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Carpet Cleaning Tips

Carpet Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Texture Appearance Retention For better appearance and longer carpet life,occasional moving of furniture and reversing of area rugs is recommended. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, routine vacuuming combined with periodic deep cleaning, as … Read More →

The Cleaning System

How Water Extraction System Shaw Industries recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning. This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated. The process consists of … Read More →

Cleaning Your Carpet

Even though vacuuming can remove most of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that builds up in the pile as a result of cooking vapors, … Read More →

Getting the Most from Your Carpet

New carpet represents a substantial investment, like your other fine furnishings, requires proper care to keep it attractive over the years to come. Carpet rarely wears out in terms of fiber wear­ing away, but its appearance deteriorates over time and … Read More →

Carpet Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Texture Appearance Retention

For better appearance and longer carpet life,occasional moving of furniture and reversing of area rugs is recommended. Although some change will eventually occur in the texture of your carpet, routine vacuuming combined with periodic deep cleaning, as recommended by the manufacturer, will help diminish this change.


Crushing

Crushing is the restorable or non-restorable loss of pile thickness due to foot traffic. Crushing is not considered a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Regular vacuuming may help reduce crushing due to traffic. Manufacturer’s definitions of crushing may vary.


Matting

Matting is usually the result of the untwisting of the yarn and intermingling of the yarn tips and is a result of foot traffic. Contributing factors may include improperly specified cushion, cushion failure, or improper vacuuming and cleaning. Matting is not consider ed a manufacturing defect unless specifically cited in the manufacturer’s warranty. Manufacturers’ definitions of matting may vary.


Wear

Many carpet manufacturers offer a five-year or a ten-year “wear” warranty. According to these warranties, “wear” is defined as the loss of pile weight or pile fiber (usually ten percent) due to abrasive wear only. What appears to be wear may be a change in the carpet that is related to matting, crushing, or permanent fiber damage caused by soiling, rather than loss of fiber.


Depressions and Indentations

The weight of heavy pieces of furniture can put indentations in carpet. Some depressions may be permanent. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy pieces, or move your furniture a few inches backward or sideways so that the weight is not concentrated in one place. If depressions do occur, work the carpet pile back into place with the edge of a coin. The recovery may be aided by vacuuming and an application of steam or hot water extraction.


Fading or Color Loss

Give your carpet the normal protection from direct sunlight that you give any colored fabric. Fading also may be caused by atmospheric contaminants, emissions from heating fuels or chemicals, such as pesticides, household cleaning agents, and other household items.


Filtration Soiling

Filtration Soiling may appear as dark or grayish lines on carpet along walls, stairways, and under doors. It is caused by airflow over and through carpet, trapping fine airborne soils on the carpet surface. It can often be attributed to an improperly balanced ventilation system. In most instances, the volume of air entering a room exceeds the HVAC systems capacity to remove air from the structure. Excess air volume will seek exit sources in gaps along walls and stairways. These types of soils require aggressive chemical solutions for effective removal. Contact a carpet cleaning professional for assistance.


Shedding

Carpets made with spun fibers may shed loose bits of fiber left in the carpet from the manufacturing process.. Removing these loose fibers does not affect the carpet life or quality. Because of the large micron size (>90 microns), these fibers are too large to become airborne or respirable.


New Carpet Odor

During and immediately following the installation of your new carpet there may be a slight odor. The odor may result from the removal of your old carpet and cushion or from the new carpet, cushion, adhesives, or seaming tape. Ventilation with fresh air is recommended. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened, and the HVAC system should be operated at maximum speed for 48 to 72 hours.


Ripples and Buckling

Excessive humidity or damp weather may cause a temporary rippling in your carpet. Ripples may disappear in a drier atmosphere. If ripples should become a problem, consult your carpet retailer. A carpet installer can usually solve the problem by re-stretching the carpet with a power stretcher. Inadequate cushion or improper installation procedures also may be a contributing factor to rippling and buckling. See separate bulletin for more information on this subject.


Shading

Shading is not a change in color but a change in pile direction that sometimes appears randomly in a carpet or rug. If you look at the shaded area in one direction, it will appear darker, but from another direction, it will appear lighter in color. Solid color cut-pile carpet may show shading more than patterned styles and textured surfaces. Shading is characteristic of certain styles of carpet and rugs and is not considered a manufacturing defect. Pile reversal can also be classified as shading and is sometimes called watermarking or pooling. This condition is usually permanent and has no known cause.


Soiling

The key to maintaining the beauty of your carpet is to clean it regularly before it becomes excessively soiled. Today’s soil and stain-resistant technologies make carpets easy to clean. Light colored carpets may show soil more readily than darker tones and may require more frequent cleaning. Medium and darker colors, tweeds, and textures help disguise common soil in your home’s high traffic areas.

Oily soil may be very difficult to remove after it has been on the carpet for a long time, and may be absorbed into the fiber,potentially causing an undesirable color change. Entry (walk-off) mats that trap soil at exterior entrances, combined with routine cleaning, provide extra protection for all floor coverings.


Sprouting

Occasionally, a yarn tuft will rise above the pile surface of a carpet. Just snip off these tufts to the level of the other tufts. DO NOT PULL THEM OUT.


Spill and Spot Removal

While no carpet is completely stain “proof”, new stain-resist carpet treatments allow most spills to be removed when immediate action is taken and directions are followed carefully.


Yellowing

Some discolorations, such as yellowing have become more obvious with the introduction of the lighter carpet coloration. Yellowing can be caused by a variety of outside influences, such as pollutants from heating fuels, changes in alkalinity, cleaning solutions, and atmospheric or environmental contaminants. Not all carpet yellowing can be removed; however, the use of acetic acid (white vinegar), citrus acid, or tartaric acid is often successful in eradicating many cases of yellowing. In some cases, the use of an alkaline detergent solutions prior to the use of these acid rinses may cause permanent yellowing. A solution of one part white vinegar mixed with one part water is recommended for consumer use. If yellowing persists or is widespread, contact a carpet cleaning professional.

For more information, visit carpet-rug.org

The Cleaning System

How Water Extraction System

Shaw Industries recommends the hot water extraction system, which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning.

This system is commonly referred to as “steam cleaning,” although no steam is actually generated.


The process consists of applying a cleaning agent onto the pile and using water in the extractor to recover the used solution and soil.

This can be done from a truck-mounted unit outside the home with only the hose and wand brought inside or, where a truck-mounted unit cannot reach, by a portable system brought into the home.


Professional carpet cleaners

It is to your advantage to use professional cleaners because their experience enables them to do a better job than you can do yourself.

Their equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to you, and the carpet should dry more quickly.


True professionals have also made the investment in training to understand the equipment, to know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand, and to recognize the differ­ences in fibers and carpet construction.


One way to locate a professional cleaner is to contact the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) at 1-800-835-4624.

This organization maintains a national directory of independent professional cleaners who are trained and certified in a variety of cleaning specialties.


Call and explain that you have purchased a Shaw Industries carpet, and be sure to ask for a cleaner near you who uses the hot water extraction system.


Do-it-yourself systems

If you decide to rent a steam cleaning machine and do it yourself, check several cleaning systems before making a selection. Most rental units available do not adequately clean and may actually damage the carpet.


Consider the following:

Some rental companies have cleaning equipment that is similar to what the professionals use.

The cleaning equipment should have enough vacuum power to allow the carpet to dry within 6 to 12 hours after cleaning.


Avoid rental units found in many retail and grocery stores that do not have enough power to extract the cleaning solutions from the carpet adequately and which may actually damage the carpet due to over wetting.


Avoid over wetting the carpet. Prolonged dampness may promote growth of mildew and bacteria in the carpet or cause separation of the backing.

A carpet that is wet for more than 24 hours could develop a growth of mold and mildew. This is controlled by a combination of proper equipment and operator training. Most problems in do-it-yourself cleaning are due to over wetting and use of excessive detergent.


Use a cleaning solution with a pH less than 10, prefer­ably near 9, and with a minimum of non-sticky residue. The attraction between the detergent and the particles of soil and oil is critical during the cleaning process.


However, the detergent residue continues to attract the particles after cleaning. Increasing the amount of cleaning solution beyond the recommended level does not greatly increase cleaning performance, but makes the removal of detergent more difficult.

Because buildup of detergent residue is the most common cause of accelerated re-soiling complaints, do not use extra cleaning solution.


Shaw Industries recommends applying the cleaning product as a pre-spray and using clear water in the extraction unit to minimize residues.

Carpet with stain resistant treatments must be cleaned with products formulated for this purpose, or the stain resistance will be impaired and the warranty voided.


Do not use cleaning or spotting solutions that contain bleaches or optical brighteners because they can discol­or the carpet.


Do not use any silicone-based anti-soil treatments on carpets produced by Shaw Industries.


The only anti-soil products approved for use as needed after the cleaning processes are formulated with DuPont Teflon®.

Reduce drying time by using several fans to move air across the carpet in combination with a dehumidifier or air conditioner to pull moisture out of the air.


Carpet should be dry within 12 hours; even less is better.


Bonnet cleaning systems

Bonnet cleaning systems employ a rotating bonnet of terry cloth or other absorbent material to agitate the carpet pile and absorb soil. A detergent solution is sprayed onto the pile and then worked with the bonnet attached to a rotary floor polisher.


Shaw Industries does not recommend this cleaning system.

The bonnet system has very limited capability for soil removal and leaves much of the detergent in the pile since it employs no real extraction. As a result, rapid resoiling often occurs. Another disadvantage is that the spinning bonnet may distort the fibers of cut pile carpet, fuzzing the pile and leaving distinct swirl marks.

Cleaning Your Carpet

Even though vacuuming can remove most of the dry soil, it is also necessary to clean your carpet on a regular basis to remove the oily, sticky soil that builds up in the pile as a result of cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt.


The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of delicate pastel colors; the color isn’t lost but is hidden under the film.

If this type of soil is allowed to accumulate, it begins to attract and hold the drysoil. This is the reason cleaning is so important when dulling of the color is first noticed; if allowed to remain too long, it becomes gummy and difficult to remove.


If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. It is a myth that cleaning the carpet before it is absolutely necessary will cause it to get dirty faster.

Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months depending upon the number of residents and amount and type of activity.


Choice of the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which promote re-soiling and defeat the whole purpose of cleaning. The recommendations below represent the best current knowledge and should help prolong the time between cleanings.

Getting the Most from Your Carpet

New carpet represents a substantial investment, like your other fine furnishings, requires proper care to keep it attractive over the years to come.


Carpet rarely wears out in terms of fiber wearing away, but its appearance deteriorates over time and becomes less attractive.

You can protect your investment, prolong the life of your carpet, and improve the quality and beauty of the indoor environment by establishing a regular maintenance schedule.


The Carpet Care Program

A comprehensive carpet care program consists of four elements:

  1. Preventive maintenance.
  2. Regular vacuuming.
  3. Removal of spots and spills.
  4. Overall cleaning on a regular basis.