How Do I Keep My Carpet Looking Good?
Preventative Maintenance
A three-step preventive maintenance program will go a long way in extending the new appearance and life of your carpet.

1. VACUUM FREQUENTLY. The best way to reduce dirt accumulation and prolong the life of your carpet is to vacuum, vacuum, vacuum! Most dirt, even dust, is in the form of hard particles. When left in the carpet, these gritty, sharpened particles abrade the pile as effectively as sandpaper. How frequently should you vacuum? That depends on the amount of traffic and soiling to which your carpet is exposed.

  • Vacuum daily in high traffic areas
  • Vacuum twice weekly in medium traffic areas
  • Vacuum weekly in light traffic areas using attchmenta at carpet edges.

Note : A vacuum cleaner or attachment with a rotating brush or beater bar to agitate the pile is more effective than one that relies on suction only.

2. CLEAN MOST-USED AREAS. The most-used areas of the carpet -- entrances, doorways, traffic lanes, around a favorite chair, etc. -- are going to collect dirt much faster than the remainder of the carpet. Cleaning these areas when they just begin to show soiling stops the dirt from spreading to the rest of the house and can extend the time between professional cleanings.

3. PERIODIC PROFESSIONAL CLEANING. Dust and oils in the air will eventually leave a dulling film even on unused parts of the carpet. Periodic professional cleaning of the overall carpet is recommended. Carpets perform best when properly cleaned by a certified professional carpet cleaner using specially formulated cleaners developed for your carpet.

What Can I Do About Stains?
Sometimes a lot; sometimes there is nothing you can do.

Time and patience are the keys to stain removal. If a spill occurs, immediately try to remove it by blotting with a slightly damp sponge or dry paper towel, followed by repetitive cold-water sprays and further blotting with a paper towel. If this procedure falls to remove the stain, follow the procedures outlined below. In the event of a spill, take time to carefully read the procedures and then follow them thoroughly. The presence of stain resistant properties in your carpet will not prevent certain household chemicals from damaging or removing color from your carpet.

What follows are industry standard general cleaning procedures, but first here are some items that the Accu-Floor family finds indispensible:

  • One unopened roll olf paper towels marked “EMERGENCY” – a dollar’s worth of paper towels when you need them can save you thousands of dollars!
  • A wet/dry vac – the sooner you remove moisture from a spill and deny the substance from permeating the fiber, the more likely you are to prevent apermanent stain. An inexpensive vac is about thrity dollars and can save you thousands of dollars!
  • Enzymatic Pet stain remover – even if you don’t own a pet, these stain removers are safe around all creatures, two and four legged varieties.

What's more, if used properly, they won’t remove the stain resistance protection added to your carpet. (If you do own a pet, add a bottle of a "urine-be-gone" product so that after you clean you can prevent lingering odors you cannot detect from enticing your pet back to the same spot.) Very inexpensive yet can save you thousands of dollars!

General Cleaning Rules
Always read and follow the care instructions and any warnings provided by the carpet manufacturer. Rugs and carpets with natural fibers and/or certain dyes may require special treatment. If in doubt, contact a cleaning professional for advice/service.

The key to keeping your carpet looking great depends on the care you give it. That care centers around three basic steps:

  • Removal of soil by frequent vacuuming.
  • Periodic cleaning.
  • Prompt, correct removal of spots and spills.

Spot Removal Procedure
Removing spots from carpets can be simple or tedious depending on the spot and how long it has been on the carpet. At times multiple applications of the spot removal solution, or a second solution is required. Listed below is a general spot removal procedure. Some spots will require specialized treatment, so it is never a bad idea to gpo on-line and look up “carpet stain index” for an extensive list of specifc stain producers.

If the origin of the spot is unknown, Begin with Step 1.

  • If the origin of the spot is known, begin at the appropriate step: Step 1 for Greasy Spots or Step 2 for Water Based Spots.
  • Never use a circular motion to remove a spot as this destroys texture. Instead, blot by pressing a white paper towel down onto the affected area.
  • To prevent wick up, the final step should always be to rinse with clear water; blot dry, and put a thickness of several white paper towels over the damp area. Put a brick or other suitable weight on the pad of towels to keep the pad in contact with the carpet. This allows any stain wicking up from the backing to go into the towels. Allow to dry, remove the brick and towels and brush the piles.
  • Be certain to try any solutions you plan to use on an inconspicuous area of your carpet, as it may affect the color or texture of the carpet.

Do not use if color in the test area marks off on a white paper towel.

Some items to have available to remove spots:

  • White paper towels or white terry towels.
  • Dish washing solution. To make a detergent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon of a hand dishwashing detergent, which does not contain lanolin, or bleach with 1 quart of water. (Examples of safe detergents are Dawn® and Joy®.)
  • Spray bottle for applying detergents and special solutions.
  • Household ammonia solution, which is one tablespoon of clear household ammonia to 1/2 cup of water.
  • Isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
  • 3% hydrogen peroxide.
  • WHITE vinegar solution made of 1/3 cup of WHITE vinegar and 2/3 cup of water.
  • Spoon and dull knife.
  • Brick or brick paver.

General Procedure
Step 1: Unknown and Greasy Spots

  • Remove as much of the foreign material as possible by blotting with a white paper towel or scraping with a dull knife.
  • Apply isopropyl rubbing alcohol to a clean white cloth, white paper towel, or cotton ball. If the spot extends deep into the pile, use a blotting motion until the spot is removed or no color is transferred to the cloth. Do not allow the alcohol to penetrate into the backing, as this will destroy the latex bond. If the spot is on the surface only, rub in one direction at a time. Never use a circular motion to remove spot as this may destroy the texture.
  • Stop if the spot is removed. If not, go to Step 3.

Step 2: Water Based Spots

  • Blot up as much of the spill as is possible. A wet vacuum is useful if a large quantity of liquid was spilled.
  • If the spot has dried, saturate the tufts in the affected area with tap water (do not overwet). Allow to remain for about 1 minute and blot.
  • If the spot is being removed using water, continue until the spot is completely removed. Blot dry and apply the paper towels and brick. If not completely removed, go to step 3.
  • Step 3

    • Remove as much of the foreign material as possible by blotting with a white paper towel or scraping with a dull knife.
    • Apply a small quantity of detergent solution to the spot. Use a blotting motion to work the detergent into the affected area. If the spot is being removed, continue applying detergent and blotting with a white paper towel until spot is removed.
    • Rinse with tap water using a spray bottle, blot to remove excess moisture, spray lightly with water, do not blot this time; apply pad of paper towels and brick and allow to dry.
    • If there is still some stain on the carpet and blotting is not removing it, then moisten the tufts in the stained area with 3% hydrogen peroxide, Let stain for one (1) hour. Blot and repeat until carpet is stain free. Light will cause peroxide to change back to water, so no rinsing is necessary. Apply pad of paper towels and weight down brick.

    Cleaning Techniques
    There are many different stain removal techniques depending on the type of spill that you're treating. The information that follows is provided by one of the major fiber manufacturers and can be used on synthetic yams such as nylon and polyester.

    Remember, No Residential Carpet Is Stain-Proof! These techniques are recommendations and are not guaranteed to work in all cases. The following definitions apply to the procedures that follow:

    SCRAPE -- Gently scoop or scrape with the blunt edge of a spoon from the outside of the spill toward the center.
    BLOT -- Press straight down with a pad of clean white paper towels -- never rub. Rubbing alters carpet texture. Then in a final blotting, leave 1/2" of paper towels on the spot overnight with a weight.
    APPLY -- Apply all liquids to a clean white (not printed) paper towel and use to dampen carpet. Never wet a carpet through to the backing.
    WEIGHT -- A weighted 1/2" pad of white paper towels, left overnight, will absorb the last traces of liquid and foreign materials.
    DETERGENT -- Mix 1/4 teaspoon clear, see-through hand dishwashing detergent with one cup warm -- not hot water,
    HYDROGEN PEROXIDE/AMMONIA -- Mix 1/2 cup (3% solution available in drug stores) with I teaspoon undiluted, unscented, clear (not sudsy) household ammonia. Use within 2 hours of mixing.
    DRY CLEANING FLUID -- Liquid, non-oily, non-caustic type sold for spot removal from garments (Carbona #10, Energine, etc.). Caution, may be flammable.

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