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Carpet Cleaning Tips

 

 

Your carpet sees a lot of wear and tear, and eventually somebody or something will invariably leave a dirty mess on your carpet, but you can tackle such dirt and stains – by following this eSpares guide.

Tips for Spills & Stains:

  • Deal with stains and spills immediately.
  • Use a spoon or the blunt end of a knife to scrape off solid materials like candle wax.
  • Blot spills with a paper towel or cloth, but don’t add more liquid.
  • Most water based stains such as tea, coffee, fruit juice or urine should be cleaned with a carpet shampoo, whilst most grease based stains will need a brand name dry cleaning solvent.

Treating Specific Stains:

  • Blood - blot fresh spills with a paper towel or cloth. Mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent with 1 litre of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let dry and then vacuum the area.
  • Butter - scrape off as much as you can. Apply a dry-cleaning solution and let the carpet dry. Repeat if necessary, before vacuuming the area.
  • Candle wax - wait until it is hard, then scrape off as much as possible. Cover the remains with kitchen paper and press with the tip of a warm iron. The wax will melt and be absorbed by the paper.
  • Chewing gum - place a bag of ice cubes on top to freeze it, then break off as much as you can. Clean off the remainder with a dab of white or methylated spirits on a cloth.
  • Chocolate - scrape off any solid chocolate pieces, then treat with a spot carpet shampoo. If greasy marks remain, treat carefully with a grease solvent.
  • Coffee - blot fresh spills with a paper towel or cloth. Mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent with 1 litre of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let dry. Apply a dry-cleaning solvent and once dry, vacuum the area.
  • Crayon - wait until it is hard, then scrape off as much as possible. Cover the remains with kitchen paper and press with the tip of a warm iron –the wax will melt and be absorbed by the paper.
  • Fruit - acting quickly is key, as once fruit stains are dry and hard they are very difficult to remove. Scrape up as much as possible, and blot any juice. Mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent with 1 litre of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let dry. Repeat if necessary, before vacuuming the area.
  • Ink - rub with a cloth moistened with methylated spirits for ballpoint and felt tip pens. Use cold water to shift fountain pen ink.
  • Lipstick - carefully scrape off any excess with a knife, then treat with a carpet shampoo. If any colour remains, use a dab of methylated spirits on cotton wool.
  • Milk or ice cream - sponge with soapy warm water, rinse, then treat with a grease solvent.
  • Mud - wait until dry and hard, then scrape off as much as possible. Mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent with 1 litre of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let dry. If the stain remains, apply a dry-cleaning solvent and once dry, vacuum the area.
  • Scorch marks - trim lightly with a pair of scissors.
  • Shoe polish - scrape off as much as you can, treat with a dry cleaning solvent, then methylated spirits. You may also need to finish off with carpet shampoo.
  • Tar - use a small amount of solvent, such as WD-40, on the stain. Blot the dissolved area with a paper towel. Mix a small amount of mild detergent with warm water and apply to the stain - this will remove the smell of the solvent. Next, sponge the area with fresh water and let dry.
  • Urine - mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar and 1 teaspoon mild detergent with 1 litre of warm water. Apply this solution to the stain and let dry. Repeat if necessary, then vacuum the area.
  • Vinegar - dilute the spill immediately with baking soda and water. Apply a solution of 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. Rinse with cold water. Let the area dry and vacuum.
  • Vomit - blot up as much as possible. Dilute with baking soda and water. Apply a solution of 1 part ammonia to 10 parts water. Rinse with cold water. Let the area dry and vacuum.
  • Wine - we thoroughly recommend Red Wine Stain Remover for getting rid of red wine stains on carpeting. We've tested it and it works.

Floorcare Tips:

  • Use entrance mats near doors to prevent mud and dirt being brought into the house on shoes and boots.
  • Wear slippers around the house instead of shoes - high-grip soles and metal-tipped heels may twist and pull at carpet pile.

Vacuuming:

  • Before vacuuming, pick up small objects and debris.
  • Move all furniture and vacuum entire carpet about once a month.
  • Use a stair tool, upholstery nozzle, brush attachment or hand-held cleaner to clean stairs.
  • Never vacuum the fringes of valuable or delicate rugs as they may get caught - use a hand brush instead.
  • Heavy traffic areas should be vacuumed at least twice a week, light traffic areas only about once a week.
  • How many strokes of the vacuum cleaner? Seven strokes for heavy traffic, three to four for light traffic areas.
  • Empty the container (if bagless) or change the dustbag as soon as necessary to keep the vacuum cleaner working at its best.
  • Check the brush roll or agitator for snagged hairs or threads which may restrict or reduce the roller action.

Carpets and Rugs:

  • For easy cleaning, choose a carpet with a built-in proprietary stain protector.
  • Always fit a good underlay below carpet as it evens out the wear, fills in uneven floors and makes your carpets last longer.
  • To minimise the indentations left by heavy furniture, use the edge of a coin to rub up the pile. Protect your floor when moving heavy items by using a set of slide-under castors. On smooth floors, slip an off-cut of carpet pile side down under the item to be moved.
  • Vacuum a new carpet from day one. It will shed a certain percentage of loose fibres from manufacture and regular vacuuming is the best way to remove it. Check the dust bag after each session.
  • Keep a copy of any floorcare instructions to refer to later, for cleaning and stain removal advice.
  • Eventually, carpets may need to be shampooed with a multi-purpose machine or shampoo/polisher designed for the job - heavy traffic areas may need to be done twice a year.
  • Pet hairs are particularly difficult to remove as they contain natural oil. An upright vacuum cleaner is best for shifting them. Vacuum your pet's favourite spots regularly to prevent hair becoming embedded in the carpet pile. To neutralise pet odours, use a special carpet solution for pet stains and odours.
  • Turn rugs to even out their wear. In rooms with fitted carpet, move the furniture around instead.

Hard Flooring;

  • When polishing a floor, apply polish sparingly - a thick application attracts dust and is difficult to buff to a shine.
  • Apply one coat of polish to the entire floor, then apply subsequent coats on high traffic areas only.
  • When washing hard flooring, especially tiles, avoid over-wetting the floor, as water may seep between the tiles and cause them to lift.

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