Every carpet tells a story. From sitting around opening presents on Christmas morning to rolling around playing with your dog on a summer’s day, our carpets bear witness to an extraordinary amount of our day-to-day lives.
With that in mind, ensuring your carpet has a long lifespan whilst also maintaining its appearance is essential not just for the aesthetics of your home, but also for the health of its inhabitants. While our modern lives are busier than ever, a few expert tips can make carpet care a breeze, ensuring your carpet remains vibrant, plush, and ready for anything, for years to come.
Routine Revival: General care and routine maintenance
Every carpet, whether nestled in a cozy living room or a bustling office hallway, faces its share of daily challenges. From the innocent footfalls of daily life to the occasional mishap of a spilled drink, regular cleaning becomes the unsung hero of ensuring your carpet remains as vibrant and inviting as the day it was laid.
- Vacuum your carpet at least once a week. For high-traffic areas, consider vacuuming even more frequently. This not only removes dirt and dust but also helps in maintaining the carpet’s fluffiness. If you have members of the household (be they human or not) particularly prone to shedding, it is especially important you hoover regularly to avoid matted sections, tumbleweeds of hair and dust build-up.This article from The Spruce does a fantastic job of explaining the very best techniques to use when vacuuming your carpet.
- Utilise Furniture Cups and Felt Pads: These relatively small and inexpensive tools distribute the weight of heavy furniture, preventing undue stress on your carpet. Castor cups, such as these, tend to work best for furniture with legs whereas felts pads can be placed in a variety of ways for more versatile use.
- Rotate Furniture Every So Often: The simple act of turning furniture around on occasion can prevent undue wear and tear on specific areas of your carpet. This will particularly help with indentations and flattening caused by heavy furniture, by reducing the recovery time of your carpet and underlay.
- Groom Your Canine and Feline Companions: If you share your home with an animal companion, it’s always worth regularly trimming your pets’ nails to avoid snags and pulls. Also, consider using pet-friendly carpet cleaners for those unexpected accidents.
- Place Tactical Entrance Mats and Rugs: Using doormats and rugs cleverly by entrances will allow them to act as the first line of defence, trapping dirt before it reaches your carpet. They can also help with footfall dispersion, ensuring the place that sees the most traffic (the entrance) is protected, before dispersing your family and friends throughout the room.
Dealing with Soiling and Spillages: Immediate spot cleaning action is the key. For liquid spills, blot (don’t rub) with a clean cloth. For solid messes, gently scrape off with a blunt knife. Avoid over-wetting the carpet when trying to remove stains. And remember, not all carpets react well to bleach, so always check the carpet’s material before using any harsh chemicals.
Sorting Out Shedding and Pulled Loops: Shedding is a natural process for newer carpets, so don’t worry too much as all cut pile carpets will lose fibre. With time and regular vacuuming, this will start to reduce. For pulled loops which are usually caused when a sharp object has gotten caught, resist the urge to pull them out. Instead, trim them with scissors to align with the carpet’s surface. Try not to leave them for too long though as this could result in further loops being pulled and developing into what’s called a ladder.
Enduring Issues: Solutions for the Most Stubborn Carpet Problems
Carpets, like any other home investment, can face challenges as they age. Understanding these issues can help homeowners address them effectively and maintain the carpet’s long-term beauty and functionality.
Shading, Flattening, and Pile Reversal:
These issues often manifest as patches that look discoloured or areas where the carpet fibres lay in a different direction. They can be due to foot traffic, the natural settling of the carpet, or even the way light hits the threads.
Solution: Regular vacuuming in alternating directions can help, along with re-arranging furniture to vary traffic dispersion. For severe cases, professional stretching or grooming might be required.
These are depressions or marks left by heavy furniture or objects. Over time, these can become very difficult to deal with – especially if they affect the underlay – and affect the carpet’s appearance. The good news is most indentations will eventually recover, unfortunately this can take a very long time depending on the weight of the item and length of time it was left.
Solution: As a preventative measure, use furniture cups or pads to distribute weight. For existing indentations, start by vacuuming with a rotating brush. If this doesn’t work, dampen the area (ideally using a steam iron held 15-20cm above the carpet) and gently tease the fibres up using a soft brush, darning needle, or the edge of a coin. Be careful to not overly moisten the carpet as this can do more harm.
Especially common in drier climates or seasons, static electricity can build up in carpets, leading to small shocks. Annoying to adults and pets, this small inconvenience can be much more of a problem if you have small children in the home.
Solution: Ideally use a humidifier to optimise the amount of moisture in the room. If this this isn’t possible or practical, anti-static sprays are also available for temporary relief, and as a top tip: you can use a diluted fabric softener to tackle this one. Just dilute a small amount in a spray bottle with mostly water, and lightly dust the carpets surface.
Over time, carpets, especially those exposed to direct sunlight, can fade, losing their vibrant colour.
Solution: Unfortunately, this one is hard to sort once the damage is done. We strongly recommend using blinds, curtains, or UV window films to protect carpets from direct sunlight in the first instance. If fading has started to occur Periodic professional cleaning can also help in reviving the colour to some extent. It’s worth noting that all carpets in the UK must meet the British Standard EN ISO 105-G02, which is a test for colour quality in all textiles.
By being proactive and addressing these long-term problems early on, homeowners can ensure their carpets remain beautiful and functional for years to come.
Carpet care and cleaning FAQs:
Will regularly cleaning my carpet cause mould?
Proper carpet cleaning will actually prevent mould, but always ensure proper drying. Consider using fans or dehumidifiers after any wet cleaning.
How can I clean cat or dog urine out of my carpet?
Speed is key, so try and act as quickly as possible. Blot the area using a mild detergent, and rinse with water. For persistent odours, consider a specialised pet odour remover.
Will too much cleaning cause colour fading?
Over-cleaning or using harsh chemicals can lead to fading. Always follow manufacturer recommendations and check the products you intend to use are compatible with the material your carpet is made from. Try to avoid using bleach-based cleaning products to ensure colour fading does not occur.
What is carpet sprouting?
Sprouting (aka tufting) is when tufts emerge above the carpet’s surface. Do not pull these out as this could cause further damage. Simply trim them to the same height as the rest of your carpet.
Will carpet cleaner damage my vinyl, laminate, or hardwood floor?
Although some products can be versatile enough to use on various types of flooring, always check the cleaner’s label to ensure it is fit for purpose and ensure no excess solution seeps through to any base layers.
How to remove stubborn stains from carpet?
Ideally, you need to figure out if the stain is water-soluble (e.g. milk, mud and berries) or not (e.g. coffee, wine and chocolate). If it’s the latter, it will require a more specialised approach. In most circumstances you should follow these steps, only moving on to the next one when the previous one doesn’t work:
- Try a dish soap and water solution.
- Try a dish soap, water, and vinegar solution.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the area and attempt the solution from step 2.
With all of these solutions, we recommend trying the solution on a discreet area of the carpet first to ensure there are no adverse effects. For a further guide, take a look at this blog.
When to Hire a Professional Carpet Cleaner
Even with regular care, there are moments when your carpet needs an expert touch. Whether it’s stubborn stains that won’t budge, lingering odours, or just the need for a deep refresh, professional carpet cleaners have the tools and expertise to restore your carpet’s vibrancy.
Recognising the Signs: When to Consider a New Carpet
Every carpet has its lifespan. If you notice persistent odours, areas of wear and tear, or if the comfort underfoot isn’t what it used to be, it might be time to think about a fresh start with a new carpet. A new installation can rejuvenate your space and adapt to your evolving needs.
Your carpet is more than just a floor covering; it’s a testament to your home’s character and warmth. With the right care, it can remain a cherished part of your home for years. For more expert advice or to explore our range of carpets, visit Fludes Carpets today or enquire with us to discuss the flooring you have in mind.