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INTRODUCING
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Carpet Frequently Asked Questions

Vacuuming: The most important measure in consistent carpet care is vacuuming. Approximately 80% of all soil can be removed. Concentrate on high traffic areas, vacuum daily. Medium and low traffic areas can be vacuumed less frequently. Remove soil immediately before it can be worked into the carpet through foot traffic.

Walk-off mats: Most dry soil is brought in from the outside through foot traffic. Use mats at all entrances, inside and outside the doorways. This will help reduce the amount of soil particles carried onto the carpeting.

Spot Removal: Spot removal should occur at the time the spot is found, before having a chance to set and become a permanent stain.

Common Carpet Problems

Soiling: Oily/sticky soils will cling to fibers causing yellowing/browning conditions - especially in high traffic areas. Driveway sealer can be a primary source of this type of soil. Cooking oils, and animal fats are another common oily soil source.

Fiber/Yarn Damage: Dry abrasive soils scratch fiber causing dingy, dull appearance even after soil removal. The damage actually changes the way the fibers reflect light. This condition normally occurs in traffic lanes.

Urine: One of the major causes of yellowing/browning on carpet is urine. Often, a newer spot appears yellow and an older spot is brown. In some cases, normal cleaning will remove urine spots. In other cases, proper spot removal techniques and agents will be effective. Older urine spots are difficult to remove entirely as hydrochloric acid in urine alters carpet dye permanently.

Soil Filtration: Appears as dark lines around baseboards, under doors and curtains, and around air registers. This condition occurs with central forced air heating or air conditioning systems. Air is drawn around the perimeter of the room to the air return. This air is filtered as it passes over and through carpet tufts. Most of the time, soil filtration lines are permanent, however, they usually can be lightened by cleaning.

Fading: Sunfading: Ultraviolet waves can damage the dye on textile fibers, causing the colors to fade or change. Most fibers are treated with two or more dyes to produce the desired color. One of the dyes may be affected by sunlight more than the other. This would cause a color change. If each dye is affected similarly, the overall color may appear lighter. Lighter colors fade more quickly as there is less dye to produce a color.

Did you know that according to the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) you should have your carpets cleaned AT LEAST 1 TIME PER YEAR depending on the amount of traffic? The IICRC is a professional association that trains & monitors cleaning technicians throughout the United States. To help you decide how often your carpets need to be cleaned, I have included a graph from the IICRC S100 book, 2002. These standards provide the guidelines used by the Carpet Industry to give your carpet the longest life possible.

Traffic Soil Rating Carpet Owner / Maintainer
Vacuuming Spot Cleaning
Light Soil 1 x per week Daily or as soon as
spots are noticed
Normal Soil
(families with children, elderly)
1 to 2 times per
week
Daily or as soon as
spots are noticed
Heavy Soil
(Families with pets, smoking)
2 to 4 x per
week
Daily or as soon as
spots are noticed
Extreme Conditions
(Large families, multiple pets)
Daily Daily or as soon as
spots are noticed


Traffic Soil Rating Professional Carpet Cleaner / Restorer
Heavy-Use Area Cleaning Restorative Cleaning
Light Soil Traffic areas every
12 to 18 months
Every 2 years or per
manufacturer warranty
Normal Soil
(families with children, elderly)
Traffic areas every
6 to 12 months
Annually
Heavy Soil
(Families with pets, smoking)
Traffic areas every
3 to 6 months
Semi-annually
(2x annually)
Extreme Conditions
(Large families, multiple pets)
Traffic lanes every
2 to 3 months
Quarterly
(4x annually)

How To Avoid Four Carpet Cleaning RIP-OFFS

RIP-OFF #1:UNBELIEVABLY LOW PRICE. To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price – usually between $13.95 and $19.95 per room – and then, once they’re in your home, they pressure you to buy “add-ons.” It’s as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging extra for the tires and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.

RIP-OFF #2: BAIT AND SWITCH. Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait-and-switch technique. Here’s how it is done: First they “bait” you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to “switch” you to more expensive dual process cleaning. If you don’t fall for their switch and choose their basic service, you’ll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work.

RIP-OFF #3: UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS. “THIS CLEANING METHOD IS THE BEST.” You’ll read this in almost every ad. You’ll hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. Remember this: the method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that cleans the deep-down soil in the carpet, then a method that top cleans only, would not be the best for you. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches those objectives.

RIP-OFF #4: OUTDATED BELIEFS. “HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET.” Years ago, many people believed this was true because carpets were damaged by “technicians” who didn’t know how to properly clean using hot water. But today, we know it’s false. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned – in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased toward his/her own method. And each method does have advantages. So I suggest you look at what carpet manufacturers say. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends only hot water extraction cleaning with a truck-mounted unit used by technicians that are certified with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Which Method Cleans Best?

Dry foam: The carpet cleaner applies shampoo to your carpet, allows it to dry, and then, without rinsing, sucks the dried shampoo into a vacuum. This method leaves dirty residue in your carpet.

Low-moisture foam: A low-moisture cleaning foam is brushed into the carpet fibers. The soils are suspended in the foam and extracted immediately. We use this method when temperatures outside don’t allow us the use of the truck-mount, and also for interim maintenance cleaning.

Absorbent pad (bonnet cleaning): A cotton bonnet is used with a floor polishing buffer machine. The rotating motion causes the bonnet to absorb dirt from your carpet. This method is also called bonnet cleaning. After the main cleaning, we may bonnet heavy traffic lanes to help pick up additional soil and lift the pile.

Absorbent Powder: The dry-compound method spreads a moist, absorbent powder through the carpet. The powder is allowed to dry and then sucked into a vacuum. This method leaves dry sponge particles at the base of the carpet yarn which must be vacuumed again to remove.

Hot water extraction: This is a fancy way of saying that a hot water solution under high pressure is forced into your carpet and then sucked out of your carpet.

In a recent Technical Bulletin, Shaw Industries, the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, “recommends the hot water extraction system which research indicates provides the best capability for cleaning.”

You can choose from two different types: Truck-mount extraction, which is done with a large machine mounted in a truck or van. Or portable extraction, which is done with a small, hand-held unit.

The main ingredients in most commercial dry carpet cleaning solutions are perchloroethylene, the infamous dry cleaning additive which can cause dizziness, fatigue, nausea, kidney and liver damage, and naphthalene, which is both neurotoxic and a possible human carcinogen, according to the Environmental Protection Agency

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