Cleaning & Maintenance
Carpets & Rugs
Equal in importance to vacuuming and maintaining carpet appearance is spot and spill removal. The golden rule is to act quickly. Your maintenance plan should have a least one member of the staff trained and familiar with spot-removal kit which should be kept on site and contain the following items:
A. Carpet shampoo or a detergent solution for removing water based spots.
B. Solvent for removing greasy spots (1.1.1. Trichloroethylene)
C. Chewing gum remover (freeze or solvent type)
D. Special spot removers for ink, fruit drinks, coffee, etc. as indicated on the attached spot removal chart.
E. White absorbent cloth or paper towels for mopping spills.
Spot Removal Kits with operating instructions can be obtained from suppliers of carpet cleaning equipment.
Rules For Spot Removal
A. Try to categorize the spot; treat according to the attached spot removal guide.
B. Scrape up all solids using a spoon or dull spatula.
C. Blot up – do not rub – excess liquids using an absorbent white cloth or paper towel.
D. Test for color fastness on an inconspicuous part of the carpet before applying shampoo or chemicals.
E. Do not apply liquid directly onto the carpet. Put the cleaning chemical onto the cloth and blot.
F. Repeat blotting action until no more of the spot is deposited onto the cloth before going to the next step.
G. Work from the edge of the spot inward to prevent spreading of the spot.
H. Rinse the treated area with clean water afterwards, and place weighted paper towels until dry.
I. Avoid walking on the area until completely dry.
~ KEY ~
1. Cold Water
2. Detergent solution
3. Ammonia solution
5. Chill w/aerosol freezing agent / ice cubes in plastic bag. Pick / Scrape gum
6. Vinegar solution
7. Warm water
8. Clear nail polish remover (preferably acetone)
9. Rust remover
10. Alcohol or methylated spirits mineral turpentine
11. Absorbant powder (e.g. salt, talc or proprietary absorbent powders)
12. Absorbent cleaner
CLEANING CAUTION: Carpets with jute backing should not be overwet as it may cause the carpet to shrink. Low moisture methods such as Host and Whittaker have proven to be successful.
Heavy traffic areas which begin to show soiling can be cleaned without cleaning the entire carpet by using:
A. An impregnated absorbent powder that is brushed into the pile. After the powder has absorbed the dirt and dried, usually 30-45 minutes, the dry compound and soil are removed by vacuuming. This system when properly used can delay periodic wet cleaning, sometimes indefinitely.
B. Fabric bonnet either impregnated with shampoo or used with spread foam on rotary brush machine. This system can be used for surface cleaning on loop pile carpets only. This system is not recommended for cut pile carpets because of pile distortion and texture loss.
The frequency of periodic cleaning will depend on how well daily and intermediate maintenance have been performed as well as location. The two methods recommended for the periodic deep cleaning are:
Dry Foam Extraction
A detergent foam is evenly distributed and brushed into the carpet pile. The foam and soil are removed immediately by wet vacuum suction that breaks down the foam and collects both the soil and moisture into a tank. The machine should be passed over the carpet in straight parallel lines at the rate of approximately 12 feet per minute. The advantage of this system is that because of the small amount of water used there is less chance of over-wetting or damage to the backing. This is particularly important on woven carpets. Drying time is also less with this method that with hot water extraction.
Hot Water Extraction
In this method, a hot detergent solution (150 degrees F. max) is sprayed through a nozzle and them followed by extraction of loosened dirt through a suction slot located behind the nozzle. (This method is sometimes erroneously referred to as steam cleaning.) The advantage of this method is that it removes deep-seated dirt well. The disadvantages are that it is more operator sensitive than other methods, over-wetting can occur, and longer drying time is required.
** PLEASE NOTE ** Carpets with Jute backing SHOULD NOT be cleaned utilizing Hot Water Extraction. Please contact your local Representative or Dealer for questions concerning your carpet backing.
Routine carpet maintenance is made up of two daily elements: vacuuming and spot cleaning. Proper vacuuming on a regular basis is the most important of all cleaning procedures and is essential to obtain the longevity of wool carpet. A floor plan highlighting the heavy traffic should be a part of the maintenance program. These heavy traffic areas should be vacuumed daily: medium traffic areas once or twice weekly as determined by appearance. Thorough vacuuming requires that the vacuum move slowly back and forth over the area several times (3-5 times in heavy areas). It is also important to ensure good suction the vacuum bag be emptied frequently (never use a bag over ½ full).
There are two main types of vacuum cleaners: plain suction and suction plus revolving brush and beater bar. An upright heavy duty with rotating brush/beater is recommended for cut pile carpets. Suction only types are best for loop pile constructions, but rotating brush/beater bar can be used if they don’t cause excessive fuzzing. Begin vacuuming program as soon as the carpet is installed.
To remove dust and surface material on the carpet or rug, regular vacuuming, sweeping, and/or
shaking is effective
When used solely for indoor applications, a rug pad should be used
The rug should be kept away from prolonged exposure to wet conditions
Spills should be immediately blotted with a clean dry cloth or paper towel
A hose can be used to clean outdoor rugs unless finished with a cotton, canvas, or other binding which are susceptible to expanding and shrinking from moisture
To reduce the rate of soiling, use walk-off mats, grilles, etc. at entrances to building to scrape both grit and moisture from shoes. Additional rugs or mats should also be laid inside the entrances, especially during inclement weather, to remove the fine particles of dirt which cause most of the discoloration of carpets. These soil traps or barriers should be cleaned frequently so they themselves don’t become a source of soil.
High traffic areas such as lobbies and elevators should be given priority attention with frequent vacuuming. This will reduce the maintenance time and cost for carpet in more remote locations.
In areas where spillages regularly take place (e.g. coffee break areas, bars, restaurants) or in heavy traffic areas (e.g. main entrances, elevators, service areas) a soil-retardant/stain repellent finish may be used. It can be applied either by the carpet manufacturer or after the carpet has been laid. Only fluorochemical compound finishes should be used. Compounds containing silicones must not be used because they may accelerate soiling.
** (Note: Some carpet manufacturers do not accept responsibility for complaints when such topical treatments have been applied.) **
Because wool is uniquely soil retardant fiber, the application of a fluorochemical finish is only justified on the very lightest and most soil-sensitive colors.
Download our Cleaning & Maintenance fact sheet for easy access.