General maintenance and appearance retention
A new carpet will last longer and look better if a routine of regular vacuuming, periodic cleaning and immediate removal of spots and spills is followed. With man-made carpets offering easy-clean properties, it’s important to know how best wool based carpets can be maintained.
Wool is dirt-resistant because the fibre is opaque and dirt doesn’t show as much as with some clearer, brighter man-made fibres. It also has a matt, uneven surface to which dirt does not stick easily. Its surface has scales like those on a fish, coated with a thin water-repellent layer. This layer makes it easier to remove dry dirt by vacuum cleaning and greasy dirt with detergents.
Wools ability to release dirt when cleaned means that wool carpets and rugs will retain their colour, and consequently their pattern and design, despite heavy use and frequent cleaning.
The most important aspect of carpet care is vacuuming. This should start from the moment the carpet is fitted. Daily vacuuming with a well serviced upright cleaner, incorporating a beater bar/brush head is ideal. It removes dirt and grit to prevent it from collecting and acting as an abrasive, causing premature wear.
Concentrate on the areas that are subject to most wear, such as in front of chairs, in hallways and on stairs. If you have a loop pile carpet it should only be cleaned with a suction head. Beater bars may catch the fibres and give the carpet a hairy appearance.
There are a number of precautions to reduce wear and tear
- Change the position of furniture to equalise the wear
- Use a rug or mat near to external doors to catch dirt and grit
- Remove your shoes – outdoor shoes and trainers can tear at the pile, particularly in turning areas and on stairs.
To give carpets their smooth level surface, manufacturers put them through a shearing process. It’s possible that some of the carpet tufts may be missed and these can work their way to the surface. Pets may also snag or pull the tufts. NEVER pull a tuft, simply cut it off level with a sharp pair of scissors.
All newly fitted carpets will tend to shed, or fluff, which is perfectly normal and will diminish naturally in a few weeks. The only efficient way to remove this is by vacuuming.
When carpets are stored in warehouse racks, they are subject to considerable and sustained pressure. As a result, crush lines may be visible when the carpet is first unrolled and may be more noticeable in lighter shades. This is normal and the lines will disappear within a few weeks.
Shading and Pile Pressure
Through use and in time, all carpets will flatten to a certain degree and as a result, cut pile carpets will tend to shade or show what’s called pile pressure. A light plain carpet is more likely to show greater shading than a darker, heavily patterned carpet.
Daily vacuuming may help to restore a more uniform colour. It is important to vacuum against the natural lay of the pile. This will lift the tufts upright again. The use of castor cups under heavy furniture will spread the weight over a larger area and minimise dents in the carpets surface.