Care and Maintenance of Carpets & Rugs

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In addition to regularly scheduled professional cleanings, carpets and rugs require ongoing care. Proper maintenance will maintain their original color and style for many years to come. Let’s face it -- both the beauty and durability of most fabrics depends on their cleanliness.  Dirty carpets or rugs can change the entire look of a room, and make everything around them appear dingy or worn out.  If you notice that your carpets don’t look clean and fresh, it’s time to call COIT for a professional cleaning.  But there’s a lot you can do in the meantime to keep your rooms looking clean.  The following tips should help you maintain your carpets and rugs:

  • At least weekly, vacuum light, loose soils from carpets and rugs.  If floor coverings are in a large traffic area, they really should be vacuumed once a day.  Gritty soil can cause permanent damage to the fibers, and this is less likely if it is removed with regular vacuuming.
  • Spills and other accidents are a major cause of spots and stains in carpets and rugs.  The Restoration Industry Association reports that 90% of spots and stains from liquid spills can be prevented if immediate steps are taken to avoid the staining materials.  COIT’s online Spot Removal Guide offers tips and instructions for rapidly handling a variety of stains.  The important thing is to act quickly, before the spill dries and threatens to permanently stain your carpet or rug.
  • Bright sunlight can fade colors in carpets and rugs.  On bright, sunny days, it’s a good idea to close window shades, shutters, or blinds.
  • You might not think that shrinkage is a problem for carpets and rugs, but in fact they can shrink as much as 10% (2% is average).  The type of fiber used in the carpet or rug’s face is not related to shrinkage.  Changes through shrinkage happen when the backing yarns get wet.  When wall-to-wall carpeting is installed, it is tightly stretched to prevent wrinkles or air pockets, so it important to keep moisture away from carpeting –in some cases wetting and shrinkage have caused rips or tears.
  • Foot traffic and heavy furniture can change the texture of your carpets and rugs.  Shag carpeting, for example, can experience “blooming” caused by the untwisting or opening of the yarns.  You can use scissors to clip “tufts” that extend above the rest of the carpet pile, but never pull them out (if they have been pulled out, use a crochet needle to work them back into the backing of the carpet.  You can also use scissors to remove piling ,the formation of those tiny balls of fuzz on top of carpeting, and shading can sometimes be temporarily corrected by vacuuming in the same direction.
  • If your new carpeting sheds lint onto shoes, or if your vacuum bag is full of fuzzy fiber at first, don’t worry.  This is a natural occurrence with new carpets as they shed excess loose fibers that linger after the manufacturing process.
  • It’s difficult to remove odors in rugs or carpeting if they have permeated too deeply.  Controlling the humidity in your home should eliminate the chance of odorous mildew, at least, and although pet staining is a common source of difficult-to-remove odors, you can follow some of the tips in our blog post on “Pet Problems and Solutions.”
  • Consider a “no shoes” policy in your home.  Dirt tracked in from the outdoors is a major source of soiling for carpets and rugs.

With regular home maintenance, you should be able to enjoy fresh, clean carpets and rugs for years.  Scheduling professional cleanings on a regular basis is an important backup to your home cleaning regimen.  Call 1-800-FOR-COIT today to schedule your next carpet or area rug cleaning.

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