In addition to frequent vacuuming, its important to clean your carpet on a regular basis. Cleaning systems will remove the oily, sticky soil that vacuums can't take out, and will help keep your carpet looking great over time.
Cleaning systems target the soils that result from cooking vapors, air pollution, and tracked-in dirt. The particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual but significant dulling of 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 dry soil.
How to clean carpet?
Get on a cleaning schedule
- Preventative maintenance - walk-off mats placed at doorways prevent a majority of staining and soiling
- Spot and spill removal - prompt attention to spills will prevent a stain from setting
- Vaccuuming - vacuum high-traffic areas to prevent matting
- Hot water extraction or steam cleaning - every 18 months or more depending on the traffic in your home, will remove oils and particulates that accelerate soiling.
- Download our complete Carpet Care & Maintenance Guide
If carpet is cleaned before it becomes too unsightly, the cleaning chore will be easier and more successful. Carpet in a typical household should be cleaned every 12 to 18 months, depending on the number of residents and amount of activity.
Choosing the proper cleaning system is important. Some systems may leave residues which accelerate re-soiling and defeats the whole purpose of cleaning.
Shaws choice: Hot water extraction
Research indicates that the hot water extraction system 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 into the carpet 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 by a portable system brought into the home.
Shaw warranties require that the homeowner be able to show proof of periodic cleaning by hot water extraction (commonly called "steam" cleaning) by a professional cleaning service or do-it-yourself system, using equipment that is certified under the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval program. We strongly recommend cleaning systems that have achieved the Gold Level Performance in the CRI Seal of Approval Program. Click here
for a list of Gold Level Performers.
Professional carpet cleaners are a great choice for your floor. Their cleaning equipment has more extraction power than the rental units available to individuals, and the carpet should dry more quickly. When carpet is cleaned you basically have hot water being forced onto the carpet. Hot water extraction units that don’t have the CRI Seal of Approval may not extract enough of the water from the floor to allow for proper or sufficient drying. When carpet is over-wet and the water isn’t extracted, it can lead to a whole host of issues such as wrinkling of the carpet and in extreme cases, even delamination. This could occur when the carpet is soaked which could in turn cause the backing of the carpet to breakdown. Backing failure can cause the carpet tufts to pull out easily and result in damage to your floor that could compromise your flooring warranties.
True professionals also understand the equipment, know the proper cleaning agents for the situation at hand, and recognize the differences in fibers and carpet construction. In addition, when soap residue is left on carpet, it can cause rapid re-soiling on the entire floor. Have you ever had your carpets cleaned only to realize that they look dirtier quicker? The bottom line - choose a service provider or a machine that has the CRI Seal of Approval
What about spot and stain removal?
Shaw Floors Carpet Cleaner is the only carpet cleaning product with the endorsement consumers have trusted for more than 100 years: the Good Housekeeping Seal. Because of our patented process, it's even easier to use than most spot cleaners. Our recommended spotting product also has the Wool Safe Certificate of Accreditation and the Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval.
Routine spot removal- research has shown that many products sold for do-it-yourself spot removal clean poorly and their residues attract soil on the cleaned area rapidly afterward. The Carpet and Rug Institute's Seal of Approval
program tests and certifies products that meet stringent standards and thus clean effectively, without damage to your carpet. In addition, products sold for do-it-yourself spot removal may contain optical brighteners and other agents that can cause a bleaching effect on your carpet and cause irreparable damage. For an easy-to-use spot cleaning tool, check out our Floor Care Center and our interactive "What's Your Spill