won’t trap soil, this soil will migrate to the nearest carpeted area. Selecting an efficient vacuum cleaner can increase productivity and limit the time required for maintenance. Contact the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) for information on selecting an efficient vacuum cleaner. Clean transition areas frequently. Any area that adjoins a hard surface flooring material must be cleaned regularly. Hard surfaces trap very little soil, and this soil tracks to the nearest carpeted area. Carpet is frequently blamed for this occurrence, but the easiest remedy is to limit hard surface flooring material. Schedule carpet cleaning before the carpet appears dirty. Eliminate the clean/dirty, clean/dirty cycle by scheduling cleaning before the carpet appears dirty. Maintaining the carpet at a high appearance level prolongs carpet life expectancy and improves the image of your home. Select a carpet cleaning method based of the needs of your home. All carpet cleaning methods do a satisfactory job of removing soil and improving appearance, providing they are used as they have been designed. Some methods are intended to be used on a weekly or monthly basis to maintain an acceptable appearance level. Other cleaning methods may remove more soil, but are intended to be used less frequently. The method selected should match soiling levels, traffic load, and carpet cleaning frequency. Cleaning carpet on a quarterly or yearly basis with a cleaning method that is intended to be used weekly or monthly may unfairly test the cleaning method and result in unacceptable results. Finally, look for ways to reduce soil. If soft drink spills are a continuing problem, limit the use of soft drinks in your home that contain red, yellow, or blue dyes that can permanently dye carpet fibers, such as fruit punch. If coffee spills are a menace, limit the size of coffee cups to reduce the impact of a spill. Ban the use of chewing gum, if gum is continually tossed on the carpet. Increase the number and visibility of trash receptacles. Increased accessibility of trashcans encourages use. If pets are poorly disciplined, limit their access to non-carpeted areas or be more diligent in their exercise periods. While these recommendations won’t resolve all carpet maintenance challenges, these activities can reduce other maintenance activities and improve the quality of overall maintenance and extend the life of your new carpet purchase.