The answer: yes. If you want to keep your carpets in pristine condition and healthy for years to come, you should know what kind of carpets you have and what the best methods are for keeping them clean and healthy.
Now I know what you're thinking; great, not only do I have to worry about cleaning my carpets, but now I have to worry about different types of carpet and different ways to clean them?
Well, yes... but don't fret! We're here to give you all of the tips and trick so that your cleaning is quick, easy, and leaves your carpets in the best shape possible.
As we've covered in previous articles, dust particles and bacteria settle in the fibers of your carpets, and without regular vacuuming and cleaning can get lodged deep in there. Sometimes, if left for long enough, they might not be able to be cleaned out.
Regular vacuuming is a great way to keep your carpets clean of debris, but vacuuming can only clean so much. Getting your carpets professionally cleaned is a guaranteed way to keep your carpets as healthy and clean as possible. Most experts will recommend getting your carpets cleaned once every 12 to 18 months. However, the best results will be see if your carpets are cleaned bi-annually.
Now, let's get down to carpets. There are many different kinds of carpets, and many different ways to clean them, but we'll just cover some of the most common types in this article.
When it comes to cleaning carpets, the rule of thumb is the bigger the loop of the carpet, the easier it is to clean. Berber carpet has large loops that trap dirt, dust, and other debris. These loops, however, help make cleaning easier because their size typically prevents dirt from getting to the bottom of the fibers, requiring you to only clean the top loop layer. The drawback is due to the large nature of the hoops, they are easier to snag or get pulled on, which makes wear and tear more visible. If you have pets, they are sometimes inclined to pick or claw at the loops, putting extra strain and wear on your carpets.
When it comes to cleaning this type of carpet, the rule of thumb is to clean it when it starts to look dirty. The large loops will keep most of the dirt at the surface, allowing you to visibly see when it starts to become dirty. Depending on where the carpet is located in your home, and the foot traffic that goes over it, you may need a cleaning once every year, or as frequent as once every 3 months. A good practice is to vacuum one to two times a week. If you have pets, two times a week is recommended.
Something common with Berber carpets is that stains can disappear after being cleaned, but reappear again a few days after. This is in part due to the fibers shifting after being cleaned and exposing parts that were not fully cleaned. To fully get rid of the stain we recommend getting a second cleaning several days to a week after. Despite this being said, Berber carpets are among the easiest to maintain and keep healthy.
Frieze carpets are sneaky. They typically don't look as dirty as Berber carpets would, but tend to conceal a lot more dirt and dust. The way Frieze carpets work is they are made of many small fibers that are wound together. These fibers don't stand straight upright, which makes it easier for the fibers to trap and distribute stains throughout the carpet. Additionally, the fact that the fibers don't stand straight up makes it easier for them to hide stains and dirt. Now, this could be beneficial for stains that cannot be removed, but it also makes it difficult to know when to clean your carpets and how dirty they actually are.
As you could guess, vacuuming only does so much with these carpets. For Frieze, steam cleaning or dry cleaning is typically the best route when attempting to remove and clean long-term carpet stains. Not all Frieze carpets are created the same, meaning not all will conceal stains. Frieze style carpets can be made out of several different types of materials, like nylon, wool, polyester, and polyethylene terephthalate. Polyester and polyethylene terephthalate carpet fibers are not very good at hiding stains in their fibers, and typically don't last as long as wool or nylon. However, wool and nylon tend to be more expensive.
When it comes to cleaning, you'll want to know what material your carpet is made of. For example, using the wrong solution with wool can cause it to shrink, leaving strange patterns in your carpet afterwards. Nylon carpets typically end up being the easiest to maintain overall. Although acrylic carpets are made from recycled materials and tend to be stain resistant, they can be imprinted by consistent traffic. These imprints can form as quickly as one year of constant use. Wool carpets tend to handle wear and tear the best, however you need to use care when cleaning and can tend to cost more. Make sure to keep these tips in consideration when purchasing carpets, and know what your carpet is made of before cleaning.
Stain Resistant Carpets
As mentioned previously, some carpets can be stain-resistant depending on what they're made of. Nylon and other acrylic carpets are typically marketed as being stain resistant due to the fibers being packed tightly together, allowing them to hold off stains and spills as long as they are cleaned right away. Other carpets can be sprayed with chemicals that create a protective barrier over the fibers, making it easy to wipe up stains soon after they happen.
Something important to keep in mind is that stain-resistant DOES NOT mean stain-proof. Any spill on your carpet should be dealt with immediately to prevent long-term effects. If anything is left to settle into the fibers, they will eventually seep in and stain the carpet, event if the carpet has been treated with stain-resistant chemicals. These carpets are typically cheaper and last a long time, but they still need to be maintained and cared for on a regular basis.
Part of what helps carpets last long and stay more resilient to stains is the carpet pad. Carpet pads can come in several different weights. Heavier pads typically provide a softer feel when walked on, and wears less over long periods of time. A 10 pound underlay is typically used for stairs and high traffic areas, as it is meant to last a long time and improve a carpet's life. 5 pound underlays may be cheaper, but typically don't last nearly as long.
Carpet pads can also affect the look of a carpet. Lower weight pads are quicker to absorb stains and can sometimes make carpets look dirty, even if they are not. Pads that are made of higher quality recycled rubber and foam chips can hold off stains and keep them at the carpet level, making cleaning easier and keeping it at the top level of the carpet.
Tips On How to Remove Stains
As we've learned, carpet stains can be very noticeable depending on the type of carpets you have. When it comes to removing stains, the key is to take your time and have patience. The best thing to do when cleaning a stain is to let the stain-removing chemicals to their job, and give it some time. Always make sure to follow the recommended directions on the bottle of the cleaning products you are using. It is also important to note that some stains, no matter the type of carpet, no matter how much cleaning and scrubbing, will not come out.
In the case of stains that are impossible or incredible difficult to remove, you will want to call a professional to take care of things. Not only will they know how different types of carpets will react and retain stains, they will also understand the science behind carpet cleaning and how to treat your carpets to give you the maximum clean effect you are looking for. It is also more than acceptable to ask your carpet cleaning professionals questions to make sure you are informed on the process and to know that you are getting the most out of your carpet cleaning.
Different carpets can make a big difference in how your carpets get cleaned, and can dictate how your carpets are cleaned and maintained as well. As of right now, there aren't any carpets that will give you guaranteed stain resistance, but there are ways you can make your carpets more stain-resistant than they currently are, improving the health and longevity of your carpets. For more information on how to clean different types of carpets, or to find out what types of carpets your have and schedule a cleaning appointment, give us a call at 619-284-4239, or contact us at cleanearthrestorations.com.