Carpet cleaning and topical treatments under normal circumstances carpet cleaning will not destroy soil and stain resist treatments, like Stainmaster® or Wear Dated®; however, foot traffic can damage some soil resist treatments like Teflon® or Scotchgard®. It is not necessary to reapply these treatments after every carpet cleaning, if regular carpet cleaning is performed. Occasional (every two to three years) reapplication of these treatments can enhance the beauty of your carpet.
Do-it-yourself carpet cleaning and frequent vacuum cleaning between professional carpet cleaning can extend the life of your carpet. In cleaning carpet yourself, always follow directions carefully for dilution ratios of the cleaning solution to reduce soiling and avoid over wetting the carpet to discourage microbial growth and odor. Precautions should be taken to ensure complete drying within twenty-four (24) hours. High humidity conditions may require the use of the home heating and air conditioning system, air movers (fans), or additional drying strokes with the cleaning equipment.
Carpet cleaning is typically performed far too infrequently. Carpet is the 3rd most expensive investment you will make for your new home, yet it receives far less care than other household items. Carpet is subjected to substantial abuse from foot traffic and performs exceptionally well, but it is not a maintenance-free item.
Carpet also acts a buffer in protecting other flooring surfaces deep within your home. As you walk on carpet, soil is released from the soles of your shoes and is captured within the carpet pile. This soil accumulates within 7-feet of the entrance of your home. This area should receive careful attention when vacuuming. Have you ever seen a Hardwood Welcome Mat? Carpet is used as entry mats because it traps soil. Understanding this characteristic will lower the maintenance requirements of carpet.
By concentrating the majority of your carpet cleaning efforts on these areas employing preventive carpet care strategies, you can limit the spread of soil to more manageable areas and reduce the amount of care required for your new carpet.
If your primary entrance area is an attached garage, consider placing scrap carpet from your carpet installationalongside your vehicle. The carpet runner should be long enough to take 3-5 steps before entering the home. More than 80% of the soil can be trapped using these runners, thus preventing soil from entering your home. Clean these runners frequently or simply throw them away and replace them with a new rug.
Entry areas, inside the home, should be cleaned regularly. If you keep these areas clean, carpet cleaning frequency for the rest of your home can be extended.
The first step in carpet cleaning is dry soil removal (vacuuming). Dry soil will not dissolve (insoluble - like sand) with wet cleaning. It only can be removing through vacuuming. Thorough vacuuming prior to wet cleaning (wet cleaning is the best carpet cleaning method) will remove as much dry soil as possible and allow carpet cleaning detergents to work more effectively. Often in heavy soiling situations, detergents can be overwhelmed. Detergents attach electrically to soil particles. The other end of the detergent molecule attaches electrically to water molecules. Too much soil will exhaust all detergent molecules and provide inconsistent carpet cleaning results. Similarly, adding a heavier concentration of detergent will overwhelm water molecules. Excessive use of detergents will create a situation where there are not enough water molecules and detergent will be left behind to attract soil particles (rapid resoiling).
Using a proper balance (amounts), each detergent molecule will attach to soil particles on one end and water molecules on the other end. When the water is extracted, the soil and detergent will be removed from your carpet.
It is generally better to clean heavily soiled areas twice, rather than attempting a restorative cleaning, in which carpet is left wetter with more detergents. Professional carpet cleaners typically perform restorative cleaning each time they clean, because most consumers do not clean carpet often enough. Carpet appearance level deteriorates quickly when restorative carpet cleaning is employed.
Different carpet fibers may require different carpet cleaning methods and different cleaning chemistry. Tough synthetic carpet fibers will withstand a wide variety of carpet cleaning methods and cleaning chemistry, but natural carpet fibers can be damaged by improper cleaning.