Tip #1. Know your warranty.If your carpet is less than two years old, it’s still probably covered by a warranty. So before you start on a rigorous cleaning program, you should know what your warranty requires. For example, most carpet manufacturers want you clean your carpet a minimum of every 18-24 months in order to keep your warranty. And some are quite specific about the type of cleaning required. The warranty for STAINMASTER® Carpets, for instance, says that “you must have had hot water extraction performed by a trained, qualified carpet care professional at least as frequently as every 24 months.”
Tip #2: Use equipment with the CRI Seal of Approval.
Your equipment matters. That may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised by how many people think that all equipment is pretty much the same. It’s for that very reason the Carpet and Rug Institute developed the Seal of Approval (SOA) program, “the carpet industry’s only scientific program to test and measure the effectiveness of cleaning products and equipment.” Evaluated on seven performance attributes—including soil removal efficacy, resoiling (the tendency for some cleaning products to actually accelerate soil attraction after cleaning), residual moisture, surface appearance change, and more—cleaning equipment with the CRI Seal of Approval is simply proven to be effective.
Tip #3. Act quickly.
Some of the best carpet cleaning advice we can give is to simply act as soon as a spill or soiling has happened. For example, dry soil removal is often not taken as urgently as wet spills, but if left neglected, dry soil can really set into the fibers of your carpet. The results you get will almost always depend on how quickly you start the cleanup. The same advice goes for a wet spill or moisture damage. Spot the area immediately; leaving it to dry will only increase the likelihood of permanent fiber staining. The Clarke® EX40™ self-contained extractors are the ideal machines for quick cleanups. With the optional hand tool and hose accessory on the Clarke EX40™, spot cleaning is a breeze.
Tip #4. Use a protectant.
A protectant essentially adds an invisible shield between spills and your carpet fibers. This allows for much easier weekly or post-event vacuuming. Protectants can also help your carpet withstand water and moisture absorption from wet and soiled shoes. Using a protectant won’t guarantee you can completely get rid of a stain; it just gives you more time to get to the soiled area before it sets in. Because once a stain sets into the fibers, there may be little you can do. Also, adding a protectant can void warranties with some manufacturers. Make sure you check with your particular manufacturer.
Tip #5. A stitch in time.
General wear and tear can lead to permanent damage in carpets, especially along skirting boards, door jams and elevator tracks. Even tiny loose ends can turn into big repairs if put off too long. So make sure to take care of those minor repairs before the winter months subject your carpets to even more abuse.
Tip #6. Keep on top of maintenance.
Protecting against the hard effects of winter is not just a one-time event; to truly protect your carpet, you must maintain and protect it continually. Increase your vacuuming and implement an interim cleaning regimen throughout the winter months, particularly when there’s a long stretch of bad weather or a big storm.
Planning ahead will help keep your carpet looking sharp all winter and contribute to the True Blue Clean of your whole facility.