Carpet Care

  • Daily maintenance
  • Periodic maintenance - wet cleaning
  • Treating stains - spot removal
  • Tips for specific problems
  • Planning & long term care

Daily Maintenance


Dry Dirt Removal

Carpets should be vacuumed daily using a commercial suction cleaner with a revolving agitator, the agitator being a bristle strip type.

Other key factors to vacuuming include the following:

  • Vacuum motor input of a minimum of 1000 watts
  • Preferred separate motors for both vacuum suction and pile agitator
  • Large capacity dust filling collection
  • Hand held suction tool attachment

The effectiveness of the cleaning is dependent upon the regular replacement of bristle strips/brushes and the emptying of the dust collection area

Spot Cleaning (Stain Removal)

To ease the process of stain removal, prompt action is required. Professional stain removal kits must be available to cleaning staff; the kits ought to include all the tools needed to tackle likely occurring spills.

Cleaning staff should be familiar with stain removal techniques and chemicals, and a daily inspection for stains is essential.

The following rules should be observed when removing stains from the carpet:

  • Apply the shampoo or chemicals in small quantities, avoid over wetting the carpet.
  • Work from the edge of the stain inwards to prevent spreading the stain.
  • DO not rub the pile, blot with tissues or an absorbent cloth.
  • After treating the affected area, rinse with clean water and cover with a wad of tissues weighed down with a suitably heavy object until dry.
  • Avoid walking on the area until dry.
  • Dry absorbent powders are available which will assist on situations where cleaning personnel are unavailable.

Periodic Maintenance


Wet cleaning ought to be carried out in accordance with an agreed schedule, with the areas of most heavy traffic or those areas subjected to the highest level of soiling requiring more frequent cleaning. Wet cleaning is used to remove oily, greasy and other tacky substances and accumulated soiling which discolours and otherwise affects the pile of the carpet.

The most appropriate method of wet cleaning is to use spray extraction cleaning. This is also referred to as hot water extractions, hot water rinse and steam cleaning or rotary/cylindrical brush shampooing.

The frequency of wet cleaning is dependent upon the effectiveness of the daily maintenance.

It is important with all carpet structures not to over wet when cleaning. Cleaned areas must be allowed to fully dry before being reopened for use.

Shampoo and spray extraction chemicals: because some cleaning techniques leave residues of shampoo or spray extraction chemicals in the carpet, it is essential that they confirm to certain minimum requirements.

  • They should leave a dry, powdery, preferably crystalline residue
  • They should have a neutral pH
  • Good cleaning powder
  • No added bleaches, dyes etc.

Suitable products are those which are "Woolsafe Approved" and carry the required products certification.

Treating Stains


Treat stains immediately.

  • Mop up fresh stains while they are still wet with a clean cloth or piece of kitchen paper
  • Concentrated or dried substances should be carefully loosened with a spoon or the blunt edge of a knife and then brushed or vacuumed off.
  • Moisten water-soluble stains with a small amount of water and remove loose dirt by vacuuming or dabbing
  • Many stains cannot be removed by using a solvent alone. For this purpose there are various strai removers available to the public which contain organic solvents. Only a damp white cloth should be used for the solvent.
  • If the nature of the stain is not known, the usual treatments as stated in 2 & 3 above should be tried first. If this is unsuccessful, the stain should be treated with carpet shampoo and then dabbed. Work from the outside of the stain and work inwards. It is advisable to allow the treated area to dry first and then apply stain removers. The carpet shampoo treatment can be repeated if necessary.

Stain Carpet Shampoo Solutions Dry Cleaning Fluid Clear Cold Water Other Method
Beverages2-13 Laundry Detergent (2%)
Bleach2-1-
Blood--12 Laundry Detergent (2%)
Butter21--
Candle Wax-2-1 Absorbent paper & hot iron
Chewing Gum---1 Chewing gum remover
Chocolate2-1-
Cooking Oil1---
Egg1---
Fruit Juice2--2 Laundry Detergent (2%)
Furniture Polish21-3 Call cleaner
Gravy & Sauce2--1 Warm water
Ink (fountain pen)--12 Laundry Detergent (2%)
Ink (ball point)2--1 Methylated spirit
Lipstick21--
Metal Polish21--
Milk2-1-
Mustard1---
Nail Polish-2-1 Nail polish remover
Oil & Grease21--
Paint (water based)2-1-
Paint (oil)--12 Turpentine, 3 Call cleaner
Rust21-3 Rust remover, 4 Call cleaner
Salad Dressing21--
Soot2--1 Vacuum, 3 Call cleaner
Tar-1--
Urine (fresh stain)1---
Urine (old stain)---1 Call cleaner
Vomit1---
Wine--12 Laundry Detergent
Animal or Baby Accidents1---

Tips For Specific Problems


Fluffing

When a carpet is new, loose fluff may appear on the surface. This is merely loose bits of short fibre left in the pile by the manufacturing process. They represent only a minute proportion of the fibre in the pile and will gradully disapper with the use of vacuuming.

Sprouting

A single tuft rising up from the pile surface is called a sprout, which should be trimmed with scissors. Do not pull the tuft or it may unravel and cause a hole in the carpet.

Burns

This problem is minimised with carpets made of wool, because wool is more flame retardant than other carpet fibres. If a cigarette has scorched the pile of wool or wool rich carpet rub the damaged ends of the pile, with for exmaple the edge of a coin, gently to remove the burnt tips of the pile. If the carpet is light-coloured, any remaining discolouration can be removed by rubbing with sandpaper, or failing that with a dilute solution of hydrogen peroxide.

Indentations

A compression mark made by furniture is minimised with wool or wool rich carpets as they are highly resilient. Gentle moistening of the indentation with water aids recovery of damaged areas.

Castor Chairs

It is strongly recommended that a protecting mat or similar is used under the castor chairs.

Planning and long term care of the Carpet Installations


Careful planning before carpets are chosen and fitted enhances their appearance and extends their lives. Seek advice about what types of carpet and fitting systems are suitable for the locations and whether any floor preparation work is needed. Health and safety aspects of the installation need to be considered at this stage. Use competent carpet installers. Fitting work should be carried out using the methods described in the current edition of BS 5325, Code of Practice for the Installation of Textile Floor Coverings.

Prevention

Installation of entrance or barrier mats. These are intended to minimise the time and effort required for routine and periodic maintenance. Entrance mats are of two kinds, HEAVY and LIGHT duty.

HEAVY duty mats are usually placed outside to remove lumps of soil, snow and the like. Commonly they are made of metal strips and/or rubber blocks.

LLIGHT duty mats are placed inside entrances to remove as much as possible of the remaining soil from shoes. These are usually made up of cotton, viscose or coir, which readily collect soil. They can easily become saturated with soil and can even add to the soil brought into buildings. To prevent this they should be maintained regularly hosing, brushing, vacuuming, shaking or replacement as required. For best results they should be at least two strides long so that both shoes are cleaned.