Top 1o Tips for Cleaning Up Carpet
Handle Seasonal Carpet Spills the CRI Seal of Approval Way
This is the time of year when stories appear in newspapers and the Web about “Tips for Handling Stains This Holiday Season” – often with a link to a local carpet cleaning company. It’s good marketing – when people gather for the holiday, they generally make messes, and we all need a little help with the clean-up.
This year, I’m joining the festivities with my own “Top Ten Tips for Cleaning Up Carpet”, and I don’t have to look any farther than the Carpet and Rug Institute website for my information. Here goes…
Top Ten Carpet Cleaning Tips for a Spotless Holiday:
1. Act Quickly! Don’t wait for your guests to leave or for the area to clear before you tackle the spill. Time will not fade the memory of red wine in your carpet – only give the stain time to set. So push everyone out of the way and get to work fast.
2. Blotting is good, Scrubbing is bad! Scrubbing a liquid spill can damage the carpet pile and mar its appearance. Blot liquid spills with a dry, white, absorbent cloth or white (no printing) paper towels. You could also use a wet/dry vacuum to lift out larger liquid spills.
3. Get a positive ID – If you can, identify the carpet staining agent and then look it up on CRI’s extensive online spot removal database. Then, follow the directions carefully.
4. Pre-test your carpet spot remover! Even though Seal of Approval certified spot removers are tested to make sure they do not change the color or the texture of carpet, it is always a good idea to test any product on an inconspicuous area of your carpet first just to be on the safe side.
5. Easy does it! Apply a small amount of the selected cleaning solution to a white cloth and allow it to set for about 10 minutes before working it gently into the carpet.
6. Work from the outside in! – Always work from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Allow the spot cleaning solution to remain on the carpet spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot, absorbing as much as possible, and repeat if necessary.
Never use laundry detergent to remove a carpet stain, because laundry detergents may contain optical brighteners (fluorescent dyes) that dye the fiber.
Do not select an automatic dishwashing detergent because many contain bleaching agents that destroy carpet dyes and some carpet fibers.
7. One step at a time! Even if the directions for removing your carpet stain call for several steps and/or types of spot removers, continue using the first cleaning solution as long as some of the spill transfers to the cloth. If the first step removes the spill you do not have to move on to the other recommended cleaning solutions.
8. Be patient! You might have to repeat the same step several times to remove the carpet stain completely.
9. Rinse! After the spill has been completely removed, rinse the affected carpet area thoroughly with cold water, and blot with a dry cloth until all of the solution has been removed. Some cleaning solutions will cause rapid re-soiling if the solution is not completely removed from the carpet.
10. Get down! Apply a one-half inch-thick layer of white paper towels to the affected carpet area, and weigh it down with a flat, heavy object. Continue to change paper towels as needed.
10 ½. If all else fails! Many carpet fiber manufacturers provide toll-free cleaning assistance and advice (consult your warranty).