Laying Down the Advice for Carpet Treatment

by Rami Nseir - Date: 2007-03-06 - Word Count: 930 Share This!

Everybody wants their carpet to last for a long time and keep looking good but how long a carpet actually lasts for depends upon both the style of carpet that you pick. Frequently asked questions such as those below can be answered simply by speaking to expert flooring advisors either in a store or via internet flooring specialists.
- Is the carpet going in a room with heavy wear (like the stairs or living room) or light wear (such as a spare bedroom)?
- How many people live in the house?
- Have you any children or pets?
All of these factors will affect how much use the carpet gets and therefore how long it is likely to last. Even the shoes you wear around the home or the amount that you vacuum can affect the life of your carpet. Following are a few handy tips and hints on how to prolong the life of your carpet and treat inevitable spillages and stains.
Carpet Care

- Clean the carpet flooring as soon as a stain or a mark appears
- Never Scrub carpets as scrubbing damages the carpet pile, so even if the stain is removed, the carpet will damage and will permanently alter in appearance. Instead, always use a dabbing action or gentle wiping action using absorbent material.
- Use cold water to rinse any spillages out. Heat is used in the dying process to add colour to carpets, if you add hot water to a spill you are actually encouraging the stain to bond permanently with your carpet.
- Soaking your carpet with water may damage the backing. Simply dampen then soak back up with a clean absorbent cloth.
- Never use washing up liquid on your carpet. Detergent stays on the carpet pile and if not rinsed away will gather dirt. (However, if you do use detergent, make sure you rinse the carpet very well.
- There are a number of industry tips and solutions to clean carpets and for the best results a stain should be treated immediately, but always remember to test an inconspicuous piece of carpet prior to giving it a go.
- Inevitably some dirt will accumulate over time and this can cause a carpet to lose its freshness. In such cases I would recommend professional cleaning. Indeed periodic professional cleaning can help prolong the life of your carpet.

Treatment for Individual Stains

- Coffee, tea, red wine, port, sherry, fruit juice and milk
Always soak up the liquid with absorbent tissue, and then dab the area with a clean white cloth, which has been moistened in a solution of diluted carpet shampoo and warm water
- Grease
Using a blunt knife or a spatula, remove as much solid material as possible. Blot up the residue and treat with a dry cleaning liquid, blotting frequently
- Tar
Carefully scrape up the solids with a blunt knife, and then treat the stain with a recognised brand of tar remover, following the instructions carefully
- Urine
Mop up immediately and dab area with a solution of diluted carpet shampoo and one eggcup of white vinegar per pint of solution
- Blood
Always soak up the liquid with absorbent tissue then dab the area with a clean, white cloth. Moistened with cold water. If the stain has been allowed to dry, dissolve with cold water and continue as before. Bloodstains often return. It is not unusual to remove a bloodstain only to find it re-appears later. Blood has a natural capillary action and therefore in very tight spaces (such as between carpet fibres) is drawn upwards. So whilst the blood on the surface of the carpet may have been removed more blood may be trapped deeper in the pile.
- Animal Accidents
Carefully scrape up the solids with a blunt knife, and then dab the area with a clean white cloth moistened with a solution of diluted carpet shampoo and warm water.
- Paint (Oil Based)
Blot spillage with absorbent tissue, and then clean with white spirit. Dab the area with diluted carpet shampoo followed by clean water. Dab until dry.
- Paint (Emulsion)
Blot excess spillage with absorbent tissue then clean the affected area with cold water. Apply diluted carpet shampoo on a clean white cloth, apply clean water and dab dry.
- Chocolate
Carefully scrape off using a blunt knife. Dab the area with a clean white cloth. Moisten in a solution of diluted carpet shampoo and warm water.
- Shoe Polish
Carefully scrape up the solid and clean gently with a dry cleaning fluid. Then use a clean cloth moistened with diluted carpet shampoo to rinse the area
- Chewing Gum
Freeze the gum with a proprietary freezing agent, break up when frozen and remove, repeat as necessary.
- Curry
An extremely difficult stain. Large marks should be treated professionally. With small marks scrape off the deposit and rub lightly with borax solution - (15ml borax to 500ml water). Stubborn stains can sometimes be helped with a little neat glycerine rubbed into the carpet end and left for about 10 minutes. Sponge out and blot dry.
- Felt-tip Pen
Some felt-tip pens have spirit-based ink, some have water based ink. Methylated spirit on a cotton wool bud will remove spirit-based ink which has a pungent smell. Do not allow it to penetrate into a foam backing.
Remember that Methylated spirit may stain a light coloured carpet.
For water-based ink, use a carpet shampoo.
- Ball Point Pen

Speedy action is essential. Dab with methylated spirit on a cotton wool bud. Take care not to spread the stain. On vinyl upholstery or wall coverings, immediately scrub with a nailbrush and warm soapy water (the ink will cause a permanent mark if left)

- Nail Varnish
Spoon up deposit, avoid spreading the stain. Moisten a pad of cotton wool with amyl acetate or acetone 9 non-oily nail varnish remover) and dab onto the affected area. Use only in a well ventilated area

Related Tags: carpet, flooring, carpet cleaning, carpets, carpet cleaner, carpet treatment, carpet care

Rami Nseir is a consultant for UK Carpets Direct, part of the Storey Carpets Group voted "Britain's Best Carpet & Flooring Retailer" for the fourth consecutive year.

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