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Why Do Carpet Stains Reappear?

So you just cleaned the carpeting in your home and it looks great, only to find that after a week or so passes some of those larger spots that you thought were gone have come back to haunt you. But you got them out! (Or so you thought). This is a very common occurrence when it comes to spot cleaning carpet. Most people think that the spot “came back” or somehow mysteriously returned, but the fact of the matter is that many times the problem never really left. While you may have got the surface nice and clean, if the padding was contaminated then the problem is still lurking below the surface of the carpeting where you cant see. This problem is called “wicking”.

“Wicking occurs when you remove stains from carpet only on the surface. As a result, the liquid from the stain pools onto the backing or padding of the carpet. The liquid can work its way back up to the carpet fibers making the stain reappear a day or two after cleaning.”  Source

So wicking happens when there is soil or contaminants trapped under the carpet in the padding. The moisture that is present in your carpet after cleaning can cause the soil to be carried up from the padding during the drying process to the tips of the carpet fibers. This is why the spot seems to “reappear”. This can even happen when there is humidity in the air. When then happens, it is an indication that the trouble spot is still there under the carpet, and will likely continue to cause trouble. So what can you do to prevent this from happening?

How to keep carpet stains from coming back

 

Friendly Cleaning Services is a company offering carpet cleaning in Kansas City. Owner Brian has dealt with problems like this and offers this tip: “After you have cleaned the spot thoroughly, place a clean folded towel over the area where the spot was and place a weight on it like a couple of books. That way when the soiling wicks to the surface of the carpet, it will continue wicking from the tips of the carpet fibers into the towel. This is usually enough to take carpet of your wicking problem.” Most people will have success with this method, but what if you still continue to have problems?

 

“If the problem continues to occur, then it may be time for more drastic measures: you may need to actually pull back your carpet to let the pad, and possibly sub-floor, dry out. This is not too bad if your spill happens to be near a wall; obviously it is a much bigger issue if your spill is in the middle of the room (which is, of course, where most spills happen!).

Once you are certain everything is dry, including the sub-floor if necessary, you can then reinstall your carpet. If you have had to pull up a large portion of your carpet, you may prefer to have a professional installer come to reinstall it for you, to ensure a proper re-stretch of the carpet. After the carpet is installed you can treat the stain again as you usually would.” Taken from the article The Cause of Reappearing Carpet Stains

Other Causes of Reappearing Spots

 

Returning spots aren’t always a wicking issue. Sometimes its the cleaning product used. Most spot and stain cleaners will leave a sticky residue in the carpet, which causes re-soiling. So the spot may be gone, but because there is a residue present in the carpet dirt is now attracted to that area. This causes that area to become dirty again, which may appear to be the original spot returning. The best way to prevent this is to avoid using off the shelf stain cleaners and using plain water in a damp cloth or towel to clean up spills. Another option is to hire a professional company to handle the stain. They usually have the equipment to clean the spot and rinse the area using fresh clean water.

 

 

Keeping Your Carpet Clean

No matter how hard you try to keep up with it, you floors take a beating. From spills, drips, muddy shoes, and whatever the kids bring in on there shoes, keeping your carpet clean seems like a never ending job. In this article we are going to share some tips on keeping your carpet clean and looking good for years to come.

Vacuum Regularly

It goes without saying that if you want your carpeting to stay clean, regular vacuuming is essential. A lot of people don’t realize that dirt is actually very abrasive and damaging to your carpet. The more you walk on dirty carpet, the more you grind the sharp dirt particles into the carpet. This causes damage by scratching and scraping the fibers, which not only embeds the dirt, but also causes wear. So naturally you want to remove any loose dirt particles before they start getting ground into the carpet, causing irreparable damage. And you do this by vacuuming. Some tips from the Carpet and Rug Institute:

“To get the most out of your vacuuming regime, remember these few easy tips:

  • A quick once-over doesn’t do much. Slow and steady does the trick.
  • When vacuuming, don’t ignore those corners and crevices where dust builds.
  • “Top-down” cleaning saves you the step of vacuuming again after dusting. Dust blinds, windowsills, and furniture surfaces first and then vacuum away any fallen dust.
  • Remember to replace or empty vacuum bags when they are half to two-thirds full. Read the full article here.

But how often do you need to vacuum? Well a good starting point is once a week. However, the more traffic the more often you need to vacuum. Double it for kids and pets. In fact, it would be ideal to run a vacuum over the highest traffic areas daily if possible. Keep in mind, all that work will be for nothing if you don’t have a quality vacuum cleaner.

Call a Professional

While you can make a huge difference yourself with vacuuming, eventually its going to take more. Dry vacuuming will only remove so much of the soil, eventually some of it will bind to the fibers. When you reach the point where your carpet looks dirty even after vacuuming, its time to call in a professional. Professional carpet cleaners have the solutions and equipment to deep clean your carpets, bringing them back to new again.

This Huffington Post article recommends: “Regardless of how often you choose to use them, our experts agree that professional steam cleaners are hands-down necessary — you shouldn’t attempt to steam carpets yourself. Only steam can effectively lift dust from deep within your carpet, Wilson says — if left there, it will wear down and rip the carpet’s fibers. But only professional machines can truly zap all the steam’s moisture from the carpet when you’re done cleaning. The results of trying to do it yourself can be sickening.”

Don’t let the price of professional carpet cleaning convince you to try it your. The machines you rent from your local grocery store are simply nowhere near as powerful as the equipment that professional carpet cleaners use. One of the biggest problems with these machines, is that they lack the power to remove all the water used. This can leave your carpet very wet, and for a long time. Another problem is that they leave a lot of chemical residue. A recommendation from SteamPro Carpet Cleaning is that if the homeowner does attempt the DIY method, to “mix your cleaning solution in a pump up sprayer and apply it to the carpet, then use clean water in your machine as a rinse.” That way you are rinsing the cleaning detergent, not running it through your machine. This can help prevent cleaning residue. Also, put some fans out to try and speed up drying.

Clean Spills Immediately

No matter how careful you are, spills are going to happen. When it does, make sure to grab a towel as soon as possible. Keep in mind, you want to blot spills, not scrub. Excessive scrubbing can and will damage your carpet fibers. Its also good to use chemicals only as a last resort. This goes back to the chemical residue problem. Any chemical left to dry in the carpet will attract dirt and appear dirty after a period of time. So use the chemicals sparingly, sometimes it only takes a towel and some water to completely clean a spill up.

Hopefully this gives you a head start on keeping your carpeting clean. Keep reading the Clean Advisor blog for more helpful tips.

 

 

 

 

Methods of Carpet Cleaning

There are many different methods used to clean carpets, steam cleaning, dry powder cleaning, bonnet cleaning, and shampoo. But which method produces the best results? Lets take a look at some of the different processes used.

Dry Cleaning

The dry-cleaning method involves using a powdered cleaning compound. It is brushed into the carpet fibers using an agitating machine. The idea is that dirt will bond to the powdered chemicals, then are removed through dry vacuuming. The downside of this method is that there is no rinsing involved, and there will still be chemicals left in the carpet.

Bonnet Cleaning

Bonnet cleaning is similar to the dry cleaning method in that it is still lower moisture, but instead of dry cleaning powder a liquid cleaning detergent is used. After the detergent is applied to the carpet, a machine is used to scrub the solution using a towel-like pad. The pad picks up dirt, however this is not ideal because there is no flushing the fibers or rinsing the detergent from the carpet. So again you are left with cleaning residue in the carpeting. However, bonnet cleaning can be a good solution in some commercial cleaning settings.

Steam Cleaning

Steam cleaning is about the most common and popular method of carpet cleaning. Although the name is a little confusing, as no steam is actually used to clean the carpet fibers. Its actually hot water, though some steam is still produced from the high heat. Steam cleaning typically involves applying a cleaning detergent to the carpet, then agitating with a type of brush. After the cleaning solution has a dwell time of about 10 minutes or so, a tool is used to rinse the carpeting using heated water to remove dirt. Some people think that steam cleaning is chemical free cleaning, but that’s not the case. The only real “chemical free” way of cleaning you carpet is to dry vacuum.

Hopefully we have cleared up any questions you might have had on different methods of carpet cleaning. Manufacturers prefer the steam cleaning method to uphold your carpets warranty, however lower moisture cleaning methods often are a better fit in commercial settings.

How to Choose the Right Rug

Place the rug off-center to create a focal point in the room. Photo courtesy of Malene B

Choosing the perfect area rug for your space can be a difficult and time consuming decision. There are many varying factors to consider including things like room decor, size of room, etc. At the same time you want to choose a rug that will provide comfort and the right cushioning. Size is definitely one of the bigger factors to plan for.

Here are some tips from hgtv.com:

Considered artwork for the floor, which acts as the frame, size does matter — and it’s often a big concern for the homeowner unsure of how to create that well-balanced space.

So designers say start with the area rug first. From its design, you can choose colors to paint your walls and find throw pillows and paintings to complete the decor. Just make sure to follow this rule of thumb: The area rug should be a minimum of six inches and no more than two feet away from the wall. When you take into consideration the different uses, shapes and design preferences, however, other factors weigh in as well.” – Original article Choosing the Best Area Rug for Your Space

Before you go rug shopping make sure to get measurements of your seating area first. On a limited budget you can find smaller rugs that can be placed in front of furniture. But if you have a big room, get a larger rug that will pull the whole space together. You don’t want to get a rug that is too small as this can make your room appear to be smaller. If you are going to be starting from scratch with decorating, then you have the option to choose a rug first and design around it. Once you have the rug, then you can find other things to ties in like curtains, pillows, and other objects that will be on the floor.

Something else to consider is padding. Padding can add some extra protection if you have hardwood floors, an at the same time helps with keeping the rug from slipping and moving out of place. If you have a flat weave rug, the right padding will add an extra layer of comfort.

Choosing a rug may seem difficult, but all it take is some planning ahead of time to make the job much easier. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss future posts!

Tips to Keep Your floors Clean in the Winter

A door mat outside and inside the door will help keep moisture and dirt off your floor entirely. (Brandon Smith)

If you live in an area that has winter weather, then you are most likely aware of the winter mess that comes along with it. With winter comes snow, then between thawing and more snow, there can get to be quite a bit of slush and mud outside. Keeping the mud on the outside is the real struggle! No to mention all of the salt and ice melt.

Below is a list of steps you can take to keep your floors clean during the muddy winter season.

1. Use walk-off mats outside

Get a sturdy mat for both outside your entry doors and inside. Good outdoor doormats will not hold onto moisture (think moldy mildew), but they will act as your first line of defense for keeping out mud and muck.
2. Put doormats inside, too

Some moisture is bound to get in. Keeping another doormat inside the door for wet or snowy boots is a great way to keep the moisture from tracking into your whole house.

Look around at a home goods store for hard plastic boot trays. They give you a great place to leave wet shoes to dry.

If you use a fabric or carpeted area rug, be sure that you don’t let those wet mats sit on your floor for too long. Once boots are dry enough to move, pick up wet mats and allow them to dry somewhere off the floor, if possible.

3. Vacuum the salt

Salt is about to line the streets. Don’t let it line your floors! Road salt can scratch even the toughest of hardwood finishes. Our suggestion? Sweep or vacuum the salt often.

Be cautious when using “Swiffer” type dusters; grains of salt can get trapped under the head of the Swiffer and too much pressure can add to the scratching.

4. Use the right cleaner

Get a strong floor cleaner for hard surfaces. This time of year, even with the best efforts, you can see spotting on ceramic, hardwood, luxury vinyl tile, etc. A good spot cleaner will allow you to easily keep floors looking great in-between deep cleans.

This list is an excerpt from the article 5 Simple Ways to Keep Floors Clean This Winter from www.angieslist.com

This most effective thing you can do to keep the mess outside of the house is remove your shoes, as hard of a habit it may be. Make sure to vacuum more often in the winter, and once you make it past the mud season be sure to have your carpet cleaned by a qualified professional. Be sure to check beck regularly more more home cleaning articles!