CLEANING & MAINTENANCE
1. INTRODUCTION - EVERY CARPET GETS DIRTY
Carpets consist of piles which are fixed in the ground fabric. The pile itself consists either of loops or of cut pile threads or a combination of these. The design of carpets may differ considerably. The pile can be flat or irregular but also high or low. Some carpets have a loose pile structure while others have piles with a very high density. With some carpets dirt is more easily absorbed between the fibres than with others.
Every carpet will eventually become dirty through use and light-coloured carpets obviously show the dirt more easily than dark-coloured ones. This booklet provides maintenance recommendations and tips to prevent staining.
2. STAINING - HOW TO PREVENT IT
The answer is simple: by making sure that the carpet is not exposed to dirt. This can be achieved best with a good 'dirt trough', which is a zone in which the dirt from the shoes is absorbed when coming in from outside. 80% of the soil is tracked in on the soles of shoes.
A good dirt trough works in two ways: it has both a brushing and a moisture-absorbing effect. Especially with bad weather it is wise to add a moisture-absorbing (cotton) mat to the existing dirt trough, because it is moisture in particular that causes visible staining. This also applies to transitions from hard floors to carpets.
3. MAINTENANCE - HOW & WHEN
Any dirt ending up in the carpet despite the dirt trough will have to be removed. First of all by good daily care. The correct removal of stains is also important in this respect. In the long-term, periodic maintenance will be needed.
3.1. DAILY CARE
Regular and thorough vacuuming is the best maintenance recommendation. Dirt will be prevented from bedding in and between the fibres of the pile and can still be easily removed. It is logical that the most frequently used parts of the carpet (such as the entrance, the traffic lanes and the floor where the seats are) require extra care. Regular vacuuming will also lead to better preservation of the structure of your carpet.
The best results are obtained with a vacuum cleaner with a rotating, electrically powered brush. Such a brush consists of a horizontal cylinder equipped with spiral shaped brush hairs. If your vacuum cleaner has a fixed brush, vacuum with steady movements so that the vacuum cleaner will be able to suck up the dirt.
Vacuum each carpet from the beginning regularly,
Replace the dust bag in time because when it is full the suction power of the vacuum cleaner will decrease,
If necessary, use a small suction nozzle for those places which are most intensively used. Thorough vacuuming will prevent unnecessary deterioration of your carpet.
*For more information please see the PDF at the bottom of the page.
When removing stains, always remember to work from the outside towards the inside to prevent the stain from spreading. (Wool must never be rubbed but dabbed; rubbing causes the stain to become matted and the fibres distorted).
Some stains require much time and a lot of absorbent material. Never rush things and remember that if at first you do not succeed, try again.
Before using chemicals to treat stains it is wise to carry out a test first. Pre-test any spot removal agent in an inconspicuous area to make certain that the solution will not damage the fibre or the dye. You will then be sure that the remedy is not worse than the disease. Do not be fooled by so-called universal remedies, (they do not exist). Some remedies contain optical brighteners, which are actually florescent dyes that brighten the colours of the fibre.
The use of mineral water instead of tap water will lead to better absorption of colorants.
Residual stains caused by natural colorants (such as coffee and tea) should gradually disappear under the influence of light.
Make sure that the moistened spot of the carpet is properly patted dry and covered with a moisture towel as the last part of the treatment; it will minimise the risk of rings.
Chemical damage caused by bleaching agents, rust, urine etc. cannot or can hardly be removed. Most of these, will actually dye the fibres almost immediately.
Despite regular vacuuming, your carpet may after some time get dirty. Do not wait too long before taking measures. The dirtier the carpet, the more difficult it is to clean it. Sometimes the dirt is limited to only one part of the carpet so that only the dirty part needs to be cleaned. If you decide to do this yourself, choose the option with the least possible risks, such as:
REMOVAL AGENTS OF POWDER
Vacuum thoroughly the part that needs cleaning. Then spread the powder evenly or use a clean (synthetic) brush to rub it in. After the indicated drying time remove the powder thoroughly with a (brush) vacuum cleaner (powder is less suitable for wool and cotton).
Always first try with lukewarm water or mineral water. Carpets must never be rubbed but dabbed; rubbing causes the stain to become matted and the fibres distorted
Moving (especially heavy) furniture may damage the carpet. Scraping doors over the carpet will of course lead to damaged spots.
Make sure (especially during the winter months) that the relative humidity in the room does not drop below 50%.
This will prevent static charging and will benefit both your carpet and your furniture.
*For further information please refer to the downloadable PDF below.