It won’t take hours of repetition under the watchful eyes of Mr. Miyagi to master, but when it comes to cleaning and maintaining a home there’s a degree of knowledge and technique we need to master. As a professional surface cleaning company, Zerorez is familiar with the most common carpet cleaning mistakes. Today, we offer tips and tricks to circumvent some of these mistakes. Follow them all and you can significantly increase the lifespan of your carpet!
1. Buying the Wrong Kind of Carpet
A carpet poorly suited to the needs of an area is also susceptible to a slew of carpet cleaning mistakes. There’s a lot to take into consideration when shopping for a carpet. Color, traffic, texture, pile, resilience and more. For instance, you’ll want to be sure that any high-traffic can be easily cleaned. This typically means forgoing fluffy varieties like shag or saxony. Having a shag carpet in your family room is an open invite for mites, mold, soil and anything else that gets tracked in from the outdoors. Instead, opt for something with shorter, more resilient pile.
In rooms exposed to direct sunlight, fade-resistant carpets are a must. Or, close blinds and curtains during the brightest hours of the day. Additionally, having a looped pile carpet in rooms frequented by animals can lead to snagging and crushing of carpet fibers. All the TLC in the world can’t save certain carpets from kitty claws.
It’s also important to invest in carpet pads and runners. Carpet pads protect underlying flooring by acting as a buffer underneath the carpet. This has two effects. First, a pad can extend the life of a carpet by protecting the carpet backing from wear. Second, a good quality pad eases the process of vacuuming. The suction from a vacuum will slightly lift carpet away from the pad, allowing particles to be efficiently removed. Likewise, a carpet runner adds an additional layer of protection. Investing in a carpet suited to household needs (and taking any necessary precautions) will keep homeowners from committing carpet cleaning mistakes that lead to wear and tear.
2. Using the Wrong Kind of Vacuum
According to the American Chemical Society, vacuums that aren’t of a professional grade actually contribute to indoor air pollution by spreading bacteria and releasing ultrafine particles of copper and carbon. These toxic emissions come from the motor, and can trigger allergies. So, it’s always worth investing in a good quality vacuum. The Carpet and Rug Institute offers stamps of approval for vacuums that conform to the highest industry standards. Don’t settle for anything less! Some of the biggest carpet cleaning mistakes are a result of poor quality vacuums.
Look for Adjustable Height
The kind of vacuum you ought to use depends on the kind of carpet in your home. But, no matter what kind of carpet is being addressed, you want a vacuum with an adjustable height. A vacuum needs to be adjusted so that it just makes contact with the fibers; otherwise, blooming and abrasion can occur. If positioned too low, the vacuum can damage the carpet fibers. It can even draw carpet too far away from the carpet pad, causing buckling. Long pile carpet is especially tricky because fibers can wrap around the vacuum. On the other hand, a vacuum that is situated too far away from the floor can’t create adequate suction.
Beware of Brush and Beater Bar
Rotating brushes agitate carpet fibers in order to work soil free. Sometimes, they’re combined with a beater brush. This works wonderfully for plush carpets, but avoided using them on those with long or looped pile. Something like berber or frieze, for instance, is easily damaged by rotating brushes and beater bars. To compensate for the loss of the brush, a high suction power is necessary—nothing less than 100 AW.
If you have a variety of carpets in your home (and are only looking to invest in one vacuum), be sure the beater bar has an off option, or forgo a beater bar altogether.
Consider Filtration and Allergies
Long pile carpets are particularly susceptible to dust and particles. This can irritate allergies. Investing in a vacuum with a high-quality filtration system like HEPA will protect you from microbes, mites, dust, mold and other allergens.
3. Vacuuming Incorrectly
There’s no magic number for how many times a week you should vacuum. Inevitably, this depends on your own schedule and priorities. However, carpets are dirty long before they look it. In fact, once you can see dark spots in your carpet, it may be impossible to reverse. In the world of carpet cleaning mistakes, this condition is called “traffic-lane gray”. It’s not something you want in your home.
Fortunately, frequent and thorough vacuuming can prevent it from occurring. In the ideal world, high-traffic areas would be vacuumed every day. For most of us with jobs or kids (or, you know, lives), every day isn’t plausible. Still—carpet in high-traffic areas will last longer if vacuumed once or twice per week. Vacuum lightly used areas or areas with little foot traffic every ten to fourteen days.
Vacuuming is a chore, and the general mindset when it comes to chores is a perfunctory: “let’s get this over with.” When it comes to vacuuming, there is the temptation to pass over each swath of carpet just once. This isn’t just a carpet cleaning mistake- it’s a waste of your time! While a once-over approach might suffice for light-traffic areas, high traffic areas may need six or seven passes to adequately clean. You also don’t want to stay oriented in a single direction. Vacuum a room horizontally and then vertically to pick up as many particles as you can.
4. Not Protecting Warranty
Ah, the cardinal sin of all carpet cleaning mistakes. Not protecting the warranty of a carpet can cost you. Most carpet manufacturers lay down strict rules when it comes to maintenance, and not following them can void the warranty on your carpet. Check with your manufacturer to see how often a carpet needs professional cleaning. Zerorez can help maintain the warranty on your carpet with our stellar cleaning services– we have a platinum rating (the highest rating) with the Carpet and Rug Institute. For more information about our chemical-free, allergy-friendly, kid-friendly carpet cleaning, check us out at zerorezsocal.com or give us a ring at (949) 387-2222.