Today's quality carpets, rugs, and upholstery are made to last for several decades, if cared for properly. The key to maintaining your personal carpets, rugs, and upholstery is regular and frequent vacuuming. Dirt and dust settle onto the surface of carpets, rugs, and upholstery either brought in by wind, your pets, or your family. If this dust is allowed to settle within the fibers of your carpet, the jagged edges will rub against the fibers and cause them to wear down prematurely. Once your carpet, rug, or upholstery has reached this phase, the only solution will be complete replacement of the fibers or fabric. Regular and frequent vacuuming will suck up the dirt and dust settling on the surface of the carpet and rug, before it has had a chance to settle within deeper into the carpet or rug pile.
In addition to regular and frequent vacuuming, it is recommended that you get your carpet, rug, or upholstery deep cleaned at least once every year. This will flush out the dirt and soil that managed to slip past your vacuuming schedule or that has been in there before you started. It is getting more and more common these days for manufacturers to require yearly professional cleanings as a condition of their warranties.
Now that we've covered the basics of anticipiated maintenance, lets talk about the unexpected...the spills. Spills and stains can be traumatic if you've worked hard to maintain the original beauty and color of your carpet. Follow the basic steps below to handle the most common spills and stains. However, if you find that these techniques are not working or your spill stain is not listed, you may want to contact one of our cleaning professionals for advice or to schedule professional cleaning service.
Spot Removal Procedure
Removing spots from carpet can be simple or tedious depending upon the spot and how long it has been on the carpet. At times multiple applications of the spot removal solution, or a second solution is required. Listed below is a general spot removal procedure. If the origin of the spot is unknown, begin with step 1. If the origin of the spot is known begin at the appropriate step. Never use a circular motion to remove a spot as this destroys texture. To prevent wick up, the final step should always be to rinse with clear water, blot dry and put a thickness of several white paper towels over the damp area. Put a brick, or suitable weight object on the pad of towels to keep the pad in con- tact with the carpet. This allows any stain wicking up from the backing to go into the towels rather than remain on the carpet surface. Allow to dry, remove the brick and towels and brush up the pile.
Be certain to try, on an inconspicuous area of your carpet, any solutions you plan to use as it may affect color or texture. Do not use if color in the test area marks off on a white paper towel.
Dilute coffee spills immediately with cool water and blot with paper towels or clean rags. If a stain remains after the spot dries, spray on a glass cleaner (yes, a glass cleaner!). Soak the area, allow to sit for five minutes, and blot. Glass cleaner cleans all types of carpeting and upholstery without leaving the soapy residue of most traditional carpet cleaners, which only attract more dirt afterward. And glass cleaner normally is effective on even the most difficult stains. Once your carpet is cleaned it's time to Scotchgard to limit further staining.
Generaly greasy stains
Most greasy carpeting and upholstery stains can be removed by rubbing on paint thinner with a clean, 100-percent cotton cloth. Then cover the stain with salt until the remaining grease is absorbed, and vacuum. Or cover the spot with cornmeal and let it sit overnight and vacuum in the morning. Note: Test the effect of the paint thinner on the colorfastness of the carpeting and/or upholstery in a discrete area first.
Pen ink stains
Hairspray will lift out pen ink stains on carpeting or upholstery. Or you can sprinkle the stain with salt until completely covered, which also will absorb the ink. Allow to sit until the stain is absorbed and brush off. Repeat if necessary.
Carsickness stains, from children, pets or adults, should be diluted and neutralized (vomit is acidic) with club soda or a mixture of baking soda and water.
Blood stains on carpeting or upholstery, whether animal or human, should be immediately covered with a paste made up of dry laundry starch and cold water. ( Do not use hot water, as it will set the stain.) Allow to dry, then brush or vacuum the residue away.
Though you should never drink and drive, if alcohol spills while on your way home from the grocery store, beer and other alcohol spills on your carpeting should be immediately diluted with cold water so they don't permanently change the carpet color.
For general carpet or upholstery stains, take a gallon of hot water, a generous amount of liquid dish detergent, and add a cup of white vinegar. You'll need a hard bristle brush to work the mixture thoroughly into carpet fibers. Let sit for 30 minutes. Blot until dry with clean towels or thick absorbent rags. (This also works for pet accident stains.)