For spot cleaning wool carpets:
HydriOxi Pro Encapsulating Spotter & Stain Remover
Universal Stone Concentrated Cleaner
For overall cleaning of other types of carpet other than wool:
AFM Carpet Shampoo
HydriOxi Pro Carpet Cleaning Polymer
All of these products are outstanding cleaners. Try them!
If you think all cleaners are alike read some comments from our customers.
How to get rid of that new carpet smell
Aside from Nature's Carpet, carpets made of nylon, olefin, polypropylene, many recycled fibers and even some wool carpets have more toxins in the backing and fibers than almost any other household product, but that is changing.
If you're chemically sensitive or just don't like the smell, ask your carpet installer to unroll the carpet at his warehouse and let it air out. This could take a while but it will help a great deal. Unfortunately, most off-gassing continues for months and even years.
For carpets other than wool, we recommend AFM Shampoo, CarpetSeal & Lockout, a three-part system that will reduce off-gassing in the fibers and the backing by almost 95%. We've used this in many office environments and it works exceptionally well. It's very easy to apply, and it costs only about $0.25 per square foot for all three products.
Information from Wools of New Zealand
Tips for handling accidents:
- Blot up liquids with white paper towels or absorbent cloth; scoop up solids with the end of a knife or spoon.
- Treat the spot according to the cleaning instruction chart below.
- Apply spot removal agent to clean towel or cloth, not directly to the spot. Use small quantities at a time. Always work inwards from the edge to prevent spreading. Do not rub, as this may cause the spot to spread or distort the pile. Do not over-wet the carpet pile.
- Afterwards, blot as dry as possible with clean towel.
- Always pre-test a cleaning agent in an inconspicuous place, such as under a piece of furniture or in the corner of the room, to insure that it does not remove color.
Naturally easy maintenance
To protect the investment made in a Wools of New Zealand Brand carpet or rug, it's important to follow prescribed maintenance periodically to keep it looking and performing at its best. Cleaning at regular intervals - rather than waiting until the carpet is heavily soiled - actually extends its life. And when carpet life is increased, so is the return on your investment.
Maintaining the beauty of wool carpet is exceptionally easy - in fact, a lot easier than most people think. You see, wool's unique and complex fiber structure releases soil up to 25% more readily than synthetic carpet. Not only that, its scaly outer structure holds soil high on the pile, right where the vacuum can lift it out. Quickly and easy.
Carpet vacuuming and cleaning
CUT PILE — We strongly recommend a vacuum with a rotating beater bar to agitate the carpet pile and loosen soil for removal. While those without this feature remove surface dirt well, they often leave imbedded soil which damages the carpet fiber by abrasion. Matting and packing may also occur in high traffic areas if the carpet pile isn't sufficiently agitated or lifted.
LOOP — Vacuum with suction only to avoid damaging the loops. For rooms with light traffic, vacuum the traffic lanes twice weekly and the entire area once a week. Areas of heavier traffic require that traffic lanes be vacuumed daily and the entire area twice weekly. Up to three passes of the machine works well for light soiling, while five to seven are necessary for heavily soiled areas.
- Make sure your vacuum's belt is in good condition - and that the beater actually rotates when in contact with the carpet.
- Height adjustment is correct when the beater contacts the pile enough to lightly vibrate the carpet several inches away from the machine, but not enough to cause a significant slowing of the motor.
- Never allow the soil bag to become over half full or efficiency will suffer.
- Vacuum across the traffic pattern occasionally, rather than in the traffic direction, to prevent matting.
Cleaning your carpet
While vacuuming removes most dry soil, the oily soil of cooking vapors, air pollution and grime tracked in from the street present a decidedly different type of problem. These particles of oily soil deposited on carpet fibers can cause gradual — but significant — dulling of delicate pastel colors. The color isn't actually lost. It is hidden under a dirty film.
If this type of soil is allowed to accumulate, it literally glues the pile fiber together, resulting in matting, packing or ridges. Equally worrisome, it begins to attract and hold dry soil. That's why cleaning is so important when dulling of the fiber is first noticed. If allowed to remain too long, it becomes gummy and difficult to remove.
Practice extreme care in vacuuming your area rugs - particularly the fringe. It's best not to use a vacuum cleaner with a beater bar in this area of the rug to avoid the possibility of catching the fringe in the cleaner. This can cause separation of the weaving behind the fringe or even damage the rug.
Methods of cleaning
Several methods of cleaning produce satisfactory results. But one recommendation is universal: clean your carpet or rug before it becomes too unsightly. The cleaning chore will be easier and a lot more successful. As a handy reference, we've detailed several acceptable cleaning methods here for sustaining the beauty and life of your carpet or rug. Each, however, has limitations which should be considered.
Absorbent particles are worked into the pile with a machine and removed by vacuum. This method uses no water; little skill is required; and the carpet is ready for use immediately. Some have noted difficulty removing all cleaning residue from deep pile. It's also not that effective for heavily soiled or matted areas. This is a professional or do-it-yourself method.
Dry Foam and Absorbent Pad
Fluffy detergent foam is worked into pile by a variety of machines. Once dry, the residue is vacuumed out. This method uses little water, dries fast and cleans the surface well; however, overbrushing can damage some carpets.
Steam Cleaning (Hot Water Extraction)
Extraction of the cleaning solution and soil leaves little residue and no pile damage, although caution is required to prevent overwetting. Avoid using too much detergent. Follow up with plain water. Recommended for all carpet types, this method is most effective when performed by a professional using an external hot water extraction unit.
Carpet pilating or grooming should be incorporated with all professional cleanings. A professional pile lifter vacuum may be effective in restoring matted or ridged carpeting.
Caution: The rotary brush wet shampoo method is not recommended for residential carpet as damage may result. Moreover, some do-it-yourself products in aerosol cans may cause rapid re-soiling due to excessive residues. Test on a scrap first. If the dried product feels sticky, don't use it. And avoid all cleaning agents containing an optical brightener (fluorescence) such as those found in many laundry detergents and some carpet cleaning systems.
Copyright © 2005 Joel Hirshberg All rights reserved.