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The Best Way to Keep Carpet Clean

If you have just purchased new carpet, you are most likely worried about when the first spill or muddy footprint will occur and what to do.

The following is a guide to relaxing and enjoying your home improvement.

At our house we like to be wear shoes inside but if you wish you can get everyone to remove their shoes at the door.

Either way a good entry door mat is an essential to reduce soiling of your carpet from footwear.

A good quality vacuum cleaner is the starting point for a well maintained carpet. Dirt particles will not only make your carpet look unsightly, they will grind away at the pile when walked on and cause wear.

You should thoroughly vacuum your carpet at least weekly, with three vacuum passes for lightly soiled areas and five to seven passes for heavily soiled areas.

If you have Asthma or Allergy suffers in the house, ensure removal of any dust mites from the household by use a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filter or install an externally ducted vacuum cleaning system.

Our eating area is adjoining the kitchen and is ceramic tiles, so we don’t have to worry about food spills, particularly now that the kids have grown up and moved out.

But if you do have an accident, firstly refer to the manufacturer’s care and cleaning guide.

Most manufacturers have all the information you require online, with different instructions for different types of spills and carpets. For example Google “Cleaning and maintenance guides Feltex Carpets”

Otherwise I have always found the best way to spot clean carpet is to remove as much of the spill as possible using a blunt knife or spoon for solids, blotting up liquids with white kitchen paper or using a wet/dry vacuum for large spills.

You can then apply a little cold or lukewarm water containing laundry detergent to the residual spill and blot up with white kitchen paper and once looking clean repeat with plain water. Depending on the spill, it may be necessary to repeat this process several times to effectively rinse out the soiling.

Never scrub or rub the carpet during the spot cleaning, as even if you get it clean, the pile will appear distorted and standout from the rest.

To avoid spreading the spill, always work from the outside of the stain in towards the middle.

If you are not confident to do these steps yourself, call your carpet retailer or a professional carpet cleaner to ask their advice.

Your new carpet will probably last a few years before it’s first professional clean, but thereafter the average family home carpet should be professionally steam cleaned approximately every 12 – 24 months.

Steam cleaning is in reality hot water and detergent being pumped into your carpet and then extracted by vacuum together with the soiling from your flooring. Ideally engage someone who has a van or truck mounted powerful machine, this will enable better cleaning and leave your carpet dryer

Steam cleaning should be done in accordance with Australian and New Zealand carpet cleaning and maintenance standard AS/NZS3733. Reputable carpet cleaners are aware of and abide by this standard.

Shampooing, DIY steam cleaning or dry carpet cleaning are not recommended by many carpet manufacturers.

Shampooing can leave a residual of detergent behind which will attract more dirt very quickly.

DIY hire steam cleaning machines often don’t have sufficient suction power and can leave your carpet quite wet and even smelly.

If you have a choice, try and have your carpet professionally steam cleaned on a warm day, so you can open the house up for quick drying

I have found that carpet dry cleaning really only cleans the top surface of the carpet pile. Whilst it will freshen up the look of your carpet, it will not remove deep down soiling.

When having your new carpet installed, it is a good idea to keep a little of the offcut so that in a worst case scenario a patch can installed by an experienced carpet layer. It may not be invisible but it may be better than the stain it replaces.

However, if you follow the cleaning steps outlined, you should be able to just enjoy the look and comfort of your new carpet.