3 Facts You Didn’t Know About Cleaning an Area Rug

With hardwood floors being a common feature of many homes, many homeowners have placed area rugs on their floors to add warmth and comfort, as well as style and atmosphere. Area rugs can be valuable and beautiful additions to your home, but it can also be difficult to know how to clean your area rugs according to their specific needs.

There are so many stunning area rugs available to homeowners today – Persian rugs, Afghan rugs, Pakistani rugs, Wilton rugs and Chinese rugs – and all of them require specific and detailed care in order to maintain their integrity and beauty. Here we look at 3 factors you need to consider when performing area rug cleaning in order to protect your investment and bring life back to your area rugs.

Material Matters

Many homeowners know that effective and specific oriental rug cleaning is important to keep valuable area rugs clean and in good condition. Unfortunately, many homeowners often don’t know what type of area rug they have or what cleaning method is most beneficial. Area rugs can be sourced from a variety of locations such as discount stores, department stores, online, from catalogs, furniture stores, carpet retailers, and fine Oriental rugs dealers, and the care instructions you receive when purchasing can vary. Area rugs area also made from a rage of different materials, including both natural and synthetic fibers and a combination of both.

Before cleaning your area rug, ask yourself whether you know exactly how to appropriately care for your specific type of rug. The best carpet cleaner knows how to identify each type of area rug, and what specific care is needed for each rug type. A professional carpet cleaner knows that blue weft yarns in Persian rugs can bleed, that Afghan rugs shrink like crazy, that many Pakistani rugs have post production side cords that can tear off during cleaning, that Stark wire Wilton rugs must be blocked because the jute foundation yarns shrink, and spot cleaning chemically washed 90-line Chinese rugs can cause color damage. Not being aware of any one of these carpet cleaning factors could spell disaster for your area rugs.

Inspection is Critical

As discussed above, the details that go into effectively cleaning each type of area rug often require the experience of a professional rug cleaner. In fact, carpet cleaning services will often require that the area rug undergoes a professional carpet inspection before rug cleaning is conducted so that the safest and most effective cleaning method can be applied.

Carpet inspections can provide crucial information when it comes to caring for your rugs. Not only can a professional quickly identify your type of rug and the best cleaning method for the rug, they can also diagnose any specific issues your rug may have and apply the best repairs and solutions for your rug’s needs.

Professional Is Best

Because of the amount of work and detail that goes into cleaning an area rug correctly, seeking the assistance of a professional carpet cleaner to clean your area rugs is often the best solution, particularly for heavy duty or in-depth area rug cleaning. While regular maintenance and vacuuming can easily be done at home, more thorough cleaning is best left to the professionals, especially for those more sensitive or precious carpets.

With these tips you can keep your area rugs clean and beautiful, while protecting your investment and creating a more attractive, fresh and healthy environment in your home.

Don’t Touch Another Carpet Stain Until You Read This!

The scenario is all too familiar. You’re sitting in the living room, entertaining friends, and someone has a spill on your carpet. You spring to the rescue to try to blot up the excess …but now what? Do you dab, blot, put vinegar on it, bleach it? The moments just after a spill and your actions could be what determines whether your carpet is left with a permanent stain. Remember, staining is influenced by many factors and no carpet is completely stain proof.

What you need to know:

What type of fiber is the carpet made from? Knowing the type of carpet fiber greatly helps you when selecting the type of spot and stain removing solutions you want to use. Most carpet (60%) sold in the USA is Nylon or Synthetic Fiber. This type of fiber is fairly stain resistant and many of the cleaning/spotting solutions sold through your local retail stores are made for these carpets. Wool/Natural fibers are more sensitive to stains and over the counter cleaning products. Yes, there are variations and brand names that will confuse this issues, but what you really care to know is if the carpet fiber is a synthetic (man-made fiber) or natural.

What was spilled?

Knowing what was spilled on the carpet will help you determine what approach and the types of spotting or stain removing solutions you might select to remove or reduce the likely hood of residual staining or permanent damage.

Spot Removal Steps:

Blot: Never scrub carpet fibers, as this can cause permanent damage to the carpet fibers. If you have solid or semi-solids in, scrape/remove them up with a spatula or spoon. Blot up the liquid with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no print) paper towels. We suggest fold the cloth/ towel(s) to increase the absorbency. (Hint: Applying downward pressure to the cloth/towel will improve absorption. Step or the cloth/towel will help with downward pressure. Change to dry cloth/towel frequently).

Pretest any spot removal solution in an inconspicuous area to make certain it will not damage the dyes or carpet fibers. (Hint… Closet or hidden corner)

Apply a small amount of the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel, and work the solution in to the affected area….gently. Work from the edge of the spill to the center to prevent the spill from spreading. If the spill is large, work with a small portion of the stain and test the result.  Let the spotting solution sit for about 10 minutes and blot-transfer the spill to a dry clean white cloth/towel. Be patient, as the removal or the spill may require repeating the same step several times.

Rinse: After the spill has been removed, rinse the affected area thoroughly with cold water and blot with a dry cloth/towel.

Spot/Stain Removal Guide: Go to www.carpet-rug.org. There is a published guide that can assist you in selecting the appropriate solution for removing various spots and stains.

Call a Professional Carpet Cleaner if you have any doubt or require professional assistance.

Spotting Solutions to have on hand: Make your own and save $$$$$$$$$$:

Detergent Solution: Mix ¼ teaspoon of clear Dawn liquid dish soap with 1 cup of warm water. Caution: Do not use dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, bleach, as these cleaning products are not made for carpets and will affect the color and dyes.

White Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of white vinegar (NOT WINE) with 1 cup of water.

Although it’s easy to overreact when a spill occurs and run for the bottle of bleach, avoiding cleaning a stain yourself could be the best thing you do for your carpet. If your carpet is an investment you want to preserve and protect, call in the professional carpet cleaners to get the best stain removal results and to extend the life of your carpet

To Mend or to End: What to Do With Old Carpet and Upholstery

Although we may not realize it, our carpet and upholstery represents a significant share of the value in our homes. Carpets, rugs, curtains and furnishings not only help to make our home comfortable and beautiful, they are also an investment that needs to be taken care of. The nature of these soft furnishings is to attract dirt, dust, oil and germs over time, so regular carpet and upholstery cleaning is needed to maintain their functionality and beauty.

But what if your carpet or upholstery is starting to show signs of wear and tear? Is it better to try professional carpet repair, or invest in replacing the carpet in your home? Here we look at how to make the decision that’s right for your budget, needs and lifestyle.

Evaluating Your Carpet

Carpet can last from between 10 to 20 years, with the type of carpet as well as the quality of the maintenance determining your carpet’s total life span. You may notice patches of wear and damage on the carpet for yourself, but a professional carpet inspection can help to more fully assess how to best maintain and repair your carpet. An expert carpet inspection can actually save you time and money by more accurately evaluating the life of the carpet, the areas of damage and staining, and plans for the future preservation of your carpet, as well as the padding underneath. 

Renewing Old Carpet and Upholstery

If your carpet is in fairly good condition, but you still have more than just a couple of stains and marks, it’s worth investing in professional carpet cleaning. Professional carpet and upholstery cleaning can help to remove dirt, dust and stains from deep within the carpet and padding, and lift out old stains, oils and dirt from soft furnishings like curtains and sofas. However, if the carpet is torn, worn down or ‘bald’, more thorough repairs will be needed. In the same way, sofas, curtains and rugs will withstand some repairs, but upholstery that is very heavily damaged will need to be replaced.

Repairing Damaged Carpet

If you are considering trying to salvage your existing carpet by conducting repairs on damaged areas, it’s always best to call in a professional to inspect your carpet and give you an idea of the benefits and costs involved. Professional carpet repair can be highly effective, restoring your carpet to an ‘as new’ condition, at a fraction of the cost of replacing the carpet in the whole room. Carpet replacement can cost up to 6 times more than a repair, and effective cleaning and repair of carpet has been shown to produce a result that’s almost as good as new, while being much easier on your hip pocket. 

When to Replace Carpet

If your carpet is very heavily worn and patchy, doesn’t have much life left and it’s over 10 years old, there’s probably not much hope of trying to repair it. Consult with a flooring expert to choose the best replacement for your needs and lifestyle. Carpet, tiles, stone and hardwood floors all offer something different, and choosing the right flooring for your needs is an investment in your home for the future.

Making smart decisions about repairing and replacing carpet and upholstery can help you to save time and money, while promoting a welcoming, attractive and safe home environment.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

DID YOU KNOW:

Carpets need to be vacuumed once a week and more often in areas of heavy traffic. Frequent vacuuming prolongs the life of your carpet by preventing a buildup of gritty particles that can cut carpet fibers. Every few weeks, take a little extra time and use your crevice tool for cleaning around baseboards and radiators and in other hard-to-reach places.

STAIN REMOVAL

BLOT….DON’T SCRUB: Never aggressively scrub a carpet as it will distort the fiber. BEST PRACTICE: Blot the spill with a white towel or cloth….then apply the cleaning solution to a clean white cloth/towel and blot the stain, thereby transferring it to the cloth/towel. Reposition the cloth/towel to a clean spot and repeat until the stain is completely transferred.

HELPFUL HINT

Never use bleach to try and remove stains from carpet. Yes, it will take the color out of your carpet and not always the stain. If you have any doubts or questions in regards to stains on your carpet call our office for FREE advice over the phone. Our number is 925-833-0408

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5 Health Benefits of Keeping Your Home Clean

A clean home isn’t just nice to look at and pleasant to be in, it can also directly benefit your health as well. While we often think of threats to our health coming from outside the home, even the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that indoor air can be up to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air. We might not normally associate carpet with improved indoor air quality, but it does have a very positive effect. Gravity cause common household particles, such as dust, pollen and pet and insect dander, to fall to the floor. Carpet fibers trap the particles, removing them from the breathing zone and reducing their airborne circulation. Frequent vacuuming and professional cleaning effectively removes dust and allergens from the carpet and helps keep them out of the air we breathe.

Other benefits to keeping the floor surfaces (carpet, hardwood, stone /tile) of your home professionally cleaned include:

Reducing Allergies

A misconception is that people with asthma and allergies should avoid carpet in the home. Actually, the opposite is true. Allergies can range from being inconvenient to debilitating, causing breathing issues and cold and flu like symptoms when the allergy is triggered. Some of the major triggers of allergies are found around the home – namely dust mites and pet dander. Dust mites are found in almost every home, in the carpet, upholstery, curtains and bedding, while pet dander is commonly encountered if you have pets at home that live indoors with you.  Studies have shown that properly cleaned carpet helps reduce symptoms. Frequent vacuuming can help to eliminate these allergens in the short term, but a thorough professional carpet cleaning once every 6 months to one year can help to control allergen levels more effectively. Hot water extraction cleaning can be particularly effective for dust mites.

Improving Breathing

Dust mites and pet dander are also a major trigger for asthma, another good reason to conduct regular carpet cleaning. In fact, even people without allergies or asthma will experience some breathing difficulties in a very dusty environment. A common trigger that can affect breathing is mold in the home. Mold can build up on the roof and in tiles and grout, in any room that is high in moisture and humidity and low in ventilation. Keeping an eye out for mold in the bathroom or kitchen will help you to target the problem early.

Decreases Stress

While we think of a clean home benefiting our physical health, a neat and tidy environment positively influences our mental health too. Having a clean and organized home makes moving through the house and finding things easier. It also helps to keep you prepared in case unexpected guests turn up, and certainly makes it easier to find your car keys in a hurry!

Reduced Infections

It’s no secret that we share our home with billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other germs that can cause disease. Germs like Salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus lurk in most homes, and regular cleaning targets these germs preventing food poisoning and infections. In some cases, we share our space with bigger creatures as well. Pests such as mice, rats, cockroaches, insects and weevils can contaminate food sources and damage the home. Keeping your home clean of crumbs and food scraps and sealing bins discourages these pests from setting foot in your home and maintains a healthier and more hygienic environment.

Did you know- Mold and VOC misperceptions :

When carpet is kept clean and dry, mold simply cannot grow on synthetic fibers. Mold requires a food source, such as wood or cellulous debris, and moisture to grow. Carpet is recognized by the Carpet and Rug Institute as one of the lowest emitters of volatile organic compounds among various flooring choices and interior finishes.

Knowing the health benefits of a clean and tidy home helps you to maintain the right balance of daily maintenance and professional cleaning for a safer, healthier living space.